New Fowler is an independent city-state composed mostly of numerous trading companies. It is situated on the northern bank of the Vidra River, northeast of Eldersire. The city was founded in 1756 A.T. by a group of merchants unhappy with the rigidly controlled markets in Burin and has grown into a formidable trade hub. The nation’s crest is a split white and green field representing the stark winters and verdant summers. These are transected by a wavy blue line meant to be the rivers by which the city plies its trade. Set on the green field are three silver coins both as a representation of New Fowler’s dedication to Marius as well as its economic origins.
True to its founders, the mercantile lifestyle is still vastly dominant in many aspects of New Fowler culture. Countless large trade companies comprise the social, economic, and political makeup of the nation. As such, its citizens comport themselves in a way conducive to good business. Your average New Fowlerian puts a great deal of value on one’s word, so much so that it has given rise to the saying: “There are two currencies in New Fowler, your coin and your word.”
Also in keeping with the ideals of the founders, is the deep seeded prejudice against their neighbouring city across the river, Burin. Looked down upon as untrustworthy, greedy, and lecherous, many citizens of New Fowler reflexively spit at the mention of the name.
Strong attitudes towards debt have also evolved from their history and it has become something each citizen dearly tries to avoid and dutifully works, or pays off when it is incurred.
What many who are unfamiliar with life in the city often do not realize is that even though New Fowler is a nation driven by mercantilism, it is also a place of great faith. The city, beyond the Bogdan and Council, is effectively run by the multitude of temples. Being involved with one faith or another is nearly unavoidable if one spends any significant amount of time in the city. Clerics are an extremely common sight and even most of those uninvested will still tell you they follow a particular faith that impacts their lives.
Life in New Fowler, while potentially very lucrative, is also very expensive. On top of one’s taxes to the city, one is also expected to pay monthly tithes to the temples of the gods that play a role in their life. Nearly every citizen pays a tithe to the temples of Brack and Marius as they oversee law and trade across the city. Beldon, Jerroh, Sasha, and Balaxa (primarily during winter months) also see significant donations from sects of the populace. Those who fail to keep up with their dues begin to incur debt and are subject to the litany of legal penalties that entails. “There are only three constants: tides, tithes, and temples” - Common New Fowlerian phrase.
While the heavy economic influence on the culture has created fairly ruthless classism. One’s place in society is determined by what one is worth in coin or in service, rather than appearance. For instance, it is not uncommon for a Minotaur to rise to affluence working in a field suited to their talents, such as security.
For those not born to two legal citizens in good standing, there are two paths to a New Fowlerian citizenship. Should one have the requisite wealth they may make an appropriate offering to the Temple of Marius and purchase a holding in the city immediately. For those who are less established, they will need to acquire a sponsor. These sponsors are nearly always one of the hundreds of trade companies. A company will typically only foot the bill for someone they deem a valuable prospect, as their name is not attached to the individual’s application for citizenship.
In either case, the prospective citizen will be granted temporary citizenship documents along with a ledger. Over the next year they are expected to document and report all earnings and expenses each month to the Temple of Marius. After the year is up the Temple of Marius will begin their calculations looking at the prospect’s profit margins as well as what tithes they pay to which temples. If they are satisfied that the prospect will be a productive member of the city, they will issue the proper documents along with a form of assent signed by a member of the Council. These are taken to the Church of Elieff, where the clerics there will enter their name into the registry and issue them their full citizenship papers. If their numbers do not line up in a way that shows they are able to turn acceptable profits within the bounds of Marius’ ideals of fair exchange, the prospect will be stripped of all status and escorted from the city along with their property (minus payment of any punitive debts the investigation may have incurred).
Citizenship papers list the name and chosen occupation of the holder as well as their employment and position within a company, should they be in the hire of one. Many foreigners are confused by the separate spaces for occupation and position as it is something fairly unique to New Fowler life. Citizens of New Fowler often fill a particular role privately and another (often related) one corporately. For example, one can be a Cleric of Brack and also be hired as the captain of a trade company’s guard. A citizen of New Fowler is expected to be able to balance their duties to their city, their gods, and their employer. A citizen must have their paper’s updated whenever any of the information on their documents change. To do so they will be required to get documents from the Temple of Marius verifying they are up to date on their taxes, a writ of assent from the Council if the original signee is no longer a ruling member, and a letter of intent from any company they are being hired by. All of these are to be brought to the Church of Elieff where the proper corrections will be made to the registry and the new papers issued. Citizens abroad are not expected to return each time their papers need updating, but must do so within a week of their return.
Citizenship grants several significant privileges. The first being the right to dwell within the city walls. Beyond that is the right to free enterprise. A citizen is free to apply to and resign from a company as they please. If they possess the necessary funds they may found a trade company of their own under the New Fowler flag and petition the Council for available trade charters. They are protected fully under the laws of the city and eligible for compensation for crimes against them.
In special cases a trade company may have temporary need of a person but do not wish to sponsor them for citizenship. Each company, based on its size and net worth is legally allowed to issue a limited contract. These contractors are granted many of the privileges of citizenship for the term save for the right to own holding within the city. In rare cases where the contractor’s presence within the city walls would be in breach of the laws, such as being a cleric of an illegal faith, they may be denied access to the city all together. As such, trade companies tend to issue these contracts to those far away from New Fowler. Often they are used as a means of hiring local help that New Fowler law would not grant access to at home.
The holidays of the legal gods are all observed by at least some portion of the citizens of New Fowler. The city also has a few unique to it.
Founders’ Day - September 8th
Every year on September 8th, citizens of New Fowler pay homage to those merchants and celebrate their city. Founder’s Day, as it is called, is a time of great feasts and parties as companies and individuals alike flaunt their profits from the past year. The national dish, sweet tuna cakes, can be found all over the city. The reigning Bogdan/Bogdana and their Council are the focal point of a grand procession that flows down from the Temple of Marius in the East District to the sprawling Market Square in the West District. Once they arrive, they reveal their gifts. It is tradition that the five companies owned by the ruling Council present a lavish gift as a show of their mercantile prowess as well as to signify the fair exchange of the city’s work for their own gain. These gifts can be elaborate shows by skilled performers, a statue by a renowned sculptor, or something of the like.
Sweet Tuna Cakes: These small confections are a mainstay of every Founders’ Day celebration. Thankfully, their name is something of a misnomer as they contain no fish whatsoever. The origin of this bizarre moniker is the subject of many different folk tales, and each family seems to have their own spin on it. A common one tells the story of Lady Liza Meranoc, the wealthiest of the five founding merchants of New Fowler. It was largely thanks to her wealth that they were able to construct the foundation that would become the great city and the remaining four founders wished to show their gratitude. Unfortunately, the Lady Liza was shrewd with her personal details and so they were left to guess and speculate. One announced that they had discovered that she had carried the nickname of Sweet Tuna Cake in her childhood and treasured it deeply. And so the idea was born and the four tasked their most talented cooks to conjure a dessert named in Lady Liza’s honour. After several failures the small fish shaped sweet cakes came into being. Lady Liza’s reaction to this gift varies greatly depending on the teller of the tale (and the company they’re in) but whatever it was, it cemented it as a time honoured tradition.
The Silver Sail Regatta
Held on June 3rd, the Silver Sail Regatta is an event that nearly the entire city takes pause to observe. Typically used as a prime marketing tool for their wares, the ship building companies will begin the construction of their vessels during Beldon’s Festival of Sails on March 3rd. Their crews work around the clock to complete masterly-crafted ships in the three months leading up to the race. The Regatta is the one day each year that the harbour is quiet as the trade ships are docked and the race markers set out. The wharves are packed with citizens turning out to see the races and new innovations in ship building. Street performers and merchant stalls pop up amongst the crowds.
The race is a lap of the harbour, out and around a marker placed in the centre of the Vidra. The winner is the first ship to pass back through The Sisters. Due to the volume of ships entered in the event, dozens of heats are run over the day, each eliminating competitors. The final winner is awarded with the Silver Sail Award and their name added to the trophy. It is common for price to increase two or three fold for the ships of a company that wins that year’s Silver Sail Regatta.
Many facets of the New Fowlerian language have come to reflect the nautical influence of their lifestyle. For example where one might say “kill two birds with one stone”, a citizen of New Fowler might say “load two boats at one dock.” The idioms are hardly universal across the population but are typically distinct to the region. One area where New Fowlerian language does unify though is in its swearing. The following is a list of examples of the more common curses that appear to be unique to those that reside in the city:
Blow-holer / Blow-holing: untrustworthy, someone who lies excessively
Rudder-Clutcher: Think “wanker” from British slang
D-Bin (Donation Bin): A person who expects things for free or takes things for granted.
Skiff Rat / Skiffer / Skiffing: Derogatory term based on the maligned skiff captains of New Fowler. They are looked down on because their many small boats clog the harbor and make very little money for the city. Used as an insult or expletive.
Coin Biter: A person who is unjustifiably distrustful of trade partners to the point of being rude. e.g. “Have you ever had business with Steve?” “No, I hear he’s a skiffing coin biter”
“Bite me”: Used as a challenge instead of a dismissive. E.g. “You don’t think I’ll do it? Go ahead, bite me.”
Figure Welp: A person who contributes very little to the city and simply lives off family money. They look good but don’t actually do anything like the figurehead of a ship.
“Get wet”: Said with the intonation of “get fucked.” Stemming from a desire for someone to fall overboard, it also shares the common meaning in a certain crude fashion.
Wrong side of the river: Imply that someone not only doesn’t fit in within New Fowler, but that they are like the awful people of Burin. E.g “that skiffer Steve’s from the wrong side of the river if you ask me.”
(Rude gesture) *pretend to rub coins together then ‘toss them’ at the intended target: Sends the message of: “Your worth is nothing,” a grave insult in New Fowler.
Butt-Shark: Nautical take on “brown-noser.” can also be used as a verb - butt-sharking.
New Fowler has plenty of gifted craftsmen, artists, and specialized artisans. However, unlike other nations that conduct strong trade, much of the goods produced within the city stay within its walls, or ownership of it at the very least. Only around 10% of the goods produced within New Fowler find themselves on trade vessels bound for foreign markets. Instead, the trade companies make their money either through buying and selling from one market to another, brokering goods across borders, or providing other foreign logistic services.
New Fowler uses a single unit currency knows as the plume, with coins of varying denominations. Coins range in size and material based on value but the name of the unit never changes as it does elsewhere. Harodom copper for example, ten copper is called a silver and one hundred copper is called a gold. There are ten and one hundred plume coins but they are all measured in plumes.
Apart from heads of kingdoms, empires, or other clients who do business with the trade companies on a very large scale, plumes are almost exclusively used within the city. The Grand Exchange within the Temple of Marius buys and sells foreign currencies. When a trade expedition is on its way out, they exchange plumes into the currency of their destination to facilitate easier trade. Upon their return, their proceeds are changed back into plumes. Since New Fowler is a massive trade hub, this helps to keep prices and coinage stable across all of its citizens.
The exchange rate for each foreign currency is determined by supply and demand. The more trade the companies of New Fowler do with a given nation, the higher the demand for their coin. This means that it is more expensive for a company to exchange its plumes into it and thus more expensive for companies to compete in a saturated market. This encourages companies to seek charters in fresh markets where they will receive a more favourable exchange rate. However, speculation can also play a role in these new opportunities. Even if there are few charters operating in a given area, if they are proving lucrative, companies may begin to buy up their currency in preparation for their own endeavors, creating a sort of false demand. The typical strategy most companies employ is to acquire a charter for purchasing goods in a region with a weak exchange and another to sell those goods in a market closer to parity with the plume. The Council along with guidance from the Temple of Marius issues charters in ways that would limit the otherwise dangerous inflation this could lead to in a completely free market.
Since currencies are a physical and finite resource, the first steps of establishing trade in a new country or kingdom often involves the Temple of Marius reaching out to the governing body and offering the sale of New Fowlerian Plumes. The draw of this currency is in its strength and stability, its value is joked to be more stable than gold’s. Through these agreements, the nation involved gains access to New Fowler’s multitude of trade companies, while technically not spending a coin. New Fowler receives a new currency to begin buying and selling between the companies to stimulate new trade.
The temple of Marius reassess the exchange rate for each currency they trade in quarterly to offer a level of stability to the market while making sure to take the many every-changing variables into account.
Currently, Harodom Copper is trading at a near 6.2:1 exchange rate with the New Fowler Plume. While there is only a single trade charter in play within the kingdom, initial reports have returned with many promising leads causing other prospective companies to begin gathering the new currency in the city. This speculation has elevated its value well beyond the 17.8:1 where it began when the first trade caravan arrived in June of 2018 A.T.
New Fowler was built on a large natural harbour set into the rocky northern shore of the Vidra River. The city surrounds the entirety of the cove and is bounded by large double walls on the land side of its limits. The city is divided into five districts.
The Docks District: The southernmost district situated on a peninsula surrounded by piers and wharves. While each district has docks along the bay, this district has by far the most and as such it is the main artery for the flow of goods and money to and from the city. However, despite the vast amount of money that moves through this area, very little of it stays beyond what companies invest in their own warehousing. Company executives rarely visit their holdings themselves and, in the rare case that they do, they often hire security escorts.
Not everyone avoids this place however. One draw this district contains is its collection of notorious drinking establishments. The many pubs and taverns nestled in amongst the warehouses are well known throughout the city for their rough nature. If someone is in the mood to get drunk on the cheap and get into a fight without waking up in debt the next morning, this is where they come.
The Docks District is also the home of the city’s vast ship building yards. The dry docks along its northern shore are in a state of never ending production in order to keep up with the demand for vessels. With the finest ship building companies, the waitlist can be as long as eighteen years for them to begin one’s order.
The South District: The poorest district in the city, the residential South District is best described in two halves, the northern section and southern section. North-South is home to many middle class craftsmen and labourers. While far from the nicest homes in the city, the streets are relatively well kept and its residents live a comfortable, if not modest, life.
South-South, on the other hand, is comprised of what can only be described as slums. Home to those in heavy debt or the much maligned skiff ‘captains,’ South-South is a rough place to find oneself.
The West District: The gateway to New Fowler. The main gate for non-residents is in the West district and so, over time, it has developed into the mercantile hub of the city. Markets of all kinds can be found here with goods from all over Ariel. Some of the most renowned are the Gnomish Markets, seemingly endless mazes of stalls and storefronts brimming with potions, alchemical mixtures, and tinkerer’s contraptions of all kinds. The West District is also home to the famous (or infamous depending on who you ask) Goblin Bistros. Widely regarded as some of the most creative and tasty cooking in the city, any New Fowlerian would be quick to point visitors to their particular favourite. Though it is quickly followed by the warning not to ask what is in the food. Everyone is happier not knowing.
The North District: Home to those who have made a name for themselves in the city. The North District is the residential area for the merchants and artisans whose name and business are household brands. Having an address in Northtown, as it is commonly referred to, is a significant sign of success. Sitting between the markets of the West District and the temples of the East, the North is where all the money resides, save for that heading to the most powerful in the city.
The East District: Spiritual heart and Seat of The Council: The East district, or Templeton as those from poorer areas call it, is the oldest part of the city, and the richest. The docks there, though now used only for mooring the vessels that shepperd merchant lords and ladies to and from the area, were the first ever constructed in New Fowler. The First Trade Hall, a massive and towering structure at the district’s core serves as the seat of governance for the city’s Bogdan and The Council. This region is also home to many of the primary temples to the many faiths of New Fowler, hence the nickname it was given. Home to high ranking clerics and the merchant elite, this is where the course of the city is set.
First Trade Hall - Somewhat of a misnomer, the current First Trade Hall is a heavily renovated structure constructed over from what was the first trading post built when the city was founded. Now an opulent citadel of gold and alabaster, the upper floors of First Trade Hall serve as the seat of government for the city while its lower levels house the records of every trade charter issued and revoked. The registry of every trade company past and present from New Fowler is also kept within its halls
The Grand Exchange / Temple of Marius - While shrines to Marius can be found near many places of business, central to the Market Square of the West District lies the squat stone structure known as The Grand Exchange. One of the oldest buildings in the district, its simple construction and unassuming appearance belies the wealth to be found in its underground vaults.
When first built, it served as a secure warehouse and near fortress for the traders who called New Fowler home. It was the primary point of refuge before the current formidable walls were constructed during the Fourth Wave. As the city grew, great vaults were dug deeper into the earth and it eventually became the main bank for the trade companies of New Fowler, storing the wealth of the city. Perhaps more importantly, the documents that serve as record of promises made and the fines owed for those that are broken are housed within.
Temple of Jurisprudence (The ‘Jury’): The Jury is the primary temple of Brack in New Fowler. Its fortress-like walls stand in the East District as a symbol of law and authority, its towering columns and archways all made of blocks of imposing grey stone. The High Court where the nine Arbiters of Brack preside is a grand hallway flanked by stained glass windows and buttresses running along its outer walls to surrounding sentry towers. Serving as the city’s main courthouse, jail, and guard barracks, the Jurisprudence is an ever-bustling but orderly place.
Monument to the Sisters of Shielding: Resting in the square in front of the Temple of Jurisprudence are a set of four statues, each carved of fine white marble into a woman clad in heavy armour and armed with a maul and tower shield. They depict Leukala Hegewald, one of the founding members of New Fowler and first Grand Provost Arbiter, as well as her three lieutenants: Lesya Imhoff, Varya Erdmann, and Katya Götz. Collectively, these four women were known as the Sisters of Shielding and for years after the city’s founding saw to its defence.
The Grand Temple of Sasha: The Grand Temple of Sasha sits in the northern section of the East District. It is a great domed building constructed of white granite and wreathed by twelve towers. Set into the centre of the great dome and atop each tower are large crystals that on a bright day scatter both the interior and surrounding area with rainbows. Each of the twelve towers is a library and vault dedicated to the study of one of the schools of magic. Another, known as the Thirteenth Library, is hidden below the temple where spells, books, and artifacts deemed too dangerous to be studied are kept. Because of the Temple’s oversight of all magical studies, it also serves as the primary source for mages conducting arcane research. In the case of an emergency, most areas of the temple are warded with anti-magic zones set to contingencies controlled by the temple’s clerics.
The Great Cairns: The Great Cairns are the final resting place for the citizens of New Fowler. These sprawling subterranean structures are carved out of the bedrock and consist of dozens of levels and tunnels. These spaces are dutifully patrolled by members of the Jerrohite Grave Wardens to guard against grave robbers and necromancers alike. The walls and floors are filled with tombs in which the tightly wrapped remains of those whose spirits have moved on beyond the curtain are kept.
Each evening, the Wardens lead a torchlight procession from the lowest levels
out to the top. The ceremony is done to keep watch for lost lingering spirits so that they may guide them to Jerroh’s embrace.
All but two of the Great Cairns are outside the city walls. The two exceptions are the one which rests underneath the Fortress Monastery where fallen Warden’s are buried and the one under the East District where the five founders and each proceeding Bogdan and Bogdana are interred.
The Fortress Monastery: The Fortress Monastery is the imposing home of the Jerrohite Grave Wardens. Built on the top of a hill over the consecrated ruins of Stasa’s last pocket of influence in the city, the structure and contained compound are nearly self sufficient, containing the church, stables, forge and barracks as well the cairn where fallen Wardens are laid to rest. Its dark, granite walls house reliefs of spirits being guided by a robed figure across a river as well as several statues of Jerroh that stand an unending watch over the souls of New Fowler. It is a solemn reminder of death and a stark warning against those who would try to pervert it.
The Tower of Repayment: A stark and squat round tower built on a stoney island just outside the mouth of the harbour, The Tower serves as the primary, and only prison in New Fowler. It is used as a source of cheap labour for unskilled tasks such as the breaking of stone to gravel, grinding of grain, etc. Companies contract the tower for their service and the money received in payment is put towards the debts of the prisoners. Once a prisoner’s debt to society has been cleared they are released and ferried back to the City. Though capable of housing many prisoners, few find their tenure here to be a long one. All but the most dangerous (and sometimes even them) have skills that catch the eye of one company or another leading to an offer of sponsorship.
The Dockway: The Dockway is the largest and longest road in New Fowler. Running the entire edge of the natural harbour the city is built on, it spans all the way from the beginning of The Docks to the end of the wharf in the East District and is wide enough for five wagons to drive side-by-side. From dawn till dusk and often after, it is a bustling thoroughfare with goods flowing in and out of the city.
Market Square: Near the centre of the West District is a sprawling open square centred by The Grand Exchange. Throughout the year merchant stalls line its edges. In the warmer months they expand further into the square until they are ordered to clear out for the Founder’s Day celebrations.
The Sisters: At either side of the opening to the vast harbour that is New Fowler stand two large light houses. Known as The Sisters, they guide boats safely past the cliffs. They get their name from an old folk tale of two twin sisters who both fell deeply in love with the same sailor. They became bitterly competitive and devised a plan to make the sailor choose between them. As he departed on a voyage each sister told him that they would wait for him at one of the light houses. Tragically his ship would never return and the two sisters now stand forever separated.
Greater New Fowler Area
The area outside the walls of the city but still within its territory is referred to as the Greater New Fowler Area. These lands are home to a section of farmland made possible in the harsh rocky soil by the Athans that find little acceptance inside city limits.
Further out still, bounded by some of the many rivers of the area are dense marshlands. Despite the frigid and unforgiving winters the area is prone to, this marsh sustains life year round. The lizardfolk native to the deepest reaches speak of an ancient and forgotten magic that prevents the waters from freezing and the air from cooling. There are several tribal communities further towards the edges of the marsh consisting of many races living together. These communities live in peaceful proximity with the lizardfolk, who from time to time share resources and knowledge to improve the lives of those who also call the marsh home.
Resting up against the walls on the south side of the West District’s city gate is a sprawl of pop-up stalls manned by merchants and tradesmen who either could not afford to set up shop inside the city or decided it was better to be outside its bounds. There is no official name for this semi-permanent set up, though most people refer to it as the Outer-Markets. It is common knowledge that even with the Temple of Brack and city guard keeping a close eye on it, the outer-markets remain a primary source for the more illicit goods.
The government of New Fowler is structured as an elected monarchy. While they do follow a monarch who rules for life, succession is decided by city-wide elections. Voting is conducted in each of the city’s five districts where any citizens who can afford to pay the associated fee are entitled to a say. These fees are collected and tallied by the Temple of Marius and used as financial stimulus to the city’s funds. Candidates seeking election will declare their intent to win a seat in one of the five districts. No one person may run in more than a single district. It is common practice for candidates to offer incentives to would-be voters, usually in the form of covering the cost of voting along with a little extra as a ‘thank you.’ This practice typically leads to the wealthiest merchants being elected into power. While on the surface this might appear corrupt, any one who has spent time in the city will tell you that having the wealth to do this shows that one is a capable merchant who has the knowledge to make the city richer. After the voting is complete, the candidate who receives the most votes in each district becomes a member of The Council.
Election of the Bogdan or Bogdana (New Fowler's tile for king or queen, respectively), is fittingly decided by money generated. The candidate whose voters paid the most to have them elected rises to the highest seat of power. When voting, there is a minimum fee that must be paid to cast a ballot but an individual may pay more if they wish, up to a maximum set by the Temple of Marius at the election’s onset. This means that it is not always the candidate who received the most total votes but the one that has the majority of the city’s financial backing who will rule. The Bogdan/Bogdana and their Councillors oversee city spending and delegate the all important trade charters amongst the competing companies.
The Thief’s Vote: A check to this capitalist system has arisen out of Astrid’s presence in the city and is known as “The Thief’s Vote.” This occurs during an election when a particularly vile or corrupt candidate attempts to sway the results in their favour with large amounts of coin. Astrid’s followers encourage the citizenry to pocket all but the base fee and then vote for an unaligned party instead. Typically this results in the corrupt party losing and their coin and votes being dispersed across dozens of other candidates.
The Tale of Gregor Dimglow: On rare occasions, the occurrence of a Thief’s Vote has led to the election of curious individuals. All but one of those elected in such a manner opted to step down. However in the year 1889 A.T., whether it was a collective joke or a fluke of chance, a quiet and introverted glass blower named Gregor Dimglow was elected to the South District Council Seat by the Thief’s Vote. Rather than face a crowd to step down he quietly accepted the role. Though never seen in public, for the next 3 years until the untimely death of the new Bogdana, he made unprecedented progress in revitalising the South District and is often credited with the quality North-South has achieved. Gregor made no attempt to retain his seat in the following election and the new animosity between South-South and North-South ensured there would be no repeat of the events 3 years prior.
The Outer Council: While the incumbent Bogdan/Bogdana along with their ruling council see to the running of the city, they are not without a council of appointed advisors. The Outer Council consists of the heads of each faith within the city. Unchanged by the results of an election, the continued support of some of New Fowler’s most influential citizens not only helps ensure a seamless transition of power but also quickly lends legitimacy to a newly elected government.
New Fowler is a nation that lives and dies on its relationship with other nations. The multitude of trade companies send caravans and envoys across the eastern coast of the continent, and as far west as Harodom, to buy and sell wares and services of all sorts. In doing so they have created a network of nations that range from begrudging dependants to thankful allies.
Due to its dependance on swift trade and flowing supply lines, New Fowler has never taken a side in a foreign conflict. Given the strength of the New Fowlerian Plume and the fact that currencies are exchanged between each trade, the companies within the city have been known to supply opposing sides in a conflict, sometimes even buying from one and selling to the other without either side being aware. During these circumstances, The Council and the Temple of Marius will take a closer interest in those companies’ dealings to make sure everything is done fairly and free of intentional interference or racketeering in order to prevent the hostile parties from taking action against New Fowler. Though, given the number of nations that New Fowler has lucrative trade with, any action against it would likely provoke their ire as well which serves as a weighty deterrent. That is not to say that one nation or another has not felt slighted by New Fowler also supplying their enemy in a conflict. It is a cold calculation that sees the city through these threats, reaching out to powerful trading partners, offering discounts if they apply pressure to the offending nation or threatening shortages if the city is attacked.
The one nation that to this day New Fowler refuses to deal with is Burin. Embargos have been levied and lifted throughout the city’s history but no Bogdan or Bogdana has ever offered any quarter to their neighbour across the Vidra. Though, if one were to ask for a clear reason why this enmity still exists, the universal response is typically that the Burinese are not the type of people one conducts good business with.
New Fowler, unlike other nations, does not have a state owned standing army. Military matters are contracted to a collection of mercenary companies in the city. While entrusting the safety of the city to a third party may seem unwise to an outsider, any New Fowlerian would quickly point out that even the wealthiest king would be hard pressed to compete with the pay they receive from the multitude of merchant lords and ladies. The constant competition for the extremely valuable defense contracts also ensured that the best of the best are brought to bare should the city every be attacked.
The legal system in New Fowler forms a secondary economy, functioning off the incurrence and fulfillment of debts. If someone is accused of a crime and found guilty under the authority of the Temple of Brack, their citizenship papers will be stamped marking them as suspended, and their case will be assigned to a cleric of Marius. The cleric will then examine the damages to the wronged party and assign a value. The person convicted is then indebted to that amount either to the wronged person, the city, or both depending on the circumstances. These fines are recorded on the citizens papers. The offender may, if they are able to, pay the allotted fine whereupon the cleric of Marius will sign off on their paper that the debt was paid. They will then be allowed to go to the Church of Elieff to get fresh papers and be free to go about their life.
If they do not possess the assets needed to cover the amount they are taken to the Tower of Repayment where they may do menial labour for the city to pay off their debt. However, the tower sees very few of those convicted take up residence. A registrar of each prisoner in the Tower is made available to the many companies in the city. Any licensed company is free to offer a prisoner a sponsorship. Most people, even criminals (sometimes particularly criminals), have some sort of marketable skills, and the companies are loath to pass up the opportunities a captive audience provides. To begin a sponsorship, the company would offer to purchase the debt from the wronged party in full and present the prisoner with a contract of terms. These arrangements typically see the company offer relative freedom and further occupational training in exchange for an agreed upon term of work at reduced wages. Should the prisoner violate the terms of their sponsorship, they would forfeit their allotted freedoms and be returned to the Tower of Repayment to finish out their sentence, often with new charges added on.
It is important to note that certain crimes such as premeditated murder and treason carry a heavy enough fine to beggar even the wealthiest merchants in the city and scare off even the most ambitious of companies from offering sponsorship.
Companies as well as individuals are subject to this law. A company that brings harm to another could face fines or even the loss of a trade charter in punishment.
While New Fowler shares much in common with other Human nations, as far as most laws are concerned, one facet that is noticeably unique to the city-state are the strict laws around branding. Branding is an important facet of life in New Fowler for both company and employee. For the companies, it is a mode of marketing and making sure their name and imagery is easily recognizable and the first thing someone thinks of when looking into products or services they deal in. For the employee, wearing the company branding is a way of outwardly showing your value to those around you. The more prestigious the company that employs you, the more money you make. The more money you make, the more options you have. Failing to properly display branding can have serious consequences for an employee if a company conducts an audit. Punishment can range from docking pay to short term suspensions for minor instances. In situations where failing to properly represent the company costs the company itself business, punishment can include being released from the employ of the company and/or a fine based on the estimated cost to the company of the business lost. An individual conducting company business without proper branding can be charged with Failure to Represent. Wearing branding of a company you are not in the employ of is a crime called Fraudulent Representation. Both are considered serious offences in New Fowler.
The many gods and their associated temples play a significant role in the city’s operation and its citizens’ lives. Many gods, even those who do not have structures elsewhere, have a grand temple built in their honour within the city walls. The exact design differs greatly based on the domains.
Although Alejandero does not have a large following in New Fowler, his temples serve as the venue for the vast majority of weddings. However, many clerics who do not reside in the temples receive more eye-rolls than nods of respect from the populace as they are seen as being fanciful in words, but lacking in action and often melodramatic in both.
The hospitals of New Fowler are run by the Church of Apenca. Her clerics work tirelessly to keep the citizenry healthy through all stages of their lives. Apencan midwives are an incredibly coveted resource amongst the merchant elite. While many of the common class will visit the temple to have their baby delivered by one of the many acolytes, those who can afford the tithe pay it gladly to be able to boast of the Circle of the Apencan cleric that delivered their child.
Arkady’s presence in New Fowler is felt most in the shops that deal in adornment, as the goddess of beauty has no great temple dedicated to her worship. Instead her followers open salons or deal in pretty items such as flowers or jewelry. For the devout in the city, visiting these places forms something of a routine pilgrimage. Many companies look to hire Arkadians to manage their storefronts because of their attention to detail and eye for aesthetics.
A priest or priestess of Arkady is easy to identify by their commitment to style and beauty. Typically sporting immaculate makeup, and wondrous jewelry they truly commit to each outfit. One of the highest compliments one can get on their appearance is to be mistaken for a cleric of Arkady.
Surprisingly, Astrid worship is not illegal in this Marius-dominated society. That isn’t to say past members of The Council haven’t attempted to change that. However, whenever this happens, that merchant’s warehouses begin to be emptied and their ships disappear in the night. That is, until they give up their crusade against the god of thieves.
Unbeknownst to nearly all except its members, the faithful of Astrid maintain a church aboard a ship. This vessel, when out in open waters, flies a black flag with a great and ancient skeleton key. Both in respect for the values of the city and for their own secrecy, the flag is lowered and stored whenever land comes into view. The church draws in new members from the Greater New Fowler Area, attracting prospects from those with promise that would otherwise never make it in the city. While common for its clerics to venture off to foreign thieves guilds, they rarely accept foreign members who have not been initiated aboard the ship. Exceptions can be made with the support of a cleric.
Though none but his faithful will ever admit it, Astrid’s followers were a big part of New Fowler’s development in the early years. They would steal valuable items from outside New Fowler and sell them at comparably low prices to the trade companies who could then flip them for even larger profits.
To this day, many citizens will acknowledge that there is an Astridian presence in the city but since it never seems to factor into their visible day-to-day life most are content to leave it as ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’
Trials of Astrid: Occasionally, a company will extend an offer to the Church of Astrid to initiate a trial as a means of testing their security. This is done by leaving the contract in a sealed envelope with a key emblazoned on it along the docks. The company will designate a target, typically a chest of plumes or valuable goods and pass this information along in the offer. The church will then dispatch a representative to attempt to steal it. Should they be successful, the Astridian keeps the prize, if they are apprehended the signed and sealed contract from the company in question absolves them of all wrongdoing.
Atha worship and her clerics are an essential component in keeping the city fed. Their influence allows rich crops to grow in the rocky soil that otherwise would not be able to sustain even sparse vegetation. While valued in the areas outside the city walls, Atha worship is largely viewed as irrelevant within. Her clerics may also find gainful employment accompanying far-ranging trade caravans that will spend long stretches traversing over land.
The northern location creates the obligation to give Balaxa her fair tribute. Her temples swell with prayers in the coldest months, seeking mercy. More notably to an outsider, however, is the curious custom of ‘wishing wells’ dedicated to her placed outside the city’s brothels. It is custom for a patron to cast in a coin when leaving the establishment to pay respect to the goddess of scorned women. Brothels in the nicest areas of the city often have a second fountain nearby dedicated to Fiona in hopes of ‘bribing’ her not to let their wives learn of their visit.
Followers of Bard do not typically find a warm welcome in New Fowler. They are considered layabouts who would rather watch someone else work or tell tales of others deeds than contribute to the city themselves.
Given the dependence on water-faring vessels, Beldon has a considerable following. Several churches to him can be found in The Docks where many sailors stop in to pay homage before a setting sail. Beldonite clerics are favoured by many ship captains as first mates, both for their affinity with water as well as the perceived good luck of having them aboard a vessel.
Brack is another important figure in New Fowler life. His temples are responsible for the enforcement of law and order within the city. His clerics often serve in the city guard as officers, and the most devout are typically elevated to the position of judge. The Order is also responsible for administering the voting process when the ruling Bogdan / Bogdana passes away and it is time to select a new one. Their other responsibility consists of supervising and regulating Iculan worship within the only church dedicated to her, which lies beneath the High Court.
As one would expect, there is a rigid hierarchy amongst the different roles. The head of the temple, known as the Grand Provost Arbiter, sits with the other heads of faith on the outer council advising the ruling council on all legal matters and reviewing each new law and contract. The Grand Justicar represents Brack’s martial might within the city and often works hand in hand with the Grand Provost Arbiter. Justicars, clerics of at least fourth circle, serve as station commanders and oversee the work of Proctors, who serve as supervisors to the rank and file enforcers of the city. Honourable Judges, also clerics of at least fourth circle, oversee the judicial processes of New Fowler and answer to Arbiters. These Arbiters are the highest court in New Fowler, settling the most important cases and are expected to be of at least sixth circle and have served a minimum of fifteen years as an Honourable Judge. There are only ever nine Arbiters appointed within the order.
Operating outside this structure however are the Chasteners. Answering directly, and solely to the Grand Justicar, they are the long arm of the law tasked with hunting and apprehending fugitives. As proficient warriors and clerics of at least the third circle, when they are dispatched, they rarely fail in the duty. This has given rise to the ominous saying of “the Jury being out” on someone. Referring to The Jurisprudence, this phrase indicates that the temple of Brack is out to get the individual. Despite the importance of their work, these more zealous members are often shunned by others in the order.
Enterprising Brack clerics quickly find gainful employment with trade companies both at home and abroad in the security field. Any company would jump at the chance to have their private security run by even a newly invested cleric.
While there are only a few larger temples devoted to Callis, He has a multitude of shrines in nearly every workshop and forge in the city. One would be hard pressed to find an artisan or craftsman who plies their trade with metal that does not offer homage to the Flame Bringer.
There are precisely four temples of Clovis in New Fowler, the north, south, east, and west gates. The Order of Brack may be responsible for maintaining peace inside the walls but keeping unwanted dangers out of the city is the sworn duty of the Clovites. During Terror’s Breach the gates are sealed and manned by a garrison of clerics while the rest of their order patrols the city streets dispatching uninvited guests. It is rare, but not entirely unheard of, for a Clovite to venture beyond the city.
The Church of Elieff possesses a relatively small but devoted following. His clerics are skilled archivists and historians, spending much of their time gathering and recording the history of the city and surrounding lands. At any given time a handful of Elieff priests might be hired by a trade company to sort and organize files and ledgers. The churches of Elieff are the keepers of the city’s citizen registrar and anyone wishing to update their papers must go through them. While this is a job they undertake dutifully, woe be to the citizen who arrives without all his documentation in order.
The devoted of Fiona in New Fowler do not have any dedicated temples or churches. They often combine work and worship, be it offering their powers as a seer in a stall in the West District or employed by a trade company to divine the corporate secrets of their foreign rivals.
The closest thing one might call a church of Hemulis is the cluster of semi-permanent mercenary encampments in the fields to the northwest of the city. All of the largest companies maintain a tent dedicated to an altar praising the god of battle. Many individuals have small shrines in their own quarters. His clerics are often quick to rise through the ranks and into an executive position in such a company.
While not illegal in New Fowler, the number of followers and their actions are very closely watched by their Brack counterparts. Their only place of legal worship sits under the High Court of Brack. It is recognized that Icculans serve a purpose and so are allowed to practice in very closely monitored and controlled ways. Their numbers are so heavily regulated that there is never allowed to be more than 80 inside the city and any who wish to leave must apply for special travel permits.
Burial and funeral rites are handled exclusively by the clerics of Jerroh. It is very common for a citizen of New Fowler to visit a temple while healthy to set down in writing how they wish their last rites to be handled. Traditional burial in New Fowler is to tightly wrap the bodies in linen before interment in an underground cairn. These sites are watched over by a militant branch of the church known as Wardens to prevent them from being used for necromantic purposes.
Followers of Jerroh are split into two nearly independent orders, the Harvesters of Jerroh, and the Grave Wardens. The former group is easily recognizable from their flowing, black, hooded robes. They carry no weapons and rarely leave the city except to tend to the sick or dying who reside in the Greater New Fowler Area.
The Grave Wardens, on the other hand, are a militarized sect bent on guarding the remains of the dead and vanquishing the undead in all their forms. While often clad in similar dark clothing as the Harvesters, it is altered in a way that allows better mobility. Each Warden is also armed and ready at all times. Headed by the Grand Marshal, this order is divided into five subsects: The Warden Stalwart are those that stand watch over the Great Cairns. The Warden Militant form the body of the forces ready to combat an undead threat. The Warden Seekers investigate and uncover clandestine necromancy and Stasa worship. The Warden Nomads travel to foreign nations in the hopes of establishing a Warden presence there. Finally, Warden Librarians maintain the collection of works that either aid in their crusade against the undead or contain the profane writings of Stasans. This order also keeps what is known as The Call, a list of all Wardens who in times of emergency are expected to report when summoned by the Grand Marshal. Failure to do so could see a Warden not only excommunicated but also cast out of New Fowler.
Marius, as the merchant god, stands chief amongst those worshiped in New Fowler. His clerics serve as treasured advisors to The Council. A majority of the companies in the city are either headed by a cleric of Marius or employ a powerful one as the Chief Financial Officer. If the exchange of coin is occurring, you can be sure that one of Marius’ followers will, in some way, be involved as a measure of making sure that everything is kept fair and equitable.
While nearly all Marius clerics find employment within the city, companies will go well out of their way to hire them to oversee their caravans destined for far off lands. New Fowler holds Marius in higher regard than most other nations, and nearly all citizens will show him respect, even if not devout worshippers. Having a devout cleric of Marius head one’s trade endeavors is both a show of good faith as well as a means to inspire that same good faith in the potential customer.
Most followers of Marius work in sectors concerned with the exchange of coin for goods or service, however, there is a branch dedicated to New Fowler’s legal system. These clerics are tasked with assessing the damages, both material and immaterial, incurred from a crime. They tally up the balance owing to the wounded party and to the city to be paid by the convicted, or in cases of insufficient funds, the equivalent value of labour owed.
Clerics of Marius can be found coming and going from The Grand Exchange at all hours, updating records and overseeing deals. As a faith of wanderers, there are few who maintain permanent residence in there, but during the winter season between expeditions the halls echo with the tales of distant lands and new opportunities.
The Temple of Sasha is responsible for keeping the Magus Registrar (see Magic and Mages) as well as advising The Council on arcane matters. The clerics who work directly for the Temple rather than a trade company are organized into two orders. There are the Sages, who work as teachers, librarians and custodians of the temples. Then there are the Sentinels, warrior clerics and explorers who often venture beyond the city walls in search of lost places and artifacts of magic and are called upon to carry out the Malediction of the Profane when it is invoked (see Mage Law). Until initiated into one order or the other, a Sashan with the Temple is simply known as an acolyte.
The two sects are typically very visually distinct. Sages wear their holy symbol as a crystal mounted on a ring and wear long tunics or robes. An acolyte may be made a Sage after completing their second circle studies. As they rarely leave the city they typically do not train with or carry a weapon at all. The rare few who do decide to supplement their studies with martial training are often taught to use a staff.
Sentinels, on the other hand, commonly wear armour of all kinds and are all trained with at least one kind of weapon. Accepted into the order after achieving their 4th circle, they begin training for life outside the city. It is a long standing tradition that once a Sentinel has completed their apprenticeship, they receive their ‘runes.’ Though no longer mandatory, only a few refuse the right. These arcane runes, representing each school of magic, are tattooed on the face and neck as a show of devotion to Sasha. To hide them would be to hide who they are. Many often believe that if a Sashan has their runes they must be a Sentinel, which while often true is not always the case. A Sentinel’s duties are demanding and it is very common for an aging cleric to transition into the role of a Sage as they are no longer able to adventure abroad.
The worship of several gods is illegal in New Fowler. Followers of legal faiths whose domains share with illegal faiths are also expected to abstain from drawing on those powers while within the city walls. It is important to note that consorting with followers of these gods while abroad is not an uncommon practice. Some companies may even opt to offer them a contract as an outside contractor. However, followers of these gods will not be admitted into the city and will be removed immediately if found within the walls. Those responsible for their admittance or found to be harbouring them are subject to legal repercussions.
Alwyn - The worship of the god of storms is strictly prohibited in the city.
Anajaream - Stability and dependability are important pillars of business. As such, followers of Anajaream will be quickly, and forcibly removed from the city before the chaos they praise can affect the churning economy
Blythe - In a city as large and as densely populated as New Fowler any allowances made in the worship of Blythe would prove catastrophic. Worship can cause the incurrence of very steep fines.
Kazzok - Fear may stimulate short term buying but it is bad for the longevity of nearly any business. Sentencing includes incredibly heavy fines.
Kell - A technicality as every New Fowlerinian will tell you that there are no followers of Kell in the city
Stasa - Necromancy and the worship of its primary deity is one of only a few crimes that carries a sentence beyond fines and indenturement, virtually always resulting in at least execution and up to finalment. The harsher punishments were implemented in response to the Bone Dock Incident of 1758 A.T.
Strega - Greed is a common enough facet of life in New Fowler, everybody always wants more. However to glorify and worship that sentiment goes against the teachings of Marius that founded the city. Followers of Strega quickly find that the penalties for worshipping this deity heavily undermines that devotion.
MAGIC AND MAGES
New Fowler maintains a healthy respect for both the potential and dangers of magic. The unpredictability of something as powerful as a mage left to their own devices can be bad for business. The trade companies do however recognize that responsible mages are an incredibly valuable asset. As such, The Council, through the Temple of Sasha, keeps an active registry of mages known as the Magus Registrar and requires all mages within the city to have oversight on their practice and research.
Mages, upon reaching adulthood or competency in their craft, are required to go to the Temple of Sasha and have their name recorded in the Magus Registrar. They will then be granted access to the twelve libraries and assigned to a cleric who will regularly visit and monitor the mage’s use of magic as well as offer spiritual guidance on the responsibility it carries. These clerics are referred to as Sages. There is some light hearted debate surrounding meaning of this title. Some say they take this title for its meaning of wise-one, while other purport that it is a combination between ‘Sashan’ and ‘Mage’.
The new mage’s studies and access to the twelve libraries will be decided by their Sage. Typically new mages can expect to gain access to the Libraries of Healing or Detection first as they are safer fields of study. Only a select few ever gain access to the Library of Death, and even then only under the direct supervision of their Sage.
Once given clearance to a library the mage will enter the tutelage of the College Arcane, the institution responsible for researching spells, scribing desired scrolls, as well as educating new mages. The College, while an extension of the Temple of Sasha works in a close partnership to ensure magic is given its proper respect. The Headmasters even scribe the scrolls required for carrying out the Malediction of the Profane knowing that a few sour mages may spoil the lucrative opportunities for the rest.
Some mages chafe under the yoke of this oversight but none can deny that it comes with very tangible benefits. A competent mage can be the difference between success and failure for certain ventures and can command a high price from a company should they have the recommendation of the Sage who monitors them. A mage who does not have this validation will find it difficult to find legitimate work in New Fowler as many companies will not want to take on such a potential liability.
Clerics and Mages that use their magic in a way that harms the city or its citizens are subject to a subset of New Fowlerian law. With magic at their disposal, the ability to enforce a debt or indenturement can prove impossible. The cleric of Brack may, if they deem fit, rule that the crime involving magic requires sentencing under Magic Law. In minor cases the offending mage may have their citizenship revoked and be exiled from the city. In more severe instances, they will face the Malediction of the Profane. In either case, after being declared guilty by the Order of Brack, their case will be assigned to the Temple of Sasha. If a mage, their name will be struck from the Magus Registrar and entered into the Tome of the Profane, a collection of the names of all mages deemed outlaws. Clerics will be reported to their respective heads of faith for excommunication. In cases of exile, the mage will then be escorted from New Fowler under threat of summoning and finishment should they return.
Malediction of the Profane
If the Malediction of the Profane is invoked, the Temple will dispatch Sentinels, warrior clerics, to secure the mage. Often in these cases the convicted will have fled or gone into hiding. When dispatched on these missions, Sentinels are armed with many powerful scrolls designed to aid the finding and apprehension of their target. Once found, the Sentinel is then expected to finish the offending party and claim their spellbook for storage in the Thirteenth Library or holy symbol to be returned to their temple. It is important to note that only the most dire of crimes such as necromancy, casting curses, premeditated murder, treason, and corporate espionage where magic is involved would warrant this sentence.
New Fowler lives and breathes trade and its many companies are the force that keeps its economic wheel turning. If there is a demand somewhere for it, you can be sure there is a company that deals in it. Trade rights are often divided along two lines, products and geography. A company who wishes to expand into a certain domain must petition The Council for the right to do so. If The Council should consent, the company would be awarded the appropriate charter. The number and type of charters a company can hold is controlled by the council to prevent any one company gaining a complete monopoly.
Notable Trade Companies:
The Vidra River Trading Company (V.R.T.Co.)
V.R.T.Co. was founded 33 years ago by an Elf named Viktor. He was able to acquire the lucrative trade charter to the lands west of New Fowler that fall along the Vidra River. It is important to note that the company gets its name from the Vidra River, originally named 'Sal'Vidr' by adventurous goblin tribes of Ang Gijak, 'Sal' translates to 'corridor', and 'Vidr' translates to 'source' or 'food'. The name has since been adapted by surrounding kingdoms into Vidra River. Exactly how Viktor managed to get this sought after charter is much talked about. Some say it was backroom wheeling and dealing while others tell of a high-stakes card game. The truth is nobody knows apart from Viktor himself. What is known is that he has, in just over three decades, climbed to be the eighth most profitable company in New Fowler. Apart from their valuable charter, the company owes its rapid growth to its commitment to settling debts wherever they’re earned. Each member of the company carries a token. Should they be assisted by someone in a way they feel something is owed, they may give that person this token. That person may then redeem that token with the company for a favour of equal merit.
Viktor, ever ambitious, has his sights set on a Council seat when the aging Bogdan finally dies, but he needs to expand his coffers before then. With the war between Eldersire and Harodom having cooled off, the Vidra is now safe to travel further west and so Viktor sends vanguard caravans to test the waters.
The Vidra River Trading Company has a history in dealing in all sorts of goods and services ranging from general goods, weapons, jewelry, and art, to providing security, or asset recovery. While somewhat limited in the regions around the city, the West Vidra - Lake Haro charter offered Viktor and his company exclusive trade rights to areas of Harodam accessible via the Vidra. However, with their success, there is talk between the Bogdan and his Council that it may be near time to invoke its expansion clause.
West Vidra - Lake Haro Charter: This exploratory charter was drafted by the council when the hostilities between Harodom and Eldersire ended and the Vidra became safe to sail. It granted its holder a year of exclusive trade rights within Harodom. After the one year grace period, other companies became free to petition for charters granting access to particular goods and service markets within the kingdom. The holder of this charter may however continue to deal freely across all markets.
Guild of a Hundred Associates
One of the oldest companies in New Fowler and the company of the current Bogdan, it rose to affluence in a less than traditional manner. While many of the fledgling merchant outfits were scrambling to gather as many charters for shipping routes as they could, the Guild set about laying claim to distribution rights to many of the products. The company’s name comes from their structure as they possess no ships or caravans, instead operating as a body of duty collectors. More than two centuries later, few products that pass through the New Fowler docks do so without paying their due to The Guild of a Hundred Associates.
Tarbek & Sons Fine Flatware
For those that enjoy fine dining, there is only one choice in tableware. The Dwarven master artisan Torval Tarbek and his two sons Ivar and Korvald hand produce some of the finest forks, spoons, and knives around. Housed in their signature redwood boxes, their dining sets are as much a status symbol in New Fowler as they are a means of eating one’s meal.
Founded by Leukala Hegewald, one of the founding merchants of New Fowler and later head of the to-be-built Temple of Jurisprudence, Hegewald Inc. is the largest dealer in arms and armour in New Fowler. To this day they are still the sole supplier to the Temple of Jurisprudence and as such every guard and Brack cleric within the city sports their wears in one form or another. Specializing in hammers, maces, mauls, and shields, Hegewald Inc. follows the slogan, “If you have a problem, give it the Hegewald stamp of approval.”
Wave Talon Company
One of the mercenary companies operating in the city under a Blood Gold Charter, the Wave Talons base of operations is their flagship, Beldon’s Wrath, moored in the West District. From there, contracts are sent via wind messages to their fleet of ships. Individual merchants can hire a team of Whitecaps, skilled counter-boarding teams, to travel with them. In the event that a vessel does attempt to waylay them, the Whitecaps dispatch the threat, board the enemy and claim the vessel as part of the payment. Trade companies have the additional option of hiring the Wave Talons to sail up and down the rivers flying that company’s colours. This deters would be pirates with the uncertainty of whether the ship carries valuable goods or certain death. The company offers preferred employment to Beldonites as their mastery of water is an invaluable asset in their line of work. Wave Talon employees are recognizable for the white bandanas with a cresting wave they wear over the heads, it is also where the name of Whitecap originated.
Palev Estates Vineyard and Winery
One of the last remaining New Fowler vineyards. For centuries prospective vinters have sought land that would support their crops around the city, almost always to no avail. This is an exception to that rule. Vaela Palev discovered a small patch of fertile land naturally irrigated from the river it sat next to. The ground was strangely sandy but also nutrient rich and the water from the river ran mere feet below the surface. Being an experienced herbalist, Vaela set about cross breeding the finest grapes and local berries into something that would survive the harsh environment. The success of her experiments lead to the creation of a unique style of wine that is as sought after as it is rare. The iconic “Palev P,” a calligraphed P is hand painted on each bottle. While it is present on all Palev wines, the decoration around it changes with the vintage. Within the city there is a niche market amongst collectors for empty bottles of certain rare designs.
The Exodus of Sails and Sales (1756 A.T.)
The five merchants that would become the founders of their city closed all operations in Burin. Nearly overnight, they liquidated all assets that they could not fit onto their fleet of ships and set sail to the northeast shore of the Vidra River with several boats of craftsmen not long behind. Upon landing they name themselves an independent nation and hoisted the New Fowler flag as their workforce began laying the groundwork for the grand trading post to come. They declared that this will be a place of fair exchange and purity of faith. A course from which their successors never waivered. Lady Liza Meranoc became the first Bogdana and the other four merchants her Council.
The First Wave Constructions (1756 - 1765 A.T.)
Under the astute mercantile leadership of the Bogdana and Council, the fledgling city experienced a steady inflow of both coin and skilled labour. Hired by ships and trade caravans, individuals from up to half way across the continent were drawn to New Fowler by its economic potential, the city’s population increasing as quickly as its wealth and influences. With such increases, the city made unprecedented progress in the construction of grand temples and trading posts.
The Bone-Dock Incident (1766 A.T.)
After a long series of particularly violent spring storms many of the city’s ships were either lost or destroyed. Desperate for a way to quickly rebuild, the Council put out a call for solutions. A small but powerful cult dedicated to Stasa (the religious freedoms of New Fowler had not outlawed her worship yet) approached the Bogdana Liza and The Council with a proposed idea. The wished to animate the remains of those that died over the winter and command this new tireless workforce in the construction of boats. After initial hesitation, the Council finally relented under pressure from their clients to meet demand. The followers of Stasa over the next three months raised many corpses and were successful in turning them towards building. However, it was not to last. On Friday, June 13, 1766 A.T., the cult turned their undead workers on the living and a civil war of sorts ensued on the docks. The Bogdana and Council funded the importation of several mercenary companies to be led by Leukala and her order of Brack clerics, but they were able to do little except halt their advance. It was not until members of the Jerrohite faith began taking up arms that the undead horde was driven back and destroyed. The militant Jerrohites put an end to Stasa’s followers and vowed never to let their influence harm the city again. They cleared and cleansed their temple claiming it as their own. This group would form the foundation of what later became the Grave Wardens.
Second Wave Constructions (1766 - 1782 A.T.)
Business continued to grow exponentially as more and more companies made New Fowler home. The increase in the flow of resources allowed for construction to nearly triple in pace. The city expanded from what is now the East District out to what is now the North District. Bogdana Liza passed away in the year 1788 A.T. triggering the first election of a new leader.
The Skirmishes, The Blood Gold Charters, and The Night of Knives (1782 - 1785 A.T.)
New Fowler’s rapid rise in wealth created an irresistible target for many. Beginning slowly then gaining in frequency, bands of bandits or free armies would appear at the walls looking to fight their way in for gold and goods. For the first few skirmishes one of the Council members would privately hire a mercenary company to dispatch the assailants. However, as time wore on, the would-be invaders came in greater numbers culminating in the collective siege of New Fowler by several companies. After two months of having their private armies slaughtered, the third Bogdan at the behest of Leukala, head of the Order of Brack, gathered his Council and together they drafted the Blood Gold Charters. These new charters, funded from the city treasury, would bind them to New Fowler trade laws but see any mercenary company who held one very richly compensated as well as grant them the rights to sell their services as a registered New Fowler Company. The council dispatched their messengers to the leaders of the assailing companies, some carrying charters to the three best organized units and decoy messages. to the others. Those who received these new offers could not refuse their terms and so carried out the acceptance clause, slaughtering the remaining companies in their sleep.
Those original three Blood Gold Charters still stand though several more have been dispensed over time.
Third Wave Constructions (1785 - 1798 A.T.)
With their borders now secured trade and construction commenced with renewed vigor. A new district, now the West District. took shape as the city continued its expansion around the natural harbour. Though now behind them, the risk the allure of the city’s amassed wealth created was clear. Inside this new district a fortress like vault was built to better safeguard it. The temple of Marius moved along with the coin from the First Trade Hall to its new home in the West District.
Fourth Wave Constructions (1798 - 1812 A.T.)
The pace of the last expansion was brought to a halt with the passing of the reigning Bogdan. The to-be-elected Bogdana Elthvir Tolev won on a platform of coin, continued growth, and increased Defense. True to her word, New Fowler’s walls extended rapidly to include what is now South District. In addition Elthvir partnered with the city’s Church of Clovis to see the wooden palisades replaced with mighty stone walls. With the combined finances and workforce of Church and City the conversion went rapidly.
The Empty Yard Years (1811 - 1814 A.T.)
New Fowler’s rapid rise to economic power had been its greatest boon through its nascent years. However the roaring demand they had generated was now beginning to cause significant problems as their infrastructure was not equipped to produce ships at the rate needed to meet it. Trade Companies bought up every ship they could find, often resorting to adding less-than-seaworthy vessels to their fleets. As shipments began to be lost to the bottom of rivers, a state of emergency was called by Bogdana Elthivir. The heads of every company in the city made their way to the Temple of Marius. It was there that the solution was found. Trade was to be reduced to the utmost minimum and all available workers were to be diverted to the peninsula at the end of the city. A sprawling district of docks and shipyards were constructed on the entire coastline and the inland filled with warehouses of all shapes and sizes. This rapid expansion gave birth to the crowded and more haphazard Docks District.
New Sails and Windfalls (1815-1844 A.T.)
New Fowler had by this time established a name for itself as an economic hub but was beginning to feel the pinch of the minimized trade fleets from The Docks building project of the previous three years. However, with the new shipyards turning out vessels at a breakneck pace, the multitude of companies once again took to the rivers in renewed numbers. The initial perceived lack of demand actually worked in their favour with many clients agreeing to long term contract to ensure their service would receive priority and not suffer the same setbacks in the future, unaware that there was little risk of a repeat.
Fifth Wave Constructions (1845 - 1892 A.T.)
The renewed inflow of coin spurred the companies and temples of the city to reinvest in their holdings. Buildings of wood were replaced with stone and stone with marble. However, this did not occur equally across the city. Major efforts were focused on projects in the East and North Districts. Many areas of the West District were able to see a benefit and curiously the northern half of the South District saw an arguable improvement. This marked the first period of growth were the city walls never expanded as the usable shoreline was already occupied.
The Golden Century (1892 - 1992 A.T.)
For the next one hundred years, the ships of New Fowler made their ways north via the many winding rivers and to the east to settlements along the mighty Vidra River. The city’s renowned reputation for equally fair and lucrative trade cemented their place in the economy of wherever their ships could reach. This century of relative peace and success ensured that while remaining a small nation, New Fowler could still exert its influence in times of need.
Shadows in the West (1984 - 2016 A.T.)
Having secured their place to the north and east, the trade companies set their sights to the nations to the west along the Vidra River. Several had already established a few minimal land-route based deals with settlements on the eastern border of Eldersire, but the relative wealth of the west remained largely untapped. Bogdan Yari Gerlovich and his Council drafted seven exploratory trade charters to these lands for companies to begin testing the waters. The much desired charters were auctioned off to the highest bidders and several small fleets set sail. To the dismay of all, the collection of nations west along the Vidra and surrounding Lake Haro all proved either dangerous or closed to the idea of new foreign trade. Many vessels were lost in crossfire between two hostile kingdoms. One by one, the companies abandoned their charters at too high risk. To help entice a new company to take on the challenge, the seven charters were amalgamated into one. However, with the outbreak of open war between Harodom and Eldersire, no one was willing to take it on. The West Vidra - Lake Haro Charter remained a lucrative but dismal prospect.
Ever Onward (2018 A.T. - Present)
With a tentative peace being established between the nations to the west, the West Vidra - Lake Haro Charter became the hottest charter in the city. A relatively small, but rapidly growing company was able to secure it and set sail immediately. After a few small, but significant successes, the expansion clause of the charter has been triggered allowing other trade companies to purchase rights in the area. The hundreds of trade companies begin turning their eyes to west in earnest for the first time.