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--Bona al la encycla lorica.


Ardowyn is the only city and largest settlement in, but not the capital of, Tiranwyn. It has a population of 11,000, making it even larger than the premier city of Syrragil.

Ardowyn is strategically situated at the mouth of a large river which is steadily growing in importance, namely the Ardowyn River. Also on this river is Priphdin, an important frontier town that exports various exotic herbs from deep within the Arba Ethaya Surta, which begins right next to Ardowyn and stretches for many hundreds of leagues. Demographically, Ardowyn is well balanced, with many farmers plowing the fields along the nearer parts of the river, and people of all different kinds of occupations all around the city streets. Ardowyn has plenty of vineyards and breweries, where the exotic herbs imported from Priphdin from the south are used to create magically potent liquor. The city also has a well-developed harbor for fishing and for transportation to Rathryn to to the north.

Being quite removed from the rest of civilization and being a big city on its own, it's no wonder that Ardowyn is a haven for tramps, thieves and even assassins. The city has a far higher crime rate than Syrragil, with major chunks of the municipality highly lacking in law and order and the town guard swamped with false leads on criminals and other such issues. There are plenty of thieves' organizations and mugger gangs, estimated at nearly 300 or a whopping 5% of the city's population. There are so many of them, in fact, that the town guard has been utterly useless in trying to stop the stream of break-ins, robberies and pickpocketings. Reports sent to the town guard are often ignored, and crime is at an all-time high.

Ardowyn is the home of the Assassin's Guild, a powerful underground organization which wields tremendous power in the city, supplanting the rule of law. There are roughly 40 members of the guild within the city; there are very few members operating outside the city. The leaders of this guild are unscrupulous, willing to use their fear, connections and deadly efficiency to their monetary advantage. Under their leadership, the assassins have turned all of Ardowyn into their own playing field, using the threat of death blatantly to extort money from others or to demand their allegiance in other situations. The judicial system has entirely fallen apart; judges don't dare to rule against the Assassin's Guild, and the city is essentially run by kleptocrats. However, the leader of the guild - known only by their title of Shade - generally is wary of letting the guild fall out of control and into wanton activities. The Assassin's Guild polices itself, with its members regularly hunting down traitors; as one would expect, the average life expectancy of an assassin isn't particularly high. Assassins aren't allowed to assassinate fellow assassins without the Shade's approval, or they in turn would be assassinated by other assassins.

With the rise of the undead Scourge to the north, Ardowyn has been virtually isolated from the rest of the world. There are no ships along the western coastline because it's nearly a week's walking distance away and entirely wilderness; Rathryn Surta is too caught up in fighting the undead-possessed Rathryn Norta to be of any help in any case, and won't allow anyone to pass through the Strait for fear of even more deaths and bodies for the undead to utilize. There's also the entire Mara Entorna (Internal Sea) that ships could theoretically use to sail all the way around the northern half of Ethaya to civilization, but it's impossible to make such a long voyage without refueling stops; such a journey would take several months by sea and at the time no Lorican ship is capable of making this journey.