Innspa (pop. 11,500) is a unique city in Aerdy. It has been part of Nyrond, Almor, and North Province in its history. For the past 35 years or so, it had become virtually the personal fief of Prince Corazell of the House of Garasteth. His House had bought Innspa from the Crandens centuries ago when the city was but a small mining village and turned it into a trade city, dealing in ores from the Flinty Hills, food from Nyrond, timber from the Adri and fish from the river. During changes of nation, Innspa stayed much the same, a cosmopolitan city where all races and ethics mixed and intermingled.
While the city was slowly changing into a spa for the wealthier Aerdy classes, its population changed as well. Originally there were mostly gnomes and dwarves, happily delving for metals and gems in the nearby hills. Nowadays, the city is predominantly human (mostly of Oeridian stock), with several hundreds of gnomes still remaining a (rather important) part of city life. They have an entire quarter (in the Old City) to themselves, but mingle freely with humans in the other quarters. The dwarves moved on after the mines had become depleted (and all this bathing was getting to them, anyway). Halflings have never been too frequent around here, except for visitors from a few settlements in the Flinty Hills.
The city's original name was not Innspa, by the way. The initial settlement is supposed to have been called, Nonisburg. At the time when House Garasteth received the place as a fief, tax rolls list it as Minerstown. The - rather apt - name "Innspa" was not chosen until 200 years ago, when the city had long been turned into a spa, and most of the miners had long left.
Corazell died without issue, and while one or two of his male brothers and cousins have turned up to take possession of the city, they have met their match in the fierce Countess Karasin, Corazell's widow. She is cunning and crafty. Since Corazell is believed to have died in the wars, she says that she holds this city in a form of royal trust in his memory. Nobody minds that Prince Corazell actually died from a brain hemorrhage brought on by ingesting staggering amounts of brandy. Karasin proclaims him a war hero and will not give up his lands. Indeed, she has proclaimed ownership of a swathe of land stretching from the eastern bank of the small western Harp tributary as far northwards as the point where the river enters the southern Griff Mountains. When Nyrond occupied large tracts of former Almor after most fiends had been banished by the Crook of Rao in 586 CY, Karasin lost the area north of the Flessern to Nyrond. Long being courted by Overking Xavener I, she finally decided to give in to his advances by formally entering the United Kingdom of Ahlissa as the Pricipality of Innspa, in a much-noticed speech before the city council on Godsday of Growfest 590 CY, the third anniversary of West Almor becoming a protectorate of Nyrond.
In addition, when Xavener created the Adri Marchland to provide for his cousin, Prince Molil (charged with bringing the Adri under Ahlissa's rule, thus succeeding where Karasin has failed), the seat of power for the Adri Marchland was nominally set in Innspa. Molil, however, only rarely visits his sumptuous palace in the Old City, leaving most of the "governing" of his fief to bureaucrats.
Innspa does not have city walls as such, but its core, the Old City, is walled, while new construction has taken place outside these walls, in what has become the New City. Most houses in the Old City are built of stone, and many reveal the handiwork of dwarven or gnomish stonemasons-though demihumans are very rare here now. The Old City houses about 2,500 people, and contains Karasin's palace, the barracks of Levialen's Innspa Regiment, and the richer, skilled workers and petty aristocracy of the city. Rulership is high within the old town, medium elsewhere. Goods are expensive (cost multiplier 180%) and are often in short supply. Most temples can also be found in the Old City, except those of new, obscure, or rather powerless deities.
Innspa has two exceptional features:
One is the series of stone aqueducts of gnomish design, which bring fresh water from the Flinty Hills. This is a strange contraption unparalleled anywhere on Oerth. The aqueduct spans a distance of about forty miles, leading north from Innspa in a (more or less) straight line. Its most important part is a rectangular stone duct based on large stone pillars. In this series of ducts, fresh water is transported from a source in the Flinty Hills all the way south to Innspa, where it is channeled throughout the city by an ingenious system of interconnected distribution towers. Only gnomes could think of such a contraption.
The aqueduct seems to be made of a huge variety of different types of stone, and yet everything blends together seamlessly, even harmonically, and even looks quite sound and solid (in a gnomish way). Right next to the aqueduct, a wide, heavily used path winds its way north, into the hills. Depending on terrain type (and the whims of the gnome or gnomes charged with constructing this particular section), the aqueduct runs to a height of up to 150 feet, but may also be lying on the ground, or run through a particularly stubborn hill. Its basic principle of construction is that water flows downwards from the hills into Innspa with the right amount of pressure, and aqueduct construction has to reflect this. Next to Innspa, the pillars are rarely higher than thirty feet. The ducts as such are usually five feet wide and six to eight feet high, but individual dimensions vary as often as construction style (depending on the gnome in charge). The aqueduct is old and worn, but well preserved, which is due to regular and highly qualified maintenance by the Gnomish Guild of Architects of Innspa (which is a Meta-Organization of our region, open only to gnomes and the occasional dwarf).
The distribution towers cunningly distribute the water around Innspa, using most of it to irrigate the Old City's many beautiful parks, complete with small ornamental lakes.
The other exceptional feature is the splendidly ornate public baths with their idiosyncratic bill of fare: a quick swim and bathe in the "tepid water" baths costs but 1 cp. For the aristocracy, 2 gp buys a foaming hot water bath with herbal infusions and allegedly medicinal mineral salts together with all the hot towels and soap one can use. An eccentric wizard obsessed with personal hygiene built them in 322 CY, and rumor has it that a fire elemental has been bound to the place to heat the waters. As befits the second part of its name, the city is a place of bubbling springs - some cold, some hot, and many of both oddly coloured or imbued with strange odours. While a few of these are open and common, most are contained within some edifice or another. Besides these baths and centres that promise various sorts of invigoration, cures, and whatnot. The place seems to have more hostels, taverns, and inns than most communities in all the Flanaess - hence the first part of its name. The more expensive of these inns are situated within Old City, fitting nicely into its rather feudal surroundings.
Innspa also boasts more than a half-hundred religious building, ranging from small shrines to large temples and great cathedrals. Nowhere on Oerth will you find such a large array of religious buildings (technically speaking, every deity listed in the LGJ 3 has at least a shrine somewhere, sometimes in a most covert way). Due to the current political climate, worship of good deities has fallen somewhat in favour, with a corresponding decline in temples. The most important religions are those dedicated to Hextor and Zilchus (state deity), with Xerbo, Fharlanghn, Olidammara, Kord, Norebo, Ralishaz, Kurell, Boccob, Wee Jas, Delleb, Syrul, and Rudd also being of some importance. On the other hand, the faiths of Heironeous and Pholtus have dwindled, their once huge temples now slowly falling into disrepair. Within the nearby Adri Forest, Obad-hai and Ehlonna are most important, but Beory, Atroa, and Phyton all have their followers.
The New Constitution of Innspa
Head of city if Prelata Anarkin. He has been instated for five years by Prince Valeran. After that period, the Convent is going to elect one of their number as the new Prelate.
Regional alignment in Innspa is, at least as regards rulers and politics, lawful neutral (with good tendencies, nowthat Anarkin has retaen rulership of the city). Most of the population (especially those over fourty) are neutral good, lawful good, and lawful neutral. The city watch is predominantly lawful neutral.