Some say it was once a beautiful little reminder of Balmoral's greatness. Then, the Fae did to her what the Fae did best. Now... it's just a pile of stick buildings built on old Balmoran stones. Its nice enough I suppose. Especially if you don't mind all those knights wandering around all the time spoutin' off on what's right and wrong.
Frial's birth came during the closing days of Balmoral's expansionist period. It represented the extreme edge of their borders, gave them access to Lake Bask and Rylan woods and it was the ideal place to establish a trade post between Tairos' major powers. Frial would give Balmoral access to Melanthris, the Old Gnome Empire. Ghal Pelor (under Dwarven rule at the time) and all the traders of the open plains.
During these early days Frial's safety was constantly in jeopardy. The open plains were home to dozens of different goblinoid tribes, orcs and roaming gnoll flesh hunters. The limited military support Balmoral could permanently station there often proved insufficient against the threats Frial faced and so it would frequently rely on the grit of its settlers and visiting merchants.
As Balmoral's presence in the region grew it slowly began to erode the hold these tribal menaces held over the region. That, combined with Melanthris' own strengthening of their borders against the upstart human kingdom led to the end of this threat. The few straggler tribes that survived did so by retreating into the Rylan Woods or fleeing south into the Serpent Lands.
The Fang Crusades
Frial's role during the great war against the Ximezci was a rather pivotal one. Because of its location, it became the unofficial base of operations for The Grand Concordance of Tairos. Frial benefited greatly from this influx of soldiers, merchants, and dignitaries from all across Tairos. It meant an influx of wealth, new ideas and exotic goods. It also led to expansions in the city's borders to fit the new arrivals as well as strong walls to defend against the enemy should they dare to strike out against the Concordance directly.
After the Crusade ended most of the visiting forces returned home but some remained in Frial and established successful businesses built around trade and craftsmanship. The success and prosperity of Frial meant windfalls for Balmoral as well. Taxes collected here would fund sweeping infrastructure improvements both in the Balmoral itself and its many colonies. The most notable of these would be the construction of elaborate sewage and aqueduct systems.
The Arrival of the Fae
The Autumn Queen arrived in Tairos under the invitation of the High Elves of Melanthris and her presence here was a secret known only to a handful of those in leadership. She began the purge of her enemies here in Tairos as she had always done in the past, by turning allies against each other. The College of Necromancy and Prince Vadin Sorolwyn of Melathris were both opponents that needed to be dealt with because of their suspicions toward the Fae.
Through subtle manipulation Prince Vadin was expelled from Melanthris and the Necromancers unfairly blamed for the Plague of Undeath that was sweeping the land after the Fang Crusades. Both the Necromancers and the Prince were vilified and took sanctuary in their holdings within Frial. The Autumn Queen used the elven peasantry as pawns; her allies in Melanthris pushed these simple folk into frenzied mobs who ran through the streets of Frial putting a torch to every home belonging to the Necromancers or their retainers. They even burned down the Necromancers' workshops where they were actively creating healing elixirs and curatives to try and restore their damaged reputations. This destruction muddled the elixirs and turned them into a noxious fume that made the Undead Plague far worse than it had been previously. Mutations in the plague gave rise to the first vampires, Morghs, Bodaks and all manner of abominations.
The Queen's allies manipulated the evidence to reinforce the belief that the Necromancers were in fact behind the Plague of Undeath and their workshop in Frial was dedicated to making the threat worse. Frial and Balmoral's forces acted quickly to round up the surviving Necromancers and expel them. Necromancers from all across Tairos either fled into hiding or joined the march to the Scorch Lands for permanent exile. Prince Vadin vanished into the frozen north of Frostmere, infected by mutations unleashed in the workshop fires, where he fully transformed into the vampiric threat that to this day hounds the icy wastelands.
The Queen's War
Frial posed a unique threat to The Autumn Queen. She read her history and knew how this city was used during the Fang Crusades. With Melanthris acting as her early beachhead into Tairos she needed to make sure that the prying eyes of Balmoral and the other nations remained elsewhere. To that end she made alliances with bandit gangs, scattered tribes of orcs, gnolls, and goblins in the Rylan woods and anyone else she could. The goal was to force them to prey on merchant caravans venturing to Frial and slowly push forward the idea that this trade hub was becoming more and more risky a venture. Merchants in Ghal Pelor quickly capitalized on this as well to pull more business their way.
Frial's place as a multi-racial trade hub dwindled and it returned to being just another colony of Balmoral. While still prosperous and safe by the standards of most cities it devolved into a shadow of its former self, Many of the newer sections of the city built to accommodate centuries of increased traffic were left abandoned. It would remain this way through the war and up until the closing years of the conflict.
Once the manipulations of the Fae were revealed and all of Tairos was at war Frial faded into the background. Balmoral pulled many of the troops it had stationed there and drafted them into the war effort. Citizens with ties to safer cities like Ghal Pelor and Ghal Ankhar fled to those more stable regions and bandits preyed upon the city with little to stop them.
After Balmoral fell to the Queen's Jaberwock Frial was truly defenseless. The armies of the Fae's Shadow Court fell upon every colony Balmoral had, looking to purge the kingdom from the very face of Tairos. Frial was no different. They burnt everything they could and shattered the monuments and temples to the old golds. Frial was the last of the colonies of Balmoral to be attacked by the Fae. Their armies were already fleeing north, desperately trying to return to the safety of the Queen's palace as Tairos turned against them. They had little time to be thorough in their pogrom against Balmoral. Much of Frial was left largely untouched as well, including the harbor. They did what damage they could and quickly fled. Frial survived where many other colony cities withered and died in the wake of the Fae thanks to this hasty retreat.
What was left in the wake of fae's devastation was vast ruin, depopulated and scarred. Few if any were sparred by the armies of the Shadow Court as they retreated northward. The people of Frial became the target for all the abuse and malice the fae could master and the result was nothing less than a total extermination of life. Yet, the city would live. Scores of refugees from all across the Balmoran Plains would gather into great caravans bound for Frial. Hope and rumor were all that fueled their journey, having heard that the marauding fae fled before they could grind the city to dust. The first refugees to arrive would find a blood-stained mausoleum in place of the city they once knew. And while the dead were left to rot in the streets the structures were mostly intact. The first to arrive would come to be known as the Founders. They would rebuild but much of their heritage was lost in the process as people from different colonies mingled along with non-balmorals who came seeking a second chance as well. What emerged after the restoration process was a new culture altogether. One that anchored itself to the old gods and their traditions as well as the ideals of Balmoral. Frial is perhaps the most pious city in Tairos (outside of Cinderstone, of course).
Much of Frial's success after the rebuilding effort is owed to the Grand Order of the Lion. The Lions found Frial's adherence to Balmoral's code favorable and the orderly traditions of their religious culture equally appealing. With them, they brought money, protection and trade. While it still may be too early to tell, it is possible that one day in the future Ghal Pelor may have a rival state to challenge its prosperity.
Frial is largely populated by humans. A small number of the residents are displaced elves from the peasant land or Melanthris. There are a rare few Dwarves that live here as well as Halflings. There are no gnomes living here permanently.
Frial's government is deeply interwoven with the Grand Order of the Lion and the faith in the old gods, especially Sandor The Guardian of Tairos.
The city is led by the Kreastos of Frial , a group of elected community representatives. The group's name comes from the name of the building they adopted as their governmental home. The Kreastos was a religious gathering place in the city that once help shrines to each of the gods of Tairos and where any were welcome to come and worship. The structure was desecrated and burned during the Queen's War but has since been partially rebuilt and is now home to the city's ruling council.
The Council is made up of elected members of the community however almost all of these members powerful advocates for the pantheon of Tairos. There is also a place in the Council for one of the Lion Lords of the Grand Order of the Lion. In total there are seven members, each serving three-year terms.
The Grand Order of the Lion leaves at least one company of knights here at all times and a talented major to lead them. Frial also has its constabulary force of approximately 200 investigators, staff and administration.
Industry & Trade
Being a hub between Melanthris, Rylan, Ghal Pelor and expeditionists in The Serpent Lands makes Frial a very popular wilderness trade up.
Frial is known for its prosperous wheat fields, windmills and the intricate sewage system that keeps the actual city free of waste. The city's harbor is small but well built. It survived the Fae's wrathful attack on the city centuries earlier and holds true to the quality of Balmoran construction.
Many shops here sell elven goods. The prices are still at a premium but far less so than in eastern cities. Their weapons and armor shops also sell Balmoran Steel Weapons and Armor
Guilds and Factions
The Grand Order of the Lion, The religious factions, merchant caravans
Frial's original architecture was Old Balmoran and included all the facets common with that style (massive statues of Kings, grand temples, semi-circular arches, barrel vaults and decorative arcading). With Frial's devastation at the hands of the Fae at the close of the Queen's War much of the Old Balmoran architecture was left in ruin. A great deal of the city has been replaced with simple Rylander style architecture such as thickly built wooden structures, communal homes and single story squat buildings.
The surrounding terrain is mostly open plains and Lake Bask to the north.
Fresh waster and fish from Lake Bask. Frial has access to the outskirts of the Rylan woods though it generally relies on Rylander woodsmen rather than securing their own timber.
Related Tradition (Primary)
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