The Ruins of Myvolia
Leaders: The Clockwork Council, The Lucidian Church
Authorities: Lantern Knights of St Clevoy, City Watch
Major NPCs: Archdeacon Sundry, Captain Lynford, Gregory Harleman, Belinda Selford, Dean Crohn, Preena Juste, Emanuel Brinks, Captain Dreukar Skyvein, Allissandrietta Sunweaver
Important Locations: St Lambent Cathedral, Torch Keep, Lumen Gate, The Library of Alevandria, The University of Centaria (not Centara)
Demographics: pop. 107 000; 59% Centaran, 15% Thraycian, 12% Vintaran, 8% Ulnoran, 2% Thentic, 2% Velestran, 1% Halfling, 1% Dwarven
Wealth: 1 000 000gp limit
The storied past of Haven is long and interesting. Even thought the nation of Centara is quite young the glory of the city of Haven has been implicit in history books for generations.
For many years the peoples of the Northern Kingdoms were indebted to Alorea for the trade of slaves, spices, salt, and tea. The industrious tribes of men settled along the vast grasslands and fertile forests of the north while leaving the mountainous jungles to the hearty Centarians. But, as the Thraycians, Ulnorans, Thents, Velestrans, and even a few Dwarves began to realize that the jungles of the southern peninsula were ripe to be explored, they moved to plumb its depths.
A small settlement was formed on the northern coast of what is now Centara by Sir Countan Gregor Haven, a devout Pelorian from Thrayce, Thrayce (1073 ME). This new settlement was solely purposed with exploring the region, harvesting her resources, and trading with the major ports in the Bay of Mann. Sir Haven quickly developed strong merchant ties with Que’Sambo, Simbia, Pelgrove, Angrove, Praxandria, Velestra, Thrayce, Desendria, and Mann—and from there those nations traded with the northernmost kingdoms.
As the city grew, and many different peoples began to inhabit the growing free-city, the normally docile Que’lan Dynasy, headed by The Great Queen Nu’bankai, of Que’Sambo took umbrage at the violent approach the Thraycians took to cultivating her ancestral land. The Queen called upon all of her tribes from the Kinwah Valley to the Deep Que’Sambo Bassin to muster a great army of warriors to reclaim the way of the jungle. The devastation was horrific. The settlers had no chance—only a few merchants survived the slaughter by escaping by sea. The population was decimated; but, all of the buildings went unscathed due to the primitive nature of the Cenarians warfare (1104 ME).
The Que’lan Dynasty had little use for, nor did they comprehend the ownership, of land. They had their spiritual sites, their hunting grounds, and their homes: they had no need for a city built on their northern shore. The tribes all retreated back to their respective homelands and the jungle returned to its primordial self. In 1154 ME, a strange thing happened. Explorers became interested in the fabled wealth of the ‘Ghost City of Haven’. Droves of young thieves, young scholars, and young adventurers began poking through the empty city. The spotted delving of the curious became so prolific that it more closely resembled trade routes. The long-minded merchants started redeveloping more practical excursions into the lush belly of the jungle and a standing tenant toward knowledge was established by a splinter sect of the University of Mann: founding the University of Centaria in 1165 ME.
With the influx of trade in Thrayce, Emperor Liltanan II, took it upon himself to forestall another Centarian excursion into the pocketbooks of his kingdom. He made a state visit to The Great Queen Nu’talia of the Que’lan dynasty in the kingdom of Que’Sambo. Emperor Liltanan II then made a magnanimous offer to ‘purchase’ the northern coast from the queen. Negotiations didn’t go well. It took over five years of diplomats and dispatches to reconcile the understanding of land ownership and rules governing the resources of the land. What developed was the famous Code of Liltanan that regulated the gathering of resource, export of goods, and subjugation of slaves within the confines of the Que’Sambo kingdom (1178 ME). The code also entitled Thrayce the ownership and governance of Haven and twenty miles of coast for the term of 400 years.
Immediately, Emperor Lilanan II, used his newly minted income to strengthen his borders and begin building Haven into the new jewel of Thrayce across the Bay of Mann. He sent emissaries to the builders of Carnhold so that Haven’s Library would be the envy of the world. At the same time, some say to his detriment, Lilanan II ordered the construction of The Temple of the Northern Sun: an illustrious domed church meant to rival the flaming Temple of the Sun in Ran Adin (1180). Unfortunately for the Emporer, the nobles of Thrayce were in the throes of a jingoistic fad and supplanted the Emperor for his egregious misspending of the treasury of Thrayce (1187).
Haven was not forgotten though. Money still poured into the coffers of the Thraycian Heirarchy. So, instead of aggrandizing the city of Haven, the short reined Emperor Hilandian I developed trade with all the coastal regions of the northern kingdoms. He made strong connections with the Snakepeople of the Que’Sambo Bassin and then filled his galleys with the strong currency of sturdy Centarian slaves. This move easily tripled the wealth of Thrayce by trading with the sundered dwarves of the Isle of Luxor, who were quickly devouring the slave market, and the traditional governments of Ilk, Targon, and Sumner. Though Hilandian did little for the infrastructure of Haven, he changed the face of the city. The city started forming parishes devoted to the many differing cultures living in the trade city. The various cultures took it to themselves to build their own homes and vistas within the many parishes of Haven…a tradition still cultivated to this day.
With the rise of the Lucidians in the South, even less trade parted the waters of the Alorean Sea. Haven’s golden era had just begun. The Clockwork Council was formed, with the permission of Thrayce, by a diverse group of merchants and wealthy ‘landowners’: eliminating the need of the governor (4 LE). The Clockwork Council, empowered with the right of taxation and governance, took to building the city toward greatness. A large influx of people from the south settled in to the peaceful community of Haven and money flowed through the city like water. The Library of Alevandria was completed (6 LE), the ignored University of Centaria was finished, and the dome of the great Temple of the Northern Sun is made whole—without the silver finish originally planned for (LE 12).
After over many decades of prosperity and the accumulation of great wealth both for the locals and the New Empire of Thrayce sans Myvolia, Haven began to feel the barbs that follow the dependence on slavery. Just at the turn of the first century of the Lucidian Age the views of slavery had drastically changed in the Northern Kingdoms. The Lucidian church had made great strides forward in proselytizing their belief amongst a populous that was already impressed by the great deeds of Lucius: speaker of angels, follower of Pelor, slayer of kings, ex-slave. Just about every major town and city of the Northern Kingdoms had a Lucidian church, including Haven.
The tide started to shift in Haven. Rather than an exotic locale of great trade and business it became a hive of robber barons, thieves, and mercenaries. The Clockwork Council, originally formed through the development of merchants, guilds, and small civic elections became hard fought patronages bought and sold…and stolen by the quickest, strongest, or most cunning. Haven developed a reputation of a town that you can acquire anything…for a price.
In the summer of 280 LE a young slave by the name of Tolam Lumen was sold to a Spice trader from Vesper on the far Eastern coast of Sandoria. Tolam was the bastard son of a Simbian slave and a Myvar trader, a slave from birth, he was taught the workings of the sea and trade by birthright. Now on a new foreign shore, owned by a new breed of man, all of his skills and normal accommodations were discarded as he was forced to man the oars, squat on the deck, and fight for scraps. His new master liked his slaves to fight for survival upon his ships so they remain tough and strong. The lash became a regular part of his life and he wore his scars like badges of honor.
Tolam, after many years of service at sea, was eventually given the opportunity to work on the rough docks at Haven…a mixed blessing for sure. While still a slave, he had begun taking imposts and levying fines on unruly captains, giving him a wide range of ‘freedom’ throughout the city. He was to divide the money into shares and deliver it to his master, many different members of the Council and the High Priest of the Temple of the Northern Sun. It was during one of these deliveries that he came upon a small gathering of worshipers outside of the large stone walls of the temple. The gathered people were of mixed race and singing a song that took him back to the hymns of his youth. Intrigued, he entered and listened to the sermon.
Tolam became transfixed. Soon he began trading lashes for the opportunity to hear sermons. Developing into a devout, and knowledgeable, Lucidian on the 50th day of his life he organized a great slave revolt starting on the Bilge Docks of Haven (320 LE). Ships and whole cargoes were burnt and set adrift into the Bay of Mann. The wildfire swept through the city, not of flames and heat, but of revolt and passion. In a matter of ten days the slaves of Haven took power of the city.
Not wanting to run a city or even the wealth of a greedy man he convinced his co-revolutionaries to elect the Lucidian Pastor into the role of interim leader of Haven. The Pastor wasn’t an official pastor of the Lucidian Church and had no real ties to the Patrician; but, he took his role seriously. The slaves and an unexpectedly large contingent of Lucidians flushed as much crime out of Haven as possible. Mansions were evacuated, shipyards emptied, slave pens destroyed and the Temple of the Northern Sun was now dedicated to Benevolent Pelor and his much loved saint Lucius.
The church didn’t keep the reins of the city though. In short order the Clockwork Council was reformed by the new merchants and landlords of the city. Thrayce sent an ambassador back to the city and renegotiated their hold on the land—which now came in the form of first refusal in terms of new trade agreements: and nothing more. This enabled the strong Thraycian merchant class to reestablish its foothold and once again prosper in a strategic sea port.
During the turn of the 5th century many important events changed Haven: All ties to Thrayce were eliminated (the lease ended in 368 LE…but wasn’t realized for several years after), strong ties to the Lucidian Church in Vintara are formed placing an Arch-Deacon in charge of the ecumenical issues, the temple is renamed for the newly canonized St Lumen (his remains are interred under the alter of the newly minted cathedral), and the Clockwork Council makes a lucrative trade agreement with the jungle nation of Simbia (thereby avoiding all other need to deal with the unmotivated nation of Que’Sambo…of which Haven technically belongs to).
Shortly after the turn of the century a danger starts to loom on the borders of Que’Sambo. In 425 LE Simbia falls to the might of the Sandorian Empire. The Arch Deacon of Haven is instrumental in negotiating a colonization of Que’Sambo for the benefit of the ‘ignorant’ and ‘superstitious’ inhabitants of Que’Sambo so that the Father Church may strengthen its flock. The Patrician eventually sees the benefit of the land both politically, financially, and spiritually. On the first day of spring in 427 LE the Vintaran fleet set sail to the Shore of Que’Sambo, landing where current day Respite is located issuing forth their holy missionaries and warriors to convert the populous.
The Clockwork Council of Haven recognized the authority of the church in the same year and permanently appointed the position of Chair of the Clockwork Council to every reigning Arch-Deacon of Haven.
Today (517 LE) Haven is the largest city in the Territory of Centara. The Clockwork Council, though still operating autonomously, officially is subservient to the Church. The city is well governed and well policed by a strong city guard. The Lantern Knights of St Clevoy, as the predominant warriors of the colonization of Centara, have a large keep in Haven and still hold positions of arbitrators and peacekeepers. There is currently a lot of tension in Haven as the implied threat of the Sandorian Empire, the increase of refugees in the south west, and the new movements of the lizardfolk have blossomed rumors of every nightmare come to life.
+2 Diplomacy when bartering or seeking any bureaucratic favor.
+2 Sense Motive when opposing a Bluff.
+1 Bonus to all Will saves.