Bretyngaard is the oldest city in the True Kingdom, and the greatest city in Meranthis, established many ages ago on the borders of the Frostwood during the foundation of the Arcanis Empire. It was Bretyngaard that led the rebellion against the arcanist-lords and birthed the hero who defeated Ul-Ahmain, and it has produced the finest warriors of the north ever since. It is home to Castle Bretyn, the seat of power for the Amarates Dynasty, and many great structures of the world, including several magical colleges. The city is the heart of humanity, and a nexus of politics, justice, business, industry, and education.
A massive wall surrounds the city, one of the few remaining structures from when the arcanist-lords ruled the city. The city can be entered by one of three gates in the wall, the most prominent being the southern gate, which is the most heavily guarded. Farms dot the landscape around the city, nestled in the fertile lands near the lake and rivers to the west, and small hunting communities exist on the borders of the Frostwood north of the city.
Both the center of human civilization and the largest city in Meranthis, Bretyngaard is remarkably diverse, with citizens of nearly all races counted amongst its population. Since the formation of the True Kingdom and the Amarates Dynasty’s ideals of unity amongst all, the dwarves of Cinderhearth and elves of Elderwyld have established their own communities within the human capital, much of them artisans and artists. A great many others come to Bretyngaard to study at the magical colleges or secular universities, and the busy markets of the city are among the most diverse sights in all of Meranthis.
Despite all of its positives, Bretyngaard is still a major city with all the problems of a modern civilization. Powerful criminal gangs control parts of Bretyngaard’s less wealthy districts, despite the city guard’s best efforts to dismantle them, and thieves, smugglers, and killers hide amongst the foundational tunnels beneath the city. In secret, the Ordo Ouroboros manipulates many from the shadows, and a significant amount of crime in the city is their doing.
Queen Arienh Amarates rules the True Kingdom from her throne in Castle Bretyn, the latest of the Amarates monarchs. While the majority of power rests with her, the True Council is comprised of a number of advisors and officials that Queen Arienh looks to for guidance when dealing with the many issues of ruling such a large kingdom. Her rule is just and fair, and she is well-liked by the majority of her people, and Bretyngaard has continued to prosper under her eyes.
Being so far north, Bretyngaard has a cool, continental climate. Snow is common in the winter months, and the warmer months see frequent thunderstorms, with temperatures remaining mild even in the hottest summers. Despite this, the lands surrounding Bretyngaard are fertile, thanks to its proximity to the Long River and its many river valleys. The Frostwood provides ample game all year round, and much of its populace rely on the hunters that dwell there for a constant supply of meat.
The Argent Emporium
The market district of Bretyngaard is known as the Argent Emporium, named after the primary color of the holy symbol of Abos, God of Civilization and Invention. The district is filled with carts, stalls, tents, warehouses, and shops, and most anything one might seek can be found for purchase. It is by far the busiest and most diverse district in the city, and is heavily patrolled by the city guard, as the trade of currency tends to attract some of the city’s more enterprising criminal elements.
The Thatch District
The main residential area of the city is named after the techniques used to construct the roofs of the original buildings in Bretyngaard. The Thatch District houses most of the city’s merchant class and common folk, with a sprawling collection of homes, apartments, taverns, and inns lining the streets. Parks and gardens dot the district between the many rows of buildings, and a series of canals brings fresh water for bathing and sustenance.
The Castle District
The wealthiest district in the city, the Castle District is home to the city’s elite, as well as Castle Bretyn, the seat of power for the Amarates Dynasty. Bretyngaard’s few noble families make their home here, as well as several of the wealthiest merchants, and the fortress of the Knights-Bretyn is located in the southern portion of the district.
The Distant Quarter
Named for the pantheon of Meranthis, the Distant Quarter is the center of worship in Bretyngaard, housing several great temples and cathedrals. The most prominent of these are the cathedrals dedicated to Abos and Raziel, the patron gods of the Amarates Dynasty. Some of the city’s poor live here, tended to by the clergy of Saphira, and the temple dedicated to her often serves a secondary purpose as an infirmary. The city’s cemetery is also housed here.
Collegiate Square is home to some of the most prestigious universities in all of Meranthis. The district attracts students from all across the world, seeking higher education at one of the art academies, scholarly universities, or institutions of magical study. Apartments and student housing border the grand structures of learning, and the College Artificium, headquarters of the Artificium Observatum resides in the center of the square.
The Military District
Bretyngaard’s military district houses the headquarters of the city guard, and several barracks for the standing army of the True Kingdom. It is also home to a fair number of military academies and a martial monastery dedicated to Korrath, God of Strength. The Bastion, the city’s main prison, is situated in the district, and it was one of the most secure facilities in all the north.
The city’s only slum, the Span is not a formal district, but rather a long stretch of rundown tenements and tent cities that run along the western walls of the city. An artifact from the oppressive rule of the arcanist-lords during the Arcanis Empire, countless rulers of Bretyngaard have attempted to direct financial support to the Span, but even the Amarates Dynasty cannot ignore the realities of economic disparity.