Fall of the Warlock Kings
Capitol of the Great Kingdom, seat of the Great King, and home of the Matriarch. The city of Carnelian is one of the oldest in the world, perhaps as old as Chan, though there is some contention on that topic. In ages long past, the first great temple of the Sky Queen rose on where the growing Cobalt River met the River Takor. Around this temple rose the cult of the Matriarch, the hobgoblin warrior-priestess who came to rule the city that grew around her temple. War with Astarte followed, and then, weakened by that war, the city was conquered by the Padishah of Chan, who took the Matriarch to his capital and married her before imprisoning her. But that mortal avatar died, and the new Matriarch returned to her city of Carnelian, but did not attempt to restore her political power, only her spiritual. The city was devestated by the coming of the Orcish Horde, though the Matriarch was not, this time, taken away in captivity, because she was willing to submit to the Khan. When the horde collapsed into internal squabbling, Carnelian became a free city once more, and remained that way. Shortly after the declaration of the first of the Warlock Kings in Susteen, the Vicar of the Nameless Fire, who has already been present in Carnelian, approached the Matriarch and offered to share power with her. She was reluctant, but after some months, and many demonstrations of the Vicar’s power, she agreed and gave her sanction to a dual leadership. For some generations this continued, with constant power struggles between the Vicar and the Matriarch, struggles which kept Carnelian from being a great power of the Plains of Chan. The only notable action taken in these years was the conquest of Chan itself, by the Vicar without the consent of the Matriarch, for which she arranged his death. His replacement would become the Great King, and make of Carnelian the greatest city of the plains as he conquered and absorbed one city-state after another. The city has been beautified and aggrandized by all the treasures of the conquered provinces, and by the greatest nobles and merchants of the Great Kingdom, all of whom have come to the city to be close to the center of power. Carnelian tore down its walls a decade ago, as a sign that the city feared no attacks, and the pleasure palaces of the wealthy are conspiciously undefended. The law in Carnelian is harshly enforced; thieves are either killed or enlisted in the army; murderers are impaled or exposed on the tops of the Grim Towers, the three stout structures that form the prison of Carnelian. The city has a goblin quarter where all goblins and bugbears must live, and a foriegn quarter where dragonborn, alfar and others from outside the Great Kingdom must dwell. The massive palace complex of the Great King is located in what was once a slum quarter, all torn down, just by the Cobalt River, and here the Great King is sometimes seen, always exhausted. At the confluence of the Cobalt and the Takor is the Temple of the Matriarch, huge and open to the air, with astronomical domes, orreries and numerous warrior-priestesses, as well as the legendary Flying Ship of the Matriarch, in which, it is said, on nights of the new moon she sails into the heavens to consult with her goddess.