Monday, March 7, 2016

Starting Places: The Town of Stock

Craftsman's Reach is a wide region, but the center of its administrative power is the fortification on the banks of the Aelfwater called Tyreth Castle. The area was first settled by Yssan sorcerers, but the castle itself is built on Calanthean ruins. The Karharts have their origins in this region, and Tyreth is one of the few keeps sited on old defensible ground. The Lord Protector of the Reach resides there and the Order of the Forge Divine also maintains an outpost within the walls of Tyreth.

The town of Stock is some twelve miles east of Tyreth Castle, located where the Silverlode River joins Aelfwater Lake. Stock is a large town of some 2,000 people, and serves as the manor-center for the estates of Lord Varius Holmgrinn.

Population: 2,200
Lord: Varius, Lord Holmgrinn of Kjellos
Stallir: Sieur Andrius Stockton

The trade in Stock comes primarily in the form of the Silverlode Mining Guild, a mining and silver-hauling concern which deals with ore coming down from Starkmine, Burret, and Solvirr. The Silverlode warehouses line the riverfront, and long pole-boats come down each day from the mines.

Stock is the center of Lord Holmgrinn's estates in the Reach, and services a number of small villages scattered in rills and dales surrounding it. The armored manor house overlooking Stock is inhabited by Sieur Andrius Stockton, Holmgrinn's stallir, or bailiff, in the region. Stockton is responsible for the incomes of the estate and the management of the manor.

The racial makeup of the town is weighted somewhat more in favor of men than in other parts of the Reach. However, a number of extremely large halfling and gnomish families do inhabit Stock, and indeed the rock gnome Lansar Koznei is one of the founding Masters of the Mining Guild. There is also a large minority of Iron and Green Dwarves who dwell along the outskirts of the town.

There are a number of amenities in Stock that are not to be found in other places in the Reach. A parchment workshop services both Tyreth Castle and the Mining Guild. A major tradesman's inn known as the Red Hart occupies a prominent position in the town's main market. Indeed, there is even a resident wizard in town, the former adventurer Thimbul the Sage.

The Silverlode Mining Guild
Masters: Lansar Koznei (male rock gnome), Jarring Alsongr (male iron dwarf), Lyda of Stock (female Thessalian), Murhenaur (female wind elf), and Olva Thoskri (female rock gnome)

The Mining Guild was formed ninety years ago with the discovery of silver in the Highstarks. Iron Dwarves from Mount Sirune left from the ringtown of Solvirr to search the high peaks, and eventually helped found what would become Starkmine.

The Mining Guild was put together not long thereafter. The mines in the Starks do not technically belong to Lord Holmgrinn, but the fact that the Guild headquarters is located in Stock and the silver flows through his manor means that he has effective control over the guild operations.

The Red Hart
Owner: Talleus Lackhand
The Red Hart is a large four-story inn with halfling and gnomish accommodations located on the north-east corner of the town market. Its taproom is large enough to fit a pie-powder court and it serves all comers. Talleus, also called the Lackhand and the Herald, was once a soldier in the service of Talleal; however, since losing his hand he has retired here to Stock.

Thimbul the Sage
An expert on nearly everything, Thimbul the Sage lives in a dwarf-built manor house on the southern outskirts of town, near the Akemite tombyard. He loves company, and can talk like a rock gnome.

Temple of Aros
This tholos is located on the riverside and overseen by Aelius Windspeaker, the high priest of the temple. Though it would otherwise be somewhat poor, it receives subsidies from elvish nobility on the far side of the river and thus is well-endowed with silver and artifacts.

The Drunken Ox
A large tavern located behind the wharves along the river, the Drunken Ox is a favorite of Mining Guild members and pole-boat sailors. It is owned by the Mining Guild, but run by Olga Helmsdottir, a blue dwarf.

The Temple of Law
The center of Hierian worship in the Reach, this temple serves as administrative hub and viator's waypost for messengers going to and from the Order of the Forge Divine and the Lord Protector of the Reach. The temple is overseen by the Hieros Lucan of Tyreth, an old priest who is blind in one eye and somewhat tight-fisted when it comes to temple properties and gifts.

Saimon Whitesmith
A goldsmith and silversmith family of gnomes, Saimon and his children live together and make a very good living crafting jewelry for the nobles of the Reach, as well as little trinkets for the gnomes, halflings, and even some of the dwarves who live nearby.

Akemite Monastery
This large moldering stone temple is a monastery devoted to Akem, and services the entire region with its wandering priests. All mortuary culture is focused on the monastery at Stock. Rare is it that the monks interact with the outside world, save to deal with the dead. The monastery was once the recipient of a great number of gifts and donations from the Reacher kingdoms, but in the last centuries there have been no gifts or bequests.

Grimbørn's Forge
The Grimbørn family of Iron Dwarves runs this weapon- and armor-crafting forge near the waters of Lake Aelfwater. Grimbørn arms are employed by most of the wealthy stallir and their men-at-arms as well as the Lord Protector and the Forge Divine.

The Wind Temple - long abandoned, the Wind Temple was a consecrated elvish holy site. Its rambling ruins speak of the glory of Anuniä, the Wind Lord. Rumors persist that there are treasures still un-looted within its sacral depths.

The Tower of Ys - A tall, twining tower and broken complex of Yssan ruins about its base, this ancient Yssan construction was built during the dominion of Yer'is over Craftsman's Reach. Magical traps still hum and glow in the depths of the Tower; whoever built it, and why, is now lost to time.

Regar's Isle - A small island in the Aelfwater that once belonged to the wizard Regar. Now, overrun with lizard-folk, the island serves as a hideaway for bandits and outlaws. Many of the Mining Guild polebarges that go missing on their way to Tyreth have been waylaid and dragged off to Regar's Isle.

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