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"13th of Kort: The Siebenbund seems like the halflings. Nice, cheerful, peaceful, if a bit staid. Favorite vacation spot for rich city people who want to get away from it all.
But the halflings - why do they all have crossbows in their homes? What are they hiding? Tunnels everywhere - where do they go? How many are there? What are the gnomes and dwarves doing with them? Gnomish families large - relatives everywhere. Many bankers - how much do they own? All those retired 'adventurers' - are they really doing nothing? Fey folk in the forests and mountains…"
- Diary fragment rescued from a fire in a hotel room in Hagenzell. The occupant of the room, one Anthony Harrison of Dartmouth, is currently missing.

Capital: Hagenzell
Population: 1,653,430 (halflings 76%, dwarves 10%, humans 7%, gnomes 5%, elves 3%)
Government: Loose Republic dominated by clan interests.
Imports: Fruits, pipe weed, spirits, wealthy retirees
Exports: Beer, cheese, crossbows, gems, iron, precious metals, wool

This pleasant and mountainous land remains an oddity in the world of Urbis. On a continent increasingly overcrowded with sprawling city-states, the Siebenbund has steadfastly resisted any major attempts at urbanization. Which is just as the halflings, who represent the majority of the population, like it.

On the surface, a land without the potent defenses of nexus towers (for few can be found here), inhabited mostly by halflings, and ruled by a loose council that doesn't meet more often than absolutely necessary would seem like a tempting target for invaders. That the Siebenbund has been at peace with its neighbors for more than 200 years has several reasons.

First, the citizens of the Siebenbund are nor as harmless as they appear. Every adult male halfling has to keep a crossbow in his home and practice with it at least once a month. While this target practice is used as an excuse to have a party more often than not by the gregarious halflings, it does keep their aim sharp. There are many secret stockpiles of food and other emergency supplies scattered around the country in preparation for invasions, and many paths and roads are rigged with traps built and maintained by dwarven and gnomish engineers. Any invader would suffer huge losses before even seeing his first battle.

Second, many merchant houses and other large, continent spanning organizations have made the Siebenbund their home base, or at least an important secondary base. Taxes are low in the Siebenbund, and the Rat has always taken the attitude that as long these organizations don't disturb the peace in the Siebenbund, they don't care what they do elsewhere. This hands-off attitude has encouraged many such groups to build their treasure vaults here. Consequently, they would see an assault on the Siebenbund as an assault on themselves, and react accordingly.

Third, the pleasant climate and surroundings of the Siebenbund - not to mention the excellent cuisine and beer - have attracted many wealthy retirees from elsewhere. These include former adventurers, politicians, and merchant and crime lords. Most live here to enjoy some peace and quiet, and will react extremely hostile when provoked. Given the power that some of these individuals wield, this serves as a useful deterrence.

Thus, life in the Siebenbund remains mostly peaceful, and is only disturbed by the occasional monster wandering down from the mountains, or the subtle intrigue taking place in its cities.



Life and Society

Most of the Siebenbund remains rural. Small towns and villages are scattered through the many valleys, and most people work as farmers, shepherds, or in various forms of light industry. Each town is self governed, and the adult citizens elect a mayor from their midst to represent them. In practice, these elections tend to be dominated by a handful of powerful families and clans who give out gifts to the voters before an election to make sure that their candidate gets elected.

The mayors, in turn, decide on the representative of their province to the grand Council, or Rat, of the Siebenbund. There is one representative for each of the six provinces, plus one speaker for the various clans of dwarves scattered throughout the mountains. The Rat meets semi-annually, and decides on all the issues that must be attended to. Since there is rarely anything of importance that affects the Siebenbund as a whole, most of the Rat meetings are taken up by pompous speeches that tend to get longer the less important the subject matter is.

The few large cities of the Siebenbund are considered "wild" by most respectable citizens, but are actually rather tame when compared to the city-states elsewhere. There are few poor people, the streets are clean, and they mostly manage to retain a "small town image" despite their size. Most of the excitement in the cities come from the subtle games of intrigue played by the merchant houses and other organizations, and the often less-than-subtle games of one-upmanship played by former adventurers and other would-be celebrities. As long as these affairs don't degenerate into actual violence, they are cheerfully ignored by the local constabulary. Any bloodshed or murder on the streets will bring censure and the full wrath of the law, however.

Government and Politics

Groups and Organizations


Important NPCs

Major Geographical Features

The Siebenbund is dominated by its mountains. What civilization exits clings to the valleys below, or, in case of the dwarfholds, is burrowed into the mountains themselves.

Important Towns and Cities

Despite being thought of as "staid" and "boring" by many foreigners, the Siebenbund does have a few locales of note.

Important Sites

Regional History

The first recorded mention of the area known today as the Siebenbund was in -347 NA, when a group of scholars fleeing from elsewhere (where exactly they fled from is lost in the mists of time, but still the subject of much speculation) founded the monastery of Byblos. Later, in 223-226 NA, the few tribes of human barbarians living here were conquered without much effort by the expanding Atalan Empire, which was mostly interested in securing the mountain passes to the north. The region was incorporated as the province Ratium, and a governor was appointed.

In 371 NA, the Atalan Emperor Solus began to persecute the halflings in the Empire, accusing them of "plotting against the throne" and seizing their assets. After a few years, he authorized killing the few halflings that hadn't fled. Many of the Empire's halflings fled north to escape the increasingly insane Emperor, and many hid themselves in the remote mountain valleys of Ratium, where the governor had few men and even less interest in seriously enforcing the Emperor's edicts. The halflings stayed there even after Emperor Solus died in 395 NA, and built up a new existence for themselves. Since this day, the halflings have outnumbered all other civilized beings in the region.

Adventure Ideas

  • The Curse of the Dwarves: The noted archaeologist Professor Ernst Bachmann of the Flannish city of Hogenrood last year announced an expedition to the ruins of Gulrathur, despite vehement protests from many dwarven communities. Three months ago, the expedition, which consisted of 43 people, set out to explore the ruins in detail. Recently, the haunted-looking professor returned to Hagenzell with a lone assistant. The same night, he was found murdered in his hotel room from multiple cuts, and witnesses saw several small figures fleeing the scene. The room had been visibly looted, and there was no trace of his assistant. Now speculation runs rampant about the murder and the expedition. Are the members of the expedition still alive? Have they stirred up something that they shouldn't? What happened to the assistant and the professor's luggage - did he bring any artifacts with him? Who was responsible for the murders? The mystery only deepened when a raise dead ritual authorized and paid for by the Hogenrood Museum of Art failed to have any effect on the professor's body…
  • The Endless Tunnels: The rail lines of the Siebenbund pass through a large number of tunnels. When the PCs travel through one of these tunnels, they suddenly realize that it takes far more time to pass through the tunnel than it reasonably should. The train staff are as confused about this as anyone else. But surely, the tunnel must end somewhere… mustn't it? And why won't the doors and windows open? As panic breaks out on board, the PCs must figure out who is responsible for this and put a stop to it. Has one of the passengers cast a huge illusion on them? Or have otherworldy forces taken control of the train - such as devils from Gulrathur? Or is this a manifestation of Shaprat?

Designer's Notes & Resources

The Urbis equivalent of Switzerland - complete with all sorts of hidden depths.


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Urbis - A World of Cities © Jürgen Hubert. All material on this site excepting forum posts is owned by him.