Back to the Orussus Region.
The Free City of Orussus
Orussus was a city that had been inhabited for a very long time. Orussus has been attacked and destroyed several times in its history. It was always rebuilt.
Rumors: The original city lies a few miles south of the present city.
The city of Orussus is under the reign of no man. The city has been built outside the boundary of many kingdoms and has stayed a free land. As the free city has grown, it has established a council. The council is formed by representatives of each of the major organizations of the city. The council meets in the High Court of Orussus.
The council is led by a mayor. The mayor is named by the council members. His mandate can have a length of 36 months, but generally a new mayor is named every 30 months. To make sure no guild or organization would overpower the others, a mayor cannot be a member of the same guild as one of the four previous mayors. The main role of the mayor is to lead the meeting of the council and to represent the city to outside organizations or kingdoms.
Being a crossroad city, Orussus' economy depends heavily on trade. Many traders have established their house in the city, using to their advantage the harbor and the roads that lead to many kingdoms. All the transformation industries also prosper in this city where all the primary resources travel through. Weavers, tailors, leather workers, jewelers, blacksmiths and carpenters all prosper well in Orussus. Finally, a third sector grows well in the city, all the services to travelers. Those with professions in transportation and lodging live well.
In the region near Orussus, platinum coins are called Dragons, gold coins Crowns, silver coins Shields, and copper coins Pennies. In Orussus, crowns are sometimes called "Ennies".
The gp limit in Orussus is 20,000 gp. Trade is fueled by the presence of the Red Dragon Inn.
Guilds and Business
Most guildhouses are located in the Clerk's district.
The guilds have seen their numbers reduce during recent times. As everyone wanted more power on the council, the different guilds have regrouped to increase their influence.
To be member of a guild, you must be an artisan (or a senior or equivalent). Apprentices have no membership. A membership allows the member to open a shop to trade or sell their goods or service.
Profession: Blacksmith, Locksmith, Weaponsmith
Number of members: 17
Ingus Stonebender [Dwarven blacksmith, South East of Merchant's Avenue]
Rurik Drewer [Dwarven blacksmith, North of Red Dragon Place]
Traubon Mithrilaxe [Dwarven blacksmith, South of High District]
Note: Only masters can gain membership in this guild. Apprentices can be recorded, but aren't full members of the guild. To be a master, someone needs to present an object he has crafted that will be evaluated by the guild, own his own forge and pay the membership fee. Only masters are allowed to produce goods for Commercial and Industrial use. A master can be assisted by any number of apprentice. Personal production can be done by non-member without penalties. Many masters have their first apprentice, the apprentice that has more power within the forge, supervise the work while the master is gone and generally takes the place of the master when he retires.
A PC with the Apprentice job is considered an apprentice.
A PC with the Craftsman job, but doesn't own a workshop, is considered a first apprentice. 1/4 of the income goes to the master of the forge.
A PC with the Craftsman job and with a workshop, is considered to be a master.
Profession: Architect, Carpenter, Mason
Number of members: 37
Number of members: 41
Gontor [Jeweler, Old City]
Jaramis [Jeweler, High District Bazaar, Jaramis Jewelries]
Profession: Glove makers, Leather workers, Purse makers, Cobblers
Number of members: 89
Profession: Merchants, Traders
Number of members: 103
Edwyd [Food Merchant, Red Dragon Place, Edwyd�s Victuals]
Fenton [Wine trader, Merchant's Avenue]
Rinaldo di Senzio's [Human Magic Item Trader (PC), Merchant's Avenue, di Senzio Magic Shop]
Number of members: 23
Note: The sages are erudites that sells there knowledge.
Profession: Dyers, Tailors, Weavers
Number of members: 82
Bridgend Merchant's Guild
Profession: Business owners
Number of members: 13
Members: Angeline "Aunt" Greata: - Halfling Gourmet Baker; Ped Huffgood: - Halfling Spice Merchant; Albrekt Silverhammer: - Dwarf Silver Smith; Jollo Breen: - Human Barrister; Douglas Breen: - Human Barrister; Triana Brintley: - Gnome Barrister; Anarion "Moonshine": - Half-Elf Baric Bartender; Sebastian Verlas: - Human Tailor; Eustance Verlas: - Human Tailor; Mariella Verlas: - Human Tailor; Holden Perkiss: - Human Menagerie Owner; Leesha Honeylot: - Human Livery Sable Owner; Gunt Yarman: - Half-Orc Butcher
Permanent population: 8 223 recorded
Average Population: 12 000 approximated
Orussus is a small city. Being at the crossroad of many nations, and with his reputation of a trading centers and adventurer city, Orussus has seen an abnormal flow of travelers for his size. During all years, the city sees over 30% of its population as temporary townspeople. During fairs and tournaments, the temporary population can reach up to 50%. The temporary population is made up of people that have no established home in the city or live there less than 6 month per year (eg. adventurers, mercenary, sailors, traders...). This number also includes any person not recorded (like homeless or outlaws).
One reason why the economy of the city prospers so much is the security of the city. It is one of the safest cities on the continent. The guilds see the value of a safe city that keeps the goods flowing. Guard towers have been established in each district, and the number of active watchmen is kept around one for each 120 people in the city, including the temporary inhabitants, at all times. That means the average number of active guards in the city is at any time would be 100, spread throughout the different guard towers.
There is one guard tower at 67 Broadstroke Street, on the corner of Livingstone street. The guardhouse has a first story of stone and a second story of wood and has large rough stones below and narrow, grilled windows above. This guardhouse is situated in the Clerks' district.
There is one guard tower in the High district, south of the center of it.
The Town Guard
The Orussus Guard prides itself on its response time. Each squad consists of five guards: four armed guards and a powerful wizard capable of teleportation magic to whisk the five to the location of the emergency. Joe, the bartender at the Red Dragon, has a method of magical communication with the guard. Their current record stands at thirty seconds, in response to a "duel" that took place outside of the Red Dragon Inn between the halfling Cain and the human wizard Calamar the Dark.
Crime and Punishment
The death penalty does exist in Orussus for some crimes.
Orussus has a fire brigade, ringing bells is the signal to call them.
The clerk district is in the south of the city. In this district, most of the justice and bureaucratic institutions as well as most of the Guilds have been established here. Most people living here are working for one of these organizations, giving the district its name. The district is separated in four quarters, each one bordered by East, West, North or South Potter�s Lane. Most of the buildings in this district are made of wood.
Among all these buildings can be found Voran, Valin, Vursur and Sons and Associates, Clerks and Barristers, at 237 East Potter�s Lane. This stone building shows a sign that says in dwarven �Records kept as well as your Axe�. Just beneath, a smaller sign repeats the same in common.
The Blacksmith's Guildhouse has established itself inside one of the rare stone building of the Clerks' Ward.
The region surrounding the northern docks seems to be of lesser quality than the rest of Orussus. The buildings are slightly shabbier, more crowded; street side beggars are a slightly more common sight here. Sewers are few and far between, and the sunken ground collects small puddles of dirty water with every rain.
The docks north of the river and its surrounding environ are decidedly shabbier, more decrepit and dilapidated than the rest of Orussus. With the sun going down, the streets are dim and the roads are muddy from the previous day's rain. Buildings seem to consist mostly of taverns, inns, chandlers' stores, shipwrights' shops and warehouses... Everything catering to the sailor and merchant. Occasionally, men and women of all manner of description in worn clothing of all manner of description stand aside to watch from alleys and doorways as you pass. You can almost feel their mildly suspicious glances as you walk through the streets toward the harbor.
Emerging out into the northern docks and harbor proper, you can see a handful of large ships at the dock. They seem to be secured and waiting the high tide, as none of them show much activity. Farther down, smaller local fishing boats can be seen tied up to pilings or beached on the strand. On a short jetty close to the docks, stands a small shack hung with coils of rope, chain and netting. Hanging outside the door of the shack, a sign depicting an anchor and a ship's wheel sways in the slight breeze, creaking quietly.
The shops here seem more geared towards ships, as would be expected, though a handful is interspersed between a multitude of taverns. No merchants hawk their wares here, though you can occasionally hear laughter from a tavern as you pass by. Among those shops Jericho's Repairs can be found.
South of the river, the southern docks have only one thing over the northern docks; tighter security. The proximity of the Merchant's Avenue has made this part of the dock the main place where merchants receive their goods. Following the pressure of the merchant guild, the council has raised the security in the southern dock, but nothing has been made to raise its appearance.
The docks have fifteen piers, ten on the northern side (from pier 1 to pier 10), and five in the southern (from pier 11 to pier 15). Each pier is 120 feet longs and ends with an iron ladder that leads to the water. The ladder is generally rusted because of some lack of maintenance. Also, the northern docks end with a long stone jetty. A small dark alley leads from the jetty to the slum.
The high district is where most of nobles, rich merchants and guild leaders have established their homes. This district is in the northwest of the city. South of the center, in the district, there is a watch tower.
Some shops have established themselves around the district, mainly offering services for the wealthy residents. Just south there is a bazaar, and on the eastern edge of the bazaar is Jaramis, a jeweler. He can be found at 489 Thunis Street. The Winged Flute can be found near the Bazaar too.
The Merchant�s Avenue is the greatest market area of Orussus. Merchants, traders and craftsmen have seen, with time, the advantage of being close of each others. The proximity of the harbor also helps to carry goods that come from other cities to the shops that specialize in imported stocks.
This long street has shops on both sides. Also, the large street allows to some person to establish stalls in the middle. You can find almost anything in this street, from food and spices to clothing, from weapons to jewelry, from pots to exotic animals. Among the shops, you can find...
- Fenton�s Wines & Spirits
- Operated by Mr. Brindle, who works for Fenton, along with several young men and a young dwarf.
- di Senzio's Magical Shop
- Owned by Rinaldo di Senzio, a trader.
- Operated by Mrs. di Senzio when Rinaldo is off "trading".
- Stonebender's Forge
The Sage's Guild has established its guildhouse near the Merchant's Avenue.
The old city distinguishes itself by the presence of the arena (see above for description) and the High Court. The buildings of this part of the city are among the oldest in the city, mainly made of stone.
Another landmark that can be seen at the limits of the district is Rilithorne�s Tower. The tower is only a few block north of the Red Dragon Place and can be easily seen from it. The tower has a sign out front reading, �Rilithorne, Mage. Commissions welcome, inquire within. Please knock before entering." Rilithorne�s tower is 60 feet in diameter.
Next to the tower, an elder dwarven jeweler named Gontor makes shop. Gontor generally likes to work in the view of passers-by. The sign out front of his shop says that they open at 10:00 am. His shop has a tiled floor. His shop contains a vault of high quality steel. There is a hitching post near Gontor�s Jewelry.
Red Dragon Place
The Red dragon place has gained this name because of one of the wonders of Orussus, a huge dragon stone statue. Some wizards claim this dragon was petrified, explaining the aura of magic it irradiates, some dwarves claim it was crafted in a single block, and protected from the damage of time by the magic of Sela. No one is sure, but everyone agree this statue is impressive. During the night, the dragon's eyes light up, acting as a beacon.
Around that place, you can find the famous Red Dragon Inn, also find a hitching post, where you can find any kind of horses, mules or wagons in the service of the adventurers that come to this place. Also there is Master Drewer, a master blacksmith, who has established his forge next to the Red Dragon Inn. Edwyd's Victuals is three doors down from the Red Dragon Inn, and many an adventurer has broken their fast at Edwyd's before an adventure. The charge is 3 silver for a king�s feast, complete with Edwyd�s Famous Griddle Cakes.
Finally, Allimon Street starts at the bridge north west of the place and goes directly to Allimon's Gate, passing through the northern part of the Merchant's Avenue, which is to the south west. Only a quarter mile separates these two places.
The city of Orussus has a large complex of tunnels running under it. These tunnels compose the sewers of Orussus. Most of the complex is known to the authority, and maps of the sewer can be found in the library archives.
The rain water is drained by the sewer into the river and the sea. One of the known sewage disposal tunnels can be found in the harbor and another known just outside Orussus, at the bottom of a ravine. All known exits are generally gated and the keys are in possession of the city guards.
In the north west of the city, next to the northen part of the harbor, lies the slum, the dirtiest part of the city. This part of the city was built by the poor, in a disorganized fashion, and the authorities never seem to take charge of this matter. It is in this sector that the security is at the lowest, but it is still safe to walk in it during day. Lately, some effort by its inhabitants has raised the standard of living in this district.
Among the largest and oldest buildings of the city stands the arena in the old city. This arena can accept easily two thousand persons confortably. In high events, there is seldom some wooden tribune added that allow the capacity to be raised over three thousand persons.
The arena was built a long time ago for the pleasure of the people. With time, a number of events died, following wars. In the last decade, the city has decided to restore the arena and some events have started to take place again. The council has also stated that they could use it to make important public announcements to the population, but they never use that right.
The inside field of the arena covers an area of 40 feet by 80 feet. All of the permanent tribunes are made of stone and are surrounded on three sides the field. The fourth side is the entrance of the field with two large oak doors, and above, the rich lodge. Next to the arena is a building that connects directly to the arena and the two large oak doors. This building is used by the entertainers or competitors to prepare themselves before the show.
The guildhouse is a large stony building that seems to be out of place compare to all the wooden building in this part of the city. A large arch is closed by two large wooden door reinforced by metal decoration. A small door has been worked into one of the large door.
Inside, there is a large hall with marble floor and stone walls. Many great metal works decorate the hall, from suits of armor to shields, weapons, and mundane items of everyday life. A large stony desk can be seen at the end of the hall. Two corridors start on each side of the desk.
Inside the building are two forges, restricted only to members and there apprentices. It is seldom used for training.
High Court of Orussus
The High Court of Orussus is the most impressive building of the city. It is situated in the northwestern sector of the old city, near Rivenblight Gate.
In pre-human times, this was a temple. Now, if you look at real human history, in most ancient or medieval cities, the largest building in town was either a temple or church of some sort, a palace, a forum (marketplace), a stadium, baths or (near the end of the medieval period) a town hall. The good people of Orussus could have chosen to put the old temple to any of these uses, but they did not. Evidently, the rule of law and the institution of the courts are very important to them.
The High Court of Orussus sits on a stepped marble base in the northwest corner of the city. In front of the facility is a granite statue of a massive dwarf wielding a huge spiked club in his left hand as if the man was dragging it behind him. The statue is labeled, "In the name of Morg, In Service of Orussus."
The court itself is a huge granite work originally a temple for a bastion of good-aligned minotaurs that ruled this region hundreds of years ago. The giant and massive doors, meant to impress, are a sign to their history. The only religious symbols that adorn this simple location now are the horn-like columns that act as the superstructure for the domed building, and the statement across the dome written in giant, "Honor be damned, we live to be free."
Into the main antechamber, a comfortable seating arrangement consists of a three fourths crescent of cushioned resting couches. A chandelier made of bronze sits above, unlit in the daylight hours.
The library stands in the clerk ward. This building is holding a large collection of books. There is a section on the Arcane, but the most impressive section is the History section, in which the history of the city itself takes up considerable space. This section also includes a map room, which contains several atlases and large maps.
The building is guarded by two town guards during the day. Members have free access to the library. To become a member, a person must pay 100 gp. Members can invite one non-member to the library for free. Others must pay a fee of 10 gp to be allowed inside for the day. Members have the privilege of borrowing one book at a time for an indeterminate amount of time.
Another restriction applies to anyone who wants to enter. The library is a place of learning, peace, and silence, not of war. All weapons and armor are prohibited. The guards at the entrance watch over it. But it isn't unheard of for some people, trusted by the library, to enter with armor or some discreet weapons.
In the Red Dragon Place is one of the most famous Orussus establishments, the Red Dragon Inn. It is located near an incredibly life-like stone statue of a Great Red Wyrm, rumored to in fact be a petrified dragon. Surrounded by a complex of two taverns and a huge inn with hundreds of rooms of flexible cost, the Red Dragon is the functioning base of operation of a huge number of adventuresome individuals.
Temple of Hyrag
At the end of the Merchant�s Avenue stands the new temple of Hyrag, at the limits of the Clerks' District.
A cell in the prison:
A small bare stone room, the stones are immense granite block polished smooth and joined so tightly that mortar was unnecessary to seal them. A single iron door leads out of the room. It has no handle or hinges on the inside. Low stone benches line the other three walls. A small bit of daylight filters in through a narrow grating high on the wall opposite the door.
Rilithorne is a human wizard that has established himself in the tower that dominates the southern part of the northern district. He does his research in his tower, but also sells his talents to fund his research. More than once, it has been heard that the wizard's research hasn't gone as expected.
He also has a niece named Selera that lives in Allimon. His niece is a cook of great renown and is highly skilled.
He is currently working on a new method of summoning magic with Thyrin of Grenton.
Rilithorne was once in an adventuring band with Joe the bartender known as "The Four". They slew a seven-headed hydra.
These are some established stats. If it is not written here, feel free to complete it if you need it.
Level: At least 9th
Feats: Extend Spell, Quicken Spell, Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Arms and Armor, Craft Construct, Craft Rod
Known Spells: Magic Missile, Web, Sending
Equipment: Ring of Telekinesis
Volidar Stormblade is another fixture in Orussus. He is a half-elven bard, now grey-haired. He tends to hang around the Red Dragon Inn, and is very interested in the stories of adventurers. He makes his rounds in other taverns and fairs as well, singing and story telling for coin.
Verbotem the Chosen
High priest of Hyrag in the temple of Orussus
Advisor of Verbotem
Regional Locations of Interest
- A roadwarden's station lies on the road leading north out of Orussus.
- Letters can be sent at the roadwarden's by runners.
- About a dozen miles south past the roadhouse is a side road through light forest which leads to the Monastery of St. Feragon.
- The building is on a hill. Behind it is a forest.
- The monastery has two towers.
- The village of Redoak once lay two days of swift riding north of Orussus.
- It is now a ghost town. A leader of a gang of bandits duped a Redoak councilman into hiring him and his gang to help protect the town at the Red Dragon Inn. He and a few of his top men spent a couple of weeks "defending" Redoak while the craftsmen made them masterwork swords, bows and leather armors. Then the bandits took their matched horses and rode off into the sunset... then rode back at the head of their gang and completely trashed the town. The remaining denizens moved on, leaving Redoak a ghost town. The bandits moved up the food chain to Bluerun, where they were defeated by clever negotiations and some whacking.
- A land of barbarian elves lies far to the north. The Kree live there.
- A Roadhouse sits along the Great South Road, some 5 miles out from Orussus
- It is garrisoned by 20 Road wardens (humans for the most part, though there are 2 half-elves and a dwarf as well).
- The building is two stories high and painted white and blue, with terra cotta tiles set upon it's roof.
- A mere copper a night gets you somewhere to sleep and a simple meal.
- The mayor of Orussus pays for the upkeep of the roadhouse.
- Forest lies to the south of the city, starting about 8 miles out, closer to the East (5 miles out).
- The Wood to the South and/or East is the Bryarwood, usually just called 'the Wood' by the locals.
- Somewhere south by southeast of Orussus lies a monastery that has been having some kind of trouble.
- Delmon's Tower is located 15 miles southeast of Orussus. A map to it was found in the A Trek to the Vineyards adventure.
- The Vingarius Vineyards
- The vineyards lie some 20 miles South-East of Orussus on the far side of a small valley.
- A major player in the wine and liquor trade in the area.
- Main manor house door opens into a foyer 40ft long by 20ft wide four doors. The foyer empties into a hallway running West to East, with several doors along it's length. Past the Kitchen (on the North side of the hallway) lies the easiest path to the stairs up. The East door contains a gameroom, and there is a bedroom on the second floor.
- The Vingarius Family
- Daryn Vingsrius, young boy
- Orson Vingarius, Older brother
- Marinya "Mavreena" Vingarius, Mother
- Adolphus Vingarius, Father (Dead)
- There are fens south of Orussus, not far from the city.
- A tropical region to the south is known as the Riverlands. Lots of rivers. And tropics. The people there show their rank with face tattoos. The main trade route to the Riverlands is known as the Seven Bridges Road due to the seven great bridges that span the rivers.
- The east road is also known as the Road to Fallon.
- Another Roadwarden's Waystation is located on this road 4 miles east of Orussus.
- Several road wardens are garrisoned there.
- This roadhouse has a barn for animals.
- Beyond the roadhouse, the road passes through light wood and then heavy forest.
- Another four to five miles along the east road to Farmer Krimp�s Mushroom Farm.
- The farm is a two story cottage with an outhouse, chicken coop, and a barn big enough to shelter a dozen horses or cows.
- The Krimp Family
- Farmer Krimp(deceased)
- Mrs. Krimp Makes best mushroom soup in fifty miles of Orussus
- Ellin Krimp Female 5 (at time)
- Darryn Krimp 20 or older(at the time)
- Middle child, Younger 20 or less son(deceased)
- Third son
- A trail leads from the farm through a supposedly haunted forest and ends at a 25' rock face wall. Deeper in the woods is a blocked off cave containing the bones of dozens of humanoids.
- There are rumors that several clans of northern Gypsies are taking in orphans of whatever race.
- Six miles east of the roadhouse is the beginning of a path that leads to a Wizard�s Tower.
- The Fortress of Unending Night appears on the coast cliffs during the night.
- There is a road warden toll that charges 1 copper per creature to pass. The funds go to the road wardens protecting the road.
- Just outside the city of Fallon, there is an inn.
- A beach on the Elbereth Sound is not far.
- A road leads out of Orussus to the west, towards Allimon. It is called the Road to Allimon.
- About a half hour�s walk from the Red Dragon Inn, a small shrine to Taka lies on the West road.
- A little further is Koltifineous's Tower, a squat stone structure.
- There are small patches of woods and a roadhouse an hour's walk away.
- A cliff face is about a day�s walk away, and some 20' up is a ledge with exotic berries.