Because of its strong independence from the Empire of Gard and Holy Episcopate, it draws refugees, fugitives, and other outcasts from those lands. It also draws adventurous souls seeking new opportunities at the center of a major trading empire. The population of Dragonfall has grown dramatically in recent years.
The name “Dragonfall” is held to come from the early days of the Last Dragon War. It is said that the last dragon to fall in the war died in Dragonfall.
It should be noted that there is a difference between the Free City of Dragonfall, the political entity; Dragonfall Island, the island that the Free City is located on; and urban Dragonfall, the physical city itself. Urban Dragonfall does not cover all of Dragonfall Island, but the queen of the Free City of Dragonfall rules the entire island, so even the rural parts of the island are considered part of the “Free City”.
The island of Dragonfall is located in the Notus Islands, in western Orthon. It is the oldest and best developed island in the region. its position has given the Free City a huge advantage in the development of its trade empire.
Urban Dragonfall covers the eastern-most part of the island. It is a mixed-race metropolis. Discrimination of humanoids based on race is strongly against Dragonfall’s culture. Even goblinoids, orcs, kobolds and the like are allowed to participate in society, assuming they can abide by Dragonfall’s laws. Granted, this is a challenge for many such beings.
Along the beach on either side of urban Dragonfall are some suburban farms. Fort Saoirse, the headquarters of Dragonfall’s navy, is nestled amongst these.
To the west is Mount Elric, an inactive volcano. Roads curve around the volcano to the north and south. On the eastern slope of the volcano itself is the Abbey of St. Amici, home of the Brothers and Sisters of the Blue Rose. The abbey is normally open to visitors.
West of Mount Elric, the northern and southern roads merge at Ripkarn Village. Continuing on, the road crosses a fairly narrow land bridge and opens up onto an the northwestern part of the island, called the Gazebo Plain. The Gazebo Plain is relatively dry, but is widely farmed with the use of careful irrigation. It notably features Cytus Chasm, a massive canyon that draws wealthy tourists.
At the southwestern tip of the Gazebos is a port town called Darmianne, which is also technically part of the Free City of Dragonfall. The waters near Darmianne are quite shallow, but an artificial harbor is under construction there. Farmers from the Gazebos usually find it easier to travel to Darmianne with their wares and sail from there to urban Dragonfall, rather than travel the road and go around Mount Elric.
Dragonfall is ruled by an absolute, hereditary monarchy of humans. The current ruler is Queen Beryl II of House Adzo, currently age 82. Queen Beryl’s has declared her granddaughter Juniper to be her heir, though her son Mahan also has a claim.
The Queen is aided in her administration of Dragonfall by the Privy Council, a body of experienced administrators. The privy councilors wield great power in the day-to-day running of Dragonfall, but they serve entirely at the Queen’s pleasure and can be replaced at any time by Her Majesty.
Dragonfall’s population is about 60% human, but members of other races are common. Visitors from other islands are also very common. The natives of Dragonfall are relatively welcoming to outsiders. At the very least, strangers are given the benefit of the doubt.
Although Dragonfall has a royal family, there is no specific aristocracy. Instead, the upper class are mainly the fantastically rich families that control trading and banking out of the city, as well as the priests and leaders of the more powerful guilds. As such, rules about who the monarch and her relatives may marry are lax.
The middle class in Dragonfall are merchants, crafters, professionals, performers, and landowning farmers from the Gazebo Plain. They take pride in Dragonfall’s reputation as a “Free” island. Compared with the Empire of Gard and the Holy Episcopate, Dragonfall offers rather more opportunity for people of the middle class.
However, newcomers and poorer people often find it difficult to break into the middle class. Slavery is illegal in Dragonfall, but the poor are not usually accepted into the merchant guilds or crafting guilds, even as apprentices. Many lower class people join one of Dragonfall’s mercenary or mercenary companies, or hope to make their fortune in the difficult life of merchant sailors.
Law and order in Dragonfall is maintained by the Constabulary. There are not that many constables. They are generally well-liked by the other locals, but have a reputation for taking bribes. The Royal Palace is not guarded by the Constabulary, but by the Royal Guard. Many of Dragonfall’s wealthier families also hire private guards rather than rely on the Constabulary for protection.
Dragonfall’s navy is impressively powerful considering that the kingdom, unlike the Empire of Gard and Holy Episcopate, consists only of one island. The Royal Navy defends the island from all attackers. It also defends merchant ships flying the Dragonfall flag, assuming their owners can pay for such protection. The main base of the Dragonfall navy is Fort Saoirse.
Unlike the other major powers, Dragonfall’s territory is limited to one island, but it also has a number of “colonies”. These are lands owned by members of Dragonfall’s wealthy elite outside of Dragonfall itself. Dragonfall’s navy also protects these colonies (for pay), but whether or not they are subject to the Queen’s law is a murky question.
Worship of the Ascendants alongside the official 13 Celestial deities is also very common. Royal Navy sailors venerate Zari above all other gods, considering her their specific patron. And the Abbey of St. Amici on the slopes of Mount Elric is home to an order of priests and monks devoted to both Exene and Lazulum.
Dragonfall is an independent power, but they trade with everybody. The trade rivalry between the Free City of Dragonfall and the Eustace Magocracy is rather fierce, and the Dragonfallish look down immensely on the way Eustace treats its sailors.
While Dragonfall’s queen pays a tithe to the Holy Episcopate, she has also sworn to defend the Free City’s independence from both the Episcopate and the Empire of Gard, by force if necessary. This policy has continued since the end of the Last Dragon War, although the uncertain succession to Queen Beryl’s crown could upset the delicate situation.