Ghosts of Cities Past
History of the Imir Family
City of Alfdale
The great city of Alfdale was always prosperous. It had grown out of a trading post on the River Awler. It was in Alfdale that the silver mines to the east and the trading barges from the west met and the silver trade blossomed. As owners of the trading post, the Imir family became influential in the rise of the city.
The city itself grew rapidly attracting silversmiths who were able to purchase the silver directly from the miners and merchants who were able to make a larger profit in the port cities seling finished goods than raw silver. Many talented craftsmen moved inland to the city of Alfdale and with them came other industry. The city soon became known as the gateway to the riches under the mountains. Exquisitely crafted pieces could be found in every market, their beauty only matched by their price. Thus the city grew and wealth accumulated.
Generations passed and the Imir family kept it’s prominence. They had grown wealthy and gained the title of high Lords of Alfdale. They ruled for generations in relative peace, choosing to become a trading empire rather than one of military might. They always kept a sufficient garrison to defend the city from the nearby kings but they could inflict more pain on the wallets of the kings than they could to the troops. This kept them independent, a city-state with the Imir family at the top.
Lord Belfan Imir was a wise and just ruler, he took care of the people and kept the city independent even though there were many challenges from King Liben who had recently begun consolidating the region under his control. He had controlled the Port cities and wanted to venture inland but was unable to find a way to take Alfdale under his control. An uneasy stalemate was informally reached and the growth of King Liben’s empire was halted at the coast.
Lord Belfan had three children in his lifetime. The two boys were older and close in age and the third was his daughter, born when the boys were already mature. Their names were Tharleg Imir, Rhagdad Imir, and Olan Imir The two brothers were very gifted, Tharleg growing into one of the best negotiators in the city and Rhagdad had a shrewd mind and was able to recognize the true value of many things. Their younger sister, Olan, was also gifted though with a skill different than the two brothers. She brought joy to the household and grew up to be a beautiful maiden whom the brothers protected jealously. She was driven and curious, learning about the world and it’s inhabitants as much as she could. She was a skilled tracker and huntress who was often found in the forests to the east hunting with the trappers and woodsmen.
One day when Olan was out hunting, she found herself alone in the forest. This was not unusual when stalking her prey, in this case a large Buck. The birds however were not chirping and the only thing that could be heard was the soft step of the buck in the forest and the almost equally soft footsteps of Olan. The buck stopped in a large clearing and just as Olan was lining up her shot it turned its head to reveal that instead of the normal doe eyes and bleak face there were golden lizard eyes and a mouth full of giant sharp teeth.
Before her eyes the buck’s skin disappeared and thick green scales emerged. Soon before Olan stood an ancient green dragon, she nearly fainted at the mere sight of it. There had been no recent sightings of dragons in these woods though she now remembered talk of a few hunters not returning. The green dragon barked some words in draconic and she remembered nothing more until she woke in the dragons lair.
Once the dragon had secured Lady Olan he went after the other hunters in the forest. Soon only one was left and as the dragon went in for the final blow he stopped. and looked at the man.
“I have a message for your lord, you will deliver it straight to him or your life will end right here. You will tell your lord that he will forfeit his city to my rule and the entire treasury shall be given to me. If he does not comply, Lay Olan’s life will be forfeit. He should not send anyone out to find the lady or I will have her for dinner before taking the city by force.”
The man being terrified and already close to death agreed to the terms. He limped back to the city and as soon as he was through the gate he demanded to see the king and told the guards what had happened. Before long he was standing in front of the king, giving him the bad news. The king was distraught, his heart sank knowing that he had to choose between the city and his beloved daughter.
The two brothers had heard that something was very wrong and had come into the hall just as the news was broken. When the man was sent away to the infirmary to take care of his wounds the brothers immediately began to get ready for battle. They had made up their minds to fight the dragon.