Iron Kingdoms 3.5
In Power: Viscount Wolfe Blackwood, Alderman
Population: 21,000 (around 35,000 during harvest season)
Military: Bainsmarket was reinforced after food stores were targeted by Cryxian raiders during fall 605 AR. It is now garrisoned by a large contingent of long gunners supported by local constables and city guards. In addition, the viscount maintains an honor guard of 30 knights, and Stonebridge Castle is 35 miles away with soldiers sworn to defend Bainsmarket should the city require assistance.
Imports: Coal, iron, sugar, wood
Exports: Gold, manufactured goods, textiles, wheat
Bainsmarket is the largest commercial hub in the kingdom. Within its walls commerce is king, and merchants are among its chief citizens. The city is located in a huge fertile valley nestled in a divide within the Dragonspine Peaks. This area contrasts with the rest of the terrain just to the south and east, primarily a rain shadow desert consisting of leagues of arid scrubland. In fact, scores of prospectors have begun flooding into Bainsmarket after gold deposits were discovered in the scrublands among the gravel basins at the base of the Dragonspine. This has created a minor gold rush that in turn stirred up farrow and other unpleasant creatures in the mountains.
A merchant-dominated city council ruled the
city until recently, and its members sat upon the
board of the Bainsmarket Agricultural Consortium.
However, incessant bickering led to the imposition
of aristocratic rule roughly three years ago. The
Cygnaran Royal Assembly has been concerned for
some time that Bainsmarket’s markets and farms
have slowed down their production and thereby have
endangered Cygnar’s military preparedness. Because
of the high esteem the merchants of the city have
for King Leto, they have done their best to support
his decisions. However the current leader Viscount
Blackwood has made few friends among them and has
caused occasional bouts of unrest.
The military presence in the city has been augmented in recent months due to the hostilities in the region and the importance of Bainsmarket’s beleaguered production facilities. Drought and war have taken their toll on Cygnar, making this city even more essential for the continued survival of the monarchy. It seems that the kingdom’s enemies in Cryx are well aware of this and have been targeting food stores, attacking farms, killing livestock, defiling harvests, and burning silos to the ground. Cygnaran patrols have been stepped up in the outlands of Bainsmarket because of such atrocities, but they are sorely taxed. Indeed, adventurers and mercenary bands may find employment around Bainsmarket as scouts, escorts, and conveyers of information.
It is notable as well that the city lies at the end of the Market Line that bears its name, and in the past few years more rail has been extended toward Point Bourne and subsequently the Dragon’s Tongue River. This extension was due for completion in 608 AR, but the outbreak of war has made the dukes of the Western and Northern Midlunds duchies lean heavily on the rail-workers to finish the line more quickly. Workers and guards for work crews are certainly in need.
Locales of Bainsmarket
Cathedral of Ascendant Markus: Bainsmarket has
two ordinary Morrowan churches, but it is also home
to Bainsmarket’s Cathedral of Markus, an impressive
circular structure with a central tower encompassed by a few smaller buildings in its precinct. The nave, from which the vicar holds service, has an impressive support pillar that extends high into the ribbed vault ceiling and all is encompassed by rows of sturdy benches in a ring. The cathedral itself is the seat of the Vicar Gadsden Forsythe, one of the most influential clerics in the northern Church. The vicar has somewhat of a vain and haughty reputation and is reputed to spend vast sums on his impressive vestments, but he is also considered a man of deep faith and devotion. In his youth he was a common soldier and became a cleric only after what he describes as the intervention of Asc. Markus saved his life on the battlefield.
Market Square: At the center of the city, both literally and metaphorically, is Market Square. It is a large, open-air bazaar at which almost any imaginable good can be bought or sold. Although produce and manufactured goods are the mainstays, more exotic items from Khador and as far away as Rhul are also available. Market Square operates from dawn to dusk every day of the week except for the seventh and the Day of Markus (Trineus 3). If visitors wonder aloud at the lengthy market hours, natives are quick to point out that “commerce never rests” especially in a city whose lifeblood is trade.
Presidium: The city’s tallest and most impressive structure is a stone fortress known as the Presidium. Designed by Orgoth sorcery and seized by rebel forces before the Scourge could strike, the Presidium serves as a military barracks as well as an armory. The city garrison lives here along with all other military personnel including those visiting from other cities. The Presidium also houses a dungeon for prisoners of war and others deemed valuable to the military. Dealing with recent transient soldiers has made this a crowded and chaotic place, and it is not unknown for soldiers to sleep in the halls and in tents on the fortress grounds.