Taldirin is the capital, and largest city of the Archduchy of Taldir. The city is located at the mouth of Taldir's Gate, which was named after the city. Taldirin is a major trade stop, mostly thanks to the close proximity to Debye Pass.
Taldirin's demography is varied, yet still somewhat polarized. Both humanoid and Durinian races compose nearly 80% of the city's population, with its dwarven population being the largest in Lake Kadia. The rest is spread between various half breeds, mostly of elven and goblinoid ancestries.
Industry & Trade
Taldirin industry focuses heavily on metal production. Most of the craftsmen workshops are geared towards smelting, blacksmithing, forging and other metalworking occupations. While mostly geared towards metal production, the city main export is dwarven gold. This fact is less surprising given the fact the Archduchy of Taldir maintain an exclusive trading license with the Kingdom of Dam Lodir for exporting its gold to the Andorian Alliance. Aside from metalworking, Taldirin also specialized in a hospitality and tourism. The close proximity to Debye Pass makes Taldirin a lucrative resting stop for merchants, travelers and Andorian pilgrims who walk the path of Agustin Andor from Arisfurgz to Ammand.
Taldirin sits at the eastern end of Kadian Highway which merges into the main street, splitting the city in two. The north road leads towards Taldir's Gate and Debye Pass, serving as an important trade and pilgrimage route to and from Evornfel and Osternfel. The city center, where most of the city services can be found also doubles as a gathering spot and a day market. The city's Grand Hall and Keep serve as the nantion's center of government and it's military headquarters. The city has a large compound dedicated for metalworking, under the ownership and management of the Lionshield Metalworking Guild who invested heavily in the settlement during its first decades. Taldirin's Cathedral of The Four and its surrounding square are mostly used for religious ceremonies and as an additional spot for large gatherings.
The city is made up of 8 districts. The largest, called the southern commons, is the largest and houses most of the city's humanoid population, as well as most of its half-breeds. The northern commons are mostly populated by durinians, but are also home to elves, dragonborns and others. The northern district is mostly reserved to the more well off denizens of the city and its middle-upper classes. The city center serves as the beating heart of the city, and is where most of the city's gathering and public recreation takes place. Outside of entertainment, the city center also offers several municipal and financial services. Old Taldirin is mostly preserved as an heritage site, with some of its structures dating back to the 1270's Taldirian War for Independence. The cathedral square contains the city's house of worship, divine services and houses the local clergy. Most of the city's shops and workshops are located in the midward, which serves both as the city's industrial district and as its main retail area. The LMG Compound also serves as an artisan and crafting district, but is managed solely by the Lionshield Metalworking Guild.
Old TaldirinCol'bhen Cint'nias and for the 1270's Taldirian War for Independence. Taldirin was built on top of the ruins of a much older settlement, dated back to the Conquest of Navara. The old settlement was a thriving town whose people were firmly allied with neighboring dwarves of Dam Lodir and the gnomes of Gnomengarde. The original settlement was abandoned during the War of Succession, possibly as result of an orcish raid. Along with most of the eastern parts of Lake Kadia, Taldirin was not resettled after the war.
Lost to timeSeveral attempts have been made by the Kingdom of Navara to repopulate the area. The local native elves, orcish assaults and lack of proper roads meant controlling the frontier was often a way too costly endeavor. Interest in the town rose again in the 10th century, as traders and pilgrims started crossing Debye Pass once more between Evornfel and Lake Kadia following the rise of the Second Empire. Despite numerous efforts, resettling the abandoned frontier settlements proved difficult, especially with the heavily inflated mercenaries and guards industry that rose after Sandor Amarell dispersed the armies of his rivals.
New FrontierIn 1194 the increase of travel through Debye Pass reached an all time high. Navaran traders pressured the King of Navara, Tobias Malion, to secure the dangerous yet very lucrative trade route. Taldirin was offered as a new end point for the extended Kadian Highway that terminated in Navara at the time. By 1202 Taldirin was resettled along with Milvar and Bradford. The first denizens were mostly former miners from the Duchy of Karhaven or commoners from Navara. The eastern frontier received heavy publicity, as it was considered to be a national mission by orders of the king himself. After the finding of platinum in the nearby foothills of the Central Amadels, the trading families of Navara began to push for the reconstruction of the town. Together with a Townmaster's Hall several farms have been built. The first guild to invest in the tower was the Lionshield Coaster, opening a mine and a smithy in the town. House Verhill of karhil also invested heavily in the town, opening their own mines but shipping the ore to their duchy instead of local processing. For most of its time as a frontier town Taldirin had no functioning government. The city of Navara controlled almost every aspect of the town's governance trough minor nobles to serve as townmasters every 5-6 years.
Early StrugglesThe miner's trail from Taldirin to Navara has piqued the interest of the Navaran trading families. Cutting travel time between Debye Pass to the city by weeks. In hopes to establish a more secure trade route with Osternfell and create a viable stop for traders coming through Debye Pass they began investing in the town infrastructure and services. The new settlement was home now to farmers, woodcutters, fur traders, and prospectors drawn by stories of gold and platinum in the foothills of the Amadel Mountains. This rapid expansion came at the cost of increased tensions with the local elves and the dwarves, who feared Taldirin was resettled as a precedence to breach the Treaty of Four. Tensions continued to soar through the mid 1200's as several extremist group began operating in the area. The most notorious of them all, the Col'bhen Cint'nias, was infamous for they terror tactics and targeting of what the Kingdom of Navara considered as a civilian work force. Taldirin's existence was constantly under threat. Elven extremists, the orcish clans of the foothills and the untamed lands claimed countless lives, forcing the King to invest even more into securing the frontier. The number of troops in the frontier nearly tripled in less than a year. The larger force led to even greater tensions, eventually requiring the intervention of the Aderian Royal Army.
The Lion's Fall(Expanded article: The Great Kadian Split)
Taldirin played a pivotal role during the Great Kadian Split. Taxes have been sharply raised of the frontier, especially in the more successful towns, in order to support the ongoing war for Independence between the Duchy of Krath and the newly formed Kadian Dominion. Being the most remote of the three cities of the frontier, refugees of both the war and the Second Salemizia by the Inquisition. The refugee crisis, along with the heavy taxation and the development of a more unified identity during the 1250's contributed greatly to Taldirin's declining relations with its liege. Another diving factor between the kingdom and the frontier was the presence of Tobby the Taldirian, a local orphan and sorcerer. Toby was an avid preacher of a unified identity for the denizens of the frontier, claiming the difference between the various races and their traditions pale in comparison to the threat a unified Andorian empire would pose to the continent. He began aiding local rebel groups, most notably the infamous Col'bhen Cint'nias.
Fight for IndependenceIn 1270 a joint operation to capture Toby failed, causing the entire frontier to burst into riots that quickly turned into a civil war for independence. While disorganized at first, the war efforts were mostly managed from Taldirin, as both Bradford and Milvar were either to hard to properly defend, or too easy to reach from Navara. Taldirin continued to receive refugees even during the civil war and the town became known as a haven for those hunted or harassed by the Inquisition. This caused the city to quadruple in size within the first decade of the war, effectively becoming a city. Meanwhile, Toby filled both the roles of the rebel army general and that of the townmaster, as the former one was promptly executed with the Navaran deceleration of war. The war for Taldirin and the frontier independence lasted for 55 years and was only settled by intervention of Dam Lodir and a dwarven treaty, the only one to ever been signed between dwarves and humans.
Founding of the ArchduchyTaldirin, now the capital of an independent archduchy encompassing most of the eastern frontier, was quick to adopt their new freedoms. With their new exclusive trade deals and treaties in place, the city became a potential hot spot for trade. The first crucial task, connecting Taldirin to Navara and Debye Pass with proper roads, proved to be a massive undertaking. The peace allowed for the expansion of the Kadian Highway from Navara to Taldirin, but the frontier was still filled with traps, mines and bandit groups. With the help of the Lionshield Metalworking Guild, the Continental Cartography Company and other private investors, most of the city's workforce was employed in the massive project. It is estimated that at least 3 out of 4 Taldirian living in taldirin at the time were involved in the construction in one form or another.
Shifting to metalworkingThe Kadian Highway finished construction in 1356, connecting Taldirin and the archduchy to Debye Pass and Navara. The road proved to be a great financial success, but also a challenge for the artisan and professional workers of the city. With nearly 3 quarters of the city employed in the construction of the road, thousands found themselves out of income. Desperate to make ends meet, countless workshops and practices opened around the city, only worsening the situation by quickly saturation the markets with products, leaving many out of the competition. With unemployment rocketing mass hunger became a very real threat that loomed over the city. The archduchy looked for ways to ensure an income for their population, but even with aid from monetary aid Dam Lodir it barely had the funds to even maintain it. In 1398 a new platinum vein was discovered in the nearby foothills, estimated to be contain at least 500 tons of the lucrative material. Despite sitting on one of the largest platinum deposits known in the continent, Taldirin did not have the necessary infrastructure to handle such large scale mining operations. Eventually a deal was struck between the Archduchy and the Lionshield Metalworking Group. In return for exclusive mining and prospecting rights, LMG will fund the necessary infrastructure and sell the platinum on behest of the archduchy, returning the profits in gold. The deal caused an uproar with the townsfolk, as many feared the Navaran guild will not only rob them of their natural resources, but interfere with their daily lives and government. Even with the vocal resistance, the deal went trough and several mining facilities were constructed around the city. A compound was built within the city to ensure safe storage and ease of access for the workforce. While the city folk were resistant at first to accept the Navaran guild into their city and into their lives, the much higher wages offered by LMG, as well as the inflow of gold into the duchy's treasury eventually changed the minds of most and the city began to transition from artisan work and production towards metalworking, which remains among its largest sources of export.
The KeepWith the increase in income came a higher risk of banditry. The Taldirian Army was already versed in guerilla warfare but lacked organized structure, causing delays in response times and the navigation and coordination of large forces. Taldirian shipments quickly became known as easy targets and banditry in the Taldirian Sovereign Lands rose to a point it was considered commonplace. In 1411, in effort to combat the threat, the office of the Arch Duke of Taldir ordered the construction of a keep to serve as a central command for the entire Archduchy. In additon, a wall will be built around the city to better defend against bandits and raiders. The wall promptly began construction and was completed within 10 years. The keep proved to pose a challenge and its construction began only 5 years after the walls were already done. At first, dwarven mason were to design and build the keep but security concerns moved the project to be managed by the Taldirian Army. Eventually, the project was moved once more, this time to a private contractor from Bradford, and construction began. The keep was finished in 18 years and proved to be one of the city most important structures. In addition to peacekeeping, the keep also served as a direct pipe between the people and the army. Special officers were appointed to maintain communications with the city's denizens ensuring their safety and well being. The keep also holds parades and demonstrations, serving both for entertainment and for recruitment purposes.
The OrsiniumIn 1441 a new threat rose in the form of the Gorak Orsinium east of the city. The newly funded orcish nation consider the realms of men to be a tyrannical oppression. While not actively in war, orcish raids and violent activities began to increase in the area around the city. The situation almost escalated into a full blown war in 1447 when 4 orcish war parties marched in close proximity to the northern gates of the city. An alarm was sound and the entire city guard was called to action. A Taldirian forward scouting party tracked one of the groups and was discovered, leading to a fight ending in 4 of the party members dead. War was averted only after a diplomat from the orsinium arrived and vowed that the orsinium will route future refugees away from the city's vicinity. Despite the promise, the city was put on high alert for days each month, as more and more orc migrated to the orsinium. Taldirin denizens quickly discovered that diplomacy with the orcs was moot, as refugees bound to the orsinium would often steal livestock and crops. These problems became even more severe when hunting parties ran across one another, with the situation often escalating to violence. Most affected was the half orcish population of the city, who despite not having a hand in the events, found themselves blamed time and again for the deeds of their kins. This speciesism was often violent, eventually leading to a sharp decline to the number of half orcs living in Taldirin as most have either fled or willingly moved themselves to the Orsinium. The few goblinoids living in Taldirin are some the poorest denizens of the city, living in a designated neighborhood in the southern commons.
New TensionsIn the early 1500's Taldirin's expansion has pushed beyond the city walls. A sprawl began to surround the city and nearby woods had be cut down to allow for more residential and agricultural areas. Having sovereignty over the territory, city officials did not consult the local elven tribe and accidentally brought down an ancient tree with significant cultural importance to the local wood elves. The elven population of Taldirin began rioting almost immediately after the news arrived back at the city. These riots were heavily fueled by extremists claiming the humans denizens show no regard to cultures and traditions of others. Several cases of discrimination by official public services also contributed to the events, shifting the aspects of the riots from environmental and cultural damage to speciesism. Several rogue and extremist groups used the riots to increase their operations around Taldirin. These actions included, but were not limited to; Robbing of gold shipments, kidnapping or killing of lumberjacks who worked at the woods' edges, sabotaging supply chains of building materials and more. By 1510 the city expansion began to slow down, mostly due to pressure from the city's elven public. This created to problems, the first and most immediate was the crowded southern commons. The second problem was the increased suspicions towards elves by the humanoid denizens of the city. Tensions reached their boiling point on 1518 with the Massacre of Tir'arvel. The massacre shook the elven community of Taldirin who marched on the city's Grand Hall with full intent to burn it to the ground. Fighting broke between the elves, the city guard and some specist denizens. Hundreds of arrests have been made and the guard had to impound a nearby tavern in order to house all detainees. 26 people died in the fighting, most of them elves. To prevent further bloodshed the arch duke has called for a meeting with the elven elders of the entire archduchy, joined by both the Clanmother and Clanfather of the Deepvale's Telvarsirs. The Kai of Dam Lodir was appointed as the summit's leader. The summit lasted 9 days, with none of the participants allowed to leave until a final resolution was found. The solution decided upon was the creation of elven reserves around the existing elven settlements, along with their surrounding natural environment. Each of these reserves was also required to pay the archduchy a skull tax, along with sending able bodies to serve in its army. Telvarsir agreed to accept all elves who wish to leave their ancestral lands for their forests. Some in the elven community saw the agreement as pushing for further segregation and discrimination. Extremists warned that the humanoids will end up not honoring this agreement, and that it is a mere attempt to keep elves away and separated as the humans completely take over their ancestral lands. Despite these vocal claims, most of the elven population was seemingly pleased with the new agreement. The number of elves in Taldirin has dropped sharply within the next 50 years, as more and more elves moved to the reserves or even left the Taldirian Sovereign Lands entirely for more conservative lives in Deepvale Forest.
Opening of The MawTaldirin enjoyed a relative quiet since the elven riots until the opening of The Maw. Same as the rest of the continent, the city was struck by a series of earthquakes that threatened to crumble it. Most of the city services survived, thanks to their dwarven architecture. The situation however was very different for most of the Southern Commons and the Midward, which were devastated almost completely. The dead toll was in the hundreds, with even more missing. The Taldirian Army quickly took over the city, declared martial law in effect. Soldiers torn the entire commons down to the bare frames in search of survivors. The availability of highly trained medics also helped ensure that survivors receive proper treatment. The army proved to be highly effective at managing the disaster. It continued to maintain all of crucial civil services and even several minors one such as public entertainment and heraldry. The people of Taldirin themselves were encourage to rebuild as quickly as possible, with the archduchy securing funding for compensation and loans for property owners who found themselves in ruins. The people recruited en mass to the task and the city's ruined building were began to be rebuilt or replaced almost as soon as the army confirmed the complete search of the buildings. In the late summer of 1570 Arch Duke Patric Guaspard went missing while on a hunting trip north of the city along with his entire entourage. Later searches did not reveal the missing duke, his personal guards, assistants, servants or the hunting party's cook. None of Guaspard's children survived infancy and with his younger brother, Leonard Guaspard vanished during The Truth. This left the role of Arch Duke in the hands of his nephew, Duran Guaspard. The position of Duran was somewhat contovertial. While it is customary to hand over the title to younger siblings if there was still a substantial portion of the term left, Duran was Partic's nephew. While he took office almost immediately, the full transition of power and official appointment only happened a year later. The vote for passing the title was won by a very slight margin, with just over half of the Taldirian Senate voting in favor. Despite the political drama, taldirin was almost completely rebuilt within 3 years. Most of the Old city survived the ordeal, but many buildings, including the historical Townmaster's Hall had to be renovated and have their masonry improved. Trade returned to the city almost immediately from the City of Eevornfel and from Navara. Both cities have recovered quickly from the destruction, but even their impressive achievement pales in comparison to the speed and dedication put by the Taldirians to rebuild their city.
Monarchy or RepublicWith the Archduchy nearing the 300 years mark of the Treaty of Taldirin, several questions about its future began to rise about its future. Some of those in power would have the archduchy turn into a proper monarchy, while others would prefer it would be officially declared as a republic, same as Krath and Evornfel.
Much of Taldirin's architecture is heavily influenced by its dwarven population and their motifs with the higher income areas being the most influenced. While these buildings are not as sturdy as proper dwarven structures, the motifs themselves often offer them increased structural integrity. Less well off areas of the city are mostly built of bricks and wood, with the exterior walls often painted with distinct patterns and colors. Some masonry also include statues or depictions of symbolic plants and animals built directly into the structure. It is customary to pay homage to other famous creations, but never to directly imitate them. The tradition of adorning building with murals stems from the rebuilding of the commons. After the opening of The Maw the city had to rebuild quickly and cheaply. This left many of the facades bare and exposed to the elements. With paint not readily available due to the ongoing construction efforts, Denizens would often only paint over exterior damages to prevent further degradation. Some have houses deteriorated faster than other, causing them to be covered in a multitude of strokes of different colors. People eventually began to make little patterns instead simply painting, connecting them as more and more of the building was painted. Eventually, Taldirin finished its rebuilding effort and most of the buildings were properly painted. The city folk however, grew fond of their personal adornments and the habit spread quickly to almost every house in Taldirin. In most cases, the paint serves only for beautification, and very little else.
Taldirin is located at the mouth of Taldir's Gate. The town is surrounded by rolling hills from all directions, and small woods and forests to the north and south. The city itself sit in a flat area that formed between the hills.
The soil around Taldirin is considered of very good quality and is very suitable for farming. The agriculture of Taldirin a point of pride for the city, which was known to host lavish harvest festivals since its early years. The forests to the north and south are rich with game and decent quality timber, but most of the land falls under territories of elven reservations, severely limiting woodcutting and forcing the city to import most of its wood from other locations in the archduchy. Taldirin's area was unsettled for most of human history. Despite evidence of previous dwarven settlements and prospecting, ore is abundant in the hills and foothills around the city. Common metals that can be found include Iron, Gold and Platinum.
Current Date: 25th of Erlsum 1572
Settlement - TaldirinMap of Taldirin, as of 1570.
Characters in Location