Iron Kingdoms 3.5
In Power: Duke Mayhew Dergeral of Thuria, Earl of Oxmeath and Lord Mayor of Ceryl
Population: 300,000 (human, mostly Thurians with a large number of Caspians and Midlunders), 5,000 gobbers, 1,000 ogrun, 1,000 trollkin, a few Iosans
Military: A few miles north of Ceryl, Fort Balton is the westernmost position of the Cygnaran army and home to thousands of soldiers and a substantial garrison of warjacks. Ceryl also serves the Cygnaran Navy: six major warships (including the ironhull Merciful Boon) and two dozen lesser vessels are permanently stationed here. The city is directly protected by a thousand city guards supported by dozens of warjacks. At any time, thousands of additional troops are passing through Ceryl on ships, and Ceryl can rely on assistance from the wizards of the Fraternal Order.
Imports: Gems, iron, luxuries, silk
Exports: Fish, textiles, quality crafted goods, mechanikal parts (including cortexes)
Perched on the far western tip of Cygnar, the great port city of Ceryl is known for its strong tradition in the arcane arts. It is a huge city with all the appearances of a mountain built row upon row and street upon busy street upward from the crowded waterfront. Here and there the spires and spikes of churches and towers rise above the rust-colored tile roofs of humbler dwellings, and among them are the blocky whitestone structures encircled by palisades of dark iron, homes of prosperous merchants, or powerful magi. Just along the wharfs, the smoke of the sprawling factories is quickly swept away by strong ocean winds while everywhere whitewashed buildings gleam in the sun whenever the clouds break.
The extensive Cerylian waterfront is every bit as busy as those of Cygnar’s two other great port cities, Caspia and Mercir. Steamjacks labor among the docks conveying endless supplies and crated goods along the thoroughfares and down to the paddlewheel steamships and heavily laden galleons with their broad flapping standards and sails. Vessels of every tonnage, rig, and calling populate the bay that also serves as one of the Cygnaran Navy’s major shipyards. Hence the masts, spars, and stacks of several warships are seen here at any given time.
Ceryl is also known for its innovative public transportation system based upon the merging of horse-drawn carriages with the success of mills and railways. For a shield (1 sp), anyone in Ceryl can purchase a “day ticket” to use a railcoach to ride from practically one end of the city to the other for the entire day. These long carriages are fixed upon rails and are moved along by metal cables propelled
through a series of steam-driven shafts in various powerhouses throughout the city. Horse-drawn carriages remain plentiful throughout Ceryl, but the masses have quickly taken to “hopping the rail” to move about the city.
Ceryl is also noted as a city of wizards, many of whom wield a disproportionate amount of influence. All of the major wizard orders have a presence in the “Bastion City,” shortened from “Bastion of the Arcane.” Ceryl houses the headquarters for the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, said to be the true masters of the city. Indeed, calling it Bastion City is fitting, for it was once home to the legendary Sebastien Kerwin whose writings and teachings were paramount in the understanding and application of magic and who established the Arcanist’s Acadame and the Circle of the Oath, both of which led to the rise of organized wizardry as well as the eventual overthrow of the Orgoth.
Locales of Ceryl
Fraternal Stronghold: Headquarters for the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, the Stronghold is a grim and impressive structure. It was constructed as a defensible bastion for the Order in darker times, and its defenses are legendary. This is one of the few Order lodges that make no pretense at being inconspicuous; it is a fortress made of whitewashed stone, draped with golden banners, and topped by a myriad of leering gargoyles. Although there is only a single massive set of watched doors through which outsiders are allowed to enter, it is rumored the Stronghold is riddled with underground tunnels and bolt-holes connecting to the rest of the city. Tales of enormous stashes of wealth and other treasures have forced the Order to deal with many would-be thieves over the centuries, and the security is exceptional. The exact number of wizards living at the Stronghold has never been verified but includes the six ruling High Magi of the Order and as many as three-dozen other respected Magi and their respective servants and apprentices. In the center of the Stronghold is its most valued and well-guarded treasure: the Anthaneum—a library filled with singular rare tomes and ancient manuscripts.
Grand Cathedral: This ancient cathedral is the primary bastion of Morrow in western Cygnar and home to the Vicarate Council of Ceryl. Despite the grace of this cathedral, the Church of Morrow is weak in Ceryl and has little impact on city politics. The vicars are nonetheless respected members of the community responsible for all priestly appointments for the western region. They are an unbending group of aged priests, predominantly of the Path of Justice, led by Vicar Dowd Montfort. Although their religious authority is nigh absolute, they have virtually no secular power and are not invited to Duke Dergeral’s councils.
Omnibus Rail: Ceryl was the first city to adopt the pioneering cable transport system, but it is certainly not the last. Inspired by the power provided by steam to gears and flywheels, Narman Halladian invented a cable pulley system to propel large carriages along a rail. His company, Omnibus Rail, began its work in Ceryl in 579 AR and by 587 had five separate rails running in the city with 22 powerhouses and 14 boarding stations. Some of the most popular Omnibus boarding stations have become busy places where people gather not only to embark on trips across town but also to share news, eat, drink, and socialize in general. Bulletin boards at the stations post company and city news and also serve as a public forum.
Smokehouse: The Smokehouse is one of the largest commercial markets for high quality blasting powder and firearms on the western coast. It sits at one corner of Ceryl’s arena-like market adjacent to the local Golden Crucible meeting hall and workshops. In fact, the Smokehouse was previously subsidized by the Order of the Golden Crucible. Master Alchemist Lyesse Pylus led the fragmented local chapter until recently—due to their Order’s signing of contracts with Khador after the occupation, Crucible members are in a state of disarray—and he also owns the Smokehouse. He still sells Crucible wares here along with firearms, powder, and other alchemical products and even licenses to local gunsmiths. After sunset the market arena is sometimes chosen as the backdrop for deadly (usually illegal) pistol duels for both sport and honor.
Thurian Palace: Few buildings of the kingdom of Thuria, which ruled from Ceryl centuries ago, have survived to this day. Though the great Thurian Palace has suffered numerous fires throughout history, it has always been recovered and remade. The primary rectangular structure is open throughout the middle and features a wide gardened courtyard the entire length of the building. Various wings, bridges, and polygonal towers have been added during the reconstruction process though the palace retains much of its symmetrical shape. It is, like any ancient palace of this enormity, riddled with hidden chambers, many unknown to its inhabitants. For generations upon generations, Thurian Palace has served as the ostentatious royal living quarters, and frequent parties and feasts are hosted here where crucial political arrangements are both made and unmade.