|Other Names:||Gateway to The Sea|
|Nation/Territorial Area:||The Seven Cities|
|Languages:||Common, Orcish, Romini, Elven|
|Deities Worshipped:||The Nine, and other minor deities|
|General Alignment:||Neutral Good (Neutral)|
|Head of City Government:||Lord Whelan Ferrin|
|40% Human, 20% Orc, 20% Elf, 20% Other|
- 1 History
- 2 Districts
- 3 Government
- 4 Religion
- 5 Organizations
- 6 Notable Officials & Personalities
- 7 Landmarks
- 8 In Game Developments
- 9 Technical Aspects
Andarr is the westernmost city of the confederation making up The Seven Cities. This city serves as a major year-round port for virtually the entire western coast of Avlis. While other cities in the confederation, such as Stalwart and Malekia, have ports of their own, only Andarr's is large enough to accommodate the huge amounts of trade going in and out of the region, and only Andarr's port has all the necessary technology for building, repairing, and maintaining ships of all sizes. In the port of Andarr, there are ships from all nations conducting trade. Goods from inland areas come down the Divalok River to the Blackwater River and land in Andarr where they are loaded onto bigger vessels and taken away. Conversely, ships from elsewhere come into Andarr and unload their goods where they are carted up the river to the inland areas. A good portion of these goods are also known to go directly out the northern and southern gates of the city as well. As most citizens will tell you, "Everything stops and starts in Andarr."
Settlement of the land occupied by present-day Andarr began in the 3rd century A.O.D. The deep water and clean access to trade routes by land and sea made the area attractive for new settlers from the north. Not long after the first settlers arrived, the population increased to the point where Emperor Joral Kuras of The Kurathene Empire issued the official city charter dated 317 A.O.D to Lord Arvanos, a prominent noble and close associate of Emperor Kuras.
For the next several centuries, the city grew in size and the lands immediately surrounding it were gifted to or inherited by minor members of the Arvanos family who lacked the seniority to control assets in the main fiefdom up north. Due to the volume of trade goods flowing in their direction, these noble offshoots inevitably became richer than some of their compatriots back home, occasionally causing squabbles within the political framework of the Arvanos lands.
One unforeseen effect of the trade boom in the area was the attraction of settlers from other regions of Negaria. Hopeful merchants from T'Nanshi, Galdos, Deglos, M'Chek, and even as far away as Drotid made successful livings selling goods back to their home countries, and amassed great wealth for themselves. Over time, this wealth enabled them to purchase lands around the city and assets within the city, displacing some of the original Arvanos noble family members who were all human.
By the 14th century A.O.D., the human population was in the minority and the noble rulers of the city were gradually displaced by wealthy merchants who wielded more power. This cultural and political shift drew Andarr away from its loyalties to The Kurathene Empire and the Arvanos fiefdom. For two centuries, the cities of the area were already governed by a Provincial Council of The Chartered Cities, and in 1363 this council elected to declare its independence from the Empire, conveniently after the Empire was weakened by a recent war with Dubunat in 1360. Without any alternative choices, the Empire relented and withdrew its garrison from the area, thereby giving the chartered cities their independence.
The Seven Cities Confederation
Unfortunately, unity among the chartered cities did not last. Their squabbling degenerated into skirmishes and the council broke up into completely independent city-states, each responsible for its own defense and well-being. The nation of Dubunat to the south took advantage of this disunity in 1518 and invaded, nearly conquering the entire realm, but were beaten back once the cities realized they must unite and work together. Later that year, Lord Governor Curtis Allendale of Andarr proposed a confederation of the seven cities for mutual defense and trade. Within six months the treaty was ratified and the The Seven Cities Confederation was born.
The presence of the confederation was a stabilizing force in the region that nearly halted war between Dubunat and the remnants of the Empire to the north. Trade flourished as well as the population and its diversity.
Some of the major features of Andarr are that it is bisected by the Valokian River into a northern and southern half, and each of its districts is completely walled in and separate from all the others. The creators of the city felt that this would make it more easily defensible against invaders from the sea who might try to establish a beachhead there. Anyone coming in from the ocean would need to take each district separately as if it were its own tiny little city.
The docks district is one of the larger sections of Andarr. This area is located on the western shore of the city and serves both as a trade depot and a military rally point for all manner of naval activity. The docks district is so big that it stretches from the northernmost tip of Andarr to the southernmost tip. In effect, the entire western piece of the city is made up of docks and dock-related buildings.
Near the center of the city, and immediately east of the docks, is the Smith District. The other major commodity which Andarr is known for is metal goods. The government of Andarr is a major importer of iron ore, which is fashioned into all manner of metal implements by the smiths in the smithing district. Many know that the dwarves are the best smiths in the land, but the people in Andarr would argue that that's only true if the dwarf is Andarrian. A large portion of the smiths in Andarr are orcish, and there are even some human and elven ones. Truthfully, the smiths of Andarr are of all races, and no matter which race they are, it is generally accepted that their goods are superior to all but the finest from Galdos and Deglos. The Smith District is bisected by the river that flows through the center of the city. The southern portion deals in finer crafts that use metals and other materials and is sometimes unofficially referred to as the Arts District.
To the north and south of the Smithing District are the Northern and Southern Residential Districts where the large population of Andarr makes its go at living. The two residential districts, with the Smithing District in between them, are all adjacent to the docks.
East of the Smith District is the largest district of Andarr, the Business District. The bulk of Andarr's economic and governmental activity takes place here. Goods that are brought down by boat are sold in a small market if desired. However, the majority of the space in this district is used by trading companies who conduct imports and exports. The sprawling mass of buildings in this district goes for the entire length of the city from north to south.
In the extreme northeastern part of the city is an out-of-the way neighborhood that sees little traffic from the other city districts. This spot has become a haven for shady dealings and secret meetings. Most of the underhanded organizations in Andarr make their headquarters here, but the area is not limited to seedy types. Government officials who do not wish to broadcast their business are known to conduct affairs here as well, both local and global.
Southeastern Quarter (Tavern District)
In the district to the extreme southeast of the city, there are many taverns and other establishments for fun and pleasure, and the residents of Andarr often refer to this place as the Tavern District, though officially it is still known as the Southeastern Quarter.
As in all seven cities, the population of Andarr is diverse. However, because of Andarr's strategic location, there is a lot of outside influence from other governments. The lords of Andarr are closely tied to various Kurathene nobles, such as the goodly Lord Arvanos, and the much defamed Lord Crullath. It is not uncommon to see ships from the various Kurathene nobles docked at this port.
The so-called "Lords" of Andarr in the present day are actually not nobles in any sense of the word, but rather they are powerful merchant families that are able to buy power and influence in the city. Those with the means to buy into the rulership get a seat on the Andarr National Council. The number of members on the council has no limit but the price to join is especially high. Proceeds (that are not lost to corruption) go toward beautification and defense of the city. The Council has the power to levy taxes on the citizenry, which it does, and make laws concerning trade, which it also does usually to the benefit of its members. The final power of the Council is to elect a member to represent Andarr to the Confederation, where matters are decided for all of The Seven Cities. This person is the de facto ruler of Andarr, with limited executive powers.
As the winds of fortune blow, the families with membership on the Council rise and fall, but in general they fall into one of four categories which correspond at various times to certain political parties, all of them motivated by financial interests:
These merchants are sometimes distant descendants of the Arvanos family but not always. Most of the time they are wealthy members of the oligarchy that see the Arvanos fiefdom as a source of financial and military security and push for good relations between Andarr and its distant ancestral land. Extremists of this faction sometimes go so far as supporting reunification with Arvanos, but that position is usually untenable because The Seven Cities Confederation has strong political influences of its own.
The Confederates remain the strongest faction in the political realm of Andarr. Their aim is to strengthen the the Seven Cities Confederation and bring prosperity to the area through continued growth in trade. They have no aspirations of joining any empire, although some of the more fringe elements of this faction do support offering membership in the Confederation to other cities, like Brekon, which would surely create a firestorm since that city is the capital of the orcish nation of the same name. The Confederates who support this position think that incorporating Brekon into the fold would help them compete against the growing influence of the Crullathian Empire.
Cosmopolitan is the polite term for powerful merchants in the government that favor none of the existing factions, or favor some other position, such as free trade with all nations, dissolving the Confederation back into independent city-states, or closer ties with some unnamed group or nation. The impolite term is "squib".
As the flip-side opposition to the Arvanos Loyalists, the Crullath Loyalists see Arvanos as a weak provider and has-been political force. They admire the strength and prestige of the Crullath family and its lands, which are presently a small empire in their own right. For the most part, members of this faction support close ties and trade, but as with the Arvanos Loyalists, the extremists support joining the Crullathian Empire.
Due to the diverse nature of the citizenry, it is possible to find worshipers, shrines, and temples to virtually any Avlissian deity within Andarr. If one were to tally up the total number of temples and worshipers, there would be a slight skewing toward gods of Good alignment, such as Gorethar and Dru'El, but an equal skewing toward gods like Hurine, Ingoren, and Valok who all deal with some form of safety, security, and glory. As a second tier, Fegall becomes quite common in the Smith District due to his influence on crafting.
Unlike many other cities throughout Negaria, most of the temples of Andarr are located within the various residential districts.
The Grey Dirk
As one of the preeminent Rogue's Guilds in Andarr and the entire western seaboard, The Grey Dirks command a lot of respect and muscle. Much of their funding comes from elicit operations, such as the trafficking of drugs and at times when aberrant members allow, the facilitation of the slave trade. However, for the most part, The Grey Dirk disavows slave trading as an abhorrent and despicable practice. The combination of a city that acts as a trade juggernaut and a high level of government corruption would normally produce a vapid and ruthless Rogue's Guild that revels in that sort of practice. However, the character of The Grey Dirk is more focused on profiteering and manipulation of trade goods instead of harming innocents. In effect, the bountiful trade traffic going in and out of the city negates the need for the guild to pick on the "little guy". Certainly, there are incidents of this within Andarr, but it rarely rises to the level of an epidemic.
Through years of trade involvement and market fixing, The Grey Dirks have amassed obscene wealth and often use it ostentatiously to fit in with the upper class merchants of the city. However, their operations are still illegal and not openly supported by said merchants. Law enforcement pursues the guild when it is convenient or when its actions interfere with the agenda of someone powerful. Town guards also do not take kindly to bullying or shakedowns. However, beyond these incidents, The Grey Dirks enjoy relative freedom to operate.
The West Empire Company
Trade and shipping are the purview of The West Empire Company. As a mammoth organization that heavily influences trade in and out of Andarr, its members have their hands in everything from ship building to mining to production of finished goods. All of this is moved with contracts to ship and transport the goods either by sea or overland, and the profits are gleaned from successful voyages by savvy merchants and brave adventurers.
As such, The West Empire Company has been a center of attention for many fortune seekers making their way through Andarr. A steady supply of work is available guarding ships and caravans carrying trade goods, and if someone is even braver, deals can be made for investing in voyages to risky lands with big payoffs when (and if) the ship comes in.
Large numbers of rich merchants within the city belong to or hold some stake in this organization, which along with some other minor competitors makes for a convenient middle-man to take on risk.
Notable Officials & Personalities
The imposing wemic, Rrao Borr'Gorak, leads the Andarr Confederate Navy, keeping the shores safe from all would-be invaders from abraod. As a descendent of General Akorrro Borr'Gorak of Arvanos, his military heritage goes back generations, but over the last two centuries the family's loyalties shifted toward Andarr and The Seven Cities, and away from Arvanos. Despite the gradual shift, Rrrao's loyalty to Andarr is unflagging and he runs the Confederate navy like a finely oiled machine with no one daring to oppose his position.
Rrrao and his family are unusual among wemics in that they prefer to involve themselves in the affairs of cities and roam out among the seas. Some say it is an odd quirk of their family traits. Others say it comes from a curse placed on some distant ancestor that the family should never want to roam the plains of the Kurathene ever again.
Alhara Lendrion, Guildmistress, The Grey Dirk
The elusive and illustrious elf, Alhara Lendrion, leads one of the most powerful Rogue's Guilds on the surface of Negaria, The Grey Dirk. Under her leadership, The Grey Dirks have prospered beyond their wildest dreams and filled Alhara's own pockets proportionally.
The safest thing to say about Alhara is she is only seen when she wants to be seen. This may be at a high level merchant lord gala, a meeting of the Andarr National Council, or a tavern in the Docks District. However, in times when she wishes to remain hidden, she is not found in any of these places.
In order to rise past a certain point in the guild, it is necessary to interact with Alhara. She keeps a tight reign on the upper echelons of her guild and generally allows her lieutenants free run with the day-to-day operations, as long as they do not fail. Failure is not pleasing to her at all.
Illia Maradel, Chancellor of The Academy of Mortal Magic
Illia Maradel is a half-elven mage of the Green Order and head of the main university teaching magical arts in Andarr, The Academy of Mortal Magic. Though she is proud of her role, she seems to long for a more rural life away from the drugery of academia, but this admission only tends to come out after several rounds of crawling through The Tavern District, according to those who know her. Nevertheless, she is steadfast in her duties, though some wonder if there is the possibility of a double life, where her behavior is not so regimented and predictable.
Swilly "Fish-eye" Macrunk
As one of the most powerful and only-known clerics of Ingoren to act as a public figure (human or otherwise), Swilly "Fish-eye" Macrunk is a fixture at the Temple of The Green Gale Waves. His peculiar salty personality is accentuated by his right eye, which is an actual eye from a fish that Ingoren restored to him after losing his original eye in a fishing accident during a storm.
Swilly runs the temple and accepts donations to keep it "afloat" with much snark and humor. However, when it comes to safety and luck on the seas, Swilly is dead serious. He attends to the sailors coming through his area and sees to it that Ingoren favors them. Since he is too old and frail to venture out on his own, he is content in his work.
The Academy of Mortal Magic
Located within the Northern Residential District, the Academy of Mortal Magic in Andarr is the premier place for would-be mages to learn their craft. Though it is not the only educational institution in the city that teaches magic, it is the only one sanctioned by all nine orders of Andrinor's Trust also simply known as The Trust. This makes it the most prestigious university for magical arts in the area, and ostensibly displays its neutral stance on the use of magic. Competing universities usually have an attached agenda and are run by a single mage order or a small grouping of them.
The building housing the university is a large pentagonal two-story building made of black obsidian with a granite tower at the center rising far above the profile of the pentagonal base. The base floors house the lecture halls and dormitories, while the tower houses the more advanced libraries, laboratories, and other mysterious rooms.
The Mainmast Inn
Located in the docks district a couple of blocks off the water on the northern side of the river is a popular watering hole for sailors known as The Mainmast Inn. This establishment is known to be a rough and tumble dive which has persisted in the area for at least two centuries, passing from owner to owner. Despite its appearance, it runs a lucrative business keeping new visitors satiated and acting as a rendezvous point for those seeking to charter ships out of the city.
The building is a squat two-story structure with rooms on the second floor available for rent. Sailors seeking a clean bed and decent meal tend to go elsewhere, but anyone needing a cheap place to bunk for the night would have no trouble getting a room on most occasions. The lower floor is a common room with a hearth over which a giant swordfish is preserved. It was said to be caught by Swilly "Fish-eye" Macrunk, but not before taking his right eye.
Temple of the Green Gale Waves
In the Southern Residential District is a beautiful building comprised entirely of sea glass, both inside and out. Even the pews within the main worship hall surround a saltwater pool that is visible at any angle due to the clarity of the glass from which all of the furniture is fashioned. Here is the center of worship of Ingoren, god of the sea.
Insofar as the worship of Ingoren goes, this temple is an oddity and the only known large one dedicated to him. Most of Ingoren's centers of worship are little more than smelly shrines by the side of the docks found in most coastal cities. This exception came about because of the large number of sailors residing in Andarr, for however briefly they may be on land, as well as the even larger number of sailors passing through the city.
In Game Developments
There is no online version of these lands in play currently, and knowledge of this information in game is limited to characters that have reason, ability, and circumstance to know. Seek DM permission if there is any doubt.
N/A - These lands exist only in the pen and paper version of Avlis, not on any of the current servers.