Tallavanor’s Tales: Mulhüssen Beckons

Hello all! It’s time for another set of Tallavanor’s Tales. Last time, we were gathering out supplies for the next leg of our journey. We’ve traveled to a new town – Mulhüssen, and our heroes are still hunting for the missing link to their mystery. Who hired them to kill the count, and how is it connected to Mulhüssen? Take it away, Tallavanor.

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On the boat ride to Mulhüssen, I interrogated queried the crew about our destination. Over the week long trip I managed to accumulate the following knowledge from the crew, the captain, Claudia, Gregario, and Alastair. Also I don’t think they like me very much right now.

The Free City of Mulhüssen is renown as an enterprising trade hub. Although it is not the largest city of northern civilization (that honor belongs to the Imperial capital at Rhälgen), Mulhüssen is probably the richest and most refined of any city north of the Spine Mountains. As the leading city of the Revallian League, Mulhüssen dominates most of the trade along the Nimbden Sea (colloquially known as ‘the Crab’ for its shape on a map) and it has a fleet that escorts its convoys independent of Imperial authority. Its greatest asset is its burghers’ economic knowledge and alertness to profit anywhere in a world—an alertness that is amplified through the divination of the wizards’ guild, the Collegiate Brothers. Mulhüssen is located a mile or so upstream along the Blue Ostend River, and its wharves bustle with activity as cogs, galleys, and gallons from the world over load and unload cargo. Befitting a mercantile hub, the city is governed by a Council of Burghers constituted by fifteen members chosen from the guilds and mercantile dynasties within the city. A wizard from the Collegiate also sits on the Council of Burghers, but he only does so in an advisory role and thus lacks a vote.

Mulhüssen is roughly defined into five districts. By far the most significant of those districts is the central market district, which has been built up over generations in a monumental brick Gothic style. Many of the wealthiest burghers live in palatial apartments in the market district and, among foreigners, their high society is infamous for its decadence, though those foreigners cannot agree whether trade or magic is the source of that decadence. There is also the wharf district, which has been recently affected by a flood. Another major district is the Tower district, which is named for the ten-story tower that the Collegiate is based out of there. The Collegiate Brothers have their academy in that tower, where they dedicate themselves to a cloistered life in the pursuit of knowledge and, in doing so, glorify their patron, Azuth. There is one district on the eastern bank of the Blue Ostend, and that district is the Dwarven ghetto known as “the Factory.” Racial tensions in Mulhüssen, principally deriving from the Dwarfs’ Anvil Consortium’s near monopoly over so many metal ores, has led to Mulhüssen’s Dwarven population living in their own ghetto. As most of that population is seasonal and short-term artisans, the Factory is somewhat of a shantytown of tents and other semi-permanent structures that sprawl out from the foundries and manufacturies at the district’s heart.

Well, certainly a ton of information! Fortunately for us, it seemed like Gregario had far more connections with the city than I was aware of. My own connections to the city were far more limited, except for what I knew about the Zhentarim. Their power in the city was growing from their headquarters in the Black Jester Pub. Did I want to investigate it? Absolutely. But I was in another city, with just my loyal, but inexperienced at police work, companions. Who else could we trust here?  The local guard seemed competent – veterans by the looks of them, probably drawn from the mercenary companies that had made the city famous (more famous, perhaps?).

No one yet, that’s for certain. As we walked to the Leaping Eel Inn, recommended by our kind-hearted captain for its close, and quiet, location, I examined the city around us. The wharf district was full of sights and sounds, and smells especially. Even for a Tres-Abellies boy, the amount of exotic influences and wares was impressive. After securing our place at the inn, Gregario announced that we had another place to go.

The Barking Satyr. Nightclub, bar, den of, well, the richest of the rich. You needed an invitation for your invitation. I’m no stranger to dark and dingy places of that nature, but neither was it high up on my list of places to go. Gregario was very convincing, especially when he said we had to go shopping first. Claudia groaned. “What’s wrong with my traveling leathers?”

“Everything.” Gregario said. So we went shopping.

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Author: Daniel Ottalini

Author of the Award-Winning Steam Empire Chronicles Series

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