(VIRM-iss; sometimes WIRM-us)
The great city of Vermis is the capital of Aachen Province, and the seat of the Lord-Governor of all Aachen. As with the City of Aixe, the city itself is governed by a Mayor-Palatine who reports directly to the Lord-Governor — the Regional Governor of Vermis only oversees the courts and the surrounding roads. The two hills visible from outside the city are the High Mercha (which is crowned by the white-walled College of Vermis) and the Groldhill, dominated by the grim citadel of Vermis Grold.
The threat of reprisal borne on the black-dragon sails of Vermis’s riverboats is no idle threat, for the city does indeed possess its own black dragon, a formidable beast named Esgryndior. The dragon lives in a cavern-hold beneath the Citadel of Vermis Grold, with an exit from the steepest cliff-face of the Groldhill. Esgryndior is not exactly tame, nor is he loyal to the city or the Lord-Governor, but he is deeply respectful of the power of the city’s wizards and extraordinarily fond of being fed without needing to stir himself to find food. He revels in the admiration of the citizenry, and the awe of visiting peasants, and generally finds living in the city to be an excellent life for a dragon. Esgryndior’s presence in the city, and the fact that he deigns to follow orders from the Lord-Governor, keeps the area around the capital city almost entirely clear of major threats. Even other dragons that might think of attacking Esgryndior have enough intelligence not to tangle with the spellcasters and veteran fighters who would unquestionably come to the black dragon’s aid. The safe harbor created by Esgryndior’s presence extends only to a radius of 50 or 60 miles, however, for unless he is called upon to strike deep toward some other threat, the dragon chooses not to tire himself with long flights that feel like work instead of play.
The River-HarborVermis is a river-port city with a deep, hill-protected harbor in the Great Amrin River. The harbor is protected from river-pirates by an island-tower in the river that is known as the Harbor’s Bite. Vast quantities of food and trade goods travel down to Vermis from the upriver farms and villages to feed the city’s population. Trade goods find their way onto the city’s riverboats, their great yellow sails proudly marked with the city’s black dragon, boldly warning pirates not to incur the city’s wrath.
College of VermisThe College of Vermis, located at the top of the High Mercha hill, is a famed institute of classical studies, literature, medicine, alchemy, and philosophy. Virtually the only major topic not taught at the College is magic, which is considered by the school to be more of a craft than an intellectual discipline. As in most places, magic is taught under an apprenticeship system. The College is beginning to fall upon harder times as revenues from the Royal Vermis Road have declined over the years, and it is becoming less common for the noble families of the countryside to send their young adults to Vermis for advanced education.
TemplesNotable temples in Vermis include the Chapterhouse-Crypt of Jamboor below the High Mercha Hill; the aging stone cathedral of Solanus; the newly expanded temple of Mitra; the Twin-temple of Thyr and Muir; and the Great Mill-Temple of Ceres. The cathedral of Solanus holds the remains of the famous healer-seeress Joianthe of Nains (JOY-anth-ee) in an elaborate casket of silver studded with semi-precious stones, which pilgrims come to visit, praying for cures and healing. As the worship of Solanus continues to decline, fewer pilgrims arrive each year. The cathedral has already closed its academy of acolytes, and rented out most of the great temple’s former outbuildings.
- Inhabitant Demonym
- Location under
- The Borderlands
- Landour Sebat
- Owning Organization
- Aachen Province