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Notes on Various Selhomarrian Citiesby Geoff Gander
The information below will detail the various settlements numbered on the colour map of the empire of Selhomarr. Each settlement will be detailed in terms of its population, date of founding, and notable features. These descriptions are not intended to be exhaustive; rather, they should provide a general impression of what goes on in the place. The various towns and cities are coded with numbers, which match those on the map of Selhomarr.
1. Calimnis (pop. 350,000 - 96% Lhomarrian, 4% Ilarnnian): This is the capital city of the empire of Selhomarr, founded in BC 7015. It is a large, walled city, with many stone quays opening onto the Bay of Lokam, just to the north, and many more canals worming their way around the city itself. It is a city of great tree-lined boulevards, market squares, and the inspiring Imperial Palace. Another notable feature here is the Great School of Arts and Magic, where all aspiring mages and artists come to study with the masters, and hope to make a name for themselves. Within its walls, the city's streets are lined with ancient two and three-storey buildings, which, due to their quality and materials, still stand to this day. The streets themselves are filled with people form all over the empire, and a visitor will be able to hear almost every known dialect of Lhomarrian. Outside the city walls sits the ancient town of Pergamnos itself, now little more than a suburb of the capital. It is this town which was whisked by the Immortals from old Lhomarr to the Hollow World. Another notable site outside the city walls is the 200 acre Imperial Grove, where the druid emissary to the emperor lives, and cares for the animal and plant life there. Visitors to the city will find much to see and do - what with a city full of history and inspiring architecture, and political intrigue...
2. Garith (pop. 22,000 - 100% Lhomarrian): This large town, the southernmost large settlement in Selhomarr, lies about 20 miles "east" of the Ferennis river, nestled by the Forest of Garithor. It was founded in BC 6934 by a group of adventurous Lhomarrian settlers who wanted to escape the placidity of city life in the capital. To this day, it remains a refuge for many wealthy families wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Calimnis for a few weeks, and enjoy the wilderness. Compared to the capital, Garith is indeed rustic. Although the streets are paved, there are few parks or public houses, though shops are in abundance. What is available is the open wilderness - from this town a person can hire a guide to show them the most magnificent sights the forest has to offer, from the breathtaking Haldassos Falls (measuring 400 feet in height, with rainbows dancing in the mist) to Nature's Palette, a rock wall where natural chemicals have exuded themselves over the centuries to create multi-coloured patterns. Many wealthy families also have their own retreats nestled in the forest, away from everyone else. These are often simple affairs, resembling a commoner's farmhouse. Visitors, unless interested in sightseeing, will have little to do, though people living in the outlying regions will be troubled by the occasional griffon or owlbear. Garith is also the regional capital of the province of Ardeth (the southernmost and least-populated in the empire), and thus is home to one of the regional princes, Aymir of Garith. Aside from this, Garith is a hub for mining and logging activities.
3. Olathis (pop. 27,000 - 98% Lhomarrian, 2% Ilarnnian): A peaceful port town, Olathis was founded in BC 6882 by the great philanthropist, Prince Caltir of Pergamnos, who used his own fortune to build a great mansion to house 150 children orphaned by freak storms the previous year. As such, a 40 foot tall granite statue of this man now stands in the town square in his honour. Such is his fame that even today, people wishing good fortune make pilgrimages to this statue. Aside from this, the town is known for its good fishing, and its reputation as an export area for goods made in nearby villages. The people here are generally content, living out their lives in relative peace - running their shops, and bringing in their catches from the Bay of Thass. Recently, however, the local peace has been shattered on occasion by rumours of sea monsters rising out of the Bay and attacking nearby fishing villages, often under the shadow of flying continents. All that is known is that, when under the shadow of a flying continent, ships at sea tend to disappear, and homes on the coast tend to get destroyed. What is actually happening is that nearby there is a community of aquatic lizard men, whose hunting grounds are increasingly threatened by the Lhomarrians. They are attacking in retaliation, and will continue to do so unless something is done. Olathis is the capital of the province of Regelnis, whose current ruler is Prince Caltir XXVI of Olathis.
4. Belothis (pop. 24,000 - 95% Lhomarrian, 5% Ilarnnian): This fishing, farming, and textiles centre sits on the northernmost point of the Ilannir Peninsula. It was founded in BC 6350 by religious dissidents who disagreed with the teachings of the priesthood of Xeron. In fact, these people secretly worshipped Thanatos, who had a small following among Lhomarrians even on the surface world in ancient times - a fact which only the most senior clerics know. Currently, there are several temples of Thanatos located in the sewers beneath the town, whose meetings are always held in secret. Overall, about 35% of the town's populace worships this Immortal. The clerics of Thanatos are lying low for the moment, but are busy researching prayers that will invoke chaos and destruction, as well as give them enough power to seize control of the empire. They are also carrying out numerous experiments on new forms of undead, unsuccessful thus far. This town is also a regional capital, for the province of Varannis, and is home to Prince Hethion of Belothis - secretly a cleric of Thanatos.
5. Annurios (pop. 38,000 - 91% Lhomarrian, 9% Ilarnnian): This city was founded in BC 6457, as the "easternmost" outpost of Lhomarrian civilisation. The city, famous for its School of Forestry - where all those hoping to become foresters are trained - is also home to one of the most powerful druidic circles. Here, the druids of the Kovoris Forest tend the local flora and fauna, and ensure the woodcutters do not take too much wood. The foresters range far and wide, even outside the borders of Selhomarr, in pursuit of rogue animals and monsters, such as green dragons, who have attacked the city in the past. The city and its surrounding region is also a full province in its own right. The resident prince is named Balathor, and he rules the province of Annurios with an even hand. Apart from the occasional monster or rampaging animal, life is quiet here. Fishing is good, the soils are rich, and the city is prosperous, and the people want it to stay that way.
6. Rethnaris (pop. 18,900 - 67% Lhomarrian, 33% Ilarnnian): This town was originally founded in BC 6290 by Lhomarrian settlers wishing to settle new land north of the Bay of Lokam. The original town was in fact a city, having a population of about 36,000. In BC 6115, a flight of red dragons descended from the Kordithos Mountains, in response to the theft of some eggs by some adventurous Lhomarrians. The entire city was destroyed during the three weeks of attacks, and only 743 people lived through the ordeal. It was not rebuilt until BC 5802, when people were sure that the region was safe. It is settled mainly by people descended from Xerothnyian Lhomarrians, and a substantial number of Ilarnnians. The only notable features here are the Imperial Naval Academy, where Lhomarrian naval officers are trained, and the palace of Prince Jurannir of Rethnaris, regional prince of the province of Sexerothnyi, of which Rethnaris is the capital. Overall, this is a quiet town, though red dragons are sighted occasionally...
7. Myiad (pop. 14,400 - 87% Lhomarrian, 13% Ilarnnian): This quiet fishing and farming town was founded in BC 5421. Apart from its friendly shops and peaceful setting, what draws people here are the inspiring debates that can be heard daily in the front courtyard of the Imperial Guild of Philosophers and Scholars - covering all subjects from the nature of humans to the true history of the world. It is also here that the renowned scholar, Gallos the Aged, gives his public lectures on various subjects to any who will listen.
8. Prymenon (pop. 12,000 - 92% Lhomarrian, 8% Ilarnnian): This town, founded in BC 6739 by descendants of Lhomarrian residents of Prys, is in the region of the Great Forest of Marinnir, and the foresters and druids who care for it. Also, this town is the centre of all druidic knowledge. It is here that visitors can seek knowledge in the Great Library, where scribes have painstakingly noted down the accumulated lore of the druids. It is also here where the coveted vials of Dillianora berry essence are made, whose liquid contents replicate the effects of eating a handful of the berries themselves - the imbiber will not require any food or drink for the next 24 hours - but with the advantage of being able to keep the mixture indefinitely, for the berries rot within days of being picked. Aside from this, there are occasional troubles with wild animals, but on the whole this is a very peaceful, relaxing place. This town is also the location of the Imperial School of Foresters, which competes with Annurios as a centre of forester lore.
9. Xirenyos (pop. 15,200 - 100% Lhomarrian): Founded in BC 4230 on the northern reaches of the Tylierian Peninsula, Xirenyos is a medium-sized fishing and mining town. The metals extracted here are gold, silver, copper, tin, and some platinum. Iron ore deposits are also here, but, due to the Spell of Preservation, they are not used to their full potential. Some people do use iron to an extent, mainly for making nails and hinges for doors, but this is about it, and the practice is not common. The people who started using iron on a large scale died with the sinking of Lhomarr long ago, so the culture remains in the Late Bronze Age. Those who are not employed mining or fishing live off of land, as elsewhere, though the soils around the Amanis and Tremiros Hills are quite poor. Some enterprising individuals have tried to start up vineyards, to some degree of success, but the vintages here are not in the same league as those produced by the Ilarnnians further north. Overall, this is a peaceful town, with no pretensions towards being anything else. Xirenyos is the capital of the province of Atlissini, and Prince Galen of Xirenyos has his residence here.
10. Prenos (pop. 9,800 - 100% Lhomarrian): Positioned on a narrow abutment into the Bay of Lokam, Prenos is one of the newest larger settlements in Selhomarr, having been founded in BC 2370. This town subsists almost entirely on fishing; for the soils here are exceedingly poor, and the climate is so cool and damp that nothing apart from thorny bushes and a few hardy trees and grasses can grow here. The people themselves are descended from former Lhomarrian colonists living in the old city of Erkalion, on the Vulcanian Peninsula of the surface world. Through the millennia, they kept to themselves, travelling between towns until they found a place most like their old home, and far enough away from everyone else. They are a very reclusive lot - they will not open up to strangers, even if they have been living in town for over 10 years. No one ever leaves town willingly, and few newcomers settle here. The reason for this reclusiveness is that these people harbour an active sect of worshippers of the Outer Beings. Since the time of their coming to the Hollow World, they have been constantly migrating - searching for a place that is sufficiently isolated so that they can worship without being disturbed. Those who do not share this religion remain silent out of fear, or "disappear" for being too vocal in their opposition. Often, lone visitors to the region, such as youths on their Wandering, are kidnapped for the cultists' vile ceremonies. Though the government does not know what is going on, it is only a matter of time before the cultists are forced to go farther afield in search of sacrifices.
11. Dirdassos (pop. 36,000 - 98% Ilarnnian, 2% Lhomarrian): This small city, established in BC 6946, is the administrative centre of the Ilarnnian Autonomous Region, a semi-independent homeland for the Ilarnnian people. This region is not a province, and so does not have a regional prince. Rather, it is ruled by an elected council of elders, who run for 10-year terms by popular vote. Visitors will notice that they are in a distinct region, as the language, culture, architecture, and way of life are all different here. The streets are narrower and quieter, the buildings are taller and less ornamented, and everything has a more subdued atmosphere to it. There are several notable features to this city, not the least of which is the Legislature, where the council sits daily and debates the day's business. Other important features are the Great School of Diplomacy, where promising future diplomats (many of whom are Ilarnnian) are given rigorous training in understanding the cultures of the Hollow World, and instruction in the theory of diplomacy; and the University of Dirdassos, where one can gain the benefits of a classical education combined with instruction in the basics of magic. Unlike Calimnis, Dirdassos does not have much political intrigue, primarily because there is very little division of authority beyond the council of elders. Thus, there is no room for opposing interests to jockey for power. Overall, it is a much quieter city than its Lhomarrian counterpart, a testament to the character of the Ilarnnians. Despite this, there is a large thieves' guild in the city, as well as a handful of Thanatos worshippers, working behind the scenes to influence the affairs of the region. Also, there is a small but determined band of adventuresome Ilarnnians dedicated to severing all ties with Selhomarr, and declaring an independent state.
12. Sepirolos (pop. 16,000 - 65% Lhomarrian, 12% Ilarnnian, 23% Antalian): This average-sized town, founded in BC 4921 by Lhomarrians descended from colonists of Xerothnyi, was named in honour of the port of Pirolos, which, in BC 7024, fell to the Carnifex hordes after vicious house-to-house fighting. It was the last Lhomarrian settlement in the colony of Xerothnyi to fall. The people here make their living fishing and farming. Life is hard, but the townspeople here know how to make the best of it. Occasionally, Sepirolos has been raided by Antalians, who will sometimes make the perilous crossing to Selhomarr in search of great plunder. The one thing that sets this town apart from all others is that it has a resident Antalian population. In AC 357, a large fleet of Antalian raiders landed at Sepirolos, but were routed by the town's defenders. A considerable number of raiders were captured, and found, during their time here, that they liked the environment, the rugged southern seas, and the people here. The Immortals noticed this, and decided to let this change happen, as it would make this town special, and much more interesting to watch. Since then, a small Antalian community has grown up here, whose members retain their language and much of their culture, but have also adopted the dress, language, and part of the outlook of the Lhomarrians, thus creating a people between the two cultures. Sepirolos is the capital of the northern province of Tynerii, and is administered by Prince Olaf of Tynerii, whose name, large stature, and blond-haired, blue-eyed appearance belie his strong Antalian heritage.
13. Nevora (pop. 11,600 - 94% Lhomarrian, 6% Ilarnnian): Nevora is a relatively peaceful town, founded in BC 6224, that subsists off of fishing and farming, located on the shores of the Sea of Rax. The shores here are gentle and sandy, which not only allows fishermen to leave and return without fear of shipwrecking themselves; Antalians have also found these shores ideal for landing their ships for a raid. This town has been subjected to more raids than any other port in Selhomarr, averaging one large raid every 20 to 30 years, and numerous skirmishes at sea. When they do come here, the Antalians prefer to take the trading goods, and gems and jewellery here, and failing this the large stores of food, as well as the occasional slave. Mainly, they have found that this town is just easy pickings, with a high payback considering the effort expended in coming here. The general mood of the town is of reasonable contentedness, but frustration over the government's inability to completely hold off the Antalians. No matter how many patrols sail the seas, some raiders ultimately get through and wreak havoc.
14. Heressina (pop. 28,000 - 100% Lhomarrian): This town was founded in BC 6192 by enterprising miners seeking new finds from which to profit. Soon enough, the nearby Gorimnis Hills yielded rich veins of silver, copper, and tin - the last two metals being the ingredients for bronze. Also, rich veins of diamonds and emeralds were found, which soon fell into the hands of skilled jewellers, who set up shop in the growing town. Today, Heressina is the main metal- and gem-processing centre in Selhomarr, where the best weaponsmiths, jewellers, and gemcutters ply their trades. The finest weapons are those made in Heressina, as are the best gems and pieces of jewellery, such that owning anything of the sort made in this large town is considered something of a status symbol. As a result, this town has become very rich, and very competitive. In is not unheard of for jealous individuals to "remove" their competition by indirect means. Heressina is also the capital of the province of Soroth, and Prince Brell of Heressina has his residence here.
15. Ayrissom (pop. 13,000 - 98% Lhomarrian, 2% Ilarnnian): This quiet town was founded in BC 6057 by adventuresome Lhomarrian farmers seeking new land to till. Over time, a town gradually grew up in their midst, providing the comforts of urban life that they can take advantage of should they desire, but still be able to ignore. The soils of the Morinna Peninsula are very rich - so rich that, in a good year, two crops can be raised in one growing season. This, coupled with a milder climate than the surrounding region, makes this town a rather nice place. The nearby bays and rivers and also full of trout, pike and salmon; no one has ever gone hungry here. What distinguishes this town from the surrounding settlements is its Great Temple of Xeron, truly a masterpiece of architecture. Within its halls and chambers many people from miles around come to pray for a better harvest, health for their families, and to be healed. This temple also houses Xeron's Pool - it was built to house this phenomenon, though this fact has been long forgotten. The Pool lies in the central chamber of the Temple, and the faithful may come to bathe in its softly glowing blue waters in order to cure themselves of ailments and injuries, and also to cure madness. The Pool is in fact a collecting point for some of Ixion's power (sort of like a battery), where local clerics can tap the energy to boost their powers. The effect is that a cleric of Xeron may cast one spell per day at one level higher than his or her real level. As a result, this site is viewed as a place of miracles, where the priests wield the power of Xeron to carry out great acts. This town is also the capital of the province of Ilyoris, and its prince, Valinir, lives here.
16. Dedremii (pop. 31,000 - 96% Lhomarrian, 4% Ilarnnian): This city was originally founded in BC 5560 by Lhomarrians in search of fresher fields to till and bountiful seas to fish. Today, many of the inhabitants derive their wealth from exporting the resources of the city - from its rich crops to its bountiful catches, and to its valuables finds of silver, tin, and rubies in the nearby Sorathi Hills. This is the main port from which goods originating in "western" Selhomarr make their way to the outside world. Due to its wealth, and past troubles with Antalian raiders, considerable amounts of money have been invested in building an extensive series of defences. The city is ringed by a great wall - even into the sea, where there is a single great gate allowing access to the ports - topped with towers upon which are a series of catapults and ballistae. The Great School of Navigators, the main centre of learning for those who would wish to learn how to safely travel the seas, is located in this city, as is the residence of Prince Aymir of Dedremii, governor of the province of Akalis, of which Dedremii is the capital. The southern reaches of this province have suffered increasing raids by unknown assailants in recent years, with caravans and outlying settlements being destroyed utterly. The people have been pressuring Aymir to do something about it, though he has yet to do so, preferring to send army patrols into the region to deal with the problem. Aymir is, in fact, under the control of Jurandis, the lich who controls the Steppes, and the undead army that inhabits it. So long as Jurandis possesses an artifact given to him by Thanatos, he will be able to control the province of Akalis indirectly through its ruler, and use it as a staging ground for an invasion of Selhomarr. His undead armies have conducted the raids, and the disturbances will only increase over time, until the chaos is so prevalent that Jurandis will be able to assume control himself, once Aymir is deposed by Thanatos-worshipping sympathisers to his evil cause.