The Ruins of Amidia
Neruvah (Formally the Grand Duchy of Neruvah) is a human-controlled city on the western edge of the Loran Plateaus. It is ruled over by the Duke and Duchess of Ruvah, the highest ranking remaining members of the Loranian royal family, whose ancestors rose to power during the confusion following the Fenlander Wars.
Neruvah was formerly known as Lisentia, and was the capital city of the Kingdom of Loran. As the Fenlander Wars drew to a close, power struggles grew deadly between the remaining members of the royal family, each hoping to gain control of the crown when the aging Queen Mathila, who had no clear heir, passed. Two weeks shy of her 45th birthday, Mathila was killed en route to the nearby city of Ceylan, plunging the feuding members of the royal family into all-out war against each other.
The death of the monarch had disastrous consequences on the ground, as well. The influx of refugees from the Outer Kingdoms had put stress upon an already overburdened city, and many of the city’s poorest residents succumbed to hunger and disease as the nobility ignored their cries for help while battling for the right to succeed Mathila. The refugees were even worse off, and many of them were forced to flee into the unprotected Wildlands surrounding the city to support themselves. These refugees later became the backbone of Neruvah’s agricultural sector, having brought with them the skills to grow a wide variety of crops from the four corners of Espar.
During this time of struggle, a young Duke named Ivan – from a small, but wealthy northern state of Loran called Ruvah – came to Lisentia, hoping to find aid to defend his small hold and the few remaining fertile farms surrounding it. Seeing the callousness with which the fighting royalty treated Lisentia’s suffering citizens, Duke Ivan instead took his plea directly to the people, quickly organizing a fighting force to go with him back to Ruvah and setting in place a network of farmers and merchants to work his land and sell the goods Ruvah could produce. Ivan was a surprisingly charismatic leader, and was a good judge of character. He became extremely popular among the lower classes of Lisentians, and when an ill-timed assassin’s grenade killed several of the most prominent remaining members of the royal family, Duke Ivan rose to take the throne with astounding speed, bolstered by the support of both the city’s residents and its refugees.
Seeking to reconcile the arguments of the past and unite the battered city against the threat of future Fenlander attacks, Ivan made many sweeping changes to the governance of the city. His most enduring change, however, was in the name of the city – no longer Lisentia, he renamed the once-capital New Ruvah in honor of his original duchy. This name quickly became shortened in the colloquial to Neruvah, the name of the city today.
Neruvah is a mostly settled city, now. The rule of the current Duke and Duchess, Nigel and Sheela of Ruvah, is fair, and most people find little to complain about in it. This peace is aided by an informal division of sectors of the city by those factions most likely to conflict.
The Tier and Upper City: The location of the Duke’s Keep, as well as governmental offices and the homes of some of Neruvah’s wealthiest citizens. The Lisentian Library is also found here.
The Harbor: The Harbor sector encompasses both the actual Harbor of Lisentia, the steep roads cut into the cliffside leading up to the city, and the large gate and market area on the southern side of Neruvah. This is a prime area for commerce.
The Lower City and Farmland: The Lower City is the section of the city that has grown up directly outside of the Lisentian city walls. A smaller and newer wall surrounds the Lower City, and is the location of the Farmer’s Gate, the main entry point into Neruvah for farmers and ranchers going out to work their fields for the day. Few people live permanently near their farm plots, preferring the safety of city walls. The Farmlands are mostly a patchwork of crops (corns, beans, and potatoes grow especially well on the sunny plateaus) and grazing land for sheep and goats.
The International Ward: Traditionally referred to as a ‘hospitality district’, the International Ward is the most diverse of Neruvah’s sectors. Located around the North Gate, this area is populated by merchants selling exotic foods, inns catering to a variety of races, temples and meeting houses, as well as hiding some of the more criminal aspects of city life.
The Merchant’s Ward: The Merchant’s Ward was initially cordoned off by wealthy merchants in the time of Lisentia, hoping to create a more gentrified surrounding for themselves despite not being able to afford homes in the truly elite Upper City. Duke Ivan abolished these boundaries upon becoming Grand Duke, and now the ward serves mostly as a home to guild halls and temples of human deities.