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|Governor||Count Ma'ar Saldana|
|Commissent||Ragminion of the XXVIII|
|Magistrate||Kei-Ry, The Baron Netherwell|
“Why does our city suffer so?” Adaril asked his father. They were picking amongst the ruins in an attempt to find anything that they might sell for a few loaves.
“It has always been so.” His father muttered. “My father told me once that our settlement was a military camp built upon the site of a great battle. Here our legions defeated the tribes, but in so doing they received the order from their general to kill all who survived.”
“I suppose they thought it would act as a warning should the tribes ever rise again. Didn’t work though, that sort of thing just acts as a sore for them, something to be avenged. Anyway, my old dad told me that as the soldiers killed the captured warriors, their families and even their herds their shaman, a woman called Clear Water Open Sky cursed them for their actions. My dad said that the curse bound a great spirit to the land from the spirits of the dead and ever after our city has suffered defeat and turmoil.”
“Can’t we just move?”
Second Age History of Thimon
Towards the end of the Sallow Princedoms, the early legions were sent to quell a revolt of the southern tribes lead by the great chieftan Cunning Wolf. Guided by his shaman and wife, Clear Water Open Sky he succeeded in planting the totem banner and calling the scattered to him who all took his totem for their own. The Howling Wolf was a strong totem then, made more so by the fresh numbers who came to follow it. In later years it would be driven into the dark forest to the east but in IM283 it roamed amongst its children as they defied the Princes and drove the settlers and villagers who followed the Princes away towards Sellaville and the river valley that would become Trollsville.
The horde was met at a great natural hill, broad and flat and there they were defeated by the legions, though at great cost. General Usal Schtook ordered the captured tribes butchered to prevent another rising and the shaman wove a last rite that bound the tormented spirits to the area as a curse to civilisation. General Usal founded a military camp upon the hill which grew in size and importance as it became the gathering point of the defence of the lush northern continent.
The settlement prospered in the Republic under House Edwige and attained its city status soon after. The curse seemed to manifest itself sporadically however, primarily in the incidence of lycanthropy amongst the young and the far higher than normal beast cults that thrived within its simple walls. These beast cults were totemic in nature, but were of the more urban animal spirits. Towards the end of the Republic the city was run slowly down as the armies were recalled towards Halgar and during the time of the Magiocracies Thimon became little more than a vassal city to Sevalian control. Only truly free under Amoran rule, Thimon never regained its status since Takalia was better sited and built to act as a military buffer against the Southern Baronies. In recent years it was almost taken over by the Slavik ratcult and during the fighting between the cult and the Knights of the Land the city was almost destroyed once again. The curse once more had proven its power...
Thimon Basic Background
The History of Thimon
A city revived in recent years, Thimon has arguably changed greatly during this time where, like Alguz it has risen from adversity. That its troubles are less widely known says a great deal about the city and its character; for the Thimonese are a close-mouthed lot who rarely tend towards boastful or arrogant behaviour. Such sullenness is often confused for meekness amongst first time visitors, but this is a mistake for in the main the Thimonese are clever, watchful people who rarely forget and never, ever forgive. So close to the border with the Baronies there is a thick, racial streak of Bulaslavian blood in the people and they often resemble Baronies folk more than the people of their native Empire.
Though seemingly crowded, the city is not in actuality very populous. Great chunks of the settlement are made up of ruined buildings and the ignored damage of various conflicts down the years. Indeed, so depleted is the population compared to that which it was in the past that there is hardly a need to buy property at all. First time visitors to the city are often surprised by the scarcity of Inn’s at which they might stay. More regular travellers know that an hour’s hunting will turn up an empty, long abandoned house with little effort.
The skyline of Thimon could also be confused with no other. So close to the Brandins, fine stone and slate are not only cheap but they are effectively free if one cares to strip the nearest empty buildings. Though the typical Thimon building is old and in need of repair, patched up with boards and canvass, the materials are of fine quality and the buildings tend to be tall, thin, pointed structures with sharply sloping slate roofs. The Brandins also provide cheap blackstone and during the cold winters the sky of the city is thick with the dense fog of a thousand overlarge fireplaces.
Much of the recent damage to the city is a result of the conflict between the Ratfolk of Slavik and the Knights of the Land. Though the Knights proudly declared their victory it is interesting to note that the rats are not only resident in great numbers but that they are well regarded citizens by both the locals, who have come to appreciate the similarity of character they share, and the Council. Indeed, the Governor, Count Saldana, is known to not tolerate a word being said against his newest citizens.
Strangely, Thimon is almost bereft of the ghouls and other nightwalkers that are both a nuisance and an unacknowledged form of walking sewer in other cities. Scant years ago a plague swept through the city and the corpses that remained were then seen to walk out of the settlement and not only have they failed to return but physical undead in general seem to scent something worrying about the city and avoid it if they can. As much cannot be said though for their more ethereal peers…
Not as dark as Deci, but not far off, not as united as Sellaville, but close when faced with outsiders, nor as mercantile as Keys, but, again, close, Thimon is a city rich in character since it is the place where the culture of the Empire and the Baronies merges.
The people and the land of Thimon
The character of the people has been covered already and it extends out into the rural areas that pay their taxes to the southern city. The villages are not so prosperous as those in the Heartlands since for centuries they were the places where the Empires herds roamed. Depleted over the years the herds were first savaged during the last years of the Magiocracal Wars and what remained fell to ill husbandry and raids from the south. Now the villages have turned to agriculture since centuries of cattle dung have made the land fertile. Over the last few years farming has been mostly restricted to frantically gathering up the wild grains that have spread quickly across the grassy hillsides, that sit like islands amongst the rocky slopes and stony ground of the area.
Tough and used to living so close to both the Baronies and the Brandins, the rural Thimonese are more used to conflict, more willing to join in and ‘have a go’. Whilst many a brigand has been driven off by angry, spade wilding serfs there is more than one village that has been destroyed when they refused to give up their meagre winter supplies to roaming raiders.
The closest city to the Brandin Mountains, a great many of the people who dwell in the valleys and quarry towns have relations in Thimon. Links between the two regions are very strong taking the Thimonese yet further from what might be considered the ‘Imperial character’. Many of the cities cousins in the Brandins and Takalia fled there after one of the many revolts that took place in the city against Republic or Magiarch and for much of the cities history the people have been heavily subjugated. Whilst this might have ground others down it resulted in the quiet caution that so characterises the people now.
Most of the villages have gained new life from the wild crops since in recent years they have been descended upon by traders keen to corner a market that was formerly, in the cattle days, firmly sewn up by the Merchant Houses. Not being a thickly populated land the villagers can roam the rocky land for great distances as they search for and exploit each crop of wild grain that they find. This is perhaps, more than any other reason, why they are so different to the villagers of the Heartlands who rarely stray more than a few miles from their hometown. The rural Thimonese like to hear news and regularly make trips into the city when they’ve got a few grulls to burn.
Clothing in and about Thimon tends to add short, stout jerkins to the normal Imperial baggy shirt and britches. The britches tend to be gathered about the shin with cloth strips or puttees to keep the hems free of dirt in the villages or to prevent them snagging on rubble and jutting nails in the city. Since the villagers tend to roam more widely than their peers elsewhere they are often better armed, though with weapons that can be rightly claimed to be tools. Quite what use a sharp spade or hatchet could be for harvesting grain is not something the Watch tends to ask.
Why Mercenaries Adventure in Thimon
As has already been described, Thimon is very different to the rest of the Imperial Cities due to its closer associations to other lands than most. The influences of the Baronies and even the Brandins are strongly felt everywhere and this can provide a great deal of work for the mercenary community. Apart from Port Miere, Thimon is the city most strongly touching on the Secundal Mittlenacht and although not as strongly felt as in the Waldgrafines the citizens of Thimon are certainly no strangers to odd tales and strange events.
The Brandins, which will be looked at in more detail at another time, are close to the city and amongst the vast and mountainous range, that was once thought to be the edge of the world, the touch of nation is not felt. Neither the Empire nor the Baronies can lay claim to the Brandins according to the Treaty of Gressen and thus it is truly a place where either order or law can be readily felt. Al’Macsar is not close, being towards the west and near to Thimon the mountains are home to people, even things, that have been driven there from both north and south.
But of most worth to a mercenary is the city itself. Despite its many buildings and streets, the low population means that of all the cities in the Empire Thimon is the one that has the most potential for actual in city adventuring. Even Sellaville cannot make such a claim since really the entire city is within its Refuge Quarter whereas the Thimonese are spread throughout the settlement. Amongst the tumbled down but still sturdy streets mercenaries can find the sort of work that they might otherwise have to leave the city for elsewhere. Or, more likely, enter the catacombs that infest every settlement of Primus. Indeed, compared to other cities, only Eartholme has a more orderly under-city.
For below the streets dwell the Ratfolk. They don’t possess the entirety of the catacombs though perhaps as much as half come under their sway. Here they toil, breed and even pay their taxes, here their ever increasing numbers always need more space and thus, with their lives being precious to the Nine Aspects, the newly more wealthy Ratfolk have taken to hiring mercenaries to clear the dark galleries for them.
Lastly, the Merchant Houses are relatively strong in Thimon. Much of the southern trade comes through the city and strong links have been formed with the traders of Takalia, due in no small part to the interests and actions of both Ma’ar Saldana and Haruld of Shaehan. Merchants and traders have money and most see mercenaries as a positive investment where their business is concerned. The work is varied enough for most tastes and there are many, up-and-coming traders to whom the adventuring community is a valuable resource when they need to open a new market or act against the competition.
Dark as soot and watchful as a murder of crows, Thimon has a rich vein of excitement and possibility that can be readily explored.
Just don’t expect the average Thimonese to talk about it.