Solanthus is one of the major cities and former capital of Solamnia, located in the Heartlund province, which it is the capital of, founded in about 1817 PC, and was considered to be at the center of Solamnia. Solanthus has been a stronghold for the Knights of Solamnia for many years, losing it only twice, once to the dragonarmies and another to the Knights of Neraka during the War of Souls. Two castles flanked the city, Castle Crownguard to the south, and Castle Solanius to the west. During Ankhar's War, the city was able to hold of the half-giant's hordes to allow for Emperor Jaymes Markham to free them. Most people think the city is named after Vinas Solamnus, but it was really named while he was still a young boy. People from Solanthus are called Solanthian.
The city's major exports are cattle and grain, and the lands around it to the Vingaard River are some of the most fertile soil in all of Krynn. The city is surrounded by first an old decrepit wall surrounds a ten foot deep moat, then a massive outer curtain wall that is thirty feet thick at the base, and is made of stone packed with sand and reinforced with steel. There are also many archer slits and murder holes in the walls, while three drawbridges span the moat. A gatehouse, each of which is a castle itself, guards each of these drawbridges.
The east road ran directly beneath the parapets of the city wall for a quarter of a mile before reaching the vallenwood gates of the East Gate (which were built during the Age of Dreams), while two more gates are located in the South and West with none out the North. Thorn trees form another natural barrier inside the walls, while spikes are concealed in the ground. Most of the buildings inside the city walls are all made of stone to stop the spread of fire, along with many water wells set up to control fires.
Several inns are located near the three gates leading into the city, and there are many hills located in the southern portion of the city where paved streets can be found climbing steeply up them. Besides all the streets being paved, they are constantly kept clean and well maintained. Many statues of famous figures and public fountains can be found along these streets. The city has long been a center for Solamnic culture, art, and education. It has many great towers, spires, and castles, all of which tower over the walls and can be seen from a great distance. There are also extensive tunnels under the city that were carved by dwarves. Many smugglers and thieves use these tunnels, but the guards and the Lord Mayor know of most of the shafts. There are a few that remain unknown even to them.
History of Solanthus
The actual founding of Solanthus is clouded in mystery. One legend tells of a wise man who told a king that Paladine would send a sign as to where to build his new kingdom. During a storm, a lightning bolt hit the spire, and split it in two. The people followed their king to the spire, and took this as a sign from Paladine that this was where to build their new city. They built their village at the foot of the spire.
Another legend is that the Cleft Spires were granted to the Solamnics' ancestors for aiding the dwarves in a time of need. The site was actually an old dwarven mining community, with many tunnels carved by the dwarves under the city. It is unknown which legend is true about the founding of the city.
Solanthus' known history began in about 1817 PC, when a few small villages sprang up around a small road fortification. During this time the Solanthian Troubles took place, which led to the Summer of the Soot Sun and the Five Harvest Battles, both of which took place in the villages around the fort.
By 1801 PC, the fort had doubled in size, and changed from a wooden stockade to having masonry walls. The soldiers at the old stockade burned back the forest 1000 paces from the walls as to not to allow cover for an attacking force.
After Vinas reviewed the rebels’ request to be heard about why they rebelled, he joined their cause. His first attack was to besiege Solanthus, and did so in 1799 PC. This siege would last until 1796 PC, and would be named the War of Ice Tears, an event of the Rose Rebellion. The city fell to Vinas with hardly any loss of life, and Solanthus joined with Vinas' army. Following Vinas' victory, Solanthus joined with the new nation of Solamnia.
Over the years, Solanthus became a place where the Lord Knights would rule the Knights of Solamnia from, and the traditional capital of Solamnia. In the years just prior to the Cataclysm, Solamnia and Solanthus were betrayed by those of Lemish. The people of Lemish equiped goblin and hobgoblin to attack Solanthus. In what was termed the Battle of Blackblood, the Solamnic Knights were able to defeat the hordes that came to attack them and the city. Solanthus was a defensive spot from then until the Cataclysm struck.
War of the Lance
See also: War of the Lance
In 300 AC, just prior to the War of the Lance, the Guildmasters revolted against the Knights of Solamnia and expelled them from the city. They declared their city free of the Knights of Solamnia and their rule. This freedom though wouldn't last very long. The Red Dragonarmy attacked into southern Solamnia in 351 AC, and quickly overthrew most of the defenses that were hastily thrown up. Solanthus quickly fell to her armies, all of the walls were destroyed, and not a single building survived that didn't have a little damage. The city became an utter ruin, with only the tunnels under the city surviving.
Those refugees that fled the city were met by small bands of dwarven soldiers from the nation of Kayolin to the south. Governor Erann Flowstone had ordered his dwarves to assist in the defense of Solanthus, but they arrived too late. Instead his soldiers assisted the humans in fleeing back to Kayolin, where the Solamnic cavalry would join with the dwarven soldiers there and proceed to do hit-and-run tactics against the dragonarmy.
The city wouldn't be liberated until the follow year when the Golden General's army would liberate the city, defeating the several hundred hobgoblins and few dozen bozak draconians based there. Before that though, the raiders destroyed all the fields and livestock surrounding the city, which would take many years to recover from. The Knights of Solamnia were welcomed back into the city. After the war it was declared the capital of Solamnia again. Following the War, Tanis Half-Elven and his wife Laurana Kanan moved to the outskirts of the city.
Age of Mortals
See also: War of Souls
During the Age of Mortals, Solanthus became the focal point for resistance against Khellendros and the Dark Knights who ruled the lands to the north of it including Palanthas. The Knights of Solamnia would quickly build this into one of their most powerful strongholds.
Even though the city was built into a powerful stronghold, it would not be able to withstand the Dark Knights under the leadership of Mina and her ghostly undead. While Mina's army drew out all the Knights from the city, her Dark Knights dropped from dragons into the city and seized it. The Knights of Solamnia were banished from the city, and they in turn marched on Sanction where the Second Battle of Sanction would take place.
The people of Solanthus saw this as abandonment by the Solamnic knights, and instead took it upon themselves to rise up against the Dark Knights. Four months after the war, the Solanthic Liberation Army rose up against the Dark Knights throwing them out of the city. Solanthus was once again a free city-state, and would act as a buffer between the Dark Knights to the north and the Solamnic Knights to the south.
For some time, the Guildmasters led the city, while Solamnic military veterans, who weren't knights, held positions of power. Solamnic Knights were allowed to return to their homes in the city, but weren't allowed positions of power in the city government. In 423 AC, Lord Walker du Crawford brought his Knights of the Rose to Solanthus, expelling the Guildmasters. Duke Nathias Rathskell, a Knight of the Sword, was put into power over the city. Under his leadership, the city would continue to grow until Ankhar's War.
See also: Ankhar's War
In the summer of 425 AC, Solanthus was besieged by Ankhar and his force of 10,000 goblins, hobgoblins, and ogres. For the next two years the city would be under siege, until Lord Marshal Jaymes Markham would lead his armies against Ankhar. Most of the entire western gate was destroyed during the battle with the Elemental King, but by 429 AC the gate had been fully restored with the gate being thicker and the walls taller. Emperor Markham would move his capital to Palanthas, rather than restoring the Solamnic capital to Solanthus.
Districts of Solanthus
- Solanthus Business District
- Castle Hill District
- Solanthus Merchant District
- Solanthus Residential Area
- Solanthus Temple Row
Buildings of Solanthus
- Black Tiger Inn
- Blue Arms and Armor
- Boisterous Bull
- Broken Wheel Supplies
- Castle uth Ferron
- Cleft Spires
- Courageous Maiden Inn
- Dog and Duck Tavern
- East Gate (Solanthus)
- Etha Tower
- Garnet Money Exchange
- Gleaming Gem
- Gnodwyn's Menagerie
- Hall of Knights
- Knight's Hall
- Mikku's Curiosities
- The Noble Wench
- The Platinum Platter
- Seraphema’s Silver Emporium
- Solanthus Barracks
- Solanthus Grand Market
- South Gate (Solanthus)
- Striketrue Academy
- Temple of Kiri-Jolith (Solanthus)
- Temple of Light
- Temple of Mishakal (Solanthus)
- Temple of Paladine (Solanthus)
- Temple of Shinare (Solanthus)
- Temple of Three Holy Knights
- University of Solanthus
- uth Wathor Warehouses
- West Gate (Solanthus)
Roads and Streets of Solanthus
Some references say that Solanthus was only a tower, not a city. There is another rumor that the city was founded by one of Vinas Solamnus' sons, but this is not true. One source says that the Blue Dragonarmy was the army to defeat Solanthus during the War of the Lance.
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- Dragonlance Campaign Setting (Sourcebook), p. 175
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