The City of Fogdown
The Founding Years
Fogdown began as a small trading post for merchant ships passing along the Sword Coast. At the time, the island was two separate islands, one in the north, and one in the south. Because of the areas strange and frequent fogs, traders would typically wait for the fog to pass, taking the opportunity to trade and sell their wares and services. At some point, an ambitious group of traders decided to permanently settle the island in the south. Construction began in the north and south, connecting the two islands by way of substantial ports. Over the years, the area grew into a substantial port and way-point for merchants and pirates alike traveling along the coast.
Building of first settlements on the northern island
While constructing the first settlements on the island in the north, several ruins were found close to the surface filled with the spoils of some forgotten kingdom or war. Excavation began and seemingly the ruins had no end. Soil removed from underground was deposited between the northern and southern islands, eventually creating a land bridge. The immediate discovery of wealth brought thousands of adventures to the island, as more and more of the ruins were uncovered and tales spread of its wealth.
Desperate for control of the quickly growing population, House Venolay (who built the first of the docks in the south), House Samreich (responsible for the mining operations in the north), and House Ashenfey (who built the docks in the north) consolidated their influence and formed the First Republic. Guards were hired from the ranks of successful and unsuccessful adventures forming the Grey Knights, streets and houses were constructed (tenements for the impoverished northern-mine workers, enormous mansions for the three house and their families in the south). By the time the two islands were connected by a land bridge, Fogdown became a flourishing city.
Several years passed. House De’May was founded as they took control over the seemingly worthless land bridge between the two islands and established the first cemetery. House Mai was founded, building the The Arcanexicanium, the first educational institution in southern area now called the Double District. It quickly became a wealthy university of magic for the rich sons and daughters of the Houses.
The First Republic
Riots of the First Republic
Many years went by. In the north, conditions grew worse as the mines went deeper into the ground and fewer ruins were being found. Abandoned veins in the mines were sealed off and converted into sewers. Adventures who made their wealth already, established themselves on the southern part of the land bridge, now called the Crescent Downs, and the Houses sunk more and more into indulgent prosperity. Many strange races begin to appear amongst the citizenry, some interesting, others sinister. The days were marked by extravagant parades and festivals city-wide, with wine and gold flowing freely, along with the blood in the mines.
Through the years, The Grey Knights, no more then mercenaries in their founding, came increasingly under the sway of a rising criminal class forming out of the ghettos of the north. As conditions for the poor worsened, many began to look towards their neighborhood gangs for assistance and protection. Through the years, the gangs consolidated, forming several competing guilds.
When the mines went dry, riots and gang war swept the north, eventually spilling over to the south. Portions of the city burned for days, as the Grey Knights, now mostly under the sway of the established criminal guilds, stood by silently.
From the chaos, a band of powerful arcane casters seized control of Fogdown and, disbanding the corrupt and protracted City Senate, they founded the Keepers of the Mist, and thus the Second Republic.
The Second Republic
The rule of the Keepers of the Mist was just, if not negligent. Corruption in the Grey Knights continued, and the ranks of the criminal guilds swelled as employment in the mines plummeted.
Small industry started, with many working as carpenters, unskilled smiths, potters and mercenaries. Those that couldn’t find employment began to resort to crime and the organized guilds.
Trying to anticipate the growing problems, the Keepers called forth all able bodied arcane casters to come up with a way solve the cities growing crises. After much scrying and deliberation, it was decided that there must be further wealth under the island, perhaps under the bay itself. By magically enslaving several purple worms , the wizards were able to plunge farther and quicker under the City-State island then ever before. Initial reports came back promising, as the wizards discovered small pockets of a previously never before seen gem, later named, DeRyan’s Eye’s, after the leader of the expedition.
During this time, the thieves guilds, originally racked with infighting and murderous betrayals, consolidated almost entirely into a single organization, called the Union of the Night. The Union’s influence extended almost the entire island, with several Houses under it’s sway and a majority of the Grey Knights.
When news returned that the efforts to mine below the bay failed, with the entire expedition being mysteriously destroyed, a rebellion swept the island. No longer infighting, the Union of the Night, toppled the Keepers, plunging the city into months of despotic chaos and mayhem.
In a desperate attempt to reclaim the city from self destruction, the Churches of Torm, Helm and Tyr raided the island from Waterdeep. Expecting the entire city to be against them, when they arrived, they found the Union had already self destructed. Seizing the chance, the three churches, now called the The Divine Triad, reestablished the former City Senate, and the Third Republic.
The Third Republic
The period of the Third Republic was defined largely by the growing tension and constant struggle between the churches, the guilds and the houses. Shifting alliances and events pulled and twisted the center of power from one to the other, from one alliance to the next.
The Divine Triad had maintained a strict unflinching demand for law, which had created almost siege-like conditions for the poor. The Grey Knights at the time were largely disbanded, allowing only those in the city guard to remain until the end of their service, and used them sparingly for patrols and sentry duties.
At the time, the evil churches aligned themselves with criminal organizations who, at least for contractual times, had spread their interests. The criminal guilds constantly struggled for territory, alliances and agendas in the alleys and sewers of the sprawling city. The houses played a secondary roll, usually intervening into the underworld when it advanced their interests in the senate, or against other houses. These interests ultimately lead to the end of the Third Republic and the Sundering.
Following the failure of the Dock Act of 1371, House Venolay slipped from power in the city senate. Desperate to maintain some holding in the Senate, the house made a deal with House Ashenfey: in exchange for a majority, they would protect Venolay’s interests. As Ashenfey came to power, another secret deal was struck with dark and insidious forces that had grown in House Samreich, plotting a falsified attack on Lantan that would recover an ancient artifact, one that House Samreich promised would lead to great power. After the “attack” and “liberation” of the clockwork isles of Lantan, House Ashenfey and Samreich formed a political block dubbed: The Mechanex Faction, a modernizing faction that sought to introduce clockwork ingenuity to the island. In 1373, The Mechanex Advancement and Improvement Bill was passed, ordering the construction of the Crescent Down’s Clocktower, to be engineered in secret by an ancient mechanically altered lich, Meldrath.
Through various agreements with Drow, cults of Shar (the Faerunin Goddess of loss and secrets, evil sister of Mystra) and others, the components were assembled at the Clocktower. It’s intent: to enslave the god the Magic in Faerun, Mystra, thus having complete control over all magic in the world. Once activated though, the tower went horribly out of control, threatening the very life of Mystra, and the existence of all magic. In a desperate attempt to save herself and all magic on Faerun, Mystra summoned an immense well of magic and plane shifted the entire island of Fogdown from the shores of the Sword Coast, to the rough waters of the Inner Sea on Golarion. This event has been called, the Sundering.
Now on a strange and different world, the power and voices of the old gods slowly grew quieter until the once noble and truthfully lead members of the Divine Triad succumbed to the corrupting influences of the island. Other churches followed suit until none were left. With the gods gone for a time, the residents of Fogdown were left on their own.
The City Senate became more prominent than it had been before in administering the city. As the Divine Triad lost control, the Senate regained it. With thousands of once truthful and inspired former guardsman of Helm and Torm now impotent and corrupt, the Senate had to act fast to maintain order and their rule. From the scandals and corruption charges of House Samreich and Ashenfey, emerged House Reslin. Formed from ex-nobles of Samreich and Ashenfey, House Reslin also included many prominent inventors and engineers, and a plan to protect the city. Through tough diplomacy, in a time of desperation, the City Senate agreed to the creation of the Gearguard, strange magically powered clockwork soldiers to fill the ranks of the City Watch and Guard.
During this forlorn time, when the city was alone in a new world and the gods quiet and gone, the criminal organizations also went through changes. Territories once thought to be insolubly controlled by the guilds, splintered and came under the control of smaller neighborhood and street gangs. Over time, some of these small groups connected with larger ones, but maintained separate organizations. Still others, remained completely independent.
Arcane casters of the Arcanexicanium were the very first to discover other civilizations and send representatives to the far corners of the world. In the wake of that, hundreds of ships sailed to Fogdown from every known kingdom in the Inner Sea and beyond, seeing it as a new unallied jewel in a much larger world of politics, war and struggle. Brief skirmishes were fought in the Inner Sea by several kingdoms, each one fighting for who would control the small island. Following these battles, an agreement was reached, and The Inner Sea Accords were signed granting Fogdown independence form other kingdoms, in exchange for embassies on the island and strict trading guidelines. The signing of the Inner Sea Accords marked the beginning of the Fourth Republic of Fogdown.
The Fourth Repulic