Population: 145,000 Outlook: Wardenhalers are practical, gruff and taciturn. They value loyalty and they demonstrate solidarity with the city’s allies. They hate Mordikhaan and believe a swift death for any Mordikhaani that trespasses on their territory is the only solution. Language: Many Wardenhalers speak Firg and Wardenhalese Lower Vannic. Only craftsmen and shipwrights speak High Vannic, as the geometry of their craft requires knowledge of it. Geography and Weather: Wardenhal is on higher terrain and therefore colder than the other cities of the Greater Arc Sea, often seeing snow during the winter but still experiencing the long summers of the southern Arclands. Politics: Wardenhal is governed democratically by the Forgemasters’ Union. Wardenhal is a city state located on the southwestern coast of the Greater Arc Sea between Hothis and Dancare. On the surface, it appears to be one of the lesser city-states surrounding the Arclands - particularly in comparison to the grandeur of Arc and Dran - and likely would have been subjugated were it not for the subtle power it holds. Wardenhal produces weapons and armour of the finest quality in all of Aestis, as well as siege engines of incomparable quality. The city guards its knowledge jealously, ensuring that no outsiders are trained in its arts. Wardenhal’s survival strategy is to ensure that its destruction or subjugation would set back warfare hundreds of years. It maintains a policy of strict neutrality in conflicts, selling to both sides and quietly profiting from the ambitions of other powers. Wardenhal was the great shipyard of the Vannic Empire, and still produces the best sea vessels on the Greater Arc Sea. Wardenhalers are a tough, pragmatic people, with little time for either sentimentality or small talk. The city is perhaps the best defended on the continent; it was largely built by the Firg whose strength and ingenuity have created walls, battlements and sea defences to protect the coveted resources inside the city. Humans, Firg and Half-Firg have lived in Wardenhal for centuries in relative harmony. The resources of the city are fairly shared between all groups and there is a deep sense of common purpose among them all. Wardenhalers make the weapons, ships and tools that enable the rest of the Arclands to function, and the experience of being under threat by Mordikhaan has reminded them that the city’s friends are often less than reliable. Just as Arc is run on the power of bankers, the ruling body in Wardenhal is the Union of Forgemasters. The Forgemasters represent every significant craft in the city, with the swordsmiths usually taking the symbolic role of leading the council. Many craftsmen find themselves on the union council reluctantly, as politics is considered an annoying diversion from their craft. As a result, there are few political leaders in Wardenhal who are used to or interested in the backstabbing nature of governance. Justice is rough and ready, with thieves and murderers more likely to face the gallows than jail to reduce costs.
A Fire in the Heart of KnowingOur debut Arclands novel is available here. Read A Fire In the Heart of Knowing, a story of desperate power struggles and a battle for survival in the dark lands of Mordikhaan.