The Concord of Ashes
also known as Sibiu and Cibinium
Titular Ruler: Kristof die Eule Margrave von Hermannstadt
Cainite Ruler: Prince Marusca
Governmental Mix: Weak hereditary Margrave dominated by a powerful mayor and city council. The mayor and his lackeys in the trade and merchant guilds outnumber the edlers and landed knights on the council, and the parish priest is little more than an observer. The archdeacon of Hermannstadt, Karl the Fat, passed away in AD 1199, and his replacement, Johannus von Prüm, is still finding his feet.
The City Council is 25 strong, consisting of: Margrave Kristof, Mayor Anton Agnethler, Father Robert, Kapitan Wigeric ritter of the city guard, 5 landed knights, 12 guildsmasters, 4 edlers.
Military Disposition: Standing army of 240 city guards, responsible for maintaining the wall watch, keeping law and order in the city, and patrolling the outlying roads and villages. This force is commanded by Kapitan Wigeric ritter, who is ably assisted by Leutnants Frederick ritter and Mark ritter. The city guard is funded by tolls on the roads approaching the city, as well as a gate toll and land taxes.
The town militia can be turned out in times of crisis, and consists of 750 able-bodied men that are required to practice one saturday out of each month, as well as a further 104 men of the retinues of the landed knights. Hermannstadt has a total of 18 landed knights in her service, with a further 12 knights attached to their retinues. The Hermannstadt militia is funded by the guild and trade taxes.
Population: c. 5100 (74% Saxon, 21% Romanian, 4% Magyar, 1% other). Most Romanians are employed within the city as house servants or as serf farmers throughout the rest of the Margraviate. The Magyars are traders or factors for the border lords. A handful of Greeks and Jews work as scholars, scribes and tutors. Hermannstadt has lost about 500 people (through emigration or war) in the ongoing strife.
Economy: Historically strong but currently poor. A very important trade route through the southern pass between Hermannstadt and Arghes and another along the eastern road to Kronstadt have been choked by rebellious Romanian partisans and trouble with unusually aggressive wolves. The craft guilds in Hermannstadt are strong, but their fortunes are on the wane owing to the increased cost of transporting their goods the long way to markets. The inability of the Margrave to deal with the matter is also eroding what little power he could otherwise develop from their misfortune.
A note on Trade: Not quite as wealthy as Bistritz and Mediasch, Hermannstadt burghers tend to use coin for trade and luxury items and barter among themselves.
Known Cainites of Hermanstadt
- Prince Marusca (8th gen Nosferatu, childe of Zelios, e. early 11th century): The mysterious ruler of Hermannstadt is almost never seen by those not of her brood, but only a fool would believe that the Nosferatu is not aware of everything that happens in her demesnes, or everyone who passes through it. She is said to have mastered the Protean arts, and has an extraordinary facility for Animalism that is matched (or perhaps even exceeded) by her enemy, the Tzimisce Marelle. Marusca was a Vlach wise woman before her Embrace, though her sympathies no longer necessarily lie with them.
- Adelard, Seneschalof Hermannstadt (10th gen Nosferatu, childe of Nicu, e. mid 12th century): a mild-mannered and affable Saxon, Adelard is the first (and likely) only Cainite that will approach visitors to the city. He informs them of the safest places for them to feed, and seems to claim Domain over several of them. Unlike many of Marusca’s brood, Adelard walks the via humanitatis, and takes a very dim view of over-feeding and ill-treatment of his people.
- Gustavus, Sheriff of Hermannstadt (9th gen Nosferatu, childe of Marusca, e. mid 12th century): responsible for guarding the approaches to the city, the Sheriff roams with a pack of wolves as his only companions. He uses his Animalism discipline to keep other packs close, and can call down a storm of the beasts upon those who would despoil his sire’s demesnes. Gustavus is formal and gruff, having no time or inclination for small talk.
- Nicu, Warmaster and Scourge of Hermannstadt (9th gen Nosferatu, childe of Marusca, e. early 12th century): this savage warrior is responsible for the integrity of the outer layers of h9is sire’s Domain. He is also the first layer of defence against the depredations of Marelle and her minions, and as such he currently spends nearly all of his time in the southern and western portions of the Margraviate. He has lost several childer and many wolves to Marelle’s pack, and despises the vengeful Tzimisce even more than Marusca.
Marusca’s Brood: No one outside her inner circle really knows how many childer Marusca has sired, or how many remain in Hermannstadt, and the prince likes it that way. It is known that at least two of her brood have moved on to Kronstadt and Weissenburg respectively, and Ruxandra, the devious imposter that ruled Mediasch for nearly a decade, is a third of her progeny.
Frequent Cainite Visitors
- Zelios, the master mason (7th gen Nosferatu, childe of Hannibal, e. late 10th century): it is said that the famed stonemason frequently visits his daughter-in-blood between planning and erecting castles all over the region.
- Ruxandra, the faux prince of Mediasch (9th gen Nosferatu, childe of Marusca, e. late 12th century): this devious actress managed to fool everyone for nearly a decade while she siphoned the wealth of Prince Nova Arpad and let the Ventrue’s strong influence over the guilds and Transylvanian nobles go to seed. In the autumn of AD 1197 she started to behave erratically, however, and her ruse was soon discovered by the Iron Covenant. Now freed, Nova has declared a Blood Hunt on Ruxandra and her co-conspirators, Marusca and Mitru of Klausenburg. While the latter two are secure in their power, Ruxandra is a fugitive. It is likely that she fled to her sire in Hermannstadt.
Prominent Mortal Residents
- Kristof die Eule Margrave von Hermanstadt: the hereditary ruler of Hermannstadt is widely reputed to be incompetent, both politically and militarily. Indeed, it is not at all unusual for burghers in the other cities to hold him as an example of why hereditary rulers are a poor idea. He is known as ‘the owl’ not for his wisdom, but because of girth and his poor eyesight, which causes him to bump into things and generally look like a lazy, sleepy owl.
- Mayor Anton Agnethler: in contrast to his Margrave, Anton is a dynamic and motivated force for prosperity in Hermannstadt. He manages council proceedings sharply and skilfully, and before the troubles was widely regarded as the best mayor that the city had produced thus far. However, he is at his wits end trying to deal with the mundane and supernatural forces besetting the city, and he is growing old before his time.
- Archdeacon Johannus von Prüm: a clever and competent young cleric from the Rhein region of the Holy Roman Empire, Johannus arrived in Hermannstadt in the autumn of AD 1201, and has so far busied himself with an audit of the various parishes throughout the Margraviate, which were mismanaged under the greedy eye of his predecessor. He does not yet exert any political pull in council at all.
- Father Robert: the wise and politically savvy parish priest of St. "", Robert has long been a force for stability on the city council, but in recent years he has become convinced that Satan stalks the forest outside the city. His fervor is slowly catching the imagination of the increasingly superstitious burghers of Hermannstadt.
- Kapitan Wigeric ritter von Borna: A highly competent knight in charge of the defence of Hermannstadt, the Kapitan does his best to make up for the shortcomings of his cousin, the Margrave. He works hard on trying to flush out the rebels to the south, and knows enough of the supernatural forces that beset his people to make sure that his men are indoors or otherwise in fortified camps come nightfall.
- Klaus Maurer, Guildmaster of the Stonemasons: the richest man in the city, and one of the wealthiest in the entire region, Klaus is a conservative force on council. If anyone is a fence-sitter in council politics, it is Klaus, and he enjoys bargaining for further influence for its own sake. He is thought to be the only real power-broker in the city.
- Berwich Gren ritter von Kappenburg: The most powerful landed knight of the Margraviate after his lord, Berwich ritter is a politician more than a warrior, and he has abandoned Kristoff to sit firmly in the camp of his new friend, the mayor. His daughter is married to the Margrave’s second son, Stephen ritter, which has caused some strain in the noble circles of the city.
Inns of Hermannstadt
Other Notable Locations
The City Walls: Well-armed guards patrol the walls and guard the gates at all times, especially after sundown. Hermannstadt has 26-foot high walls, and more towers than any other city in the region, making it among the strongest bastions within the region.
The City Square: the centre of business and social life within Hermannstadt, the square hosts market days and fetes on a regular basis. A number of guild headquarters are based on the square, as well as the Church of St. "" and several inns and taverns. The square has also has two public stocks and a well.
The Church of St. "":
Hermannstadt Citadel: designed by the extraordinary Nosferatu master architect Zelios, who also happens to be Marusca’s sire, this citadel is the largest (and quite possibly the strongest) in the entire Siebenburgen. It is widely rumoured that it is honey-combed with secret passages and rooms, and that Marusca and her brood use it as their communal haven. If this is the case, it is likely that the mortal residents, including the Margrave and his family, serve as their Herd.
To be Continued