Ye Olde Tourist Guide to Shirekeep
Although the origins of Shirekeep are shrouded in legend, most people believe that the city was founded by Kaiser Raynor I after his conquest of Brookshire. Raynor built the part of the city now known as "Raynor's Keep" as a fortress guarding the River Elwynn and as a palace for himself and his successors; commoners and artisans settled to the east of the keep, on the Elwynn's west bank. During the reign of his successor, Raynor II, the city expanded northward as Shirerithian forces fought off the Elw barbarians in the region surrounding the city. During Shirerithian expansion, many of the conquered peoples of the Shirerithian Empire immigrated to the city, creating the sprawling foreign quarters of the south, which were later destroyed by a fire.
Shirekeep has been burnt down several times, usually as a result of experiments or military drills gone awry, but occasionally during wars. The city suffered severe damage during the Mog Rebellion, and much of it was also burned down during the War of the Wylthean Succession. Most recently, parts of it have fallen into decay as the Kaiser's government lacks the funds needed to properly fully maintain the city.
The Great Fire of Shirekeep in 4030 ASC, during the reign of Kaiser B'Caw I and the secession of parts of Elwynn, proved to be a disaster for the capital: fire had destroyed the whole Foreign Quarter and a lack of funds avoided that houses were rebuild. Bureaucratic affairs and simply the discontent towards the foreigners who had lived in the southern quarters, led to the decision to use the land for other goals. Several Kaisers after B'Caw approved the plans to use the gained free lands for farmland, but ignored the need of defending it. It took until Kaiser Fish XII ordered the construction of the so-called Fishian Wall, in 4136 ASC, before the farmland was decently protected against possible treats. During Kaiser Gaelen IV's reign, Fort Tempus was built.
Following the dead of Gaelen IV, the Prefectoral era began for Shirekeep: Jonas Win'Eth became the ruler of Shirekeep and its surrounding lands. It saw also, for a moment, the threat of being attacked by the armed forces of its own Duke/king, the Rex of Raynoria, because of the city's support to Kaiser Cedris I. With His abdication of the throne, the danger was averted.
The easiest way to get to Shirekeep is to fly. The Mattlore Devious International Airport receives flights from all over Micras. No visa is required for most nationalities, although Babkhans, Treesians, and Aerligians need a special "Certificate of Non-Evilness" from the Ministry of Immigration, which the Ministry stubbornly refuses to provide. Although there were previously some issues with nearby Shirerithian airbases using planes for target practice, especially those coming from or heading to Babkha, Aerlig, or Treesia, this issue has been mostly settled.
Travellers already in Shireroth may wish to take a Shirerithian railroad or superhighway from elsewhere in the country. A train ticket from the Brookshire or Goldshire capitals costs about 40 erb; one from Eliria costs 20. The line from Musica costs 25, but has a bad tendency to fall into the river around the area of the Isa Bridge; make sure to check on the bridge maintenance status before you go and to bring a life jacket.
For those with more money to burn, the classiest way to enter Shirekeep is by boat. Several companies run pleasure cruises along the Elwynn River; fly or sail into Musica and then take a three or four day leisurely boat ride across the Lunarian and Monty Criscan countryside. Expect to pay about 1000 erb for lodging, transportation, food, and entertainment. Probably the best known of these cruises is the Salamandro, a restored Mog-era frigate whose twenty cabins feature period decorations. Occasionally it will be assaulted by a restored Mog-era pirate ship, whose crew, dressed in traditional Mog-era pirate costumes, will kill some of the travellers with authentic Mog-era weapons. A cruise on the Salamandro costs at least 2000 erb, and should be booked at least six months in advance.
Once in Shireroth, you'll want to make your way to the St. Zor Railway Station, hub of both the city bus system, or the SARTRE (Shirekeep Area Rapid Transit Railway Express). Shuttles run from St. Zor Station to Mattlore Devious Airport and back every prime numbered minute after the hour.
Since the reforms during Kaiser Gaelen IV's reign, the city is divided into two larger subdivisions: the Center and Outskirts. The Center exists out of the City Districts within the Wall of Reynardine, while the Outskirts are the districts which are build outside the Wall.
- Raynor's Keep
- Treesian Quarter
- Audente Quarter
- Boreal Quarter
- The Old City (also Ancient City)
- Soloralist Quarter
- Yardistani Quarter
- The Hub
- The Rim
- Commercial District
- Landsraad District
- Halluci Shire
- Timothy’s Cliff
- Loki’s Line
- Caeol’s Village
- Little Holwinn
- The Foreign Quarter
The capital of Shireroth has many beautiful buildings which you simply have to visit.
- Lukedu Center for the Exploding Arts
- St. Zor Railway Station
- The landscaped gardens built on Mattlore Devious International Airport in Cabbagefall
- Triple Towers
- Temple of Mors
- Museum of the Fine Arts
- Raynor's Keep
- The Palace of Zirandorthel
- The Baths of Fjǫrleif
- Cedrist Temple
- Sir John Metzler III University
- The Temple of the Quintessences
- Hyperborean Temples of Truth and Beauty
- Statue of Malarborty
Most souveniers in Shirekeep are sold either in the Docklands (if they're cheap) or in Raynor's Keep (if they're expensive). The Raynor Keep souveniers include replica swords, axes, maces, bludgeons, spiky helmets, spiky shoes, armor, and other Raynor-era weapons. Kevin Darjainen runs a heraldry shop near the main tower, and will make your family a personalized coat of arms for a fee. Although traditional Shirerithian arms use goat blood for the red paint, if you bring the blood of your enemies he can substitute that instead.
Docklands souveniers tend to be more modern, and range from bobblehead dolls of Raynor I to Malarbor t-shirts to "Restore the Shirerithian Empire" bumper stickers. The prices tend to get cheaper the further you go from the waterfront.
All across the city you can buy de-activated nuclear bombs from the Lukedu Center for the Exploding Arts. MAKE SURE THESE ARE DEACTIVATED BEFORE YOU PURCHASE THEM! Generally, bombs that have been safely deactivated will have the name of the inspector on them and an LCEA stamp. Bombs sold in the Foreign Quarter are often not Lukedu items at all, and are more likely to come from the stockpiles of Attera or Col, which may not have deactivated them properly. Needless to say, the best place to buy flammable or radioactive items of all sorts is the Lukedu Center gift shop, but this is somewhat more expensive than elsewhere in the city and if you want to stay in it for more than eighteen minutes (twelve minutes for young children), you have to rent a special suit from the staff.
For the man who's got everything, why not buy a noble title? With the collapse of the Empire and the dissolution of the New Feudal system, for a few thousand erb you could make your loved one Count of Wintergleam or Countess of Shimmerspring. An office for such transactions sits just to the right of the Landsraad Front Gate on Raglan Street.
Although the Shirerithians are known for their friendliness, they can become angry if you fail to properly respect their culture. Any criticism of the Kaiser is taken very seriously and should be avoided. Although Shireroth is tolerant of other religions, or, as they commonly call them, "accursed heretics", you should avoid mocking the Shirerithian faith, and if you want to preach a rival creed, go to an approved venue such as the Multi-Temple.
If you are a Babkhan, Treesian, or Aerligian, you may encounter hostility or discrimination in some areas. In particular, if the guards in Raynor Keep ask if you want to see an authentic example of the ancient Shirerithian method of execution, you should not under any circumstances say yes. If stopped by the police, be as helpful as possible and immediately present your Certificate of Non-Evilness. There are many Babkhans in the Foreign Quarter and you may find yourself more warmly received there.
It's best not to say anything along the lines of "Wow, sucks that you lost that whole big empire, huh? Guess that was pretty stupid of you."
The Docklands can be a fascinating place to shop or people-watch, but be aware that over the past few years, many con-men have started to prey on the tourists there. One popular con is the "Jaihan Snake Con", where a man will claim to be an explorer returning from the jungles of Jaiha and ask you to hold his giant tropical snake, "just for a second", while he "goes to the bathroom." He'll then throw a giant tropical snake at you, which you will feel obligated to hold for him. However, another explorer (unbeknownst to you, a confederate of the first explorer) will then come by, claiming to have a space mongoose from Jupiter, and ask you to hold that for a second, in the same manner as the first. The "space mongoose" is actually just an ordinary mongoose with antennae glued to its head, and will immediately eat the giant tropical snake, which is in fact only a regular giant snake from the marshes of Wintergleam painted in tropical-looking colors. The first explorer will then come out, act horrified that his giant tropical snake is gone, kill the mongoose in his rage, and demand up to a thousand erb in compensation. Then, just as you're ready to leave, the second explorer will come by, act horrified that his space mongoose is dead, and demand all the erb you have left. Thousands of tourists have fallen victim to the Jaihan Snake Con. Remember - if anyone comes up to you with a giant snake, tell him firmly but politely that you refuse to take it from him.