Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Fortress of Egilsten

Population: ~5,500 dwarves
Ruler: Prince Berja Gunnirsson Egilir
Thanes: Ingrid Alfarsdottir Alring, Jari Jarisson Falengr, Agil Eivarsson Harfangr, Byrni Magrsson Steinson, Grimmir Ormirsson Jyrar
Clans: Egilir (noble), Alring, Falengr, Harfangr, Steinson, Jyrar

Egilsten stands at the extreme north end of the Goblin Country, between that awful land, the giant-haunted plains of Umbrinol, and the ruinous empire of the necromancers, Teral. It was founded in the Ninth Age by the dwarf Egil Grimmson, who still stands as a folk hero to the dwarves of Egilsten to this day. Though the fortress has no colony stone, it sends tribute to the Rikonung of the Dwarves as though it were a recognized colony.

The fortress at Egilsten's heart is built on a rocky promontory overlooking the Bluerill River. This promontory commands the fords at the southern end of Riverwood Forest, and passage is impossible for many rods to the north or south, giving Egilsten control over the river-crossing. The fortress itself is old hewn rock, cut from the bowels of the hill; granite cliffs face the river and the town below, while a winding path on the northern side of the slopes permits entry to the stronghold. It has seen little use in recent centuries, as few have been foolish enough to attack Egilsten. The dwarves, somewhat uncharacteristically, have permitted moss to grow along its walls and partially obscure it from a distance.

The town proper sits around the base of the hill, and is ringed on three sides by a mighty wall, and to the east by the river. A statue of Egil Grimmson stands athwart the courtyard of the fortress, visible from everywhere in the town. There are six major dwarven clans, and thus six clan-halls clustered within the walls. As is true of most green dwarf settlements, there are a number of temples in the town, but none so well-placed as that of Eiri Earthfather at base of the approach to the fortress, or the one to Helda Stonemother at the only entryway through the walls, on their south side.

A secondary town of some 1,200 halflings and 800 rock gnomes has grown up around the fords, outside the walls of Egilsten proper. The dwarves consider these quaint little houses to be under their protection, and visit fire and blade upon any who disturb their wards. The gnomes and halflings are permitted to elect their own mayor and do most of the dwarves' trading for them; this trade settlement is known as Tjaldgul, which means gold-market in Orthr. The halflings and gnomes generally refer to their town as Toggilford, but this is a corruption of the dwarven name.

The dwarves of Egilsten have fought for the halflings of Umbrinol in the past, and are considered consummate mercenaries. Ingrid Alfarsdottir, the Thane of Clan Alring, has been on many campaigns in the west and south.

Aurelien Greenmantle and his murderous band of goblin-killers has often made use of Egilsten as a resting and restocking point. The Toggil Inn has thus been improved with the use of stolen goblin gold, and now stands as a major traffic point between Teral and Umbrinol.

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