The Whisperer in Darkness
Capital city of the nation of Alba, Gerelden resides in the south-east county of Pranx, a short distance from Sigrast Bay. At its centre stands the Royal Palace, an impressive stone structure, the towers of which can be seen from many miles away, stretching towards the sun. To the north of the palace lies the trade district and the large port, built on the shoreline of Sigrast Bay, to the south, the residential district, the properties within becoming increasingly ramshackle the further from the palace they are. Many villagers live within the large stone wall surrounding the settlement, though there is a great deal of farmland which stretches for miles outside of the wall, which is still considered part of the city.
Unlike other cities within the Alban borders, Gerelden is not built on the remains of a former settlement, a fact which the city is rather proud of, many seeing it as a progressive environment seeking to be unaffiliated with the The Old Ones. This is not to say that the city is a propagator of Light Age sentiments, the opposite perhaps, its founder himself, King Dorlan being a firm believer in the Old Ones, creating Gerelden as a place where the ghosts of the past could not infringe upon the hopes for the future.
Current King Ostran Gaern rules over the city and the county of Pranx with four of his appointed vassals. Generally, he is considered a fair king who is willing to listen to his subjects and takes great measure to avoid unnecessary conflict (though he still of courses adheres to the historical standard of the yearly raids against the Dwarves of Na Beantann Alam). His abilities have been called into question however, concerning the practical monopoly over the cities trade held by the Portolee Family, due to the head of the family, Donnull Portolee, being appointed to the position of vassal for trade and commerce of Gerelden. King Gaern has done little to address these concerns, merely stating that Donnull was best suited to the job.
Being the capital, Gerelden has several facets to its defensive structure. The city itself is well fortified, with the thick, outer stone wall housing an array of evenly spread watch towers mounted with ballistae and with battlements suitable for archers. The Royal Palace is also surrounded by yet another stone wall. The city has a town watch, consisting of around 1300 men and women, charged with general peace keeping duties, but who also receive basic combat training and can be mobilised for defensive purposes if the need arises. The Royal Palace is guarded by 200 trained soldiers and the port area also serves in part as a naval dockyard. As well as this, one of the nation’s largest military garrisons is within the city walls, though the numbers are significantly depleted during the yearly raids, the city has a reasonably high military presence throughout the rest of the year, something King Gaern has encouraged as tensions and hostilities between various gangs within the city have increased over the years.
Though the farmland surrounding the city is not as fertile as it is to the north of Alba, local farmers still do fairly well and are able to make decent money trading with other nations, due to the proximity of Gereldens port. As well as fishing (a big business in the city) the port also allows for the importing of goods from other nations, Gerelden receives a lot of visitors from around the whole of Isalfyrne due to the amount of exotic items it has to offer. Other than this, the city offers standard goods and services, but of a far greater variety than any other city within Alba.