"Forget the stout granite walls and iron gates... you
can see the strength of this city embodied in its people. You can see it reflected in
their eyes and in the gleam of their blades. You can feel it with a strong handshake.
Hands callused by a life of labor, undaunted by hardships and impervious to fear."
- Ghorran of Ghorran's Fine Wares, Forge
|Ruler||His August Supremacy, Master of the Forges, Lord Protector of the Alliance, King Theodore IV|
|Demographics||Human 40%, Dwarven 40%, Elven 10%, Grum 6%, Avarian 4%|
|Languages||Dwarven 45%, Northern 45%, Elven 5%, Avarese 5%|
|National Colors||Black and grey|
|Currency||A mix of dwarven and northern.|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Extensive mining operations are in place to take advantage of the rich deposits of iron ore, zinc, copper, silver, clay, marble, stone, gold and platinum. Ulkran also exports a great deal of armor, weapons and stonework|
|Government Type||Aristocratic Monarchy|
|Allies||Urmordia, Ulkran, Normidia, Arkalia|
|Terrain||Lightly forested hills|
Forge is the capital city of Uthran. It is clearly a product of its people. Fully half of the population of Forge is dwarven or of dwarven decent and this has worked its way into the very fabric of the city. Stout granite walls, thick iron bars and an emphasis on strength while at the same time adorning each wall and corner with decoration - dwarven influence is apparent in every wall, tower, gate and arch of this city. The ringing of hammers from the local smithies can be heard in most parts of the city.
Uthran is ruled by King Theodore IV, the Just. He is of the Bretain bloodline which has ruled Uthran since its founding eight centuries ago. The King is human, but does have some dwarven blood in him as interracial marriages are allowed and even encouraged in this nation. Indeed, at all levels of society, rich and poor, one can find numerous half-dwarves, quarter dwarves and other mixes. The king is supported (and his decisions ratified) by a council which consists of six dwarves and six human. Council members are elected by a simple vote count from leading members in the community. Since council members often hold offices with the nation's many guilds, the guild exert some measure of control in the government. This is checked by the King's control over the guilds (laws, taxes, tariffs, fees, etc.) which are free from Council control. This checks and balances system has proven itself a stable and workable system of government for Uthran. Despite this balance of power, very little conflict exists between the King, council and guilds. All have similar interests and agendas. Likewise, dwarves and humans live and work side by side in this nation. Many citizens have both dwarven and human parents and this contributes to the sense of racial goodwill and national pride. The two cultures have blended into a perfect union of traditions and beliefs.
Royal Palace of Forge
The Royal Palace of Forge exemplifies the spirit of the city in its architecture. This exceptionally well built palace sits at the center of the city connected to other military and government buildings by dozens of bridges. It is crafted entirely of huge stone blocks that fit together perfectly. The outer walls are elaborately decorated with bas-relief pictures from dwarven mythology and phrases from dwarven wisdom. The structure of this building is equally impressive in that many of the walls are 5 meters thick (15 feet). This, combined with the fact that the Palace has few windows, gives the impression of being inside a cave when one is walking its dark corridors. But the dwarven staff seems to like it that way. Several chambers in this building are fashioned entirely from Girrall (which blocks magic). The conference room is one such room and this construction prevents all magical scrying and divination spells from breaching Forge security.
Forge disciplined city built upon dwarven heritage. Citizens are expected to obey the laws. Forge has several courts and magistrates that oversee criminal cases and hand down judgements. Each of these is called a Council of Judgement. While the city is not overly burdened with laws, the penalties for breaking the law can be severe. Minor infractions such as drunkiness, disorderly conduct or disturbing the public would warrant a minor sentence such as a monetary fine, mandatory service to a guild or time in the pillory. Theft, assault and damage of property are dealt with more harshly. Hard labor in the mines is a frequently used punishment. Imprisonment or banishment is used when necessary. Execution is rare.
The city guards of Forge are called the "Royal Forgers". This force consists of 1,200 well equipped and well trained men and woman. Almost all are human or dwarven and many have the blood of both races. They are armed with heavy, broad blades of fine steel and a distinctive armor which consists of heavy square overlapping plates of metal over leather and padding. This force patrols the city day and night in groups of four. The Royal Forgers, also patrol the countryside just outside the city walls, guard the city gates and inspect caravans entering the city.
The city has a major temple devoted to Drenmoragin and minor shrines to Imarus, Barrinor, Sarreth, Kael, Glavyris, Daramis, Kolo and the The Three Fates.
Forge has a strong economy built primarily upon mining, stone craft and metal work. Ingots of pure metal, forged weapons, strong armor and finely crafted jewelry are among it's chief exports.
The city market square of Forge is actually contained within a single building. This massive stone hall is a rectangular 100 meters long by 30 meters wide (328 x 98 feet). Huge stone pillars support a roof some 20 meters (65 ft) above the floor. Trading and selling continues day and night here, but once each month a market day is held and this hall is crowded with those hawking their wares. The Emporium has its own "house guard" of twenty heavily armed and well paid men that keep the peace and enforce a sizeable tax on all transactions.
Royal Forgers Hall
The Royal Forgers Hall is a stout, six story stone tower that looms over the clustered city around it. This great tower houses the main city armory and the offices, barracks and training facilities of the Royal Forgers.
The Craftsmen Academy
The Craftsmans Academy is a place of learning for all manner of trades black smithing, stone masonry, wood working, leather working, mining, engineering, etc. Tarrin, the administrator of this school, is a very tall, balding human male that wears a leather apron and tool belt everywhere. Technically, he is in charge of the academy but really despises administrative work and can often be found tinkering on a project in one of the shops. The school graduates about a half dozen journeymen each year.
The Iron Guild
This is the name of the craftsmens' guild in Forge. Smiths, masons, carpenters, tanners and more are members. Guild Master Ven Tir, a retired smith, runs the guild.
King Theodore Bretain IV The Learned
A short, but well muscled middle aged man with reddish brown hair, a thick beard and balding head. Theodore is the fourth male of the Bretain line to hold the throne and, like all of that line, has some dwarven blood in him which is most apparent in his stocky build. Other dwarvish features are apparent in his large nose and deep belly laugh. Like his father before him, Theodore is deeply concerned with the "vision" of Uthran... the merging of two cultures into one which is richer than either is alone. Theodore is an intelligent man who reads voraciously of many subjects. He has mastered several languages, writes a great deal and enjoys nothing more than finding a quiet corner of the palace to read a newly acquired book.
Queen Isadris Bretain
The queen of Uthran is a human woman named Isadris. She is a short, chubby little thing, but actually has no dwarven blood in her. Isadris is renowned for her extensive collection of wigs which she wears quiet often. These wigs are colored, often powdered and each more outrageous than the last. Isadris is a good hearted person, although a bit eccentric. She wears gaudy clothing and too much makeup, but everyone loves her as she is so generous with her money, hugs and advice. She is the life of every party. She does have a tendency to flirt with younger men, especially adventurer types.
The culture here is a blend of of several cultures - dwarven and northern primarily.
Due to the interconnected architecture of this city, it does not have separate districts.
The Gargoyle's Perch
A large and ornate monument displaying some fifty gargoyles perched on ledges and platforms arranged around a central spire. The entire construct is fashioned of a variety of stones and metals, chain and leather trimmings. This work was commissioned by the King many years ago as a cooperative effort among all the craftsmen in town. It is a symbol of the city's strength, technical prowess and unity. The Gargoyle's Perch stands 32 meters tall (104 ft) and the base is 11 meters wide (36 ft).
Dwarven influence is evident in the architecture of almost every building here. Most buildings are built of stone with a few iron trimmings here and there. Geometric lines and patterns adorn most walls, gates and bridges.
Some part of the city is always under construction with new work built up over earlier foundations. Over the centuries, the buildings of Forge have merged into a colossal labyrinth of stone walls, skybridges, balconies, ramps and towers. It is impossible to say where one building ends and another begins. Because of this rampant and organic growth, the city of Forge now resembles some sprawling fortress bristling with towers. The entire city is now a single interconnected architectural entity containing thousands of chambers and corridors. It is possible to walk from one edge of this city to the other during a rainstorm and never get wet. Because of this unchecked growth, the city is very deep. Balconies overlook skybridges which overlook a complex web of ramps, streets, squares and deep pits. It is also difficult to say where "ground level" is in this city. Unlike the narrow, muddy streets one finds in many other cities, the streets of Forge are paved with decorative stone tiles that fit tightly together. Without a doubt, Forge has the best roads to be found in the west.
Forge also has many paved plazas, a well designed sewer system, stone aquaducts which irrigate the fields and city streets that are well lit by oil-burning iron lanterns.
Because of its architecture and crafts, Forge has been given the nickname the "City of Stone and Steel".
Forge is a relatively safe city. The two most common races here, humans and dwarves, have good relations and most races are tolerated, though the city guards will keep a close eye on ogres, orcs and the like. The city guards are well armed and well trained. These four man teams are a common sight.
There is several thieves gangs and criminal organizations. But one stands out above the rest and is responsible for much illegal activity in Forge. That group is known as the Black Iron Brigade and it dominates the underworld. Other criminal groups in Forge are small by comparison. The Black Iron Brigade is the oldest and most stable of the criminal groups.
|Name and Proprietor||Description|
|Inn/Tavern - The Iron Worm is an inn and tavern run by an irreverent dwarven brewer and barkeep who also happens to be a respected member of the local thieves guild. Angus is very good at picking locks and has quite an elaborate lock picking tool set. Angus is Nojstans brother (see below) and every time Nojstan creates a new lock, Angus will find a way to pick it open. This little mechanical war has been going on longer than anyone can remember. Angus is optimistic to the point of being happy-go-lucky. He always seems to be in a good mood and never seems phased by anything. The Iron Worm is named for a large mechanical snake-shaped creation that hangs above the bar. Nojstan was commissioned to fashion the metal worm long ago, but the man who ordered it never returned to pick it up. No one knows what it was going to be used for. It has become one of the best known conversation pieces in Forge.|
|Tavern/Inn and Thieves Guild - The name of this establishment is an example of the character beneath. This tavern is a front for the Black Iron Brigade... the local thieves guild and they hold many of their meetings here. In fact, the guild has several secret hideouts scattered around the city, but the largest is hidden beneath this tavern. This tavern is one of the best kept secrets in the city. Only members know of its true nature. Visiting thieves may be contacted by the guild but under no circumstances would they be taken here (except perhaps blindfolded to one of the lower chambers). The tavern was named as it is out of sheer audacity. The master of the thieves guild, who calls himself the "Iron King", is arrogant and does not fear the authorities. Besides monitoring thieving activities in the city, this guild specializes in stealing and smuggling Forge metal and stone work (mostly weapons and armor) out of the city. Cendath is the half-dwarf who runs the place. He is a member of the thieves guild.|
|Brewery/Pub - Manx is a dwarf brewer with a heart of gold. He loves to brew ale and is actually quite good. But he has a very undwarf streak of compassion in him and undercharges his customers where he could be making a fortune. (Yes, his ale is that good). Often, he will feed a bard for a song, or let a group of muddy travelers stay the night even though they don't quite have enough to pay for the rooms. While his actions will never make him rich, they have made him a beloved town character. Everyone in the city knows Manx and everyone likes him.|
Edwin's Spit and Fire Long Hall Tavern
|Tavern - This tavern is run by a fat, red head, bearded fellow named Edwin and his four beautiful daughters. They also employ Bruka, a mute half dwarf who tends the horses and stables and sleeps in the barn. This establishment is a brightly lit tavern that has several long fire pits in the main room where succulent meat is always roasting on spits. Edwin's eldest daughter bakes bakes piping hot bread and rolls and they also make their own fresh, sweet butter from a trio of dairy cows in the pasture in the back. They serve a low alcohol fruit juice wine made from a local berry which is quite popular. The same berry is used for a jam. Finally, Edwin makes a unique soft "bread pudding" pastry. Edwin's Pudding Bread is served with meat and gravy. Very popular. A local bard strums on a stringed instrument in the corner and sings a ballad or two during the dinner hour. Although they don’t have a bouncer, Bruka and Edwin are able to handle most trouble. Edwin’s great sword hangs above the bar. Although he’s not a former soldier or adventurer and has little experience with the blade, he still feels that having a large weapon visible and handy keeps the peace. Due to its long and unwieldy name, most locals just call this place “the Spitfire”. Edwin’s wife was killed by an orc warrior in a raid on a caravan when they were coming to the west. Edwin naturally despises orcs and won’t serve an orc or even let an orc into his establishment. Edwin remembers the orc who killed his wife and will happily describe the orc to any who ask. The daily menu is written on a chalkboard for those who can read. Above the menu is number (currently at 1,700). That’s the total number of gold pieces that Edwin has put away. Regulars to the tavern know the whole story. The entire sum is being held as a reward to any person who brings him the body of the orc that killed his wife.|
|Tavern/Inn - This small establishment is run by a dwarf named Urnach. Following an old recipe passed down from his great, great grandfather, Urnach brews thick mud beer and serves it in heated heavy iron flagons. He has brought the ancient art of dwarven mud brewing to the many races in the city of Forge and most dwarves in the city agree that Urnach's is the best mud beer to be had. Besides the excellent mud beer, Urnach offers a few other good beers and whiskies. Some simple meals such as bread, cheese and meat pastries are sold to accompany the liquor. Urnach is assisted by Ilsa, a female dwargrum who serves as barmaid, Riksaf, an elderly human male who cleans and cooks, Ulstad the stable boy and Mara, an older dwarf lady who cleans the rooms. This place has ten rooms for rent and a iron tub in the back so guests can have a proper bath. Urnach is scrupulously honest and hard working.|
|Name and Proprietor||Description|
|Ghorran's Fine Wares
|General Store and Trading Post - Like many of the buildings throughout Forge, this general store and trading post is exceptionally well built and is almost entirely composed of tight fitting stones and iron trimming. Gorran, a handsome, well built man of 35, conducts a thriving business and counts many in the city as his friend. His shop carries just about anything you could want mining equipment, metal smithing tools, ingots of workable metal, clothing, weapons, armor, wilderness gear, tools, dry rations and other food that travels well, pots and pans, maps, lantern oil, coal, firewood and a wide variety of other goods.|
|Lucky Horse Shoe
|Smithy - Nojstan is incredibly clumsy in every day affairs and is constantly bumping into things and knocking things over. Fortunately, most everything around him in his forge is either stone or metal, so seldom does anything break. Nojstan is a very good smith and gets so caught up in his work that he often forgets to eat or sleep. When an idea catches him, he will pace back and forth in deep thought (and often walk into walls). Nojstan is particularly good at locks and is always trying to come up with a new lock that will baffle his brother, Angus.|
|Hammer and Anvil
|Smithy - The Hammer & Anvil is the largest smithy in Forge employing 20 journeyman blacksmiths that work under the watchful eye of Lokos, a master blacksmith and businessman, formerly of Drakkel. The Hammer & Anvil does most of the weaponry and armor for the militia of Forge. Although the Hammer & Anvil creates more work each month than any other smithy in Uthran, many of the other smiths in town grumble beneath their breath that Lokos focuses too much on profit and not enough on quality.|
|Stone Masonry Shop - The Marble Hall is a stone building fashioned from several different types of stone in an array of architecture meant to show off the skill of the crafter. Mobius, the stone mason that lives and works here with his wife and son, is as proud of his building as he is of his business.|
|Tan & Creaking
|Leather Goods and Garment Shop - Sakron is a short human male that runs a fine leather and garment shop. While he fashions saddles, gloves and other leather items, his wife and five daughters mend clothing. The small shop is run out of their home.|
|Jeweler/Money Changer - Trythok is a very wealthy dwarf that has a streak of Drakkellian in him in that he jealously tracks every last iron petty that flows through the city. Trythok is the official money changer of Forge and holds the office by official writ of King Theodoric. Trythok offers a 90% exchange rate and does a good job of exchanging between the many forms of currency that find their way into Forge coffers. Much of the money that circulates in this kingdom is northern and dwarven, although quite a bit of Drakkellian coins also make it to Forge. Trythok also dabbles in gemcutting, appraisal, jewelry and fine art. He operates his business out of his large estate in the south end of town. Besides being a wizard at mathematics, Trythok is known for tirelessly accounting for every last coin, no matter how insignificant, in all of his dealings.|
|Stone Mason/Pottery Shop - Ukmar is perhaps the best mason and potter in the nation. His pottery and stonework are exquisitely crafted and polished. What is most remarkable is that Ukmar is completely blind and does all of his work by touch alone. His apprentice, Shae, a young human girl, mixes dyes and paints the pottery. Ukmar is very old and respected by all of the dwarves in the city. He is a retired Symul (dwarven judge) from Ulkran and is often called upon to settle disputes.|
|The Iron Horse
Argus the Rat
|Barding Shop - Argus is a small, wiry man with a scruffy beard and cracked spectacles. He is a coward and somewhat unethical. However, his bony hands can work magic with armor. He is capable of working a variety of materials and can produce just about any kind of armor a customer needs. His specialty, though, is barding. He makes the best barding in the city without a doubt. He has two young apprentices who help out in the shop. A life sized statue of a horse made entirely of armor dominates the center of his shop.|
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.