Wiki Update: Volos, Hive of Scum and Villainy
In Temir I reimagined orcs from reckless warriors into dashing pistoliers, and with the sea being such a big part of the setting, I wanted piracy to be an issue. Enter the pirate town of Volos, Temir’s own Tortuga, off the beaten path enough that it’s hard to march an army on it, but managing to be a large city in its own right. It serves as a place for outcasts and malcontents, as well as having a different hierarchy than the other cities, essentially run by a criminal organization with a laissez-faire policy.
Volos is a city of outcasts, ruled by the pirate lords of the Rilador. Situated in a coastal valley in Axevale, the city boasts little farmland, persisting instead through black market trade and piracy. Smallest of the cities on the sea, some say it survives by maintaining close ties to key political figures in the region, while others suspect that the Senate of Tachros has some secret reason for permitting its existence. Whatever the reason, no army has marched on Volos in over a century, though its pirates are hunted by the navy on the open sea.
Volos is quite literally ruled by the Rilador. The orc Iasin of the Scarred Sails and his council of captains (a term of art, seeing as the Archmagus Aran is counted among their number). Rule the city with an open hand clad in a mailed fist. In Volos, there is only one rule: do not disturb the business of the Rilador. Those who violate the rule have been known to die of natural causes. They upset the Rilador’s business, so naturally, they died.
Volos was founded generations ago by Hamzah the First Raider, Captain of the Rilador, and bearer of the Blood Wyvern. It has withstood the onslaught of time better than most, often escaping the notice of Scything Crag during the wars, but the first to be subject to Kuo-Toa raiding as their territory expanded. It is said that the valley was once home to a massive pier where shipwrights worked night and day building ships to war against an ancient enemy, but all of that crumbled to dust long before Hamzah set foot on the shore, and all that remains is the Great Lighthouse which watches over the sea and guides ships through the fog. The city has weathered the most recent war quite well, and is said to be building trading ties with the people of Salar Ziarat, the Samarese City-State to the south. The many mercenaries left over from the war have found their way to its gates however, and their idle hands make the leaders of all the cities nervous.
Locations of Note
Apart from the Great Lighthouse, the tallest structure in Volos is the Alchemist’s Tower, a crooked building filled with unaffiliated sorcerers and wizards. The Archmagus Aran, a former High Magus of the Aecha Ostai makes his home there, along with an assortment of mages and creatures. The tower is a site of some research, and often rocked with explosions or fraught with other strange sounds. Most of the locals give it a wide berth unless otherwise required. The captains of the Rilador make their port at the Moon and Meteor, a fine inn decked with decades of plunder and desire for comfort, while their crews frequent taverns like the Ivory Plow and the Purple Troll (named for the still-twitching troll body which hangs from its roof). Disputes are settled in the great fighting circle at the town’s center, a twenty foot stone platform laid down by Hamzah in the earliest days. All manner of shops can be found in Volos, craftsmen travelling from all over the region for a share of the pirates’ largesse, though only those who can stand the pirates’ temperament are able to make a life in what the Saoshyar calls the City of Sin.