The Raising of the Citadel
A hundred years ago, a dark convocation was held amid the tumbled stones of the Inthia ruins and the shadowed boughs of the southern jungle. In a small shanty town distant from the forces of civilization and order, a pirate armada and a cabal of magic-users forged a dark alliance from whence sprung the city of the Labyrinthium.
This alliance worked quickly, slaying the eternal guardians of the ruins while fortifying their foothold upon the port. The surrounding tribes of gnomes, trolls and minotaurs were overwhelmed and enslaved by steel and spell. A citadel was raised from the accursed stones and the tangled growths while guilds from every Kingdom in Midworld were given leave to practice their trade here, if they should survive the harsh conditions of the land.
The Labyrinthium became fully built within 10 years, great magics and thousands of lives spent in its creation. Its solid walls held back the savagery of the jungle and held in the viciousness of the city. Its twisted avenues and darksome agoras because notorious for holding every vice and object forbidden to Mortals. The Labyrinthium’s hidden, remote location ensured that the rest of Midworld would limit their reactions to threats and threats alone – to those unlearned in its ways, navigating the southern jungles was as vain a prospect as treading the narrow straits to the Vicious City.
Anarchy, a Law
But upon its completion, the factions that ordered this city’s creation soon fell to in-fighting and bickering. The winding streets of the Labyrinthium were a constant battleground for the skirmishes and ambushes of the competing power groups. It became a byword for self-destruction; the evils that had built it threatened to consume itself. Though its violences and debaucheries did not slow, the name of the Vicious City soon faded from the ears of Midworld.
Thirty years ago, a massive slave revolt threatened to unhinge the city completely. Calling themselves “the Unshackled”, Human, Troll, Minotaur and Gnome slaves rose up to break free from their shackles and take the city for their own. They raised up the Cassopeia the Lioness of Akar, the Vorgren of Greytusk, Pollus Longhorn and Laerta with Two-eyes as the leaders of their insurrection, as the heroes of their rebellion.
It was said by many that the hour of liberation was nigh for these long-suffering thralls, that the Labyrinthium would become unto a paradise of peace and equality.
Villainy, a Virtue
And then came the King-slayer.
The King-slayer Kristoff and his Crew appeared as though from the shadows and the winds themselves. He treated with each faction, deceiving those he could not intimidate and destroying those he could not deceive. To the cabals and the guilds, he offered protection and retribution. To the leaders of the Unshackled, he offered vengeance and power.
The King-slayer could not be denied. Five years after the fires of Revolution had been sparked in the Labyrinthium, it had been completely gutted and a new order had laid claim to the Vicious City: the law of the King-slayer. At his command, the guilds and the cabals that refused his alliances were crushed by the Unshackled. The leaders of the Unshackled had betrayed their own people to stand at the King-slayer’s side. Only half of the Unshackled’s numbers survived its bloody quest for liberation and vengeance – and three quarters of that half were sent back into shackles by their kin.
A semblance of the old anarchy has returned to Labyrinthium as the King-slayer lets his subjects be for the most part. The Alliance of Guilders and the cabals of the Qabbalim engage in their traditional works while ships and caravans bring cargo and trade to the Vicious City.
The King-slayer’s justice is swift to those who defy the few edicts that he imposes upon the Labyrinthium –his word is law and his business is his own. Those who find these orders a problem will usually be fleeing the wrong side of Kristoff’s justice or be servicing the Crew as an inkwell while they use his cadaver and heartsblood as a warning.