hit counter code Astoria

The Known World > Astoria

  • Overview
  • Falgren's Tales

The seat of power. In actual size and population, Astoria is smaller than Florenta, but it is far more beautiful. Dozens of castles & palaces fill the city, and even the common architecture is dramatic, fine granite and marble, with slate and copper roofs and elaborate gardens and statuary. High towers make up the city’s skyline, rising above the forest canopy.

This is a city of nobility, and it seems that every other person you meet is a baron or princeling or knight of some type, or relative of such. The Governor of Astoria is a non-hereditary noble appointment by the Emperor, with the title of ArchDuke (a slightly lesser position than Grand Duke.) With so many noble houses in the city, the function of “Governor” is fairly ceremonial. Lesser officials handle the affairs of city works, the Emperor (or Steward) controls the Imperial Legion, Imperial Guard and Astoria Lighthorse headquartered in the city, and the nobles here pay their taxes directly to the Imperial House. The Governor of Astoria does have the authority to appoint administrators and magistrates, has command over The Watch, and is entitled to a portion of collected taxes to maintain his own house. He also has personal lands from which he receives taxes and raises troops. He is protected by personal retainers, just as are the nobles of the city. The Governor of Astoria’s real power comes from the fact that he is in effect the Steward’s Secretary, and controls the access nobles have to the ruler. He sets appointments and serves as an advisor, which makes him a powerful & influential figure. Currently, Lord Marco has appointed Lord Ciccio Nova as the city governor. Nova has no hereditary claim to the Imperial throne, and is therefore less of a threat. He is an absolute lackey to the Steward.

Among the noble houses of Astoria are the four hereditary families who command elements of the Astoria Lighthorse. These are military families of varied noble status, who have their own lands & castles, but historically live spartan lives of military service. They have influence at court, but usually disdain petty politics unless the agenda is of a military nature.

The Lighthorse is the celebrated company of horsemen charged with defending the emperor and the city of Astoria. Their fortress compound is centrally located in the hub of the city. Elements of the Lighthorse and their support group, the Shield Maidens, are well know throughout the empire.

Astoria Lighthorse Emblem

Size: City
Population: Local 85,000 Surrounding Baronies 120,000
Trade: All
People of Interest
Emperor , A young boy of then the future rule of the empire called the city of Astoria home.
Hierophant Hanuarius, His wise council and spiritual insights aid the Steward in his duties.
Lord Franco, Steward, is a thoughtful city administrator. Charged with running the empire until the emperor comes of age. He has the difficult task of managing a war agins the Grimme, Pirate incursions from the southand the Castillan expansion into the Hardlands.
Arch Bishop Preene, of the Astoria Archdiocese, a dour, gaunt man of impressive credentials, with an extensive adventuring and war background
Places of interest
Lighthorse Stronghold, at the central crossroads of the city is a city within the city. The Lighthorse stronghold was the foundation for the town. Constructed as a leigonares fort with ingress points at each compass point. The main building has been reinfoced and improved over the years. The structure tower 4 stories tall with a central parade ground roughly 6 acres in size.

Imperial Palace - This multiple building complex climbs a hill near the waterfall at the head of the river. The young emperor has resided here most of his life. The Regent, though a frequent visitor to the palace holds court in the Civic Quarter.

Grand Bazaar - Located near the Lighhorse stronghold this 3 story hneycomed building host evry type of merchandise found in the Imperium and far beyond the borders.

Bascillica -

Pike Quarter - In the days before the walled city was completed this area was an encampment for pikemen. Its close proximity to the river allowed large numbers of footmen to be boarded here. Later when the city formalized this developed area turned into ready housing for the influx of laborers and merchants.

Merchants & Guilds
The watchful eye of the Emperors taxmen are ever watcful here. As such the Guilds are vigilant in their implementation of the sanctioned tarriffs and fees.

Falgren’s tales:
The journey from Florenta to Astoria is no small undertaking. Though caravans frequent the road, they are no assurance of safety. The open grasslands of the early journey eventually give way to the Black Forest in all its majesty. The change of terrain is stark. The green canopy of the ancient oaks paints the whole world a shade of green. The charm and beauty was quickly lost due to the adversity of the terrain and the frequent encounters with predators of varying size and tenacity.

The guide for our trip assured us if we stayed close to the road and kept moving that most creatures would eventually lose interest, retreating to familiar territory. I observed several sentient predators tracking our movements while on the emperor’s road. Our escort must have seemed menacing enough to keep them at bay.

I couldn’t help but feel the remoteness of our expedition. All around us were signs that the wilds ruled this place, no matter what the map said.

After eight days on the road we emerged from the trees overlooking a sparsely treed valley. Farms and vineyards formed a tapestry only interrupted by tears of tree and rock formations jutting out of the landscape. Set as a backdrop to it all stood the granite walls of Astoria. Or road seemed to straiten and run through the great gates into the heart of the city. The road slit into three divergent roads at the center of the city in the enormous Lighthorse stronghold. Even at this distance I could see the towering buildings and accompanying statuary. The scale of everything was beyond belief. Giant rearing horses clawed at the sky massive men stood over boulevards. The whole of it felt like images from some titanic battlefield frozen in time. While the people strolled blithely by barely witness to the wonders surrounding them.

In the distance, backed against the mountains sat three hills each capped with a building. The northern-most of them the ancient pagan temple of Midea. In the center the Emperor’s Palace and to the right the Forum. Behind them all, the foothills of the Pyr mountains. The spray of the great falls spilled down into the river that meandered through the city heedless of the intersecting grids of streets and buildings.

I had arrived at the center of power of the greatest empire in the known world. Here I would turn my own page in the history books.