Artturoc, the capital of Cyrunia

 

Populated by approx. 85 000 inhabitants, Artturoc stands proud and tall with its impressive town walls and supposedly impregnable defence systems. Having a friendly coastline and a safe port for even the biggest of merchant vessels, Artturoc rose to be the dominant coastal town amongst its rivals around the treacherous Sea of August during the last centuries. Serving as a crossroads to the merchants` trails and thus having a flourishing economy, the city is able to offer the widest services in the area, starting from the childrens White Chapels of Education, all the way to the belligerent mens and womens The Royal Academy of War, ending with the shady services provided on the darkened streets of the numerous districts…

 

The highest towers of the region with the kingdoms banners fluttering in the summery winds far up to the open sea…that earned a reputation what the mariners use to call as ”a Feast for the Weary Eyes”. For the possible invaders however the discouraging sight of the effective warning system by the Isles of the Coast Guard with the supplementation from the crushing ballistic threat from the walls itself, the city became to be known as ”The Door Bangers End”…

 

After several succesful defensive campaigns throughout the decades, the city became the most favored safe haven for exiled rulers and powerful merchants alike. For those dealing with magic and powers beyond mere currency, sword and coin, the highest ranked academy below the Sea of Mist reaches the clouds, enigmatically named as ”The Tower of Sighing Wisdom”. The height of the tower and the structure of the houses across the elaborated yard leads one to think of the methods needed, and the methods used to achieve such a peculiar sight.

All these things make Artturoc a truly prominent figure in the central lands surrounding Cyrunia.

 

But as always, there cannot be a reigner without a challenger. Despite the reputation of generousity for the poor, and peaceful acts towards the neighbouring kingdoms of Cyrunia, many facets still gaze at this glorious capital with envy and grudge in their eyes, waiting for the right time to gain even the lowest despicable tools for a victorious invasion. Above all the treasures of the court and the priceless dusty tomes of the magical tower, many a ruler desire nothing more than access to the sections below the Courts premises, all the way through a short corridor where the proceeding is rumoured to end at the most bleak door structure known to man; ”The Doors Without Handles”. As the opening method unknown, at least for the common people, a wide array of speculations have kept travelling amongst the people through the generations.

 

However, the most persistent version still remains on the streets, telling the eager listener vaguely that ”some kind of a specific horn is needed to release some specific allied Thing in a specific way, only in specific times”… The official announcement from the Court says, at least as vaguely, ”No efficient execution concerning the opening matter has been made, or tried”. From time to time, the question arises in shape of delegates of the civil associations with their demands on revealing the secret to the common people as a compensation for the sometimes unfair taxing, only having the Council answer with the official version, and once the delegate is leaving, having the members look and nod at each other, without words…

The tolerable times for the inhabitants of Artturoc ensures, that the vault is not yet needed to be opened eventhough the war in the north seems to bring the threat ever closer to the capital. For not even the Council is sure of what would eventually rise behind the very vault, as the only evidence of the power there is from some ripped book with bloody pages, a book found from the same corridor during the excavations some centuries ago, written in some dwarven markings, mentioning a horn and its location but not giving any insight of the vault itself, except for the mysterious text in human language; ”For the forces of Artturoc. May you blow the shadows away”.

 

The common knowledge of history knew something of some epic battle between the allied dwarven forces and some indescribable shadowy enemy ”also living deep in the earth and sometimes on the ground as well”, as the books of history tell. As the torn book reveals, the location of the battle is far south below the Sea of August. By combining the markings, the Council believes that some kind of horn might be hidden in one of the numerous dolmens on the battlefield. Unfortunately that specific location happens to be on hostile grounds, as the vast, rugged plains have remained uncharted to date because of the harsh conditions that make decent travelling, let alone habitation there impossible… for humans. Considering the threat waiting there, no expeditions have been seen necessary as the norther campaign needs all the capable forces at hand.

 

Now, as Cyrand, the main stronghold in the north has fallen under the unknown enemy from somewhere beyond The Sea of Mist, Artturoc is the last formidable fortress left. This time, the threat didn´t come from the sea, but from areas beyond the secured maps, in a daunting shape of dark magic and violence. For almost 3 years the war has been fought. For that same time the legend has told of a once great Crystal Throne being cursed with some darkest of spells, from a throne of Wisdom to a throne of Dark. Something stronger than what even the wisest of the Tower seem to be able to reverse, now roams free…

Given the current locations of the enemy forces, the only possible routes for the thrones stoppage and thus salvation get diminished week by week, leaving as the only option to somehow breaching through the obstacle north-east, the nearest mountains.

 

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