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City of Alpiraby Alex Benson
Alpira is located along the Randel River where it crosses the border with Theranderol. Alpira boasts a population exceeding 20,000. Visually the city appears similar to more traditional Alphatian cities. Appearance is where the similarities end. Alpira is definitely of Randel.
Baroness Dyaseista (MU22) rules the city. The Baroness has ruled the city for twelve years. The Baroness is a carefree person, more akin to acting like a teenager than a ruling noble of Randel. She is a lovely woman who has a tendency to fall madly in love with new military officers.
Her rule is an empty one for she is but a mere figurehead. The military rules Alpira. Dyaseista really does not mind this as it allows her freedom to do as she wishes. Every so often she does feel the need to assert authority and implement some fanciful law or issue some bizarre decree. This really annoys the military, as it is they that have to go back and recant what she had done. They never exact any type of revenge as she is the ruling noble of Alpira.
Alpira is very heavily garrisoned. Given its location and strategic value, the troops are heavily drill and kept at a combat ready state. Officers are hand picked for their loyalty to the kingdom as much as for their skill and expertise. Military doctrine is strict and unforgiving. Stationed in Alpira is a grouping of regiments that are dubbed The Shield Division. Their role is to guard the city of Alpira and the passage into Randel. They are also placed to offer a quick response force to march to Sundsvall if the Imperial Court is threatened.
The Shield Division has a reputation of being the best Randel can offer. Composing the Shield Division are the 1st and 11th Standard Infantry Regiments, the 1st Heavy Movement Infantry Regiment, the 1st Cavalry Regiment, and the 5th and 7th Dyurkan Regiments. There is a great sense of camaraderie in the Division. In overall command of this division is General Jhaluvar (M35). This experienced officer has held this command for over sixty years. Tough as nails and very military oriented the General is fanatically loyal to Randel and the King.
Given Alpira's location, it has a large number of Black Watch personnel living there. Some are agents, living out unassuming lives in positions that place them where they can uncover information. Others live there covertly and travel abroad to gather information. Still others, more specialised in covert combat, live in Alpira and travel abroad when the Black Watch needs to take matters in hand.
In Alpira, one can find three different University Schools. Like the stationed regiments, the administrators are hand picked for their loyalty as well as their skills. The schools often drill alongside the stationed troops. Alpira's schools are considered to be the toughest in the entire kingdom. Therefore, attendance there is highly sought. Going there does not outright advancement. However, graduates are expected to be promoted due to the added skills they had learned in Alpira.
The administrator of Alpira's Standard Infantry School is Headmaster Narthrilla (M16). Young and rather inexperienced for such a prestigious position, she has proven herself a highly capable administrator. Her strengths are efficient use of one's available resources and her staunch loyalty to the kingdom.
Administrating the Magist School is Headmaster Margotrista (M29). She is an aged magist. Thanks to magic she appears in her mid twenties. Margotrista is a mage and that is where she centres her attentions on. She lets her more combat qualified faculty members teach the more hands on tactics of a warmage.
Administering Alpira's Heavy Movement Infantry School is Headmaster Abryche (M21). He is unusual for a mage. Big and rather stocky, he is an intimidating figure. He prefers a hands-on approach to combat integrating spells and weaponry against an opponent. Abryche often lectures and teaches the students himself.
Alpira is officially the means to lawfully travel from Randel and into either Theranderol or Eadrin. There are numerous tradesmen and merchants present. The military has established an efficient customs service to police traffic through the city. Heading this department is Custodian Aragorn (C20 of Asterius). He is a tough calculating official. He takes great umbrage to anyone his people catch trying to sneak contraband through. He is close to General Jhaluvar. Despite the Custodian appearing to be older than Jhaluvar, the General is actually Aragorn's grandfather.
With so much travel running through Alpira, the city has a bevy of "escort" personnel. These folk are employed to act as armed escorts for those travelling to other Alphatian kingdoms. This enterprise is most welcome to those travelling to Aroganso.
The largest of these escort businesses is the Zerathigan Cooperative. This agency is similar to a mercenary house. However, the members are more loosely organised. When the members are in the city, they inform the Cooperative's office. If someone has the need and the member meets their guidelines, they are hired. Membership costs nothing. The Cooperative is paid 15% of the escort's fee.
With the Randel wine vintages in such demand, the Plantation Families of the Banks region maintain offices to aid them in the brokerage of their beverages. In Alpira, these factions are not as aggressive towards each other as they are in Kedy. Each family is well aware that the military will not tolerate such disturbances in the city.
Dyorkhan family agent is the family matriarch's sister Delametrissa (MU10). She is aided by Stevenstrom (MU4), a family member. Once he has gained enough experience from Delametrissa, he is to travel to Kedy and re-establish a Dyorkan presence there.
The Siestram family agent is Zaradrigar (MU12). He was moved to Alpira from Kedy a few years back after his wife, sister to the family matriarch was killed by the Puntamunda Faction. Zaradrigar is aided by his "lady friend" Myakadamia (M7). She is from Theranderol.
The Puntamunda family agent is Maryogeld's brother, Alehandro (C17 of Asterius). Aiding him in the second city are Leonidia (F21), his daughter Milenya (MU10), and a cousin Marjladen (MU7). Alehandro's wife, Cryshrentri (MU15) left him and daughter Milenya after her birth. She lives in Aeria and has little contact with her former husband or her daughter.
Alpira has an office of the Sailor's Consortium. This office focuses on seeking out potential sailors from other Alphatian kingdoms. However, it does place sailors to the Riverine Navy. The Alpira branch office is headed by Galadaran (M12). Galadaran once served in the Randel Navy as a lieutenant. While out on manoeuvres, he was thrown overboard and nearly drowned. Since that experience, he has had a deathly fear of the ocean and has not set foot aboard a ship. Galadaran left the Navy and took an associate's position with the Sailor's Consortium. He rose through the ranks and about a year ago was given the office in Alpira.
Attached to the Puntamuna Family offices in Alpira is Leonidia (F21). As the daughter of Maryogeld and Martrinias she has a certain degree of prominence within the family. She is a beautiful woman with auburn hair and long shapely legs. Leonidia is also a warrior of great skill. Her fighter skills were first forged in the Randel military, then finely honed as an adventurer under the name Leonia.
As an adventurer, she was badly mauled by a dragon. Her lovely body was badly mutilated by the beast. This caused her much self-loathing and caused her to distance herself from male admirers. Though she is the object of many a suitor's affections, she steadfastly turns each away.
This frigid nature was melted only once. In her travels as an adventurer, she met a Karameikan adventurer named Gaerth. Smitten by her, Gaerth joined her party of adventurers. At first, Leonidia pushed away his advances. Eventually she overcame her self-loathing and accepted his affections. Presented with her mutilation, Gaerth embraced her for he did indeed love her.
Their happiness did not last long. In a matter of days Gaerth was killed in a battle with humanoids. In the melee, Leonidia's sword had been lost. Gaerth selflessly gave her his sword. Armed with but a faldirk, he fell to his attackers. Leonidia lived but was devastated by the loss. Shortly afterwards, she returned home to Randel. As before, she has become frigid in her affections. She rarely speaks of her adventuring days.
Alpira is definitely a city of Randel. However, the interaction with foreign visitors has supplanted some of the more traditional ideals that other areas of Randel have. As such, the residents of Alpira tend to act a bit more Alphatian. This local attitude contrasts greatly with the staunch military personnel stationed in the city.
The mixture of the more traditional citizens, the "tainted" citizens, the staunch military personnel, and the visiting foreigners offer all manners of variations of character. DMs should play with mixing stereotypes to reflect these.
Leonidia's story is more complicated than that. After the battle with the humanoids, she discovered that her love was still with her. Somehow his life essence had become infused within the very sword Gaerth had given to her. Through the sword, the two can communicate. The sword speaks to her telepathically; Leonidia speaks to it verbally.
Gaerth continues to protect Leonidia. From the sword, he can detect evil intent up to a 20-foot radius. Speaking to her telepathically, Gaerth can aid her (+2 bonus to Saves) against charm, illusions, and fear based attacks and spells. Against adversaries, his essence affords the sword a +2 to hit and damage rolls. Against her greatest fear, dragons, it acts as a sword +3. [
Leonidia/Leonia and Gaerth are available thanks to Tyghock. Tyghock used the two as characters in the "Ongoing Story", an online Mystara based campaign on the old TSR on AOL message boards. Thanks Tyghock for permission and help in developing Leonidia into an Alphatian.]