Freecity of Hanai

Freecity of Hanai


One of Arrasia's major suppliers of diamonds, the alluvial deposits around which Hanai has grown since their discovery towards the end of the Amman occupation of the area have been a great source of bloodshed. With peace and stability now brought to this region and with the protection of the Triple Alliance behind it, the Freecity of Hanai has seen its diamond exports grow dramatically.

Eight powerful families dominate Hanai and it is generally from amongst these that the cities politicians are elected. The Steward has always been a member of one of these families and tension is always high when the elections for the position of Steward open - elections that take place every seven years. Positions in the House of Nobles are also elected, with the electoral cycle being every five years. Only the wealthy elite of Hanai cast votes and each vote carries a varying degree of influence, depending upon the power and influence of that individual.

Hanai's political structure is chaotic and corruption rife, with the ruling elite keeping their hands firmly in every pot. The chaos has seen a rise in the number of criminal organizations and several powerful factions have emerged. Much of the wealth of the city is siphoned off into the deep pockets of the rich and the powerful gangs, whose influence over the ruling elite can be significant.

On the surface, however, Hanai is a bustling city on the southern tip of the Jayd Hills, with a small, but highly trained army whose job it is to keep the surrounding lands clear of unwanted humanoid incursions and to defend the city from external threats - primarily from Magasoa - as well as maintain order within the city itself. Tensions are often high between the military leaders the politicians, who often try and manipulate the army to their own advantage. This is mainly in the form of bribes to ignore the activities of certain groups or individuals.

Despite the chaotic nature of the city, wealth continues to flow into Hanai and it also continues to expand. Its position within the Triple Alliance has brought a sense of stability that would otherwise have been absent, however, especially with the recent declaration of war by Magasoa against the Triple Alliance, which has seen an increase in humanoid activity throughout the Jayd Hills. Although protected to a greater degree by the buffer created by the Kingdom of Yam, Hanai nonetheless remains close enough to the enemy to have seen sporadic raids from Magasoan troops and humanoids.

Significant Trade Export

Copper Ore: Large quantities of copper ore are mined from the southern tip of the Jayd Hills. It is extracted and smelted in Hanai and is either used to make coinage or is exported for profit.

Diamonds: Hanai has grown around the discovery of the large alluvial diamond deposits that have made this one of the largest exporters of diamonds in Arrasia. The quality and size of some of the diamonds has been staggering and the large area over which they have been found suggests that the best is yet to come.

Iron Ore: Abundant in the Jayd Hills and surrounding countryside, many small communities are almost entirely built around the iron industry. After it is mined, it is usually moved on to Hanai, where it is used to manufacture weapons, armor and industrial goods. It is also sold as an export.

Silver: Silver is common enough in the Jayd Hills, where it is mined and shipped to Hanai. Much of the silver is used for coinage, but it is also exported abroad.

Brief History

The discovery of diamonds towards the end of the Amman occupation saw the inevitable rush of prospectors and Hanai started as a small community to serve the early miners. However, the sheer quality of the diamonds and the size of the deposits soon turned this backwater into a thriving town, which continued to grow rapidly as the wealth poured into - and out of - Hanai.

After the fall of Amman, Hanai fell into disorder as greed and opportunism took over in the vacuum left by the end of the rule of law. This anarchy was violent as powerful clans fought for control over the vast wealth. During the war between Yam and Orith, Hanai was seen as essential to both nations and constantly taken and retaken as the two nations fought for control over its valuable resources.

Lord Ritchelin, of the Grand Army of Orith, who had occupied Hanai in a hugely successful siege of the city, was the first to impose martial order upon the city. Despite several attempts to oust him by the Yammish forces, Lord Ritchelin remained defiant. His troops, though vastly outnumbered, were totally loyal to the man that had led them with distinction, and were ferocious in their defense of the city. After nearly a year in occupation, Lord Ritchelin had imposed a semblance of rule over the city, having pushed the criminal elements back to the fringes and rebuilt the city defenses.

It was during one of the many stalled peace talks between Yam and Orith that Lord Ritchelin, ever the opportunist, took his biggest risk and declared Hanai's independence as a Freecity under his own stewardship. After initial outrage and scorn in both Orith and Yam, which led to several failed attempts to retake the city - attempts which more often than not saw the Orith and Yam forces clash before they even reached the gates of the Hanai, the monarchs of the two countries eventually conceded defeat and sued for peace. Both were under pressure from the mounting humanoid attacks within their own borders as well as the immense cost of the long standing war between the two nations, but Hanai remained the stumbling block to a peaceful outcome to negotiations.

With little chance of retaking the by now heavily fortified city state of Hanai, both monarchs eventually conceded to Lord Ritchelin's demands to recognize his fledling nation, with both content that the other did not have access to the huge wealth of that region. An agreement was reached, in which Lord Ritchelin was invited to partake, and the border between Yam and Orith was settled. Hanai, declared a Freecity, independent of any nation and under the stewardship of Lord Ritchelin, was allocated a significant swathe of land around the city.

With peace finally having fallen on the region, the nations slowly tackled the menace of the humanoid tribes, reducing the danger and increasing the wealth and prosperity. During his life, Lord Ritchelin's reputation and force of will saw him rule with an iron hand and he helped develop the political structure of the city. However, the political structure was one based on divide and rule and Lord Ritchelin controlled the political ambitions of the ruling elite by pitting them against each other. After his death, this saw a period of chaos as the elite fought to capture control of the city. The chaotic nature of politics in Hanai is reflected in the oligarchy that now governs it and a constant power struggle exists between the eight families that dominate the political landscape.

The success of the peace between the old enemies of Yam and Orith led to the signing of an alliance, which Hanai was invited to join, known as the Triple Alliance. This alliance has helped forge stability in the area, which was illustrated during a brief dispute with Syrámä who were easily repelled, bringing a new sense of confidence to an area that had for so long been repressed under Amman rule.

The Major Towns and Cities

Hanai: (pop: 47,000) This tightly packed city is confined by two sets of city walls - the old, which form the Oldtown, where the streets are an intricate web of alleys and back roads and where many of the criminal gangs are located, and the outer wall, which was built after Hanai expanded well beyond the old wall. It is also tightly packed, though the roads are wider and the houses grander, with the rich and powerful preferring the wider spaces. Markets, bazaars and street entertainment are common and the Freecity of Hanai has become a significant city on the world stage.


Lords of the Blade
The Lords of the Blade are a powerful organization of criminals who have made a large fortune out of the wealth of Hanai. Their influence ranges far and wide, having greased the palms of many of the town's officials and politicians. There is little in Hanai that passes without their organization knowing about it and, more than likely, being actively involved in some manner.

The organization acts swiftly against any dangers to itself and will respond aggressively with any agents that try to muscle in on their territory. Conflicts with the Brothers of Qanarn and the Guild of Nine are common and bloody.

Brothers of Qanarn
One of the major power brokers in the underworld of Hanai, the Brothers of Qanarn are vicious in protecting their territory and enforcing their own laws. Their rule of fear is a persuasive tactic to keep the arms of the law at bay and their special contacts on side.

Guild of Nine
This secretive organization is said to be a powerful influence among the elite of Hanai, with the Nine Guardians all said to be important members of those families outside of the dominate eight. Their interests are self-preservation and self-interest and conflicts with the criminal fraternity of Hanai are regular occurrences. Some argue that the Guild of Nine is the real political force in Hanai, but others dismiss this as pure fantasy.

Important Personages

Arbel Ritchelin: Head of Ritchelin family and directly related to Lord Ritchelin himself, the first Steward of Hanai, Arbel ranks as amongst the most powerful women in Hanai. She is extremely ambitious and desires to take the title of Steward for herself. The Ritchelin family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Toras Mannithor: The long-standing head of the Mannithor family, he has twice been voted as Steward of Hanai and is considered one of their better leaders. However, he is now old and his heirs are snapping at his heels and eager to fill his shoes. The Mannithor family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Gwelas Pyras: An exceptionally mean man, Gwelas has fought hard to become the head of the Pyras family and is presently positioning himself to become the next Steward of Hanai, with Arbel Ritchelin considered his main rival. Gwelas is a man who knows no bounds and will stop at nothing to achieve the goals he sets himself in life, all of which revolve around wealth and power. The Pyras family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Orin Daccaby: The present Steward of Hanai, Orin now senses the wolves baying at his door and is seeking allies as the political tension mounts and he looks to secure his position. An exceptionally astute man, Orin became the first head of the Daccaby family to achieve the position of Steward and, as such, has seen the stock of the Daccaby family rise. The Daccaby family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Ceira Mordenkae: An exceptionally intelligent woman, Ceira Mordenkae has used her considerable talents and contacts within the criminal gangs of Hanai to emerge as the surprise head of the Mordenkae family after the recent death of its previous incumbent. It is suggested by some that she is deeply involved in the criminal activities and that her influence is considerable. The Mordenkae family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Zarus Pelithane: Weak, in constant ill health and indecisive, it is a wonder, even to himself, that Zarus found himself as head of the Pelithane family, whose power is waning and who find themselves embroiled in constant infighting that has divided the family. Zarus, despite his failings, is regarded by many, both in and outside of the family, to be its only hope of remaining among the elite families. The Pelithane family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Verzop Westerly: The last Steward of Hanai, before losing to Orin Daccaby, Verzop is the head of the Westerly family, who control a significant portion of the diamond trade and are probably the wealthiest family in Hanai, wielding considerable power. Verzop has recently allied himself with the Ritchelin family, which he believes may well be to his advantage at some future point, should Arbel find herself the next Steward. The Westerly family is one of the eight families that dominate the Hanai oligarchy.

Brachus Norax: The Norax family has acquired vast wealth through the diamond trade and, second only to the Westerly's, controls a considerable percentage of the market. Brachus is the present head of the Norax family and enjoys the political games that come with the post. He is presently not looking to take the post of Steward, preferring to build the wealth and power base of the family and using his present ambivalence to gain favor from those whose political ambitions are currently greater than his own.

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