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Alphatia Birthright: Kingdom of Amburby Marco Fossati
Folks in Ambur usually refer as North Coast all the northern shores of Ambur and the lands immediately behind them.
Harsh are those lands with little farming, the main outputs being mainly crops and vegetables like onions, carrots and potatoes.
Shores are also little attractive because theyíre mainly made by hard rock, seas caves and cliffs. All of them make large ships landing usually difficult and available only in few points of the coast.
Most of the inhabitants rely upon fishing but in winter months chilly winds from north make shipping very difficult.
Many fishers had lost their lives in the waters off the coast in the last years, so be warned to travel at sea from Eimir to Amphimir .
People, due the more difficult way of life than rest of Ambur, are less easy-going than the average Amburian and usually they donít share the sometimes insane passion for theatre common in Ambur. Of course many still dream and aspire to become actors and the Baroness herself spent much more time in Starpoint than in Rhonerra but many view theatre as their only chance to improve their wealth conditions and they donít show a real passion or (mostly) talent for the Art of Theatre (as it is called by teachers of the RAA).
Travelling through the land is usually not comfortable due the lack of well-paved roads and the harshness of the terrain.
At least Baronessí guards and the regiment of Amburian troops commanded by the Baroness regularly patrol the region and limit a lot the presence of brigands groups or wandering monsters. A typical guard patrol is made up by 15 mounted men, wearing chain mails, lances and sword and 4 low level mages while one of mid level is usually at command. Be warned: especially Baronessí men-at-arms are very rude and tend to act in hard manners towards everyone they think can be
Iíve visited some places there including the biggest town and major port Rhonerra and among the others
Rhonerra is the main town of the North Coast of Ambur. Near 8.000 folks dwell there but remember the number can augment or decrease a little depending by ships currently landed in its port since Rhonerra lies in one of the few point where ships, even large ones, can land without risk.
Rhonerra is, in my humble opinion, an ugly town at best. The traveller used to comforts typical of Alphatian cities will find there a lot of little uneasiness. Air is terribly filled by fishesí stinks since Rhonerra hosts the by far the most important fishing market of all Ambur. Fish-sellers usually cry so loudly their offers to attract potential buyers that itís impossible to wake up after 5.00 am if youíre living of sleeping in a mile radius from that market, which is located just near the port. There, after having bought the load of fish, magical spells are cast to prevent it to become rotten and then useless.
Fish is then placed in the many warehouse of the town where it will remain until the caravans will start to Starpoint or other places. So the stink spreads from the port and the market to all the town.
Dwellers seem to be accustomed to it but I strongly recommend you to bring with yourselves some vials with perfumed essence to help your nose to survive.
Wildly chilly winds frequently come in Rhonerra, especially at evening, so the temperature usually is below seasonal averages.
Almost 100 ships can be landed in this great port. A natural harbour defends it from the fury of wind and sea during storms.
At the edge of the harbour it was built, over than 100 years ago, a tall lighthouse which is still used a lot by sailors to orient themselves at night.
At the centre of the port stand the office of the Guard Port. Ghellen , a middle aged man, is the commander of the guards here and he refers to the Baroness.
At the far west corner of the port is found the ATGís local offices: a two-story unimpressive stone building where Thurbal, the local man of ATG runs the guildís business and collects the fess from all the shops related to the guild
The Halls of Light
This temple of Razud is made by two buildings of white marble. The first one is placed along Palaceís Street, the main road of Rhonerra which leads to the Baronessí Palace. A magnificent facade made by a marble arch, whose doors are usually always open, welcomes the visitors and leads them to a large hall. There priests of Razud chant the glory of their Immortal and take care of the worshipers spiritual needs.
The hall hosts a couple of beautiful statues, one representing Razud Triumphant, the other one representing Razud Victorious over Alphaks. A small door leads to the second building (which is not immediately visible from Palaceís Street) where Archprelate Gabriella Esteran runs the day to day activities of the temple with the help of other 18 priests and acolytes. I wasn't allowed to visit that place so no description of it is included here.
The Baronessí Palace
Is one of the most impressive buildings of the town. Two 3-story towers start from the stone wall surrounding the main building where the Baroness herself and her most important lieutenants administrate the law and the normal business of the town. The Palace is also the barrack for the town guards as about 100 of them are always in the Palace.
Double of them are usually on patrol through the time but at night the number can lower. The left towers hosts the Baronessí private rooms while usually the right one is reserved for important visitors like the Queen and her lieutenants or envoys from the empress or other important people.
This is the only theatre in Rhonerra and, compared to those of Starpoint, itís very unimpressive. The faÁade hasnít, as itís usual, any sculpture or paintings portraying the famous actors of old age but only hosts a picture of Baroness Rhonerra ad a stone plate reporting all the major plays where the Baroness had participate. It maximum attendance is 700 all seat but rarely the maximum number is reached, usually only when some major actors of RAA is convinced by the Baroness, usually with the help of a lot of Crowns to come to town.
The local RAA agent, one beautiful female elf Nymmeras, is more focused in finding a way to return to Starpoint than to improve the theatreís facilities or the level of the actors.
One interesting feature is a shrine to Alphatia, placed in the entering hall of the theatre. Briene, the local priest of Alphatia, takes care of it with the help of 3 other priests.
Inns and Taverns
As a large town, Rhonerraís hosts a quite large number of them, especially in the areas around the port. Hereís a list of what Iíve personally visited.
The Silver Fish
Just near the port is the first place sailors use to go when they disembark. Thullian, a middle aged retired seaman, is the barkeeper and the owner of the tavern and he runs it with the help of 3 strong men which talk nothing and keep only busy with work. As one might expect itís a noisy, smoky and quite dirty place where you might entertain yourself if you like hearing exaggerated sailorís tales or if you like strong spirits. Thullian holds an huge number of them and he serves them mixed with a pint of beer and a pinch of a grey powder which he refused to reveal me what that powder really is. This very strong cocktail is called by customers ďRhonerraís TearsĒ since, to most, it brings tears to the drinkerís eyes. Iíve proved it and Iím still hearing in my ears the laughs of the sailors after I started weeping .
The Sailorís Rest
Inn and Tavern
Placed in front of the port itís a two story building. At the bottom story Heron, a bulky man, with the aid of two twin barmaid, Rula and Tula, runs a tavern where he serves good meals, usually quite salty fish with some sauces, and a quite average collections of beers. At the upper floor thereíre 12 rooms that can be rented for sleeping, usually by travellers just disembarked and too tired to look for a better quality inn. However the Sailor, as the locals call it, is a quiet uneventful place where one can find silence and clean beds without spending a lot. Heron is a member of the ATG and heís acknowledged to be a font of gossips for all Rhonerra.
The Black Dagger
This popular and large tavern is on Palaceís Street, some steps after the Halls of Light. Local customers are merchants and guards and is not uncommon to see among its guests Ghellen or Thurbal. The name of the tavern comes from an obsidian dagger thrown by a wizard more than thirty years against an opponent of his during a brawl. The dagger slew that man and pierced a stone column in the right wall of the tavern. The wizards disappeared very soon after to avoid being captured by guards and left the dagger in the stone column and it has been there since then. Any attempt to take the dagger (which radiates magic if someone casts a Detect Magic spell) away from the column was unsuccessful. From time to time drunkards try to pick the dagger usually falling on the floor for the effort and causing many laughs to other guests. Jill is the old barwoman, a member of the ATG, and she has 3 sons which help her in running the tavern.
The Old Wyvern
The Wyvern, as locals refer to it, is a popular and famous tavern in Rhonerra. Upper class members and actors are found among its guests. Brandy, wines and beers are of high quality as for the meals (I strongly recommend you the Amburian Trout).
Brief shows and plays are usually held in the large ground floor which hosts a little stage on the wall left to the entrance door. Lehiella is a former actress from Starpoint and she has retired in her home place Rhonerra about 15 years ago. Sheís got 3 long scars on her once pretty face but silence is kept about what did it happen to her. Some regular customers speculate a desperate lover did it while others say itís the result of a special effect during a play that went bad. However the cause clerics of Alphatia werenít able to conceal those scars and her career as an actress went to a sudden end.
Sheís a lovable story-teller and friendly and a former member of RAA.
Some Rhonerraís shops are remarkable of a brief note by myself.
Hereís the list
This shop hosts a fairly uncommon business. In fact Lhul, an old age retired sailor with some minor magical skills, is one of the best Alphatian sail maker. He runs his shop with the help of two twin grandsons of his, Julia and Greta, and two mages whose names I wasnít able to discover. Sails made by Lhul and his retainers are of above average quality for a simple reason: theyíre magical. He has developed a spell, kept very secret of course, which binds some minor air elemental to the sail. The advantages for a ship carried with those sails are: a faster average speed and the chance to continue the trip at normal speed during days without any wind.
Masdzoís Magical Vestments and Garments
Masdzo is a retired tailor who once had a big business in Starpoint. Local folks tells he was used to make dresses for the Royal Family. RAAís theatreís companies usually bought from him the vestments they needed for their actors. He belongs however for ATG and he usually comments he had decided so because he did want his services not only for actors but also for other people. He decided to return to Rhonerra, his hometown, 15 years ago after a tragedy happened to an actor wearing a dress of him: while on a stage a spell suddenly got triggered and the actor, Gaollis Remediel, one of the most famous, started burning until he was reduced to ashes. Investigations excluded his guilt but his reputation worsened a lot. His woman, Kereilla, is a mid level mage and cast most of the spells needed to enchant the vestments. He now makes dresses for minor companies and for wealthy people desiring to get some minor magical stuff without fatigue.
Neurrathís Fine Nets
This shop sells finely made ropes, nets, hammocks, ship shrouds and lines, rope bridges, window and tarp mesh, gauze, and the like.
The owner is Neurrath a sarcastic, rat-faced, but ever-alert businessman, member of ATG.
Some folks whispers he sells his ropes also to thieves and burglars but itís not confirmed.
As for Ambur's map
I've used Thorfinn's map.
Rhonerra is on the north coast, in the hex at the border with Floating Ar
while Miligan is placed on the hex where is the "R" of Ambur
This is a village of about 50 buildings, placed about 40 miles afar from Rhonerra, ner the northwestern top corner of Ambur.
The village was a Yannivey village once known as Gammadorís Home and the name ďNorth PointĒ was given by Amburians soldiers some centuries ago.
Outside the village a large mixed group of Baronessí and Queenís soldiers patrols the area preventing anyone to enter in this village.
I strongly warn you to avoid this area since the village is cursed.
After questioning some folks of nearby villages Iíve been told the following tale: The village was a home of an Alphatian mage, Gammador, expert in arcane and necromantic spells, who was originally born in Old Alphatia. After the Landfall he settled there and continued its studies. Some whispered he had discovered a spell of long life since he stayed in Gammadorís Home for more than 400 years. However its studies leaded him towards evil tendencies and he began plotting to carve out its own dominion from the Kingdom of Ambur. With the help of a lot of undead summoned by its necromantic spells he seized some villages and towns around its main centre but then the current ruler of Ambur King Hulbert II Corollis, with the help of some Imperial Forces crushed Gammadorís minions and ended his ambitions. In the last battle, at Gammadorís Home, the necromancer unleashed all of his most powerful spells and the King himself had to face him in an epic fight. The magical battle ended abruptly with an huge magical explosion which killed Gammador and almost all the people attending. The king himself barely saved his life.
The place was declared cursed and the King made a decree prohibiting to build again a village there. Oddly enough the next year some travellers found that Gammadorís Home had returned fully built with no signs of the previous destruction. Even the folks dwelling there were the same and they had no memory of what had happened before. Travellers quickly referred to Kingís officers which send some unit to investigate but they didnít returned. More carefully investigations discovered that North Point, as it was renamed after the decree, was in daylight a common village of fisher while during the night its inhabitants become Lightning Zombies which kill everyone who had dared to enter in the village. Surely this is because the magical battle happened there but since then none has found a way to dispel this terrible curse. Destroying the zombies has revealed to be ineffective since
they return on the next night. So the King simply ordered not to enter there and placed some soldiers to keep the place safe. However every year bold adventures dare to enter there looking for magical treasures Gammador might had left there.
Humarth is the largest village of the North Coast not directly on the coast.
Itís a nice and quite quiet place at 15 miles south of Rhonerra and its placed all around the base of a very low hill (no more than 400 feet from the base to the top).
Nearly 300 people lives in Humarth, mostly of them farmers.
The village has very few central buildings while most of the families live in wooden cottages around the hill, near their cultivated fields.
Armed men donít come too often there and the law business are run by the local Begh appointed by the Baroness, Jerrian, with the help of two other men. In case of danger however many farmers can take arms and help the Begh.
these are two places of interest in Humarth
Inns and Taverns
The Joyful Maiden
Inn and Tavern
This not impressive 2-story stone building is the only place where in Humarth one can find a good beer or a meal or a bed to rest. In the upper floor 5 rooms are usually rent for sleeping. All the rooms have a fire and at the end of the corridor leading to the chamber is a small chamber where, with few coins, one can have a warm bath. At the bottom floor the common room can host near 0 customers and often itís full. Gublian, a member of ATG, is the innkeeper and runs his business with the help of Ollia, his wife, and his three beautiful daughters: Connia, Joannia, Lynnia. Be careful to try to approach them since Gublian is very jealous of them and he has at his service a mute bouncer Pedros, a mountain of man, that follows faithfully his orders. Guests trying to his daughters can easily find themselves beaten and forced to leave the inn.
The Hands of Light
Shrine of Razud
This small shrine is nothing more than an altar placed at the left end of the village. Nimmian is the only priest that takes care of the altar and he usually stays there for the whole day. Heís young, simply dressed, naÔve and talkative heís magical powers are few but they are enough for the needs of a small village like Humarth.
The Inner Mainland
The Inner Mainland, or the Inner as usually Amburians call it, is a vast plain where farmers and shepherds dwell peacefully under the law of Baron Igoron de Camargo. Many tiny villages are grown over the years but the area still remains very lightly inhabited. However donít imagine the Inner to be a bucolic place. Every hills or wood was erased over the centuries with by lot of magical spells. The result is an harsh land, more suitable for tubers than cereals. Tubers are bigger, and sometimes odd-shaped, than the average because the soil is impregnate of magic and the ATG make some good business by exporting them.
Wolves and wild animals, sometimes magical deformed, runs throughout the land but the Baron keeps his men constantly on patrol and they prevent many accidents. As result the Baron and his men are generally liked by common folks. Dwellers are stubborn, poor but honest and proud. Many fairs are held during the warm months, the most famous is the Miligan Fair, lasting from 15 to 20 Sudmir. During those days Miliganís population has usually an increase of the 30%. Travelling is not so difficult since the Baron has built many paths that even if not paved are wide and comfortable however. Patrols ride the roads in order to keep them safe from brigands and monster. A typical patrol is made by 10 mounted men armed with lance and sword and 5 low level mages everyone equipped with a wand of magic missiles and a wand of paralysation ready to use. Ií
Iíve travelled a lot and visited the main town, Miligan, the Baron Tower, called Igoron, and many villages some of them Iím going to describe here
This is a very small village with no more than 50 people. It lies quiet and uneventful featuring only some farmed areas and some sheep flocks. At a first glance it could seem unremarkable but frequently visitors come there since itís the birthplace of the most famous Amburian actor: Lirdines Joanter, now in his 70s but still able to make important roles in the biggest plays in Starpoint.
The house of his childhood, where he grew up, is visited by almost 1.000 people at year and one can see where, as a boy, he dealt with pigs in his fatherís farm and the stage where, at the age of 12, at the local fair he made his first performance and he was noticed by a RAAís agent who brought him to Starpoint. Tourists can have dinner in his home eating a soup of potatoes made according to the original recipe of his grandmother and can also sleep there for some gold. The only living member of his family is his sister, Golea, who has married a local shepherd and rarely talks of his famous brother and she usually refuse to tell to tourist tales of him. The house is run by the local RAA agent, Vincentium. Near the house lies a small shrine of Alphatia but no regular priest take care of it.