The Rathurbosk

by Shaun Hately

Copyright Notice: This document is based on material contained in The Lands of Legend Book 6 of the Dragon Warriors RPG by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson, published by Corgi Books in 1986, and republished as part of a combined book by Magnum Opus in 2008, and subsequently by Serpent King Games. No claim is made to the ownership of the concept of The Rathurbosk as contained in that book. The Rathurbosk was originally created by Leo Hartas. No claim is made against any rights that Leo Hartas may have over the concept of the Rathurbosk. The map of the Rathurbosk that appears in this work is based on the work of Dirk Remmecke, and is adapted with his kind permission.

An Introduction to the Rathurbosk

The Rathurbosk is a bridge city that spans a narrow section of the Gouge between Krarth and Kurland on the continent of Legend. It was built in the distant past by agents of the Magi of Spyte and lay on the main trade route between Krarth and the more southerly lands of the continent of Legend - most notably Emphidor at the time it was built but later Selentium and it's provinces. It is an imposing structure, that many believe is supported by some sort of magic, such is the legend of Spyte. But it has seen better days and while the bridge itself is sturdy and strong, many of the structures on it show the ravages of time.

Notable buildings include the Flynt Ridd Tavern, the Citadel Guidor, the Tower of Helgryak, the Great Library of Hiabuor, and the Church of St Petrov.

General Game Information on the Rathurbosk

Most people speak a strange variety of Kurlish as their native tongue - easily understood by those who speak the language, but it also has many words from Cabbandari, and Latter Mercanian. A sizeable proportion of the people also speak Latter Mercanian fluently and Cabbandari to an intermediate level, and knowledge of other languages - especially Elleslandic and Beaulangue - is reasonably frequent. This is a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of the Rathurbosk. Most residents are also literate. It is, for this reason, a common place to seek tutoring in the various languages.

The Rathurbosk is built something like a shallow arch arcing over the Gouge. It is thus higher in the middle than at its sides, and with the Tower of Helgryak in the centre at the high point of the bridge. Richer and more powerful people in the city tend to live nearer the central district with middle class areas on either side. The poorest district lies on the Krarth side of the bridge. The bridge is crowded, and the poorer areas, espeically, are a confused mass of small, often dilapidated, buildings and twisting streets and are largely avoided by those who live in the more prosperous areas.

The Rathurbosk has a wall with a gate at each end of the structure leading to the land on each side of the gouge. But the areas over the water do not have walls around them - instead there are low railings with some buildings directly abutting the edge of the bridge, or even extending over the edge. The railings are maintained well in the richer areas of the bridge, but are sometimes rather poorly maintained in poorer areas.

The streets are paved in dull grey rock flagstones. In the poorer areas these pavers are often cracked away or removed altogether showing a cement beneath. There are rumours that tunnels run below the streets of the bridge and it is certain that ancient sewers and water conduits do exist. All homes have sewerage and running water, and disease is consequently less of a problem on the Rathurbosk than in some other areas. Each PC has a 5% chance of contracting a disease each month (See Dragon Warriors , p126).

The Rathurbosk should be considered to be a Castle for the purposes of determining availability of general equipment for sale (Dragon Warriors, p62 -63) except where otherwise indicated. However due to the difficulty (and illegality) of possessing weapons on the Rathurbosk, they are only available with the frequency of a normal village and only in very few places - again, except where otherwise indicated.

A History of the Rathurbosk

The Rathurbosk was raised in 532PD by one of the Magi of that time, Guiduz (Magus Uru - a distant ancestor of Jani, Fata Uru (Dragon Warriors, p156), who may believe she has a right to control the Rathurbosk at some later stage). It is believed by many historians that he was in fact the Magus who at the time of the blasting of Spyte, became known as Gift Star (see (Dragon Warriors, p172)

He established it in the primary hope that he would be able to control the trade route into Krarth from the south, and make a great deal of money from this control. His secondary hope was that he might use the bridge as a staging post for control by the Magi of the southern lands, perhaps a useful place to send ambitious apprentices. The Magi in Convocation (530PD) opposed his first aim, but supported his second. They deprived him of much of his political power so he could not achieve his desired control, and according to some legends, he used much of his remaining wealth to weave spells that prevented Magi from crossing into the south. If this is true, he may have been responsible for safeguarding much of Legend from their rule, and also indirectly responsible for the Selentine Legions not crossing into Krarth - they knew they were safe south of the Rathurbosk and so chose not to risk their forces by invading to the north. But it may well be only a legend. Some say that the Magi of Krarth would go insane if they crossed south (to which others ask "how would we tell?").

At Guiduz's death in 512PD, he left the Rathurbosk in the care and control of his apprentice, Halka dul Guidez (the name of the modern administrators of the Bridge, duul Guidor is a corruption of this, and the modern duul Guidor's' claim descent from Halka, probably correctly). Over the next centuries, it became common for people to flee to the Rathurbosk from Krarth if they had offended the Magi, in the belief they would be safe there. It became a tradition that any serf who lived on the Rathurbosk for a year and a day would become free. Many arrived and many stayed. Most of the hereditary clans of today arrived in this fashion. They built on the Bridge and gradually a city grew up. The people of the Rathurbosk levied taxes on trading caravans going both ways and so grew prosperous and rich.

In 121PD, the Dragon Helgryak took up residence in the Drakken Peaks, that surround the gouge. He virtually ruled the area, and for the first time the people of the Rathurbosk regretted that they could not allow the Magi to come south to deal with him. Eventually they came to an accommodation with the Dragon. They raised a large tower in his honour on the centre of the bridge in his honour and paid him large amounts of gold and gems in tribute. This marked the first decline of the Rathurbosk's wealth. For over three centuries, Helgryak took most of their wealth and rumour of a large hoard in the area still persists. In AS192, Petrov of Kalistan, a priest of the True Faith came north as a missionary to convert the heathen peoples of Kurland and Krarth. He met with Helgryak in the peaks above the Rathurbosk and according to legend, battled him for an entire week. Then he descended alone. Helgryak has not been seen since (although myths about him persist). Petrov actions lead to the conversion of the Rathurbosk to the True Faith, and he then passed north into Krarth where he disappeared. A Church was raised in his honour on the bridge and now forms the major shrine to the Saint he later became.

Following the disappearance of Helgryak, the Rathurbosk flourished again for a time, although it never regained it's Golden Age. The Flynt Ridd was built in 804AS, and was the last major construction. Since the Blasting of Spyte, the Rathurbosk has once again begun to decline, and rumours have begun that it will be destroyed in the year 1000AS. Of course, rumours exist that just about everything will be destroyed on that date . . .

The Law of The Rathurbosk

The Rathurbosk is a civilised area and law on the bridge is strictly enforced. The legal system conforms to that outlined in Chapter 16 of Dragon Warriors with the following notes.

Social Status counts for very little on the Rathurbosk - except the Social Status of the residents themselves. Most PCs should be assumed to be of Status Number 3. People with any title worthy of respect (such as a Noble title or a Knighthood) do have slightly more standing - Status Number 4. Most residents of the Rathurbosk are Status Number 5. Any member of the duul Guidor Clan are of Status 7, and any city official should be considered to be Status 6.

All trials are held in the High Court of the Citadel duul Guidor, the day after the arrest of a criminal, and are tried by Jase duul Guidor, High Justice.

When a Death Penalty is indicated, executions are normally carried out at noon the day after conviction in the Execution Square near the southern gate of the bridge. Execution is carried out in a fairly gruesome manner – by breaking on the wheel.

It should be noticed that there are a few lawyers resident in the town - these people may be hired and may have an effect on the chance of a PCs conviction for a crime.

The Rathurbosk Guard

The Rathurbosk has a combination army/police force known as the Guard. It is commanded by Trilothi duul Guidor, and is divided into squads. Each squad contains 5 guardsmen (1st Rank Knights) and 1 Sergeant (3rd Rank Knight) armoured in chain armour and wearing swords. There are 21 squads altogether and they work eight hour shifts. At any time there will be seven squads on duty - one guarding the Watchhouse, one guarding each gate, one guarding the Barracks, one guarding the Citadel, one guarding the Storehouse and one on patrol around the bridge.
People of the Rathurbosk
Map and Key of the Rathurbosk
Return to The Great Library of Hiabuor