A walled city of 19,000 people, Atirr is now a major power base in North Province. Built some 35 miles from the coast along the lengthy Trask estuary, Atirr has a well-disciplined army, a growing naval strength, and is a key trade city.
Atirr and the lands around are ruled by Prince Elkerst of the House of Torquann. Elkerst distances himself from all nobles of the House of Naelax and has made it quite plain to Grenell that he will not allow his forces to be part of any pact to attack Ratik. Elkerst has received emissaries from both Ratik and the Frost and Snow Barbarians, and has concluded agreements with them. The barbarians do not raid Atirr or Elkerst’s lands, nor those of minor Torquann princelings along the coast as far as the Causeway of Fiends. They also refrain from raiding Atirr shipping. In return, Elkerst supplies weapons to Marner (his own war galleys traveling there) in return for wood and furs. Atirr vessels also trade with the Sea Barons, although not as often as they once did. The southern dirawaen road is not used for trade to Rinloru, given the evil triumphant there, though Atirr militias regularly patrol it close to the border. And there are fortified garrison houses at regular intervals along it.
Grenell dislikes Elkerst greatly, but the fish, wood, and furs which come through Atirr to Marder (the limit of navigability for all but the smallest river vessels) and on to Eastfair are vital to his supply lines. Grenell is in no position to march on Atirr; Elkerst has the support of many Torquann nobles, and Atirr could put up fierce resistance.
Atirr’s people are strongly Oeridian-Flan and many have more Flan blood than Oeridian. Most are fishermen, seamen, rivermen, or members of the army or navy. Along the coast, many make a living from gathering a nutritious edible purple-brown kelp which is then dried for sale. Others search for the popular “cocklers,” by scouring the stony beaches and prized sandy spots for a small edible shellfish, the cockle. They are tough folk, and refer to Atirr as “Pride of the east.” Rulership here is high. The laws are harsh, with particularly severe penalties for thievery or any form of sabotage in the naval dockyards. The war galleys have slave rowers, many of whom are guilty of trivial offenses in the penal code of the city.
Procan’s faith is strong here, and the small enclave of priests of Hextor does not maintain a high profile, though Elkerst knows that they report to Grenell and thus doesn’t include them among his advisers. Ryshern Stefanem (LE male human Wizard (Elementalist) L16), is one of Elkerst’s most trusted advisers and has some dealings with an exceptionally shy and reclusive clan of sea elves living along the ocean shelf along the eastern seaboard.
Atirr itself has strong defenses, once needed against barbarians. The walls facing along the Trask, and eastward, bear cannon-like devices capable of discharging fireballs and even meteor swarms at attackers. The use of fiery arrows and a very flammable oil derived from walrus fat are common battle tactics—very successful in dealing with any attacking naval force. The city bowmen are rightly renowned for their accuracy, and Elkerst’s magical sword is also a potent force in combat. The city architecture is spartan and functional, though the oiled thatched roofs of part of the oldest quarter are a surprising sight in a coastal city. Procan’s spacious cathedral here boasts a magical weather vane which changes color to show local folk the coming weather for the next 24 hours, and the fish market halls are famed for their huge marble-topped trestle tables, up to 80’ in length, where baskets of fish are sold daily to traders for despatch downriver.