by Carteeg Struve

Small City: Conventional; AL N; 6500 stl limit; Assets 643,439 stl; Population 8,495; Mixed (Human 75%, Gildanesti 15%, Dwarves 5%, Others 5%)
Authority Figures: Lord Boeki NurVar, LG male human, Lord of the City and Leader of the Resistance
Important Characters: Magi Yugorv, LE male Gildanesti
Government: Lordship (broken off from the occupied kingdom)
Religion: Various
Trade: Basic Supplies, Information, Training Services
Alignment: All

Hints at Ancient Times

In a lush valley in the middle of the Etlarn Mountains, Anglem (Ang’-lem) started out as a town of refugees hiding during the middle of the Second Age. Which race or races the populous initially was comprised of and for what they were fleeing has been lost to history. In its place only theories and conjecture remain, but it is understood that when Etlarn the Ancient came to the region later on, Anglem willingly gave its support to the causes of the great king.

During the Third Age, Anglem was a city that matched and often surpassed Etlarn City as the hub of activity in the Magocracy. The use of magic during those days was never referred to as a ‘practice’. Practice was something those in the midst of their education did. Those who used magic during their daily lives didn’t practice magic. They applied it. The bard tales of that era contain many details that are hard to believe, and it is possible the bards are stretching and straining truth in many cases. But even the lies may not be too far off from fact.

That Age is gone now, both for Etlarn and Anglem. Since then Anglem has been struck by disaster after disaster. Some storytellers often claim the pride of the city in their own accomplishments resulted in even the ancient gods of magic to become jealous and curse them. Others say the gods of magic had become too close to the world and were influencing the people too closely, causing the other gods to strike down their work. Either way, Anglem has deteriorated and found itself in a strange circumstance.

The Roving City

Although Etlarn as a whole was spared the grunt of the Drowning, Anglem’s suffering only begun. With so many earthquakes and avalanches all of Anglem’s roadways through the mountains were blocked off or collapsed. During the Fourth Age Anglem developed into a large city and required a steady supply of food from surrounding towns and cities. The Anglem Valley was fully developed and without a place to grow food.

The elders of the city were relatively swift to use their magic to rebuild roads and even teleport groups out of the mountains, but it was not before the food shortages were felt. The population came to realize how isolated Anglem truly was without high traffic, and slowly through the years the people began to move out of the mountains to the nearby hills and plains. As Etlarn City rebuilt itself, Anglem declined.

In the following decades Anglem was able to stabilize itself, but it was under threat again as friction between the followers of High Sorcery and Wild Sorcery rose to a boiling point. Only moments before the Aglem’s High Elder Roholda NurVar was to be assassinated by the son of an arrested Wild Sorcerer Andoja Mana, the patron of White Sorcery Solinari appeared over the land. As the God departed, the High Elder ordered the release of the man as a gesture of good faith to those he came to view as his opponents. The son himself also backed down and returned home to see his father again. It would be another year before the boy confessed and the High Elder learned how close he came to death.

As time moved on, the city came to realize that it was not going to survive being so far away from all of the growing cities spread throughout the kingdom. Even other mountain cities were usually placed in locations better suited to keep in contact with neighbors and those outside of the range. Seeking wisdom in Solinari’s words, they sought to cure their ills by unifying all types of magic together into a single purpose.

Although research was unable to completely merge the magics together, it was discovered that the effects on one type of magic may still be affected by another. By using each type of magic as a ‘component’ to a greater whole, a massive conglomeration of magic spells were cast. Anglem the valley, and not just the city, was moved.

Smooth and seamless, Anglem’s valley was transported near the edge of the range near Etlarn City. Nothing in the rockface told that anything unnatural had occurred. It simply seemed as if Anglem’s valley had always been there. Trade and people visited the moved settlement. Life started to improve. After a few weeks and fair warning, the city was moved to the other side of the chain near other cities and towns to continue establishing trade. Under the elders’ control, Anglem became known as The Roving City.

Over the years, Anglem grew again. It became both an academic center, historical center, and when the chromatic dragons returned, the training center of the Etlarn Defenders. The Defenders were headquartered in the capital, but all young ones who wished to join received their education here. It was a hard fight, but many of the dragons were turned away. Others made lairs within the mountain. The city recognized they were not winning the war decisively, but believing that they were succeeding in heeding Solinari’s warning, the city finally had pride in itself again.

Disaster and Blessing

When the forces of Chaos plunged onto the world, the Elders of Anglem did what they could to keep moving the city away from the destructive forces tearing Krynn apart. However they quickly learned the danger was everywhere. The city could only stay move so far as the borders of the mountains and the nation of Etlarn. No matter where they went, the horrors were waiting.

The city Elders began to believe that these Days of Darkness was the true threat Solinari had warned them of. Not the chromatic dragons. To show their devotion to each other, the branches of magic were planning to be unified once again. The idea would be that ambient casters were to channel their own chaotic energies into the chaos beings. However the focused spellcasters would force the chaotic energies to do what they most yearned to do, become pure potential and thus nothing. The paladins were called in to pull what blessings from those upon high in order to insure success. At first, it began to work. Chaos Dragons and Shadow-Wights became over-filled with their own being and vanished into their own Nothing. But then the skies changed, and the Moons and Gods vanished.

The targets being aimed at disappeared just as fast as 2/3rd of the magic guiding the spell. The chaos magic grew unstable, burning most of the ambient casters in the same way it burned away the Chaos Spawn. The situation deteriorated even more when the joint magic controlling the city’s location similarly was disrupted. The chaotic flows combined and the city shook. Not only did the city move from location to location to location within the mountains, parts of the city were moving in different directions. Buildings were torn apart. Streets were scattered across the range. People were similarly rip to pieces if they were unlucky enough to be caught at a fissure of separation. As time went on, the city was shifted and scattered more and more.

Finally a large group of sorcerers not allowed in the casting against the chaos armies gathered together and seeped the energies away safely. The core of the city was in shambles, but still together. Most of the population, however, was dead. In the span of a day, 75% of the population was killed. Much more met their demise due to the events after the invading army disappeared than before. Anglem was down to about 8,000 people.

Most deaths came when suicides became rampant. With the moons and gods gone, many spellcasters refused to accept Wild Sorcery as a viable option. Not after the disaster, and not after they began to learn that the city’s troubles were not over.

Control over the city’s movement was lost, and it was not stopped. The city now has a tendency to randomly shift with no warning from one location within the range to another. Sometimes it stays about a week or a month. On rare occasions it moves only moments later. This would have resulted in more people leaving the seemingly doomed city, except that the benefit of the situation became quickly obvious.

With so many of the magic users powerless, the dragons took the opportunity. They surged across the borders and out of their lairs. Most of Etlarn was seized and lost to their control. The dragons attempted to take Anglem, but the valley moved away from them as soon as they approached. When the city was found again, another assault was made. A second time the city shifted before they could move in. Eventually they tried taking the city using only humanoid land forces. Again, Anglem disappeared. Even the sorcerers within Anglem could not understand how the seemingly chaotic shift in the valley’s movements could so consistently save them from harm. In the end, the dragons claimed to “show their benevolence” and “allow” Anglem and a few other well-defended locations to retain its independence. Not wanting to give up what freedom they had, the citizens of Anglem accepted the bizarre blessing and began rebuilding.

A City of Hope

Even before focused magic returned just recently, the training center for the Etlarn Defenders was rebuilt and put back into full operation. It has nowhere near the number of people it had before, but it is fully dedicated to training those who would stand again the dragons. The educational facilities have also been rebuilt, and any time the city appears to be still for a short while, trade is swiftly and quietly done with nearby towns with those trying to end the occupation.

Everything is not unified in purpose in Anglem however. Magi Yugorv has come to the training center proposing that the darker magics of Black Sorcery be taught as a viable option for Defenders to use against the dragons. The facilities board appears to be split on the issue.

About Trampas "Dragonhelm" Whiteman

Trampas “Dragonhelm” Whiteman is best known for co-creating and administering the Dragonlance Nexus fan site. He is co-author of three Dragonlance books – Holy Orders of the Stars, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, and Races of Ansalon. When not evangelizing Dragonlance and other settings, Trampas is a husband, father, podcaster, and web designer. Trampas also enjoys reading comics, reading fantasy and scifi novels, and playing D&D.
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