The Free City of Restov (population 18,670),
The bustling city of Restov is located at the southern edge of Rostland. It’s the cultural center of southern Brevoy and the birthplace of the world-famous Aldori dueling style. It is a major trade center that borders the River Kingdoms, the Shrike River, and the Stolen Lands, and acts as a gateway for goods into Brevoy.
Although the city owes its allegiance to the Brevic crown, and the Lord Mayor must bend his knee before the Dragonscale Throne like any lord – Restov belongs to no noble house and uses a limited form or democracy to elect its leaders.
Restov is a city of both refinement and rough-and-tumble manners, the gentry of Restov consider themselves sophisticates, although a Taldan visitor would consider their ways quaint, and touched with no small amount of northern barbarism. Restov’s relative wealth supports no small number of idle and titled lordlings and merchants’ sons. They frequent the various Aldori and Taldan dueling schools, as well as the alehouses, and fight each other in street corner challenges at dawn and dusk
Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius (male human)
Swordlord Jamandi Aldori (female half-elf) The First Swordlord and one of the few who can trace her lineage back to Sirian Aldori, the original Sword Baron
High Priest Ezvanki Keegh (male human cleric of Erastil)
The largest public building in Restov it houses the offices for the Lord Mayor and his staff as well as a meeting room and offices for the Council of the Swordlords. It also incorporates a large single hall that doubles up as a dueling arena, a place for public meetings and the venue for various public (or semi public) feats and festivals.
It is an imposing building built of white stone, built with artistry. There are columns in all the right places, the proportions are good and the whole thing looks impressive but not flashy. It is surrounded by a simple plaza, with paths leading to all of the entrances. The public offices and meeting rooms all seem to have a classical theme, although they are not overpowering. However, the main hall is something else. Large enough to hold over a thousand people the hall rises four stories high an is decorated inside and out in the same classical, be-columned style – and decorated with the same white stone. However, there are stained glass windows high up in the walls that light up the interior during the day, or shine like a beacon from internal lights during the night. Gilded statues of various rulers and lords adorn the walls internally, while the floor is a series of geometric mosaic, with the pattern getting more complicated as it reaches towards the Dias at the end furthest from the doors.
It is used occasionally for noisy meetings of Swordlords and regularly for dueling competitions. Those not from a recognized dueling school who do consistently well at dueling competitions can be promoted to the position of Swordlord as recognition of their ability.
By convention only Swordlords are allowed to bear arms of any description within the Swordlord’s Hall and its surrounds. Even then there are restrictions – Swordlords only carry the arms with which they duel into the hall – anything else is seen as a breach of etiquette. Those Swordlords who do not duel generally carry a dagger to show their rank without causing offense.
Silver Dagger Inn
Is an upmarket Inn close to the Swordlord’s Hall in Restov, where a basic room costs 2gp per night. The basic rooms are small but you get a comfortable single bed with clean linens and enough blankets that you will stay warm what ever the weather. There is a wash stand with a jug of water, soap and a towel, as well as a chamber pot – all of which are filled/emptied/maintained daily. There is also a weapon stand, various hooks for clothes and other basic facilities. Other, larger, rooms and suites are available but they are more expensive. All guests get to partake of a buffet breakfast in the dining room consisting of bread, fruit, eggs, cold meats, cheeses and herbal teas.
Other services available for a small fee include …
Bath with Hot water
Room Service (food and drink)
Clothes / Equipment repairs
Barber / hairdresser
The residents dining room has a number of individual tables and serves as a common room for the guests with waiter / waitress service at the table (except during the buffet breakfast). Meals start from 5sp for a simple one course meal, and go upwards. Wine is available by the bottle while ales is bought in by the tankard.
A common room, where you can choose between table and counter service, is open to selected members of the public but the prices are higher than average, and it only really attracts the more sophisticated clientele. During the evening there are often Swordlords drinking here, so any rowdy visitors can be ushered outside quickly and easily – and hopefully with minimal bloodshed.
In Restov, Swordlord has become a Title that gives some social and political privileges – but comes with a number of responsibilities as well. Swordlords can attend functions at the Swordlords’ Hall; they can oversee duels, take on apprentices and vote (and stand) in elections. They can also own property inside the city. However, they also have a responsibility to defend the city if required. Most soldiery would expect to obey an order given by a Swordlord. In other words, a Swordlord is a cross between a traditional Knight and a 14th century Burgher.
Most Swordlords are given their rank by one of the Recognised duelling Schools. However, there are other ways to become a Swordlord. The Lord Mayor, on behalf of the Council of Great Swordlords can appoint anyone he chooses as a Swordlord of Restov. However this honor is not given out lightly. Duelists and Fighters who prove themselves capable fighters will be awarded the title, as will those who perform some sort of political (or equivalent) service to the city.
There are twenty three recognised dueling schools in Restov – twelve Aldori, nine Taldan and two Modern duelling schools –the heads of these schools are known as The Great Swordlords of Restov and they appoint the Lord Mayor.
Each of the recognized dueling schools acts as a garrison for the city training soldiers as well as duelists, and carries out basic policing and security functions in their area of the city. Further more, they are able appoint the more advanced members of their schools as Swordlords.
Elections and Appointments
The Lord Mayor is appointed by the Council of Swordlords to run the city on their behalf. There are elections for various minor representative roles, although only Swordlords many stand and vote in these elections.
Pathfinder has some fairly detailed rules for dueling – although we probably won’t be getting in to those in too much depth. As an over view of dueling in Restov …
Formal Duels generally tale place in the salon of a Dueling School or The Swordlord’s Hall and the ‘win conditions’ are agreed before hand. Win conditions might be first hit, three hits, unable to carry on, or ‘To the death’, with referees on hand to over see the duel. A dueler can always concede the duel by retiring and the fight stops. Even though the bout is lost, it is better to fight and concede rather than not show up at all. Formal duel are fought in singlet and breeches – and no magical defenses or weapons are allowed, but masterwork equipment is.
Informal Duels happen where ever they happen, although dawn and dusk are favored times, while out of the way commons, fields and waste land are favorite locations. Armour is not allowed, and these duels are generally fought in street clothes. Magical defense items (such as rings, amulets etc) and magical weapons are allowed – although getting spells cast on you before hand is ‘not the done thing’. Again the terms of the duel are drawn up beforehand, although they are not always adhered to.
The recognized Duelling Schools in Restov or Mivon teach either the Aldori or Taldan style of dueling.
Aldori – The Aldori Duelling Sword that is just over 3 feet long, very slightly curved, and sharp only along the outer edge. A style that suits the fast moving, acrobatic fighter. It is a Fighter Archetype – Aldori Swordlord. Katana and Sensei as the original influence? Eventually mixed with German fighting schools when they were designing this.
Ronderelo – The traditional Taldan style uses the Falcata and Buckler, and tends to suit the less dextrous fighter, although it is still a gruelling and athletic technique. It is a Fighter Archetype – Rondelero Duelist And based on a spanish/Italian style of fighting.
There are other duelling styles although they are not well represented in Brevoy or the River Kingdoms. In Restov and Mivon they are seen as either ‘minor schools’ or ‘foreign’ and do not generally get the status given to the other styles.
Modern – concentrates on forms and movements that complement using a rapier in a duel. Both rapier and Rapier & Dagger are taught within this style. Both the Swashbuckler rogue archetype and the Weapons Master fighter archetype work for this style. While the Duelist prestige class gives a clear route of progression. Think standard rapier of conventional fantasy – rather than the dueling weapon from the 17th Century. It is considered a minor style but it is becoming more popular with those who consider themselves ‘fashionable’ and cool.
Catspaw – is a traditional style based on the use of two short swords. This style could be based in the Two Weapon Warrior fighter archetype or the Swashbuckler rogue archetype or the Ranger – focusing on Short Swords. While they can fight with other weapons it is seen as inappropriate to duel with anything else. A minor style that is considered old fashioned and un-cool. A style for country bumpkins rather than sophisticates.
Dervish – is a far southern style that combines whirling dance moves with skillful blows from a scimitar but it is very rarely seen this far north. Its devotees are followers of Sarenrae, the Dawn Flower. It is a fighter archetypes Dawnflower Dervish