Cities of Korovia, A to K
Cities of Korovia
Azek - City of Melting Spires
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
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
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
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.