Source Book

“Alden Minor is a diamond in the rough. At least, that is what the Nobles of the city like to say. I guess a lot of people would be willing to travel some pretty long distances to see a diamond in the rough. More likely than not, though, it is because they hope they can take a piece of it, polish it up a bit, and sell it for a nice profit.”

“Truth be told, there is more that is rough in this city than there is diamond. If you polished off the rough, there wouldn’t be much left to speak of. Just look around. What you’ll see is a town populated by hardy fishermen, men who fight the sea for everything it will give them. You’ll see a town built by mercenaries, people strong enough and tough enough to fight Trolls for their land. You’ll see riggers who struggle to pull oil out of the earth, all the better to burn those bloody Trolls and send them packing back to their hills. We’re a stubborn lot and we’re darn proud of it.”

“You want to see diamond, head over to the Noble District or maybe take a walk down to the Temple District and see the Hall of Gods. The Nobles see to it that those places are kept nice and pretty for visitors. If you want to see the real Alden Minor, though, stick with me and walk these streets. They may be gritty and crowded, but they’re real.”

“Oh, and keep your hand on your purse. Not everyone is as friendly as me, and some of them are still looking for their chip of the diamond.”

- Tra the Cartographer, resident of Alden Minor

City Statistics

Population: Approximately 7,500 (Small City); Mixed races
This estimate includes a large transient population of travelling merchants, mercenaries, and seafarers.

The racial breakdown of the city is as follows:

  • Human 73%;
  • Dwarf 13%;
  • Elf 4%;
  • Gnome 2%;
  • Halfling 5%;
  • Half-Elf 1%;
  • Half-Orc 1%;
  • Other 1%

Government: Conventional (Council, Nobles, and Guilds)

  • The House of Lords:
    The House of Lords is the governing body of Alden Minor, its membership composed of the foremost members of the Nobility and the Guilds. While the Guilds maintain a strict method of election, the seats occupied by the nobility tend to be dictated by internal politics and military power. As any majority of the Nobility has the power to remove Guild members from their elected positions, the Guild members are often careful to curry the favor of the Nobles.
  • The Nobility:
    The Lords of Alden Minor are a competitive lot, each family tending to use its own resources to increase its wealth at the detriment of the other lords. In the past, nothing short of war has been able to bind them together into any kind of lasting alliance.
  • Guilds:
    Guilds are an important part of the power structure of Alden Minor. Over the centuries, the Lords of the city have slowly handed more and more administrative and managerial responsibility to the guilds.
    Members of guilds pay dues and are bound by the guild’s rules and regulations. It is common knowledge that breaking guild law is often more serious than breaking civil law.
  • The Mayors:
    The residents of each district annually vote one of their own as the local mayor, entitling that person to speak to members of the House of Lords on behalf of the people of that district. Naturally, the Mayors of the more prestigious districts tend to garner more attention.
  • The Courts: The nobility retains most of its power through control of the court systems. Only a noble may serve as a judge in any trial conducted outside the Court of Guild Law. To the other classes, the nobles are often considered above the law. Certainly, no officer of the law would dare to arrest a noble without significant thought about the long-term effect on his career. Further, nobles are often allowed the privilege of settling matters with the bartering favors or by paying fines rather than serving sentences or being subjected to public humiliation.
    • The Noble Court
      The highest court in the city is The Noble Court, which is made up of the most prestigious and senior members of the nobility. The Noble Court may reverse any decision made by lesser courts.
    • The Court of Guild Law
      Where applicable, guild members are typically tried under The Court of Guild Law, a separate court made up of senior members of the various guilds. They are known to be quite harsh with those who have broken the laws of a guild, with public humiliation being one of their favored punishments.
    • The Common Court
      The Common Court is the lowest court in the land. Members of the Nobility – typically the lesser Nobility, as the cases tend to be less prestigious – act as judges. The courtrooms are maintained by the priesthood of Lathander, whose priests often speak in the defense of the accused.
  • The Priesthood:
    Religion is a part of everyday life in Faerun, and the people of Alden Minor are no different. As spiritual advisors to the Nobles, the Civic Religions hold a great deal of prestige and wield a great deal of unofficial power.
    The laws of Alden Minor officially treat churches as guilds, though taxes are often waived in lieu of other duties performed on behalf of the city (typically in the form of divine magic).
    The official Civic Religions of Alden Minor are the faiths of Lathander, Milil, and Tempus, though the city plays host to an array of other beliefs. When it comes to religion, the average resident of Alden Minor prefers to hedge his (or her) bets.

 

Civic Religions:
The official Civic Religions of Alden Minor are the faiths of Lathander, Milil, and Tempus, though the city plays host to an array of other beliefs. When it comes to religion, the average resident of Alden Minor prefers to hedge his (or her) bets.

Overall, the church of Lathander boasts the largest congregation. The church of Milil has the second largest following, and hosts two separate temples – one in the Noble District and one in the Temple District. Over the last few years, the church of Tempus has grown to the third largest, a spot once occupied by the waning church of Helm. With a fortress-like temple in the new Temple District and a College of War a mere two day journey outside of the city, the clergy of Tempus has established a strong presence.

The faithful of Chauntea form the fourth largest religious body, with its temple forming a tranqil atrium in the Noble District. The church of Helm also has a large temple in the Noble District, though these days it only has a small following. The older temples collectively support shrines dedicated to Oghma, Tyr, Silvanus, Denier, and Umberlee. In the new Temple District, the Hall of Gods has opened. It is a building divided into numerous shrines. Tymora, Torm, Sune, Mystra, Moradin, Red Knight, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Corellon Larethian, Sharindlar, Mielikki, Waukeen, Cyric and Gond are all respresented.

 

Exports:

  • Fish
    Most of the population consists of fishermen and other seafarers. A large portion of their catches are preserved and sent inland for trade.
  • Mercenaries
    Alden Minor is a training ground for mercenaries. Men and women alike are trained to use basic weapons from the time they can hold a club. Many go on to train with military weapons as a matter of survival. At any given time there are roughly 400 fighters and warriors seeking employment. Any contract for a significant number of mercenaries must be approved by the Fighters’ Guild.
  • Oil
    Without a bountiful supply of flammable materials, no town could survive on the edge of the Troll Hills. Alden Minor has not only survived, it has thrived. This is largely due to the readily available supply of oil. Some of this oil is manufactured and refined within the city, while the rest is sold and shipped inland.
  • It may seem unusual that a town of seafarers, mercenaries and riggers would be capable of producing beautiful artwork. With an abundant supply of clay, however, Alden Minor is well known both for beautiful designs and sturdy products. Recently, the Potters’ Guild has been expanding their field to the manufacture of bricks and tiles.

Imports:

  • Metal
    For all of its boons, the city is nearly starved for metal with which to arms its many troops. Good weapons and armor are sometimes hard to come by. Further, the salty sea breeze makes it difficult to keep them in good condition.
    Most of the metal that comes in is used in the manufacture of tools. The highest grades of metal are reserved for armor and weapons. Occasionally, when weapons grade metal is particularly scarce, some of the less reputable local smiths have been known to substitute lesser quality metal in order to continue production. Of late, the Smithing Guild has made a concentrated effort to uphold higher standards of quality and punish those who sell tainted goods.

 

Alignment: NG, CG, CN

 

GP Limit: 6,000
Alden Minor is fairly poor for a city its size, largely because of fierce mercantile competition with the nearby cities of Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep, as well as the huge expense of protecting its northern border from incursions from the Troll Hills.

 

Assets: 500,000 gp

 

Location: On the Sword Coast, along the west coast of Faerun. It is located about 100 miles north of the city of Baldur’s Gate, between Winding Water and the Troll Hills.

 

Mercenaries: Alden Minor is a training ground for mercenaries. At any given time there are roughly 400 fighters and warriors seeking employment.

 

Full Time Guards:

  • Blue Cloaks: Because of the close proximity to the Troll Hills and the unruly nature of many of its residents, Alden Minor employs a standing force of almost 100 guardsmen, known as Blue Cloaks.
  • Mercenaries: The guilds contribute a like number of deputized mercenaries who also act as Blue Cloaks, but with a different ranking system. Typically, they patrol the Guild District and the lands to the north, ever vigilant against incursions from the Troll Hills.
  • Blue Boot Militia: The Blue Boot clan maintains its own patrols of the district outside the great doors of dwarven hall and the trade routes to the east. While this force is predominantly dwarven, there is often at least one human in each patrol.
  • Blue Lances: The Blue Lances, comprised of 11 specially trained guardsmen, constitute an elite tactical force. They are most active in the Noble District.
  • Blue Sails: The Naval forces of Alden Minor are collectively known as the Blue Sails. While not a terrible force to be reckoned with, they have proven an able deterrent to most pirates and privateers. As would be expected, they are most active at the Docks and the waters to the west of Alden Minor.
  • The Faithful: This unit largely consists of volunteers from amongst the faithful of the civic religions, centered around a core of ranking priests. The Faithful often patrol the graveyard and the areas to the south.

 

Zoning: The city is zoned into several districts. While there are no distinctly visible boundaries, most of the populace knows when they have crossed into a different section.

  • The Blue Boot District
  • The Docks
  • The Government District
  • The Graveyard
  • The Guild District
  • Midtown
  • New Town
  • The Noble District
  • The Temple District
  • Extraneous Locations