Tyr Faerath is the last
remaining dwarven city of the old High
Dwarves. It is a mighty trade city and controls the trade routes from east to
west of Nybelmar. The military presence is not great
but enough to defend the trade routes and no army has ever taken the city by
force, this much thanks to the great walls and military pacts with both the
Korweyn Empires. The three city
gates are located more than 100 peds above the grasslands below. Only stairs
may reach two of them.
The dwarves of Tyr Faerath are no mercenaries or guides like their cousins, the Plain Dwarves. They are mostly merchants, smiths and salesmen. The city is run by the Traders Council, elected from the seven mighty families of the city.
Description. The plains of Moredein Tyrath slowly climb up against the feet of the mountain. The grass and bushes gently give way to the stone and the rock. Where the mountain starts to rise, there you can find Tyr Faerath.
For a city of this size itís pretty hard to spot from a distance. Most of the houses are carved directly into the living rock, which is of a dark grey, almost black colour. Shades blend into the buildings. As the city has expanded further up the mountain, the houses and towers have become higher and higher.
The city appears to be unpopulated when looking at from a distance. The roads appear empty and no people are seen in windows. But this is an illusion arising from the fact that the Kiingerim have built roofs over every street and square. The roofs are made of strong timber from the Emeraldwoods and then covered with a thin pavement of black stone. The roofs are there both to prevent people from looking into the city and to block the rays of the sun. That the windows appear empty is just an illusion. There are almost no windows above the cityroof.
The first thing you see is the wall. Black and shiny, it represents the power the city has over the trading. It took the dwarves two hundred years to cut out the stones from the black rock and to build the wall as it was rebuilt before it was completely done several times. The dwarves polished the black stones until they shone and no crack or space between the stones could be found.
For a city of 30.000 souls it covers a rather small area. When walking in the streets you rarely see any warehouses or storage-houses. When it comes to digging the dwarves have a big advantage compared to other races and the buildings often go as deep below the ground as they go above it.
The city is the largest dwarven city on the whole continent of Nybelmar. It is a great proof of the craftsmanship of the dwarves, and the last of the dwarven metropolises. The mighty walls, at some parts higher than 20 peds and more than 10 peds thick, have protected the city from intruders until this day and the magnificence of the towers of stone are only matched by the mountains.
A great waterfall drops more than 50 peds from the rock above the city down through a hole in the roof into a pool in the central square. At evening the sunlight is split up by the water and a rainbow of colour sparkles all over the roofs and houses of the stone-city. The water was led there by engineers more than three thousand years ago. Nobody really knows exactly when it was built, although they do know how much it cost. On the side of the pool is engraved ďCost: 300 barzĒ. - This is a Kiingerim tradition that shows how much these dwarves value their money and belongings. They want everyone to know how much they spent on their house or statue or monument.
The city was at first a muddle of houses, stores and smithies. As time passed the districts of the city became more and more demarcated and specialized.
The Wall and
The backbone of the city is the mighty wall. It stretches more than 4 strals and is completely black. There are three gates in the wall, but only one wide enough for a horse-pulled cart to go through. This is called simply the Main Gate. All day and night carts are rolling in or out of the city through this gate.
The other two are just for walkers. Because of the fact that you get close to the desert when you use the western gate itís called the Sun-Gate. The eastern gate is called the Shadow-Gate.
Ė The Bathhouses (Thergerim lit. "The Holy
Waters of Kanvil")
Most dwarves can wash at home or at a local washing-fountain almost every day, but going to a bathhouse is more of a luxury.
The dwarves have learned how to use the hot water that sometimes can be found within the mountains. Kanvil the Marble-Lord, the dwarves say, has blessed the water. They have made canals that lead the water into different pools. On its way to the pools many minerals dissolve from the stone and become mixed into the water and the dwarves believe it can cure those who are sick. The famous bathhouses of the city are located within the mountain on the eastern side of the city. There are three in number and they all have different classes. The working family Orilin has run all three of the bathhouses since they were built in 1720 b.S.
The AnulAril ("Gem Water") is the best and the pools are all covered in gold and gems. The really rich dwarves and some wealthy travellers use these pools.
The medium-class one is called AnulMithmez ("Gold Water") and there the pools are inlaid with black stone and gold. Most of the traders and workers can afford a few trips a year to the AnulMithmez.
The simplest and cheapest bathhouse is not much more than a hole in the rock where the edges have been trimmed and the stone has been polished smooth. The bathhouse is called AnulSthomm ("Stone Water"). It is the biggest of the three.
The House of Records
This is the closest thing to a library there is in Tyr Faerath. The building is located in the middle of town and holds the records of more than 5.000 years of trading. All the goods that pass through the city are noted in the books as well as all the tax paid. The building itself is only two stories above the street, but has nine stories under it.
Closest to the gates the guards and military live and train. The army is not large but they are well trained and very well-equipped. They get constant training from dealing with the barbarians living south of the city. Every four years or so the barbarians gather small armies and try to attack the caravans, and in some rare cases even the city itself. This is a suicide mission, but for unknown reasons the barbarians keep trying.
Along the wall the less prosperous of the dwarves live. That is where all the refugees come to live in times of war. It isnít much more than an open space next to the wall between the Shadow-Gate and the Main Gate. The area is often filled with tents.
The guard area is on both sides of the main gate. There, the guards live and train all day. Underground is the cityís weapon-storage. Many of the weapons have never been used and their actual number only the council knows. Rumours among the dwarves say that there are ten weapons for every dwarf in the city. Even if itís only a rumour, it is credible, as the Thergerim are known for not taking any chances.
Along the main street the markets are situated. The street goes straight from the main gate to the most inner parts of the town, the Council-Area. All the way from the gate the sides are crowded by market stands selling everything from common food to exotic goods from Zhun and even Orcal. As you get closer to the council-area the goods get more and more expensive. From Orcal come both spices and herbs, but also glass.
There are four areas of houses. The oldest is also the smallest and has the smallest houses. As the city has expanded into the mountain the houses have become bigger and bigger. Some of the more recent houses are more like palaces, some with up to 100 rooms.
The smiths of the city have their own area. In this part of the town the noise is incredible. With the smiths hammering their anvils and hundreds of fires burning, this is no place for a child. There are numerous forges and also a few foundries, where the molten metal is poured into crude slugs for later forging. Some smaller stalls, which make commonplace items such as pots and pans, are located here, and even a few jewellers workshops.
This is the centre of power in the city. The council-area isnít actually an area. Itís just one building, a very large building. The place of the council area is changed every time the city expands into the mountain. The current building is the seventh and itís the most magnificent yet; a large dome in black stone with a golden spar at the top next to the mountainside.
Inside there are two large halls, one for the council and one for general meetings and trade negotiations. Both halls have floors of stone inlaid with gold tracery and cut gems and black stonewalls with beautiful sculptures and stone carvings.
Somewhere inside the Council-building, the rumours say, is the entrance to Kormor Toltrumerim, the great mine of the Deep Dwarves.
Location. The city is located on the southern end of Zsharkanion Peaks, at the foot of Mount Hizkan, in the center of the continent of Nybelmar. To the south it has the heaths of Moredein Tyrath, to the east Fauthuin Lundain and the Crystalwoods. For controlling the trade route the city is perfectly located. The only way to get from east to west by foot is by the gates of Tyr Faerath.
People. The city is
populated by the last of the High Dwarves. Before the
War of Chosen the High Dwarves
were numerous and had three known mountain-cities. After the war Tyr Faerath was
all that was left. The survivors travelled to Tyr Faereth and the settlement was
expanded even more. The ones that couldn't make a living in the city took off and
settled in the deserts and plains.
The people of Tyr Faerath were true survivors. They were the ones who had lived through the wars. From a strong race only the strongest survived. The dwarves of Tyr Faerath therefore grew stronger and prouder in the years after the war. More than 30.000 dwarves live inside the walls. Their numbers are increasing slowly as they have only a limited space. Every year some of the poorest dwarves have to move out in the deserts due to overpopulation.
There is a society-class-system in Tyr Faerath that is not found in any other dwarven city. Itís based upon the wealth of your family and what class youíre in has great influence on how your life is going to be. As the dwarven businessman Validon Perlin (1198 a.S. Ė 1401 a.S.), member of a rich trading-family, wrote in his biography:
"Strictly separated by classes and districts one thing, one desire, still
holds the city together; The desire to have more money than your
The society-classes of Tyr Faerath can be defined as follows:
There are seven council families in Tyr Faerath. They are the wealthiest families in the city and they control the city through the Traders Council. Each family has control, not monopoly, over one of the main areas of business. They often own several companies in their area. Since 1456 a.S. no new family has made it into the council.
The families currently are:
- The Krumilins (heads of smiting)
- The Ylberglins (heads of quarrying)
- The Amanlins (heads of building)
- The Perlins (heads of trading)
- The Marilins (heads of military)
- The Osklins (heads of the treasury)
- The Tomlins (heads of food and water)
Every seventy-seventh year the families gather and choose one family-member to represent them in the council. A council member canít be over 123 years old when chosen into the council. This way no council member will die of age.
The councillors become presidents of the council for 11 years rotating in a specific order - for instance if a Krumilin was president for the first period then the next Krumilin will be president for the second period and so on. All of the seven families are descendants of the first miners that lived in this area.
One can always see what family has the power by just walking through the city. If an Amanlin is president there will be building-sites and improvements of the city-buildings and if a Marilin is power then you will see militaries walking on the streets.
The next class on the ladder are the traders. These are the ones who own a store or a smithy. They are often wealthy even compared to other cities' traders. In Tyr Faerath merchandise from all over the continent comes and most of the dwarves know how to make money from them. The businesses are often inherited from father to son (the employees may not be considered traders).
They arenít many, but every 7th period a Marilin-type of family is president of the council and thus more militaries are recruited. These warriors are at constant alert due to the possible attacks of the barbarians living on grasslands south of the city. On a few occasions mercenaries from the Plain Dwarves have been recruited. Almost all militaries remain unmarried for all their lives.
The title indicates that the person actually works even though it may not always be the case. The workers are the lowest of the four classes and one belongs to it if one doesnít fit in to any of the other. The workers' wealth may vary from nothing to very wealthy. The most famous smiths are still just workers if they are employed.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
Unlike their cousins on Sarvonia the
dwarves of Tyr Faerath possess a coat of
arms. The Coat of Arms of Tyr Faerath is something that has been changed over
the years. At first it consisted of two mining-picks on a black background. That
represented the mining business the city first was founded upon. When the mining
ended and the city took more and more control over the trading routes, the
symbol changed several times. The last change was made 752 a.S. by the Trade
Council. It is now a simple black background with two thin red crossed lines
going from corner to corner.
The black stands for the colour of the city and the red lines for the trade routes it controls. When printed simply on a bag or a chest to say where itís from, the sign of Tyr Faerath is usually simply a square with a cross in it.
Climate. The city is used to fast changes in the weather. Living so close to the mountains the storms strikes quick and hard. From blue skies and sun the weather can change to black storm and thunder in a matter of minutes.
The region is however a rather moderate place. Not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter. It rains about as much as the sun shines for most of the year, but in the winter the skies are most often clear.
Resources. The city makes its money as a intermediary between east and west. Since the mine went dry there hasnít been any real resources to trade with. Large cubes of the black rock itself are sent away to different building-sites. Even though the stone is hard itís mostly the colour the builders are after.
The craftsmanship of the smiths is the greatest resource of Tyr Faerath next to the trade. Itís the only place on Nybelmar where the dwarvesí skills of old times still remain. A wide spectrum of products is made within the walls.
Myth/Lore. The city was founded next to the old mine of Mor Fearath. The mine was running dry and many miners became unemployed. One of them, Korl Perlin opened up a small market where he sold simple food and mining tools. After some time travellers and caravans made stops at his market and he got more and more exotic merchandise. He cut himself a large warehouse and other followed him. Many houses were built near the markets and soon there were more traders than miners.
The great myth of Tyr Faerath is still the connection to KorMor Toltrumerin, the great mine of the dwarves of Nybelmar. It is said to reach 9 strals deep and more than 300 strals north from where Tyr Faerath is located. The treasures that were found and brought up from deep under the mountains are legendary, and according to the myth, the ones that wasnít brought up, even greater.
According to history the Deep Dwarves were destroyed along with their great cities and mines in the War of the Chosen, but rumours still say that the mine still exist and that one can enter it at Tyr Faerath. The council has always denied this, though.
Information provided by Victhorin