Rise of the Northern Star
Cherak is a major port city of the North, a thronging metropolis through which much trade between the Realm and the North flows. Cherak is aligned with the Realm and currently overseen by House Ferem, whose rule is subtly challenged by mercantile concerns, some of which can be traced back to House V’Neef and others to the minor House Margard, which bases its operations in the city. Cherak’s fleet is commanded by Admiral Ferem Helkar, a Fire-Aspected Dragon-Blood. Several major houses of the Realm have holdings in the city, but the largest obvious presence is from House Ragara who often represent the Realm in negotiations.
Cherak is a walled city with a good harbor, but it has been a victim of its own success. Growth has meant the city has sprawled beyond its old walls twice so far and a large population lives beyond even the current walls. The town itself is divided into sections separated by the inner walls, with movement between the different sections somewhat restricted. With the growing threat of the Bull of the North, House Ferem has begun a major new fortification project to build yet another set of defensive walls around the new city boundaries, using both free and slave labor. It is difficult to say which group is treated worse: free laborers work alongside slaves from as far away as Harborhead, suffering the same dangerous, back-breaking conditions. Though the slaves are locked back in their pens at night while the free laborers can stagger home, their life expectancy is about the same.
Some of Cherak’s Dragon-blooded meet secretly to consider what they might gain with the shift in power on the Blessed Isle. This Cheraki Survival Council lacks detailed information and experienced spies however, and the plans they make are rooted in misunderstandings and wrong assumptions. Some seem to feel there is the opportunity for Cherak and their House to take a more glorious place in the future of the Realm if they act boldly, but it is likely that they would be in for a rude awakening if they tried to go against any of the established Great Houses. Currently the group seems unable to reach a decision on what to do, but a rash individual who gains influence within this group could potentially bring disaster to the region.
Cherak is also home to a number of mortal power groups. Smuggling operations work to bypass the tariffs imposed on trade with the Blessed Isle, and a number of societies are based there. Due to the proximity of the Pinnacle of the Eye of the Hunt, any groups with a heretical slant keep themselves well hidden.