Duke Orcbane orchestrates the rule of his duchy, Hallis Island, from the city of Gridolin. Not only is the city an administrative hub for the island, it is also the location of the primary labor prisons, guards, inland trade (such as there is), and the new ship-building facilities. The city is on the northern side of the Salem Rivers' mouth, located nearly a hundred feet above sea level, even so close to the sea. Gridolin is built mainly of log cabins, though the prisoners slowly but steadily replace each building with stone, under the careful eye of the duke's nephew Baron Angus Orcbane.
Much of the food for Gridolin comes from the sea, and from the rich farmland found on the southern side of the city. Prisoners and freemen both regularly cross the Salem by ferry, which charges a copper per person, per trip. Some traders come out of the mountains to trade in Gridolin, but the few natives to the island outside of Gridolin tend to keep to themselves, for the most part.
A heavy Gideon Enterprises presence, coupled with the shipyards installed in place of Tulish, make for a powerful local economy. The Duke asks only five percent, on top of the King's five percent, in taxes. Most of the monies in Gridolin go towards maintaining the prisons, but much of it also goes into Kirad's Soapstone Company, to expand the economic base of the Duke.
Classification: Small City
Population: 7,000 (74% Slate, 6% Amarans, 4% Toomarans, 1% Sylvan elves, 1% desert elves, 9% mountain dwarves, 4% hill dwarves, 3% tomanths), plus nearly 3,000 prisoners (mainly Slate).
Spending Limitations: 146,000 silver maximum (525,000 gold in the local economy)
Rulership: Duke Travandale Orcbane often leads the city as judiciar, feudal ruler, and benevolent landlord. When not immediately available, the heir-apparent of the duchy, Genesee Shalamarteen, is allowed to make decisions for Duke Orcbane.
Alignment: Chaotic Good. The wildly mixed population of all races, coupled with the sailors and the history of Gridolin, has made for a tough city. Duke Travandale Orcbane's guard do a commendable job maintaining general order, but the proximity of the prisoners and the grim determination necessary to keep them in line lends to an atmosphere of 'anything goes'. Racial intolerances usually do not last past the first fight, and the few laws that the duke has had to create truly apply only to the prisoners.
Defense: Gridolin's full-time guard numbers close to 300 – mainly dwarves and tomanths in the employ of the King. Administered by Baron Orcbane, the guard keeps the prisoners in line, and also serves to keep the peace in Gridolin itself. The Baron's rule is fair, but hard, and his men are more apt to ask questions first, and figure things out, later.
Economy: The city is geared towards working the prisoners, and the building of ships. Because of this, few conventional items are available for purchase – such as weapons and traveling apparel. The only authorized sales of such items takes place within the Duke's Hall, with oversight from a pair of his loyal Corpsmen. The prices are reasonable, and the Corpsmen on duty more than willing to help out as needed. To support the Corpsmen, and the guard, is a hefty industry of metalworking – from farriers to armorers to blacksmiths.
Fortifications: The Duke's Hall was supposedly built in a night by a combined effort of his magics and the Chosen of Arpelos prayers. A massive, two-winged edifice, joined by a central tower, with ending towers on each wing – the Duke's Hall and its surrounding walls were designed to keep out a small army. Located on a slight hillock on the north side of the city, the fortress is likely unassailable by anything but a small army. It also houses a small army, serving as headquarters for the duchy, the Kalen Corps, the local Gideon Enterprises offices, and the economic center of the city (next to the open markets).
Kelvin Thatcher, Chamberlain - male slate human.
Katsch Stonegrudge, Mastersmith - male mountain dwarf.
Sheyla Mirage, Stablemaster - female slate human.
Yukuyo Hirashi, Senior Cook - male Chillean human.
Unumbro, Hall Steward - male Amaran human.