Free City of RookRoost
Rookroost (Large City): Conventional
AL CN (CE)
40,000 gp limit
Assets 36,600,000 gp
Population 18,300; Mixed (human 14,457, orc 1,647, half-orc 915, halfling 549, goblin 367, other 365).
Authority Figures: Lord Marshall Arus Mortoth (CE male human Fighter L15/Assassin L4), High Lord Demmel Tadurinal (CE male human Cleric of Iuz), Sheriff Org’la (CE male hill giant fighter), The Eye (unknown, ruler of the Rookroost Thieves Guild).
Important Characters: Cazamir, (LN male human Clr9 of Zilchus, high priest of the bankrupt church of Zilchus), Elara Mornstar (CN female human Rog14, important member of the RTG), Rhaedrick Avenfear (CN male human Ftr4/Rog7, Training Master of RTG), Evelyn Zylar (NG female human Clr5 of Atroa, head priestess of the sundered, underground church of Atroa), Mysta Gonagin (member of the RTG, owner of the Gonagin house).
Rookroost was founded in 329 CY by an Oeridian robber-baron named Latavius, who preyed on river and road traffic within many leagues of his base. Latavius’ rule over Rookroost was cut short as a member of his personal guard assassinated him and took over the title of Baron.
The town grew rapidly; for most of this century, it has been the major state in the Bandit Kingdoms, controlling all land up to seventy-five miles north of the Artonsamay-Zumker confluence and pulling in much legitimate trade. Rookroost’s rulers have traditionally been warriors who assassinate their predecessors, controlled all the while by the city’s powerful gang of thieves, which also controls the local assassins. Oeridians are dominant, but a large orc and half-orc population is present, with many other non-humans besides (including half-fiends after the Greyhawk Wars).
Settlements and Locations surrounding the Free City of Rookroost:
- Artonsbruek (Peiper’s Ferry)
- Stone Circle
- Stonehill Fortress
- Tolran Hill
A local legend says the City of Ravens will never be conquered, so long as its huge raven population roosts in the city’s central square. So far, the prophecy has held true. The city resisted a siege by Tenha forces in 578 CY but was forced by treaty to stop raiding western Tenh. It wisely offered to join Iuz in 583 CY when the demigod’s armies laid waste to the Midlands realm to the south, and in 584 CY it became a regional capital. Rookroost now governs all plains, forests, and hills between Cold Run and the Zumker River, all Iuzite forces in Tenh, and the plains across the Artonsamay south to the Rift Barrens.
General Pernevi moved large numbers of humanoids into the city and the human population began to suffer. He made several moves against the powerful Thieves’ Guild, and many leaders of the Guild were assassinated. The General ruled with an iron fist and the humanoid army was given free reign over the lands. Following the Flight of Fiends in 586 CY, the Lord Marshall Arus Mortoth (CE male human Fighter L15/Assassin L4) murdered General Pernevi.
As the city’s newest ruler, The Lord Marshall quickly restructured the government and began favoring the humans over the humanoids—except for a brutal hill giant employed as Chief Constable. Rookroost has become a haven for the masses of refugees in the Bandit Kingdoms, and many of the underground resistance groups use the city as a supply depot and a font of information on the forces of Iuz. The local clerics of Iuz seem loyal to the Lord Marshall and things have been relatively peaceful of late.
Some say thieves and their agents really control the city, though the current administration has not overtly tried to sour relations with Dorakaa. Lord Mortoth is rumored to be disenchanted with Iuz, but he has no known relationship with Rookroost’s rogues, being a very self-centered dictator. It may be that the humans in his administration, which include very few priests of Iuz, feign their loyalty to him. Rookroost forces use their old heraldry with that of Iuz, and relations with Iuz’s local clerics are strained.
The City of Ravens has grown over the years which can be seen in the concentric rings of walls beginning around the hill itself and moving outward into the city. The walls were built over the years until finally city rulers decided to stop expanding. Today, more than one-half of the city population lives outside The Outwall, and many poor refugee buildings have been quickly built. As a result of the shifting population, there are no regular streets within the Outwall area. Worn trails between tents and temporary shelters change often adding to the confusion. Many beggars and street urchins can be found outside the gates leading to the inner rings of the city. Many travelers have found their purses cut and their valuables missing as they travel through the Outwall area.
Roving gangs often police the city; levying fines when and where they are able, although the new Lord Mortoth has begun better regulating the local constabulary. Chief Constable Drakor, a brutal hill giant loves nothing more than to bust the heads of those he considers troublemakers. Guards are posted at each gate, and a fee for entrance is often assessed. The nominal fee is five Silver Ladies for a day and ten Gold Lords for a monthly pass. The main road leading into the city and up to Lord Mortoth’s Palace is the Triumphary. It passes from the east, through the Outwall Gate, the Funary Gate, Inner Gate, and finally the Peak Gate leading into Ravens Square before the large palace of Lord Mortoth.
Only a select few of Rookroostian society also make their home on the hill itself. These include the wealthiest and the oldest families of the city, and some chosen favorites of Iuz. One is the Lady Elara Mornstar, whose villa rivals any other in the city. She is known as an intelligent businesswoman and she seems to have the ear of Lord Mortoth on many of the matters of the city. Other places of interest include the White Elf Inn, The Drunken Dragon Tavern, The Wayfarer Tavern, Ravenshead Inn and The Marketplace. Trade within the city is brisk and riches can be found or won by the courageous (or foolhardy). These are exciting yet dark places where many deals can be found. All vices are indulged, especially in the Marketplace where nothing is off limits. Such places often run afoul of the local Thieves’ Guild, the local Guard, the forces of Iuz, or other various resistance factions.
Another favorite place to visit is Jondryva’s bordello known as The Peach—it is rumored many of the city’s major players can be found here at all times of the day or night. Jondryva serves some of the best wine found in Rookroost at the cost of only 5 Copper Knaves. Unique or special items can be bought or sold, at Rhaedrick Avenfears’ Trading Coster. He specializes in items not easily found in the Bandit Kingdoms and is a good source of information as well. Recently, the Guildhalls have again begun doing a brisk business. Some of the local Guildhalls include the Smiths, Merchants, Teamsters, and several Mercenary guilds have become more established in recent times. All businesses in Rookroost accept coins from anywhere, but they are required to give change only in Rookroostian currency. Surprisingly, little theft occurs within the commerce areas of the city, and many citizens feel very safe now that Lord Mortoth is in control.
Like the flocks of ravens that make their nests in Raven’s Square before the Palace of Lord Mortoth, the Rookroost Thieves’ Guild is an ever present constant in the City of Ravens. The Guild is thought to control most of the trade goods and information throughout the city and is deeply involved in all levels of Rookroostian society and culture. The Guildmaster is a mysterious and almost mythical figure, a local legend commonly referred to as “The Eye” of the city.
Other than the worship of Iuz, most religions have been outlawed, although various underground and secret temples exist and are hidden within the city. Below the city, there are many tunnels and secret passageways that connect to location throughout the city. If you pay off the right people, it is easy to stay hidden in Rookroost. Anything and anyone can be smuggled into or out of the city, and contacts can easily be found in the local taverns and in the Marketplace.
Rookroost is a dangerous place in a dangerous land, but its people always seem to overcome the obstacles set before them. Plots and intrigues lie at the core of the cities power and it is wise to know to whom you ally yourself. It is rumored that spies for Cranzer often visit the city to check on how Lord Mortoth is running things. Powerful clerics of Iuz and members of the Boneheart also vie for power and position. The Bandit Lords of Rookroost still exist as well, many serving the Lord Mortoth in addition to their own causes. Some fear the Thieves’ Guild is too powerful and if Lord Mortoth is ever to have total control of the city, he must do something about them. These are interesting times indeed.