Cities and Major Features
(Map Key) City – Culture
(1) Kitir – Kitiran
The island of Kitir is dominated by seven familes: Casilar, Milesar, Numisia, Learra, Solisar, Triticar, and Barra. There are two cities on the island of Kitira, the old city (simply known as “The City” to inhabitants, and “Old Kitir” to outsiders and cartographers) and Kitir. The new city was only founded 100 years ago during the first Solisar dynasty, and is still an ongoing construction project. Kitir is a marble and limestone construction, with wide streets and tree lined boulevards. The City is a sprawling wooden city along the bay and harbor of Kitira. The city is narrow and crescent shaped. In an effort to keep out rot, the logs of the city are coated in pitch and tar – to prevent fire, this is then coated with plaster. As a result, The City is a city of white logs, has a faint (to strong) miasma, and still has a problem with fires.
The City is increasingly in ill-repair and plasterless. With the founding of Kitir most of the noble families, from the Seven to minor houses, have abandoned The City along with the wealthy merchant families. As a result minor merchant houses have occupied the houses of the nobles, with the exception of the manors of the Seven – all of whom maintain a minimal presence in The City. Shipping and dockwork are the major industries of The City – docks and warehouses line the bay. There is no city center, instead a series of markets and squares serve this purpose. These squares are the estates of the Seven, and each neighborhood surrounding this square is walled in its entirety. Because of this, The City is basically seven individual fortified towns all adjacent to each other; the city wall is a mélange of architectural styles, heights, and defensive philosophies. When the Casilars rose to the Kingship the walls were modified, through selective destruction and the construction of key bastions, to link the disparate defensive structures. The wall is still of multiple heights, and the outer wall is jagged, not ideal for defending external threats.
(2) Avos – Tangar
This city sits upon the Blackduck River. The heart of the city is two islands, Upper Twin and Lower Twin Islands. Lower Twin Island is the home of the rulers of Avos – the Tanavari family. The Tanavari are a massive clan that incessantly infight – poison is a favored weapon amongst the family members. The Tanavari were the earliest supporters of Kitiran interests, and their strongest allies. In return their city was named a duchy, and the Tanavari as Dukes of extensive the outlying territories, including those traditionally under the protection of the Vidar. The east shore of the city is walled, while the west is a semi-urban maze that defies walling, urban planning, and, in places, basic plumbing. There are 10 bridges in total spanning the Blackduck, none across its entirety. Avos began as the Twin Islands and the East city, which is why they are fortified. The Kitir finished building the bridges from the islands across to the west bank which spurred the sprawl that now houses the majority of the city’s 75,000 residents.
(3) Egara – Karakan
Egara was founded as a small trading community near the border of human and dwarven territories. Located near Rubinholt Egara was the first stop of many expeditions leaving the Dwarven kingdoms. While not large, great riches poured through the city. During the Dusk Wars the people of Egara utilized these resources to aid King Hervor Iron Beard, breaking a Goblin and Orc siege on the surface while the Dwarves rebuffed Duregar and Drow forces below.
With the aid and gratitude of Hervor, Egara began to grow significantly – Dwarven masons and engineers working to raise stunning edifaces. When the city of Korokoz was sacked, many of the Karakon fled to Egara, which has become the heart of the Karakon people. A new, rich, and powerful city – Egara represents something new in Kettos – a multi-ethnic planned city, the product of Human-Dwarf collaboration, fully incorporated into the Empire, yet embracing the expertise and wealth of the Dwarves.
(4) Nokara – Tangar
This city sits at the mouth of the Stillwater River and Torchlight Bay. The city sprawls, its growth not restricted by walls. Since the Vidar had resisted the Kitiran expansion, and with the encouragement and assistance from the Avos, the walls were torn down and the city given a new name in the Imperial style. Nokara grew from the ruins of Vidaros. The ruling family of the city, the Folyovos, were allowed to remain in power, but reduced to Counts instead of Kings – their kingdom reduced to a mere county.
The fishing fleets of Nokara trawl Torchlight Bay, amidst the trade fleets of Kitar and the Eastern City-States. Sprawling estates and farms span the fertile flood plains of the Stillwater. No real industry or niche drives the Nokaran economy other than fishing and farming. The fields are particularly fertile, aided by immense amounts of fish waste fertilizer, and are among those that feed the Imperial outposts and Fortresses. Nokara is a fierce rival of Avos, the two were engaged in perpetual warfare prior to the war of Empire, and have engaged in two small wars between each other since their ostensible unification under Kitara.
(5) Korokoz – Karakon
One of the was one of the original cities of man, Korokoz was the last to be brought into the Empire. The old Kings, the Korvus family, resisted the unification and were removed from power, a single heir allowed to remain as a baron in return for submitting to Kitiran rule. Rule was appointed to the daughter of one of the Seven Generals of Kitir (Countess Shandak Barra).
Under the new Countess, Korokoz was brought into the Empire – under the guidance of a distant cousin, Conrad Barra, the old city was torn down, swamps were drained, hills leveled, and the course of the Blue Mud River altered. A sprawling temple and university complex were erected along with massive city walls and citadels – transforming Korokoz into a bulwark tasked with the defense of the Empire from the Northern Wilds. Despite the physical and political transformations Korokoz was allowed to keep its name in the language of the Karakon, and not Kitir.
75 years ago a horde of orcs and goblins descended from the north and sacked Korokoz. The city was left in ruins – its population displaced, and economy in tatters. Those few who remained and resettled could only restore the Inner City to a shadow of its former self, relegated to a caravan stop and clearinghouse for the meager fruits of badlands mining. The Outer City was allowed to be reclaimed by grasses and marshes of the countryside. The Kitiran Empire focused its efforts into building a new fortress, further north, Zakaza. Today Korokoz is a shell of a city ruled by the least significant branch of the most insignificant of the Seven Families.
(6) Nemar – Gullen
This city lies in the middle of the Aulucem forest, the heartland of the Gullen people, and is the great exporter of lumber and furs in both East and West Kettos. During the war of Empire the city of Nemar, then called Erdokoz, was razed to the ground, and the entire royal family killed during the conflagration and fighting. The Learra were installed as Counts. Following the razing, the city was mostly a canvas and wood ramshackle affair. Following the construction of Korokoz, the same architect (Conrad Barra) was hired to repeat his efforts and transform the squalor into one of the gems of the Empire. A blend of cedar and marble, Nemar is a unique departure from the usual efforts of the Kitir, and dark rumors swirl that the design was inspired by, or the result of collaboration with, elves. This great southern forest is rumored to house a secret city of elves, though no such city has ever been found – likewise the old house of Erdokoz was rumored to harbor Elven blood.
Today the city is home to the least “Imperial” population of any of the cities. A large half-elf enclave makes its home in the city – but few elves are willing to live in an Imperial city. The city has only tentatively accepted the worship of the Five and the One, shrines to these gods as well as shrines so large they might be called temples to the non-Imperial gods. The Leones allowed this great leeway amongst the local populace in exchange for a smoother transition to their rule. This resulted in a tradition for a greater tolerance for the people and larger autonomy for the Learra rulers in turn from the Kitirans due to their superb results in pacification.
(7) Paluvir – Sondag
This city sits at the western edge of the Pallum swamps. The city is built on the unstable foundation of drained marshes. The city is spread into clusters of low wooden buildings, each cluster on the more stable sections of earth. During fall and winter the channels between these clusters are turned to vast muddy tracts in the gentle rains. To navigate the mud wooden causeways span the muddy gullies. Every spring, the rains flood the channels between these clusters, restricting traffic to boat. The causeways are pulled to shore to be lain out again when the floods recede. In summer, droughts dry the floods into a dusty cracked barrens. The central castle is a cedar palace surrounded by a log wall. Several fortified outposts dot the city, as the swamp cannot support a continuous wall. The city serves as a gateway between Eastern and Western Kettos with Imperial trade caravans stopping in Paluvir for final resupply before venturing across the swamp. From Eastern Kettos, Paluvir represents an oasis after weeks of treacherous swamps.
The ruling family is the Illaruts, a local family. Paluvir originally served as a meeting place for the confederation of tribes collectively known as the Sondag. The Illaruts rose to dominance during the Kitiran war for Empire, first rallying the tribes to resist the Kitiran advances, then convincing the other tribes to acquiesce to the invaders in return for autonomy (and the crystallization of Illaruts as the rulers of the Sondag tribes). Out of respect to the Sondag ferocity, the first Illarut, (Khandro Illarut I) was made a Duke, and Paluvir incorporated as a duchy, and not just a county. After a century and a half in the Kitiran Empire, the tribes have evolved into an imitation of the noble houses in Kitira (though held in contempt as savages playing house by the Imperials).
(8) Lorivir – Gullen
This city is perched on a rocky crag overlooking Gutta Bay. Lorivir was founded as the summer estate of a minor Kitiran noble, Isaza Kemked. His estate drew in the local Gullen population until a large Gullen town grew around his estate, the town grew into a city, and the city grew into a Gullen rival Kitira for dominance of the sea. Despite this rivalry, Lorivir quickly allied with the Kitir during the war for Empire and aided in conquest of Erdokz and the Paluvir. The Kemked family has maintained control of the city, having intermarried with the local Gullen populace, and has alternated between supporting and resisting the ruling family in Kitir. Kemked agents are rumored to have been involved in each of the dynastic overturns in the capitol.
After the formation of Empire much trade was directed away from Lorivir. Today Lorivir is only a modest a trading hub that also exploits the nearby wilderness, and their own fertile farmlands. Lorivir’s main industry, however, has become secrets – their trade connections serving as a front for espionage and other covert activities. Everything is for sale in Lorivir – and the main currency is information.
Fortresses: The Kitiran Empire constructed a series of Fortresses designed to protect what they deem to be the borders of their Empire.
(9) Isarx – Kitiran
Perched atop a low mountain in the foothills of the Iron Mountains Isaza represents the westernmost boundary of the Kitiran Empire. Initially constructed as a wooden fortress while the Kitir and Dwarven forces stared each other down, the fort was torn down and rebuilt in stone – solidifying even as the Empire did. The fortress was designed by Conrad Barra, the Architect of Empire.
(10) Nikarx – Kitiran
(11) Kalarx – Kitiran
(12) Palumarx – Kitiran
(13) Brumarx – Kitiran
Following the razing of Korokoz the Kitiran Empire was forced to focus their attentions on the Northern Wilds. Instead of relying on a now smoldering ruin to protect their northern border, the Empire built an outpost deep within the wilds hoping to divert Orcs, Goblins, and any untamed tribes from the interior of their burgeoning empire.
(14) Rubinholt – Mountain Dwarf
The sole surviving Holt, ruled by King Hervor Jernskjegg / Iron Beard – age 525. Hervor is the son of King Jonkar – founder of Rubinholt. Jonkar fell during the Underdark Wars, leaving Hervor to take up his crown and defend the holt. His leadership, strategy, and a willingness to ally with the human forces at nearby Egara allowed him to break the Duregar and Drow siege with his Dwarven forces below, and the humans to break the simultaneous Goblin and Orc siege on the surface.
(15) Ravholt – Mountain Dwarf
This holt was seized by Duregar and Drow forces during the Dusk Wars. Duregar and Drow still haunt the ruins – though few who have entered from the surface have returned, it is known that the Duregar and Drow have largely left the citadel after sacking it, though parties of Underdark are known to occasionally reoccupy the ruins, or search for any treasure missed over the centuries.
(16) Jernholt – Hill Dwarf
While Jernholt itself was sacked by a force of Goblins and Orcs, Hill Dwarves have re-occupied the surface level of the city – attempting to rebuild what they can. The subterranean areas of the city are still lost – and Hill Dwarf efforts to retake these lower chambers have been rebuffed. Massive gates guard the surface dwellers from any forces that might someday emerge from the depths.
(17) Smaragholt – Mountain Dwarf
Rather than allow the forces of Ogres and Giants to take this city, the King of Smaragholt, Finn Shieldbreaker sealed the entire city. None have been able to gain entry and determine the fate of Shieldbreaker and his honor guard or the forces assaulting them.
(18) Sapirholt – Hill Dwarf
Following the sack of Sapirholt, Hill Dwarves have attempted to reoccupy the great citadel. However, the city proper is considered haunted – and no efforts have been made to re-occupy the bones of Sapirholt. Modern Sapirholt lies within the shadow of the citadel – the Hill Dwarves reluctant to leave what is now a sepulcher of their ancestors.
Cities of the East:
24) Gnomeremon – Gnome
25) Miraset – Euskal
26) Bactra- Sondag
27) Fiumek – Mogote
City of Erathis (civilization), locked in an alliance (and feud) with Attaya and Szellum, united against Kitir.
28) Attaya – Mogote
City of Melora (nature), locked in alternating alliance (and feud) with Fiumek and Szellum, united against Kitir.
29) Szellum – Mogote
City of Ioun (arcane), locked in alternating alliance (and feud) with Fiumek and Attaya, united against Kitir.
30) Ishka – Euskal/Halfling
31) Tang – Erlon
32) Tho – Erlon
33) Song – Erlon