Coventry is often also called the City Of Gold or the Golden Heart of the World. These names come from the simple fact that the city nation is the heart of commerce for the known world. It has maintained a careful neutrality for the last 1200 years. All major commerce flows through thise grand city that is the last known Great City of the Age of Dragons.
Several of the great cities of the Age of Sorcery actualy were built byt he Dragon Highlords as monuments to the dragons glory and majesty. Coventry is the last known on of these incredible cities to have survived the last 2 ages. It served as one of the capitals of the Dragon Empires. It would fall to rebel forces and serve as a capital of sorts for the rebels as well as a supply and staging point for the Dragon Wars. It was the early capital of the Kingdom of Sorcery and what is now the Academy of Sorcery was originaly the Citadel of Sorcery and key center or research and learning for the young Kingdom of Sorcery. As much of the kindgom formed in the east though it became less popular for the ruling forces and a new city that would be fully built and designed by the ruling counsil would be built much further east and the new city of Sorcere would become the second capital and last capital of the Kingdom of Sorcery. Coventry would still server as an importance as the city where much of the more mundane business of the kingdom would be run from as well as a trade hub with the province of Avion ( Elania) and Kala Fi. It would also serve as the primary hub for the ores being mined in Icewind Keep far to the north. AS most magic users had little interest in dealing with everyday afairs the guilds that took care of the mundane aspects of a thriving empire rose in power. The guilds while subserviant to the Council , in actuality held considerable economic and political power.
When the War of Shadows began Coventry took a defensive position and entered into a alliance with one of the Primordial dragons giving him complete mastery and control of the Academy in return for his aid in protecting the city. They also entered into many alliances with powerful churches giving them prime property and considerable freedoms in return for thier aid in the defence of the city. While the city came under attack at several points it never fell to Shadowbanes forces and when the war ended it was in prime position to serve as a safe harbor for refugees. Those that had weatlh were absorved into the guilds and those without were enfolded into the labor forces. With much of the magitech lost they needed slaves to mine the incredible profitable mines that were under the care of Icewind keep. These mines happen to go through an area where the fabric that seperates the prime plane from the elemental plane of Earth is very thin. This causes seepage of elemental material as well as outright outflows. These “eruptions” would then renew the mines ore supplies as well as often providing rare ores. Course with the random nature of these rifts, the work is incredibly dangerous for the miners and many disapear and or are buried in raw elemental flows that fill in entire sections of the mine. The kingdom of sorcery had solved this problem by the creation of special golems, but many of these were destroyed and the means of making them either lost or considered to expensive to be profitable by the guilds.
Coventry of today is fully run by the various guilds who elect from thier own memberships coucil representives on a guild coucil that rules the city. These “elections” are more auctions then voting. Laws are enforced by the Guild of Justice. Most laws carry penalties of gold or its equivalent. The enforcing arm of the Guild of Justice are the Justicars, lawful nuetral palidan like knights who beleive enforcement of law is thier primary purpose. They are merciless in thier enforment of the law and are one of the very few people within the city that are near unbribable. They determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant as well as determine if guilty the price of the crime. If the person can not pay it , even counting all his assets being seized, then often they are placed into debt for that amount and become property of the city until such time as they pay the fines off. Some are sent to work thier debts off in the mines while others are placed as indentured servants with a guild or wealthy citezen until such time as thier debts are paid in full, if at thier death the fine remains the next of kin is forced to assume the debt and continue paying until it is paid in full. Some of the higher crimes sometimes take generations to be paid off. The only crimes that are considered Capital crimes are any actions that is seen to endanger trade, such includes counterfitting of monetary notes and or trade notes. This is seen as placing at risk the good faith in cities monetary system which can have powerful ramification in trade.
Coventry uses specialy crafted coins that are worth various denominations. The process of making these guild coins in one the closest gaurded secrets. These coins vastly reduce the weight that dealing with actual gold and silver requires. These coins are for the most part accepted in every major nation. They can be turned into actual gold for a fee ( 20-30% or 2D6+18%)from the banking guild if the owner of a guild coin so desires. Actual silver, gold, and platimum are purchased by the bank guild at a small premium (5-15% or 2D6+3%). So for instance a 100 gold guild coin can be turned in for 70-80 gold pieces, while if 100 gold pieces were sold to the bank they would pay 105-115 in guild coins. Rates change from day to day depending on trade volume and other economic forces ( most of which are beyond the scope of an rpg game and thus the random values) The guild coins run in denominations of 1,5,10,50,100,500,1000 and 5000. Only in the most remote of small towns can one find any problems of using Coventry Guild coins. Within the city only Guild coins may be used as well. The crime of attempting to pass fake guild coins is one of the greatest crimes one can commit within the city and if caught will carry the force of law that most nations would bring to bear against crimes of treason. The guild coins are very durable and suprisingly light.
For major crimes the penalties range from being assigned a life sentance to service in Icewind keep, to being sent to a prison known as Stormwall prison. This prison was built to keep prisoners of the Kingdom of Sorcery and is incredible well protected. It is permantly set in eye of a hurricane which makes sailing to the island virtualy impossible. A portal is linked to the main guild building of the Guild of Justice and is the only known way to reach the island prison. The only duration of stay is life. Once one is sent to Stormwall prison they dont come back. To date thier has been no succesful escape known.