Ouradon, City of Towers, from the Gazetteer of the Speaking Lands

A city far to the north, sitting astride forking rivers and a nexus of trade routes.  No, it’s not Winnipeg, it’s Ouradon, City of Towers!

A remnant of an ancient trollish empire, Ouradon has seen the rise and fall of every kingdom that tried to claim it.  The city has survived them all.  The Dread Tyrant may have knocked down their walls, but with him gone, they’re ready to rebuild.

Nothing is going to stop Ouradon from regaining its place in the world—the only question is how much trouble it’ll kick up in the process.


The “City of Towers” sits astride the Uroth Passage in northern Toriel. It is the largest city in the region (as long as you don’t count Yonishan as a single city), hosting a bustling population of kobolds, gnolls, humans, and renardi. The city has long been renowned for its impressive architecture, including the number of tall towers that rise throughout the city. The city walls, once an impressive sight, were toppled by the Dread Tyrant; now the city plans to rebuild them, taller and grander than before.

The city is ancient. Records indicate that its first walls were raised by the trollish Tor El empire to secure the Uroth Passage, but a pre-existing settlement is likely. Over time, the city has lost most of its trollish citizens while others, especially gnolls, have risen to the fore. For centuries, city business was conducted out of the original trollish fortress, Fanged Keep, so named for the mosaics of hissing pythonsthat festoon its walls. A larger, grander City Hall has since been raised, relegating the old fortress to the offices of minor and obscure functionaries and the city’s deep archives.

The city’s mainstay is trade through Uroth, replenishing caravans with the harvests of surrounding farming communities. It also fosters metalworking, jewelshaping, and weaving industries. Ouradon is a guild city, with craftmasters filling the city council and electing one of their own as the Lord Mayor. The city has possessed a series of charters from crowns and warlords, but has survived the collapse of each kingdom that once claimed it. Ouradon was a free city for a century before falling to the Dread Tyrant.

The vast majority of the citizens seek spiritual counsel from vine witches, making Ouradon a northern bulwark of the often marginalized faith. City officials often make grand demonstrations of consulting (carefully groomed) witches, and it has become fashionable among guild masters to make a pilgrimage to Zinclum.

The Rotaller Order has even built a small seminary in the city. Some speculate or even promote the idea that Ouradon might be the seed bed for a greater formalization of the faith into a ‘proper’ organized religion. The city’s vine witches tread a careful path between accepting the patronage of city elders while also remaining true to the needs of their individual communities within the city.

Ouradon hosts a number of wizards, organized into a Mage’s Guild with a seat on the city council. Ouradon’s guild wizards are business-minded creatures, churning out vimstones for export and summoning erdgeists to raise up lofty new buildings. Guild mages begrudgingly consult on matters outside the city (for hefty fees) but generally prefer to remain in their towers, which dot the city’s skyline.

Many of the mages are locked in an endless competition for having the tallest tower. New construction is common, as are wizardries to push or expand existing towers higher; inevitable collapses often follow. The recurring loss of life has prompted the city council to forbid tower expansions, which only means the mages now perform their oneupsmanship under the cover of night.

I suspect my love of fantasy cities is more than showing at this point.  Here, let’s distract ourselves with the poll for next week!

What’ll we read up on next?

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