Clensa is one of the three largest and most influential cities on Vanil, alongside Kalimaar and Portsport. While it is not the most populous settlement, it boasts a robust military and exerts influence over large portions of the continent, from the Carm Forest in the south to the Hobgoblin Reaches in the north; and from the Tumish Steppes in the west to the Brokenspire Mountains and Tesska Forest in the east. Thanks to its strategic location on the North Vanil Plains, the city is a major overland trade hub between Northreach, Northtinker, and Barchil and the rest of the continent to the south.
Clensa was founded late in the Fourth Kingdom when a Vanilli regional warlord named Magan Clensab seized control of a plot of land and found enough vassals who accepted his claim for rulership in exchange from the predations of the goblinoid and orcish races in the region.
As the city matured, it attracted Vanilli from far and wide and peacefully absorbed all of the halfling communities on Vanil. Early in the Fifth Kingdom, a new religion took hold in Clensa and displaced the old Tumish pantheon. This Church of the Three spread swiftly from Clensa and had become the dominant religion across North Vanil by the Sixth Kingdom.
Clensa got along peacefully with its neighbors through most of its history, but conflict arose in the Eighth Kingdom when the armies of Clensa marched to war with the city of Tuma. The Tumish defenders were easily defeated after a short campaign and forced into the Tumish Steppes, where they adopted and maintain a nomadic life; the city itself was razed to the ground.
In modern times, the Clensaba region is perhaps the most stable and safest area of the continent; a large and well-patrolled system of roads connect all major settlements and most danger comes in the form of quick raids by vengeful Tumish nomads, opportunistic hobgoblins, orcish raiders, and other wandering monsters. The strong alliances forged between Kalimaar and Barchil, and Clensa, have helped stave off more devastating attacks.
GovernmentClensa is nominally headed by a single Sovereign with final and absolute authority, but most affairs are handled jointly through his Council of Lords. The Council is comprised of eleven men:
- The Sovereign himself, a hereditary position passed down through the father’s side. The current Sovereign of Clensa is Cruze Clensab II
- The Road Chief, responsible for seeing that the road system is maintained and kept safe through regular patrols
- The Tradesmaster, who oversees matters of trade as well as production of Clensaba currency
- The Chief Stratego, responsible for overarching military planning and coordination, and the maintenance of the bulk of Clensa’s military
- The Chief Justicar, who oversees the justice system and, in Clensa, the Town Watch
- Head of Knights Militant, who is head of the chapter of Clensaba Knights, an elite and independent branch of the military
- Chief of Affairs Domestic, who oversees the day-to-day running of the provinces and ensures a reasonable standard of living and safety is maintained for all who reside within Clensa’s borders
- Patriarch of the Church of the Three, though he is only in attendance on the most pressing of matters
- Patriarch of the Church of the Creator, Church of the Preserver, or Church of the Destroyer on a rotational basis. Each Patriarch serves a four-month term. As with the Patriarch of the Church of the Three, the current representative is not always present, though is certainly more likely to weigh in on affairs that impact the Church (or its rival organization)
- And two “open” positions that can be filled by anyone of the Sovereign’s choosing. These members can be dismissed at any time through the command of the Soveriegn and are usually a form of reward given to particularly helpful or loyal nobles in the area, by allowing them to have a more meaningful say in government for a short while.
Clensa exports a number of goods unique to its region of Vanil and due in large part to the halflings who reside there. Assorted pipeweeds and wines of halfling vintage are important luxury goods that turn a tidy profit for the area. Clensa also creates the finest arms and plate armor outside the dwarvish settlements on Vanil (and these have the bonus of being sized to humans). The extensive available farmland also allows for the export of a large amount of foods, mainly to Portsport. The historical importance of mounted combat has also led Clensa to breed and train what are unanimously agreed to be the finest war horses in the world. Major imports include “exotic” stone such as marble or basalt (which is available only in limited amounts as a byproduct of the ore-bearing mines maintained in the Brokenspire Mountains), as well as gnomish products from Northtinker and northern luxuries (mainly furs and fish) via Northreach.
Other Factions and Races in Clensa
As with all major cities, the Wizards Guild, Thieves Guild, and Fighters Guild maintain a presence, though the former two are not nearly as developed or politically entrenched as in Kalimaar or Portsport, respectively. The Fighters Guild, however, has an impressive amount of political power, and the Chief of the Guild can be found serving on the Council of Lords on a fairly regular basis. Assorted merchant groups maintain a base here, and the city also has a congenial relationship with the residents of the riichna quarter, which maintains a leyseer academy for individuals who aspire to learn that type of magic. Members of all races are welcome, though some (most notably those of elvish or orcish stock) are watched a bit more closely than others due to frictions in the past. Of special note are halflings, whose ancestral homeland was absorbed by Clensa in their entirety; halflings comprise nearly 25% of the population of the city of Clensa, and an even larger percentage when one includes the provinces under Clensaba rule.
As in most settlements, social organizations like The Brotherhood, Ascetics, and Goldiggers have sizable membership (including a surprising number of Freeseekers). Finally, the Church of the Three, as well as its sibling denominations, have an understandably considerable level of power and membership.
Figures of Note From and Around Clensa
Settlements of Vanil
Dwarven: | Brokenspire | Diremug Lookout | Grazzet’s Pass | Gruffinshome | Hammerstone Keep | Sejlahusk |
Elven: | Carmi | Tesska Forest | Vas Forest |
Gnomish: | Brokenspire | Crumblesbrook | Northtinker | Southtinker | Snabapple |
Human (Portsport District): | Portsport | Suxold | Gerbod | Goblisooth | Tinder |
Human (Clensaba): | Clensa | Welwyn | Onaway | Ironoak Crossing |
Human (Kalimaar District): | Kalimaar | Carm | Fort Vadid |
Human (Simoom District): | Simoom | Ospen’s Culvert | Cill |
Human (Tumish): | Tuma |
Riichna: | Barchil | Derma Juchad | Thyde | Uckala |