|Demographics||Mostly Humans with many River and Road Halflings and a few Dwarves in the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral or permanent trader enclaves|
|Economy||Medium-sized markets, any mundane gear, common and a small selection of uncommon magic items available|
Estrabule is a city along the northern cost in what was once Alexia. Built near the mouth of the ?? River which flows from the Wydmoor Swamps into a well-sheltered bay located near the western border of the Valley of the Sidhe. A central circular wall encloses most of the city, with a series of three smaller ringed walls jut out as satellites with stone walkways between them. This walls look ancient, and it is clear this place was once an intimidating citadel. There was once a university, but it closed long ago and that district is now mostly noble and wealthy homes.
In Estrabule, the various merchant families of the city elect a Prince to rule the city for an 8 year period. Nominations and voting privileges are reserved for those 5 Merchant Houses that sit on the Great Council: positions which are purchased from the city itself by auction, with the funds (theoretically) going towards the maintenance and upkeep of the defensive and harbor works that are so vital to the city's existence.
The Prince has unilateral authority in virtually all matters save those of taxation, a power which the Merchant Princes jealously guard for obvious reasons. Allocation of city revenue, public works outlays, the appointment of Bishops, as well as command of Estrabule's martial and naval forces and installations.
The current Prince of Estrabule is Astlen, a half-elven woman (the title of Prince is still applied) who married into the influential but not hegemonic Tavrillo merchant house sixty years ago as a young woman. In the generations since, she rose to power within the house and, through a skillful mix of regency and ruthlessness, managed to take control of the family and guided it into a much stronger position. She has been the reigning Prince for the past 19 years. The Tavrillo family also holds one of those council positions, which is not uncommon. The seat is currently held by Astlen's grandson, Sallizar Tavrillo.
At least two of the Council positions are almost always controlled by Dwarven interests, who are willing to pool resources and pay virtually any cost to make sure that the Gilden have a strong bloc whose influence outsides their small enclave numbers.
The other two positions are held by families that are generally supportive of the relative peace and humble prosperity the long-lived Prince has brought to Estrabule, especially as so many of its neighbors have declined into piracy or even in the most extreme cases desettlement.
Several merchant houses, including the Tavrillo, have Neo-Alexandrians in some sort of advisory capacity or another, if only to facilitate trade and exchange with the Sorcerer Queen's City. (Those who do not believe her name often refer to her as the Sorcerer Queen - a not-so-subtle reference to the arrogant monarch Antioch from bible times.
One or two houses have even converted, taking Neo-Alexandrians in as majordomos and consiglieres. This action has usually led to mixed results for the house: the established faiths will not do wholesale business with a Neo-Alexandrian house, but the rump of Neo-Alexandrian business and citizens gravitate to them.
A port at the mouth of the river systems that drain from the heartlands and what was the Northern riverlands.
Neo-Alexandrian merchant vessals have been particularly interested in the export of amber to Nia-Aglaire, as the material is of great ritual and symbolic importance to them. Otherwise, the Neo-Alexandrians import inexpensive tools and trade goods from Nia-Agliare and have driven the papermakers and bookbinders of the city completely out of business, monopolizing that market. Since this was never a strong export good for Estrabule, the merchant families have largely ignored the artisan complaints about this growing monopoly. Indeed, several houses support the consolidation to some degree, hoping that paper and books might become a growing export industry.
Estrabule is the largest trade partner of the village of Saltmarsh, located to the north. Estrabule has been actively courting the village for annexment, especially as an outfit of dwarves has established mining operations there, but so far the small community has resisted.
- An arena
- The ?? Cathedral: an ancient cathedral which is the oldest Alexandria Temple built outside of the Temporal Authority. It was chartered by Steros Merroand himself. It remains under the control of Eastern Alexandrian Orthodox clergy.
- Western Alexandrian Temple: a smaller and more modern building. The rector is angry at the growing influence and wealth of the Neo-Alexandrians
- Neo-Alexandrian Temple: they have a nice garden after hiring away the former landscaper of the Western Temple.