The city of Allfrerhem is built into the side of a crag of rock jutting from the flat landscape of eastern Svertheim. The rocky prominence known as Mount Maurlog sets a silhouette against a sky filled with wispy grey clouds. The chill northern wind is slightly more tolerable here, less damp and cloying than to the west or east. By some fortune snow is infrequent and the season seems to oscillate perpetually between fall and spring, only occasionally flirting with true winter or summer.
From afar Allfrerhem’s high districts and keep are most visible, carved from the rock or clinging to it. Stone and wood grand houses that look centuries old dot the crag like jewelry. You can also see the long switchback roads that wend up the crag connecting the various districts.
From afar the lower city is hidden behind tall stone walls that encircle a portion of the base of the mount. Shorter walls extend even further from the city to encompass some of the farmlands and outer districts.
Within the walls the city bustles as merchants and mercenaries travel the trade roads in and out, swapping carts of trade goods for heavy laden wagons filled with iron, silver, and wood. Off shift miners and foresters can be seen throughout the lower city, spending coin or selling their backs for a few extra. You catch sight of the occasional guard patrol; sturdy looking individuals clad in simple uniforms, wearing short-swords and batons for protection.
From afar the city looks old, but not ancient; a mix of second and third age construction, regularly maintained and of high quality. Those who travel deeper into the city however catch sight of the underpinnings of Allfrerhem; first age ruins dot the city, their resilient Orick walls untouched by two thousand years, now acting as foundations for numerous buildings, or de-marking park space or other areas.
According to the history Allfrerhem sits on the ruins of a First Age city called Ayen. The city was devastated by some natural or arcane disaster that shattered the larger structures but left many of the smaller ones mostly intact, ready to be used by the Svertans hundreds of years later
The city smells of cooking meat mixed with a distinct fume, a mix of oily iron and wood chips from the Haggen, the cities industrial district. A constant din accompanies the fume, the sound of sawmills, smelter and foundry mixing with the human sounds of the city.
As you enter the city you catch sight of several handbills posted to the gate doors.
- Alfrerhem is a medium sized city, encircled by high and thick stone walls meant to defend against the many dangers of the Svertheim wilderness.
- The city sits on a key trade route between 3 other major settlements including the Svertheim cities including the farming city of Hraineheim and the Great Fortress City of Eirundfell as well as the Luxi lake city of Sefa.
- Alfrerhem is built into Mount Maurlog, the tallest hill in a rocky but fertile area. Two great forests of Svertheim can be seen to the north west and south as well as several mountain fed rivers which feed Lake Nalulani.
- Alfrerhem has a mixed economy with mining, forestry, agriculture, and crafting all feeding the Thane’s coffers.
- Ancient ruins make up a portion of the cities foundations.
- Alfrerhem is a welcoming city, open to travellers from abroad and the trade they bring. Even adventurers, often frowned upon in other major hubs, are relatively welcome, drawn as they are to the dim hope of bounty in the nearby ruins.
- Several intercultural organizations are represented in the city; the Heraldric Order, Obrais Trading Company for example. Several small mercenary companies vie for road-work and caravan contracts as well.
- Alfrerhem has no particular religious alignment and it houses small temples to each of the Ayr as well as a few cults.
- The cities militia-guard is a mixture of the Thanes footmen, first born noble sons, and small mercenary companies on short term hire as needed.
- The typical threats to the city originate with beasts, bandit clans, and lunatic savages who harass farmers, travelers, and those who stray too far from the cities perimeter guard towers. While these threats are regular, most worry more about the nebulous horrors that inhabit the forests; rumors of which are readily shared in every tavern and inn.
While the farmers and miners of Alfrerhem whisper about the threats beyond the city walls, the noble families of the city tend to be more concerned with increasing crime in the city. This increase in theft, extortion, and kidnapping is the result of a quiet war being waged between underworld factions.
Alfrerhem’s three most successful tavern-inns are:
- The Red Circle Tavern: The most respectable tavern in the city, owned by a local noble family, the Red Circle is patroned mostly by the upper class, traders, and travelers. It stocks the finest imports, well above the capacity of most locals to afford.
- Aia’s Flask: Tavern and brothel loved by many and hated by many spouses.
The Warren: A sprawling tavern located in an abandoned iron iron beneath the city, the Warren is the chosen publican for Alfrerhem farmers, miners, and other labourers. It serves strong drinks, in large quantities and is the first and last place many workers see in a given day.
Handbill 1 – On the Matter of Ruins
By The Thane – A Proclamation to All Locals and Travellers
By decree of Lord Einarr of Allfrerhem, dominar and regent of these lands, no person shall enter the Arnivak or Huldra ruins without the explicit consent of the Thane. Any relics or salvage from said ruins are considered forfiet and the rightful property of the Thane. Violation of this edict is grounds for punishment up to, and including execution.
Signed – Lord Einarr
Handbill 2 – A Warning Regarding the Western Road
By Aylan Jaghund, Captain of the Guard
Be advised that attacks by a bandit company on the western road have cost a half dozen lives. The Thane’s son Hakon Einarr is leading efforts to track the bandits. Individuals with arms and proven martial experience are invited to apply at the keep to join the expedition. Pay in the amount of 100 coins of gelt per bandit head taken.
Signed – Captain Jaghund
Handbill 3 – Dancers wanted [This handbill is half torn down] Applicants to speak with Virva Kallio at Aia’s Flask
Handbill 4 – Bounty Offered
By Aylan Jaghund, Captain of the Guard, on behalf of the Thane
For any information leading to the arrest of members of the dispicable gang known as The Ruthless owing to their numerous crimes of theft, assault, and vandarism.
Pay in the amount of 5 coins of gelt for any credible information leading to the arrest of said scum.
Signed, Captain Jaghund
Handbill 5 – Bounty Offered
By Kar Albin Stakkyr,
50 coins of gelt to anyone who brings me the head of Rasacar the Menace.
[This bill has a a rather well drawn picture of a Grommen, a type of repto-avian wolf of significant size] Signed, Kar Stakkyr
*Someone has scrawled several unpleasant epithets after the writer’s name; choice one’s include ‘weasel dick’ and ‘son of a glutty whore’. There is also a line reading ‘bounty offered for sexual infidelity on the part of Rasacar…’
Handbill 6 – Bounty Offered
Looking for folks not afraid to get their hands dirty. Come to the Modding Heap for details.
Handbill 7 – Bounty Offerred
By Obrais Trading Company Under the Authority of the Victran People and By Order of the Lord Rit of Victra
Wanted for Murder of Ser Caden Obrais, brother of Lord Gavan Obrais
*there is a rough sketch of a woman or young man with attractive features*Description: 5 feet, 6 inches tall, blonde, white of skin.
An amount of 500 gelt is offered for the apprehension of the subject, 100 gelt for information leading to capture or 10 gelt for information deemed valuable.
The subject is to be remanded to the custody of an agent of the Obrais Trading Company as empowered by the Victran People, to be returned to Victra for trial and punishment.