Setting Info: City Politics
Understanding the political climate of Arabel
Since the demise of Lord Malcom Hardcastle, politics are even more chaotic in what was once known as Cormyr's "Caravan City". While the new Warden of the North has had plenty of experience in ruling Arabel, Lord Lhal is struggling to bring the divisive factions (which were all submissive during Hardcastle's time as warden) together for the common good. Many of those with noble birth have begun to see Kraliqh as the true power of the city, and while he has openly pronounced his support for the new Warden, people haven't forgotten that he was once one of Lord Hardcastle's most loyal supporters.
Lord Lhal has graciously accepted the aid offered by Kraliqh because she really doesn't have a choice, but one would have to be a fool to not notice that he conveniently gifted the militia Hardcastle's old power armors and weapons, or that he has made friends of both House Tammarast (who openly opposes Lhal's reign) and House Beorhtre (whose Lord was obviously disappointed that the King chose Lhal over him).
House/Faction/NPC specific politics
Myrmeen Lhal has always been the champion of the commoner, something that has made her one of the most loved figures by the majority of Arabel's population. She supports the Crown because she believes it to be just, but it was less than 20 years ago that she took part in a rebellion against Suzail when Azoun V was still a child and the country was ruled by his regents. The same cannot be said for the nobility however, and she has long considered her mission to be protect the commoners from the excesses of the upper class. She sees her new rule as a chance to do everything she was unable to accomplish in her previous reigns over the city. As such, she has levied heavy tax burdens on both the nobles and the wealthier merchants of the city to fund projects that she hopes will uplift the common man and woman.
The ever enigmatic business man and banker Valiant Kraliqh was a wildcard when Hardcastle was deposed from his position of Warden, as both the local nobles and Lord Lhal were uncertain how he would react, considering his long time association with the former Warden. While no one can read his mind to tell you exactly how he felt about the circumstances, his outward demeanor seemed apathetic more then any thing else. Once the second wealthiest man in Arabel, despite not being a noble, Kraliqh was able to prove that he was owed a series of debts from Lord Hardcastle, thus, he inherited much of what was once the former Warden's wealth, making him by far the wealthiest person in the Arabel area. Outwardly, Valiant Kraliqh has shown nothing but respect and support for the new Warden, but there have been a series of events since Lhal took over that have called his exterior loyalty into question, even if there was nothing solid that one could use in an accusation.
The long time caravan house has only continued to prosper since returning to the north from Marsember, establishing the first trade routes all through the northern dales up to Hillsfar now that the Moonsea Ride south of Tilverton has begun to open again. While not openly opposed to Lord Lhal, word has begun to spread over the last few months that Lord Daviir Beorhtre was disappointed that she was chosen over him for the position of Warden of the North. Such news may come as a surprise to one who does not know the history of the house, and may downright shock those old enough to know the house's history in Bospir as a small caravan house notorious for smuggling. Yet the house's work to restore Wheloon by opening caravan routes between Marsember and the city has brought it a large amount of wealth, and even good will from Suzail. They also donated a small army to the King for his war in the Dales in exchange for the peninsula south of old Easthaven, which they now call home.
While no one was surprised at the arrival of Lord Ingleiyr Tammarast after the death of his son, few expected him to stay in the city once his son was buried. What came as even more of a surprise was the veracity in which he and his retainers have openly opposed the agenda of the new Warden, Lord Lhal. Some have called the seemingly blind-eye that Lhal and her Ministers have turned toward the house in response as a sign of weakness from the Warden of the North, but others say that any action taken by Lhal would be seen as counter productive of her agenda. Regardless of her actual reasoning, her complacency has only made the house bolder.
Crimmon Paertrover is not much of a political force, nor has he ever been. As Horse Marshall of the Crown, a position held by his family for generations, he was a capable leader of the Crown's cavalry, and a soldier through and through. His loyalty lies with the Crown, and by default the King's choice of Warden. As such, he graciously accepted the high-ranking position offered to him in the local garrison of Purple Dragons when asked. He will be ready to defend Lhal on a whim, as would all of the Purple Dragons, but his primary focus is the ever-growing threat that has spread throughout the King's Swamp (once the King's Forest) from Arabel's gates all the way down to the southern edge of the swamp down near Suzail.
Since the King reinstated the charter of the old Arabel Militia, it has been through several changes in a short period. The most recent split in its forces has been reconciled, and Warden Amblecrown stands as the sole leader of the force. Amblecrown's allegiance lays firmly with the Crown and by default the Warden of the North, Lord Lhal. But many of the men in the militia these days were once paid mercenaries of Lord Hardcastle; even Lieutenant Sergei, the Second in Command to Amblecrown, was once a staunch Hardcastle supporter. So far the status quo seems to hold under Lhal and Kraliqh, the Militia's most generous supporter. Yet, one would be a fool to neglect the possibility of upheaval once again from or within the largest fighting force in the city.
The Army of Cormyr
The garrison of the Cormyrean Army has had a slow, but steady, rise in the number of occupants in the years since they first rode north again behind the banner of the now-shamed Lord Dracohorn. Yet, there are still not enough soldiers to fortify the surrounding area of Arabel properly. Many in its number look to the seemingly inevitable victory of Cormyr's forces in the Dales to change that, and look forward to a time when the force will once again be the size it was when Lord Marliir was Warden of the North in the 1370's. The Purple Dragons leave the city politics primarily to those that live in the city, but stand ready to come to Lord Lhal's aid should things begin to bubble over.
The politics of Mythalite
Mythalite, the mysterious metal that appeared after the fall of the Primordial, still remains the jewel of Northern Cormyr's exports. Once completely controlled by Lord Hardcastle, the debts that Kraliqh was able to prove that he was owed transferred a large majority of ownership of the mines to him. Many thought Lord Lhal would end the mining of the metal all together, since she has always supported measures to protect nature, but instead she has allowed Kraliqh to begin setting up his own organization under two conditions: First, that all of the exports were taxed to help with her initiatives in rebuilding the city outside of the citadel. Second, that sales to Thay were forbidden. As a result of loosing the primary customer of the mythlite, exportation has slowed down immensely, but many believe it will not take long for new buyers to be found.
The regions of the city
When the primordial fell, the landscape of Cormyr was drastically changed in an instant. The expanse of the Wyvernwater doubled, with water rushing in to fill the rearranged topography, and the once lush green king's forest was flooded so much so that the still water eventually made it a swamp. Many towns close to the original Wyvernwater now found themselves at the bottom of the expanded inlet sea's floor, such as Bospir, and even towns and cities miles inland from the old map now found themselves on the water's coastline struggling to recover.
The first step that Lord Malcolm Hardcastle took towards rebuilding the city was to focus on what was once south arabel and reestablishing law and order in the section that now found itself on the coast of the Wyvernwater. In the madness in the days after the fall, such was no easy task, which is why he took it upon himself to wall off the much larger northern part of the city creating the "Citadel".
For years, the two functioned as separate entities in more ways then not. The Citadel flourished thanks to the discovery of Mythalite and the riches it brought to the Warden of the North, while what was at this point called "Old town" got by thanks to criminal organizations such as the Plebien Court and men known only as the Citizen. That all changed however when Orc's raided the city.
While the Orcs only controlled the northern part of the city for at most 36 hours, many of the inhabitants looked toward how the citadel survived the assault thanks to the walls around it and began to see the need for better security for their part of the city as well. This was the beginning of what became known as "Lhal's Ring," A second wall that expanded the protected a healthy portion of the city outside the Citadel built by the dwarves that at the time were refugees from Thunderholme. Were it up to Lord Myrmeen Lhal, everyone would be protected, but even she could not deny that a certain portion of the city was still controlled by the criminal element and could not be contained at this point.
Well fortified and housing the largest fighting force (The Militia) in all of Northern Cormyr, there is no safer place one could find themselves in then the citadel of Arabel. With firm control over the sea ports that launch boats into the wyvernwater and beyond, it would take a coordinated attack of both land and sea to ever really threaten the citadel, and that very same access to the seaways ensures that they will always have access to trade. The fact that the caravan routes are beginning to open up once again only ensures that the wealthy of Arabel will continue to prosper unless something drastic happens to change the economic status of the city.
Life in the Citadel is good, if you can afford it. Over the last year even before Lord Hardcastle was deposed, the former warden and Kraliqh began artificially inflating the real estate costs for their own profit, which lead to many of the smaller merchants moving over to "Lhal's Ring" to reopen. Kraliqh's reach however is not limited to just the citadel, as many of the buildings both in "Lhal's Ring" and in the crime controlled portion of the city are owned by him as well.
"Lhal's Ring", or "North Arabel"
Recently formed after the orcs invaded during the Zhent Civil War, North Arabel has seen the biggest growth of any portion of the city. Home to Lhal's estate, the Lord and now Warden's presence in the section of the city has lead to a need for increased security, which in turn has given merchants the confidence to set up shop after they were priced out of the Citadel.
While the walls that protect it are well made thanks to dwarven craftsmanship, they are half the size of the walls that protect the citadel and thus make them far easier to breach. While the concern always was that the Citadel would not reinforce north arabel were it under siege when Hardcastle was Warden of the North, the seemingly symbiotic relationship between Warden Lhal and Kraliqh has eased that some. Still, whether or not the Citadel would aid Northern Arabel or simply turtle up again like they did last time will remain a question until the answer is properly tested.
While often referred to as just an extension of North Arabel, once of you pass through the dwarven made walls out of "Lhal's Ring", the distinction becomes very real. No single force governs the area at all, and the criminal gangs are feuding for control at all times. The Chaos Brigade, easily the most notorious of all the gangs thanks to their half dragon leader and the monstrous villains that make up their number, do control a large potion of the smuggling and territory but often stick to the shadows to conduct their business. Other competing powers consist of but are not limited to organizations and people such as Mama's Orphanage, Shylocks Pub, The Temple of Ilmater, and Hark's Lab. Each has their own little corner of Old Town, and do not show fealty to organizations such as the Chaos Brigade.
The area itself is not safe at all in regards to outside attacks, thanks to the lack of a wall or a force capable and or willing to defend it. If the city was ever under attack, based on the way things stand now, Old Town would likely be ceded to whatever invading forces stand at Arabel's doorstep until a counter attack was worked out.
//OOC notes, delete when done. The last bit was not seen by my super editor Echo because she is out an internet, may change some over the next week. Just putting this as a basic post for now because Puffy is reorganizing this forum, move to where you think is appropriate puffy.