Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Worldbuilding: Thornhold - Part 2

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Now the devil gets to creep into the details.
We've got our city, Thornhold. The Lonely City. But what about the rest of the world?  Who founded Thornhold?
The Saragan Empire founded Thornhold, 200 years ago, as a placeholder for them to lay formal claim to a region north of the Trollhammer Mountains. But that wasn't feasible because of the Flux, so Thornhold became a city of exile where the Empire sent its troublemakers. This lasted for 50 years before the Empire was caught up in the Butcher's Revolution.  The Revolution lasted a decade before it ended and the Republic of Saragan, sometimes called the Diamond Republic, came into existence. 
By this point, Thornhold was a name on old paperwork, a frontier city the Republic didn't care about. If it was even still around. 
Thornhold still existed and people still came to live there, but the newcomers were not political agitators but refugees fleeing persecution or the frequent wars erupting among the Eastern nations. Most of the people who fled west, seeking Thornhold did not find it. Most of them died. Some did make it though and found a new life in the Lonely City.
Over the next century, Thornhold would see the trickle of refugees slowly replaced by asylum seekers. In the East, the nation of Clarentine collapsed into anarchy and was only restored when an alliance of wizards, alchemists and engineers created an autonomous mechanical army to restore the peace.  This Iron Peace continues today, the Confederacy of Clarentine now a nation ruled with clockwork efficiency and cold logic. Anarchists, protesters and free-thinkers are executed with mechanical precision. Most flee if given the opportunity and some make it to distant Thornhold.
The other source of asylum seekers is the Fisherman's Church.  The Fisherman's Church had existed as a modest cult in the East for centuries, but had risen to power over the past 50 years. Today the nation of Bracha is practically run by the Fisherman's Church and their influence extends throughout the north. Their Fisher Knights enforce Church doctrine from chilly Hartun to the sun-kissed shores of the Panphillion Sea. Princes and paupers alike pray to the Deep God of the Fisherman's Church if they don't want to be drowned as a blasphemer and heretic.
A different sort of newcomer arrives from the southern nations. Runaway princes from noble Valorian houses, opportunistic smugglers from Irmalind, arcane researchers from Aldrich and Valdis, mountebanks and criminal scum from the latest version of the Diamond Republic. They all find their way to Thornhold, for one reason or another, and the city welcomes them with open arms and the promise of the headsman's axe if they get out of line.

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