Blood and smoke
The capital of Nordland, Salzenmund rests among hills from which flow the tributaries that join to form the Salz. The Electors themselves do not live in the city, though they have a residency for when they visit. Instead they live in a tall castle built nearby at the top of a hill to overlook the city and supposdely the re rest of their domain. So narrow is the approach that the keep, named the Jutone’s Nest, needs no surrounding curtain wall: just the great keep sits there, watching over the region. It is said by the locals that the Elector can see the whole of his province from the window of his throne room, which faces west so he can keep an eye on the Elves of Laurelorn.
Many travellers and merchants would stop there for its fairs, where even Elven goods are available. Brokers sell timber from the Laurelorn here, too, which commands a high price because of its exquisite grain, lightness, and durability. And Salzenmund is home to the Nordland Silversmith’s Guild, which controls the trade in finished goods and ingots made from ore found in the nearby Silver Hills. The smiths of Salzenmund are known for their high quality work, which is in demand as far away as Estalia and Talia.
In the town itself, the most notable landmark is the temple of Ulric which has stood for over 2000 years. A vast, three-storied structure constructed in a hexagonal pattern, the temple is unlike any other Ulrican temple in the Empire or beyond. Some observers detect a resemblance to archaic temples in Norsca, leading them to suspect the temple was first built under barbarian influence in an earlier series of migrations and conquests. Inside, the Great Hall is open to the third story, and a smaller version of the eternal flame of the temple in Middenheim burns here. Ages of smoke have darkened the timbers within, giving them a smooth, black look and the temple itself an air of sombre purpose. The High Priest is Erich Granholm, a close friend of the Elector who thinks himself the equal of the Ar-Ulric in Middenheim and shares his Elector’s ambitions for Nordland.
Salzenmund is a chartered town, which means it governs itself in return for certain duties and obligations to its nominal lord, the Elector Gausser. A council of guild masters and landowners makes up the town council, while a burgomeister chosen yearly from the councillors handles day-to-day affairs. The current burgomeister is Maximillian von Kirscheschlage, who is quite worried. The war gave the Elector authority to demand gifts of money from the town’s notables to cover the hiring of mercenaries, which he is in no hurry to pay back. On top of that, the decline in traffic because of the war has led to a decline in revenue that threatens to leave the council members unable to meet the town’s financial obligations, since they have already “loaned” considerable sums to the Elector. Now von Kirscheschlage must consider going to the Elector for loans to cover the town’s expenses. He fears this will give the Elector the leverage he needs to demand the return of Salzenmund’s charter or the cancellation of his debt to the councillors, either of which would spell ruin for them and the town’s liberties
- Silversmith Guildhall: The center of the Silversmith’s guild, due to the demand. It is a grand building but also a practical building.
- Ulric’s Hall: Of all the temples in Salzenmund, Ulric’s Hall is the greatest. Ulric’s Hall is an ancient building, built out of a mixture of stone and wood in ancient style that hasn’t been seen in ages.
- Grove of Taal and Rhya: Outside the main walls of Salzenmund lies the Grove of Taal and Rhya.
- The Kingfisher: One of the more popular inns within the city.It is famous for having a stage in the common room that often hosts traveling minstrels.
- Salzenmund University: the only university in Nordland, thus is the center of learning in the north.
- Hall of Illumination: Technically part of the salzenmund University, the Hall of Illumination is a center of learning for the Light Mages. Many of the more experinced mages also serve as proffessors at the University.