Hardby (small city): Conventional
15,000 gp
Assets: 3,325,000 gp;
Population: 5,100, Mixed (human 72%, half-orc 22%. halfling 2%, dwarf 1%, gnome half-elf 1%, elf 1%).

Authority Figures: Ilena Norbelos (NG Female human Wizard L13), Despotrix of Hardby; Wilbrem Carister (LN male human Fighter L9), Military Governor of Hardby and Commander of the Hardby Marines; Retep Mandel (LE male human Rogue L5/Assassin L4, Chief Secretary to the Military Governor).

Important Characters: Deirdre Longland (LG female human Fighter L3/Cavalier L4, Gynarch and Justicar of Hardby); Aleeta Norbelos (NE female human Wizard L7, Gynarch of Hardby and Judge of the Law Courts); Javka Gemeskir (NG female human Rogue L3/Cleric of Lirr L3, Didatrix to Despotrix Ilena); Mirian Rinshand (LN male human Rogue L10, Factor of the Royal Guild of Merchants of Aerdy).

Temples: Ehlonna (forests, woodlands), Joramy (fire, volcanoes, wrath), Lirr (literature, art), Mayaheine (protection, justice, valor), Myrhiss (love, beauty), Norebo (luck, gambling), Osprem (sea voyages, sailors), Pelor (sun, light, healing, protection), Procan (seas, navigation), St. Cuthbert (common sense, wisdom, discipline), Wee Jas (magic, death, vanity), Xerbo (seaborne trade), Zikhus (power, money).

Overview: Lying on the northern shores of Woolly Bay, the port of Hardby was once a free city with a proud history longer even than that of its more illustrious northern neighbor, the city of Greyhawk. Uniquely, Hardby was ruled by women, collectively known as the Gynarchy. Under their leadership the city once counted itself the equal of the Gem of the Flanaess.

The Greyhawk Wars brought Hardby’s long tradition of independence to an end. Reduced to a vassal of Greyhawk City, the Despotrix of Hardby is now little more than a figurehead. Despite this, the long shadow that Greyhawk casts over its neighbor conceals the machinations of many who would see the Free City humbled. The shame and anger of its enslavement have made Hardby a nexus for Greyhawk’s foes.

A busy seaport, Hardby is the gateway between the central Flanaess and the realms of the south. News of the war in Onnwal, whispers of the fabulous wealth of the new overking of Ahlissa, and tall tales of the strange, sweltering jungles of Hepmonaland are all to be found in the city’s taverns. Vessels bound for these destinations and many others throng the harbor. Adventurers intern on exploring the rugged and dangerous southern Abbor-Alz or the Bright Desert beyond often make Hardby their base. Some return with fabulous wealth or tales or Rary the Traitor. Most do not return at all.

While endless plots abound in the City of the Scorned, adventure aplenty awaits brave explorers within hours of the city gates.

Settlements and Locations within the Gynarchy of Hardby:

Within the walls of Hardby itself, plots multiply among the disparate factions vying for control of the city. The despotrix is dying, and already the struggle to succeed her rages among the Gynarchs. Even as they bicker, sinister foreign powers seek to exploit the city’s internal divisions to their own ends. Hardby yearns to free itself from Greyhawk’s yoke, but in doing so it may replace one set of shackles with another.

The Gynarchy of Hardby
The Hardby Merchants’ Alliance
The Hardby Marines

The Districts of Hardby
Hardby lies on the eastern shore of Hard Bay, an inlet of Woolly Bay. The dark-blue waters of the harbor are deep enough for ocean-going vessels to navigate, while the sea-cliffs on its southern and western shores ensure a sheltered anchorage. A pair of giant statues depicting two brawling men dominates the entrance to the harbor. The statues, a heavyset, balding man in middle age and a younger, taller man. are a reminder of the violent and foolish nature of men and a symbol of the enlightened rule of the Gynarchy.

The oldest portion of the city lies between the bay and the Great Wall, a 20-foot-high stone structure strengthened by a series of square-built watchtowers. The district of Northend, also known as High Chapel houses most of Hardby’s administrative and military buildings. Hardby’s waterfront bristles with wharves, piers, and jetties. Along its length lies the rowdy Dock District, a chaotic assembly of inns, taverns, and flophouses. Between the docks and the Great Wall lies the residential and meatpacking section known as Fish Town, home to myriad maritime crafts, industries, and spacious warehouses.

Paul Looby. Hardby: City of the Scorned, Dungeon Magazine #109, April 2004

Woolly Bay


Greyhawk Samaryllis Samaryllis