Cities of Korovia

Korovia is dotted with towns and small cities. There are only two cities that qualify as a metropolis in Korovia, and that is Oraknev (31,000) and Sylvania (70,000+). Officially Sylvania has a population of 20,000, but has a much larger population of sea elves and dark elves that live beneath its trees and its harbour.

The nobility of Korovia has three levels: The Monarchy, the Royalty and the Nobility.

The Queen and her Prince Consort are the Monarchy, the Princes/Princesses are the Royalty and the Lords/Ladies are the Nobility. Princes are not actually related to the Queen. They were considered Princes before she even became Queen. When she became Queen, they swore fealty, but otherwise maintained their titles.

The Lords and Ladies of Korovia either earn their titles or are born with them. The Nobility often rules over towns and villages and small communities. The Nobility in Korovia often raises their children to be fighters or wizards, believing that they will maintain their Nobility if they have some physical talent to prevent them from being overthrown (which has happened frequently in the past). If a noble becomes lazy and corrupt, they are often overthrown and quickly replaced. Towns that have more than one lord will often have a town council. Some towns also have mayors who are elected to represent the local Nobility.

Azek - City of Melting Spires
Population: 16,000 (mostly Humans)
Terrain: Sylvan Forests and Hills.
Economy: Medium, low yield farming & hunting.
Military: Medium, City Guard (250) + Militia (150).
Leadership: Lordship

Azek is an ancient fortress-city between two rivers and is one of Korovia’s most well defended cities. Despite having a small City Guard and even smaller Militia, the city is notorious for its ability to withstand a siege. Its tall walls and the two rivers effectively block conventional warfare. Indeed, the only times Azek has EVER fallen to a warlord is with heavy magical aid.

Not that it will happen again, as Azek has its own archmage: Lady Vidrazia, the ruler of Azek. Lady Vidrazia was one of the first lords and ladies of Korovia to swear fealty to Queen Kasiya. The 12th level human evoker was once notorious for her fireballs and lightning bolts, but has since simmered down and become the respectable (and feared) leader of Azek. With her in charge, Azek has survived several wars and sieges involving enemy wizards, all of which were dealt with swiftly by the “Lady in Red”. The Lady is well known for wearing red robes all the time. She owns, but does not teach at, Azek’s Academy of the Arcane (a school for wizards and sorcerers to practice their skills).

There is sparse farming around Azek, the land has only recently become arable, and thus most of the food in Azek is meat from hunters. Merchants do bring extra food & supplies this far north, using the rivers as transportation, but there is a shortage of such merchants and thus the cost of food from the south is more expensive.

Bavik - Korovia's Finest Marketplace
Population: 9,000 (mostly Halflings)
Terrain: Farmland, hills.
Economy: Strong, farmland, and merchants.
Military: Good (militia 300).
Leadership: Lordship.

Bavik is a major farming city in Korovia and has one of the largest marketplaces in Korovia. Its skyline is dotted not by towers, but by grain silos and buildings for selling and trading livestock. The city is known for its good food, great beer and well-trained horses.

During the overthrow of Derek the Deadly, Derek's mercenary army was disbanded but not dispersed. A brief war happened twelve years ago in Bavik when a large number of the mercenary army acting under a (vampire) warlord attacked Bavik and attempted to take control of the then city-state. They were defeated by a "marilith in a bottle" that an adventurer unleashed upon the army. The lords of Bavik swore fealty to Kasiya after the battle was won.

Franciszek, akilled warrior and a thief, is one of the wealthiest merchants in Korovia and has his home in Korovia. He trades in food, horses, tools and weapons. Franciszek pays off the halfling lord of Bavik and so it is the merchant who basically controls the city. The halfling handles the minor details and Franciszek controls anything that affects his ability to make a profit.

Franciszek has raised the taxes for the city and has his hands in the coffers. As a result he owns almost every inn and pub in the city and overcharges his competitors. Indeed he owns and operates almost every inn, pub and marketplace within 3 days ride of Bavik.

Halfling and human farmers in the area are getting angry with Franciszek for making such huge profits off of their goods (and not sharing the wealth) and are trying to make a Farmers Guild in order to collectively raise the prices of food. Franciszek will have none of this however and so a civil war is brewing between him and the farmers. Other merchants also want to overthrow Franciszek, insisting that he is too controlling of the marketplaces in what is some of Korovia’s most fertile farmland. Otherwise many people in Bavik are happy with Franciszek because he keeps the peace and times are quite profitable for them. It is only the merchants and farmers that are upset.

Franciszek himself lives in a tall castle on a hill just west of the city. He is building more additions to the castle and has hired a group of dwarves to oversee the construction. The current expansion will turn the castle into something more like a palace, but with extensive underground tunnels where he can store grain, weapons and other goods. He already has the largest stables in Korovia and some of the best horses and other fine riding beasts (including a griffon and several mammoths from Loqland).

Franciszek also oversees several very well paid adventuring groups that work for him by searching for exotic goods that he can sell for huge profits. Some people have accused these groups of being nothing more than over paid highwaymen, but those people are now on the run from the law themselves due to circumstantial evidence that they were horse thieves themselves. The general populace of halflings ignores these problems because they don’t want to rock the boat.

Koastmark - City of Piracy & Thieves
Population: 18,000 (mostly Humans)
Terrain: Farms, Hills, Seaside Cliffs.
Economy: Strong, seaport.
Military: Strong for the moment (standing army of Minotaurs).
Leadership: Mayor.

Koastmark has scattered towers and old battlements surrounding only parts of the city. The city is derelict in some sections, but with new buildings in others. Attempts are being made to revitalize the city’s buildings, but the process is slow and there is not much interest from many of the locals. There are many abandoned buildings that have become havens for criminals.

Of all the cities that might rise up against Queen Kasiya, Koastmark would be it. The pirates and rogues of Koastmark are as bloodthirsty as they are greedy. Koastmark is notorious for its street brawls and open duels. Where most cities have a ban on duels and street fighting, Koastmark authorities really can’t do much about it. They are simply outnumbered.

The City Guard in Koastmark is extremely cautious about who they arrest. They tend to look the other way when they see crimes committed, which leaves people who have been robbed (or injured) to fend for themselves. The city is also getting a large number of foreigners visiting from the Azagolian Empire and a number of these foreigners have set themselves up as Yakuza gangs (monk/rogues who extort from people in exchange for “protection”).

The economy of Koastmark is strong, as it is a very popular trading port, but it also suffers from corruption and piracy, which benefits and hampers its economy at the same time. Fish is the common food staple in Koastmark, and many of its fish end up in markets in the local towns. Without the fishing and the piracy, the economy of Koastmark would be poorer, there is no doubt. It could definitely be stronger however without its current level of corruption.

Many people in Koastmark are in favour of the pirate commodore gaining control of the city. They believe it will get rid of corruption by making the city “more ship-shape” and there would be less corruption. Others argue that it’s the pirates that cause the corruption in the first place, so how could it possibly get better?

The Korovian Royal Navy is anchored mostly in Weyvin, and is still relatively small. It is not sufficient enough yet to pose a major threat to the pirates in Koastmark. Indeed, it’s the opposite way around right now. The pirates have been attacking the Royal Navy, and its only thanks to the Spiraled Lighthouse (owned by Maximilian the Conjurer) and an early warning system that the fleet has not suffered horrible losses in attacks.

The Mayor of Koastmark is a defacto dictator, for now. The city is currently under a lengthened state of martial law. Ironskin Minotaurs and Korovian Knights watch out for signs of deep unrest, but otherwise let the City Guard handle domestic problems. The Mayor is content to sit idle for now, keeping the status quo and biding time until the Korovian Royal Navy can send more permanent ships and soldiers to squash the piracy and impose order.

Before that happens however, the pirate commodore will likely stage an assault. There are constant rumours that the commodore will “liberate” the city and proclaim himself Admiral and King of Koastmark. It is questionable as to what side the local militia might take in such a conflict.

Ignoring the standing army of minotaurs, Koastmark is the 2nd largest place for minotaurs (usually evil pirates) to gather. The pirate minotaurs are known for their rowdiness. They also do not owe fealty to the commodore. When the commodore tried to take over the city, they watched and laughed at the carnage. Since then they have actively opposed the human commodore, saying that they would never take orders from a human captain, even an admiral. This last idea has spawned the idea that the Korovian Navy should have a minotaur admiral, possibly Logarr who is a ship captain (and minotaur hero) on the Korovian Sea. The human archmage of Koastmark - retired - is Sheila the Blizzard.

Kost - The Holy City of Korovia
Population: 15,000 (mostly Humans)
Terrain: Sylvan forests, plains & hills.
Economy: Very Strong, universities, good farmland, seaport, trade route.
Military: Very Strong (1600 Paladins) & Militia (400).
Leadership: Lordship

Kost is a relatively new city. It was built shortly after the death of King Zaelean 1400 years ago. The architecture uses mixes of human, dwarven and elvish architecture. It has many towers surrounding the city and the city itself has a hexagonal shape. Inside there are several fortified buildings (owned by paladins) which serve as secondary fortresses. These buildings go deep underground and are built to withstand attacks from the air. The shape of the city and its walls follow the landscape, so there is no exact shape to the city. One good thing about Kost is that its streets are fairly simple. Most of them follow a basic design and don’t get too complicated.

The city is known for its public parks, where bards and other performers often perform and there are outside grills that are a popular place to eat and drink for the wealthier citizens.

Kost is the headquarters for the different paladin orders of Korovia. It is the most law-abiding city in the entire kingdom. The City Guard is made up of mostly Paladins and there is also a fighter school that is known for teaching some of the best warriors in all of Korovia (many Wardens study there).

In addition, Kost has the largest magic school, The University of the Arcane. It used to be called an Academy (and some still call it that), but has since increased its dormitory space and started letting in many more students and changed its name to become more prestigious. Its library is considered to be one of the best libraries in Korovia (rivaled only by the Eldritch Academy in Sylvania).

Kost is also a center for lawful good clerics, as its temples are quite famous for their size and architecture. The Temple of Divine Light is the more notorious of these, because it was the unofficial headquarters for the same band of heroes who helped Queen Kasiya gain control of the throne of Korovia. Many of these temples follow a “multi-faith” principle in which they share space with other clerics with a similar ethos.

The area surrounding Kost has very good farmland and rarely has problems with monsters. There is the troll lands farther to the east, but it is very rare that trolls will venture come within ten miles away of Kost, let alone cross the river that runs just north of the city.

There is a trade route that runs south of the troll lands (with many fortified towns on the way) towards Sylvania. It is a well-used road and one of the safest trade routes that go near the troll lands. It takes roughly a week on horse to ride about 200 miles to Sylvania. Many horse caravans travel the route.

There used to be a tunnel (still is technically) that ran underground from Kost to Oraknev. The tunnel was made 12 years ago using magic, but sections of the tunnel are now unstable and have collapsed, and there is also lizard-folk who have taken up residence in the tunnel. Both ends of the tunnel have been collapsed to keep the lizard-folk from raiding the cities.

Because Kost is a major trading port it receives a lot of merchants who are going right through. Thus there is no gate taxes to get inside the city because merchants usually leave the city with their goods anyway. Kost ships goods across the Korovian Sea to Tuirn, Oraknev and Zerburg. It also has riverboats and caravans that go up river to Trollhaven on the way to Sylvania. A lot of food from farms to the south travels north to other cities via Kost.

Lord Wilhelm is the Lordship of Kost. He was once known as “Wilhelm the White Knight”. Twelve years ago he was the leader of the Temple of Divine Light, and helped out the heroes from time to time. The new leader of the temple is Lady Korozo (who also fought beside the heroes and their ilk twelve years ago). Wilhelm is a tough but good-natured paladin who is wise in his years. His white beard is also quite famous and he is popular with the children of Kost (who still call him the White Knight).

Lady Korozo is famous for her daring feat twelve years ago when she magically flew above Kost and chopped off the head of a balor. The heroes cunningly handed her a magical sword, cast fly and numerous protection spells on her, and she dutifully stood her ground against the balor and a small horde of demons that had recently arisen to attack Kost. Her resulting popularity is such that she is actually a bit of a recluse now, avoiding being seen in public due to her famous (and beautiful) face and likewise incredible fame.

Molloch - The Orc Metropolis
Population: 27,000 (orcs + slaves)
Terrain: Mountains and Caves
Economy: War-Metropolis, economy based on spoils of war and slavery.
Military: City Guard 0, but the entire population is warriors of some sort.
Leadership: King.

Officially Molloch isn’t a Korovian city, but the dwarves of Korovia would like to change that. This ancient dwarven city is now officially part of Loqland and sits directly on the border between the two. The orcs who now control Molloch are a major nuisance to the dwarves who lives mere miles away in Roknar. Daily raids into dwarven controlled territory and the occasional war every so many years has shown that Molloch can certainly pump out warriors (and the dwarves can certainly kill them, but not without some losses).

The key to why the dwarves as yet have not re-taken Molloch is due to the sheer number of orcs that infest the ancient city. The fact that many of the orcs now have half-dragon blood in their veins doesn’t help either.

Architecturally, Molloch is a huge tiered-tower of a city that looks like a mountain built out of the side of a mountain. Think the tower of babel and you’ll get the idea. Beneath that are caves that travel deep beneath the mountain. Slaves occupy the lowest regions of the city and continually dig for whatever the orcs need: iron ore, gold, etc. Mushrooms grow in many of the slave tunnels and this is what makes up most of the slave diet.

Knowing that they have to keep a lid of crafty slaves, the orcs rotate which slaves go where so that the same slaves never use the same tunnel twice and thus are prevented from trying to build any long-term escape route. There have been a couple successful raids to free slaves, but they were only successful because of magical aid.

Raids into or near Molloch never fare very well however. There has been the odd time when they have managed to rescue dwarves trapped in the slave pits, but usually the raids have ended in whole parties of dwarves being killed or captured and never returning. Those that have been successful have had magical aid and used a “teleport out” retreat strategy. It would take a full out assault for an attack to even stand a chance of success.

The problem of Molloch deeply troubles Queen Kasiya and she fears it is only a matter of time before the dwarves are overrun by an orcish horde. She therefore is working to craft a plan to retake Molloch and restore it to dwarven control (and rename it to its original name “Rokbar”). One possibility would be to build a temporary portal for hordes of slaves to escape through, but such a portal would be tricky to build with orcish patrols looking for signs of slaves trying to escape. An alternative portal idea is still being looked into according to some sages. Finding a group of adventurers capable of installing the portal is another matter.

Rokbar’s architecture dates back to 144 ADW when a group of human and dwarvish nobles decided there should be a city built in the pass between Loqland and Korovia. The place would be a trade city between Korovia, Loqland and Stilornvia.

Oraknev - The Capitol of Korovia
Population: 31,000 (Metropolis, mostly Humans)
Terrain: Coastal Cliffs
Economy: Very Strong, Trade Center.
Military: City-Guard 900 & Militia 1500. The Northern Army Fort is just north of Oraknev (5000 men).
Leadership: City Council

Oraknev has an outer city and an inner city. The inner city is over 5000 years old and is heavily fortified with defensive towers. These towers are no longer used by the military however. They have been converted into homes. They can still be used in the event of a war however. The outer city dates back over 1400 years and was built by the elvish king Zaelean and has a strange mix of architectures. Oraknev is a city of unusual towers.

There is a saying that when King Zaelean sat down to design the outer-city, he hired a gully dwarf to decide where all the streets will go. Oraknev’s streets make very little sense and over the years people have added more streets in an effort to make a map of the city that actually makes sense. The inner city in comparison is an ancient design based on circles and ovals. Both designs have their advantages. The outer city’s design was actually based on how the streets would follow the downhill path of the sewers, thus making the city cleaner (see the description of Oraknev’s sewers below).

The inner city now houses a lot of government buildings, houses of nobility and temples. There is only a small marketplace with over-priced goods in the inner city.

The guards at the gates of the outer city no longer check for weapons or tax merchants entering the city. However, the inner city now checks for weapons and nothing larger than a dagger is allowed in. The city guards at the inner gates routinely check suspicious people with detect magic spells to see if they are deliberately hiding magical items. This procedure while being annoying has proved successful and there are now far less incidents of violence within the inner city. The sewers of the outer city do not connect underground to the sewers of the inner city. Only one sewer grate leads into the inner city and it is a permanent magical force-grate with a magical alarm placed on it.

The wizard’s tower (and guild) is a built-up island in the harbour. It serves as both a protective tower against intruders to the city and also as a school and guild-house to many of the city’s wizards.

Oraknev is one of Korovia’s oldest cities with many of its older buildings dating back to long before the last Demon War. Almost forgotten kings designed the circular shaped city. For millennia it has been the stronghold of warlords, both good and evil. Beneath the city are catacombs that have been built over many centuries, which intersect. Many of these catacombs have been sealed to prevent lizard-folk and worse from reaching the surface.

Oraknev’s sewer system intersects with the catacombs and is a marvel of engineering for Oraknev is one of the cleanest cities in all of Korovia. The populace dumps their sewage into the system and instead of flowing towards the lake, the sewage is washed by regular rainwater into the catacombs. The lizard-folk that live in the catacombs are probably not happy about this. If there is no rain, the stench from the sewers becomes noticeable. There is a river dam east of the city that powers water mills, during times of drought water is sometimes released from the dam and into the sewers to help wash the sewage into the catacombs.

The river dam is sometimes considered a weapon against the lizard-folk, or whenever the rat population becomes a nuisance.

Within the walls of Oraknev reside the majority of its residents, but it is outside the city walls to the south that the marketplace has blossomed. The city used to charge taxes for people to carry goods into the city, and so the marketplace became a no-tax zone. The marketplace has brought enormous wealth to the city however and city council has removed the tax on goods and instead places the tax on rooms in inns. The inns are not complaining very much because they are still making record profits and can now buy beer/etc from merchants for cheaper.

Within the marketplaces there is a vast variety of shops, including magical items and otherwise. For a small metropolis Oraknev still has its limits as to what can be bought, but what is there is still impressive.

Oraknev’s city guards are well trained and have good pay. New recruits are given city-wall duty and stay there until they reach Private 1st Class. Beyond the rank of private are Lieutenants, Captains, and Chiefs. The Lord Captain of the Guard controls the city watch.

Oraknev’s town council is composed of Lords and Ladies of Oraknev. Many are high level Aristocrats, but some are fighters, wizards and clerics that have earned their rank and been asked to sit on the council. Members of the council are appointed by Queen Kasiya, which shows where the real power belongs. The council governs over spending the city budget and generally does a good job of it. If they are not doing a good job, Queen Kasiya steps in with her divining powers and some people have been known to lose their positions when her divining magic predicts that they are no longer suited for the position.

As the semi-secret Mayor of Oraknev, Queen Kasiya does a good job of picking which people would be well suited for the job. The job of city councilor is payless, but the power wielded is meant to be benevolent.

There used to be a tunnel (still is technically) that ran underground from Kost to Oraknev. The tunnel was made 12 years ago using magic, but sections of the tunnel are now unstable and have collapsed, and there is also lizard-folk who have taken up residence in the tunnel. Both ends of the tunnel have been collapsed to keep the lizard-folk from raiding the cities.

Roknar - Dwarven City of Stone and Steel
Population: 19,000 (mostly Dwarfs)
Terrain: Dense Mountains.
Economy: Fragile, but strong.
Military: Very strong. Western Army (5000) + Dwarf Militia (6000+)
Leadership: Council of Clan Elders

Roknar is an ancient dwarven fortress nestled in between two mountains, near a mountain pass. The Great Dwarven Wall runs across the path and on the other side, people can easily see the smoke rising from the distant Orcish City of Molloch. The town is tiered in fortified sections on both sides of the mountain pass. Every tier and every building has masterwork siege weapons on it. It is the most fortified city in Korovia. The dwarven siege masters are so good at aiming at targets that they would make elves jealous.

The economy of the city is strong, but has fragile moments whenever the fighting and orcish raids are especially bad. Otherwise the city produces large numbers of quality weapons and armour, many of which are sold throughout all of Korovia. Much of its steel doesn’t come from mining, but from melting down the weapons of fallen orcs. All along the Great Dwarven Wall are forts and lookouts that defend against orcish assaults. Rarely is a fortress ever overrun by orcs, and the dwarves have become extremely skilled at defending their fortresses.

A single dwarf worth his salt will usually kill over a hundred orcs during a year in service defending the wall. Only when they are severely outnumbered have dwarves been known to lose ground in this war. Lost ground is always swiftly retaken as there are hidden entrances to their fortresses that only dwarves know about, thus giving them both an emergency exit and a way to stage a surprise counter-attack if need be.

The city of Roknar is in a constant state of war preparation, always training its dwarves to be at peak fighting condition and preaching the values of being ready for any tricks the stupid orcs might try. The racial enmity is such that the killing of orcs is something all dwarves embrace freely and supports whole-heartedly. If it were up to them, they would march into Molloch and destroy the city brick by brick.

Raids into or near Molloch never fare very well however. There has been the odd time when they have managed to rescue dwarves trapped in the slave pits, but usually the raids have ended in whole parties of dwarves being killed or captured and never returning. Those that have been successful have had magical aid and used a “teleport out” retreat strategy. It would take a full out assault for an attack to even stand a chance of success.

Dwarven rangers are often amongst the best warriors in Roknar. Orcs as a favoured enemy has been a huge advantage when fighting against their hated foe. The orcs likewise have orcish rangers fighting on their side. Every dwarf in Roknar has heard of Omar the Dwarf-Slayer, the orcish general who “eats dwarves for breakfast”.

Roknar lives under a state of martial law and criminals are dealt with severely. Criminals have a quick trial and the punishment is exile in Loqland. They are branded as criminals on the forehead with a skull symbol, but are given weapons and gear sufficient for them to kill orcs and possibly survive in orcish controlled territory. Small time criminals (thieves) are branded on both hands (symbol of a coin) and are often forced to work off their debt in dwarven mines. Roknar is NOT a fun place to commit a crime or be accused of one.

Shorin - City of Horse Races
Population: 11,000 (about half-and-half humans & halflings)
Terrain: Hills, forests and farmland.
Economy: Gambling, trade and farming.
Military: Weak.
Leadership: Lordship.

Shorin has a small keep and wall that surrounds the city. The city was once part of Habbeland, but when an army of gnolls attacked them 1400 years ago the halfling royalty ignored them. Instead it was King Zaelean and the elves that came to their aid and the halflings of Shorin swore fealty to him instead. Thus King Zaelean secured the another city in his name. The walls that now surround Shorin was repaired with the help of the elves and have definite elvish touches to them (making them good for archers to use). The keep inside now has an enchantment on it (Protection from Missiles) which deflects non-magical arrows/etc.

Such benevolence was unheard of from the lazy halfling royalty of Habbeland and the halflings of Shorin have since become fiercely proud of being part of Korovian history.

The halflings (and humans) of Shorin like gambling a lot and frequently bet on pony races. “Sure win” is the real meaning of the city’s name, but pronounced with a drunken slur. The name caught on apparently and the city was renamed a long time ago to its new “more popular” name.

Silekva - City of Stone Golems
Population: 14,000 (mostly Dwarfs)
Terrain: Hills and valleys
Economy: Stable, strong, manufacturing, trade route.
Military: Good (militia 600) + stone golems.
Leadership: Council of Clan Elders

Silekva is a squat city carved entirely out of stone with buildings that go deep underground and complex underground “streets”, with covered sewers and open (dwarf-made) rivers that run alongside the underground streets which are used for transportation aquaducts. It has numerous stone fountains, being both practical and a display of dwarven craftsmanship. The city has three levels of streets and weight-balanced elevators (some with donkeys for extra pulling power) for moving larger objects.

On its lowest level it has several barges which operate as ferries on the city’s larger aquaducts, transporting groups of dwarves from place to place (usually mines or factories). The aquaducts are designed like spokes in a giant wagon wheel.

It is easy to get inside the city, as its underground levels spread underneath the upper-city and has numerous entrances from the surface. There are no consistent walls to the city. The surface is essentially its first line of defense.

Silekva is peaceful and has a strong manufacturing economy. Dwarven clans own and operate various factories for creating a broad assortment of goods. Everything from glass to fine weapons is made in Silekva. They are known for their artisans who create statues and pottery. The Stoneworkers Guild is a powerful group within the city and has managed to raise the rights of workers and improve mining safety in the city.

The city is also unique due to its 12 stone golems that guard the surface. Dating back to the Last Demon War when they were created, they now guard the city from invasion. The Archpriest of Silekva, an ancient dwarf cleric, controls the stone golems and serves as a protector for the city as well. The stone golems wield huge magical stone hammers, which operate like Mjolnir in that they return to their stone golem owner after being thrown. The golems are part of local dwarven history and there are many legends about their defense of the city. The golems travel as groups of three. Three of the golems guard the Archpriest at all times. Captains of the City-Guard have magical whistles that can be used to summon aid from the golems when certain tunes are used. Different commands require different tunes to be played. The user must have dwarven blood to use the magical whistles and the whistles produce a sub-sonic sound which only the stone golems, dogs, etc can hear. The tunes are kept very secret.

Sturvek - City of Harmony with Nature
Population: 12,000 (mostly Halflings)
Terrain: Mountains, hills, and farmland.
Economy: Strong, farmland, and trade route.
Military: Good (militia 600).
Leadership: Lord.

Sturvek is a hill-city of buildings built under small oak trees. The city is relatively wealthy because it is an important trade route south of Koastmark. The city’s marketplace is unique however as people have to be exceptional careful of fey thieves.

Sturvek has a large number of fey creatures that visit it. Everything from pixies and sprites to pseudo-dragons and even unicorns visit the city. A herd of unicorns runs wild across the prairies east of the city and many of the forests nearby have an abundance of fey creatures.

Unicorn poachers from Koastmark are a problem in Sturvek and they have rangers and druids who patrol the land looking for poachers. The unicorns are highly intelligent and have their own defenses too, often luring poachers into ambushes.

The lord of Sturvek swore fealty to Queen Kasiya because he knew that Queen Kasiya would help them against the poachers. The locals consider the unicorns and fey creatures to be sacred and want them to be protected.

Since then Kasiya has hired several adventuring groups to hunt for poachers and to put a stop to the black market trade in unicorn horns. A retired adventurer named Olivia of Loqland is in charge of the hunt for poachers.

Sylvania - City of Elves Above and Below
Population: 20,000 (+15,000 dark elves & 35,000 sea elves)
Terrain: Hills and forests.
Economy: Trade port.
Military: City Guard 600.
Leadership: A council of 2 Princes & 1 Princess (varies by time period)

Above ground, Sylvania is a large city built into colossal trees with large vine covered bridges going between the trees. The vines help to support the bridges, making them even stronger, but the bridges themselves are made of giant spider silk and exceptionally strong. Gondolas and elevators also operate within the tree city. The trees are huge monoliths, ranging in size from 500 to 700 feet tall. Below ground and beneath the waves however, Sylvania is a Metropolis of elves, all races of elves together in relative harmony. It is an ancient city with ancient trees, and sometimes very archaic ways.

Above ground the population is about 50/50 High Elves and Grey Elves (with a smattering of Wild Elves who sometimes travel within the city). Above ground Sylvania is ruled by a Grey elf Prince.

Below ground dark elves control the mines and live in a city of stalactite columns & spires in great caverns beneath the ground. The sub-city of Zodaran is its name and it has a Dark elf Princess who rules over it. Much of the city is actually carved out of limestone by the elves, and it is very easy for non-drow to get lost in the city. The caverns connect to sea caves, which is the entrance to the Sea Elf City of Wysteria.

Wysteria is governed by a Sea Elf Prince. While larger than Sylvania, Wysteria considers itself to be a hidden force beneath the city. It prefers to be secretive. So secretive that many non-elves in Korovia think that it is a myth. Most elves deny it exists when speaking to outsiders. Its crystal city beneath the waves prefers to remain hidden to outsiders and few people beyond the elves of Sylvania & Zodaran have ever visited Wysteria.

Above ground Sylvania maintains a well-trained City Guard of 600, but its militia is much more powerful. Almost every elf worth his or her salt is in the militia, which is to say that almost every adult elf is a member. Sylvania arguably has the largest standing army, although the dwarves in Roknar would dispute that claim, saying that the vast majority of elves in their militia aren’t even proper warriors. While this is true, Sylvania nevertheless maintains that it has never been completely defeated by a foe, even during the Demon Wars the city never fell (although this is more due to its ability to retreat below ground or under the sea).

A peace loving city, Sylvania requires all foreigners visiting to tie their weapons with a peace-knot. There is no taxes on trade in Sylvania, which makes it a popular trading port, and its harbour is incredibly safe from pirates thanks to secretive sea elves maintaining a guard outside of the city harbour and preventing entrance to all known pirates. The city has a zero tolerance policy for pirates and has confiscated whole ships (including any cargo, legitimate or not) in the past. The city benefits from powerful elvish magic that shields it from winter and harsh weather. It is always summer in Sylvania, although it does have a rainy season.

Sylvania is known for its druids and clergy. It is a center for healers and herbalists. Many of its healing temples are built high up in some of the biggest trees. The dark elves below ground these trees worship a benevolent cave goddess (whose symbol is the bat), which is worshiped by drow druids and clerics.

Sylvania’s central marketplace is on the ground level in moss and fern covered grottos. It feels as if a person is wandering around in a jungle of plants with hordes of merchants filling in the gaps, with their shops built into alcoves of grottos and into (or under) the roots of the colossal trees. The grottos on the ground level should be quite dark due to the dense foliage above, but the leaves on the monolithic trees are shiny like green silver and reflect light like tiny mirrors. Thus the grottos and marketplaces are bathed in beautiful green light.

Some of the sea caves have small markets, but these are kept hidden from non-elves. It is rumoured that the best marketplaces are within Wysteria and that the city trades with other sea elf cities.

Sylvania has a wizard school called the Eldritch Academy, which is well known for its very ancient library which dates back before the last demon war. Many of its books are written in Ancient Korovian or draconic.

Toravek - City of Hydrodynamics
Population: 8,000 (mostly Gnomes)
Terrain: Mountains and caves.
Economy: Good, booze & mushrooms.
Military: Good (militia 300).
Leadership: Lordship.

As Korovia’s farthest north city, one would think it is fairly cold. It isn’t. The city is built mostly underground to conserve heat and also benefit from several geo-thermal springs. Toravek was built around its hot springs, but not because of therapeutic properties. The city uses hydro and pyro power for many of its unusual inventions (steam powered elevators/etc). It is an underground city with small squat buildings above ground which serve more as entrances to the elevator shafts.

The city itself is a complicated network of caves (with signposts all over the place for lost gnomes). Even natives to the city get lost regularly due to teams of gnomes that regularly dig new routes through the city (sometimes accidentally digging into someone’s living room). Thankfully there is a 2nd group of gnomes in charge of signposts and follow around the others in attempts to keep the signposts up to date.

The problem with gnomes is that they like things that are complicated. If there is an easy way to do something (like a hammer and nail) the gnomes will invent a new way (screw and screwdriver) and several other ways (super glue) to achieve the same result. In Toravek, this is only made more obvious with their plumbing system. Water pipes made of hardened clay snake throughout the city transporting hot water from below and cold water from above. Sometimes these pipes are accidentally attached (oops!) and there is result is chaos from bursting pipes, pressure valves exploding, and flooding. The gnomish solution however is typically unusual: Soap.

When faced with mass flooding, the gnomish solution is to clean the place so that the water is not wasted. Yes, some gnomes will get wet, but oh well. Many gnomes carry “floatation devices” of various designs so the threat of drowning is very little.

Toravek’s principle exports are mushroom beer, mushrooms, pottery and iron ore but in small amounts. The economy is good, despite few exports. There is little use for imports too. Only a few inns and green grocers bother with goods from the south. Imports are so few that there are no taxes.

The gnomish lord of Toravek swore allegiance to Queen Kasiya because he also owns the brewery. He thought he could export mushroom beer and make a fortune. He has made a small fortune, but gnomes are the only people who regularly drink it. Ask any gnome however and they will insist that Toravek Beer is the best.

Toravek rarely has troubles with monsters. They are too fortified on the surface. When they do have problems it is usually because of giants, ice trolls and yeti attacking their trade caravans.

Trollhaven - Bastion of Hope in the Troll Lands
Population: 1200 (mostly Humans)
Terrain: Forests and Mountains
Economy: Strong, trade route.
Military: Strong. 300 warriors +.
Leadership: Mayor & Lord.

Upriver and east of Kost is a town with growing popularity on the trade route between Sylvania and Kost. It can be reached by barge traveling up the river (pulled by horse or donkey), or overland by the road that goes beside the river. The town itself is a fort built on top of a hill near the northern most point of the river, and guards that section of the river for travelers. It is dangerously close to the troll lands and is frequently attacked by groups of trolls.

The town’s walls are built in a perfect triangle with 60' towers in each corner, with archers as lookouts, who thanks to the triangle have 300 degrees of firing angles. Two additional 60' towers inside the town provide extra fortifications should the town’s walls ever be over-run. An architect from Oraknev designed the towers to maximize the number of archer points inside the tower and provide excellent protection from enemy rocks and arrows.

The town has a fair-sized marketplace, a tiny magic school and a pond where druids like to congregate. The town is a Mecca for rangers, druids, and adventurers seeking to kill trolls.

Merchants travelling via Trollhaven usually do so by boat on the Kost to Trollhaven route, and then switch to caravan and horses from Trollhaven onwards towards Sylvania. Thus Trollhaven is an excellent place to buy horses and also to hire more mercenaries to guard the caravan.

300 feet to the north is a dark forest on the slope of a mountain. The steep road up to the hill fort is covered with boulders and shards of burnt troll bones. The walls of the town are 15 feet tall and the height of the hill gives the town another 25 to 30 feet over the surrounding area. The hill overlooks the river to the south only a short arrow’s flight away (about 90 feet).

The marketplace has one magic shop “The Ol’ Magic Shoppe”, but sometimes traveling merchants also carry magical components and potions for sale. There is also a highly skilled human blacksmith (Gregash), an elvish fletcher (Larilia) who mass-produces arrows and a horse-trader from Shorin (Bibbin the Halfling) who specializes in selling war-horses.

The wizard Kalmeister who runs the magic school is retired from adventuring. He also owns “The Ol’ Magic Shoppe” (which buys and sells potions/scrolls/trinkets) and makes a tidy profit from teaching wizards in his school. The town’s war wizard is an evoker named Ahaesianna Bloodleaf (nicknamed Bloody because she tends to get injured a lot).

The town itself was founded about 15 years ago by George “Shaggy” Wagner, a retired human ranger who built the inn and started to fortify the surrounding area. After many years of hardship the town has now become a popular place for adventurers and mercenaries. Last year Queen Kasiya made Wagner a Lord, citing his outstanding service to the kingdom. Wagner is still not used to the title.

The town is also a popular place for sightings of Adriaza, Korovia’s most wanted criminal. Bounty hunters are a frequent sight in the town.

The druid pond is a copse of trees and a spring that is behind the Trollhaven Inn and its water is said to have minor curative powers. Many druids travel to it to appreciate the great oak trees and the pure mountain water.

Tuirn - City of Minotaurs and Law
Population: 14,000 (mostly Minotaurs)
Terrain: Mountains, hills and rivers
Economy: Good, manufacturing and raw materials
Military: Very strong (no militia needed)
Leadership: Council of Elders

Tuirn has almost no fortifications and it really doesn't need them. A single large building above ground serves as labyrinthic entrance to the city of minotaurs within. The building is relatively short, but broad. Once inside you really need to know where to go for the whole city is a maze. The outer entrance to the city has traps in the event intruders come looking for trouble.

You could in theory get in through the roof where a number of holes open into courtyards, but those courtyards are deep within the maze and again you would need to know where you are going. The interior buildings themselves are usually quite large and spacious, crafted from stone and mortar. The sewer system in Tuirn is even more complex.

Some of the courtyards are also covered with glass and bronze domes and operate like greenhouses.

Navigating through Tuirn is best done with a guide because there are multiple levels, walkways, bridges, and there is no rhyme or reason to minotaur architecture. It is said that the minotaurs know where they are based on the smell.

The pacifist minotaurs in Tuirn are good at crafting many things (not weapons of course). With their strength their abilities to build tools out of steel, wood and stone are quite useful in mass production. The minotaurs are not greedy however and there is a surplus of goods such as rope, wooden objects like tables, tools, etc. Minotaur merchants have a reputation of being very honest and selling their goods at a fair discount. Minotaur furniture is exceptionally sturdy and well-made.

The mines west of Tuirn are operated by minotaurs and bring out large amounts of quality ore. Forestry is also a strong industry. Logging by minotaur workers and replanting by minotaur druids (rare, but becoming more common) has allowed Tuirn to create a renewable source of wealth. Tuirn supplies about half of the building lumber for all of Korovia.

It is said Tuirn is the birthplace of agriculture. 14 years after the First Demon War the halfling tribes sent spies to learn the secret of agriculture and the minotaurs gladly gave it to them.

Farms near Tuirn tend to grow larger vegetables for produce. Squash and pumpkins are very common products in the city’s food markets. Nuts and walnuts are important commodities for protein. Milk is also important. Many minotaurs claim their strength (and height) is derived from a strong milk diet. Dairy farms exist near Tuirn. The cattle are buried when they die and are treated with relative respect. Local bylaws prohibit cattle from being killed for meat.

Minotaur philosophers compare their affinity to cattle to be the same as humans with monkeys. Humans don’t eat monkeys and when a monkey dies, they bury them. Minotaurs treat cattle in the same way. Minotaurs often argue that cattle are not stupid and are more intelligent than humans assume. Minotaur druids often have a bull as their animal friend and can confirm that cattle are intelligent, often shy/peaceful, but have tempers if they are threatened. Jokes about bestiality are shrewdly ignored by most minotaurs, but they will lash out if their tempers get the best of them.

There are no pubs that serve alcohol in Tuirn. Such things are illegal according to local bylaws. Merchants caught with alcohol will be arrested and their alcohol will be quickly mixed with oil and used as fuel for torches. People can also be arrested with drunkenness and thrown in jail until the effects wear off. This law is considered effective within 2 miles of the city and there are several inns just outside the city reaches which sell liquor.

Selling meat (or attempting to sell or buy meat) is also illegal in Tuirn. Punishment is a herbalist pill that causes nausea whenever they try to eat meat. The effects last for roughly a week. Any meat that is meant for such an illegal transaction within the city is burnt. Travelers and merchants who are carrying meat for sale/use in other cities are to report that they are carrying meat and will receive a tag that they must carry. A person who is caught with meat and does not have a tag may be fined and their meat burnt. This law is considered effective within 2 miles of the city.

Tuirn has a black market for both meat and alcohol. The most popular place is a human-operated inn just 2 miles east of the city that serves both meat and alcohol. There is currently a push to extend the law to 3 miles, but the humans who manage the inn claim this is unfairly targeting their business. There are some conservative minotaurs who believe the humans are criminals and are helping the black market inside the city.

The minotaurs take their laws very seriously and corruption amongst the enforcement (bribes) is non-existent.

Weyvin - City of Half-Elves & Commerce
Population: 14,000 (Human + Half-Elves)
Terrain: Hills and forests
Economy: Strong, port city
Military: Strong (militia 700)
Leadership: City Council of 7 Lords.

Weyvin has two fortified keeps and a surrounding wall that protects the city. Its harbour is farther inland and has several islands and cliffs around a large bay. The bay is fairly deep and thus is excellent for shipping. A large number of wrecks are at the bottom of the bay were destroyed in storms or battle. The walls of the city are currently being extended and rebuilt to add extra fortifications. The two keeps are on the cliffs above the harbour entrance. A third keep is now being built on the western edge of the city.

A council of seven local lords controls Weyvin, which includes Maximilian the Conjurer (the lord of the Weyvin Point lighthouse). The council makes decisions and has a bureaucracy to carry out its orders. The bureaucrats in Weyvin are pushing for a form of elected government (with themselves being those running in elections), believing that they could be more effective as leaders. Doubts about elected democracies are deep however as Weyvin’s people have historically tried democracy once before (it failed due to corruption) when they elected a mayor. For the time being most of the people in Weyvin are happy with their leadership.

One of the Lords of Weyvin (Lord Rylbane) is building a museum to contain many of the treasures he has found. He has contracted adventuring groups to seek out ancient books and objects (especially artwork) on various aspects of Korovian history. He also has an interest in other cultures and has sent expeditions to Al-Kazar and the Azagolian Empire to bring back items of interest. While the items may be magical, it should be noted he is more interested in books, artwork and old weapons (even rusty ones). Since Lord Rylbane is very knowledgeable on such things and knows the authentic pieces when he sees them.

Weyvin has a growing industry in fine quality glass. The sand near the city is excellent for making glass products. There is very little clay in the ground near Weyvin, so normal pottery is rarity. Instead most of the tankards, plates, glasses, etc in Weyvin are made from glass. Glass sculptures and water fountains are also common in the city. Magnifying glasses and telescopes are sold in Weyvin at discount prices, popular items for wizards, sailors and sometimes adventurers.

A group of gnomes and half-elves have created an Astronomy Guild and built Korovia’s first astronomical tower, complete with a large telescope for viewing the stars and the two moons. Several of the gnomes claim to have “discovered other planets”, but this is dismissed as typical gnome nonsense according to non-scholars. The guild’s members often sell high-quality telescopes.

Hand-crossbows are illegal in Weyvin. People caught with one will have it confiscated and must work in a publicly owned silver mine for 5 days as penalty for ignoring the law. Being caught with multiple hand-crossbows means a much longer sentence. Selling or attempting to buy hand-crossbows is especially frowned upon, and the sentence is 50 days. Hand-crossbows are a popular weapon with pirates and assassins, and thus this law is in place to hamper piracy.

Weyvin has strict rules about pets within the city. Wolves and anything larger than a wolf (horses and griffins excluded) are not allowed. This includes medium size hunting or guard dogs. There are kennels near the gates of the city where people must store the animals. Ships entering the city with such animals aboard must make sure the animals stay on the ship. If the animals escape from the ship, there is a large fine and depending on the situation (if the animal does any damage within the city) the judge may even decide to confiscate the ship. These laws are in place due to past problems with worshippers of Lazriak the Wicked.

Sharks sometimes swim into Weyvin’s harbour, but they are hunted with special boats equipped with harpoons. If a whole school of sharks swims into the harbour the city will hire adventurers to help deal with the problem. Whales can sometimes enter the harbour as well, in which case the city prefers to hire a druid to convince the whale to leave.

Yek (Yeksereannia) - City of Griffons
Population: 11,000 (mostly Elves)
Terrain: Hills and farmland.
Economy: Good, seaport.
Military: Very strong, standing army of griffons.
Leadership: Prince

Like Sylvania, Yek is a popular elvish seaport. Unlike Sylvania however it is a city of stone towers and home to many grey elves. It is the birthplace of the ancient elvish King Zaelean. The city was destroyed during the Last Demon War and was infested with trolls for many centuries after the war. A group of grey elves later recaptured the city and killed off all the trolls. The grandfather of King Zaelean was the elvish warrior who led the battle against the trolls. It was Zaelean’s grandfather who designed most of the architecture and spiraled towers that now grace Yek’s skyline.

Yek is the short-form of the elvish name of the city. Yek has very few streets. Instead the north side of the city is flooded and has canals. People in Yek use small boats to travel about the city. There are a few roads but they are rarely used. There are very few horses in Yek for a good reason: Griffons eat horses.

Yek is famous for its griffins. Many high born elves in Yek have griffons and thus the city has a small army of griffons and is the unofficial Korovian Air Cavalry for the south. The official Air Cavalry is part of the northern army (near Oraknev).

Yek still has problems with trolls (even after many centuries of killing them). Sea trolls raid the city sometimes. Magical alarms are placed throughout the city to warn of sea trolls who have broken through canals and entered the city.

More recently a large tribe of sahuagin (piranha-men) have invaded the rivers and canals of Yek, causing nightly havok and a curfew, and cutting off trade to the smaller town on the south side of the river.

Yek is ruled by the grey elf Prince Tyllimov, a descendant of King Zaelean’s brother and thus not considered a King. He was one of the people who tried to woo Queen Kasiya when she became the Queen of Korovia. Prince Tyllimov is a skilled warrior and amateur wizard and is a distant cousin of the Prince of Sylvania.

Zerburg - City of Floating Factories
Population: 14,000 (mostly Gnomes)
Terrain: Mountains, hills and forests.
Economy: Good, trade port.
Military: Good (militia 600)
Leadership: Lady.

The current Lady of Zerburg is human, not gnomish. The city is dominated by gnomes but also has a fair number of humans. Lady Ryriana the Righteous is a diviner and retired adventurer who is well known for her knowledge of alchemy and thus respected by many gnomes.

Zerburg is a very unusual city to visit. It has three levels of buidings. The first level is a network of tunnels underground, the second is an odd-mixture of buildings on the surface, and the third is wooden-buildings floating in the air above the city, suspended using balloons filled with hydrogen. Unfortunately, sometimes these flying buildings crash and explode, as hydrogen is explosive. The floating structures are anchored to buildings below them and usually have rope ladders (sometimes bucket elevators) for transporting people or items.

The gnomes in Zerburg have a strong interest in building things, although often they don’t work as intended. There is always another gnome who has invented a “new-and-improved flame-thrower”, a new drill or tool for going through rock or some other strange gadget, weapon or tool. Such items aren't cheap (or that well made) but they are still sold alongside more conventional weaponry (and sold with fire-resistant pants). The bazaar in Zerburg is indeed bizarre as there are always new weird items for sale.

Such is life in Zerburg. This is a city of alchemy factories (sometimes floating factories) that mass-produce acid (useful for dissolving stone) and other alchemical goodies. Any factories which handle explosives are fortunately required by law to be built underground in case of a disaster.

The School of Illusions is one of the city's many floating buildings, except in its case it is made partially of shadow magic (making it lighter in weight and the illusion hides the ugly hydrogen balloon from sight). Most of the building is made from wood, but some illusionary parts of it appear to be made of stone and other materials, thanks to permanent shadow magic. The school is known for its many secret doorways. Elves and half-elves are not allowed in certain parts of the building because of their sharp hearing which can detect secret doors. Many gnomish illusionists study at this school and are familiar with its professors, layout, etc.

Zerburg’s best exports are actually fish and wood. Years ago a pair of now famous gnomes invented new ways of chopping down trees (it was originally supposed to be an automated statue carving machine) and ways of catching fish (it was supposed to be an ogre-catching machine). Other gnomes took those designs and have since improved and modified them. Needless to say, a gnomish fishing boat is actually quite scary looking.

In the center of Zerburg is Zerburg keep, which is a very large dome-shaped castle with numerous entrances. This is perhaps the most dangerous place for a thief or intruder to step foot in. Its traps are legendary, deadly and nigh impenetrable. Some of its traps are reputedly quite embarrassing, which means they are not all deadly and people have been forced to turn back (and thus lived to tell the tale of how some gnomish trap grabbed them from behind, slicked them in tar and dropped them down a chute filled with feathers).

Map of Korovia

Map of Korovia

Under the Red Moon Xarsius

Under the Red Moon Xarsius