The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

The Citadel - Capital City of Duthelm

"A marvel of science, wizardry and engineering. An entire city housed within one building built into the side of a mountain which the gods seem to have placed in this world for that very purpose. While it is a city and foreigners are free to come and go, the laws of the Citadel are harsh and prone to change at the whim of the queen. Watch your step and stay out of the way of the guards. If you are arrested for even the smallest crime, you will not see a fair trial."
-Toland Briggs, First Mate of the Redwing, Rukemian Freetrader

The Citadel

Ruler Her Demonic Majesty, the Dark Lady, Scourge of the East, Queen Sillar the Ruthless
Population 45,700
Demographics Ogre 35%, Human 30%, Orc 20%, Dwarven 5%, Grum 5%, Goblyn 4%, Borrellian 1%
Adjectival/Demonym Citadellian/Citadellians
Languages Rukemian (70%), Northern (20%), Ogrish (10%)
Nationality Duthelm
National Colors Red and black.
Year Founded 658
Currency Mixed. Mostly Rukemian and Carrikosian.
Natural Resources Orichalcum, rathani, girral, iron ore, copper, minerals, gemstones, marble, lumber, wild game, potatoes, wheat, fish, pigs
Manufactured Goods Refined Orichalcum, finely crafted weapons and armor, skilled mercenaries, furs
Wealth Average
Government Type Oligarchy
Government Stability Unstable
Allies Rift Vale
Enemies Carrikos, Rukemia, Kitar, War Vale, Falkir Clans
Walled Fortress city-state
Crime Level High
Technology Level Dark Ages
Primary Religion Draxorith
Other Religions

Belhelizar, Barulda, Agethos, Karenia, Kael, The Three Fates, Daramis, Kolo

Climate Temperate
Terrain Mountainous, wasteland

Description

The Citadel is the largest single building in all of Ithria. It is often called the "City in the Mountain" and for good reason. This colossal architectural structure is a fortress of stone built into the side of a mountain, a unique geological remnant that has sheer sides. The mountain goes by an ancient name, Mount Kauromok, which is orcish for "heart of the world", but in informal conversation, it is usually just called Citadel Mountain. The mountain itself is about 1,200 meters tall (4,000 feet).

The city is built up upon several tiers piled up against the side of the mountain. These tiers conform to various city districts and also relate to economic status. The lowest tiers are home to taverns, warehouses, peasants, commoners and so on. The middle tiers are the home of businessness, craftsmen and laborers. The upper tiers are the home of nobles, temples, wizards and other wealthy citizens.

The Citadel itself is colossal thing, bristling with towers and balconies and steep walls on the south side of the mountain, overlooking the tiered city. The chambers and corridors of the Citadel extend deep into the mountainside. The outer constructed section stands almost 185 meters (606 feet) tall and contains 25 levels above ground and 5 levels beneath ground. It contains more than 5,000 individual chambers and is home to over 30,000 people. Within its walls are much of the government, the military headquarters, the temples, churches, guilds, markets and libraries of the nation of Duthelm. Great caverns lie behind the Citadel piercing deep into the mountain. Within these caves lie many of the mining operations including the Orichalcum mines.

History

The Citadel was originally constructed long ago during the Great War to aid the dying Thullian Empire. The cost of building such a huge fortress was astronomically high and took a large portion of the Thullian Empire's resources. It is said by some scholars that the construction of this fortress was the catalyst that brought about the final conclusion to the war - an ironic twist indeed since this fortress was built to save the empire.

Since that fall of the Thullian Empire, this region has been occupied, overthrown and recaptured several times by various groups and races. The Citadel has seen warfare and siege many times over its long history. Its stout stone walls have weather the battles well and despite siege and fire and spell, the Citadel still stands strong, much as it did when it was first built.

The history of the Citadel is a bloody tale of siege and war, poison and murder, court room duels and dark magic. Over the last few centuries, Duthelm has been a gathering point for the forces of darkness and all manner of social derelicts. Thieves, bandits, pirates, murderers and exiles have all found a place in Duthelm.

Duthelm became the focus of international attention when it managed to summon the demon lord Draxorith. With the aid of this monster, Duthelm waged war against all the lands of the east. That war, the War of Demons, ended with the banishment of Draxorith and routing of Duthelmian forces.

Many years later a second War of Demons. This time, Duthelm had the aid of the xorians and hordes of humanoids led by a giant. That war eventually ended with the xorians breaking the alliance and leaving Duthelm. The ruler of Duthelm, an unholy knight and the high priest of Draxorith by the name of Caramus held Duthelm together after this defeat. It is Caramus' daughter, Sillar, who now rules Duthelm.

For a detailed chronology of historical events, see the History of the Citadel.

Government

Although Duthelm has had a stormy history, it now claims to be a traditional monarchy. The throne will pass along a hereditary bloodline and is currently occupied by Queen Sillar, the Ruthless. It should be noted that she is the first to ascend to the throne in this manner. For years, Duthelm has been a place of constant change and war. Only recently has Duthelm managed to solidify into a proper nation. However, the old Duthelm is not dead. Internal scheming and throne room politics play out against a tapestry of evil and deceit. Several powerful groups within Duthelm plot and vie for control of the powerful nation. Hence, changes and revisions of Duthelm’s command structure are common. Some groups within the command structure are more permanent than others. In general, the powerful groups and individuals bully and coerce the masses into cooperation.But above it all, Queen Sillar rules with an iron hand. Her father, Caramus, still lives and he rules the wizards and priests of this dark nation. Caramus is rarely seen these days, but there is little doubt that he maintains subtle control of the Citadel and supports his daughter from behind the scenes.

Duthelm and the Lords of Hell

Duthelm has definite connections with the infernal planes of existence. On rare occasions, lesser demons or devils will be sent from Hell on diplomatic functions and will visit the Citadel. Such officers of Hell are always treated as royal dignitaries and every comfort is made available to them.

Traffic between the Citadel and Hell is not an uncommon thing. Some criminals are banished to Hell as their punishment. The Black Sorcerers will occasionally summon lesser demons and devils to do their bidding. On rare occasions, one or more Black Sorcerers may actually travel to Hell for special purposes.

Infernal maggots are occasionally found in the Citadel. This small terrors are demonic variations of their mortal counterparts and appear as foot long slimy worms with shiny red, segmented carapaces. They occasionally slip through the interdimensional gate when a demon or devil is summoned. Sometimes these nuisances escape out into the city. While not a threat to a Citadel sorcerer or Bloodguard, an infernal maggot could kill a common peasant caught off guard.

Legal

Laws are strict, broken frequently and changed to suit the whim of the Queen. Punishment is swift and harsh. Public torture is common as are beheadings, hangings and arena combat. One of the most common forms of punishment is work in the Orichalcum mines. Although there are many courts in the Citadel to try cases, it is a corrupt system where judges are bribed by the wealthy and pressured by the nobles. Justice belongs to those with power.

Petty Crimes

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Drunk and disorderly conduct and public brawling - fine of 5 gold drokmire and one night in the city dungeon.

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Breaking and entering - fine of 50 gold drokmire and three months in the city dungeon.

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Trespassing on royal property - fine of 100 gold drokmire and six months in the Orichalcum mines.

Theft

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Theft of common property - return of the property of the victim (if possible) and a fine of five times the value of the property stolen paid to the victim.

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Theft of a horse - fine of a horse of equal value, 25 gold drokmire paid to the horse's owner and and one month in the city dungeon.

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Theft of royal property - all property paid to the king and a life sentence of indentured servitude to the crown in the Orichalcum mines.

Kidnapping, Assault and Murder

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Assault upon a slave - fine of 1 gold drokmire paid to the slave's owner.

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Assault upon a commoner - fine of 5 gold drokmire paid to the victim.

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Assault upon a noble - fine of 250 gold drokmire paid to the noble and one month in the Orichalcum mines.

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Murder of a slave - fine of 5 gold drokmire paid to the slave's owner.

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Murder of a commoner - fine of 50 gold drokmire to the victim's family and four months in the Orichalcum mines.

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Murder of a noble - forfeit of all property to the noble's family and one year in the Orichalcum mines.

Disobedience to the Crown

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Disobeying or fleeing from the city guard - fine of 25 gold drokmire and one week in the city dungeon.

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Lying to or disobeying one of royal authority - fine of 100 gold pieces and one month in the Orichalcum mines.

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Treason - One year in the Orichalcum mines.

Slave Crimes

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A slave that escapes - 50 lashes.

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A slave that steals from his master - 100 lashes.

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A slave that assaults his master - public torture and execution.

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A slave that kills his master - public torture and execution.

Other Crimes

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Arson - Fine equal to value of damage or indentured service to the owner of the property until the value of damages to the building is paid in full.

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Damage to property - five times the value of the damaged item, paid to the owner of the property or indentured service to the owner until paid in full.

Military

The armies of Duthelm are a miscellany of orcs, ogres, humans, half-breeds and worse. They patrol the roads, towns and countryside and sometimes soldiers will be visit and be housed in the Citadel. However, the army has no jurisdiction at the Citadel. Within the capital city, security is the province of the Blood Guard and the Queen's Guard.

Economy

Duthelm has a thriving economy mostly due to its extensive geological resources. Mined metals, gemstones, quarried stone and other minerals are the backbone of the economy. It is a mixed system of trade and barter and foreign currencies. Rukemian coins seem to the the closest thing to a standard. Duthelm law is lenient when it comes to weapons, equipment and other materials which may be purchased, sold and used. Virtually no items are considered illegal. Almost anything can be had for a price. There exists a strong trade in weapons, armor, poisons, medicinal herbs, drugs, tobaccos and the fencing of stolen goods.

The single greatest geological resource of Duthelm is the vast deposits of raw Orichalcum which lies within Citadel Mountain. This alone accounts for more than half of the mineral wealth of the entire nation. It is for this very reason that the Citadel was built here by the Thullian Empire ages ago.

The Orichalcum mines of the Citadel provide Duthelm with a continual stream of profit. Duthelm does not have vast tracts of arable land or abundant wild game. Although it does conduct some hunting, fishing and farming, it lacks the resources to feed its entire population without assistance. By trading the valuable mineral, it is able to import much of what it lacks. The nation of Carrikos has a huge appetite for the Orichalcum mineral and a steady stream of trade caravans move shipments of the mineral to Carrikos and money, food and other valuables back to Duthelm. Overseeing the entire Orichalcum trade is the Red Eye Corps... the Orichalcum Guild of the Citadel.

Possession of Orichalcum in Duthelm requires a license. Licenses are issued by the Red Eye Corps to its members and those whom have legitimate business with them. Orichalcum licenses are difficult to forge.  Spell casters and frequent users of the mineral are also able to acquire licenses. This deters most people from stealing, smuggling or hoarding the mineral. However, it has done little to stop serious smugglers.

Culture

The Citadel is unique in many ways. First of all, the grandeur of the city's architecture cannot be ignored. The great central bulk of the Citadel towers over the tiers of the city below. It is a daunting sight to behold.

The Citadel is a harsh place. Justice belongs to the strong. The weak deserve to be robbed of their property and lives. This is life in the Citadel and the rest of the nation follows the capital. Promotions often come about through subtle political maneuvering and sometimes blatant assassinations. This system ensures only the strongest survive and a constant influx of fresh talent.

Although most people don't talk about it, it is widely known that the ruling nobles are in league with the forces of Darkness. The minions of Hell are called upon in dark ceremonies and demons walk the highest levels of the Citadel. Sometimes strange creatures are seen about the city in the company of the Blood Guard or with officials. Great winged creatures often fly about the Citadel's highest balconies. These are just a few things the people of the city get used to.

Population Demographics By Function or Profession

These numbers are approximations only and vary from day to day. These numbers include the Citadel itself, the outer city and the outer village.

3,000 Miscellaneous warriors (mercenaries, bandits, soldiers from national units, etc.)
6,000 Blood Guard Soldiers and Officers
1,000 Citadel Administrative Officials (of various rank and title)
100 Queen's Guard (Elite soldiers)
150 Spellcasters (15 Black Sorcerers, 100 apprentices, 35 independent low ranking sorcerers)
300 Ruling class and nobles
3,200 Craftsmen and skilled laborers
450 Artisans, entertainers, bards
24,000 Commoners, laborers and servants
2,400 Prisoners
2,700 Slaves
2,000 Non-citizens, foreign traders and merchants, visiting officials, etc

Festivals and Faires

War Night

A night of debauchery and mock battles. Executions. Celebrates the day that Duthelm fell to the ogre horde.

Orichcalia

Orichcalia is the name of an annual three day festival which celebrates Duthelm's power and glory, it's association with powerful magic and its mastery over demons and Hell. Orichalcum plays a prominent role in the festivities and lies at the very heart of the celebration.

Organizations

The Red Eye Corps

A large organized guild that runs the Orichalcum mines and is charged by Queen Sillar with mining, processing and trading the valuable mineral. The Red Eye Corps holds a position of much power in the political tapestry of the Citadel and maintains a network of mines, forts, caravans, roads and offices in Duthelm and Carrikos, it's primary trading partner. The main office for the Red Eye Corps is located in the heart of the Citadel on the 11th floor. All of the officers and board members that direct this guild operate out of this large office complex.

News, Rumors and Gossip

One of the Great Dukes of Hell is coming to take charge of the Citadel. Queen Sillar and Lord Caramus will serve him.

A high ranking official has been secretly negotiating a pact with the Xorians to the north and wishes to re-establish an alliance between Duthelm and their dark master, their god who is known only as Xor.

The Orichalcum mine is rapidly being depleted and will be empty within three years. The economy will collapse and Rukemia will destroy the Citadel once and for all.

The City Districts

The Local Region

The region immediately surrounding the Citadel (roughly a 20 kilometer radius) is a vast, rocky, barren region of about ten square kilometers. There is sparse vegetation consisting of coarse grass and wiry bushes in this "badlands" region and off road travel is extremely difficult. From almost anywhere in this region, the citadel mountain and the Citadel itself can be seen rising up clearly dominating the horizon.

The Outer Village

Outside the main city walls is a maze of squalid shacks and houses and twisting winding muddy streets. Criminals, thieves and poverty-stricken commoners scurry in this outer village among heaps of garbage and rats. This is a good place to make a quick purse of gold or get a dagger in the belly.

The Outer City

A small walled city is built against the Citadel on the south side of the mountain. This city which is considered part of the Citadel and bears no other name, is home to about one third of the total population. It contains a number of taverns, guilds, inns and private residences. It also houses a number of barracks which house the soldiers who comprise the first line of defense. The outer city is divided up into four separate tiers going like stair steps to the citadel, which looms over the city like a great cliff.

The River District

Emerging from the bowels of this great mountain is a subterranean river which erupts from the side of the mountain from a cave in the third tier and cascades down through the bottom two tiers and exits the city.  This is one of the natural entrances to the mountain interior. It is the Citadel's primary source of fresh water and is also fished to supplement the Citadel's food reserves. As a potential entrance and security breach, this cave is heavily guarded and has a iron grate which can be raised or lowered as needed (Duthelm operates a number of river boats along this waterway).

City Infrastructure

Unlike most cities that have a fancy stature or bridge, the Citadel is itself an architectural wonder. The entire city is essentially one colossal piece of architecture.

The City Walls and Towers

The main walls encircling the city are solid stone curtain walls about 8 meters tall (26 feet) and 3 meters (9 ft) thick.  A catwalk runs along the top of the walls. A number of guard towers monitor the main wall. The guard towers are four stories tall and house five guards.

The Main Gates and Entry Hall

The Main Gates of the Citadel themselves are immense iron things that yawn open to reveal an entrance 10 meters wide and 15 meters tall. (32 ft wide x 50 feet tall). Within is the first great hall which reveals levels 2,3 and 4. This first chamber is truly a sight to behold. The ceiling is fully 30 meters (100 feet) high and numerous balconies jut from the side walls. Three massive 2 ton wrought iron chandeliers are adorned with dozens of enchanted glow stones and crystals that illuminate this vast hall with an ever changing light. Hanging from chains suspended from the ceiling are about a dozen cages which hang a mere 5 meters (15 feet) over the floor. On occasion, criminals are placed in these cages and allowed to die slow horrible deaths for the amusement of the crowds coming and going below. Many of these cages hold moldering skeletons. These hanging prisoner cages set the tone of the Citadel for the first time visitor and leave quite an impression.

Inside The Citadel

Total Number of Levels 30 (25 levels above ground, 5 levels below ground)
Total Number of City Inhabitants 60,700 (30,000 in the Citadel; 25,000 in the outer city; 5,700 in the outer village.
Total Number of Chambers 5,471
Average Number of Chambers per Level 182
Average Chamber Dimensions 20m wide, 30m long, 6m tall  (65 ft wide, 100 ft long, 20 ft tall)
Average Military Forces per Level 100 Blood Guard soldiers per level
Average Number of Inhabitants per Level Approximately 1000 people per level
Average Military Forces in Outer City 1,000 soldiers, 70 officers

 

Level Ht/Depth Chambers Within Each Level
Sublevel S05 -150 meters
(-500 feet)
Guard Rooms, Deep Wells, Subterranean Farming Caves, Deep Mining Operations
Sublevel S04 -75m
(-246 feet)
Guard Rooms, Dungeon Command Center, Storage Vaults
Sublevel S03 -45m
(-148 feet)
Guard Rooms, Mining Operations, Storage Vaults
Sublevel S02 -30m
(-98 feet)
Guard Rooms, Labyrinth, Storage Vaults
Sublevel S01 -15m
(-49 feet)
Guard Rooms, Subterranean River, Garbage Rooms
Level 01 Ground Level Soldier Barracks, Guard Rooms, Armories, Main Gate House
Level 02 7.5m
(25 feet)
Main Gates and Entry Hall, Guard Rooms, Barracks, Training Facilities, The Battle Cave
Level 03 15m
(49 feet)
Main Gates and Entry Hall, Common Living Quarters, Archer Platforms, Warlords of Duthelm
Level 04 22.5m
(73 feet)
Main Gates and Entry Hall, Common Living Quarters, Cannon Balconies, Officers Quarters
Level 05 30m
(98 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Common Rooms, Officers Quarters
Level 06 37.5 meters
(123 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Arena
Level 07 45 meters
(148 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Arena
Level 08 53 meters
172 feet
Common Living Quarters, Markets, Businesses, Arena, Queen's Market
Level 09 60 meters
(198 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Markets, Businesses, Arena, Queen's Market
Level 10 67.5 meters
(221 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Markets, Businesses, Guild Houses, Queen's Market
Level 11 75 meters
(246 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Markets, Businesses, Guild Houses, Red Eye Corps
Level 12 82.5 meters
(270 feet)
Common Living Quarters, Priests, Minor Shrines and churches
Level 13 90 meters
(295 feet)
Common Living Quarters
Level 14 97.5 meters
320 feet
Common Living Quarters, Barracks
Level 15 105 meters
345 feet
Military Barracks, Guard Chambers, The Shrine of Lost Souls
Level 16 112.5 meters
370 feet
Military Officers, State Officials, Meeting Chambers, Offices
Level 17 120 meters
394 feet
Mages, Laboratories, Libraries
Level 18  127.5 meters
418 feet
Unholy Relic, Formal Gardens
Level 19 135 meters
442 feet
Temple of the Shattered Skull, Darklore
Level 20 142.5 meters
468 feet
Ranking Official Living Quarters, Lounges
Level 21 150 meters
492 feet
Chambers of the Black Sorcerers (Laboratories, Spell Chambers, Libraries, Living Quarters)
Level 23 157.5 meters
517 feet
Throne Room, Conference Rooms, Guard Chambers, Royal Chambers
Level 24 165 meters
541 feet
Queen's Guard Headquarters, Queen's Guard Barracks, Aerial Guard Chambers
Level 25 172.5 meters
565 feet
Citadel Roof Guard, Astronomical Observatory

Government and Public Establishments

Queen's Hall

This is the common name for the government level (Level 23) of the Citadel which consists of the throne room, various council chambers, guard rooms, private lounges, antechambers and such.

Darklore

Darklore is the common name of the state run and state funded magical academy of Duthelm. Duthelm realizes that magic can make it powerful and so diverts funds and resources into this academy to ensure a steady stream of skilled magi. The most powerful sorcerers serve the Shadow Council, the elite sorcerers of the Citadel. Darklore is ruled by the sorcerer Jalek.

Warlords of Duthelm

The Warlords are the masters of battle who run the military academy which supplies Duthelm with its soldiers and officers. This establishment also controls the military. The supreme military commander of the Citadel and guildmaster of the academy is Warlord Trumell.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is the common name for the main dungeon in the Citadel. Literally thousands of individual cells are arranged in great prison blocks in a prison that is almost city sized. Security is great.

The Queen's Market

The main market square of the Citadel is a massive chamber, three chambers levels high, near the center of the Citadel. There is also another city market in the outer city.

 

The Battle Pit

The Battle Pit is a tremendous coliseum that sits right next to the Citadel. It is a gladitorial arena where armor clad warriors fight to the roar of crowds. Several balconies

The City Guard

The Blood Guard

While the armies of Duthelm that patrol the countryside may be a miscellany of orcs, ogres, humans, half-breeds and worse, the Blood Guard sets itself apart with orderly troops, uniforms and spit and polish inspections, a hierarchical rank structure and a healthy dose of pride. The Blood Guard, sometimes referred to as the Citadel Guard, is a military force of approximately 6,000 soldiers responsible for the day to day security of the Citadel itself and the city beyond. About half of that number will be found inside the Citadel at any given time. Their duties include routine patrols, security checks, static guard duty in critical areas and other such mundane duties. 

The Blood Guard operates in six man units (five standard soldiers led by a lieutenant). Ten patrol units make up a brigade and led by a captain. Ten brigades make up a battalion and are ruled by a commander. There are a total of ten battalions and these are all ruled by General Malketh. Some six man patrols use trained dragon hounds to sniff out and pursue criminals.

The Blood Guard is named for the armor that they wear - black plate armor with blood red trim. Horizontal bars of red color on the right side of the breast plate indicate rank. One bar for a soldiers, two bars for a lieutenant, three bars for a captain and four bars for a commanders. They are armed with shields bracers on their left arm and wield a unique blade called a renderblade with their right hand. 

A renderblade is a broad bladed variation of the short sword. It has a curved crescent shaped blade which is molded around the handle and extends down to the pommel. The upper half of the edge is serrated with large tooth like serrations. These blades are easily recognized. Possession of such a blade by a non Guard person is a crime throughout Duthelm.

The Queen's Guard

The Queen's personal bodyguards are a force of highly trained soldiers whose number is usually between 80 and 100. These men and women are often recruited from officers of the Citadel Guard. Only the very best warriors in the nation are invited into the ranks of this group. The Queen's Guard has only one duty: protect the Queen. They are so completely devoted to this cause that they will willingly sacrifice their own lives without hesitation if necessary. This mental conditioning allows them to resist most mind affecting magic as well. However, their superior fighting skills, endless training and heavy armor ensure that they are rarely called upon to display this mindless devotion. On occasion, they will be assigned to guard critical areas or important personnel within the Citadel. Lord Caramus will sometimes use them for special projects or his own personal bodyguards.

Since they are a special division of the Blood Guard, their armor and weapons are similar to that of the Blood Guard. They identify their rank with a purple bar on their breast plate. Each member of the Queen's Guard holds the rank and title of Defender. They are no other distinctions of rank. All Defenders are equal. They receive their orders directly from Queen Sillar or Lord Caramus. 

Defenders dress from head to foot in magically enchanted armor crafted by the Black Sorcerers. This finely crafted full plate armor is made of shadow steel, engraved with powerful rune magic and trimmed with an enchanted purple metal that glows in the dark. Besides offering excellent physical protection, this armor is shielded against spells. The smooth featureless faceplates of their helmets, which are mirrored and show no visors, are enchanted to enhance vision. 

Defenders fight with two enchanted renderblades, one in each hand. Their fighting style tends to put them between the Queen and an attacker.

The Aerial Guard

A small detachment of the Queen's Guard is a group of specially trained fighters who fly on firedrakes. They are known as the Citadel Aerial Guard. There are currently 15 aerial guards. The Aerial Guard operates under the direction of the Queen’s highest ranking commanders. They carry small, valuable cargoes, important messages and sometimes passengers. During war, they perform long range scouting and surveillance. They are generally considered too valuable to waste on combat.

Temples and Shrines

The Temple of the Shattered Skull

The Temple of the Shattered Skull is the main temple and holiest shrine of the Church of Draxorith, the patron deity of Duthelm. It is ruled by Caramus, High Priest of Draxorith and father of Queen Sillar. Draxorith is the patron diety of Duthelm and is the official religion of the state. However, many shrines to other dark dieties can be found in lower levels of the Citadel.

The Shrine of Lost Souls

Deep in the heart of the Citadel, several levels beneath the Temple of the Shattered Skull, lies a great circular chamber known as the Shrine of Lost Souls. It is connected to the Temple by a great shaft which runs vertically through the Citadel. Within this chamber is a large obelisk shaped stone in which thousands of gems are embedded. These gems are magically enchanted and each is an extra-dimensional prison. In many of these gems are prisoners, not just souls, but bodies and equipment. The Shrine of Lost Souls was conceived and created by the archmage Sargran and is designed to be an escape-proof prison. No prisoner has ever escaped from this place. It is said that the Shrine holds over one thousand gemstones and about half of these are occupied. Only the most powerful and dangerous prisoners are placed here. Deth, the Keeper of the Shrine, rules here. This dark prison is his domain.

The Shrine of Lost Souls is much more than a static prison. It feeds off of the souls trapped within it. This energy is transmitted up through the shaft to the altar which is housed in the Temple of the Shattered Skull. The priests and knights of Draxorith power their spells from the altar thus powered. 

Unique City Features

The Landing

A circular cobblestone courtyard in the beggar's district in the outer city, but within the walls. Prisoners, demotees and other victims are routinely thrown from the seventh floor to fall to their death. The act is always accompanied with a trumpet blast so a crowd of beggars is usually hanging around the courtyard waiting for the victim to die so that they can roll the body and fight over any possessions the victim may have been carrying (usually this amounts to little more than bloodied clothing and a good pair of boots). Obviously, the cobblestones of this courtyard are stained brownish red from years of blood.

The Ever Burn

The Ever Burn is the name of a large fountain of oil and fire located in the Outer City. It is fed continuously from an underground oil source. It works through an ingenious combination of engineering and magic.

The Vanquished

The Vanquished is a large monument made of rusting armor, blades and skulls who have fallen on the battlefield to Duthelm forces.

The Drawn and Quartered

A special mechanical execution device on a stage platform that draws and quarters its victims using weights, pulleys, chains and barbed hooks. A particularly nasty device which is reserved for the public execution of the most hated criminals and prisoners.

Important People of the Citadel

Lord Caramus, High Priest of Draxorith

The name Caramus strikes fear into those who hear it. His presence evokes hushed awe in the soldiers and citizens of Duthelm. He is a topic of discussion in council chambers throughout Kitar and the Empire. Lord Caramus is the religious leader of the nation of Duthelm. He is the half-demon High Priest of the Cult of Draxorith and it is Caramus who is the real power behind the throne. It is widely believed that Sillar wears the crown, but she bows to her father's wishes. Caramus himself commands vast magical powers.

Queen Sillar, Ruler of Duthelm

Sillar is the only daughter of Caramus and as such has at least a trace of demon blood in her. This might explain her aptitude for magic and rather homely appearance. Despite this, she fancies herself quite beautiful and is somewhat vain in her appearance. She wears black leather gowns and bone jewelry. She delights in the torture of victims and maintains a harem of male consorts.  

Sirreth the Unholy, Leader of the Knights of the Abyss

Sirreth is the first and most powerful Knight of the Abyss and as such rules that branch of the church. He also serves as Caramus' lieutenant and is often seen at Caramus side. Sirreth himself wears the typical plate armor of a Knight and a great helm. Beneath that helm is a mockery of life, for Sirreth is a death knight, a walking abomination of unlife. Little more than a skeleton, but possessed of great strength, this nightmare can command undead with a thought, hurl black bolts of life sucking energy and wields Xykul, a wavy bladed black sword that drains strength and health from its victims and bestows them upon the wielder (but only if the wielder is undead).

Varlos, Leader of the Black Sorcerers

Varlos is the leader of the Black Sorcerers, the government supported group of wizards who are responsible for most of the magical innovation and weapons produced in Duthelm. Varlos is a female half-orc and something of a prodigy with regards to magical talent. She is very tall for a half-orc, has somewhat angular features and wears her long black hair in a braid.

Jalek, Master of Darklore

Jalek is a member of the Black Sorcerers and also the Master of Darklore, the government supported school of wizardry within the Citadel. Jalek is an aging human male with short black hair streaked with silver, a neatly trimmed beard and a heavy set, but powerful physique. He wears black and red robes and silver jewelry. Jalek is a strong supporter of Varlos and holds his loyalty to her and the Black Sorcerers above his loyalty to Duthelm.

Warlord Trumell, Master of the Warlords Academy

Danroth Trumell is the master of the Duthelm Warlords Academy, a school of warriors and swordsmen. Trumell is a large man with a curly grey beard and bright blue eyes. He stands 6 foot  6 and weighs 350 pounds. He has a harsh, gravelly voice which is often heard barking at his students. He is a harsh master, but a very good teacher. His students love to hate him. 

Deth, The Keeper of the Shrine

Deth, the Keeper of the Shrine, is a name that is known to many but very few ever see. He is charged with the care and defense of the Shrine of Lost Souls, one of several chambers in the Citadel which is considered holy ground by the church of Draxorith. Deth is an undead lord, a skeletal being of considerable magical power. A lich of sorts. He commands a small army of lesser undead that serve him and help defend the Shrine. Deth never leaves his beloved shrine and only the highest ranking members of the church ever enter the Shrine.

Inns and Taverns

Name and Owner Description
The Black Cauldron
Truella
Tavern/Inn - A small tavern with eight rooms for rent run by a female half orc named Truella. Employed here are a greasy ogre chef named Krag, three human sisters - Ilsa, Elsa and Olina - who are the barmaids and Pembry, a human boy who cleans up and tends the stable. Every evening, Krag brews up a massive cauldron of hearty beef stew and loaves of freshly baked bread and everyone in the common room eats well. The Black Cauldron is located in the outer city in the lowest tier.
Three Fingered Jack's
Three Fingered Jack
Tavern/Inn - A tavern run by an human ex-thief who lost two fingers to a vicious trap years ago. He loves to retell the story to customers along with other tales from his younger days. Three Fingered Jack has lived in the Citadel for a very long time and knows everyone. He is an excellent contact for the Underworld and always seems to know what is going on. His establishment has been adopted as the unofficial meeting place for the Duthelm Thieves Guild.
Fellgor's ring
Fellgor
Tavern/Arena/Gambling Hall - A large tavern with an arena and nightly pit fighting. This place is run by a half-orc Fellgor, an ex-gladiator himself. Fellgor's ring is located inside the Citadel itself, on level 9. It is built around a huge circular pit with tiered seating all about. Behind the sitting are numerous lounges, tables and chairs where people can sit and talk over a meal. The place has a large kitchen, numerous pantries and very good food. Fellgor has a total staff of 12 people - 4 cooks, 4 barmaids and 4 general servants. He plays host himself and also serves as master of ceremonies, announcing fights and such.
Jenoc's Palace
Jenoc
Inn - A small inn with twenty rooms and a tiny kitchen. Run by a tall lanky human male named Jenoc. Jenoc's Palace is located inside the Citadel on level 7.
Gramothy's Brew
Gramothy
Brewery/Pub - Gramothy brews some of the finest ales in Duthelm. He has dozens of "named" brews, but due to his unorganized nature, each batch is a little different and so the original brews are constantly changing. This doesn't bother the clientele though. Even though you never know what you're going to get, it's always good ale. Gramothy is a half-orc - a widower whose wife died of an illness long ago. He is aided by two kitchen boys and three barmaids.
Steel and Leather
Byrak
Inn/Tavern - A huge and very popular inn and tavern with over 100 rooms. Average quality rooms and food. Byrak runs this place with a staff of twenty.

Name and Owner Description
Shagrimar's Rune
Shagrimar
Apothecary - Hedge wizard of sorts that runs a small apothecary and library bent towards magic and the occult. Sells such things as love potions, charms, wards against evil, healing potions, poisons, antidotes, material components for spells, ingredients for spell research and much more. Shagrimar is an ancient old hag of questionable race that hobbles about on an oaken cane which is as gnarled and knobby as she is. Her raspy voice is weak, but heard often as she is fond of telling stories, reciting incantations and generally mumbling to herself. Her son (who appears to be half orc) is a captain in the Citadel.
Grenga's Fine Blades
Grenga Tamir
Blade Weapon Shop - A blade shop. This small business specializes all manner of bladed weapons, from tiny throwing daggers to massive two-handed great swords. Grenga is a powerfully muscled human man who hails originally from Mercia. He has had a colorful past – having been a pirate in the Pirate Isles, a pit fighter in Ormek and a slave in Rukemia. When he was suddenly freed by a ogre captain during a battle in western Kitar, he decided to try his luck in Rukemia. Because of his adventurous past, he has developed quite a skill at using blades. And his enslavement was to a blacksmith and so he learned the trade. Although he lacks a full apprenticeship in blacksmithing, he makes up for it with hard labor and ingenuity. Despite the name on the store, his weapons are of average quality. However, he keeps his prices very reasonable and most weapons can be purchased here a little bit cheaper than some of his competitors. Grenga lives and works in his shop alone. He has no wife and no children. He is very good with money and quite frugal and has managed to save up some money. He is looking to expand his operation, either through a partnership with another blacksmith or by taking on an apprentice. Grenga often misses his adventuring days and has been known to close up shop for a month or more and join an adventuring party for awhile (if it seems like it would be profitable). His strong arms and battle experience make him a good addition to any group.
Tamarik's
Plentiful Foodstuffs

Tamarik half-elven
Food Shop - A general food store run by a half-elf man. An unusual racial mix in this city, but Tamarik is tough enough to take care of himself. Tamarik himself wears light leather armor and fights with two blades. He also has a spell or two up his sleeve. Tamarik runs this store with a human named Delbin and two twin grumman brothers, Bonder and Ponder. They keep the place clean and well stocked. Tamarik has connections to many of the local farms surrounding Duthelm, but also farms in Kitar and the Falkir Clans. Because of his races, the humans of Kitar and the Falkir grum will trade with him and give him a reasonable price where they would overcharge, or refuse to sell to, the ogres and orcs of Duthelm. Because of this Tamarik is able to offer a wider variety of foodstuffs and at a better price. This has helped his business grow.
Chest of Jewels
Keiller
Jewelry and Money Changing Shop - Keiller is a dwarf who runs a specialty shop. Within his store, one can exchange currencies or purchase magnificent gemstones and fine jewels. Keillor also dabbles in fine art, sculpture and other decorative pieces. Virtually anything that packs great wealth into a small package. As one might imagine, Keillor takes security very seriously.
The Brass Buckle
Lynlie
Garment Shop - This small clothing shop is run by a beautiful young human woman named Lynlie. She sells a variety of clocks, boots, gloves, tunics, vests and pants. She also does a brisk business in custom made jobs including masks, leather armor and specialty gloves, custom bags, satchels and backpacks. She is very talented. If it’s made of cloth or leather, she can make it or mend it. She has an old brother named Merrick who looks out for her, visits her shop often bringing her pelts and furs, and intimidates customers who get too “friendly” with her.
The Gilded Page
Hromoth
Scribe/Translator/Cartography Shop - Hromoth is an older human male. He runs this small shop with his wife. Hromoth is a skilled scribe and map maker. He has an extensive map collection and will gladly make copies for the right price. In addition, Hromoth speaks several languages and will serve as a translator. Finally, he has an extensive library and will serve as a paid sage, researching whatever topic is needed. Hromoth is aided by his assistant, a human scholar and research assistant named Valkov. Valkov is actually a spy for Kitar and reports back to his superiors in the Kitaran military with a magical scroll.
Troll's Lair
Gremoc Trollslayer
Junk Dealer/Trading Post - Gremoc Trollslayer is a half-orc with the heart of a businessman. He is happiest when haggling with a customer over some trinket and is quite good at sizing people up. His store is filled with endless piles of junk. Everything imaginable can be found here (usually buried under worthless junk, damaged armor, broken tools, incomplete sets of whatever and half a dozen unidentifiable blades. Gremoc spends most of his time repairing and cleaning items in his shop to be resold. He usually has a small collection of magical items for sale (at much higher prices obviously). The truth is that Gremoc is an aberrant - he is able to sense magical energy with great precision. He can detect not only the strength of a dweomer, but also the nature of the spells an object is imbued with. He has had this ability his whole life and is so good that he can usually figure out the functions and abilities of a magical item just be handling it. He can detect number and strength of magic items at a distance. Gremoc routinely keeps track of magic items in the Citadel always hoping to get his hands on some of the more powerful ones. He always scans customers when they enter his store. Every now and then someone will walk in with a magic item that they don't know about. Gremoc lives for these opportunities. He, of course, will haggle for the item, saying he has been looking for one. He's no fool and won't give away the items true value. He's very good at manipulating people. A side effect of this ability is that Gremoc is usually aware of powerful magics going on in the Citadel and whenever the Black Sorcerers of Duthelm start working with very powerful magic in the upper levels, he can always sense it. He is always very careful to keep this gift to himself. The Black Sorcerers might not appreciate someone "eavesdropping" on their magical research.

Gremoc gets his name from his past - he used to be a hunter who specialized in killing magical beasts. He was once paid quite well by a wizards' guild to help them with a troll infestation they had. Gremoc's unique ability allowed him to track the trolls. Their magical resistance created "mana dead" zones around them and he could sense it at a range of a few kilometers. Gremoc wears a necklace of troll teeth around his neck as a reminder of his hunting days. The nickname stuck.

The House of Satin
Satinara
Brothel - A large brothel of 20 working girls, 4 bouncers and 1 matron run in the outer city. This slovenly establishment services the commoners, visiting brigands, and some of the outer city guards. This brothel is a good place to make contacts with the underworld. The three story building itself is old and in disrepair. It is noticable for the huge chimney which dominates the sloping roof and the colored paneling
Volja's Fur and Pelts
Volja
Leather and Pelt Shop - Volja is a human hunter whose shop is closed half the time while Volja is out hunting. Her striking blonde hair hints at some borrellian heritage and her beauty has garnered her attention from many men in Duthelm, but she is as cold as the ice of the north and is dismissive of such attention. When her shop is open, it's the best place to find furs, pelts, skins and fine leather products.
Gramothy's Brew
Gramothy
Brewery/Pub - Gramothy brews some of the finest ales in Duthelm. He has dozens of "named" brews, but due to his unorganized nature, each batch is a little different and so the original brews are constantly changing. This doesn't bother the clientele though. Even though you never know what you're going to get, it's always good ale. Gramothy is a half-orc - a widower whose wife died of an illness long ago. He is aided by two kitchen boys and three barmaids.
Clay  Hearth
Kendrick
Bakery - a human baker owns and runs this shop. He makes a variety of good breads including one which involves beef rolled in dough and baked. It is a favorite among the soldiers of the outer city. They would look unfavorably upon any who did Kendrick harm.
Sisters of Sin
Morgan
Brothel - The Sisters of Sin is a huge, state-run and state-funded, brothel and social club. Many wealthy nobles, ranking military officers and political officials come here to relax and be treated to the finest that money can buy. Fabulous feasts in private rooms served by scantily clad beauties are typical here. Every possible indulgence is satiated. It is even said that the Queen herself has obtained a consort or two from this establishment.

This establishment is for members only and charges 150 gold pieces per year for basic membership. Meals, consorts and everything else here are of the highest quality and are very expensive. “Sin” is the theme of this establishment and members are encouraged to indulge in every sin and fantasy they have. Nothing is too exotic or too extreme.

This establishment is named for the women who work here. Many of them have subtle demonic touches to their appearance. Many of them know magic. It is said that some or all of them are witches, able to cloud men’s minds with their magic, to brew love potions and to concoct elixirs that intensify pleasure. Likewise, it is said that this establishment has many connections with the Dukes of Hell. That many of the girls have lain with demons, been taught the seductive arts by succubi and have been blessed by dark masters with rare gifts.

Ruling over this decadent hall of flesh is Morgan and Malhorra, twin sisters with reddish skin, yellow eyes and small horns – no doubt they have some trace of demon blood flowing in their veins. (Some say the name of the establishment refers to them). These two beauties are the hosts of the club and, some say, occasional consorts to Lord Caramus himself.
Battle Cave
 
Warriors Guild Gathering Hall - The Battle Cave is an immense chamber deep within the mountain of the Citadel in which mercenary companies and individual warriors are allowed to stay for free. Strewn about the floor of this cavern are hundreds of tents and shacks that form a crude village of sorts. This is a social gathering area where warriors share ale over fire roasted meat and tell each other war stories. This is the best place to find an experienced soldier, hire a bodyguard or otherwise recruit some one to swing a sword.
House of Cards
Horcar
Gambling Hall - A popular gambling house, inn and tavern run by a retired ogre captain named Horcar. Horcar had a long and illustrious career as field marshal in the armies of Duthelm and fought in many major battles. He has seen enough blood shed and now wishes only to enjoy the time he has left. When he retired from the military, he took his fortune and bought a run down establishment in the outer city (second tier). The place is huge and has one gambling hall, two taverns, two kitchens, two common rooms, 26 private rooms and one private lounge. It is run by a staff of 16 people, eight of whom served with him and still call him “sir”.
Unholy Relic
Quarin
Library/Museum - The Unholy Relic is a both a place and organization. It serves as a museum, a library, a historical archive and place of learning. The facility is housed in the Citadel where it can be kept safe. Within the Relic, tens of thousands of moldy books, dusty scrolls and ancient artifacts are kept herein. Quarin is as old and frail human who walks slowly with a cane. He has pale skin and a gaunt appearance. His grey hair is unkempt and he has thick wolf-like side burns of grey. Quarin, once a skilled magi and notable scholar, has degenerated over the years into a shuffling, mumbling shell of a man. He has become very reclusive and introverted and never leaves his beloved books. Despite all this, he has a remarkable memory (if you can get him to focus on the subject at hand) and knows the location of every item in the Relic. He once taught history classes to students at Darklore, but now shies away from social activities. The only people who see him regularly are the apprentices who help him run the place and the rare scholar coming here to look up some ancient bit of lore. Much of the history of Duthelm is kept here and historical records going all the way back to the Great War are here as well, it is rumored.
Flame Kissed Blade
Aragno Brith
Smithy and Weapons Shoppe- Specializes in bladed weapons. Aragno is a gifted smith who utilized an odd combination of techniques to produce a variety of fine blades. His own blade collection is one of the finest to be found anywhere and these blades hang proudly on the wall of his shop. Aragno appears to be a well built half-orc male of advancing years. While he is half-orc, Aragno is also an aberrant whose flesh and skin is burn resistant. He can plunge his hands into open flame and feel no pain, suffer no burns. He has used this talent to good measure in his smithy.
Brood Nest
Dukelle
Animal Shop and Stables - Large shop in the outer city. Sells war dogs, guard dogs, horses, oxen, etc. Run by an orcish self-proclaimed "Beast Master".
Malgora's Iron Skins
Malgora
Armor Shop - A large shop run by Malgora, an ogre and former captain in the military, and six armor smiths. Sells a wide variety of armor, from padded and leather outfits to full plate armor.

Chaetel's Fine
Woodworks

Chaetel

Wainwright and Carpentry Shoppe - This large stone building is filled with crates, barrels, half unfinished wagons, raw lumber and dozens of wood cutting and shaping tools. The woodwright here makes wagons, but will also craft barrels, wheelbarrows, arrows, scythes and just about anything else made out of  wood. This shop is run by a Chaetel, a soft spoken, dark skinned foreigner. He was a Rukemian slave, taken from the distant west. Through a series of adventures, Fate delivered him here in Duthelm. He put his wood carving skills to good use and has built up a good business for himself. He works tirelessly and his work is quite good.
Shaped Stone
Alisa and Saker Parithi
Stone Mason - This shop is run by a husband and wife team. Saker, the husband, is a stone mason who purchases a variety of stone and marble from the mines within the Citadel and fashions them into bricks, tiles, pillars and other materials for building. He also crafts statues, mantles, arches and chimneys. His wife, Alisa, is quite the artist and sculpts many statues and does pottery.
Muddy Hoof Ranch
Kalafut
Horsebreeder - This ranch, just outside the city proper, is a large two acre fenced area with several buildings and stables. It is run by Kalafut, an aging and overweight human with a bald head and thick bushy mustache. Kalafut is quite the character who will regale customers with endless stories. He has a keen eye for horseflesh and has a number of excellent steeds for sale.  He also has stables where anyone may stable a horse, be it for an hour, a day or a year.
Pitch and Thunder
Koch
Music Shop - This small store is run by a battle scarred orc named Koch. He is immensely proud of the orcish race and will have words (and possibly cross blades) with anyone who insults orcs. His racial pride has found an outlet in orcish battle songs, marching songs, and musical instruments. Koch sells a variety of orcish war drums. He also does business in several types of pipe and horns and other instruments.

This website was last updated October 26, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.

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