Tuesday, November 3, 2009

From the Attic: City State Excerpts

The following are some entries from my notes on my version of the City State of the Invincible Overlord. This from the initial section dealing with various noble and guard buildings. While specific to my version of City-State there should be some bit useful for any fantasy campaigns.

The Cryptic Citadel is the oldest structure in the City-State, it was built by the Knights of St. Caelam to house their dragon steeds. The structure is well over 100 feet and is estimated to be able to hold at least twenty dragon steeds and a thousand men. The outer wall and the four towers was added by Anarin I the first of the Dragon Kings. The outer ramparts was added by Atrabilorin the Dwarf when he rebuilt the defenses of the City-State. Currently the Citadel is mostly empty, however it's granaries are kept filled in case of a siege of the City-State. Also the treasuries of the Overlord is kept here as well.

The ground floor of the Citadel is a great hall known as the Hall of the Dragons. It fills the entire ground floor and is supported by twenty massive pillars in the shape of a Dragon rearing. The Overlord only holds court here three times a year; to receive the re-affirmation of oaths by the clans on Ostara, and the accounting of the taxes and harvest on Enserra. One each of these day the courts arrives in the hall at dawn, then a procession of those making offerings to the Overlords forms at the beginning of the Avenue of Triumphs and marches into the Citadel and then each, in his turn, makes his offering.

There are five levels underneath the Citadel, here the treasuries of the Overlord and the storerooms of the citadel are. The fifth level is given over to the Regulators; the Overlord's elite band of adventures. In the center of the fifth level is the Eye of Altasan. It is a 100pt powerstone that acts like a crystal ball. A person can use it to scry anywhere in the known Wilderlands and has the ability to cast spells thru it. It was captured by the Order of the Silver Dragon over thousand years ago when they were still serving in the old Ghinorian Empire. They captured from the Emperor of the Thule Empire. They hid it's existence from the Empire and when they left to found the colony of Caleam, they brought it with them. After the fall of the Dragon Empire it was left to dust underneath the Cryptic Citadel until rediscovered by Salm-Lorin. When the City-State fell to the Tharians, the Overlord Lucius found it and turned it to his own use. Ever since then it existence and use has been the highest of the Overlord's secret. It existence is only known by the Overlord and the Regulators. Also the Guild of Arcane Lore knows that it exists and desires to recover it.

The Citadel itself is guarded by the Royal Guard of the Overlord. Four companies of the High Guard guard the Citadel itself, each company is traditionally given one tower of the Citadel to call it's own. Out of the twenty companies of the Low Guard the five best are choosen to be the Guardians of the Citadel. Four of the Companies guard each of the outer towers, and the fifth guards the gatehouse. The Regulators provide any Magical assitance as needed.

In the southeast corner of the outer ramparts is the compound of the Royal Low Guard. To the north of the Citadel, the training camp of the Legion lies between the Citadel moat and the outer ramparts. Also within the outer ramparts is the Great Cistern. The Great Cistern is fed by a aquaduet from Orcle Lake. From the cistern runs pipes to the citadel, Silverlight Palace, and the some of the house of the northwest quadrants of the City-State.


The Silverlight Palace is the personal residence of the Overlord, here he holds court the most often. Along with the Summer Palace in the Northern March and the Clanhome at Castle Bulwark, the Silverlight Palace is one of three places the Overlord holds court. The current Overlord, Lucius III, holds court at the Silverlight Palace from 1st of White Wolf to 25th of Yellow Moon Dog. Then he holds court at the Summer Palace from 1st of Midsummer to 1st of Regal Serpant. Then he holds court at Castle Bulwark, the traditional holding of the Overlord's Clan, from 9th of Regal Serpent to 22nd of Sky Woman.

The Hall of Twilight is where court is held when the Overlord is at the Silverlight Palace. It gets it's name because when the sun set it's last rays illuminate the entire chamber. Because the Hall was made with red marble and make the whole hall look aflame. The Overlord's personal chambers are in the north end of the palace, while the Chamberlain, his servants, and guest quarters occupy the southern half. The name of the Silverlight Palace comes from the silvery shine the palace takes in the moonlight.

Personally guarding the Overlords are the Knights of the Inner Knights. Twenty of the best Royal Guardmen are chosen to be a member of this elite force. They are always with the Overlord and are responsible for his personal safety. Directly to the south of the Palace is the compound of the Royal High Guards. To the east is the garden and small woods. Lining the outer wall to the west of the Palace are the smithy and stables of the Overlord.

The Silverlight Palace was built by Salm-Lorin in 4320. When Halius became Overlord he used it as his offical residence when he was in City-State. His successors Lucius the Great, and Varius used it little, preferring Bulwark as their main residence. It wasn't until the time of the Overlord Tomius when the palace was made the main residence of the Overlord.

This the official residence of the Harbourmaster of the City-State. All ship must send a representative to here to pay the pilotage and the harbor fees, plus any docking fees if they wish to dock. The Harbourmaster notes the payments of fees and sends a pilot to navigate the ship into her moorage. Generally there about 10 pilot in residence.

This anchors the western wall of the City-State currently is staffed by one company of City-Guards. This is considered a hardship post and usually the worst misfits and officers are assigned here.

Lieutenant Kelen commands here, he is a wastrel and easily bribed. He is the second son of one of the City-State wealthiest Mercantyler.

Sargeant Loran is the senior sergeant of the company, is a sadistic and cruel man. He is known to give flogging for the slightest infractions. The only reason that he remains alive is that he has built a cadre of the two corporal and three of the troopers to act as enforcers with the rest of the troops.

Sargent Michael is the junior sergeant and was placed here because he is too honest and called a Lieutenant on a bride and was able to boot him from the guards. The ex-Lieutenant was able to get his friends to bust him and assign to the marsh gate to "have a accident". Sargent Micheal was able to gain the loyalty of the most of the men to the point that if Loran's goons attacked Michael most of the remaining troopers would mutiny.

The Marsh keep has the responsibility of patrolling the lower half of by-water road, sea-brigand street, and the upper harbor area. It is under the direct command of the Captain of the End-Gate.

The Grand gate is one of the main entrances into the City-States. It is the traditional spot where the triumphs start.

Currently there are two companies stationed at the gate and one in the tower directly to the south of the gate.

The Captain of the Grand Gate is Thomen Meralis, he is a old vet of the Overlord's army, a former Captain, when he retired ten years ago he quickly got bored of farming and moved to the City-State and was able to made a captain and was given command of the Grand Gate. He is currently 56 years old and still the equal of many younger warriors. Thomen is a real spit and polish commander and expects his troops to look their best. He doesn't condone the taking of brides and quickly punishes those he catch taking bribes. To placed as a lieutenant under Thomen's command is considered a privilege as he trains them well.

Lieutenant Jarvis Felon, is in command of the 1st Grand Gate company. He is a rising young star in the City-Guard 24 years old, he is noted for busting a well-concealed burglary ring in the merchant district. He was quickly transferred to the Grand Gate to receive further training under Thomen.

Lieutenant Merrick is in command of the 2nd Grand Gate company. He is 32 years old and is in line to be promoted to Captain. He shows great competence in patrolling the wealthy district, and has a good grasp of courtly manners. Thomen uses him when information is needed from some of the wealthier residents of the district. Merrick is in love with one of the Jeweller's daughter but feel he lacks enough wealth to make a impression.

Lieutenant Alcambra is in command of the 3trd Grand Gate company. He is stationed in the tower directly south of the Grand Gate. He is 28 years old and Thomen has been quite pleased with his performance to date. Alcambra company patrols upper part of Beggar's street and the alleys around it. Alcambras is secretly is a plant of the Thieves guild and able to arrange his patrols and investigations to allow a steady income from his area. The guild is able to use him against the beggar's guild and control some of the shop along hedonist street and the plaza of profuse pleasure. Also the guild keeps the level of violent crime to a minimum and trys to hand over any violators to Alcambra to make him look good. However Alcambra truly is competent is intending to use his position to turn the guild to his own ends.


This is main entrance into the outer ramparts, it is guarded by two Companies of the Low Guard.


This is the main gateway between the City-State and the Arena/Slums area. Except on Arena days all person trying to gain entrance into the city must pay 2 silver pennies, this helps keeps the riffraff from the slums out of the city.

This is the main headquarters of the City Guards. The City Guard of the City-State is over 500 men strong, it is commanded by the Senior Captain, under him are the Captains of the Gates who command the troops and patrols. Like the Overlord's army the City-Guard is divided into companies. Each gate has forty men and each tower has twenty. A hundred men are stationed at Orc Hold as a reserve in case of massive rioting. Plus there is a elite company, the Knights of the Silver Dragon, stationed to guard the Hall of the Dragon Kings where the Council of the City-State meets. Also by agreement with the Guild of Arcane Lore each company of the City-Guards has two mages assigned to it to help defend against any magical threat.

Each company of the City-Guard stationed at the gates and towers and is assigned a area of the city to patrol. A given day is divided in four watches each six hours long. Typically the day begins with the morning watch transferring the previous day's prisoners to the City Jail for processing. Then for the rest of the day the assigned area is patrolled. Also a standby watch is kept on alert guarding the tower. When prisoners are caught, a runner is sent to the tower to get the standby watch and they will take the prisoner back to the tower to be kept until transferred to the City-Jail. If the patrol runs into a situation they can not handle, they have a stick that all they do is snap it. This will cause the stick's pair at the tower (or gate) to snap warning the tower of danger.

The situation is much the same at the gates but there is a additional company stationed (for a total of two) whose watches do nothing but guard the gate and check incoming travelers for contraband. The standby watch mans the battlements. Typically each company of a gate rotate between gate and patrol duty.

The hundred men stationed at Orc Hold are typically patrolling the surrounding land for bandits and orcs. At any one time two companies will be out patrolling. Traditionally all lands within five leagues are under the protection of the City-Guards.

The Colors of the City-Guard is a black taberd with a white dragon on the chest. Rank is denoted by the trim, with the Corporals and Sergeants in Blue, the Lieutenants in yellow, the captains in white, and the senior captain in silver. The Silver Dragons have a silver dragon, instead of a white dragon.


Al said...

Great entry, good reading~!

Gothridge Manor said...

Rob, by far your colored City-State map is one of my all time favorites. In fact, it still hangs on my wall today.

Robert Conley said...

Thanks Al and Tim. Which reminds me I need to update my CSIO map with the stuff I learned in the past ten years. Basically add textured fills instead of the solid ground cover and use symbols for individual trees like the original hand drawn version.