Brsic is a fortress town, the primary bastion of the Empire on the western frontier. Its walls overlook the Krut River, the formal boundary of Imperial territory. The Brsic Bridge provides a funnel for all kinds of traffic to and from the Chaos Lands to the west – merchants, tradesmen, hunters, as well as diplomats and immigrants. About 15000 people (including up to 4000 soldiers of the 18th Legion) live in and around Brsic, the plurality being human, with large numbers of Halflings (mostly living on the waterfront or in houseboats) and Elves. The city also contains one of the largest single settlements of Tieflings (about 1000) within Imperial territory (rivaled only by the communities in Sedos and Voscom).
Brsic is the home base of the 18th Imperial Legion, which is responsible for guarding the frontier for many miles in either direction. The river itself is patrolled by the boats of the Western River Flotilla, comprising a number of squadrons of vessels, from small oared boats to longships to floating settlements. Less than half the Legion’s forces are typically deployed at the fortress; much of it is dispersed in small units, patrolling the western marches along with the royal Evik forces and local troops. A regular feature of operations at Brsic is regiment-sized ‘patrols’ which travel along the western bank, clearing monsters and subduing potential enemy tribes. The commander of the Legion also, by tradition, holds the title Protector of Brsic, making him the head of the city government – Brsic is held directly by the Emperor, rather than any local vassal. The city’s business is usually conducted by a council made up of deputies appointed by the commander, and the masters of the local guilds.
The fortress at Brsic is the largest and strongest west of the ancient city of Evik. The Brsic Bridge, although made of wood, is solidly built, roofed with copper, and treated with alchemical oils to resist fire; the road surface of the bridge is brick and concrete. There is a bastion on the western bank, and the main castle looms over the eastern end of the bridge. The fortress is kept stocked with provisions for a siege.
The Krut River marks the formal boundary of Imperial territory, flowing north and west into the Vastul, and then to the sea. Wide enough to be navigable for much of its length – Brsic lies at the farthest reach of most oceangoing vessels – the Empire allows but a single permanent bridge across the Krut: the massive fortified bridge at Brsic. To the west lie what Imperials call the ‘Chaos Lands,’ a collection of petty kingdoms and tribes, with ever-shifting allegiances and short-lived conquests. In fact, while the river is officially the frontier, Imperial control typically extends beyond, depending on the resources and initiative of the local nobility and army officers. When the Empire is weak, the east bank of the Krut is subject to frequent raids and even conquest by foreign forces, although the river itself makes large-scale invasions difficult.
Despite the risks – or perhaps because of them, as it drives prices up – the Krut River is an active trade zone, with small towns and villages trading with tribes across the river, as well as fishing and hunting along the banks. While building bridges over the Krut is forbidden by Imperial law, ferries are allowed if they pay the appropriate fees (the ferry trade is dominated by the Halfling clans, who are more vigorous in collecting their guild fees than the Imperials). The river traffic is nowhere near as busy or large as the Algef, of course.
Since the War Began (i.e., events after campaign start)
In the opening days of the War, Brsic fell with shocking swiftness: not only did the invading army wield more massive numbers than had been seen from any invader for generations – from rank-and-file goblins to giants and elephants – but the teleportation circle in the heart of the citadel was taken over by demonic forces; according to some witnesses, several demons belched forth from the ritual chamber, ultimately including a terrible balor. Attacked from without and within, the fortress was overtaken. The fate of the inhabitants of the city are not well known; stories from refugees and rumors run the gamut from a complete demonic slaughter to a brutal conquest and enslavement by goblins.