Gemfeld, alternatively GemFeld, was one of the largest cities in Northern Bormar before being destroyed in a massive fire. Before this event, the city had a sizeable population, most of which either perished or were made refugees by the blaze that engulfed the city.
Today, Gemfeld is little more than a small farming village. There has been no effort to restore Gemfeld to its former glory and while it is technically still a holding of Bormar, it has no ruling Lord or Lady as there is little left to rule.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld derives from "Gem's Field" which further derives from "Andagem's Field" as Andagem Unti was a Dwarf who owned the majority of land in the area. He used his vast tracts mostly for farming, from standard pastoral and planting work to more experimental apiary, mycelial, and lupulin methods.
Andagem was well known for the safety and security of his coastal farming plots. Eventually, he began receiving offers from renters hoping to find new homes in the area. Andagem began allowing other Dwarves to move onto his land, and, over the next twenty-five years, Andagem's fields became a small hamlet.
History[edit | edit source]
Following the founding of Gemfeld, the city went through three "Crystal Ages" that shaped the city and its people.
Ruby Age[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld's quickly experienced an influx of Dwarves after initiatives were taken to make the growing township another trade hub of Bormar. These prioritized connecting the city with the rest of the nation as well as foreign markets. In particular, the dredging of "Deepdock Harbour" using rudimentary diving bells and hand-held shovels did wonders in achieving this goal, connecting the city to the ocean known as The Well. The city, in conjunction with several land-based courier firms, designed and constructed various roadways across the city and to other towns and cities to assure that land trade was solidified as well. Throughout this age the city's population nearly tripled, bringing Gemfeld from a small hamlet to a major population center.
Sapphire Age[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld jumped into its second Crystal Age two months after the death of Andagem Unti. In his will, he left a puzzle to the treasury, and a livery collar known as the Hamletter's Collar, which was a symbol of his position as the city's leader, the Hamleteer. Amig Andosk's discovery of the treasury, livery collar, and Andegem's vast wealth resulted in him receiving the title.
His first initiative was to establish a government, which had its chambers above the location of the old treasury. The large complex became Gemfeld's municipal center, and a blackstone pillar in a courtyard marked the location which became known as "The Obelisk". Several amenities were also made at this time, such as "Commodore Park" and "Rectangle Square".
Amig negotiated with the First House to release a large lump sum payment to facilitate the further development of the town. Most important, however, was Amig Andosk's construction of LordForge Foundries ("LFF"), a chain of master foundries throughout the city and even other parts of Bormar.
The LFF specialised in revolutionary forging techniques, as well as researching new ways to use metals, primarily steel and brass. The LFF's Gemfeld division was the centre of innovation, and the LordForge Behemoth was developed, tested, and prototyped only in Gemfeld. Compostions of new Alloys were also tested, but to little avail. The LFF employed the largest amount of citizens from Gemfeld, in all positions, to the LFF's personal mine, to forging and smithing, to administration, logistics, and advertisement.
Amig then petitioned the First House to recognize the city as worthy of having its own Lord and designating it as a proper holding of Bormar. After a survey of the city's population by the Office of Noble Registry, the petition was granted and Amig Andosk would be Gemfeld's first Lord. This brought the end of the Sapphire Age.
Diamond Age[edit | edit source]
Amig Andosk remained as Gemfeld's Lord as the LordForge Foundry launched its "Status Changer" project, which resulted in the creation of the LordForge Behemoth in the Canmissary Quarter. The Behemoth was described by local reporters as, "A room-sized living and self-mobilizing mass of brass, cylinders, and gears," that sought to automate various forging aspects.
Amig's showing of the Behemoth to the First House caused the largest influx of funding to the Municipal Government, as well as a mass-settling of labourers in Gemfeld. The Diamond Age ended prematurely when Amig closed as a section of the LordForge Steelworks, laying off 15% of Gemfeld's population, leading to a spree of riots in the city.
The Foundry Fire[edit | edit source]
The riots pushed into their third continuous month, with the local government's silence. It was soon discovered that Amig was spending day and night working on the Behemoth, ignoring his duties as Lord and angering the rioters further. The mob descended on the Behemoth's warehouse, and a handful broke in, intent on destroying the massive forge. Several instigators died as the Behemoth's super-heated steam boiled them when they attempted to destroy it, yet one Dwarf broke into the boiler room and lit the coal mound on fire.
Within minutes, the boiler room was a mass of fire and smoke, which quickly spread through the complex, lighting the wooden roofs of the warehouses surrounding it. Gemfeld's warehouse district was notable for its departure from traditional Bormarian building styles, with its warehouses using wood as the majority, with stone supports and bases. This provided the perfect kindling for a city-wide fire, where the architecture was more standardized, with stone walls, wooden roofs, and wooden interiors.
When the Canmissary Warehouses were fully engulfed in flame, the fires spread eastwards, setting The Obelisk, Eastfront Accommodation, and the LordForge District alight. With two-thirds of the city alight, the wind blew north and devastated the mature wheat, barley, and other cereal fields alight. No section of the city was spared.
First House Investigation[edit | edit source]
Following the fire that destroyed the city, the First House requested a report from the Office of National Investigations. It was determined that the death toll of the city's population was approximately 85%, with an additional 12% being severely wounded or missing. The fires became an indictment of building cities of wood, leading to other holdings undergoing grand renovations to remove the flammable materials.
Preliminary investigations lined up with the claims of the survivors, but later investigations suggested that the fires were first started in a warehouse parallel to that of the LordForge Behemoth. It was impossible to determine the owner of the warehouse as both the city and its records had been completely destroyed. The ONI soon submitted its findings to the First House, who promptly put the matter to rest.
Gemfeld Today[edit | edit source]
To this day Gemfeld is little more than a burnt husk of what it once was. Its remaining population has scattered across Bormar, with only a handful of Dwarves electing to stay behind and return to simpler lives of farming. Ironically, the city looks as it did when it was simply Andagem's Field, with only a few dozen homes populating the area. The ruined city still looms in the distance and with each passing year, it crumbles and becomes overtaken by plant life.
Gemfeld's political status is in permanent limbo. Technically, it is still a holding of Bormar after Amig Andosk's petition was accepted by the First House. However, what the city was and what it is now are anything but similar, with no nearby population centers to justify naming a new Lord or Lady. Consequently, Gemfeld is a curious case of a defunct holding, one which has no ruling noble due to a lack of political will to take on the monumental task. Most of Bormar just wishes to forget the spectacular rise of the city due to the traumatic nature of its fall.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Landscape[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld is situated in Northern Bormar, on the shores of the Inmiban River. It is roughly five meters above sea level, and the turbulent storm from The Well regularly resulted in flooding until Amig's mitigation measures.
Geology[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld's city boundaries, along with vast swathes of the Northern plate sit on an Early Karst Landscape, as well as the Northern Batholith. The predominantly limestone rock type of the Karst Landscape leads to rich and nutritious farming, while the Granite in the Batholith forming hard-to-erode mountaincaps, kept the plains sheltered for centuries.
Climate[edit | edit source]
Similar to much of Northern Bormar, Gemfeld experiences a maritime climate with mild-warm summers, cool winters, and a lack of temperature extremes. On average, the sunniest months exist mid-year, with a maximum of 18 hours of sunshine, with the wettest months being the last quarter, and the driest being in the first.
Gemfeld's isolation from the coast, upland surroundings, as well as the bay mouth being south-west facing shelters it from rain and moist winds receiving rain amounts similar to that of central Bormar.
Economy[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld was a strong economic hub in the North, even by Bormar standards, with multiple banks, markets, agricultural, metalworks, and transport companies located throughout the city.
The bulk of Gemfeld's population was financially stable, with a quarter of that number able to be seen as "rich". For its more impoverished citizens, Gemfeld a grain dole to provide them with free grain, and a work finding program to train wayward Dwarves. While great for employment and equality, both of these incentives put a noticeable strain on Gemfeld's treasury, leading to large taxation on those with even moderate amounts of wealth.
Cheesemaking was the core tenet of Gemfeld's agricultural economy, the rich grass gave grazing Mar Goats a specific taste of their milk, which permeated into their cheese, creating Gem-Cheese. This dairy product was known for its pungent woody aroma and high salt content, going well with a glass of Dark Rum, which the city was also known for.
Government[edit | edit source]
Local[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld had a functional municipal government, which would help the Lord in running the city's affairs. The municipality ran upon an elected system, electing sixteen total citizens who would represent Dwarves, serving for four years. The Municipal Government, referred to as the 'Munis' by locals handled all local up-keep affairs and were not divided, with each official holding legislative, judicial, and executive powers. Gemfelds Municipality received little criticism until the riots overtook the city in its final weeks.
National[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld's fall was mere months after the coronation of Amig Andosk as Gemfeld's first Lord. The fire, which took the lives of 85% of the city's population including Amig Andosk, caused the Lordship to be permanently empty. While Gemfeld is still technically a holding of Bormar, it is essentially defunct as its low population, production, and interest to outsiders has it little more than a footnote in the records of the First House.
Places of Interest[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld had two landmarks, "The Obelisk", a blackstone pillar in the courtyard of the municipal hall. The is "Andagem's Harvest", located in Commodore Park. It was a steel statue of Andagem carrying bales of wheat on his back with a scythe in his hand. The scythe dug into the grass at its granite pedestal, where a small garden of Andagem's favourite plants grew until the city burned to the ground.
Transportation[edit | edit source]
Roads[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld, like other towns and cities had a strong shared-road network, with pedestrians, horses, and carts all sharing the same paved roads. Unlike most of Bormar, Gemfeld abandoned Cobblestone paving, and instead used layered gravel, and concreted stone, which was then topped by an odourless tar with stones embedded atop.
The specificity of the odourless tar allowed roads to be given certain scents. Notable inclusions were Baker St., which had caramelised sugar and corn syrup included in the liquid tar, prior to pouring. This, coupled with the baking shops' outflow of the signature "baked smell" helped give the city a variety of subtle, peculiar smells.
Municipal Agents created a wide 15-meter entrance road through the main gate, called the Mainways. The road had ingots of steel, iron, and small boat-shaped wooden carvings embedded into the road, which would sparkle and show Gemfeld's wealth to entering Dwarves and merchant caravans.
Sea[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld's deepwater harbour allowed cargo vessels, clippers, capital ships, transport ships, and hulls to all be fully serviceable. Trade, people-moving, and movement of bulk goods were remarkably easy and cheap.
The originally-wooden jetties and boardwalks were converted to stone, allowing sturdier and increased weight to be on- and off-loaded, the walks also had embedded slits for standard-width carts to move more easily on the narrow stone paths.
Education[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld had multiple academic and practical learning institutions, subsidised by the local guilds and the municipal government. The education was seen as quality, yet pro-Gemfeld propaganda was present in all curricula in some form or another. While much of this expounded on the benefits of the LordForge Steelworks, a keen eye could detect subtle messages of Gemfeldian independence.
Scholarly education had only a maximum of a 25% subsidy to payments by the government. Practical works (Mining, Jewellery, etc.) all were free if the student was in an apprenticeship while studying, but would be full price if otherwise.
The Molir[edit | edit source]
Gemfeld's molir had five ranks, each denoted by an arm-band colour. It also had different colour coats denoting the task they were presently completing. Coats existed in a long and short variant, sharing arm-band, and gold trim designs on the coat and hat. The molir also had a red and black banner and shield design.
Notable People[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
The design for Gemfeld's banner, for those who want to play a citizen of the city in game.