The Linnorm Kingdoms
Population: 12,120 (90% human (Ulfen), 6% dwarven, 4% other)
Ruler: Freyr Darkwine (CG male Ulfen ranger 13)
Languages: Common, Skald
Religion: Desna, Erastil, Gorum, Pharasma, Torag
Trollheim is Hagreach’s largest city. Perched on the southern bank of the Rimeflow river near where its tributary, the Iceflow, breaks away to the west, this is a heavily fortified settlement. The town has grown beyond its walls several times during its history, and the haphazard growth (and intentionally confusing layout meant to baffle attackers) has given rise to a hodgepodge of districts, some walled individually, others inside the city walls, still others outside. Each district has its own distinct character, and they often don’t flow into each other as seamlessly as in other cities.
Most of Trollheim’s trade flows up and down the Iceflow, the fastest and easiest connection with Kalsgard. The city’s merchants even engage in hesitant trade with Irrisen, although such ventures are highly regulated and scrutinized for sabotage and other treacheries. Trollheim has many stockyards, tanneries, and textile mills, and the scrubland near the city is heavily grazed by sheep. Unlike citizens of most large cities, Trollheim’s residents are heavily involved in its defense. Every able-bodied citizen is expected to be trained with a sword, spear, or bow, and public squares and alleyways are often given over to weapon practice. Few object to the imposition—nobody wants to live this close to Irrisen and be unarmed.
The center of the city and home Trollheim Hall, the distinctly humble abode of Freyr Darkwine and center of the region’s government. The Hall sits atop a small rise, and consists of a long central chamber featuring a great hearth, multiple banquet tables, and an audience chamber, with several smaller extensions for offices and apartments branching off at various angles. From its center rises a tall tower of thick, oaken logs. Freyr’s personal chambers are located here, but the top several stories are given to an elite group of Blackravens who keep watch over the town and the Rimeflow beyond.
Just north of Trollheim Hall stand two temples side-by-side, one devoted to Gorum and the other to Torag. The temples have long engaged in friendly rivalry, and the head priests of each faith are great friends and companions. Kragni Gembeard, a retired dwarven adventurer from Varisia, serves as Gorum’s head priest, while Olik Darkwine, the younger brother of Trollheim’s steward, leads Torag’s faithful. Further north, along the banks of the Rimeflow, stands a small but carefully maintained shrined to Desna. Though no clerics of her faith reside in the city, a small number of devout followers tend to it daily.
Castle Hill is also home to most of the town’s textile mills, smithies, and other industries, and to the largest portion of the city’s residents. Inns, warehouses, and docks line the northern edge of the district, where trade flows in from the river.
Elderwood is a largely residential district centered around a massive oak tree similar to the Lightning Oak found in Eldentre, though without such overt magical powers. Instead, the tree regularly produces a special sap with potent healing properties, which is often used as a primary component in potions, salves, and local ales. A wide plaza around the so-called Heart Oak serves as both a mustering point for the city’s defense and the primary training ground for instructing civilians in self defense. Weekly training is often conducted by members of the Blackravens, and potential recruits for the order are often scouted here.
Elderwood is home to the city’s temple of Erastil, its position due west of the Heart Oak giving it a remarkable view of the sun rising behind the great tree each morning. The priests here are responsible for harvesting the tree’s sap, maintaining its health, and protecting it from vandals.
Overland trade being less common than river traffic, there are only a handful of inns and shops here, mostly ringing the Heart Oak’s plaza. The most popular of these is the Hag’s Toe, a colorful establishment run by a gregarious Summerglen dwarf named Hronji Quartzmead and his gnomish wife, Hildi. Non-human visitors to the city, often treated with some degree of suspicion or distrust, find a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the slightly eccentric couple, who delight in meeting new and interesting folk from across Golarion.
Blackraven’s Walk has only become part of the city proper in the last century. Previously, it stood outside the walls, a sparsely populated collection of homes, most belonging to shepherds who spent most of their time away. These largely abandoned structures often served as tempting lairs for wandering vermin and beasts, and as bases of operation for Irrisen spies. The Blackravens patrolled the area regularly, walking back and forth along the city’s walls constantly, thus leading to its eventual name.
Presently, Blackraven’s Walk is home to several smiths, leatherworkers, stonemasons, and other such labor-intensive occupations. A small barracks houses a handful of Blackravens who patrol the road south to Lasthome in the Grungir Forest.
Charcoal Valley is one of the oldest districts of Trollheim. Originally, it served as the residential area supporting a coal mine to the west of town. Many miners still live here, but the district has also become home to Trollheim’s largest population of dwarves, most of whom lieve along its eastern edge and commute to Blackraven’s Walk for their work.
The city’s temple of Pharasma is found here, near the gates leading to Thistlecourt. The priests here frequently travel to Hero’s Rest to place new memorials and to leave offerings to the site’s mysterious protector.
Charcoal Valley is also home to several bakeries, smokehouses, and breweries. Locals joke that breathing the air here is enough to feed a grown man for a day.
Thistlecourt was the first expansion of Trollheim. It is home to the city’s wealthiest citizens—though “wealthy” in Trollheim is not the same as “wealthy” in, say, Absalom—many of whom are retired Blackravens or other adventurers. Among the most noteworthy families here are the Darkwines, kin of the region’s steward and greatly respected for producing leaders and warriors, the Irongates, a family of merchants responsible for much of the region’s trade, and the Ozimaru, a family of Tian immigrants who practice a particularly lethal form of swordplay—and teach it to those they deem worthy.
Old Court, the original site of Trollheim, has stood for over two thousand years.It is Trollheim’s military hub, housing several barracks, armories, and storehouses. A sturdy stone tower, built in a long-forgotten Ulfen style, stands at its center. The tower—simply called “Old Tower”—also stands above an extensive network of caves and tunnels, most of them sealed either deliberately or by cave-ins. The top few levels of these caves have been converted for use as dungeons, and some believe that some of the deeper caves hold threats so old that most have forgotten they exist.
The Bitters serve as the city’s slums, home to vagrants, disgraced warriors, and nonhumans unwilling or unable to blend in. Though both city guard and Blackraven patrols pass through regularly, the Bitters are a violent and at times anarchistic place divided between a handful of small but vicious gangs.
Riverside is the least fortified and most pleasant district in Trollheim. Several mills run along the Rimeflow’s shores, and a smattering of small inns and shops cater to those who wish to avoid entering the city proper. A watchtower at the district’s northwest edge houses several Blackravens, who guard and patrol the small road that runs along the river’s edge and connects the city to several smaller villages.
Jelnir’s Ferry is a small but growing district located on the Rimeflow’s northern shore. Those traveling to or from the northern reaches of Hagreach almost always pass through it, and it is the last chance most travelers will have to purchase supplies they might need. Jelnir’s Ferry is also home to the city’s largest stable, the horses mostly imported from the sprawling ranches to the north and bred for endurance and resistance to harsh weather.
The Blackravens maintain their a large outpost here, with several groups making the long journey to and from Stormspear Keep at any time. The city’s few non-human, non-dwarven citizens, or at least those accepted by the populace, tend to settle here as well.
Most of the buildings in Jelnir’s Ferry are built of inexpensive materials; with the lack of fortifications, residents must withdraw across the river and into the city itself should it come under attack from the north. However, given the district’s gradual but noticeable growth, many feel it is only a matter of time before Freyr Darkwine approves the construction of a new wall around them.