General notes and introduction
- The city-states are not entirely independent nations, they are all colonies of the Irryllian Empire several thousand miles away to the south
- The campaign has elements of the “Points of Light” concept used in 4th Ed D&D in that most of the campaign setting is wild and untamed.
- The climate in the Sorquos region is somewhere between temperate and subarctic and generally damp. Agriculture flourishes in the lowland areas. There are numerous geographical features.
- The land of Estaar to the north is total wilderness, with no civilization to speak of, and it is definitely subarctic in climate.
- The Irryllian Empire is not the first to settle in the Sorquos area. There are ruined settlements of the Vanae, an ancient and long-gone culture (major ruins are marked in purple on the map).
- The City-states are like squabbling brothers with an absent father. They are all theoretically loyal to the Irryllian Empire, but have been mostly left to their own devices. They are often scheming and maneuvering to control trade routes, natural resources and smaller towns and villages.
- There are 3 pantheons of Deities, Irryllian, Barbarian and Vanae.
- There are a number of Groups in the City-States region that have established themselves in the Sorquos region, sometimes just in one town or city, sometimes spread out. Each has its own motives and methods.
The Four City-States
- Delliron: population 24,000. General alignment LG/LN. Delliron is astride the Feurin river and uses the river for much of its trade and travel. Delliron has a major temple to Mithros and an order of paladins, the Children of Righteousness, are based in the city, next to the temple. There is an overland trail from Delliron the to Irryllian Empire homeland. Delliron has a number of theaters, and concerts, plays and other performances are on every week – the really good ones will attract visitors from the other city-states.
- Ironport: population 22,000. General alignment LN/TN. As the name suggests, Ironport is the hub of the iron and steel industry, getting most of its raw materials from the Haemos Hills. Because of the significant number of dwarves and gnomes, Ironport is the most racially diverse city-state. Ironport is the first city-state reached from Irryllia by boat via the west coast, and was the first to be founded. The dwarves have ensured that Ironport remains secure and well-regulated, with no room for mischief-makers or criminals – some adventurers have fallen foul of Ironport’s zealous law enforcers when tavern brawls break out. Ironport’s industry has made it rather dirty – soot and dust seems to get everywhere, and whereas some folk try to keep things clean, others have just conceded that things in Ironport will get dirty no matter what. The Stout Quarter is an area of the city that has been taken over by dwarves and gnomes, and they have built their own houses and shops, usually with one or two storeys on the surface that humans can fit into, and further levels going down into the ground small enough for humans to have to crouch.
- Quarll: population 35,000. General alignment CN/TN. Quarll is reliant on maritime trade for its economy and has a significant navy of 5 galleys and 4 warships plus smaller craft for the Sailboat River. Aside from a few half-elves and halflings, Quarll is nearly all human. It is rougher and tougher than the other city-states, especially around the docks area where the city watch always travel in groups. Known pirates and bandits are not tolerated, and will be punished if caught and convicted, but a lot of shady characters who conduct illicit business elsewhere are known to live in Quarll as long as they don’t cause trouble within the city. Quarll does not openly allow evil cults within its walls, but it is an open secret that Balgorsis, god of greed and ambition, has a number of worshippers in the city. Quarll’s better side comes with its entrepreneurial spirit in trading with anyone who is willing to do business, and Quarll merchants and explorers know Estaar and other wild areas better than their counterparts in Ironport or Vareshiss.
- Vareshiss: population 19,000 General alignment CG/TN. Set on the Walcore River, Vareshiss is built on top of ancient Vanae ruins, parts of which can be seen while walking around the city centre. There are also known to be more ruins underground. This has attracted both scholars and treasure-hunters. The fertile river valley has made Vareshiss the most productive city-state in agriculture. A number of rural halflings from the shires around Vareshiss make up a significant minority of the folk, and many houses are built with halflings rather than humans in mind. Culinary expertise is prized in Vareshiss, and the cooks and chefs can rival those from the homeland to the south.