The Free City of Riverhold
The Imperial Age
Riverhold gained its independence from Imperial rule XXX years ago, declaring itself an independent kingdom shortly before the “Mad Emperor” was usurped from his throne.
The Rise of The Free City
The new monarchy lasted but a single generation before internal strife, culminating in the assassination of the king and his heirs, gave way to rioting, murder, and eventually the establishment of martial law under the authority of a coalition of noble families, wealthy citizens, and military leaders. After restoring order, this coalition divided controlling interests and power amongst themselves, entitling each party to a certain number of votes on all civic matters, including the appointment of high ranking city officials. This new, quasi-democratic system was put in place with the hopes that despotism, inequality, and civil strife would remain firmly in the past.
Given the collapse of the old empire and the numerous problems in the south, Riverhold has been experiencing a dramatic increase in population. Refugees escaping war and plague in the south mix with former citizens of The Empire looking for a new start, and in most cases Riverhold is more than happy to accept them. The city has almost always had more resources than it can use, and the influx in laborers, craftsmen, and scholars has been a boonfor the city’s coffers. Free from the rigid class system of The Southern Kingdoms and the ineffective, traditionalist ideologies of The Empire, Riverhold has grown to symbolize opportunity, growth, and free enterprise.