Founded in Daenshore near the border of the Dark Iron Tribelands, Hallonq is a coastal city built on the foundations of an ancient Altalar ruin from the days of the long-dead Elven Empire. Now a turbulent city-state wracked by crime and the danger presented by warring thug lords within its walls, Hallonq’s ruler struggles to keep his citizens under control, the city constantly shrouded by a miasma of poverty and corruption. With many Ailor, Elves, and Orcs engaging in frequent street fights and gang wars, it is unsurprising that the Daendroquean Ailor get such a negative reputation in the eyes of other Alorian races.
Many years before the Cataclysm, Hallonq, back then known as Haëlonquen, was a port city of the Elven Empire used in the shipping of goods across Aloria. Nelfin merchant-kings oversaw the ruling of the city, and managed the lucrative commerce from the exquisite palace-covered hill, Ausamen, while in the streets below, Nelfin enjoyed the wealth and prosperity which the mass trade brought.
After the Cataclysm struck Aloria, Haëlonquen was met with earthquakes which ruined the foundations of the lower city, and sent the great trade markets tumbling from the cliffs into the sea below. Once the Nelfin and their slaves had recovered from the initial effects, it was not long after when the Elven Empire broke apart into civil war, and Haëlonquen remained neutral. Although they stood strong throughout the war, Haëlonquen was quickly beaten after the Orcs destroyed the city of Ríë in 11 AC. The tremors from the infamous ‘Big Boom’ affected the seaside city, causing many of the elegant palaces and residences to crumble and take damage. With the Nelfin in a state of panic, and the merchants unsure of where to go, Elves began to leave the city in droves and fled through Daendroc to the safer kingdoms before the Orcs could slaughter them.
After 20 AC, the remaining Ailor slaves and Nelfin began to regroup, yet the numbers of Ailor far outweighed that of the Nelfin. Within a year, the Ailor had expanded their control over the ruins of the city and settled down in groups, and expelled the Elves. Until the formation of Daenshore as a Merchant Republic in 258 AC, the passing two centuries were quite dull for the Ailor of Haëlonquen. They managed to fortify the ruined city against the Nelfin rangers from the north, and the Orcish presence to the south, and kept in contact with other pockets of Ailor across Daenshore with the hope to build and grow. Haëlonquen became known as Hallonq in 134 AC as a means of rejecting the Nelfin.
Come 258 AC, however, Hallonq was absorbed into the Republic of Daenshore. The Doge of Daenshore elected one of his own followers to be the overseer of the city, and while this led to hope of unification for the city, instead it promoted further crime and disarray because officials were open to bribery and corruption. By 268 AC, the leader of the city, Teódulo Santiago Puig, had little to no control over the city’s occupants who had become embroiled in gambling, gang wars, and lawlessness. Even though the city was in general disarray, the Ranger Crisis of 296 AC proved to be useful for the city-state, as the numerous warlords and gangs who prowled the streets had the ability to repress the Orcs from their lands, and made an effort to. Hallonq was absorbed into the Regalian Empire when Daenshore was subjugated after 299 AC, though Regalian forces and administration gave it little recognition and left it to its own devices. This is partly why the crime lords and thugs have such influence nowadays.
The city-state of Hallonq was disregarded during the Elven war by Regalian forces in 302 AC, though the highly militaristic people saw the opportunity to cause havoc for the Altalar. While the Regalian Empire was busy battling the Elven kingdoms of Haelstram, Thellassia, and Medlem Talar, the Ailor of Hallonq held a purge of the Altalar and Avanthar people in the city. Elves were killed in the street, cast into the cells, or kicked from the city. Following this, the gangs returned to their usual turf wars, and remain in much the same state today. At present time, the Sangre Segrada and the Asaltador gangs are on top, though with the current drastic state of the turf wars, it appears that either one could fall at any moment.
Hallonq was once known as Haëlonquen in Elven, which meant “Port of Great Coin”. Haëlonquen was a wealthy trading city on the south-east coast of Daenshore which earned its keep from enormous bazaars and markets, hence the reference to coin. Hallonq is a bastardized version of this, shortened and simplified by the Ailor in 134 AC.
The City of Hallonq sits on the south-eastern coast of Daendroc, little ways above the Dark Iron Tribelands. Placed on a sloping cliff by the ocean, Hallonq would be quite pretty if it were not for the crumbling ruins and dilapidated houses which line its rubble-strewn streets. The countryside around Hallonq has been stripped bare of trees and hosts very little in the way of vegetation, bar some minor farms and plots where vegetables are grown, and comprises mainly of tree stumps and charred earth. For fauna, the city contains many rodents and common pests, alongside dogs used for baiting in fighting pits, and venomous insects aplenty.
The climate of Hallonq can be accurately described as humid and hot, with temperatures peaking at 25ºC (77ºF) on average. The city is usually buffeted by strong coastal winds which not only cool but also pester the citizens, whilst fires which rage in the various crime-laden districts provide heat and smoke to cloud the sky.
- Palacio de Cuchillos
- The Palacio de Cuchillos, or rather ‘Palace of Knives,’ was once a stunning palace atop Amon Ausië, though the building partially collapsed after the Cataclysm and is now the base of operations for Hallonq’s most influential gang, the ‘Asaltadore’. Although the courtyard is overgrown and the structure is visibly ruined, the rumours surrounding the gang within make it an impressive and foreboding place to visit.
- La guarida del Jugador
- The last remaining marketplace which didn’t fall into the sea so many centuries ago, the people of Hallonq have repurposed it as a mass gambling den for dog-baiting and wrestling. The ‘Sangre Sagrada’ gang take their profit from this den, yet often have to rebuild it after fights get out of control.
The city-state of Hallonq is supposed to operate under the guidance of Viscount Rubén Vicario, though to say he is in charge is a mockery. Vicario is a corrupt official who lounges in the stately Opal Palace by day, and leaves the gangs to run amok in the streets. In actuality, it is far more reasonable to say that Jeremias Hierro, the leader of the Asaltador gang, is in control of the city. He has the Viscount in his pocket, and owns the most powerful gang. Asserting dominance over the smaller street thugs and criminals, Jeremias has a comfortable life where his lackeys battle against the opposing Sangre Sagrada crime syndicate.
List of Rulers
Although Hallonq has had many rulers, it was not officially a state with a set ruler until 258 AC.
- 258 - 269 AC - Teódulo Santiago Puig
- 269 - 272 AC - Alberto Cordero (Bribed by the Sangre Sagrada gang)
- 272 - 288 AC - Josue Pedraza (Bribed by the Sangre Sagrada gang)
- 288 - 297 AC - Bartolo Mendes (Bribed by the Asaltador gang)
- 297 - 299 AC - Gabriel del Fraga (Assassinated)
- 299 - 303 AC - Viscount Rubén Vicario (Bribed by Asaltador gang)
The City State of Hallonq is meant to be a derivative of the Daendroc governate, though it is generally ignored and disregarded due to the near-constant crime and fighting which occur in its streets. As a result, it rarely gets supplies from other Daenshore towns and regions out of fear that the trade caravans will be ransacked. Hallonq is on poor terms with the Dark Iron Tribelands and avoids all contact with them at any cost, partly out of fear due to the reputed savagery of the Orcish tribes. Otherwise, Hallong has no external relations, and is widely known as a city of delinquency so many choose to avoid it at all costs.
The people of Hallonq are incredibly militaristic, as brutality and criminality are fundamental for survival in this wicked city. With most men and women being involved in gangs of thieves, rogues, and ne’er-do-wells by the age of fifteen, they are essentially trained in a lifetime of street combat. Because of this, people from the City are famed for their barbaric and fierce fighting. Knife and hand-to-hand combat is the most common, as it is the easiest to perform in the enclosed spaces and tight streets of Hallonq. Despite the conflict which goes on within the city, should Hallonq be attacked from an external force, it is likely that the gangs would band together, albeit with struggles and hostilities amongst the ranks. The criminals are fiercely protective of their city, so due to the threat of Orcs nearby, all generally accept that unity is important should a raiding party come too close.
Economy and Technology
The economy of Hallonq is quite pathetic, as there is no external trade nor proper industry left. Instead, thievery and robbery is one of the most commonly practiced trades, and coin is generated from such nefarious pursuits as bribing, betting, gambling, and in many cases, murder. However, in order to supply the needed food and resources which keep the city going, there is small-scale agriculture outside the city’s towering walls, and many fish markets along the bustling piers.
- 89% Ailor Human
- 4% Various Nelfin
- 3% Half-Elf Half-Ailor
- 2% Varran
- 2% Orc Gorr
The law in Hallonq is fragile and frail, and rarely, if ever, followed. Hallonq is a haven for criminals and lawbreakers, as the city officials are all under the pay of street gangs. Wealth is a touchy subject for the citizens of Hallonq, given that the majority who don’t run a gang live in poverty and destitution. Money is found through ill-gotten means, and there are very few who follow an ‘honest’ career path, especially since there seems to be no hope of honourable employment for children at a young age. Nelfin receive poorer treatment than most due to hostility and negative attitudes towards the race, and so tend to be the least well-off.
Most people dress in rags or simple, cheap fabrics, though it goes without saying that armor is truly popular. Fashion isn’t really valued, except by those who can afford it, and therefore leathers provide suitable protection while on the streets. Due to the lack of profitable trade, the food is, needless to say, of a poor quality. An average person’s cuisine encompasses fish, vegetables, and, most commonly, rat meat. Rats, being the city’s greatest pest, are always available as a source of food. Alcohol is also immensely popular with the brutish people, and most of the farms outside the city gates donate their grains and hops to the various taverns and drinking pits to brew alcohol.
The architecture is predominantly Elven in origin, dating back to when Hallonq was a powerful and remarkable port city, but most of the buildings have lost their radiance and appeal through age. Nowadays, the housing tends to entail shanty-like huts placed in the ruins of once-great towers and palaces.
Religion is a rare sight in the city of Hallonq, mainly because people are far too occupied protecting themselves or fighting others. There is a vast range of religions present due to the many cultures within Hallonq, such as the Faith of Estel, some Old Gods sects, and a minor Unionist presence, but in reality, these tend to be of minor interest.
The City State of Hallonq is supposed to fly the Daenshore flag, but most of these lie in tatters. At present time, with the Asaltador gang being the dominant faction, their flag is normally seen flying from the rooftops. The Asaltador flag includes two menacing knives crossed over one another. Gangs will often take weapons or fearsome animals as their symbol so to demonstrate strength, power, and prowess.
- Recently, a band of Varran cutthroats has formed in the old shipyard of Hallonq and cause great nuisance for all of the gangs by stealing the fish supplies. Because of this, they’ve been labelled the “Tufty Terrors” by the Ailor crimelords.
- One of the most infamous street fights was when the Sangre Sagrada gang met an upstart band on Amon Ausië in 273 AC. Being led by a somewhat foolhardy crimelord, the smaller gang was massacred in just under twenty minutes by Sangre Sagrada, and the corpses were left to rot for a week as a message.
- Despite the hostility towards the Nelfin, it is not uncommon for Elves to be used as courtesans due to their handsome looks, which has resulted in many half-elf bastard children being born in the past ten years.