Services: ***** | Friendliness: *** | Comfort: ***** Population: 41,628 City of Betrayal. Ironhill is a unique location within the Umbarian Empire. During the War of the Darkened Sun, Ironhill chose no side. While all other cities and towns within the Dominion fortified their Queen's armies, Ironhill solidified their own defences and waited. When Vessyria fell and the newly titled Emperor marched his armies to the gates, Ironhill was not worried. They could wait out a siege for decades, had their own mines to produce materials for weaponry, defences and repairs. Eager to truly consider the war over, the Emperor made a deal with the Iron Lords - a Free City, with freedoms that are not afforded to other settlements within the conquered lands of the Verdant Plains. Ironhill would be free to rule itself more or less as it sees fit. In return, a large portion of the city's export profits would go to the Empire. Additionally, Ironhill would be responsible for monitoring the Northern Ironwoods. This agreement was named the Iron Treaty. The Iron Treaty was signed, and Ironhill remained largely independent - much to the jealousy and animosity of other settlements within the Verdant Plains. Ironhill is seen as a prime target to Vessyrian sympathisers, seeing the Iron Lords as traitors to their rightful queen. Government. The government of the city consists of the Iron Lord, the singular ruler, and the Iron Families. The Iron Lord is always the oldest member of House Ozera, the founding family of Ironhill. Some liken the Iron Lord's rule to that of a king - though such words are dangerous if brought to the Umbarian Emperor. The Iron Families are noble families of the city, primarily the ones who own the largest or most profitable vineyards alongside other avenues of revenue. The Iron Families serve as the Lord's council, though the Lord's decisions are always final. Defence. Ironhill is defended by both geography and a large military force. To the north and east are the Shadowvale Mountains which shield the city from Old Vessyria. To the west is the Ironwood Forest, a place of mystery and primal people - but thankfully, a primal people who never leave their forest. This leaves only the south to defend, and well defended it is. The path through the hills to the city are well-paved, but with traps hidden within the hills either side. Leading up to Ironhill itself, the city has 30 foot high walls with guard-towers interspersed throughout. While there is a token contingent of Crownwardens, Ironhill takes care of their own through their own guards known as the Iron Wardens. While the Iron Wardens started as Ironhill's standing military and policing force, they have also turned into a mercenary company that roams the Empire - another avenue of revenue for the city. Factions & Organisations. As part of the Ironhill Treaty, enforced prohibition of Outsider worship does not exist within the city's domain. Due to this, there is an array of churches and temples for both the Vestran and Outsider pantheon - more akin to the religious customs of Vessyrian cities. The prime temple is the Diarch of Soil and City, a twin temple to Erathis and Melora. Aside from the religious elements of the city, there are a variety of merchant guilds to aid in the economy. Primarily, there is the Guild of Wine as that is the main export from the city itself. All merchant and trade guilds have offices within the Court of the Guildmasters; a renovated manor of a fallen Iron Family. There is also an enclave of the Arcane Myriad - much to the annoyance of the Empire. They have not been approved for a full Arcanum, but the Myriad is consistently working on building relations with the city with this in mind. Aside from the Myriad, the Iron Lord enjoys the service of a variety of druids who aid in the growth of the vineyards that spread across the surrounding hills.