So a sneak peak at some of my hand drawn maps which far better artists than I have drawn up for the Guide to Dragon Pass. So let’s start with Alda-Chur.
Greg and I passed back several versions of Alda-Chur and were never satisfied with the look of them. I finally got it right with this one.
Alda-Chur is packed into a relatively small area (around 45-50 hectares), has a Lunar Barracks that is now far too small for the garrison forces, plenty of temples, and unlike most Sartarite cities was never really planned to grow as big as it did.
From 1610-1625, the city was ruled by a tyrant (in the classical sense of the word) – the Yelmalion Light Son Harvar Ironfist. He had the backing of the Sun Temple and his Vantaros Tribe, and the tacit support of the Lunar Army. However, he died at the Dragonrise and Alda-Chur is now the de facto Lunar HQ for Sartar.
Harvar was an ambitious Light Son from the Vantaros Tribe, who became the Light Captain of Alda-Chur and crushed an Orlanthi rebellion. Allied with the Lunar Provincial Government, he proclaimed himself prince of Alda-Chur and was appointed Duke of the Far Point. He was ruthless in enforcing his peace, but also aggressively protected merchants and travellers.
Harvar was greatly disliked by the Orlanth cult, was appreciated by (if not liked) the Issaries cult, accepted by the Ernalda cult, and tolerated as the man to do business with by the Seven Mothers cults. He seems to have been a favorite of Appius Luxius, tolerated by Tatius, and distrusted by King Pharandos and Fazzur Wideread.
It is important to emphasise that Harvar was not so much “pro-Lunar” or even “anti-Orlanth” as VERY ambitious. The Lunar leadership appreciate him as he maintains order in the Far Point and protected its supply lines, allowing the Lunar Army to focus on Sartar and beyond. In exchange, Harvar became the ruler of Alda-Chur and much of the Far Point, and likely became very wealthy from tolls.
Harvar was an old school tyrant – think like Syracuse or the tyrants of Athens. His assumption of power was not lawful, but it worked, and he held on for 15 years (and but for the Dragonrise, would likely have continued on for the foreseeable future). He had the backing of his cult, his tribe, and the Lunar Empire, which was enough for him to run a one-man show in Alda-Chur for many years.
Is there a full Sun Dome in Alda-Chur? A Sun Temple, associated with the Vantaros tribe.
Did Harvar tried to create his own Sun Dome County, How many Yelamalians in and around Alda-Chur versus Sun Dome County? No, he did not. There’s maybe 1500 initiates around Alda-Chur as opposed to 2700 at the Sun Dome Temple. And that would also result in tearing apart his own power base (the Vantaros tribe). So he was perfectly happy with the religious status quo, but just with himself as a top dog.