THE CITY OF HORTH

The city of Horth is a small town of about 2500 people and best known for its wines, especially the delicate Chéniar wine. Also, every three years it is host to the Xara Horse Auction.

Location. Horth is located in the northern part of the province of Xaramon and sits at the foot of the Chéniar Foothills, which represent the northern end of the Anghorth Alsae Mountains. The town is also surrounded by the Steppe of Kruswik.

Coat of Arms. The flag for Horth has gone through many changes over the years. It has remained rectangular in shape and retained the golden yellowish-brown color representing the grasses on the Steppe of Kruswik. The first flag was divided in the middle with the first square golden and the second blue to represent the springs. This flag did not last long and became just a solid golden with a brown mountain in the middle. This design was also short lived. The next design had it split lengthwise with the top golden and the bottom now a green representing the Chéniar Foothills. These two colors were to remain while the design changed slightly. The next design split the flag from the upper left corner diagonally to the lower right corner with a rearing black silhouette of a horse in the middle. The final version, which is still used today, has moved the horse to the upper right corner and made it smaller to be contained in the golden field. There is a grape bunch contained in the lower left green triangle to represent the other major trade to the town.

Economy/Trade. It is not known exactly when the first wine grapes were introduced and grown in the Chéniar Foothills near Horth. But this proved to be an extremely good area for them and they adapted well to the climate and land. It is believed a local owner started growing grapes for himself and would sell the extra bottles to passing travelers.

A popular story says a traveling mage, returning home to Ximax, stopped at a local inn for the night. He was served a local bottle of wine with his dinner and so enjoyed it he requested several bottles to take with him. Every year after this he would request more and a small trade of wine developed between Horth and Ximax. It wasn't long until other wine grapes were introduced and a thriving wine trade developed. With this growing wine trade Horth also grew. Today six families control the wine trade out of Horth.

Obviously wine and horses are the major trade item but the city also deals in many other items. Among these are the semi-precious stones and metals out of the Anghorth Alsae Mountains.

Government. A magistra and the Akadir (Centoraurian word meaning "to judge") govern the town of Horth. The person who is the magistra has control over all things needed to run the town. This means things such as the defense, taxation, repairs, etc. He or she is responsible for most things and can only have a decision overturned by the council on issues of major impact to the town.

The Akadir can also remove the magistra if the decisions prove inefficient or are deemed harmful to the continued existence of Horth. The Akadir is made up of one member from each of the six families running the wine trade, one member from the merchant guild, one member from the handworkers guild and two representatives from the Centoraurian horsemen in the Steppe of Kruswik. All their decisions must be approved by at least seven members before they can be enacted.

History. Horth was first just an area used as winter pasturing, one of many, for the horse herds of the Centoraurian tribe. This was due to the many sweet water springs and good grazing found here. Even when the tribe started to unite with others and began building settlements, this place remained as pasturing territory. The founding date is believed to be about the time of the coronation of Gorm (819 b.S.) when some outbuildings were built at these springs. It was thought this would be a good watering stop along a proposed route north from El'Dorash (now called Caelum). Soon an inn was built for the increasing number of travelers using this new route north. During the First Sarvonian War the buildings were burnt to the ground by dark elves from the Shivering Woods as they were chasing the Centoraurian army. Although it was several years before any other buildings were rebuilt, it was still used as a pasturing place. When the troubles settled down somewhat with the dark elves, more buildings were erected. This was due to travelers coming down from the north, while few came from El'Dorash over lingering concerns about the dark elves in the Shivering Woods.

By the end of the First Sarvonian War things had settled down somewhat and the northern route through Horth was becoming more traveled. Also several tribes of Centoraurian horsemen, who chose to retain the old ways, would bring horses out of the Steppe of Kruswik for sale and pasturing. The town did not grow much over the next few centuries due to the many wars, civil and global. Most of these wars occurred north, east and southeast and rarely came into this sparsely populated Steppe of Kruswik. Even so Horth was slowly becoming known as a center for horse-trading. Many battling armies would send men to acquire mounts for their cavalry. Too often this caused minor battles around Horth so the Horthiri petitioned help from the mages at Ximax. In answer, Ximax sent a powerful mage named Caulron. She happened to arrive during a skirmish between the Centoraurian and the Caltherian force. Caulron stopped them and forced what became known as the Xaran Treaty. It stated a truce was in affect for all trader who came to purchase horses no matter what flag they flew. From this time forward it has remained in effect. It also cemented a relationship between Horth and Ximax. Over time these horse markets developed into the Xara Horse Auctions that occur once every three years.

Time Table of Horth

Date

Incident

? - 821 b.S. Winter pasture area for the horse herds of the Centoraurian tribe.
820 b.S. Founding of Horth
First outbuildings are built.
777 b.S. Assault on Horth by Dark Elves
Buildings at Horth are burnt to the ground by dark elves when they lay siege to the whole area along with the peninsula of Ximax.
619 b.S. Caulron's Intervention
The mage Caulron from Ximax intervenes in a clash between forces of Centoraurian and Caltherians that have come to buy horses. Caulron sets up a treaty making Horth a free city where any may come to purchase horses. This also cements ties between the two cities that still exists.
542 b.S. Second Assault on Horth by Dark Elves
Dark e
lves, coming from their hidden hideout at the Vontron Forest, burn Horth on their way to the crossing at the Land of the Withdrawing Waves.
503 b.S. Third Assault by the Erpheronians
Partial burning of Horth by Erpheronian troops who mistakenly believe the town is loyal to Iythill Goldleaf, the Sanhorrhim sovereign.
117 b.S. Eruption of the Hèckra
A d
evastating eruption of the Hèckranian Volcano causes a vast amount of soot and ash, carried by the wind, to fall upon Horth and the Steppe of Kruswik. Many people and horses die of lung ailments.
70-60 b.S. Supposed attacks from the Shivering Wood Elves
Repeated attacks by dark elves believed to be from the Shivering Woods. No great damage is done and no dark elves are ever captured so these incidents can never be confirmed.
0 Ascension of Santhros to the Santharian Throne
Foundation of the Santharian kingdom and Horth is now located in the newly created Xaramon Province.
300 Final design of the Horth Coat of Arms
Considered the date when the current flag was adopted. Also when the dark green and the golden yellowish-brown became the accepted city colors.

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