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.
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