Iron Kingdoms 3.5
In Power: Prime Minister Lord Deyar Glabryn, Count Jessup Hygrenne, and the Council of Nobles all subordinate to Kommandant Mikhail Ivdanovich
Population: 220,000 (human, some few elves, dwarves, gobbers, very few ogrun and trollkin)
Military: Merywyn is a major staging ground for the ongoing Khadoran war effort. Tens of thousands of Winter Guard troops reinforced by a large number of warjacks occupy the city, quartering anywhere they can find room, including buildings taken from their previous inhabitants. Officers and leaders occupy the old royal palace.
Imports: Luxuries, iron, foodstuffs, textiles, wood
Exports: Wine, coal, crafted goods, paper
Shining capital and bastion of Llaelese culture, Merywyn is a city of tall spires, soaring buttresses, and baroque architecture. As the heart of the Llaelese economy, Merywyn relied heavily on traffic along the Black River for its trade, scrupulously recording and tithing all merchant ships allowed past its chained watch stations. The kingdom’s influential noble families spent much of the year in the city attending the Council of Nobles in the Immaculate Chamber. One famous estate has stood empty and abandoned for years, however. The royal palace of the former kings of Llael has become the headquarters and barracks of the Khadoran occupation army. Their soldiers spill out into the city bedecked in blood red uniforms, and the tread of their marching boots step in time.
Merywyn was designed to exalt the wealthy and conceal the poor. Its main concourses and riverfronts pass along sprawling gardens, ancient libraries, art galleries, music halls, and theaters. Meanwhile its crafts, industry, and the cramped homes of the lower classes lie hidden away in quarters behind tall walls overgrown with ivy.
Merywyn is more dangerous than its appearance suggests. Only those with guile and a sharp tongue could carve a niche among its smiling bureaucrats and scheming, self-serving nobles. Some among the Khadoran occupation army’s personnel liken capturing this city to swallowing a piece of rancid meat, and they do not feel all that comfortable here in spite of the city’s beauty, now marred by the hand of war. Indeed, Merywyn is a hotbed for the Llaelese resistance. Small underground cells operate independently carrying out frequent ambushes. Attacks and bombings target buildings used by occupation forces so common now that the occupiers recently instituted an after dark curfew.
Locales of Merywyn
Great Cathedral of Ascendant Rowan: Towering against the sky, decorated by hundreds of painstakingly detailed frescos and statues of the Ascendants, and supported by flying buttresses, this beautiful building is the greatest cathedral in Llael. Only the Archcourt Cathedral in the Sancteum surpasses it as a triumph of sacred architecture. The Merywyn Vicarate Council sees no irony in naming this lavish cathedral after the patron of the poor. To their credit, they hold a yearly festival in the name of Asc. Rowan to encourage donations of food and clothing for the city’s less fortunate. The Vicars holding council in offices connected to the cathedral are responsible for the entire Church of Morrow in Llael. The Vicarate Council was the only group in the city brave enough to criticize the prime minister publicly. The cathedral received absolutely no damage during the long siege of Merywyn even though several fierce battles raged nearby. This is taken as a minor miracle and has reinvigorated prayers to Asc. Rowan.
Dozens of impressive churches are located throughout Merywyn including two lesser cathedrals famous in their own right. The Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Shining Twin are popular sites of pilgrimage although both sustained some minor damage during the siege.
Guild of Masons and Builders: A lease mishap forced the Masons and Builders Guild to erect their hall in the Porbyle district, widely agreed the worst slum of Merywyn where even shadows carry knives. This combined with a recent barrage of laws giving each city district different regulations for allowed building styles and materials almost had the organization in open revolt before the Khadoran invasion. The situation got so bad the guild members refused to repair city government buildings or the estates of nobles responsible for this legislation. However, things have come full circle since the Siege of Merywyn. Tremendous damage to outlying buildings and the city wall encircling the capital have put the services of this guild in high demand, and they now receive respect and deference from citizens and nobles alike.
Merywyn Fraternal Lodge: Of all the events of the Siege of Merywyn, the most chilling was the Greylords Covenant assault on the Merywyn Fraternal Lodge. Though exact details of the attack remain scarce, it was among the most brutally effective Greylord operations in recent memory. The night before Khadoran troops arrived at the walls of Merywyn, a Greylord strike force somehow gained entrance to the lodge undetected and slew every one of its members. Though no sound escaped the lodge that night, the internal walls of the now crumbling structure bear the scars of a horrific battle. The contents of some rooms have been reduced to ash and whole floors are blasted and cracked. Despite the extent of damages to the building, not a single body was recovered the next day. By order of the Greylords Covenant the lodge now stands empty as a reminder to the enemies of the Motherland.
Windfall: Gobber acceptance in Llael has been difficult and slow, but the capital has been quicker to give them a chance with its need for cheap, skilled labor. A couple miles south of Merywyn down the Black River sits the impressive village of Windfall, counted as part of the capital for taxation. Several thousand industrious gobbers live here in a terraced village with fine houses, waterwheels, and cranked elevator platforms. Fearing annihilation during the siege, their mayor surrendered to the Khadorans before Merywyn even fell. Although watched by a company of Winter Guard soldiers who patrol the region, the invaders have otherwise left the gobbers in peace. Many of these gobbers work in the capital and make the long hike twice each day.