Bog's World

Altogether elsewhere

<< Previous Main Menu Next >>

Kamveluna – Capital of Alcant

The city of Kamveluna is built around a natural harbour. The harbour is protected on its north side by a natural spit of rock that culminates in a large island, upon which a castle stands. The southern extent of the harbour is naturally protected by the curve of the coastline itself. This has been further enhanced by stone piers. Three other jetties interrupt the still waters of the harbour and form the basis of the city’s wealth.

The city then moves up and away from the harbour in a shallow bowl. The only buildings at the lip of the bowl are a monastery on the north-eastern edge and a watchtower on the north-western edge, where the main road begins its descent into the city, making four wide switch-backs within the built up area. From the watchtower, the state-maintained road (paved and cambered, although not as wide as those in Diaton) stretches away westwards towards Diaton

Kamveluna is a stone-built city. There are lined, buried sewers; most of the buildings are stone[1] . There is an aqueduct bringing fresh water into the city from the hills to the north. The harbour, facing eastwards into the Fision Ocean, is stone built and capable of taking many ships, from the very largest to rowing dinghies. There is a lively fish market, more than one boatyard and much related industry (cordwainers, chandlers and sailmakers). Most of the craft over 20’ long that are found from here to the tip of the Impassode Isles are made in these yards. The very best timbers from Diaton and Blacksand are imported to order when a large enough commission is placed. These shipwrights will build a boat from keel, ribs and planking, unlike many locally made craft, which are fashioned from either single or multiple tree trunk(s)[2] .

The eastern edge of the bowl is much shallower than most of its circumference. The Tarveluna enters the Ocean here, having flowed south east from the mountains.

It is not navigable by sea going vessels but does see some dug-out canoe and raft trade. To enable this to happen, there is another jetty here that hooks out into the river where it reaches the sea.

The Lord of Alcant’s Castle, Dalla Tyrl (M. “Great Hall (on an) Islet”) is constructed on a rocky promontory in the northern third of the harbour and has its own jetties[3] . Dalla Tyrl is the only concentric castle in Teddin. The castle has a formidable barbican. This is the home and base of operations of Elacaborn Scrófa. Elacaborn is Carnc of Kamveluna and also the Sairon (Visir Arcana) of Alcant. He has two other multi-talented Scrófa to assist him[4] . Elacaborn keeps a weather eye on all of his responsibilities but prefers to manage by delegation.

The city is run on a day to day basis by the pernostir Haermond (technically he is Elacaborn’s Hedgelord). He is actually an employee of the Carnc of Kamveluna and a Greyrobe in his own right. He has given up his studies for the time being to run the city. The small jalee garrison in Alcant, three companies of the Burnraas-based Rínnanlaoch, answers to Haermond. One company is always in residence in Dalla Tyrl. One is stationed in Zakopane and the other is billeted in Kamveluna itself as the ‘fallow’ unit. It is the Dalla Tyrl garrison that enforces law and order within the city.

The rest of the Kamveluna wilya is overseen by two more Hedgelords, Hobke Irien and Riisv Nabrish. They live more remotely, but report to the city on a regular basis.

There is also a monastic retreat on the northern edge of the city. Here the gods of the Flanne ‘circle of life’ are worshipped through quiet contemplation. There is a wide road up to the monastery[5] where there is a public shrine to the maritime aspects of the Gods of the Circle. Visiting sailors often come here to give thanks for safe arrival and again on the eve of their departure.

There is a temple to the Suel deity ‘Thunder’. However, it is not very big and actually treated more as a sort of social club than a proper place of worship. It holds feasts on nights when tropical storms arrive. These are very popular with the chattering classes, as the priests of Thunder charge for entry, thus giving the event an air of exclusivity that real religion lacks. Its patronage during the monsoon season is limited as the majority of the population indulges in the three or four day quasi-Jukpûdhar for the Cáma Princes and their fellows.

The Brotherhood of the Black Scabbard maintains a small office here. Their leaders rotate the brothers who come here every month or so. Alcant is not a fertile recruiting ground for them at this time and brothers who stay too long tend to ‘go native’ and not return to the fight, so most of their time is taken up with buying military hardware. The office itself is a modest Kasbah in the heart of the city. Its rooms have become repositories for bric-a-brac, unfinished plans and the dreams of tired soldiers.

Kelkess Racoba is a Blackrobe. Native to Alcant, he keeps a villa on the western edge of the city. Here he entertains his Blackrobe friends and associates. In the good weather immediately before the monsoon season he moves here more or less permanently for two or three months. At this time his Greys, and those Greys who have lessons with him, will also move into Kamveluna (his own apprentices into a wing of his villa and the others into hirings in the city). The villa is airy, open and cheerful looking, both villa and gardens surrounded by a 4’ sandstone wall. The gardens are immaculate despite never seeing a gardener. It is ‘known’ that something supernatural guards the perimeter. When in Kamveluna he likes to be seen with Imrael and other local well-to-do persons. He is polite to Glordin but tries to avoid Elacaborn.

Imrael is also a Blackrobe. He maintains a modest town house with a slender minaret, from which he watches the heavens. He is a former pupil of Elacaborn Scrófa[6] having been identified whilst he was one of the Gwaithor ilin who came to Gwathló lands when Arë Cáma married Tylain. He often spends time with his former master. A former lover of Meldis Gwathló, he does miss her and so now does spend more time in Blackmoor and Tenh. The Edium Agonur and his family (wife and five children), who live on the premises, run Imrael’s household. Agonur’s great-grandfather was the first born son of the first Flanne-Mura marriage of his line and also a Cáma ilin, alongside Imrael. Imrael was a Cáma royalist before the line failed. He is no great fan of the empire but is a staunch supporter of the remaining Nostir royal houses therein. He is also the only social link with Kelkess Racoba.

Lohirin is the third of Kamveluna’s blackrobe residents. She lives in an unlikely flying buttress like tower perched ‘on’ the cliff a day’s walk west of the city. She is also an astrologer and makes a living giving consultations to merchants and sea-captains. She does her consultations in her obviously magically constructed abode but does like to go into the city herself on the odd occasion. Her tower is protected internally by a caryatid column inside the front door, programmed to slay uninvited guests. Her house servants are a half-dozen skeletons, animated for her by a necromancer ‘friend’[7] . Front of house duties are performed by a half orc named Nys. Nys has a cloak which, when he wears it (i.e. when he has to go into the city, every week or so) makes him look much more human.

All of the other Blackrobes in Alcant tolerate Lohirin.

Alcant’s highest value export is pig iron from the Dwarf-works (Kz. ‘Zakopane’) in the mountains. The other roads in Alcant are of packed dirt, except the dwarf trade routes, which are of packed hardcore or rubble at the very least. There is almost always more building work going on in Kamveluna that will use the rocks that have been brought here as ballast by incoming traders. Pigs are stockpiled on the quayside, no ship that visits Kamveluna ever leaves empty. Laen[8] products form a top end sliver of Dwarf produce and usually go as finished items. Kamveluna is the port from which much[9] of the Dwarf-produced iron leaves Teddin, bound for the Flanaess.

Copper, silver, stonework, skilled labour and craftsmen can be provided to order. These are split in roughly equal numbers between Zakopane and Kamveluna. There is a trade association of the Human artisans, which enables them, through a closed shop and collective bargaining, to deal with the Dwarves. The same goes for the lime-workers, charcoal burners and iron ore miners who are entirely based in Zakopane.

Alcant is generally slightly higher than Diaton and in the drier conditions cattle, sheep and goats are farmed. There are butchers and tanners in Kamveluna who ship salt beef to Eagle’s Reach and fresher products locally. There are armourers in the city that will make bespoke armour for someone willing to stand and wait (and pay the prices) but they do have prêt-à-porter items ready to go. As well as cuir bouilli[10] , they will fashion all manner of yicduroh and Jalee armours. This is made here, where the iron, carbon and lime are and then exported throughout Teddin and back to the Flanaess. There are also foundries that specialise in weapons, including one run by the Edium master craftsman, Rumlar, known as the Lord’s Sword-smith. He and his forefathers have, on occasion, accepted commissions from Glordin.

Alcant has rainforest in its north west third, this is being managed in the attempt produce a fruit surplus. Kamveluna has bustling fruit markets, but does not export very much at all. Fishing in the Fision Ocean rounds off the Alcant diet. One side of the Kamveluna harbour is given over to the fishing industry. About 30 family-owned boats fish far out into the ocean. These are sail-powered skiffs with a crew of three to six, depending on their size.

Mercantile interests in the city are centred on a small plaza known as ‘The Sea of Wine’. It is surrounded by what are now counting houses, representing the major trading parties of the south eastern Flanaess and Teddin itself. These are actually organised along the lines of commodities, rather than the interests themselves. Thus a merchant will not have all of his staff, with their expertise in different areas, based in one counting house. Instead there will be a separate counting house for each of the commodities and the merchant’s man-on-the-ground will vie with his fellows therein, taking his instructions from the merchant (who may be onboard ship, in his private residence or luncheoning in the plaza) by runner.

The counting houses deal with:

Wood, lumber and timber. Finished furniture and soft furnishings. Cut stone and metal ores. Finished metal items (excluding those for military purposes). Unfinished leathers, pelts and skins. Textiles and finished fabrics. Wines, beers, spirits, herbs and fungi. Finished metal items (weapons and armour).

There is a hamam half way between the Sea of Wine and Imrael’s Kasbah where boys may be hired by the hour (to act as runners). This bath-house is the font (quite literally) of all news in Kamveluna.

A local staple is the Mathalorta (“twin Lorta”). This resembles a huge briouat with curried fish at one end and a mango-based sweetmeat at the other. It is the lunchtime meal of most of the population of Kamveluna.

[1] The cheaper construction is with sandstone and things such as the aqueduct, harbour and castle are limestone.
[2] Dug out or burnt out canoes with outriggers or simple lashed together rafts.
[3] Main and postern.
[4] Appearing as blackrobe, ilin or graugh as the occasion demands.
[5] A very straight, steep road direct from the harbour. There is an easier way, via a turning off of the main road where it switchbacks close by.
[6] Glordin’s Visir Arcana
[7] They are domestic servants and not capable of defending themselves, let alone Lohirin or her tower.
[8] A form of volcanic glass with an intrinsically low alchemical inertia factor (i.e. it’s magic!)
[9] Over half of the annual output. It is processed into pigs by the dwarves in the mountains. Some makes it’s way into local foundries but most is exported.
[10] Mostly for the local market.

<< Previous Main Menu Next >>