City-State of Teufeldorf
|Ruler||Vincent Fleetwood, The Invincible, King of the Western Reaches|
The City-State of Teufeldorf is the capital of the Western Reaches. Teufeldorf is the largest city in the Reaches, and the fifth-largest city in the Realm. Originally encompassing the island on which the current-day castle resides, the modern city has expanded several times east and south onto the surrounding bluffs. The current city is surrounded by two sets of garrison walls and boasts a large harbor and extensive trade markets. According to the Crown tax ledgers, the total population of the City-State is 27,300 with an urban population of 15,600 and 11,700 residing in the surrounding rural regions. Teufeldorf is primarily a human settlement, although all the races can be found in its twisting streets and worldly bazaars.
The current ruler is Vincent Fleetwood, Ranger King of the Western Reaches who was crowned in 885 TA after his victory in the Hastur Rebellions. During his reign, Teufeldorf has been sacked three times. The first was a year-long occupation by the orcs from July 889 TA until July 890 TA at the end of the First War of the Reaches. This occupation did considerable damage to the city infrastructure and economy with wide-spread looting and burning of military buildings. The second invasion was a surprise attack by the orcs during the outbreak of the Second War of the Reaches which last only a few months during the summer of 899 TA. The damage to the city was mostly the looting of buildings for stone to fortify the wall by the invading army. The last invasion was an occupation by the Old Kingdom from July to October 906 TA. The extent of physical damage from this event was limited to the castle proper. With the end of the Second War of the Reaches in January 908 TA, the city has enjoyed renewed prosperity. King Fleetwood has ordered significant repairs and restoration since then, and new plans to keep citizens safe during wartime has been enacted.
City of Teufeldorf
The City of Teufeldorf is built upon the high bluffs overlooking the Great Sea. Geographically, the highest point in the city is the Dragonback, a narrow ridge of stone that sits in the center of the current city, just outside the original city walls. From the Dragonback, the ground slopes gently towards the sea on the north and west and falls off towards the great expanse of forest of the east and south. The area to the south of the city is known for its verdant farmland and has been settled as such from the First Age. To the north and east lies the boundaries of the Orc Nation guarded by the swift-flowing River White.
In addition to Teufeldorf Castle, there were four quarters inside the original city walls - the University Quarter (now called Old Town), the Royal Quarter, the Merchant Quarter, and the Temple Quarter (now part of the Temple District). By the mid 8th century TA, the city sprawled outside of the protective walls. Petitions by merchants for a new market center, clerics for a protected area for the burgeoning number of churches, and the military for new training facilities outside the castle prompted the construction of new outer walls.
The center of the city is now dominated by the new Market Quarter bounded by The Dragonback and the Counting House on the north and the Hall of Merchants to the south. The entire district is surrounded by an enclosed wall built during the expansion. Four gates allow entrance to the Market Quarter with all roads leading to a large central open air bazaar that is the focal point for merchant sales to the population. Directly south of the markets is the Artisan's Quarter filled with every imaginable craft and trade being practiced - from delicate jewelry to iron war machines. If it can be made in the Reaches, someone in the allies and workshops of this district will do it. Home to dark elves and lost dwarves, the Artisan's Quarter is the most diverse population center in the city.
In the northwest, the Royal Quarter is well-patrolled and home to many of the nobles of the Western Reaches. Large estates line the sea coast with a constant breeze keeping the air fresh from the smells of the city. South of the Royal Quarter is the old Merchant's Quarter which is now filled with the stately homes of the expanding mercantile class. Located conveniently adjacent to this are the both the bazaar and the docks. To the southwest, Harbortown lies in the lee beneath the high bluffs of the city. The Harbor Master controls the shipping in and out of the city. The northern docks tend towards private and wealthier merchant ships including the large Tang traders carrying goods from the far-flung ports of the Realm. The southern docks, the destination of common trading vessels, are also home to some of the rougher bars and taverns in the city.
Old Town now encompasses the old University Quarter and part of the old Temple Quarter. While not as extravagant as the Royal and Merchant Quarters, Old Town is a respectable place to live. The Greater Farthing Road leading northwest from the bazaar to Teufeldorf Castle is still vibrant. The old banking centers in the shadow of the castle still hold sway over the commerce of the city, and the university and Library of Sarth are both well respected for scholarship and wizardry.
Along the northern edge of the city, east of Old Town, is the Temple District with the older churches just inside the original city walls and newer structures just outside. The homes around this district are filled with high priests and devout followers. The old city graveyard, known as the Necropolis, is situated just north of the district, lying outside the city proper in a vast tangle of trees that rise up to the edge of the River White. Finally, the Military District lies at the far northeastern edge of Teufeldorf protecting the Orc Gate.
The bulk of the city lies to the east and south of the market. This sprawling mass of alleys, homes and shops is known collectively as New Town. As one travels further to the southeast towards the outer wall, the homes get smaller, the allies are darker, and the neighborhoods rougher. The southeastern portion of this area is called the Poor Quarter although the Crown maintains some semblance of order here. For those who find life in the Poor Quarter too much, several small village outside the city walls still exist.
Map of Teufeldorf
History of Teufeldorf
In the tenth century of the First Age, the first sailing ships from Rembia discovered the shores of the Reaches. Historians generally agree that this contact was made at the northern tip of the Orc Nation as the ships followed the coastline from their native land. Making their way south, it is logical to assume that mapping and brief exploration was made of the area. There is no evidence that any settlements were made.
In 1212 FA, an expedition of exiles from Rembia arrived in the sailing ship Luckstar and established a stronghold on the present-day site of Teufeldorf after displacing an existing native village. This date is generally accepted as the founding date of the City-State.
After its founding, Teufeldorf grew considerably in size and wealth. It's streets, shops and castles closely resembled those of its Old Kingdom homeland. Easy supplies of stone and other raw materials coupled with very little resistance from the indigenous population made rapid growth possible. While the city and nearby farms prospered, there was very little expansion into the wilderlands beyond. Surviving First Age maps show that the extent of the City State's expansion during the First Age to be less than fifty miles from the island stronghold.
Recent Rulers of Teufeldorf
Vince the Invincible (885 TA - present): First Ranger King of Teufeldorf (since the Second Age)
- Successfully retook Teufeldorf from Grim during the Hastur Rebellions (883-885 TA)
- Instrumental in securing the northern and southern reaches from the Orc Nation and Sandal during the First War of the Reaches (886-890 TA)
- Repelled the Tang Empire invasions and eventually forced the Tang surrender (899-905 TA).
- Successfully defeated the Old Empire in their invasion in league with the Wolfshaunt ending the Second War of the Reaches (906-907 TA).
Grim (833-885 TA): Skeletal Son of Hastur
- Transformed Teufeldorf into a city shrouded in darkness
- Enslaved large portions of the population to feed his research and armies
Baradar (832-833 TA): Member of the Brotherhood of the Seven
- Founded the short-lived Shadowland Empire
- executed in 833 TA by Grim
King Gregory the Even-Handed (817-832 TA): Last of the Paladin Kings
- Founder of the Order of the Knights
- Successfully defended the Crown during the Second Demon Wars (823-828 TA)
- Exiled in 832 TA by Baradar and the Brotherhood of the Seven
Nearby Places of Interest
Directly east of Teufeldorf lies the ancient hardwoods of Bryn Mawr. A source of lumber to the early builders of the city, this forest would have been completely destroyed for its resources if not for the intervention of the elves in the First Age. The elves established the small community, Berwyn, within the forest and negotiated with the ruler of the Teufeldorf to provide for a balanced use of the forest. While early skirmishes were fought with rogue lumber barons and others seeking personal fortune Bryn Mawr, the elves were able to retain control of the forest. Later, control of Bryn Mawr and the village of Berwyn were turned over to the Druids. Today, the woods are a source of many goods sold in the city markets including mushrooms, honey, syrup, nuts and berries.
Flowing down from the Iron Hills across the fertile grasslands south of Teufeldorf and finally arriving at the Great Sea at the town of Vardan, the Lost River is an important source of water for the farmsteads that line the riverbanks. Named the Lost River after a long drought in the early seventh century of the Third Age caused the river to dry up for five years, this river has flowed swiftly and uninterrupted for the past two hundred years. In the early ninth century of the Third Age, a massive dragon, Blue Fang, was known to have his lair at the headwaters of the Lost River. After the dragon's death sometime during the early 820's TA, it was rumored that gold pieces and small cut gems could be found bouncing along the riverbed as the current pulled them towards the sea.
Plains of the Mantis
The rich farmlands rolling east from the City of Teufeldorf are known as the Plains of the Mantis, a colloquial name given to them during a bygone era when the area was infested with large predatory preying mantises. Now the area is well settled with prosperous farmers planting all manners of crop in the dark, black soil. A patchwork of small roads cover this land converging on the city markets in Teufeldorf.
Found in the Plains of the Mantis are a number of interesting historical sites including the Tower of Skaldor the Mutator.
Located in the small, dark, tangled forest known as Teufelwald, immediately south of the city of Teufeldorf, lies an ancient manor house. Now abandoned, and rumored to be cursed, this spot has significant historical value. Archaeological evidence shows that a structure has stood on this spot since the First Age. The last known inhabitants, the Belreg Family, occupied the manor until August 825 TA when an expedition led by Lord Treadway, Condor the Cleric, Father Guido Sarduici, Count Demoney III, and Ikcin Namffoh was lost adventuring near the site. Shortly thereafter, the structure fell into disuse. It is rumored to be haunted.
South of Teufeldorf, hugging the rocky coastline and bounded by the Greater Farthing Road on the east, lies a small wood of dark and tangled trees known as Teufelwald, the Dead Man's Forest. Long a place of shrouded mystery, this forest is shunned as haunted. A common stop for travelers moving along the Greater Farthing Road, the infamous Slaughtered Turkey Inn is supposedly haunted by one of the areas most famous spirits, James Lostsoul. A trail leading west at the Slaughtered Turkey Inn passes into the dark woods and to the ruins of Teufeldorf Manor.