The Rock of Bral, Part Duex
Old and superstitious Bralians insist that the city was once inhabited by an ancient race that will one day return. Archeological expeditions have discovered Illithid and Beholder artifacts within the ancient tunnels. While neither race claims to any past presence, experts believe that the Illithids established an outpost on The Rock about 800 years ago, only to be exterminated and supplanted by Beholders who were wiped out in turn by another nation of their own race. Recently remnants of Dwarven constructions have been found, estimated to be 400 years old. The fate of approximately 200 Dwarves is unknown, meals were found half eaten, pots still on the hearth, and sword blades half finished lay on the anvil. Aside from the Elves stopping by The Rock to replenish Air and Water, no other race used the rock in ancient times.
170 years ago Captain Bral, a notorious pirate, established it as a secure hideout despite rumors of it being haunted space. He seeded the topside and underside with trees and crops. The caverns that form the modern docking caverns in the Low City were his first home. He soon assembled a small fleet of Corsairs named the Black Brotherhood. A town grew up around the port as more people and races came to settle and build. Most were rogues and thieves, but a few were merchants and entrepreneurs. It was a lawless town of endless revelry and unchecked dueling. Bral himself died when a flotilla of five ships were returning from a successful raid of a groundling city and ran into eight Imperial Elves Men o’ War. Only one of the pirate ships escaped, Bral’s vipership, the Starwind, was not one of them. The citizens threw a wild wake in honor of his death in a glorious blaze, and named the city after him. For almost 60 years after his death the city slowly grew, climbing up topside from the caves. The pirate captains ruled the city by popular consensus and little of the character of the city changed.
Slowly, merchants and tavern keepers became the majority of the citizenry. Cozar, a clever and ambitious captain, could see the tension rising between the pirates and permanent residents and knew that the pirates’ days were numbered. He quietly bought up every square centimeter of land. Those who held out sold under contract for free leases in perpetuity, while other powerful holdouts were granted privileges, permitting them to become what would later be known as the nobility. Once The Rock was his, he evicted any pirate who could not produce a legitimate business or lease. The bitterest opponent was Gadar Skullbreaker; he and six of his crewmen were killed in a confrontation with Cozar and the city leaders at the Broken Lantern in the Low City. The permanent residents supported Cozar, as they were tired of the lawlessness and tyranny of the pirate lords.
Cozar produced a Royal Charter, setting forth his lordship over The Rock and set forth the basic rules for governance. Thus, House of Cozar was born.
Hosue of cozar
Prince Cozar ruled long and wisely, building The Rock into a legitimate center of trade. To keep the pirate captains who stayed happy he formed the Council of Captains as the chief governing body of the city. To their surprise, using their ships for trade was more profitable than piracy. Cozar established the first code of laws and formed a militia for the common defense. Its location allowed it become a center for free trade, old pirate lords founded merchant houses, great companies sought representation on the Rock, and it was an easy layover for any traveler.
Cozar’s son was not the man his father was, and while the city flourished and grew threefold under his 35 year rule, he concerned himself only with the accumulation of wealth and comfort and was not a strong man with an imposing authority. He expanded Starhaven, built the Citadel and the Donjon. His foresight saved the city several times during sporadic raids. During his rule the Neogi first came to the sphere. A neogi trader came to the Rock and demanded to meet with the prince. After being kept waiting for over a week he felt so insulted by the Prince, who thought he was too arrogant for its own good, that he left and returned six months later with a small fleet and an abandoned Dwarven stronghold. They dropped the citadel on The Rock, hoping to destroy it, but instead it only flattened a portion of the Middle City. The Neogi left in disgust, and Frun built a festival ground upon the demolished city quarter. He later died in the middle of a soiree commemorating Cozar’s birthday.
Calar inherited an empty royal vault, and was spoiled and pampered. Everyone assumed the royal house would pass into insignificance. Six days after taking the throne he was found in the jettisoned rubbish trailing the Low City.
By the rules of succession Aric should have succeeded to the throne, but Andru, the quiet second son of Frun seized the reins of power within hours of his brothers death. He then altered the rules of succession, enabling the oldest living male heir of Cozar to sit on the throne. So long as he does not bear a son then Aric is the next in line for the throne.
After securing the crown Andru launched a thorough inquiry into his brother’s death. Irrefutable evidence convicted a powerful Underbaron in league with the illithids and he was executed for the crime.
Andru struggled to restore power and wealth to the crown, it has been a struggle but a rewarding one. During his reign the captains have turned towards him as a source of authority and power. His judicious use of low taxes have promoted trade and swelled The Rock’s coffers at the same time, allowing him to double the size of the army and triple the size of the navy.