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City of Dmiliburgby Alex Benson
Dmiliburg is the largest seaport in Randel. The city sprawls along the coast, at points seemingly extending into the coastal waters themselves. This is accomplished by building atop stone columns set into the shallow areas. As such, ships are right next to the dockyards and not distanced by piers.
Of the 10,500 citizens that populate Dmiliburg, most are involved with the seafarer life. They either are retired or are dependents of the active service personnel. A large portion is retired navy. They often operate businesses that cater to the needs of the seamen. Though these are more mainstream and are not like those seen in Telsadun. Most citizens, both in town and from surrounding villages, have a large portion of their kin in active service with the navy.
Dmiliburg is ruled by Baroness Herathria (M12). She is a relatively new ruler, her mother ceding to her in AY1998. Her mother quietly stepped down and withdrew from society to pursue wizardly goals elsewhere. Like most Randel rulers, she served her time with the armed forces and the experience is evident in her mannerisms. The Baroness does have a bit of a complex due to her relative young age and inexperience. She often goes to great means to prove herself to her fellow nobles. Though young, she was well groomed for the role as ruler of the city and has performed her duties wisely.
Dmiliburg is the site for Randel's Naval Academy. The Naval Academy specialises in the training of sailors and sea officers. The school also trains Marine Troops and Naval Artillerists in how to effectively fight from a sailing vessel. For training purposes, the school has ten ships assigned and outfitted for training. The Naval Academy is administered by Headmistress Eilsella (M29). She is a true student and proponent of naval warfare. As a former Fleet Commander, she has a great deal to bring to the Academy's curriculum. Eilsella requested the post after she became pregnant. Her child, Miklanius (six years old), can often be seen tagging along behind his mother while she makes her rounds. The identity of the father is publicly unknown.
Dmiliburg partly specialises as a naval base and port of call for the sea aspects of Randel. The base itself assumes a prominent spot along the coast. At any time, a large number of ships, sailors, and marines can be found along the waterfront. Security is tight and the docks and streets have a heavy presence of Randel Marines on patrol.
The naval base is overseen by Commander Broctius (F31). Broctius is an old soldier, being some sixty years old. He often is taken by fits of senility in which he vividly remembers "the good old days". Most guests find his company interesting as he tells stories of actions in Thyatis, Norwold, and numerous battles versus the pirates from Skothar. Despite his advancing years and apparent senility, Broctius is still a formidable warrior and tactician. In mass combat he does have a tendency to call the enemy forces "Thyatian Barbarians", no matter what nationality they are. So well liked is the Commander, that most refer to him as being "eccentric" instead of "senile".
Dmiliburg is the home port for the 2nd Assault Fleet. The 2nd Assault Fleet Commander is Admiral Melanora (M27). She is a good leader and tactician. However, she is ill suited for command of such a large body of ships and troops. Her career has been spent, for the most part, in staff positions. What she lacks in combat experience, she makes up for in enthusiasm and loyalty. Melanora desires a way to show her fellow officers that she is capable and worthy of the position. Melanora is currently single.
Dmiliburg is also the home-port for 1st Naval Fleet. 1st Naval Fleet Commander is Admiral Kalebolon (C20 of Alphatia). He is a professional soldier with the heart of a gentle cleric. He has a great deal of concern for the welfare of his troops and is often seen as being slack with them in regards to discipline. Kalebolon is married to Mayenda (normal human). The two were married three years ago and have no children. Mayenda is supposedly from Eadrin and has never served in the military.
Commanding the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th Naval Marines attached to Dmiliburg is Commander Croftsbin (M22). He is quiet, calculating man who focuses his men on endless drill and training. He stresses to his officers to lead by example. Croftsbin fancies himself as a future member of the General Staff in Rardish.
As a major seaport, Dmiliburg is the site for the head office of the Sailor's Consortium. The head of the Consortium is Zelarua (M36), a retired naval officer and current member of the Grand Council. She is lax administrator, who prefers to let the actual work be done by her subordinates. Zelarua acts more as a public relations figure to the military. This is of little importance as the Consortium is self-sufficient thanks to its well-organised and established bureaucracy.
Dmiliburg is home for not only RAF vessels, but also private vessels. Merchantmen, freighters, and pleasure vessels line the docks alongside the military vessels. Its populace devotes its time to the seafarers and to the shipping business.
The city also boasts maintenance facilities for not only RAF ships, but also private vessels. Actual ship construction is limited due to the overall shortage of timber from within the kingdom. Most work is done to maintain and refit existing vessels. These services are performed by several businesses. The most powerful being the long established Eachibahn Consortium administered by Absolam (M26). Absolam is a stern and shrewd businessman, much like his predecessors. He appears to be a semi-well-to-do businessman. Absolam is widowed and has one child, Strentious (M4). The son lacks the ambition and cleverness of the father. He served his minimal time in the RAF and promptly left.
Since commercial sea vessels also berth at Dmiliburg, there are numerous warehouses for them to store their goods. Buying agents and mercantile stores deal with these wares. There are also frequent caravans coming into Dmiliburg bearing goods and raw materials from the kingdom's interior.
Strolling through the waterfront, it will soon be obvious at the large numbers of mercenaries in Dmiliburg. These mercenaries are not a loose body of men and women for hire. These mercenaries are allied to mercenary establishments, similar to guilds. These guilds specialise in hiring out their soldiers for profit. Whether the employer needs ten to one thousand troops, the mercenary houses are able to comply. The one law that all mercenary houses abide by is that they will not fight on Randel soil.
In the past, the mercenary houses use to find a great deal of work in the acquisition of slaves. Of late, the slave market has diminished and the houses have focused themselves in other roles. With the number of slaves so high within the Empire, the need for bringing in new slaves is not as necessary. Only a few houses still perform slaver raids and most that do search for high profit, specialty raids.
There are some ten mercenary houses. The size of available troops varies from house to house. The most powerful are Selrahc House, Ippiks House, and Evets House. The three are the most active and offer the more appealing pay. However, these are also the hardest houses to join. Most mercenary houses keep several sailing vessels in port for professional uses. When large numbers of mercenaries are needed, the houses often subcontract out to lesser houses.
Selrahc House is the biggest mercenary force, number-wise. It has remained under the control of the same family since its creation back in AY235. The current head is Pritsin One Eye (F35). An old soldier himself, he looks very much like a mercenary. He lost an eye years ago and can always be seen wearing his armour and weapons. Selrahc House specialises in mass combat and has the capability to lay siege.
Ippiks House is a smaller establishment yet its ranks of troops are more powerful and comprise more spellcasters than the rest. Ippiks House was established in AY1160. Its leadership has varied down through the years. House leaders are drawn from the ranks of the mercs and appointed via an internal vote. Leadership is limited to spellcasters only. The current administer is Malist (E10). Malist has served in this role for thirty years. Ippiks House specialises in more refined tasks such providing security via bodyguards, armed escorts, and so on. The mercs of Ippiks House are very professional and in high demand for nobles.
Evets House is moderately sized, boasting a roster of some one hundred mercenaries of various classes and races on call. The house is viewed as too rough and undisciplined for anything above performing combat. Evets House was established in AY 780 and has passed through various rulers. The current leader is Mjardram (E10/Vampire) who inherited the post in AY1965. Recently she has become a recluse and is rarely seen, even by her own mercenaries. This bothers them, as the house leader is well liked. And most disturbing is that her recent reclusiveness has caused her to miss out in the customary role of leading the mercs into combat.
One of the most concerned mercs is Nonnahs (F23). He is Mjardrom's number two and significant other. Recently, Nonnahs has assumed the role of leader in leading the mercs. He is also worried about his love, as she has withdrawn from him.
Living in Dmiliburg is one Mordenthrol (C22 of Talitha). He is a mercenary loosely associated with Evets House. Mordenthrol is a drunken brawler with a complete lack of respect for authority. This adverse attitude towards authority was the factor that severely shortened his tenure in the Naval Marine Regiments. That he is a cleric is well known. What is not known is what Immortal he follows.
Mordenthrol scoffs openly at the military aspect of Dmiliburg. His dress and appearance is rough and even barbaric. Well aware that his spellcasting ability makes him virtually immune to serious prosecution, he likes to pick fights with commoners. He usually displays restraint around powerful spellcasters. He usually wears his weapons and armour.
Dmiliburg is a navy town. As such, it is has a definite "old salt" attitude. Most inhabitants have some connection to the sea. Those not accustomed to life aboard ship will find themselves the butt of jokes and may even be assaulted in the wine houses.
In Dmiliburg, mercenaries are referred to as "mercs". Subjects of their occupation are referred to as "jobs". In time of war, the mercenaries are considered to be active reserve troops and can be mobilised for battle to fight for the Empire as well as Randel.
Dillsburg's port was created. The construction of waterfront buildings on raised offshore platforms was a solution to create a harbour. Before construction, the docking capability was dramatically less due to coastal areas that were too shallow. The columns enabled the waterfront to be able to expand out over these shallow reefs. The substructure holding the waterfront up is of a solid stone design. The columns themselves are redundantly placed allowing for many to be lost without the waterfront collapsing.
A side affect of the veritable forest of stone columns is that the substructure makes for a veritable labyrinth. The floor of this maze varies from a few feet of water to sinkholes. Some places are not even under water. Most of the locals refer to these areas as "Down Below". Likewise, most locals avoid any contact with this area of the city.
Smugglers often use the substructure to mask their activities and store their goods. The substructure is also a magnet for nasty creatures. Both criminal elements as well as town officials may need adventurers to periodically clear these vermin out. The criminal element will of course want PCs that know how to be discreet. The roguish Mordenthrol is a cleric of Talitha. He is the head priest of the small following in Randel. The Temple of Talitha is located under the city in the "down below". The cleric and his handful of followers have permeated themselves into the various smugglers and criminals that use the "down below".
The plethora of independent businessmen is a farce. Secretly, the Eachibahn Consortium owns or controls most of the businesses. Absolam has his fingers in most of the city's businesses and prides himself on knowing all that goes on within the city. However, he is careful in his business acquisitions to keep from drawing attention from the authorities.
Absolam's primary source of income comes from smuggling. He uses his power to use ships to transport stolen goods. The port facilities are under his control. That is except for the port authorities. He has been hesitant to approach any officials outright and few have offered a means to be blackmailed.
Absolam is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand his wealth and holdings. He has thought of dallying with the highly profitable zzonga trade but is hesitant to introduce it to Randel. The consequences are too potentially drastic. Plus, he has some personal distastes for the fruit.
Absolam is careful in his dealings. He tends to distance himself from business using representatives to conduct dealings. In business, Absolam will keep his word. If his identity is discovered, he will attempt to befriend the person. If need be, he will have that person destroyed. Those subordinates that do know of Absolam's true role are blocked by Geas spells to keep them silent.
Absolam's son, Strentious, is a zzonga addict. The father is well aware of the son's problem and has tried to deal with it. Strentious uses his father's contacts to maintain his supply of zzonga. This addiction is one reason why Absolam will not deal with zzonga. Absolam has locked his son within the confines of the family estate. The son does manage to come and go with impunity, mainly to gain more zzonga fruit or attend parties. The son is well aware of his father's true role and likes to taunt him with this knowledge. Normally, Absolam would slay such a threat, but this is his flesh and blood and he cannot bring himself to do it. Absolam cares nothing for his father. All he cares for is his zzonga.
The Eachibahn Consortium has also taken control of the mercenaries of House Evets. In AY 1997, the Evets House leader, Mjardram, was leading a party of mercs against an employer who had neglected payment in full. It was quickly discovered that the rival was a nosferatu, who slew most of the mercs before he himself was destroyed. Mjardram survived the battle but contracted vampirism and has suffered from the effects since. Mjardram keeps herself locked into her own quarters to keep her secret as well as her hunger from her mercs.
True to form, Absolam discovered her secret using his connections, as well as some valid reasoning. He uses this knowledge to control the mercenary leader and subsequently the mercs themselves for his own gain. So far, Absolam has not utilised the mercs for anything within the city. He is too careful for that.
She has contracted the mercs to do small jobs well beneath them to keep her with a supply of victims for her larder. Her mercs have no idea that she is a vampire but do have suspicions. Most wonder why slaves are always taken in these small jobs, yet few actually make it to market. Most wonder why they are being contracted out for such small jobs. The pay is good and regular so few actually openly gripe.
Nonnahs has grown much worried about his lady love. He hides this from his mercs as he wishes not to cause them to doubt her capability. Using his own sources he has pretty much figured out what has happened though he does not know of Absolam's involvement. If it were anyone but his lady, Nonnahs would have long exposed the vampire and led forces to destroy it.
Unbeknownst to most, Mayenda was one of Madame Aylanna's girls. The kindly Madame recognised the attraction the two had during Kalebolon's frequent visits. She tactfully nurtured this relationship for several years. The two were wed a few years ago. This info is not known to Absolam. It is doubtful Kalebolon would be ashamed of his wife enough to succumb to blackmail.
Headmistress Eislella's son was the product of an affair. Individual DMs should decide on a father. Given typical Alphatian family structures, deciding on the identity of the father should cause some problems. I suggest having the child being the product of an affair.