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abyatt
post Nov 1 2007, 10:25 PM
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Extract from the Companion Issue 8 Volume 4
August 2006
By Alan Morgan


Alguz
There was an Alguss at the beginning of the Second Age and whilst nothing remains of that city. Alguz stands on the same spot. Ancient tallies imply that once the city could be found on both sides of the River Alg but the now walled city of Alguz is firmly planted on the northerly bank, and near to where the River Brockenthorn joins it.

Once a trade city, Alguss was the most northerly point of the Empire for many years (as most locals still don't believe Deci to really be part of the same nation as they) until the foundation of Keys (itself a city based upon the principle of trade). Even during the time of the Principalities it was a focus for such, it's own Prince being the wealthiest and (local legend has it) the most worthy of them all. Certainly its position between Myron and Halgar ensured this was so geographically and the Prince's taming of the Alg solidified this through the city's production of barge and sloop.

Never walled for much of its history, the open city always maintained a fine body of Mercenary Helds and can boast the oldest Watch in any city. Indeed, the strength of the Princes and the oddly calm, businessman like nature of the criminal Guilds saw the rise of a system of laws that were later adopted by the Republic and which in execution (if not entirely in nature) survive as the basis for all such in the present Empire. Despite what became of Alguz in later years the people are proud to know that their city saw to the foundation of law, of order and trade when Halgar was still a slum occupied by adventurers, rogue ritualists and other ne'er do well scum. Here too many of the early (and mostly now forgotten) grand Churches first made the jump from hermit ranting to formal Faith.

The city was still strong through the Republic but suffered more than any other with the rise of the Magiarch's. Though in recent years it has become clear that the city possessed its own figures of such power (though they never called themselves "Magiarch" preferring the title of "Centeriarch") they were never unified into a single body. Indeed, the city was effectively swallowed whole by Glorianave, and without so much as a ritual challenge. The Centeriarch's preferred study, especially concerning the River Alg, and for the most part were quietly killed by assassins.

With the strategic advantage provided by both its location (it buffered the Halgarian Glorianave from the summoners of Myron) and the travel and rumoured power of the Alg the city suffered greatly during the Magiarchal Wars. Great rites sundered it, demons stalked its streets and by the time Cerus Amora came to the Throne of Glass it was little more than rubble. Starkly similar to the state presently seen in Gileenim. The new Emperor poured enormous amounts of the young Empire's resources into the rubble, and Alguz rose once again on the north bank.

With the land now poor due to the rites and harsh seasons it had endured, the city never really grew to anywhere near its former size and prominence. It once again attracted the schemes of others. A fifth of the population fell to decomposing ash, including most of the Nobility. Political control decayed and after a year or more of rapidly growing chaos the city was effectively taken over by House Omacron, under Lord Saul. Once more the city engaged in restoration and the cults were defeated.

Then, of course, its bad luck played true once again. A ritual storm, known as the "Bladewind" swept the streets. For months it raged, for months people suffered and many left entirely. So savage were the winds that apart from the Taltharian Cathedral no building survived higher than its ground floor. The ritual eventually was defeated and city settled, but once more it had become a ruin.

The people that remained grubbed a life from the rubble and several times adventurers were stoned out of the city. Even when the Taltharians took up the challenge most of their number were cursed at and frequently showered with balls made of the snow that had settled there. Galdor Bogginson rose to the challenge and in the years that have gone since that time made the city once again a place of which the citizens might be proud. It was hardly easy, but Galdor did it and in so doing, like Rivan in Port Miere and Ma'ar in Thimon, now the people are unlikely to accept any other taking on such a role. Bridges now cross the Great Alg, the boat yards have been restored and once again there is no faster way to convey goods than by the barges and sloops of Alguz.

Two events of monumental importance occurred in more recent times. Firstly, and most unexpectedly, peace has been forged between the city and the tribes. When a great site was established outside the city by Watching-Owl it was long expected that the two would fight. Instead, using the fine links forged by the city's understanding and eager sponsorship of the pelt trade, Geld was given. Such was most commonly seen in the Republic, though it originated with the Sallow Princes. Gifts of precious metals are sent to Tar Edroul each year, so much indeed that the hill is scattered with so much gold that it glitters even in the dead of night. This gift has seen that few scraps have occurred between the city, the Taltharians and the tribes. Even those tribes, shaman, chieftains and champions that could not agree to the Geld took themselves to the Far North and the old hatred between tribe and city has for the most part been now directed to other places, more north and east of Alguz. Many mutter that "paying the tribes to be good" is not the Imperial way. Most citizens heartily disagree. They have seen more blood and ruination than anyone over the generations and are not willing to suffer such again because of the bold words of people that live far away. The tribes do not perceive themselves as citizens of the Empire, nor indeed do the scribes see them as such. Even Amora himself paid off invaders though such events are roundly buried in the dead events of his reign.

Secondly, the God Talthar Manifested in his Cathedral and to this day his presence is more closely linked to Primus than almost any other, along with Elbereth and to a different extent the Earth Dragon.

The People and the Land
The people of Alguz have learned to follow Talthar and regularly attend the Cathedral to hear the words of his chosen. Though hardly as fanatical as the Church's most famous members they have learned the value of hope. Certainly needing such the danger that lies upon them is if another disaster happens, for then their faith will flounder. Such common folk have trust in their faith but another cataclysm will doubtless not do such any good at all. The people that form the core of the city have seen great hardship and turmoil, if not perhaps as great as Sellaville in the short term, the last century has been one marked by continual bouts of death and devastation. They have become a somewhat pragmatic people, almost cynical towards new faiths and new ideas. They are not unfriendly however, and many see in Gravain a return to that law and order that was once their finest export.

The people do not like war. They will fight at need and indeed Harpell led the cities determined militia in battle not so very many months ago where they fought hard and well. They understand the need, but when it is needed. They dislike rabble-rousers, ranters and death mongers. The years and their recent conversion have evolved a particular culture where people not only make do and mend but despise moaners and nay-sayers. They have learned to look on the bright side where possible and dislike those that seem determined to make sure that no such thing exists. It is a curious blend, that of cynical optimism, but it is one that now pervades the city.

Typical of this attitude is a fear that the Geld will be shattered. All that gold just lying around is a clear temptation to raiders and adventurers, likewise with the local tribes becoming more settled they are more easily targeted by the evil hearted for no more reason than the tribes will often be less likely to fight back. The people might not like their hairy neighbours much, but neither do they hate them and understanding between the two has led to respect, if not actual friendship.

The people of Alguz do not like execution. They typically respect the law and certainly don't have any problems with punishment but death reminds them too much of what has gone before. It is certainly part of local folklore that "the dead attract the dead". Such is kept for crimes against them all. Certainly if some evil hearted scum sought to break the Geld then they would not only accept, but demand, that Harpell and Thor go out and deal with the troublemakers. Forcefully and immediately.

This is even more the case in the rural lands. The Alguz territory is rocky, mostly flat land where the trees are small and woodlands often stunted. It is only thinly fertile away from the Alguz. There are valleys, many such but these are more like immense cracks in the ground rather that passages formed by rising hills and a large number of streams and smaller rivers wind through the ground, and through these cracks to the Great Alg.

Why Mercenaries Adventure in Alguz
Though the land is barren the cracks often hold plenty of brigands, trolls and the like. Much work can be had along the Alg itself as well. Near all the rural folk can be found along the river and its many tributaries make fine places for the criminal and the evil to hide. The city is taking pains to reduce the river piracy but it is hard with so many places where such people can base themselves.

Ultimately, work can be had here because many choose to hire in a city where the Watch keep an eye on them. Curious though this may sound there are people who wish to lawfully hire adventurers, not to just steal and trick them, and in Alguz the Taltharian nature of many of the mercenaries ensures that a straight deal can be struck.


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abyatt
post Nov 1 2007, 10:26 PM
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Bylaws - As at Deeber IM1006


The Military Recruitment Act
Any organisation, be it legion or private army, wishing to recruit within the City of Alguz requires permission from either the Governor or the Magistrate's Office. Such licences may be permanent or last a set period at the discretion of those involved.


The Demonic Veneration Act
All places of worship towards demonic powers require a licence from the Magistrate's office.


The Religious Registration Act
Any person wishing to have in existance a place of worship or power to the spirits or Divinities of Darkness require a licence from the Magistrate's office.

It should be noted that the spirit of this law, not the exact lettering will be enforced. Failure to own one will be considered a serious offence.

Exclusions: The Church of Dead Heroes and The Church of Glass has free right to preach within the City of Alguz.


The City Construction Act

It is an offence for any non-resident to build or alter a structure within the City of Alguz without the permission of a current member of the City Council.

Punishment will be considered on a case by case basis but is retrospective and all who have built or altered a structure in the past are required to contact a member of the current City Council immediately.


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abyatt
post Nov 1 2007, 10:29 PM
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Like Ian has done for Deci, I will be pulling together the details of some structures which may have a LARP / Heroes interaction.

Please bear with me while I pull it together.

Phil.


Places of Note within Alguz

The Cathedral to Talthar

Hope springs eternal, forever changing and forever constant, that is the foundation of the Talthari faith.

It is right therefore that the first of the Cathedrals to be erected in any City of the Empire was to Talthar, the Lord of Hope.

Towering in the Central Quarter of the City, this impressive construction (designed by the famous 'Ignatious Mole' under instruction from Thor, He-who-is-Justice) is a physical reminder of both the Hope ingendered by the Faithful and the stalwart atitude of the people.

The Geld Poles

This unique structure, in the Northern Quarter of the City, consists of a central wooden pole surrounded by many smaller versions of itself and is a symbol of the Geld agreement between the City and the Local Tribes.

You will note that the central pole is banded with gold and silver, with plaques of soft iron in regular points about it and each Guild have added its symbol somewhere on the edifice. The tribes have also added their own markers and totem symbols to those of the city.

Each of the smaller poles contains gold markers depicting the various tribes that have held to the Geld and iron markers depicting the Cities that have done likewise. At this time, only the City of Alguz has given Geld in this manner.

High Alchemists' Guild Hall

A building which rises up and rivals the size of Citadel, but not quite the Cathedral for prominence, The High Alchemists' Guildhall certainly dominates the skyline such that it is often the first things seen by a traveller as he approaches from afar.

The Alchemists are true masters of their art, and though they are secretive about the traditions and observations of their craft, they are probably otherwise the most open Guild likely to be found of this power in the Empire! They work their way about the city, and many a structure finds itself touched up with a strange paint or marked with an old sigil.

Rare in talent and ultimately never very old, the skills required for membership of this Guild Hall means there may not be another in the Empire.

Bargees' Master Guild Hall

One of Galdor's first acts after becoming Governor was to recognise the semi-nomadic Bargees of Alguz as a City Guild. The Bargees are pivotal to the movement of trade throughout the Alguz region and increasingly across the whole of the Empire and beyond.

Abutting the Great Alg, in the Southern Quarter, The Bargees' Master Guild Hall has recently been expanded, through their arts using the finest woods and most carefully worked ritual to construct a Hall that is as secure from outsiders and it is grandiose to the eye.

The Bargee's become increasingly important people, although curiously, most of the guild membership still live on their sloops and barges, even in their settling up and down the river. However, those yearly Acclaimed Masters of the Guild are made to stay at the Guild, dress in gold and rich furs and generally see to the business of the River.

The Guild Master can often be met, looking over a damaged Sloop / Barge or discussing river matters with those working in the harbour of Alguz.

Grand Glass Blowers' Guildhall

At the pinnacle of the City's Guildhall system, the Grand Guildhall is a complex and somewhat secretive place where the Guilded Glass Blowers practise and indulge in the complex ritual of their craft.

The Grand Guildhall is a centre of power within the city of Alguz and a source of influence throughout the Empire. Although the Guild Hall is visible by all who pass by, those who are not Glass Blowers are not welcome inside the Hall itself.

Only the Glass Weavers of Port Miere have greater glass crafting skill.

It is worth noting that the Governor, Galdor, himself has recently been inducted into the mysteries of Glass Blowing.

Tar Edroul

Outside the city of Alguz, within a bend in the Alg that almost turns it into an isle, their lies a shallow mount. Despite its shallowness its summit remains unseen, forever wreathed in mists that never seem to burn away even in the hottest sun. It is covered in masses of glittering gold and silver strewn all over it, gifts and geld laid before the spirits and totems. To gaze upon the Mount at just the right time, in the breaking light or fading day is to see a constellation of stars glittering as if in the heavens sat upon the earth.

This is Tar Edroul, Edroul’s Mount, a sacred place of the tribes and the most notable of such places within the Empire’s borders.

It is named after the Shaman Edroul Drir’Ora who first agreed to accept Geld from Galdor Son of Boggins on behalf of the Tribes from the city of Alguz. It was raised to its heights by the High Shaman, Watching-Owl. And it was he who wove the rites that have settled into it and mark it as sacred.

Here the tribes visit when in need of spiritual enlightenment or to be more fully at one with the spirits and totems and they whisper of it being a gateway to another world, The Savage Lands, the realm belonging to The Watching-Owl, a land where the tribes may live their lives as they desire as if the coming of The Invaders had never happened.

The Mount stands as monument to peace between the Tribes and of the Empire and the people of Alguz and, some say, as monument to the growing power of the Tribes


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post Mar 17 2008, 12:03 PM
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Final Dawn IM 1007


As usual the Sacred Mount of Tar Edroul was a place of gathering for the tribes for the observation of their Final Dawn Rites and this year proved little different. The Shaman of Tar Edroul raised for himself a Crach and, drawing on the power of the Mount, awoke the sleeping King, Mathbed. However even the wise and cautious may suffer the ignomies of fate and though the Dead King’s Ghost should only have woken to taste life for but a snatch it decided that such a snatch as he was granted was not enough and that he would return to the lands.

To Tar Edroul came various forces some invited and one notably not: The Black Ogg, who travelled towards the Sacred Mount on some unholy quest for a Wizard, bringing bad luck and misfortune to all around, perhaps even the reason for the corruption to the rite of the Dead King’s Ghost. Driven off by Ruk’s rabble he did not catch those that he was stalking who safely arrived at Tar Edroul seeking protection and the advice of the Shaman of Tar Edroul.

Within the embrace of the Savage lands, where Sunner reigned as commanded by the Sway Shaman the Wolf Nichal was hung to die that he might live and bring life to another place. Tended by Andvari and guided in his quest by Watching-Owl he bled and died…

As ever the Geld was taken from city to Tar Edroul, this time not just by order of the Governor but by the will of the people, each taking their handful shares of the geld and each bringing it to Tar Edroul to deliver to the Shaman who holds sway there for the glory of the tribes who honour the geld and swear fealty to the Watching-Owl.

There are those who say that the tribes and the civilised cannot live side by side for long but there is hope and the people have spoken…

At the Dawn, as is now custom, their was a great gathering of the Faithful of Talthar in their Cathedral, joined in the same prayers for a better world and the same sermon, lead by luminaries of the faith, taking place across the Empire and even in worlds beyond. In Alguz The Lord Inquisitor and Gravain gathered and the orator’s clear voice rung across the Cathedral’s Holy Chambers, in Bildteve the clarity of Thor was heard against the Maelstrom and far away in The White Reach the keen devotion of Harpell was felt.

With the passing of another Dawn Talthar once again staked its claim to the city of Alguz and the hearts of the people and once again the people declared their unequivocal loyalty for Empire.

There are those who say that such faith to god and duty to mortal affairs cannot sit side by side for long but there is hope and the people have spoken…


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post Jun 13 2008, 01:52 PM
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Events in Alguz ~ Martius IM 1008


For whatever reason Galdor, Governor of Alguz, Senator and Lord Inquisitor of the Empire was to be found serving a penance in the Talthar Abbey at Telman’s slope under the watchful guidance of Brother Quipe. A penance for some sin against his faith committed around the time of the Final Dawn. As a result the city was somewhat deprived of his leadership but suffered no obvious detriment from his isolation from its bureaucracy.

A number of supplicants, Mo of Gysmo from Scarlene, a Troll Priest by the name of Bale and the outlawed Troll Wowe, came to Tar Edroul to speak with the Watching-owl. They came seeking his wisdom and insight. Given the collection of those same at the summoning of Oll and Uk in Scarlene at the Final Dawn it would seem a likely guess that what they sought from the Watching-Owl was connected to the only half successful summoning.

As ever the Shard of Harpel stalked the lands smiting the evil doer, where ever it could find it such. The faith of the Talthar lies heavily and ever present on the city seeming to dampen the truly dark but there are always those forces of darkness hidden in the shadows of the city and it was that time of year when the forces of pestilence are felt on the face of the Land. It being the Plague season each city is afflicted by pestilence and in Alguz, as some other cities, such manifests actual avatars, avatars which fell under the swords and maces of Shard and his militia, cleansing the city of the worst of disease for another year.


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post Feb 23 2009, 01:05 PM
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ALGUZ ~ The Empire ~ The Realm of Glass


People of Primus,

What follows is the official possition of the Church of Talthar in regard to the events surounding Alguz, this Final Dawn.

During the course of the Final Dawn events have occured that have removed Alguz from the Realm of Glass and Placed it within the Realm of Heaven.

Questions have been raised as to whether the Citizens of Alguz are still citizens of the empire?

We belive that the Empire existed for many years before the formation of the the realm of glass, we belive that the Empire is a system of government and principles that exist to ensure that it's citizens are able to live their lives in peace and prosperity.

The People of Alguz remain loyal to the Empire, They pay their Taxes, and the City continues to pay it's fife.

There are those within the Empire who are angry about these events, and we understand and regret that.

This act was not an intentional act of violence against the Empress.

The people of Alguz consider themselves part of The Empire. The Governor and Council of the city, continue to view themselves as part of the Empire the only people who can change these facts are those within the Empire themselves.

Harpell
Of Talthar


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post Sep 6 2009, 03:20 PM
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Also worth noting About Alguz at this time:

1) The land has been invaded by Forces from Myron - who have slaughtered the Militia who Follow Shard of Harpell and now travel the land opposed by Parmonian and the 101st for reasons unknown.

2) The Great Calling of Talthar has caused all supernatural power not of Talthar to falter and wane, That which is not pleasing to Talthar is opposed as it is offensive to the very world around it and all trappings of Empire - Roads, guilds and the like falter as do most supernatural powers.

3) While the LRP effects are not known to me Given the significant nature of HOTE effect any power other than Goodly Spirits is likely to be significantly reduced in and around Alguz unless wielded by a Talthar priest/lay believer.

Adam
NOTE: This is an OOC perspective - people are encouraged to come up with their own IC views!
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post Sep 14 2009, 07:46 PM
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There have been many stories flowing out of Alguz into the Empire as a whole. In truth I have remained quiet as I have found that reasoned debate soon becomes violent threats when strong opinions are held.

I will hold my council further, at this time, but will relate the following so that all are aware.

In Orgus in the Imperial Year 1009, I have enacted the following laws (as is my right as both Governor and Baron) within Alguz and its region.

Thou shalt not commit murder.
Thou shalt not trick thy neighbour through slight of hand or false promise to gain financial reward.
Thou shalt not settle thy disputes through violence but through the appointed representatives of Justice.
Thou shalt not damage or deface the property of the Church, the Council or your neighbour.
Thou shalt not steal the rightfully owned property of another.
Thou shalt not smuggle, but shall bring thy goods for sale at the City Markets and receive a fair price.
Thou shalt neither violate the person of another nor force yourself upon them for thine own pleasure.
Thou shalt not let malcontention fester within thine self, but rather thou shalt voice it to the priests or in the meeting houses.
Thou shalt be open in the execution of thy public duties, lest all perceive corruption as acceptable.

These laws, apply to all priest and peon alike, as all are equal before the eyes of Justice.

Galdor
Baron Governor of Alguz
Cartersal of Heaven's Gate


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post Sep 14 2009, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE(LordSaldana @ Sep 6 2009, 04:20 PM) *
Also worth noting About Alguz at this time:

3) While the LRP effects are not known to me Given the significant nature of HOTE effect any power other than Goodly Spirits is likely to be significantly reduced in and around Alguz unless wielded by a Talthar priest/lay believer.

Adam
NOTE: This is an OOC perspective - people are encouraged to come up with their own IC views!


Adam is quite right, and I believe that Alan will be writing / discussing these changes with the plot team once certain stages have been reached.

Phil


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