Altaforte is one of the major cities of the Kingdom of Borealis and one of the Realm's biggest maritime trade hubs, lying on the key sea trade route between the Western Seas and Sea of Luxa. It is the capital city of Frugia and houses the Grand Duke's administrative apparatus. However, the trade and internal affairs of the city are controlled by the Collegia di Mercanti (which, in turn, is dominated by the Western Seas Trade League) and the Crown-appointed Castellan of Altaforte respectively.

Altarforte used to be but a humble marketplace for a dozen or so fishing villages and islands of Frugia, until the immigrants from Aluren built a small dock and warehouse there to facilitate sending Southern goods to their homeland. The city was well located for this purpose, its deep island harbour well-navigable and yet protected from semi-barbaric Southern thanes. It was all but destroyed and abandoned by its inhabitants during the Black War but later rebuilt, with some help from dwarfen clan Ryemound.

During the later Ashen Age and Age of Thanes, as Aluren slowly declined, Altaforte merchants began to trade with the re-established cities of the Far Reach and sent its first expeditions to Luxa, finding many riches there. It came to dominate the Thessean maritime trade with its innovative ship designs and "re-discovered" Faraam. For the bigger part of the Age of Thanes it was one of the top three thalassocratic powers of the Realm, together with Sina and Eolan.

The demise of independent Altaforte came from where it was the least expected - from the thanedom of Volgen, the rulers of which have long been clients of Altaforte and whose markets the city-state has essentially monopolised by controlling outposts within the Sybarin river delta and the coast of the Sun-stained Sea. Thane Everard Boreale, who at the time courted the Duc's daughter, has bought passage on the city's ships to transport his levies and retinues to Weideland, which he intended to raid and pillage. Once the armies boarded the ships and set sail, Everard ordered the ships' captain hung on the foremasts and directed the ship to the unexpecting Altaforte. The city was captured within a week of fighting and then brutally sacked, ending its long independent history for good.