The second largest area of the Shieldlands are the proud southern cities that stand as the last monument to the power of once proud Qadaq in the region. Not much more than a decade ago the Patricians ruled the land in the name of progress and order, their cities shining beacons of progress and civilization of which every citizen could be proud.

Now, after the devastation, only four remain in the south, having survived the Days of Fire by being on the periphery of the upheaval or maybe just by sheer luck. They are now the last remnants of the old regime and hang on fiercely to their old way of life in a world that no longer cares or worries about their small part in the governance of the human lands.

Once mighty Denastra was the western most city in the Republic and bordered on the southern part of the Kingdom of Elland. Its main purpose was to act as the southern military staging post for the legions who were tasked with patrolling the western border and keeping order in both this part of the Republic and its satellite nation, Elland.

The city was primarily a military stronghold, with heavily fortified walls and ramparts and the largest barracks and military infrastructure in the region. The Consul, Castus Agrippa rose to the position some years before the Days of Fire having served in the military for twenty years as a legionnaire, and eventually rising to the rank of general of the western legions.

After the cataclysm when the forces of the west were called east to the battle against the encroaching Undead, Agrippa was an old man and he was given charge of the city and the title of consul, tasked with the defence and governance of the land surrounding it.

Denastra today still holds with its military traditions and maintains a large garrison of city guard in its vast military complex. It is a mere shadow of its former glory but of all the patrician cities it is Denastra that sends the most legionnaires to the wall and the city is known across the Shieldlands as being the best source of fighting men in the south.

Segentum is the most easterly of the cities . Ruled by Consul Lucila Valerius, the city is a bastion of fortified walls and defensive positions. Being this close to the border with the Lichfells taught the Consul and her praetors that to survive in this new world, where no aid from the Republic would arrive meant a reliance on the other cities for support. Once the initial Undead attacks had been repulsed by the remaining legions early in the conflict, the Consul tasked her architects and craftsmen to fortify the walls. Segentum stands today as the most solid and defensible city in the Northern Alliance. Its walls are lined with catapults and ballista that are ready to spill fire down onto attacking Undead forces.

In the last decade, Segentum has been attacked by large forces of Undead three times only for them to be beaten back again and again by curtains of fire and flame. Unfortunately, due to the increasing amount of legionnaires needed to be sent to the wall it is inevitable that in a matter of years the city will be attacked and the walls will be to empty to repel the attackers. This fact is understood by Consul Valerius and she is one of the loudest voices in the senate in supporting the Northern Alliance’s efforts in the Vale, realising that the fate of the Alliance is tied strongly to the fate of her city.

Verentis sits on the southern tip of this region and was a thriving port city in the days before the Cataclysm. With the breakdown and destruction of republic power in the region, the city closed its gates and looked outward to the sea for its salvation. For years the ships of Verentis sailed out into the Bay of Storms and the Sea of Blood to try to contact other elements of the Republic or any of the trading partners that had once kept it so prosperous. They found the waters navigable in the bay but once the craft moved out into the sea they found violent storms and currents prevented them from going further. The ships were tossed around so badly that they were either lost or forced to turn back to shore. It soon became obvious that travel beyond the immediate region had become impossible and the independence and wealth that the city once enjoyed seemed to be gone forever.

The Consul, Felix Novinius, a renowned merchantman and ship’s captain before his rise to power, realised that to survive he must look elsewhere for the lifeblood to feed his city. He sent his fleets west and opened trade with the Kingdom of Elland. This once small and powerless satellite kingdom is now the main power in the region and as such a worthy trade partner for the many quality luxury items that were made by the skilled craftsmen that lived in the rich port city.

This trade became an amicable arrangement and for a long time Verentis fared the best of all the cities in the new senate council. Then the River Clans appeared. The corsairs of the orc and goblin horde fell on the merchant shipping of the east and quickly the casualties began to climb. Any trade fleets had to be heavily guarded and the agreement with Elland to help defend these shipments cut into the profit margins of Verentis heavily. This has continued ever since with the city surviving with the help of Kingdom forces but paying a heavy price.

When the Vale was discovered it was clear that the Verentis senators had no choice but to cast their votes to join the Alliance and side actively with Elland’s King in his great endeavour. To this day the people of the Patrician Cities look upon the people of Verentis with disdain calling them more Kingdom than Qadaq. With threats on all sides it is difficult to know whether Verentis feels ashamed or relieved by this fact and suffice to say the people are at the very least glad to still be alive due to the actions of their Consul

Located in the centre of the Patrician Cities, Lerentium was considered one of the most advanced settlements in this region of the Republic before the Days of Fire. It had a veritable catacomb of sewers and drains, aqueducts, waterways and towering concourses. Now, following the Cataclysm it is the largest and most influential of the Patrician Cities.

The Consul, Gaius Quintus, sits as the head of the new senate here in his own city by right of senate vote. The achievement of getting the majority of the four cities’ senators to agree is one of supreme political skill and financial superiority.

Many say that Quintus has designs on naming himself the head of a remade republic and uniting all the cities and settlements of the Shieldlands against the Undead foe in the east. He has thrown his support to the Northern Alliance and it is clear that he is using the position he has in the senate to further not only the goals of the patricians but of Quintus himself. One thing is certain, the Consul Primus, as he calls himself, is headed for greatness. That is provided that he can avoid an untimely end.

The Patrician Cities
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