Folkhame

The capital city of the Folkdeed of Greatvale and the center of Greatvalish civilization and culture.

Founding

In 5449 P.C., Wulfred selected the spot near the fall line of the Great Tidewater as a suitable spot for encampment as it was a natural spot for the construction of a mill.  The city is located right at the end of the tidal estuary and thus still has a deep channel allowing for larger, seagoing vessels to navigate up to the city.  Wulfred always intended that the new city function as a trading port in addition to providing a defensible home for his people.

The city of Folkhame and surrounding countryside.

The city of Folkhame and surrounding countryside.

The initial settlement centered around a fortification atop Cynric’s Hill known as the Burhfast, which became the main citadel of the new settlement.  It would be in that citadel that the king and his council of advisors (eventually known as the Ealdormoot) would come to be located.

With the growth of the Kingdom of Greatvale in the first millenium P.C., King Godwine I decided that the king was in need of a larger, and more defensible fortress than the old Burhfast citadel.  In 922 P.C., Godwine constructed the Cynestol or the Royal Keep, a far more massive structure just to the east of the old Burhfast. Eventually, the Ealdormoot also took up residence in the Cynestol, not so much out of need as out of the king’s desire to keep an eye on the council.

After the Long Campaign and the abolition of the monarchy, the buildings of the Old Kingdom were repurposed.  The Ealdormoot once again took up residence in the Burhfast (now known as the Boroughfast) and the Cynestol was rechristened the Folk Keep.  In addition, the house of the king’s first chancellor was given as the residence for those who would hold the newly established office of witeger.

Fortification

In 28 P.C., Rædgiver Fralin Fisceresdohtor ordered the construction of a second wall around the city.  This wall was to protect vital crops in the event of war or siege.  At the time, tensions were high with Carmadh and Broadland and fear of war was high.  Fralin understood that it was one thing to keep the citizens safely behind the walls but if the crops outside burned, ultimately hope was lost.  The city at that time was two miles across and the new walls added at least another seven square miles to the fortified territories of Folkhame.  The main city remained behind the original fortifications.

Fire and Reconstruction

Around 50 A.C., with the Folkdeed still reeling from the results of the Catastrophe, another catastrophe befell the people of Greatvale.  A major fire erupted in the old quarter of the city and quickly spread to the entire city.  The people fled into the surrounding farmland and the inner walls prevented the fire from spreading to the surrounding countryside.  When the conflagration was finally over, the majority of the city lay in ruins.  The Ealdormoot seriously considered whether it should move to the nearby town of Eoford and establish that as the capital of the Folkdeed.  But it was Rædgivers Leofwine of Brandwyck, Osgar of Middlebury, and Witeger Leafday Æledfyr, in a rare moment of concord, who declared that the fire had presented the people with an opportunity to rebuild the city in a way that reflected the values of the Folkdeed rather than the long cast-off monarchy.

And so the inner walls of the city were torn down and the stone used to rebuild the city altogether.  The city plan was expanded to fill the space outlined by the outer walls. According to Leofwine, Osgar, and Leafday, this was an important statement that the people expected the city not to decline after the fire, but to flourish with an influx of new residents. The new plan was centered around the Boroughfast and the home of the Ealdormoot in the center.  The Boroughfast, which had long had a circular shape was placed at the center of a circle from which eight avenues radiated in a regular pattern.  The old Folk Keep, which had suffered extensive damage in the fire, was rebuilt but divided into two buildings along the main east-west avenue. The city was laid out in a regular (or mostly so) plan of grand avenues every mile, creating a grid with intersecting diagonals radiating from the Boroughfast. Diagonals were later added elsewhere in the city and circular parks placed at the intersections, which often feature statues of the heroes of the Folkdeed.

Notable Features

Among the notable buildings in the city center are:

The Boroughfast. The old citadel fortress of the King, Queens, and Ealdormoot from the earliest days of the city. The building today houses the Ealdormoot and the Conclave of the Gaderungs when it meets.

The downtown area of Folkhame, showing important buildings

The downtown area of Folkhame, showing important buildings

The Doomern. The high court of the Folkdeed.  Here the Ealdordemas (senior judges) of the Folkdeed review the decisions of local boroughdemas and make determinations on important matters of law.

The Godshall. The five-sided building houses representatives of the five great religions of the Sunrise Lands.  The Godshall serves as an important gathering place in times of national crisis or remembrance.  The funerals of rædgivers, witegers, and ealdormen and -women almost always take place in the Godshall.

The Folk Keep. The southern half of the old Folk Keep/Cynestol, this building houses the offices of the two rædgivers and their staffs.

The Ambrighthouse. The Ambrighthouse is the northern half of the old Folk Keep/Cynestol and houses the various ministries of the Folkdeed government.

Witeger’s House. Although the current building was constructed new after the fire it was built on the site of the former edifice which had been the home of the royal chancellor in the days of the Old Kingdom.  The Witeger’s house was infamously visited by the Ealdorweard during the time of Eadwin Lahwita when the rædgiver had given orders for her arrest.  Since that time, the military keeps a respectful distance from the Witeger’s House and parades along Water Avenue are prohibited by long-standing custom.

The Market. The market is the grand bazaar of the city and in the market place, a giant pavilion, one can find treasures from all over the world.

The Waterfront. The waterfront along the Great Tidewater is the city’s main port, fish market, and provides a series of defenses against those who might try to assault the city from the river.