|Titles:||Free City of Restov|
|Demographics:||15,240 humans, 1,220 dwarves, 950 gnomes, 820 halflings, 240 half-elves, 130 elves, 70 other|
|Ruler:||Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius|
Restov is where the scattered remnants of the Aldori Swordlords fled after their defeat by Choral the Conqueror 300 years ago at the Valley of Fire. Their descendants were nevertheless allowed to rule in the city as long as it pledged itself under Brevoy’s flag.
Restov is a crossroads of trade, bordering the River Kingdoms, Iobaria, and Brevoy. It is also used as a jumping-off point for more adventurous travelers who seek to travel across the Wasted Lands to the Lost Dwarven Kingdom of Ilid, and the wooded countries of Fallion and Glendalen, on the edge of the Dark Forest.
Restov is ruled by a Lord Mayor and her council of Swordlords, some of the greatest trained wielders of swords in the city. These military veterans, all who have fought as mercenaries in foreign wars in the River Kingdoms, Numeria, or Iobaria, have a great interest in the development of their City as something more than just another outpost in Brevoy. With the disappearance of House Rogarvia, the Swordlords find themselves planning grand developments.
To this end, they have enlisted the approval of King Noleski Surtova and his sister. They were recently able to persuade the King that expansion must be made into the Wasted Lands now that the Troll menace and the Wasting Magic before that has receded.
The main church in the city is dedicated to Erastil watched over by High Priest Ezvanki Keegh.
The city is home to an Aldori swordlord called Jamandi Aldori.
Many firebrands who oppose King Noleski Surtova also hide amongst the taphouses of Restov, raising dissent. More recently, the citizens of Restov have become troubled about the politics and tensions between Rostland and Issia to the north.
The largest public building in Restov it houses the offices for the Lord M and his staff as well as a meeting room and offices for the Council of the Swordlords. It also incorporates a large single hall that doubles up as a duelling arena, a place for public meetings and the venue for various public (or semi public) feats and festivals.
It is an imposing building built of white stone, built with artistry. There are columns in all the right places, the proportions are good and the whole thing looks impressive but not flashy. It is surrounded by a simple grassed plaza, slit by paths leading to all of the entrances. The public offices and meeting rooms all seem to have a classical theme, although they are not overpowering. However, the main hall is something else. Large enough to hold over a thousand people the hall rises four stories high an is decorated inside and out in the same classical, be-columned style – and decorated with the same white stone. However, there are stained glass windows high up in the walls that light up the interior during the day, or shine like a beacon from internal lights during the night. Gilded statues of various rulers and lords adorn the walls internally, while the floor is a series of geometric mosaic, with the pattern getting more complicated as it reaches towards the Dias at the end furthest from the doors.
It is used occasionally for noisy meetings of Swordlords and regularly for duelling competitions. Those not from a recognised duelling school who do consistently well at duelling competitions can be promoted to the position of Swordlord as recognition of their ability.
By convention only Swordlords are allowed to bear arms of any description within the Swordlord’s Hall and its surrounds. Even then there are restrictions – Swordlords only carry the arms with which they duel into the hall – anything else is seen as a breach of etiquette. Those Swordlords who do not duel generally carry a dagger to show their rank without causing offense.
Silver Dagger Inn
Is an upmarket Inn close to the Swordlord’s Hall in Restov, where a basic room costs 2gp per night. The basic rooms are small but you get a comfortable single bed with clean linens and enough blankets that you will stay warm what ever the weather. There is a wash stand with a jug of water, soap and a towel, as well as a chamber pot – all of which are filled/emptied/maintained daily. There is also a weapon stand, various hooks for clothes and other basic facilities. Other, larger, rooms and suites are available but they are more expensive. All guests get to partake of a buffet breakfast in the dining room consisting of bread, fruit, eggs, cold meats, cheeses and herbal teas.
Other services available for a small fee include:
- Bath with Hot water
- Room Service (food and drink)
- Clothes / Equipment repairs
- Barber / hairdresser
The residents dining room has a number of individual tables and serves as a common room for the guests with waiter / waitress service at the table (except during the buffet breakfast). Meals start from 5sp for a simple one course meal, and go upwards. Wine is available by the bottle while ales is bought in by the tankard.
A common room, where you can choose between table and counter service, is open to selected members of the public but the prices are higher than average, and it only really attracts the more sophisticated clientele. During the evening there are often Swordlords drinking here, so any rowdy visitors can be ushered outside quickly and easily – and hopefully with minimal bloodshed.
In Restov, Swordlord has become a Title that gives some social and political privileges – but comes with a number of responsibilities as well. Swordlords can attend functions at the Swordlords’ Hall; they can oversee duels, take on apprentices and vote (and stand) in elections. They can also own property inside the city. However, they also have a responsibility to defend the city if required. Most soldiery would expect to obey an order given by a Swordlord. In other words, a Swordlord is a cross between a traditional Knight and a 14th century Burgher.
Most Swordlords are given their rank by one of the Recognised duelling Schools. However, there are other ways to become a Swordlord. The Lord Mayor, on behalf of the Council of Great Swordlords can appoint anyone he chooses as a Swordlord of Restov. However this honour is not given out lightly. Duellists and Fighters who prove themselves capable fighters will be awarded the title, as will those who perform some sort of political (or equivalent) service to the city.
There are twenty three recognised duelling schools in Restov – twelve Aldori, nine Taldan and two Modern duelling schools –the heads of these schools are known as The Great Swordlords of Restov and they appoint the Lord Mayor.
Each of the recognised duelling schools acts as a garrison for the city training soldiers as well as duellists, and carries out basic policing and security functions in their area of the city. Further more, they are able appoint the more advanced members of their schools as Swordlords.
Elections and Appointments
The Lord Mayor is appointed by the Council of Swordlords to run the city on their behalf. There are elections for various minor representative roles, although only Swordlords many stand and vote in these elections.
Pathfinder has some fairly detailed rules for duelling – although we probably won’t be getting in to those in too much depth. As an over view of duelling in Restov …
Formal Duels generally tale place in the salon of a Duelling School or The Swordlord’s Hall and the ‘win conditions’ are agreed before hand. Win conditions might be first hit, three hits, unable to carry on, or ‘To the death’, with referees on hand to over see the duel. A dueller can always concede the duel by retiring and the fight stops. Even though the bout is lost, it is better to fight and concede rather than not show up at all. Formal duel are fought in singlet and breeches – and no magical defences or weapons are allowed, but master work equipment is.
Informal Duels happen where ever they happen, although dawn and dusk are favoured times, while out of the way commons, fields and waste land are favourite locations. Armour is not allowed, and these duels are generally fought in street clothes. Magical defence items (such as rings, amulets etc) and magical weapons are allowed – although getting spells cast on you before hand is ‘not the done thing’. Again the terms of the duel are drawn up beforehand, although they are not always adhered to.
The recognised Duelling Schools in Restov or Mivon teach either the Aldori or Taldan style of duelling.
Aldori – The Aldori Duelling Sword that is just over 3 feet long, very slightly curved, and sharp only along the outer edge. A style that suits the fast moving, acrobatic fighter. It is a Fighter Archetype – Aldori Swordlord. Katana and Sensei as the original influence? Eventually mixed with German fighting schools when they were designing this.
Ronderelo – The traditional Taldan style uses the Falcata and Buckler, and tends to suit the less dextrous fighter, although it is still a gruelling and athletic technique. It is a Fighter Archetype – Rondelero Duelist And based on a spanish/Italian style of fighting see Rodeleros on wikipedia
There are other duelling styles although they are not well represented in Brevoy or the River Kingdoms. In Restov and Mivon they are seen as either ‘minor schools’ or ‘foreign’ and do not generally get the status given to the other styles.
Modern – concentrates on forms and movements that complement using a rapier in a duel. Both rapier and Rapier & Dagger are taught within this style. Both the Swashbuckler rogue archetype and the Weapons Master fighter archetype work for this style. While the Duelist prestige class gives a clear route of progression. Think standard rapier of conventional fantasy – rather than the duelling weapon from the 17th Century. It is considered a minor style but it is becoming more popular with those who consider themselves ‘fashionable’ and cool.
Catspaw – is a traditional style based on the use of two short swords. This style could be based in the Two Weapon Warrior fighter archetype or the Swashbuckler rogue archetype or the Ranger – focusing on Short Swords. While they can fight with other weapons it is seen as inappropriate to duel with anything else. A minor style that is considered old fashioned and un-cool. A stye for country bumpkins rather than sophisticates.
Dervish – is a far southern style that combines whirling dance moves with skilful blows from a scimitar but it is very rarely seen this far north. Its devotees are followers of Sarenrae, the Dawn Flower. It is a fighter archetypes Dawnflower Dervish Whoo Hoo – Whirling Dervishes, anyone? very very foreign – but Restov