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by Sune Kloppenborg Jeppesen

As preparation of my upcoming campaign I have fleshed out some details about the port of Freiburg, called Althaven.


Located about seven miles from Freiburg Althaven serves as harbour for the Heldannic capital. When the Knights arrived here 50 years ago they only found about a dozen families living here, primarily fishermen. Nowadays the small track that leads to Freiburg has been dramatically improved, paved and bridges have been build over the numerous small streams enroute. The village has experienced a dramatic growth since the arrival of the knights. Almost all buildings here are less than ten years old but the main reason for this is the destruction caused by Alphatian wizards and Norse bandits only seven years ago. After the attack the knights quickly rebuild the village and constructed heavy fortifications to protect the naval base. Apart from the destruction the new times have also brought in many new inhabitants and civilian inhabitant number one thousand is awaited quite soon. All these new inhabitants have made the city bustling with activity. Inns and warehouses line the docks at the riverside and numerous shops line the streets of the town. In the river itself large merchant vessels from many parts of the world lay at anchor and numerous smaller boats peddle back and forth from the ships to Freiburg itself. Large ships can go no further upriver than Althaven, though the large war-galleys used by the knights can go upriver all the way to Freiburg, but only with great difficulty so they seldom do that. Wandering around the city you can find merchants from far away countries like the Empire of Thyatis, the Minrothad Guilds and also numerous Viking traders from the Northern Reaches. These merchants bring luxuries and arms when they come here and generally leave with cargoes of hides, foodstuffs, timber and metals.

Notable sights:

Church of the Saviour: (Abbess Helga Strand hf P11 LN age 42) The church lies at a small hill at the end of the Old Road. It is still not completely reconstructed and decoration of the inside is still underway. From the top of the tower there is a wonderful view over the flat swamps and on a clear day the sea can be seen on the horizon as well as the fortifications of Freiburg in the opposite direction. The church is made of red bricks like any other large building erected by the knights and also serves as a fortification in times of trouble. At the weekly sermons it holds all of the Althaven population, leaving only the army to patrol the streets. To the back of the church there are some large buildings that serve as a kind of town hall.

The Citadel: (Knight Banneret Helmuth Grunberger hm F7 LN age 43) Formerly the small fortifications were called the citadel with a bit of irony, but after the Alphatian raid where the former commander Gunther von Breimberg was killed, the Citadel has been strongly reinforced and now it qualifies as a citadel albeit only a small one. The Citadel is located at the riverside where it protects the only major Heldannic Naval Station. A Chapter of 350 soldiers defend the Citadel at all times in addition to the mariners occasionally stationed here. In times of war the Citadel has room enough for 2000 soldiers and all of the local population and in addition it has stored food for 6 months consumption. Protected by the second line of walls of the citadel lies the shipyard, the only one to be found in the Heldannic Territories. Here several hundred persons labour day and night to build vessels of war and trade for the knights. Althaven is a military fief with Knight Banneret Helmuth Grunberger as the lord.

The Holy Hammer(Weaponsmith): (Prior Vagn Kindlebaum hm P8 LN age 61) Vagn served among the Hammer of Vanya before he lost his right leg six years ago when Moglai Khan raided Hayavik. After that he was forced to retire from the military and developed his weaponsmithing skills to perfection especially when it comes to hammers, his weapon of choice. With the help of his numerous apprentices he makes all kinds of weapons and many Knights travel here to acquire smaller weapons, which they are not given by the church.

The Port: (Havenmeister Kurt Grauwald hm T4 LN age 35) Kurt spend most of his youth on board various Heldannic and foreign trading vessels, before being appointed Havenmeister when the former was killed in the Alphatian raid. Nowadays he spend most of his time in his small office checking cargo documents for the ships coming and going. Occasionally he travels to the sea to act as a pilot on the ships going upriver.

Holy Memorial Ground: Two miles south of the main gate up in the foothills lies a large memorial place constructed to commemorate the 1268 victims from Althaven and Freiburg murdered by during the Alphatian raid. At all times of the day the place is guarded closely by honour guards and at night nobody dares venture close to this place as it is said to be haunted by undead or aliens depending on whom You ask.

***This is in fact a secret warbird facility, constructed after the old one was destroyed by the Alphatians. About a hundred soldiers are stationed here at all times mostly in underground quarters.

Inside the largest hill a replenishing site has been constructed for the warbirds, able to hold a medium sized warbird concealed at day. During the darkest nights warbirds come and go here thus contributing to the rumours among the local peasants.***

Old Tower: Across the river out in the swamps lies a deserted tower. Once it belonged to the local wizard, but he attacked the Knights when they arrived here 50 years ago and instead of driving them back they simply killed the wizard. The tower still lies there and no one has ventured there and lived to tell about it (or they have found the riches said to be there and have wisely kept quiet).

The Old Market: Located at the main square along the riverside this market serves the daily needs of the inhabitants. Thursday is market day and on this day farmers from the surrounding country side come to the town to sell their products. The local fishermen put their wares for sale everyday.

The Drunken Rat Tavern: (Svein Alebeard hm F2 NG age 68) This tavern is a safehaven for travelling knights and others with a taste for drinking. Despite government restrictions the tavern has rightfully earned the reputation as the only place in all of the Heldannic Territories where members of the Order are allowed to drink freely and they do so heavily. Upstairs are 15 small rooms for rent. The last commander of the local garrison came here often before he was killed in the Alphatian raid. It's located down a small and dark alley from the Old Road.

The Gilded Sword: (Magda Himmerstein hf F0 LG age 55) This is the largest tavern located in the rather well fortified old city hall that was one of the only buildings to stand after the Alphatian raid. Magda has 50 rooms for rent upstairs and in the wings. All kind of liquors are served here, but none to members of the Order. In her youth Magda served as a maid to a noble family in Hattias.

Minrothaddan Factory: (Rogan Aditer hm T4 CG age 65) Located as far away from the Naval Station as possible lies the Minrothaddan Warehouse. The daily activates are handled by Rogan. He is a retired Minrothaddan trader and has accepted the position as Minrothaddan Consul to Althaven in his late days because he was not well seen in the Minrothad Guilds. He spends most of his time at the Drunken Rat Tavern as there is not much work for him to do. He helps the occasional Minrothaddan traders coming to Althaven. For the guild he buys and sells goods as he deems profitable. Issues regarding more important matters are handled by the Minrothaddan Embassy in Freiburg. The factory is known as the Thadder Factory or simply Thad Factory to persons normally dealing with Rogan.