Gazetteer of Aerrunn
Language: Modern Verundian
Ruler: His Holiness, the Grand Pontiff Gregor XXIV
Capital: Holy City of Verun
Verundia is all that is left of the once great Verundian Empire that spanned both sides of the Inner seas. It is in many ways a pale reflection of that great state. Verundia is now run by the Grand Pontiff and the Church of Alarond. The nobility of Verundia is almost extinct, and those that do survive, do so mostly as administrators, guards or muscle for the church. Their anonymity is a thing of the past. In fact, the breakdown of the feudal hierarchy has left much of Verundia a deserted countryside. Once the nobles lost their power over the peasants, the serfs mostly picked up and left. Those that stayed formed their own government and protected themselves with walls around their villages or towns, but those are few and far between. The Church rarely pays attention to secular matters, one reason that the country is in such terrible condition. As long as everyone pays their taxes to the Church, they are allowed to do as they please.
The one exception to this rule is within the Holy City itself. The city is populated almost exclusively by clergy, their guards and the people needed to make their lives comfortable. There is no other economy in the city, and the tariffs that the church places on importing or exporting for any other purpose than their own, make trade non-existent in the city. Of course, to call it a city is really a misnomer. It once was a grand city, probably the most magnificent ever seen in Aerrun. At the height of the Empire the city proper extended for miles in all directions. Temples, Forums and Colliseums of pure marble were spaced liberally throughout. Now the Church occupies a very small portion of that area, less than half a mile wide and only a dozen blocks from the waterfront. The rest of the city is street after street of ancient ruins. All manner of unsavory men, and creatures, call the ruins their home and it is inadvisable to linger there at night or during the day. Only the coast road is patrolled by the Guard and that only to the outskirts of the old city.
Despite the danger, relic hunting is something of a national pastime of the denizens of the Holy City. The Mercenary guards, along with the commoner and even some members of the clergy often form expeditions to venture into the old city and hunt for artifacts from the days of the Grand Empire. Most inhabitants of Verun have a closet full of interesting, and sometimes useful, items in their possession.