Adventures in Thargothras
Leaders: Lord Ryany, Baron of Wyrfor, and his house, as well as the following noble families.
- House MacLear, the River Dragons. Their colors are blue and silver.
- House Damaros, the Indigo Tower. Their colors are indigo and white.
- House Yslor, the House of Ash. Their colors are brown and gray.
- House Brayth, the Screaming Jesters. Their colors are yellow and green.
- House Vencane, the Stablemasters. Their colors are red and gold.
- House Criseth, the Golden Glaives. Their colors are black and blue.
Other notable citizens include:
- Vixa, a female elf merchant of sour demeanor. Vixa has silver hair and narrow purple eyes, and numerous magical tattoos. She wears modest garments and an amulet of luminous crystal. Vixa has an animal companion, a black rat named Crieinga. It is suspected, though not proven, that she is a master of the Dark Arts, and she enjoys the reputation. She may or may not sell potions and poisons of illicit nature, along with her usual assortment of pets, insects and land mollusks, and home-grown herbs. She is also a childhood friend of Vaelin, though she was well into adulthood when they met. They still send letters to each other from time to time.
- Linan, a male dwarf merchant, of impatient, but kind demeanor. Linan has copper hair and brown eyes, and a flat nose. He wears travel-stained clothing and a yellow cloak. Linan believes that he is the rightful heir to the Hold of Elegron, rather than his twin brother, and tells everyone who will listen.
- Guard Captain Gery Courte, a proud human soldier of an impartial and aloof persuasion. Gery has uneven red hair and hazel eyes. He wears chain mail and wields a warhammer and shield. Gery refers to himself in the third person, which is annoying to anyone who has to work with him, but he's competent and connected enough to keep his position.
The city of Healey lies along the Old Road in Viridonia, and is the second larges settlement in the kingdom, despite having to import most of its food from other areas. Water is collected from a collection of underground cisterns. The main draw of living in this city is the safety offered by the thick stone walls that encompass not only the city, but a fair amount of undeveloped land within. At its inception, the city was planned to house far more buildings than the sponsors were able to afford, but the walls and streets were built first. Well, first after the already-old castle on the hill that the wall intersects with. Its major exports are clay, textiles, alcoholic beverages (grain only), and elite mercenaries.
A lot of old-money aristocrats live here, and for the most part the six most prominent families still own most of the major industries between them. House MacLear, House Damaros, and House Criseth were the families of landed barons during King Aldrax's reign and before, but when Jethro Emyn took the throne, he declared that no magicians could hold public office, for fear of the abuse of magic in the hands of the politically powerful. Those three houses were stripped of their titles, but allowed to keep their prestige and businesses, so long as they abandoned their estates and moved to Healey (the Damaroses already lived in Healey, but they left the castle and bought a mansion, part of which was converted into a training facility for soldiers). From there, the families continued to trade and use their political ties to leverage positions of influence in the city, becoming the community leaders they are today.
One of Healey's claims to infamy since even before the time of Aldrax was its slave markets. Surrounded by open plains, with access to a major road, and housing a combination prison and mine, it was considered an ideal location for flesh-peddlers to set up shop, provided they could secure a permit from Baron Damaros. And so it went, with foreigners and prisoners bought and sold like cattle, even after the barony changed hands permits were still issued. But then, about forty years ago, the current baron's father, Lord Larcan Ryany, who came into power when the Damaroses left office, decided to ban the practice of slavery in the city, revoking all permits and denying further applications. This decision was very controversial at the time, and suspected, though never confirmed, to be related to an affair with a slave girl. And so, an infamous period of Healey's history came to a close, but at great cost to some of the wealthier merchants and noble families. House Vencane, who had the highest stake in the slave markets, was hit the hardest, but their foresight (and spies in Ryany Castle) allowed them time to make investments in other areas, especially non-humanoid livestock. While they were not entirely disfranchised, like some other slave traders, they took heavy losses. Today, they are as wealthy as ever, leading many to speculate how they recouped their losses so quickly. The rumors tend to be on the darker side. The city is still infamous abroad for its history, but as word spreads, Healey is casting off the cowl of notoriety.