Iron and Leaves
The City of Monsters
Four hundred years ago the city’s name was Highrock. The powerful magical defenses of its fortified walls pointed out toward the Koru Straights and repelled at least four serious invasions that might have slipped into the Empire by skirting the magic that protects the Midland Sea.
Four hundred years ago the city fell, either to monsters or to betrayal. For three hundred years the city lay in ruins. Then the Blue Dragon, the sorcerous plotter with quasi-legal status in the Empire, moved to make the city her own. From the ruins the Blue rebuilt a city that is open to both citizens of the Empire and to monsters that ordinarily wouldn’t be trusted to live in cities.
Monsters and other beings that cannot openly enter the other cities of the Empire are welcome in Blue City, as Drakkenhall is called, so long as they remember who rules. Some portion of the Blue’s magic seems dedicated to keeping a lid on mass homicide within her city. The power the Blue spends on control doesn’t seem to be diminishing her strength, possibly because she is siphoning power from the great storms that would otherwise break on the land north of Cape Thunder and the Koru Straits.
Most of the western part of the city is still ruined. It’s not clear if the Blue wants those sections rebuilt. It’s also not clear whether the Blue shares her vision for the city with the Black and the Red. They don’t seem intent on the city’s destruction, but they obviously have no compunction about eliminating some of its citizens.
In Drakkenhall, and to a lesser extent in the towns and enclaves north of Drakkenhall and south of the Queen’s Wood, a few of the monstrous races function in roles monopolized by the civilized races in the rest of the Empire. The Goblin Market is famous for its deals, steals, and buyer’s remorse. The head of the Blue’s secret police is supposedly an ogre mage. In general, evil monsters that follow the rules make homes in Drakkenhall, or at least can visit without being slain on sight.
Not so for orcs. Rumors say orcs are entirely unwelcome in Drakkenhall. It might even be true.