Without further ado, let’s finish off the histories of the human cities. In the last post I wrote about the four Eastern-most settlements, so today I’ll cover the Western ones.
If you’re doing this exercise yourself, rolling up random events for your cities, try to keep an eye out for connections you can make. If a tyrant comes into power in city A, while in the same time frame people flock to city B, you can create links of cause and effect. By trying to spot opportunities for these connections and adding them into the histories, you’ll have a much more believable world, where cities interact with one another.
During its early years of growth the people of Broadstrom needed better access to food. So they founded Serpent’s point, a fishing village just to the South, that was watched over by a respected merchant named Leonard van Garde. Meanwhile Nicola Hauffe, the Baroness of Broadstrom, ordered and oversaw the construction of a mighty city wall to protect her people from the clans of giants who lived to the North. With their lands secure, the people of Broadstrom began to trade across the Serpent sea sending foodstuffs to cities as far away as Shale.
But as the city swelled crime increased and thieves ran rampant while most soldiers were sent northward to defend against the giant threat. When Baroness Hauffe was assassinated, her son, Marco, came into power, swearing to crack down on the city’s criminals. Strict laws and curfews were put in place and while they set the young Baron’s mind at ease they did more harm to the law-abiding citizens than to the criminals.
The city continued to descend slowly into chaos, as the local guard found itself stretched thin. They didn’t have the man-power to repel the giants while keeping the peace at home. Broadstrom looked like it might rot from the inside out.
Decades later a man named Josef Rieger appeared as if from nowhere. An artificer of great skill, who crafted magnificent jewelery, his creations brought a spark of healthy trade back into the city. The nearby metropolis of Vangarde had recently declared its independence from the Eastern cities and offered a close alliance and trading agreement with Broadstrom. Baron Hauffe, now in his middle-years, accepted the deal and the population bloomed once more.
The city of Broadstrom is now larger than the old Capital of Cairnholm. But its people are still bound by the Baron’s oppressive rule and prone to lives of crime and wickedness.
While not among the first generation of cities founded by the freed humans, the settlement of Serpent’s Point was established soon after. The people of this small fishing village, led by Leonard van Garde, managed to quickly establish trade to the other cities of the Serpent Sea. These trade routes were already in place when a rich silver mine was established nearby. The money made from this sudden burst in trade allowed van Garde and his ruling council to build a sturdy trade road that ran Northward along the coast to Broadstrom. As an homage to Serpent’s Point’s humble beginnings, this path became known as Fisherman’s road.
The road would bring more than just traders however. When the new Baron Hauffe came into power many people decided to leave Broadstrom for good and a majority of them migrated South, along that road, to Serpent’s Point. As the village expanded it was in need of a grander name and when their great leader Leonard van Garde passed peacefully in his sleep the rest of the council saw fit to honour him. The city would for evermore be known as Vangarde.
The city continued to flourish. Indeed it seemed blessed with good fortune as year after year it peacefully grew. Eventually the city surpassed all others in size and wealth and the ruling council petitioned to have Vangarde become the new human capital. But the archbishop of Cairnholm refused to support their claim, citing their lack of aid during the flooding of the Old City as proof of selfishness. The priesthood saw the whole thing as a bid for power, rather than an effort for the greater good. Needless to say, the Vangardian council was incensed and by year’s end they had declared their independence. The cities split into two alliances, with the Serpent Sea between them.
The council’s views were shared by many people who once more flocked to Vangarde, swelling its borders. With space filling up in the city a group of ambitious miners and smiths set out to establish Tolford, a mining town on the mineral rich slopes to the West. It didn’t take them long to strike a deep vein of mithral ore and since then everyone in Tolford has lived very comfortably, even down to the lowliest miner.
Founded around a bay on the Eastern shores of the Serpent Sea, Kingsport has always been the gateway between other cities. The fertile land provided plenty of food, enough for a growing population as well as any travellers that passed through. In it’s first few decades, Kingsport became well known for its culinary delights. The impressive floating bazaar was built to house all manner of vendors and restaurants, and had fast and easy access to the docks, where fresh produce would be shipped in from all over.
After a few decades of peace and prosperity a sudden explosion destroyed the houses of some of the city’s wealthiest merchant princes. The resulting fire ran rampant through the city and by the time it was put out not much was left untouched. All except the floating bazaar, whose location had saved it from the flames.
Kingsport was also a breeding ground for heroes. As tales from other cities passed through its streets young adventurous men and women would seek to create their own legends. Once, a local chef and hunter caught an elusive sea dragon in an attempt to create a new delicacy. Her name was Akhita and her sea dragon ribs became the stuff of legend. Even today the dish will fetch the highest of prices, mainly due to the difficulty in acquiring the meat. Another Kingsport local, named Daedalus, became the stuff of legend when he discovered how to build and control golems. These magical constructs would even go on to replace most of the city watch.
In more recent years a hero by the name of Ashur found fame not though strength or study, but through diplomacy. Acting as an intermediary between Cairnholm and Vangarde he established an official border between the two human nations, ending the frequent skirmishes that were plaguing the North.
So, there you have it. The histories of the last major human settlements. You can find the first four histories here. They’re all still relatively new to this ruling and running a nation/city thing, but what do you expect, they were all slaves up until about 50 years ago. If you like how this turned out, remember that the bones of these histories was randomly generated using the City Events table I cooked up.
In the next worldbuilding post I think I’m going to give a quick overview of the Dwarves who are shaping up to be the Viking equivalent race in this setting.