Tarnova is known as the water city, built at the head of the estuary of great river Zybris before it flows into the Rime Sea at the Thundermouth. Above it lie the Northlands; with the dark forests, with the keeps of the Northern Fifes to the east. As it lies far from the domes and ziggurats of Sarqand, the Tarnovans are granted greater than average control over the region’s affairs. A city council made up of civil and temple representatives set tax rates, decide matters of criminal law and command Theocracy military forces in the north.
The water city is no stranger to conflict: not more than a century has passed since the Siege of Tarnova, where a horde of Northmen, led by High-King Olvar Bone-Breaker came close to claiming the great city. It was only due to an act of great martyrdom, when all seemed lost, that the siege was broken. The Nordländer King was pulled off the battlements by a temple guard into the rushing Zybris, both drowning in their armour. In memory of this, Tarnovan priests and temple guard often dress in shades of blue and green, and use the imagery of fish and waterfowl in their regalia.
Since the Days of Fire, the Tarnovans have been forced by the grand circle of the Faith to accept the truce of Haakon Gramuldsson, the current king of the Northlands and the friendship of King Edric of Elland. This means very little to them in practice, as renegade Drakkar crews still raid coastal settlements and on occasion, Tarnovan forces are sent to drive back the border lords who see troubled times as cause to annex neighboring villages that would otherwise be the responsibility of a temple. The faithful see these warring counts as nothing more than butchers and brigands who defy the Faith and need to be taught a lesson.
Of all the cities in the Theocracy, Tarnova is the most welcoming of those with magical talent. The stoic ice mages are particularly well represented, teaching their cold art to the students arriving from many lands. This does not extend to elves however, despite the water city having the largest population of this race in the Theocracy. Elven rights are a sensitive topic here, as many have proven themselves to be hardy workers and skilled craftsmen, with some Tarnovans lobbying for their greater integration. And yet, they remain barred from owning businesses or property, or being ordained into The Priesthood. This is not in small part to the memories of the Arch-Priests recalling the terrors of the night of blood and the words of the Magister. The border militias often make use of this by drafting elves into rough and ready patrol forces to face Nordländer raiders, border bandits or horrors from the bone ships of the Lichfells.