NOTE: This area of Alusia may be out of date, given the campaign events - The Drow Invasion.
Commonly abbreviated MMHS, Mittelmarkhauptstadt is a city in the Marquisate of Middlemarch with a long history of laws & traditions built on, and mostly into, the volcano-spur spur at the end of a mountain ridge.
It has long been a fortified place of temporal power, and was a vital control point of the King’s Highway, the [Old] North Road, although Aquila has since built newer Highways & posting services in their territory.
The quality of the inhabitants & dwellings varies greatly. MMHS has overcrowded slums (in the S.), ornate palace & apartments (in the N & N.W), with an extensive merchant community and middle class in the centre & E. Nonetheless, it is a great place to live or visit, if you can afford it.
Paradoxically, MMHS has both a strong local culture and a cosmopolitan world-view. The city’s wealth and spectacular festivals have engendered a sense of “High Society”. The midsummer Ball and the fortnight-long harvest festival both eclipse any other celebrations in any of the human baronies; and there are lesser festivals throughout the year.
Even before the Middle Duchies War, petty nobles & merchant princelings for hundred of miles around would “winter” in MMHS, usually from the Harvest-festival to the Spring-festival -- but sometimes for years at a stretch.
Although the city long predates the original Western Kingdom, it is known as the City of Ulrich, the first of the kings.
The Cathedral, built on the highest point is dedicated to the deified Ulrich, although some scholars believe Ulrich deliberate assumed the name & symbols of an even more ancient cult. MMHS was the seat of the Margraves of Mittelmark: their marcher lands lying between the March of Baratary (the river that Innesburg lies on) and the March of Bowcourt. When the last Margrave disappeared in the Last King’s Crusade, the Graf of Midheim also took over the territories of Hochland-Bergsburg, Blutsanger, Groenstadt, and Drakenwold -- all the other territories (including Syborite) being “inherited” by the counts, later Dukes of Aquila. These days the city controls the valley it resides in plus the forests to its west, and the whole is refered to as Midheim or,more recently, the Marquisite of Middlemarch.
During the War, the city thrived, as a nexus for spies, arms-dealers, and the better sorts of refugee.
On 1/1/800, although courted by King Carlos, Graffin Flavia (the heiress of the last Graf) actually married his rival, Don Diego de la Vega (a friend and occasional employer of the Guild). Diego has assumed the title of Marquis of Middlemarch, undaunted by the fact that the new Western Kingdom surrounds him on all sides, except the North (where Borovia is).
Even locals cannot distinguish between MMHS’s truly ancient pre-Royal traditions, the many laws & “freedoms” granted by various of the Western Kings (the real kings, mind you, not that new pretender), the righteous laws of the Grafs; the variously romantic or pragmatic frauds “discovered” by the Grafs’ bureaucrats and functionaries; and merely bad habits laid down over the centuries.
- accommodation & trade (especially in luxuries);
- skilled craftsmen & guilds;
- medicinal baths;
- magical university;
- good living;
- some technological innovation;
Points of Interest
- Maschine Aufbauakademie
- College of Heralds
- The MMHS Sanatorium
- This slightly worn building in need or minor repairs is a centre for the rehabilitation of the mentally ill. Known for it's descretion and high success rate it has had a number of nobles pass through it's doors over the years.
- Known Staff include
- Brother Bernard a raphealite priest who comforts the patients and provides spiritual guidance in their time of need.
Warning: Some streets are too steep for wheeled transport.
Mostly human (or passably human); however many of the skilled artisans are Dwarven or Elvish, and many of the city’s clerks & bureaucrats are hobbits.
There is a curfew in all districts except near the Magical University [in the N.E.], with a varying hours: dusk in the slums, up to midnight in the “entertainment” areas: the opera, brothels, chocolate houses, eateries, drinking establishments -- do not attempt to tell the difference without the assistance of a well-informed guide; some places are multi-purpose (although one does not drink chocolate at the opera).
Night-faring nobles will not be arrested in the Noble district [N.W.], but any one else will be.
- Elvish (in the more expensive shops).
- One can usually get by in Common or Basic Destinian.
Do not cast magic unless you are certain you will not offend or alarm those nearby. It is specifically illegal to perform necromancy, treason, gain undue influence, disturb the peace, or litter through magical means.
If a citizen or guard accuses you of Magickal Malfeasance, and there are any grounds or suspicious circumstances, the correct response is to pay a large bribe.
[Warning: prices in MMHS are expensive. Moreover, bribing a guard is more expensive, since he will have to give a backhander to his informant].
Do not attempt to fly in MMHS -- it will fail in a pulse or two, even if flying naturally or ritually. Some spells & rituals may be purchased at the Magical University (at guild prices, by special arrangement).
Creating a portal inside MMHS is as highly illegal as attempting to fly over the city (just not as fatal). Both are serious breaches of security - something the city, it merchants, & its nobles take seriously.
There are NO public portals into the city; and any hypothetical portals are either in the hands of discrete, trusted individuals whose worth or devotion is well known to the State, or else in the hands evil criminals who are highly motivated in enforcing their own secrecy on a "Don't-need-to-know" basis.
There is a small range of invested that are also available at guild evaluation +20% especially the more socially acceptable spells of Namer, Celestial, Earth, Air, and E&E; few spells, apart from Flying or dark Wings, above rank 10. Healing up to Rank 9 is available, at a price, but you may have to wait a day or so for healing over rank 5.
VIPS (& Guild contacts)
- Marquis Diego, long may he reign;
- Graffin Flavia
- Herr Doktor F. Einstein (the "healer")
- Father Bob;
- Isil Eth
- Axis the Dragon Herald.
MMHS pops up in many games, but the quintessential adventure is perhaps “Enter the Cockroach” (Winter 799)