Freeport is considered by most to be the hub of Antonica for a variety of reasons. It is the mercantile center of the continent, since it holds the only port with a regular boat to the island continent of Faydwer. It holds facilities for most of the artisan trades, and most budding craftsman travel to Freeport to take advantage of the readily available facilities. Freeport is also the hub for traffic of all sorts. The good races travel its streets to go to their guilds and the shops, as well as to the boat to Faydwer, and the dark races travel through the sewers to reach most of the same destinations. Guild Halls for all classes except the Rangers, Druids, and Shamans are present within the city.
West Freeport Tunnels
East Freeport Tunnels
Freeport lies at the intersection of several notable areas of Antonica. To the west of Freeport lies the Commonlands, a vast tract of forested plains that are ringed by desert. In that direction lie the other large cities of the humans, Highhold Keep and Qeynos, and more distantly the homes of the barbarians and the Erudites.
To the south of Freeport lies the vast Desert of Ro, which stretches south until it reaches the swamps of the ogres and trolls. This vast untamed desert still holds the sand giants and Dervish Cutthroats that have made it dangerous to travel for generations.
To the east of Freeport lies the vast Ocean of Tears, and it is over this ocean that the ships of the humans travel to provide trade to the distant land of the dwarves, elves, and gnomes.
Travelling To and From Freeport
Freeport can be reached from the east from across the Ocean of Tears by the ships that regularly travel the route. From the south, one travels to the Northern Desert of Ro and from there into East Freeport. From the west, one travels to the easternmost part of the Commonlands, and from there into West Freeport.
Freeport started out in the Combine years when pirates found the deep port waters of use for their smuggling operations. At the time, only a few small towers stood, abandoned by the Teir'Dal. Over time, a small village named Weill appeared, but not much else is known, except that the Combine Empire had no interest in it. The pirates continued to maintain the illusion that no one lived there, by keeping Weill in a state of utter disrepair. After the Combine finally fell, thousands of people drifted, and the ranks of Weill swelled. It was during this time, a High Elven governor named Aataltaal landed in Weill. With him, came several by ships filled with laborers, and artisans. It is suspected that during Aataltaal's time in the Combine Empire, he had worked to hide Weill, which would explain the Combine's lack of involvement in the community. Aatataal was much loved in Weill and was in fact was their ruler, though not in name. He rebuilt Weill, and installed new piers and docks, built walls around the exterior, and not only did trade bloom, but the population grew. Aatataal had great vision, planned for the future, and the name of Weill slowly changed. Folks began to call it Landing.
As Landing grew, it began to attract the attention of the Dark Elves. Their rulers decided to end the threat and sent a force of necromancers, shadow knights, priests, warriors, and rogues to infiltrate and destroy the city. This group called itself the Divine Rage, because they felt they were the tools of Innoruk's wrath, intent only on destroying those of the city, and taking back their land. They succeeded to some extent, by helping Deathfist Orc raids, destroying crops, disrupting trade, and attacking Aataltaal's men. They generally caused havoc in every way possible. Aataltaal responded by putting together an army, and local wizards organized themselves and helped. The situation came to a head, and a battle erupted. This proved to be a turning point for Landing called The Long Night. By the time the battle was over, most of the leaders of the Divine Rage were captured or killed, and the Deathfist army was crushed. Some of the Divine Rage fled the city; what remained changed their name to the Dismal Rage and went underground. Unfortunately, Aataltaal himself disappeared, and over the years many rumors have arisen indicating that he may have headed to Neriak, to protect Landings future, and to ruin further Dark Elf plans. He's said to still be alive today. The wizards that had helped Aataltaal opened a school, today called the Academy of Arcane Science.
For five years after Aataltaal's disappearance, the city remained without leadership. Ordinary craftsman, traders, and merchants organized a group called the Coalition of Tradefolk. The Coalition regulated trade and commerce within the city. Not long after several less than reputable traders joined it, and in some ways these ruffians were good for the city, because they helped keep crime down, knowing that too much would be bad for business. They dealt very harshly with lawbreakers. A group called the Order of Marr's Fist took control. They began by cleaning out the Commonlands of the Orc threat, and started regular patrols. They established trade routes to High Keep and Faydwer. At this time the Orc raids grew more and more fierce. Mercenaries gathered together, and formed the Steel Warriors. The Hand of Marr's Fist started a wholesale crusade against the Deathfist Orcs, who had a tower near Landing called Befallen. The fighting was very fierce and lasted three days. The carnage was so great, that the earth around the Befallen was red for ten days.
After a few years of peaceful rule, the city changed its name to Freeport and thrived. The Priests and Paladins of Marr continued to have problems with various factions throughout the years, but this was a time of bravery and much heroism throughout the land. In 3150, the leaders of the Order of Marr's Fist had a vision that inspired a crusade to Faydwer. Several months passed, as ships were built, supplies stocked and men trained, and by the time they left, nearly the entire city was emptied of their presence. Sir Lucan D'Lere, a paladin in good standing, was left in charge along with a handful of priests and paladins. Lucan enjoyed his popularity and worked with enthusiasm, however his zeal for power grew, and the priests of Marr grew concerned. By this time, Lucan had employed numerous mercenaries to assure the walls of Freeport were manned properly. The priests decided one of their members would confront him and sent Sentry Dilius to Lucan, demanding he give up control of the city. Lucan killed Sentry Dilius in a fit of blind rage, and was stripped of his Paladin status forever. The Priests and Militia settled in for a siege, however without the support of the Steel Warriors or the Academy of Arcane Scientists or others, Lucan thought he was going to be ousted when the Hand of Marr returned. He made some secret arrangements with the Dismal Rage, who agreed to help him, though it is uncertain just what the cost of this was. When the Paladins finally arrived home, successful on their crusade, they were tired from the long journey and in no mood for more fighting. Though some sporadic fighting still broke out and was swiftly quelled, they retired peacefully to the Temple of Marr. The stalemate remains much the same today.
Freeport is a city of many layers, both good and bad, as one would expect from a town so busy and so large. The tunnels beneath the city allow the dark races to connect to the various areas of the city, including their dark guilds as well as the docks. Certain parts of the city are relatively unsafe, the worst is in East Freeport at the bazaar. The guards in the area are unaware of what goes on just below the surface, and one will commonly see dark elves travelling through the area. This is also where the surface access to the guilds hidden from the rest of the city are located.
Other places of note are the Temple of Mithaniel Marr in North Freeport, which is laid out in the whitest granite, and very different than the rest of the city, as well as the guild hall of the magic users, a wonderful floating structure over a small pond, with teleporters as its only access. Most of the shops lie in North Freeport around the vicinity of the bank, and in East Freeport.
The people in Freeport are as varied as the town itself. Travelling through the city one can see an entire range of races, including ogres and dark elves, humans and elves, and various beggars in between. Also, it is not uncommon to see several of the more powerful members of their guilds travelling through Freeport on their ways to other places, or engaged in some transaction.
The guards of Freeport constantly roam the corridors, and to the naked eye could be considered normal guards. Beneath the surface, however, the paladins of Mithaniel Marr secretly hunt the guards, for they are corrupt, and, as rumors have it, their leader was a banished paladin himself.