Zel City, Zeland
Table of Contents
Areas of Interest
1 Fortress of the Lord of Sloth
2 North Bridge
3 South Bridge
4 West Bridge
5 Telan Market
6 Great Oak Park and Oaken Gate
7 Caven Meadow Slum
8 Toscommon Slum
9 Newry Mansion Row
10 Darrik Mercantile Row
11 Longford Inn and Theater Row
12 West Gate and Drury Market
13 Wexlow Temple Row
14 Callow Guild Row
15 Orc Troop Barracks, the Pit
General Information About the City (Large City)
Who Rules: Orax, the Lord of Sloth.
Money Limit: 25,000
Other Power Centers: Kordakon the Mangler, a half-ogre warlord. This huge creature conducts much of the business of the city in the face of Sloth's inactivity.
Cord, high priest of Vornoth. This orc often supports Kordakon in his decisions.
The Ironworker's Guild. This guild has managed to resist the overpowering apathy that encompasses much of the city and has thus grown very rich.
Ronan Otull, a mysterious archmage who inhabits an equally mysterious mansion in the Newry quarter. Lord Ronan often resists Kordakon's pronouncements.
Population: About 20,000-25,000. The population is three quarters human, with the rest consisting of goblins, orcs, and half-orcs
Major Products: Most guilds within Zel City have ceased to operate, as craftsmen no longer create the beautiful works that once were found in this great city. The goods that do come from Zel City these days are of the lowest quality, though prices are even higher than before due to the general lack of goods available. Some goods exported are iron, textiles, barrels, woven baskets, and glass.
Armed Forces: A small garrison of orcs and oluk troops is stationed at the imposing fortress known as the Pit. These troops, under the direct control of the Lord of Sloth, are generally all he needs to enforce his will in the city, as his magical apathy tends to make the populace rather docile. Korakon the Mangler also has a small strike force of ogres and orcs, his personal bodyguard, who have relatively free reign in the city. Although ostensibly in league with Sloth's garrison, the two forces have clashed on several occasions.
The City: Zel City, the capital of Zeland, is a very ancient city, although prior to the Dark Conquest, it was well maintained. Now it is beginning to show its age, primarily because of the field of lethargy emitted by the Lord of Sloth. Indeed, this creeping apathy is the primary characteristic of modern Zel City. The inhabitants of the city are to a greater or lesser extent afflicted by a deep sloth, and they work only a bare minimum of hours, just enough to conduct the business which will keep them from starving. This field of sloth keeps the citizens firmly under the control of the Lord of Sin, for it is a very rare individual who can find the motivation to attempt a rebellion.
The city itself is located at the intersection of two rivers: the mighty Greatwash and one of its tributaries, the Collin River. It is built on a narrow strip of land that juts far into the water. This tiny peninsula, called the Aedel Peninsula, is bordered by rolling fields to the north, but accessing it from the east or west requires the crossing of long, many-arched bridges, all in various states of disrepair. It is impossible to access the city from the south except by water. The city proper does not have any major dock access, although the east bank contains various piers, warehouses, and shipping facilities. This community, called East Port, is out of the range of Sloth's lethargy effects, and is a rather busy dock, trading with communities as far south as Orland. East Port does much to keep lazy Zel City economically viable.
The city is divided into quarters, generally based on their function. For example, most of the city's guilds are located in the guild quarter, the richer residents tend to dwell in mansion row, and the poor residents are relegated to the city's numerous slum quarters.
Some of the notable features of Zel City are its massive Oak Trees. Some of the largest trees on the continent grow on the Aedel Peninsula. These trees grow several hundred feet tall, and their canopies are hundreds of feet in diameter. The largest of these trees is the Great Oak, located in the south east section of the city, near the Oaken Gate; this tree is many thousands of years old. When the dark forces first conquered the city, they wanted to burn these oaks, but the Lord of Sloth refused to permit it. For some reason he felt some sort of kinship with these massive yet immobile objects.
Once a place of teeming culture, including theaters and music halls, Zel City now lacks any cultural attractions. This unfortunate circumstance is again the result of the sloth that afflicts the city. This apathy, however, has had a positive side as well, for the dark forces do not find it necessary to inflict too much abuse on the population to keep them in line. Thus, compared to the citizens of other occupied capital cities, the residents of Zel City have it a bit easier, although starvation always threatens.
Important Dates for the City
5255--Zel City is founded.
5303--The city of Connacht is founded and civil war looms for Zeland.
5304--King Eoghain of Zel City marches on Connacht and destroys it, ending the civil war.
5500--Zeland and Orland engage in several minor border skirmishes with each other.
5606--The human kingdom of Lorindon is founded to the South East of the Belendale by Wulfgar, King of the wild peoples of that area.
c. 5650--Lorindon trades with Zeland and acquires literacy and culture.
5700--Farland invades Zeland, beginning the Wars of Empire.
5710--Zel City is besieged and conquered. Farland defeats and annexes Zeland.
5739--Zeland rebels. Farland withdraws its troops from Lorindon to squelch the threat. The Coughing Plague breaks out and causes widespread famine. Thousands die. Zel City is hit particularly hard.
5751--Zeland and Orland are again defeated and the empire of Farland is reestablished.
5975--Zeland and Orland finally rebel in force. The evil armies besiege the Far City.
5979--Zeland and Orland secede from the empire.
6510--Overlord Zel XI of Zel City demands tribute from the dwarves of Dorlhaud, in the Hook Hills. They refuse.
6515--Zel XI attacks Dorlhaud but is unsuccessful.
6516--Dorlhaud retaliates and eliminates the town of Zinkeal.
6519--Zeland and Orland unite against Dorlhaud and besiege it.
6522--Dorlhaud falls. Zeland captures the Sceptre of Dorlhaud, and Orland claims the mace of Ralin, Dorlhaud's king.
6525--The great hold Wawmar sends word to other Dwarfholds about Dorlhaud's fate.
6530--The dwarven host takes on Zeland. The Battle of the Axe is fought on what is now the Battleplain. Zeland is defeated and Zel I falls when the Sceptre of Dorlhaud fails him. Dwarves sack Zel City. Orland pays a ransom to Wawmar.
7143--Zel contributes troops to the Eastern alliance, led by Farland. The Alliance invades Kelerak. After a minor skirmish, Kelerak agrees to pay tribute to Farland and the alliance.
7305--The Coughing Plague, also known as the Coffin Plague, ravages the highlands of Zeland and parts of Orland.
7509--The wizard Lapthrouwn of Zel City summons a demon, who goes on a rampage in the city. Finally the hero Pune slays it.
7759--Wawmar closes trade with Zel City and its Overlord Dolan III.
c. 7790--The forces of Evil are poised to strike out of the Wintervale. They scatter across the continent and prepare for an assault.
7797--The evil Lord, using the most reluctant of the Lords of Sin, the Lord of Sloth, attacks Zeland. However Farland comes to the rescue and the Lord of Sloth is repulsed. Later in the year a huge force of monsters attacks out of the Deadlands. Farland withdraws its troops from Zeland to fight and defeat the monsters. Zeland quickly falls and the city is conquered.