The Free City of Adholis on the south coast of Aressa has a double reputation. Within the Iron Mountain League, they are a valuable member and naval power, possessing the majority of the League’s ships and sea trade. To those outside, they are a vile, crumbling city filled with the lowest sorts of people: pirates, reavers, and scoundrels all. Founded in 1333 by the sons of Hanburn the Spider as a refuge for the foes of the Kingdom of Axmund, it soon grew to become a sanctuary for all who were in trouble or in danger in either of the Feuding Kingdoms. Its reputation as a den of crime is thus well warranted, and Adholis is a dangerous place in which to call attention to oneself. Pirates still set forth from the harbors at times, using Adholis's status within the Iron Mountain League as a shield: no power wants to risk upsetting the critical Gnomish fire-powder trade by pursuing lesser pirates.
Members of all the races can be found in Adholis, but the majority are still humans.
The Five Houses of Adholis elect a Grand Mayor to run the city on the death of the last Grand Mayor. He is responsible for approving all major actions taken within and outside the city.
Almost all trade through the south passes though Adholis. Ores from the Iron Mountains
, timber from Alsyllio, food, tools, weapons, and even fire-powder
all pass through Adholian ports. The city has quickly grown rich, and the Five Houses each command a substantial fleet. Just about anything can be found in Adholis, for those willing to look.
After the failure of Hanburn's Revolt and his death at the hands of Bellan Ironheart in 1326, his sons Anburn and Terfin fled southwards. They gathered a following of criminals, rebels, and the desperate, and established the Free City of Adholis on the southern coast of Aressa. Shielded by the Iron Mountains
from attack from the north and by their powerful navy from attack from the south, they soon became a new power in Aressa allied to neither of the Feuding Kingdoms. Towards the end of Bellan's reign and continuing through the 1340s, Adholian pirates became a menace to the coasts of Axmund
, even overthrowing the garrison on Marholm
and occupying the isles. However, in 1349 Arler Dreadnaught defeated the main part of the pirate fleet, captured their flagship, and executed Anburn. From this time onward, Adholis was constantly in conflict with the Feuding Kingdoms, often sending pirates to raid the coasts of Axmund