Nimdenthal
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"Forget it, Jakob. It's Nimdenthal."
- overheard at the Main Rail Station.

Population: 723,510
Import:
Exports:

This city is infamous for surrendering to the invading armies of Negroth the Doombringer without a fight, and is still hated by the citizens of the other Flannish cities as a result, which suffered far more under his brief reign than Nimdenthal did. That the army of Nimdenthal was hardly able to withstand the might of Negroth's forces on their own is conveniently forgotten. Many other cities still levy large tolls against the goods from Nimdenthal, or boycott them outright. As a result, the people of Nimdenthal take an almost perverse pride in being self-sufficient.

Life in Nimdenthal

Industries

As there is mutual distrust between Nimdenthal and the other Flannish Cities, it is the official government policy to be as independent of trade as possible. This policy is clearly failing, however - the city is incapable of producing many of the goods it needs, and thus trade continues to exist despite heavy tariffs on both sides (which only encourage the activities of smugglers). The primary exports of Nimdenthal are its ores - the mountains to the north of the city are criss-crossed by numerous fertile mines. Another major export are its magic items and artifacts based on the powers of devils- these are highly regulated or outright illegal in other cities, but this doesn't seem to stop anyone. Finally, many foreigners come here to study the infernal arts at the Akademie der Durchtriebenen Künste, and they tend to spend large amounts of money during their stay.

Life and Society

Other cities have a genuine civil society, a fair justice system, reasonably efficient governments and dedicated guards. Nimdenthal by contrast only has a thin veneer of a civil society, and everybody who lives here knows it. The central government is largely ineffective, and true power lies with numerous local community leaders (some of which were elected, but most of which were not). Those who manage to ingratiate themselves with one or more of these powerful people are reasonably safe (unless they are caught up in a power struggle or territorial dispute), while those without such connections tend to be alone and prey for the predators of this city, not all of which are mortal.

People tend to keep to their own neighborhoods if possible - where they are reasonably "safe" and know enough people who might watch out for them. Other neighborhoods are seen as unsafe, and outsiders venture into them at their own peril - if they are not careful, they might be subject to thievery and worse.

Unusually, Nimdenthal has a far greater tolerance for goblins than any other of the Flannish Cities, and they are accepted as equals by the law, and while there are prejudices against them by the rest of society, these are not greater than those for members of any other race than one's own.

Shopping

Government and Politics

Groups and Organisations

Religion

Important NPCs

History

Founded as a remote supply depot for the Atalan soldiers stationed at Atalan Wall, Nimdenthal started out as an unpopular backwater whose existence was nevertheless necessary - which set the mood for the centuries to come. Even after the Empire collapsed, the region remained an unpopular backwater barony, valued for its ores and lumber but little else. The local barons soon developed a vile and degenerate reputation, and were rumored to abduct children, consort with warlocks, and be afflicted with lycantrophy, and it was one of them who founded the Akademie der Durchtriebenen Künste, one of the major institutions of the city to this day. Eventually, a council of merchants managed to gain an independent city charter for Nimdenthal through massive bribes to the baron, and thanks to a large annual tribute the city maintained its independence throughout later centuries - until 1174 NA when the forces of Negroth the Doombringer were approaching. Realizing that their small city guard would be completely overwhelmed, they opted to surrender without a fight. As a "reward", the city council was permitted to continue to run the city in exchange for massive tributes (though not as massive as those of the cities that opted to resist), and Negroth made his headquarters for the Flannish Cities region here, adding a massive garrison.

When Negroth died and the occupation ended two years later, the city council managed to restore order and home rule in the aftermath. One of the concessions they had to make was to grant the numerous goblins among the garrison and the its camp followers resident status (with citizenship for their officers and other leaders), which in turn made the majority of the goblins join the population of the city peacefully. To this day, Nimdenthal thus remains the only one among the Flannish Cities granting the same legal rights to goblins as to humans, which is one of many reasons the city is distrusted elsewhere. But thanks to this decision, the city stood stronger than all others in the entire region, with its infrastructure intact and its coffers swollen from the loot of Negroth's armies.

Unfortunately, this did not last. When the Liberation War broke loose a decade later, Nimdenthal was too tempting a target - while the city was not ruled by nobles, its rulers were seen as traitors no less vile, and when the city was sacked and plundered by the combined armies of Zuidenstadt and Praxus and every goblin the invaders caught was brutally killed, this was seen as an act of just retributions instead of a crime. The people of Zuidenstadt took this as a sign that people from the other cities could never be trusted or forgiven, and many of them hid and protected goblins at a risk to their own life - something that the local goblin minority still remembers and which has installed a fierce patriotism in them, no matter how else they might feel and act regarding their neighbors.

The thirteen members of the city council were also put to the sword - thirteen years to the day after the occupation by Negroth the Doombringer ended. This has given rise to the so-called "Curse of Thirteen" - every thirteen years (starting with the infamous Troll Siege in 1202 NA), one of the rulers of the city would die. Sometimes it would look like an accident or natural causes, but often enough the victim would be brutally murdered - and even those who were brought back to life via resurrection rituals were never quite the same. While nobody has ever found any conclusive proof that the deaths are in any way connected to each other, it is a common belief that some kind of infernal cult is the mastermind behind them all.

These deaths have not helped the political stability of the city, and there have been numerous coups and revolts where one regime violently replaced the previous one. Usually, the regimes installed some kind of power-sharing system with several public rulers, to decrease the odds that the Curse of Thirteen would affect any single of them - but this also caused numerous internal power struggles. For much of the 14th century the city had reached a semblance of stability as a single extended merchant dynasty - the Drakensberg Family had seized power, and they established the feared Amt für Innere Sicherheit to suppress all dissent. However, this changed when a street urchin named Kalle was hit by a strange meteorite 45 years ago, which gave him the power to regenerate from even the gravest injury and the ability to control the minds of others. He quickly turned Graufelden into his personal domain and his brainwashed minions threatened to overrun the rest of the city. The city desperately tried to fight back, and somehow during the fighting numerous devils appeared in Graufelden, destroying the district in the infamous Teufelsnacht. This event and its aftermath destroyed the strength and support of the Drakensberg Family, allowing a new City Council to step in to rule the city, with each council member representing a different power group in the city. However, political instability seems to be on the increase, as the City Council is notoriously corrupt and each member blatantly panders to the interests of the group they represent while ignoring the needs of the city as a whole. And now, in 1423 NA, another thirteen year anniversary approaches…

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

More than any other of the Flannish Cities, I am envisioning Nimdenthal as a quintessential "Noir" city. Crime and corruption are everywhere, and even people who wish to make a difference are forced into making morally dubious choices.

The Random Nations Generator at the Arcana Wiki was a great help for fleshing this city out. Also see this RPGNet thread about how the generator was used.

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