This grand, sprawling city stands at the center of Miklagard, situated upon the great hill known as Sigurd’s Mound. From Sigurdsholm, one can see the adjacent fields, pastures, and villages that extend for miles around the city. Beyond that, one can see only the vast, nebulous woods, with hints of the eerie and frightening things that lie within.
Population: 30,000, the vast majority of them human. Dwarves, elves, and tieflings comprise tiny, tiny minorities of the city (each only about 1% of the population, at most). Each of these minorities is clustered in specific racial neighborhoods: elves live around the Royal Gardens, dwarves live on or near Market Street, and tieflings are confined to Hell Street. There are absolutely no orcs in Sigurdsholm.
Terrain and Climate: Sigurdsholm experiences the quintessential Miklagard weather: four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter, all with varying degrees of wet. In the spring, the rain falls intermittently, watering the blooming flowers and budding trees. In the summer, the rain comes in fits and bursts, accompanied by thunder and lightning. In the fall, the rain is a constant deluge, stripping the leaves from the trees and flooding the streets. In the winter, the rain is biting cold, and turns occasionally to snow, covering Sigurd’s Mound in a gleaming white layer. Strangely, all the trees in Sigurdsholm recently burned down, but efforts are already underway to replace them.
Government: The ruler of Sigurdsholm is the ruler of all Miklagard: Queen Tristanna. She governs from her mighty castle at the apex of Sigurd’s Mound, aided and attended by the Royal Family and dozens of noble houses. The Queen’s word is law, but she is not capricious, and consults the nobles and her advisors before making her most important decisions. The dwarves and high elves have ambassadors in the Royal Court, who advocate for their homelands’ interests. Order is enforced by the City Guard, comprised of about 200 patriotic peasants who have sworn to uphold the rule of law. The head of the City Guard has the authority to imprison and execute criminals as they see fit, but the Queen may intervene if she has a specific interest in the accused. Executions are held at the entrance to Market Street, and draw large crowds of peasants.
Trade: Miklagard is largely a self-sufficient nation. The peasants and common people live off the land, consuming nothing they can’t make themselves. The nobles and well-to-do of Sigurdsholm, however, have rather more expensive tastes, and trade with the elves, the dwarves, and nations overseas. Between the peasants who barter and trade agricultural goods, the crafters with their shops, and the merchants who bring in far-flung shipments, Sigurdsholm is a bustling center of trade. It’s often said that “if it’s found in Miklagard, it’s found in Sigurdsholm” — though, of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to pay for it. Shops in Sigurdsholm include:
- Alfhilde’s Stables: An honest and affordable stablery located in the outer ring of the city, run by an old human woman. Carriages available by request.
- Garwin’s Curiosities: A peculiar little shop tucked away on a corner of Market Street. The place is filled with oddities from all over, some with very bizarre properties. The proprietor is a dwarf with an abrasive personality, who seems to know something about everyone.
- Illuminate Jewellers: A jewelry shop founded by an elf/dwarf duo. Sells jewelry made from authentic Forgehome gems. The dwarf behind the counter, Thorvald, is slow but friendly.
- Market Street Armory: A simple and straightforward armory, run by the finest dwarven smiths in Sigurdsholm. You get exactly what you pay for, down to the last copper piece.
- Poisoner’s Shop: Not many people know the exact location of this shop, but it’s near the university. The proprietor, Hygelac, has a very low tolerance for nonsense.
Agriculture: Sigurdsholm boasts the largest area of farmland of any city in Miklagard. Approximately 150 square miles of land around Sigurd’s Mound has been settled and converted into farmland. The clearing of the forest was done by King Sigurd, and many tales have been told of the great dangers that he faced while doing so. Many peasants tend the fields, overseen by low-ranking nobles. At the edge of the woods lies the idyllic village of Doveswold, where a few dozen farmers and other peasants live peaceably.
Religion: Sigurdsholm’s places of worship are concentrated on Temple Row, where dozens of temples, churches, and shrines have been built back-to-back and wall-to-wall. The main street of Temple Row is a bustling, crowded slog, where anyone not wearing a holy symbol is marked by numerous enthusiastic proselytizers. Priests of all civilized deities and faiths can be found here, from the deities of the Celtic Pantheon (the Daghda, greater god of weather) to the obscure (Liria, lesser goddess of joy) and even the completely unknown (such as whatever it is those people wearing deer skulls are going on about). The priests offer clerical magic for a price, or a service, or a prayer; their demands are as diverse as the deities they serve. Looming over all of it is the Grand Cathedral of the Iron Trinity Church, the most powerful religion in Miklagard, with servants in both the Wizards’ College and the Queen’s Court. Evildoers are not welcome in Temple Row, and are quickly banished or executed by the Iron Trinity Church and its affiliates.
Places to see:
- Market Street: All the trade in Sigurdsholm is concentrated here, where people of all class and social status mingle to barter, sell, and trade. Market Street is also where the city holds its festivals, performances, and public executions. Located nearby is the dwarven neighborhood of Stone’s Throw, but be warned — take a wrong turn, and you might end up in the Slums, where the most unsavory of characters lurk.
- Miklagard Castle: The towers and parapets of the castle stand taller than anything else in the city, and serve as a constant inspiration — and reminder — to the citizens below. Within the castle complex are many buildings, including four grand ballrooms, six feast halls, eleven towers, and the grand Debate Hall where the Queen makes her decrees. Tours of the castle are given to those who can pay the steep fee of 50 gp a head.
- The Royal Gardens: This lovely park was established by the third king of Miklagard, and has been maintained ever since. A small section of it is open to the peasants, but the vast majority of the gardens are walled off, with only tantalizing glimpses of the beautiful plants and decorations. High elves have free reign in the Royal Gardens, as negotiated by their ambassadors.
- Seidhrskjold Wizards’ College : The best and brightest of Miklagard’s magically adept gather here to learn from the kingdom’s top mages. The school has various museums and even a small zoo, which can be viewed for a small fee. Magic is palpable in the air here… which can make this one of the most dangerous areas in the city.
- Temple Row: The hustle and bustle of clerics and converts can make this area difficult to navigate, but it’s worth it to see the great variety of architectural styles and religious artifacts that are on display. You can stroll from a dwarven temple of Goibhniu into a wooden shrine to Silvanus, and then into the beautiful mosaics and frescoes of the Iron Trinity Church. It’s a beautiful experience. Just remember to pack your holy symbol.
Where to eat:
- The Breakfast Club (★★★): A quaint little cafe that serves all varieties of breakfast foods.
- Dante’s Inferno (★★★★): Despite being located on Hell Street, one of the most dangerous streets in the city, this tavern still draws quite a lot of guests, primarily due to its drink selection. Barkeep Dante serves favorites such as Cinder Cider, the Avernus Special, and the infamous Hellfire, which has been described as “the best damn drink in all of Miklagard”, “an experience you won’t live to remember”, and “a terrible mistake”.
- The Kobold (★): Only a select few have ever spent a night at The Kobold and lived to tell the tale. The place has acquired a sort of legendary atmosphere as a place of terrific debauchery and lethal danger, and foolish daredevils sometimes intentionally seek it out.
- The Twin Moons (★★★★★): Dining enthusiasts and/or stuck-up high elves will love this fine establishment, which serves only those with noble or elven blood. Prices run steep, but the food and drink are worth it. It’s the best place in town to get a decent glass of wine, or to dine on some fine vegan cuisine. Naturally, it’s hidden very cleverly from the common rubes, so only those who know where they’re going can find it.
- The Pannier (★★★): This inn/tavern offers edible food and drink and decent, clean lodging. It’s located near the entrance of the city, and caters mainly to peasants traveling from agricultural villages, although merchants sometimes stay here as well.
- The King’s Head (★★): Although it’s conveniently located near Market Street, this inn/tavern is best avoided. The food and drink are, at best, subpar (they don’t even carry wine!), and the rooms are dirty and prone to vermin. Avoid the barkeep’s “breakfast stew” at all costs.
- Edward, a guard whom Fionn MacTire told of the massacre at Dunfair.
- Jeff, a responsible guard who mans the southern gate. His partner is convinced he saw a Living Tree walk through the gate once, but Jeff doesn’t buy it.
- Winslow, Fionn’s sparring partner, who helped him improve his swordsmanship.
- Alfhilde, a friendly old woman who runs Alfhilde’s Stables.
- Garwin, the proprietor of Garwin’s Curiosities.
- Hygelac, the poisoner.
- Maude, an alcoholic carriage driver.
- Thorkell, a dwarvish blacksmith at Market Street Armory.
- Thorvald, the dwarvish clerk at Illuminate Jewelers.
Seidhrskjold Wizards’ College
See Seidhrskjold Wizards’ College.
- Alfred, proprietor of The King’s Head.
- Bernie (deceased), a tailor and member of the Black Masks.
- Clyde (deceased), a brutish common criminal.
- Dante, the bartender of The Inferno on Hell Street.
- Edith, a young tiefling woman.
- Edwin (deceased), a resentful tiefling criminal.
- Ethel, a wandering bard.
- Fulkhard, a “middleman” who barters in favors.
- Forman, a cowardly thief and drug dealer.
- Judd, Clyde’s partner in crime.
- Steel-Eyed Susan (deceased), a notorious gang leader.
- Cuthbert, a low-ranking clerk in the Iron Trinity Church.
- Ingeborg, an unnerving woman who proselytizes for a mysterious “God of the Woods”.