Could you tell us about Riva’s history?
Centuries before the official foundation of our city, a Thorwalian settlement by the name of Hjalmefjord existed at the Kvill estuary. Riva was founded in the year 432 after the Fall of Bosparan and tradesmen from Albernia and Salza, who came here to find their fortune on the deserted northern plains.
From the beginning, relations with the Nivese and elves coming into the newly founded village to trade were good. The trade goods were sold on to ships anchoring in the Estuary to freshen up their water supply. In 870, after the Fall of Bosparan, Riva became a member of the Svellt League, with the League gaining a sea port in the bargain and Riva securing greatly expanded trade volume.
These days, Riva is a proper city, and every trading house in Aventuria worthy of the name has an office in town. In peacetime, Riva manages without an army of its own. Since the orcs started to ravage the Svellt valley, the corporation maintains a force, which is three companies in size at the moment.
Could you tell us about city sights and institutions?
There are six temples in town, which are dedicated to Firun, Efferd, Phex, Tsa, Travia, and Rahja. The first sight greeting those arriving by sea is the castle at the harbor entrance. Public buildings include city hall, the court building, the public baths, and the schoolhouse. Every Tsa, the market halls house the annual Riva Trade Fair.
Beside Riva Castle, sights include the Nivilaukaju, a stone monument. Legend tells of how Liska, the Celestial Wolf’s daughter enticed a young huntsman at that location, who was stabbed to death by his bride, the Nivese girl Nivilaukaju, while making love to Liska. Nivilaukaju was then hit by a bolt from Liska’s eyes that turned her into solid rock.
To this very day, the Nivese gather at the monument to sacrifice a Karen every new moon, though by now it’s a purely symbolic ceremony.
Then there’s the Rupert Knorre Fountain.
Rupert Knorre was a Riva brewer providing beer for the council meetings. But his porter was flat and thin, and for this affront the mayor ordered Knorre to finance a public fountain, being, as he was, such an expert on serving water.
The fountain can be found at the river bank just across from city hall. It’s shaped like a beer barrel.
What services are available in Riva?
There are three taverns in town, with a widely differing clientele. The “Harbour Maid” is a sailor’s hangout, whereas the rest of the populace frequents the “Fox Fur” and “The Laughing Prickear”. There are also four inns available, two of which, “Blue Kvill” and “Riva Parlour”, provide for higher standards, but with prices to match.
In a manor outside of town, there’s the Stoerrebrandt College. Attendance is limited to 49 students at a time. The college students are highly regarded and in the habit of aiding the local merchants in small ways while still in training, giving them a chance to get hands-on experience of the trading life. Stover Regolan Stoerrebrandt himself opened the academy in the 15th year of Hal.
What’s there to know about the sewers?
The city sewer system was completely renovated and expanded ten years ago. The city corporation has even hired a rat-catcher to prevent vermin from spreading.
Since then, there have been hardly any rats in town.
We’ve heard the guild is active down the sewers.
In a city of this size the presence of some unsavory elements is inevitable. They sometimes band together, only to be quickly rounded up by the guards. The guild is just a tall tale that resurfaces every time a few criminals organize their activities.