The Free Cities of Gladshelm
A city of 50,000, Daggermark is the central hub of the Free Cities. Sitting on the Goldrun river, it is a central trade hub for the entire region. Daggermark has extensive farm lands and several client villages that support its standing garrison. Ruled by Lord Marcus Livon, the city has known relative political stability for the last five years. Most rulers of the city are slain within a year by assassins.
The city is known as the city of Assassins because of the powerful Assassin’s Guild that operates openly in the city. There is a second guild called the “Night Guild” that also serves as an Assassin’s Guild but is entirely out of favor with the city guard and constantly under attack by the Assassin’s Guild. There is also a Thieves Guild, an Alchemists Guild and a Wizard’s Guild besides all of the usual trade guilds. Because Kings rule for such a short period inside Daggermark the real power of the city sits with the Guild Council that rules over the most of the city and pays the city guard their wages when the King cannot foot the bill. This creates a great deal of loyalty in the guard for the guild leaders and undermines the power of the king.
A school of magic called the Gold Tower serves as a beacon for radicals outcasts and extreme talents from all over Gladshelm. The Gold Tower encourages students to push the limits of magic and to seek knowledge of magic wherever it may be found. Many of these wizards are hired secretly to do work in Gael or to as mercenaries in the various wars that plague the Free Cities every summer.
There are several other hidden schools of magic that are not sanctioned or licensed by the Guild Council but are tolerated for the discoveries that they may yet make. Unlike other Guilds the Gold Tower does not go after these “rival” guilds since they often die out after a few months and are easily destroyed if they become a nuisance.
Many outcast lords from Carthia as well as other folks haunt the city streets of Daggermark. These lords often plot to free Carthia from the God-King and hire adventurers and mercenaries to seek out powerful magical items or to guard them on dangerous journeys into the Oroth plains to gain the favor of the horse lords.
The Merchant’s Guild is the most hated guild in the city for their vast sums of wealth. They do not have the protection of the City Guard and are often voted down in the Guild Council but their huge wealth makes them powerful in the city. They control the caravans and barges that bring in the raw materials and send out the goods produced in Daggermark to the rest of the world. Daggermark produces high quality weapons as well as alchemical and magically enhanced items that are highly valued through out Gladshelm. Daggermark craftsmanship is famous the world over and items crafted in Daggermark are thought to be imbued with magic and are more valuable.
Because the city guard is so corrupt the peace in the streets is often kept by local gangs who are paid by shop keepers and other citizens to protect their turf. These gangs are lead by “City Princes” who are little more than thugs who rule over small tribes of thugs who terrorize the city and fight with one another over the right to terrorize different parts of the city.
An Adventurers Guild offers some measure of protection to private groups of mercenaries as well as treasure hunters and body guards. The guilds rules are simple. Pay 10% of what you earn to the guild. If you don’t they will break your left arm. If you violate the rules again they break your other arm.