The Good, The Bad, and The Odd
Situated on the eastern coast of Cin-Vadeera on the delta of Peacekeeper River, the city-state of Callabra is the only one of the domains of the former Free Lords of the Five to maintain its autonomy from the rise of the Verdigris Hegemony.
Callabra has existed in some form as far back as written lore can find. Early elven texts from Amberven’s libraries mention it as a trading post along the kingdom’s southern frontiers. Local tradition has it that the city existed even before the rise of the elves, and that in those benighted days it stood as a sort of way-station between Cin-Vadeera as it stood then and the Nine Hells. There seems to be little actual evidence for this extended history in spite of the continued attempts of radical historians and cartomancers to find proof. Some go so far as to point out the resemblance of the sigil of the city – a trident’s head pointed downward – to a devil’s fork.
From the time mentioned in the elven texts to the present, Callabra has stood on its own, though the people of the city through the ages have experienced quite different lives under its varied dukes, dictators, high councils and inquisitors. In its alliance with the other Free Cities of the Five, Callabra was ruled by a high duke whose power derived from a council of lesser nobles: a similar power structure to what persists to this day.
Throughout its existence, Callabra has been repeatedly threatened by outside forces, whether they be aggressors from the north or south, raiding armies massed from the Mittelmourn, or rival seaborne powers attempting incursion in Cin-Vadeera. Though bits and pieces of the sprawling city’s territories have been held for a time, no outside power has been able in recorded history to conquer the entirety of Callabra or to remain in close coexistence for more than a decade or two.
In the recent great war, Callabra was put under siege on multiple occasions from both north and south, with the Hedgerow Confederation especially making a concerted effort to take the city as a long term strategic gain toward fending off future aggression from the north. The demands of advancing along multiple fronts, however, meant that once again Callabra triumphed while the armies at its doorstep were forced to retreat.
Owing largely to its status as the last of the autonomous port cities, along with its people’s historical cosmopolitan nature, it is not surprising that Callabra hosts the broadest and most varied mix of peoples and other sentient beings on the continent. Among its peoples can be found representatives of all the races of greater Cin-Vadeera, as well as more exotic races found only in the far southern reaches and distant island domains.
Callabra’s relations to the emergent Verdigris Hegemony having been confrontational from the start, many high elven refugees who did not find their way to Stormgarde or the Silver City currently reside in Callabra or aboard one of its many merchant or naval fleets.
In the aftermath of the great war, Callabra finds itself the de facto regional power of the southeast, an arrangement its leaders are wasting no time in exploiting. Inland surveyors and settlers have poured outward from the city’s borders since the cessation of hostilities, both southwesterly toward the great woodlands and frontiers of the Hedgerow domains, and northward into the near reaches of the Mittelmourn. In the places where these expeditions have clashed with the area’s locals, Callabra’s superiority in manpower, equipment and organization have become quickly apparent, and the city’s influence seems to spread with each passing day.