Independent City


Who Rules: First Chair, Lord Kessath Hrypason (LN, Human Male, 0-level) is a very old, fragile and benevolent ruler. The position of First Chair was created over two hundred years ago and the person who occupies that chair is chosen from among the University Elders, by the elders themselves. The present ruler has ruled for 43 years and has done a great job. He is now starting to become senile, and it appears the elders will soon vote to replace Lord Hrypason.

Who Really Rules: First General Ramsey Bluesabre (LG, Human Male, F29) is current head of the Ansar Knights. The Ansar Knights have based their headquarters in Rossak for the past 150 years. For the past 100 years the Fisrt General has been the close advisor of the First Chair, and General Ramsey is no exception. He has stood beside Lord Kesseth for 26 years and in recent years has made sure that no one takes advantage of his failing mental faculties. Despite the temptation General Ramsey never lets his personal opinions or desires interfere with his role as advisor.

Population: 82,000 (55% human, 45% mixed other races).

Major Products: Knowledge, students, music, musical instruments, books, glassware, paper, vellum, textiles, mutton, medicines, locks, and pottery. The city also produces Marblecloak ale, which is popular amongst the university teachers, and Alchemy Jug, a brandy popular among sages.

Armed Forces: Rossak maintains a force of 1,000 light infantry who act more as police than a military force. The Ansar Knights, however, have a permanent force of 8,000 troops stationed here. 6,000 of these are knights who have the dual role of heavy cavalry and infantry. The other 2,000 are an equal mix of artillerist/engineers and archers. At any given time, though, there is usually an additional 2,000-8,000 Ansar Knights camped just outside of town.

Notable Mages: The number of notable mages is too high to count. Add to that the fact that at any given time there are hundreds of notable mages visiting to do research, and the list becomes even greater.

Notable Churches: Deneir, Milil, Torm, Oghma, Selune, Gond, Sune, and Lathander.

Notable Rogues' and Thieves' Guilds: Jarrot DelRuth (LN, Halfling Male, T15) has run the Stolen Scroll guild for 17 years, which is 14 years longer than any previous guild master in the last 150 years. The Ansar Knights are very diligent in their persecution of thieves. This has resulted in a severe imbalance within the guild. Its members are either very good, or very inexperienced.

Equipment Shops: Full for non-weapon items, ¼ for weapons, which are strictly regulated in Rossak.

Adventurers' Quarters: Adventurers are welcome just about anywhere within Rossak, but if they want to sleep with their weapons then they had better stay in one of the inns outside of town, all of which have heavily guarded strong-rooms where adventurers can store weapons.

Important Characters: The number of sages within Rossak is staggering, and no matter how rare a subject it is more than likely that there will be at least one expert in town, more than likely at the University. However, finding that person could prove to be a serious challenge as the University staff looks down upon sages and the sages despise the snobby professors.

Mehec Stormplate (CG, Dwarf Male, F6) is a master locksmith. He specializes in making oversize locks and keys, and in the creation of very elaborately designed keys and locks that are extremely hard to pick. These keys have numerous teeth on them and some could almost pass as weapons.

Sarantha Silvertongue (LN, Human Female, B18) is a bard of unusually high skill and with a voice that is said to melt stone. She is often found wandering the street playing her lyre and singing songs. She loves to write parodies about the petty squabbling of the nobility and intellectuals. For a price she will write a song about anything, except the Ansar Knights. The victims of her songs hate her, but the common townspeople love and adore her.

Ludo (CN, ½-ogre Male, F16) is a large, hulking idiot whose skill with the battleaxe is without equal. He was wandering through an alley in town, looking for rats to eat when he heard Sarantha singing. Since then he has been her self-appointed protector and champion. Sarantha at first couldn't stand him, but at her insistence he has cleaned up is at least presentable, for a half-ogre. Sarantha provides whatever food and clothing he needs, and he protects her. He is one of 9 individuals who are not a member of the military or the Ansar Knights who are allowed to carry arms in R ossak.

Vesril the Smith (LE, Halfling Male, F14) lives outside of town and makes concealed weapons. He is under a constant watch by the Ansar Knights, but they can't stop him, and very few of his weapons are discovered.

Pater Revbea (LN, Human Male, F14) runs The Blue Gauntlet, a school of unarmed combat

Tomass Revbea (CN, Human Male, F14) runs The Green Fist, a school of unarmed combat.

Seth Revbea (NE, Human Male, F14) runs The Orange Crescent, a school of unarmed combat.

Important Features in Town: Rossak is a large, circular city that is heavily fortified. The finest craftsmen made the outer walls, and the inner walls are just as impressive. The city is divided into six wedge-shaped sections with a large circular section in the middle. This middle section is taken up completely by the University, which has grown so much that is also occupies almost all the available space in the wedge just to the north of it. The walls, while maintained and manned diligently, are relatively useless as the number of mages in town combined with the Ansar Knights has given the town its best defense: a great reputation with a touch of fear.

Rossak is also one of the few towns that strictly enforce a policy of no weapons. There are stiff penalties for being caught with anything larger than a dagger or knife. To get around this someone came up with the idea of hiring a huge bodyguard who was then made to carry around a 3-foot length of chain with large steel ring on the end. To this ring were attached a large number of keys. This proved to be an exceptional weapon, especially if a lot of the keys were made by Mehec. It's not uncommon for Ansar Knight patrols to stop someone with a chain of keys and demand that they prove that all of the keys have corresponding locks that are being used. The town has yet to find a way to outlaw these keychains.

There are three martial arts schools in town, The Blue Gauntlet, The Green Fist, and The Orange Crescent, each of which are located in different sections of town. When not training their students roam the streets in groups of 3-10, decked out in the colors of their school, looking for members of the other schools. The ensuing fights are often bloody, but seldom deadly.

Local Lore: The area around Rossak is so well defended that it is one of the safest in the Regions. In town, though, there is enough intrigue and magic doings to make life very interesting at times. Rumors of magical gates similar to Waterdeep are a common topic of discussion amongst people who frequent inns and taverns. There has also been a disturbing rumor that some demonic power, in conjunction with a powerful mage, managed to create a duplicate of Waterdeep's Ruins of Undermountain beneath the city. These are unproven, as of yet.

Just to the Northeast of Rossak and deep beneath the surface lies the Underdark region known as The Goblin Lands. While the denizens of this region almost never come to the surface they inhabit an area that was once home to several great dwarven and Svirfneblin cities. Many adventurers come to Rossak seeking information on these lands and then go off in search of the rumored wealth of these ancient cities. One of these old dwarf cities, Ironblade, was once the home to the fabled Mithrilale clan, the creators and brewers of the Ale of the Gods.


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