The Port of Anvil
A history of the Abecean's most significant trade city
Anvil, largest and most prosperous of the cities of west Colovia, can rightfully be called a shining jewel in the Red Dragon Crown. From here, the long Gold Road stretches out towards the distant markets of the Heartlands, allowing the passage of luxurious trade goods from all over the western Empire. None of the Colovian cities -- not even industrious Skingrad or the high ducal seat of Kvatch -- can compare.
Yet Anvil was not always great. For the longest time it was not even a city at all: during the early First Empire, the so-called Kingdom of the Strident Coast (or Stridenthia) was governed from the isle of Mischarstette by the powerful Shore-King dynasty, direct descendants of the Nordic conquerors. Anvil, at the time, was a negligible fishing village ruled by the minor noble house of Olo.
The fortunes of this township would change only under terrible circumstances. The Slug-Famine of 1E 2200 decimated the population of the west and toppled the august Shore-Kings. Sole claimant to the crown was one Bendu Olo, scion of the Oloman dynasty, fortuitously saved by a pilgrimage to Sancre Tor. Enraged by the plague and its origins in far-off Thras, Olo forged an alliance of the western seaboard's nations -- a fine example of Cyrodiilic diplomacy in its infancy -- and wreaked terrible vengeance on the Sload. From humble origins, the Oloman dynasty rose to rival its predecessors.
As Mischarstette was reduced to a mass grave of plague dead, Olo moved the capital to Anvil. Contacts with his allies of the All Flags Navy blossomed into fruitful trade arrangements, and soon, the old moniker of the Strident Coast fell into disuse as people favored an auspicious new name, the Gold Coast -- a home of wealth and plenty.
Anvil's wealth was but little diminished during the First Interregnum, and the rise of the Second Empire saw the town take on a new role as a navy port in the conquest of the west. The death of Reman III in 1E 2920, however, initiated an era of decline. Attacks from the provincial powers and trade blockades from spiteful Kvatch tarnished Anvil's prosperity, while the death of the last blood relative of Olo signaled that the times of plenty were at an end. Weak-willed magistrates appointed by the Potentates could not stop this decline.
The founding of the Third Empire did not restore Anvil's affluence. Under Tiber Septim's wise administrative reforms, Anvil became capital of a new county, granted to general Junis Matillis for his efforts in the Tiber Wars. Despite his best efforts, Anvil remained a provincial and neglected harbor town.
In 3E 249, the Camoran Usurper marched his armies from Valenwood to the north, demanding the unconditional surrender of all in his path. Count Sevantius Matillis put up a brave resistance, but even as his forces met the enemy in the field, pirates allied to the Urusper attacked Anvil's harbor and conquered the city from within. During the Usurper's eighteen-year reign of terror, Anvil was a lawless pirate town whose occupants harassed merchant ships and Imperial supply lines.
This state of affairs could only last while the Empire's attention was drawn elsewhere. After the Usurper's defeat in 3E 267, the Emperor tasked Commodore Fasil Umbranox with restoring order and peace, promising him the County of Anvil should he succeed. Umbranox was a forthright and uncompromising leader who destroyed the pirate fleets and, when the occupiers of Anvil refused to surrender, ordered the town burnt to the ground.
On the ashes of the old town, Umbranox raised a new and prosperous city from where he and his descendants ruled as Counts of Anvil. Using his extensive connections in the eastern Nibenay, Count Umbranox convinced the Primate of the Great Faith of Dibella to move their high temple from the old city of Mir Corrup, whose holy waters had been fouled by toxins, to the new city on the pleasant and fair western shores. Extensive trade and pilgrimages to the Temple of Dibella go hand in hand in explaining both the city's current prosperity and, in the eyes of its inhabitants, unparalleled beauty.
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Informative history booklet about Anvil. Common literature.