The city of magic, Alundria incarnate, Greytown, the Iron Citadel.
By Brother Toth of the Gray Council.
Located in the heart of Alundria, the Citadel is the home of the illustrious council of Greys, a circle of Alundria’s most powerful spellcasters of all races, and the king of the Iron Citadel and the local province.
It is the size of a mountain, a fortress carved from the deep rock itself into seven levels with a small city around the Citadel named the Lowtown or shortened to just the Low.
The Citadel has had many names throughout the centuries. The Iron Citadel in reference to it’s appearance of it’s high walls and the iron veins in the surrounding area, the city of magic because it houses the well known Academia Magica that trains the best mages of all of Alundria and Greytown because it houses the Elder mages known as Greys who decide all matters magic.
Deep below the Citadel is the largest recorded mana well that stretches it’s lay lines across the entire continent of Alundria and from which all mana pools across the land are born.
The Citadel has existed long before the mortal races discovered fire.
Some Greys theorize that the Giants or a elder race of dwarves must’ve build the mountain fortress but both deny any knowledge of having had a hand in constructing the ancient Citadel.
However the current theory still believe the Giants were responsible. Grey Theofield’s research indicates the giants possessed a superior knowledge and were able to build castles similar to the Citadel. The ruins found in the western edges of Alundria do share some similarities and are close to several of the major giant caverns.
The first settlers of the Citadel supposedly arrived six thousand years before the First Blight which was filled with numerous dangerous creatures such as werewolves, drakes and ghouls. There are few records about the earlier settlers but it is safe to assume they left as soon as they came or were killed.
That was until a large host of settlers arrived from the east. According to legend they are survivors from a island kingdom Troi who fled when their kingdom was sacked by a elven army led by prince Irvindel. Years earlier Troi’s prince had helped Irvindel as the Alliance of elves and men fought against a black dragon and his undead armies.
After a large battle that cost many lives, the dragon was slain and elves and men celebrated. During the celebrations, Prince Troi however fell in love with Irvindel’s wife and took her back to Troi. Irvendel followed and after ten years of siege destroyed the city and killed his former friend who he saw as a brother with his own sword. Irvindel allowed a large number of survivors to escape led by a man called Baldwin the Iron Arm. Elder Viodalin claims Irvendel choose mercy for the poor people who had to pay for the crimes of their prince. But Archivist Brolgar Rockbeard claims records found in the Book of Grudges of Ravenhold that a fleet of dwarves attacked Irvendel’s kingdom during the War of the Beard.
Baldwin was a veteran of both wars and a friend to prince Troi. He knew how to lead an army, engage in diplomacy with the nearby human tribes and dwarven holds and knew how to fortify a city. After a hard struggle of thirteen years, fighting the horrors that dwelled in the ruined city, and thanks to the aid of the local Mountain King, the Citadel was secured and Baldwin was crowned king of the Citadel. He and all kings after him made their home on the third level which gave the best view of the surrounding area.
Baldwin’s line has ruled ever since although in recent times the role of monarch is mostly ceremonial.
Despite it being mostly cleared, some horrors did manage to survive the purge and at certain levels of the city it is advised not to wonder out at night. Despite the City Watch’s efforts, there is no real explanation where these monsters are coming from.
Monster Hunters are adventurers who go out at night on these missions to cull whatever monsters they can find and keep the people of the city safe.
It was decades later when the first mages, mostly humans and the odd troll, arrived and found a hidden door that led to the Hall of mana that housed a large mana pool that connected to the ocean wide one deep below the surface.
Mana is a magical liquid that allows mages to cast their magics and with the Citadel having the largest pool known to the world made it a big target for any enemy to the mortal races, such as the black dragons, and even the mortal races itself who sought power.
Baldwin allowed the mages to stay and gave them a home on the 7th level but refused elven mages entry due to their involvement in the destruction of his previous home. Until one of these mages was a elf by the name of Troi who spoke with the king behind closed doors. After one night the king allowed elves entry into the city and Troi began teaching the other wizards the ways of proper magic. He was the first Grey who founded the council and headmaster of the newly formed Academia Magica. They swore to protect the mana pools across all of Alundria, especially the one at the Citadel for if they would fall into wrong hands it could plunge the world into a age of chaos.
As the power of the wizards began to grow so did the reputation of the Citadel. Trade began to flourish along the land and the river and the iron mines allowed the Citadel to grow in wealth. It was a century after Baldwin was crowned that the Lower City became a actual town with a wall to defend itself from bandit or troll attacks.
As the centuries passed and the last of the black dragons were slain, the Citadel began to face more threats from the lands around them. Several rival kingdoms sought the iron and mana riches and began raiding the land and even besieged the Citadel several times. During each siege the Greys aided House Baldwin with their magicks and the knights protected the mages from direct threats. Baldwin VII also known as Baldwin the Ill-tempered pulled away this protection when his son died of a magical illness the wizards could not save him from.
Knowing a wizard could not stop a knight in armour the Council created a new Knightly order to protect themselves.
Using magicks from the black dragons, they created the Dragonhelm Order. A order of knights who seldom spoke and who were fanatically loyal to their spellcasting masters.
The Dragonhelm Knights proved themselves during the First Troll War. A troll Warchief named Azikan the Fat launched a country wide invasion across Alundria. He was a Marsh Warden who sought to claim the Citadel’s mana pool and used his Tangle mages to teleport his warriors inside the Citadel, bypassing the city’s magical and physical defences. It was thanks to the Dragonhelm Knights that the attack failed and after the trolls were routed back to the marshes and the desert. Since then they are always seen beside a spellcaster who is on Citadel business.
After the Second Troll war, orcs and goblins were accepted into the wizard ranks thus showing the Citadel’s open nature that all those who wish to learn are welcome.
However some magical spells go to far. Around the year 1010, a Grey began to delve into magicks dealing with the After and began a new kind of magic only found in black dragons. Necromancy.
The Grey became the first Necromancer and with his followers began the horrible plagues known as the Blight.
Whenever a Blight begins, the Citadel keeps an eye on the mana pools connected to those lands and the Citadel. Should a mana pool be infected by the Blight, the mana priestesses at the Hall of Mana shut off that tendril so the infection would not reach the main mana pool under the Citadel.
As the Grey Council and the elders are asked to help more and more with every Blight, the king of the Citadel is pushed to the background. The last King who tried to aid against the Blight was Baldwin XII also known as Baldwin the brave who died with most of his army at the mana pool of Poorsprings against the hordes of a Trailblazer when the Blight struck the Fountain of Wisdom. After this defeat the noblemen called a vote and decided the Citadel’s armies have remained at home.
As of now Baldwin’ son King Dirkjan, a boy of seventeen, can only command domestic matters both in the city and Lowtown. Lately he is more interested in his mistresses, sports and hunting thus letting his advisors rule the city in his name.
After being inhabited for nearly ten thousand years, the secrets of the Citadel are still just that.
Scholars spend lifetimes trying to figure out specific runes placed across the city. Mages are still figuring out how the mana pools exactly work and some Monster Hunters claim that the horrors that first claimed the city seem to thrive again as of late.
Although the Citadel is called the city of magic, it would have a better name as the city of mystery.
Academea Magica: Located on the sixth level, the Academy looks like a small two store manor house but when you step inside it is the size of a actual castle. Staircases and books float by and change directions seemingly at random. Strange creatures dust of old pieces of armour as lecturers teach the next generation of mages the ways of magic.
All mages are welcome to the Citadel and are taught free of charge, however the Grey Council does like a nice donation from time to time from it’s wealthier students.
Not all mages who train here remain at the Citadel or work for them but sometimes go back to their own kingdoms or tribes to teach their magical kin there.
The current Headmaster is Archmage Kalidor the Bright, an High Elf whose been teaching for three hundred years.
Royal Palace: On the third floor you can find the Royal Palace, home to the bloodline of Baldwin ever since the reclamation of the Citadel. From here the King rules all over the Citadel and Lowtown.
He sees people with their problem every day from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon.
Holy Row: On the fifth level of the Citadel are the religious buildings to all races of Alundria.
Here you can find the Saint Polinus’ Cathedral where the Grand Theologian lives, the living embodiment of god. The cathedral is the largest of all the buildings with hundreds of marbles statues dedicated to the faith and the previous Theologians. As of late there is a crowd outside protesting the Theologian’s response on Mother Mercy’s actions in Sanctuary.
You will also find a temple dedicated to the sun, a temple to the mountain itself and many others.
To find a temple dedicated to the spirits of the wild or the troll goddess of death you best look at Lowtown.
Hall of Mana: The Hall of Mana is found at the top floor, guarded by Dragonhelm Knights.
Behind closed doors, there is a large room with a large mana pool inside which are tended to by mana priestesses. The priestesses make sure the flow of mana goes across all of Alundria and is cut off when one pool is infected by the Blight. Visitors are only allowed a few days a year due to it’ sensitive nature.
Market row: On the first floor you can find the market row where anyone can buy anything from anywhere. Including produce, gems, weapons, furs, Iron and more exotic magical items fit for adventurers.
Be careful for pickpockets.
It also hosts many restaurants, a brothel named the Red Rose and a theatre named the Sphere.
Danger row: Although during the day, the fifth level is very harmless and many people make their home here, at night monsters roam around and even the odd Immortal appears. The homes themselves are defended by magical runes to protect the inhabitants from harm. Unless you are a Monster Hunter, or seek death, stay in your homes after sundown.
Lowtown: A small city around the Citadel filled with markets, inns, brothels and plenty of fishing spots and also has many beggars and criminals.
Also has a dwarven embassy where miners haggle with merchants and holds temples to the wild spirits and the god of death on the outskirts of the town outside of the dwarven made walls. Many pilgrims try to rush passed Lowtown due to it’s unsavoury reputation.
Banners; The Council of Greys’ banner is a grey castle on a green background.
House Baldwin of the Citadel’s banner is a gauntlet holding a castle, symbolising Baldwin’s taming of the Citadel.
Population: Roughly over a million consisting of all races of Alundria, mostly human.
Ruling Lord; King Dirkjan.
Notable Citadel Dwellers:
The Grey Council: Thirteen of Alundria’s most powerful wizards. Their identities are unknown, even amongst themselves. These people decide all things magic.
King Dirkjan: The young King of the Iron Citadel. Although a adequate enough ruler he is quite well loved by his people. He is yet to be wedded but he already has had several mistresses, among which an Enchantress.
He does seem to care for his people and is often butting heads with the magical elements of the Citadel to reclaim some of his ancestral power.
The Bat: Several Monster Hunters claim to have seen a masked man dressed in black go around the levels at night, fighting both monsters and the criminal element. Some of the criminals who survive his attacks claim they saw him drain the blood from his victims. The Dragonhelm Knights nor the City Guard have not come close to catching him.
Archmage Kalidor; Headmaster of the Academea Magica. A elf from the Celestial Pools who has been teaching for 300 years. A kind, wise man who cares for his students immensely. Was taught by Highmage Troi himself before he passed and was considered a prodigy and rightful succesor.
Queen Rinna; So-proclaimed queen of the criminal underworld. Wanted for numerous accounts of theft, murder, arson and threats. Her symbol is that of a black cat with a crown. No-one knows who she really is or where she came from but some do claim the reason why she hasn’t been found yet is because of a royal connection.
Ambassador Hadhod Silverbeard: The dwarven emissary to the Citadel, lives in Lowtown despite the offer from the king and his nobles to live on the more luxurious third floor. A well-known gambler and frequenter of brothels, and a bit of a disgrace back home, Silverbeard notably does his duty to bring dwarven affairs to the Citadel.
Captain Amelia Stormhammer; The youngest daughter of a noble family and the captain of the Citadel City Guard. Frequently bumps heads with Kalidor when his students cause trouble in the taverns in the city.
She frequently has to deal with monster attacks at nights and Queen Rina’s men. As the youngest Captain in Citadel history she feels all the more obligated to do her best to protect her home.