Main art by: Coldwitch

Sol Forne, the second most populated city in the Kingdom of Hovardom, is located in the country's eastern coast, nestled in the Talmur Sea bay. Surrounded inland by miles of rolling hills and vineyards, Sol Forne is the long-established agricultural and cultural capital of Hovardom.

The Red Road, the longest of the two Royal Highways, cuts right through the city. Headed northwest, the Road leads to the capital, Vizen. Headed east, the Road leads to Cassefront, then following the coast north towards Pallew.

Map by: Dewi Hargreaves

Sol Forne was originally erected by the ancient elvenfolk as an unwalled city (circa 1200 BA). The central Academy of Sol Forne, a world-famous university and center of research, is one of the few surviving elven structures within the city, characterized by anachronistic twisting spires and open-air atriums. In the time of the elves, the Academy was known as Utenke Mioni (which loosely translates to "farm of knowledge"). Even then its function was that of a house of learning and massive library.

The rest of the city, including the surrounding fortifications, were built by the Oshemari, who were the first humans to settle in the area (AA 22.)

Following decades of civil war, the Oshemari were eventually ousted and replaced by the wealthy nobility who rose to power by owning the lands surrounding the city (AA 102-133.) Once an opulent culture, the Oshemari now comprise an ethnic minority in Sol Forne.

Thanks to their newfound power and the city's strategic positioning as a mercantile port, the Sol Fornian noble houses managed to retain Sol Forne's independence as a city-state. Even their tax contribution to the crown has remained minimal across the centuries.

Art by: Ömer Burak Önal

Besides the nobility (who are the legislative and judicial arms of the government) Sol Forne is also ruled by the Guild Union. Originally a group of militant traders and blacksmiths from the south, the Guild Union aided in the nobility's takeover of Sol Forne during the civil war in exchange for domain over all forms of trade and employment. One cannot find work in Sol Forne without paying a fee to the appropriate Guild, and receiving a Guild Seal in exchange.

Surrounding the city are rolling hillsides covered in miles of vineyards. Sol Fornian wine is known throughout the word as a one-of-a-kind export.

Mat by: Dewi Hargreaves

Though not by design, districts sprouted organically within the city, each with its own character and history. From east to west they are:

  • Gates and Old Gates: Once known simply as Gates, the two districts became distinct after the spread of the Leper's Day fires, which destroyed most of the northern side of the district (AA 763.) That area was eventually rebuilt to accommodate a more affluent population, leaving the south side of the district (the Old Gates) as little more than slums.
  • Portos: The port district of Sol Forne is the beating heart of the city. Ships from all over the world dock here to trade and participate in the city's commerce. Though much of the district is comprised of warehouses, many of the city's laborers reside here.
  • Verario: The center-most district of the city is nearly entirely comprised by the vast Academy of Sol Forne. Though it was used for years as a repository for books and artifacts, the Academy officially opened its doors to students and researchers in AA 198. Welcoming intellectuals from all over the world, the Academy is the great cultural and scientific capstone of the city. Besides the Academy, the Verario also boasts more taverns and performance halls than any other district.
  • Ederat: The oldest district of the city, and the original city center. Once an extension of the Gates district, the Ederat was set afire purposefully at the hand of the nobility of Sol Forne in order to curb a widespread outbreak of a leprosy (AA 763.) The outbreak was contained at the cost of thousands of lives. Since being rebuilt (AA 771), the Ederat has become home to many minor noble families and Guild Captains, as well as the seat of the Guild Union Hall. The nobility's "heroic sacrifice" has since been celebrated as Leper's Day, a festival in which bonfires are erected across the city. On that day, citizens paint their faces in whites and sickly greens and wrap themselves in bandages. As night falls, the wraps are removed and thrown into the fires to fend off the sickness from ever touching the city again.
  • Effore: The newest and most affluent district. Most of the nobility resides within the luxurious villas and mansions that line the district's marble streets. It is dotted by several fountained plazas where mingling nobles share the day's news and gossip. Across from its largest plaza, Plaza d'Edo, is the imposing Sol Fornian House of the Gods, where rich citizens go to worship the Nameless Gods.
  • Tarentia: Not as luxurious as the Effore, the Tarentia is still nothing to scoff at. Home to traders and minor nobles, and characterized by several sprawling plazas and gardens, as well as the local Blue Scarab lodge (established AA 830.)
  • Benine: Just before leaving Sol Forne through its western gate is the more peasant Benine district. Characterized by tall homes built atop one another with no rhyme or reason, and narrow claustrophobic alleyways. The only thing setting it apart from other districts is its vast open-air market, where one can find just about anything, even illicit substances like the addictive poppium, weapons, or even poisons.