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by Brian Caraway

(Fortified Town of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos)

Who Rules: Townmistress Sascia (LG hf F12), who has kept Luln together despite the constant raids and oppression from the Black Eagle Barony. She has all of the support of her people behind her, which has impressed Duke Stefan enough to consider her for knighthood. Sascia has lived in and defended this town for all of her life, and fiercely continues to protect Luln from Baron Von Hendriks' attempts at conquering it. She has also hired three specialist wizards (see below) to help with the defence of her town, and they have been key in stopping several large raids that might have succeeded otherwise. The townspeople lovingly call them "The Wizards Three".

Who Really Rules: Duke Stefan Karameikos, to whom Townmistress Sascia has sworn fealty. Sascia and her trusted adviser Jorlon (LG hm P9 of Diulanna) uphold the Duke's Law to the best of their abilities.

Population: The population of this newly fortified town varies greatly from time to time as there are always traders and refugees from the Black Eagle Barony passing through; the number varies from 4,000 to about 5,500 at the height of the trading season.

Major Products: Livestock, wagons, carts, leather goods, wool.

Armed Forces: Due to the number of raids from the Black Eagle Barony, Luln is one of the most heavily garrisoned places in the Duchy; it is split into two divisions. The 1st Division (The Homeguard) consists of 750 F1s in chainmail and shield, carrying longswords and light crossbows. They are responsible for keeping the peace in town and defending it from raids. The 2nd Division (The Outriders) consists of 500 mounted F3s in chainmail and shield carrying longswords, daggers, shortbows, and medium lances. They are responsible for patrolling the lands surrounding Luln and carrying out pre-emptive strikes against raiding bands of humanoids and Iron Ring slavers.

Many are the stories of a farmer or homesteader been of a patrol of Outriders charging over the hill to save the day, or a town resident tell of this or that soldier of the Homeguard saving a member of his family from being slain by orcs, and the like. The 1st division is commanded by Captain Danthor Bethin (LG hm F10), while the 2nd Division is led by Captain Gabrielle Tannon (NG hm F11). Despite their grim tasks, a friendly rivalry exists between the two commanders and their soldiers.

Local Laws: None in addition to The Duke's Law.

Notable Mages:

Anton "Hellsfire" Wilarne (CG hm W(Invoker)13), a brash, boastful mage, Anton is on retainer with Townmistress Sascia to help the Homeguard defend Luln with his devastating spells. He has recently survived an assassination attempt by the Iron Ring, and Townmistress Sascia has assigned him two F4s since then to guard his back.

Yannilya "Far-seer" Rethame (LN hef W(Diviner)11) a quiet, reflective woman, Yannilya is also on retainer with Townmistress Sascia to scry and discern if any raids are imminent on Luln. Ever since Yannilya (The Far-Seer, as the townsfolk call her) was hired on, the casualties within the ranks of both the Homeguard and the Outriders have been greatly reduced. Since the attempt on Anton's life, Yannilya has hired a 7th level monk from the Eastern Moon monastery to protect her.

Thomas Challathes (NG hm W(Conjurer)12) an honest, good-natured sort, Thomas' assignment is to see about "getting outside help", as Sascia subtly puts it. Several times since his hiring he has broken an assault by summoning monsters to harry the raiders or to go after their leaders, causing mass confusion amongst the attacking force. Like his fellow mages, he has hired protection since the failed assassination attempt; a 6th level Sentinel.

Notable Churches:

The Tower of Strength, temple to Diulanna; Iron-willed High Priestess Kathryn Vallanden (LG hf P13), 7 priests, 1,300 followers.

The Hall of Restoration, temple to Mirrah; Master Healer Denarr Ganarian (NG hm P15), 35 priests, 703 followers.

Shrines to: Halav, Heimdall, Odin, Sif, Tarastia, Valerias.

Notable Rogues' and Thieves Guilds: There are none known, but the Iron Ring has spies throughout town, trying to discern the Townmistress' plans and counter them.

Equipment Shops: Partial, poor in winter.

Adventurers' Quarters: With Luln being little more than a dressed military town, there are few boarding houses around that will house adventurers but they do exist, along with these two inns;

The Final Stroke (fair/moderate); Soldiers of both the Homeguard and the Outriders frequent this place. Here they engage in contests of all kinds, from drinking to arm wrestling to brawling, although the latter happens only infrequently; such activity is frowned upon by the commanders of both divisions.

The Golden Blade (good/expensive); Most travellers stay here although the prices are high for the marginally decent service they receive.

Important Characters:

Kaline Ilthanar (NE hm T12) a high-level operative for The Iron Ring, Kaline usually hires himself out to adventurers, works with them for a time, and then betrays them. He also leads a party of "anti-adventurers", whose task it is to capture groups of adventurers and deliver them to Baron Von Hendriks' underground death-trap in the hills to the north of Luln. He was also behind the attempted assassination of Anton Wilarne. He has a plethora of disguises and false identities to fall back on if his machinations do not garner success.

Celena Highmoon (CG ef B5), an elven bard only arrived from Alfheim, Celena is doing what she can to raise the spirits of the populace. She and her troupe of minstrels perform various plays, concerts, and improvisational acts to help boost morale, to Sascia's relief and gratitude.

Important Features in Town: As was said before, Luln is more like a military installation than an actual town, partially due to the fact that over one-quarter of her population are soldiers. This is a perception that Sascia and Jorlon are trying to rid Luln of. Sascia has taken great pains to make her soldiers understand that they are in service to the people of Luln, not the other way around. Any soldier who feels or does otherwise is quickly relieved of his commission and expelled from Luln with just the clothes on his back; Sascia has neither time nor tolerance for malcontents of any kind.

It is not uncommon for Luln to be attacked by humanoid forces at least three times per month. Baron Von Hendriks casually throws squads of orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and gnolls at Luln to test her defences. He is becoming increasingly irritated at the efficiency with which his sorties are repelled, and he knows that this is because of the wizards she hired. He has requested that his associates in the Iron Ring assassinate these wizards, and one attempt has failed already.

To the southeast on the Westron Road lies Radlebb Keep, which defends the road against invading forces. This keep houses the 5th Division of the Karameikan Army, Radlebb Guard Battalion (also known as "Hell's Jailers"). Their task is to keep any and all Black Eagle or Iron Ring (most stationed there say the two are one and the same thing) forces from penetrating farther into the civilised parts of the Duchy. They also assist Luln in its defence when they can. The constant threat of activity from the Black Eagle and the haunted Koriszegy Keep to the north keep the soldiers stationed here under a tense, gloomy atmosphere. The keep is manned by 400 F1s (armed with chainmail, shield, longswords, light crossbows and pikes), 20 F3 sergeants, 5 F4 lieutenants, commanded by Captain Gregori "The Grim" (LN hm F10)

Local Lore: There are quite a few people that have taken up residence in Luln that have family back in the Black Eagle Barony. Any adventurers that help these people by raiding into the Black Eagle to extract them get almost instantly noticed by Mistress Sascia. She just might have other missions of import for them as well. This is one of the best (and most difficult) ways for an adventuring company to gain a reputation in the Duchy.

Several miles to the east is the haunted Koriszegy Keep. It is (correctly) rumoured that the Lord Koriszegy still lives in the crumbling ruin; leaving occasionally to feed on some poor, unsuspecting soul. His undead servants guard the place in his absence, which is also rumoured to hold vast amounts of treasure. No one dares go near the place, since many adventurers have gone to the frightful place and never have returned.