Thieves & Kings
Village of Shambles
The Village of Shambles is often known as Shack Town, or Far Bank, located just north of the southern entrance to the City of Greenwalls, next to the Godsbridge. It is a miserable collection of wretched, hastily-built wattle-and-daub buildings, inhabited by poor immigrants, many refugees dating to the most recent invasions in Brightwall March. Most are loners, having lost family, shops and farms, or are outcasts and drifters fro other communities, such as Iberia or Seareach Castle.
Any families that came here, have long since moved on to become cottagers or free farmers as they have been able to find opportunities elsewhere. The town watch is cautious when travelling the community, but take little concern for short-term residents, known as “Shackers”, for their battered and poor houses. Locals often comb the woodlands to the north for game, but most fish from the small dock along the Ambarin River, or keep chickens, goats and swine in small, dirty pens. Wild dogs are not welcome, and often wind up in the locals stews, if they stay too long.
The stone pier used by locals, is large and ancient, constantly crowded with local pindas (small boats) used in fishing the river for miles to the north. It is rumored to be the center for smuggling in the local community.
There are tales of caves in the broken lands to the north of town, and have proven to hide smuggled goods and sacks of supplies. Stories persist that there are “evil dwarves” lurking in them, and at least one adventuring band has reported having found a way out of the depths of Eveningstar’s Twisted Hill in these caves, after several days of exploration, though they have never been able to find proof of the entrance again.
Temple (“Caer Royale”) : Temple of Larani : The barracks and fortification south of the Seville, that acts as a temple of Larani and the barracks for the Order of the Winged Lion’s fighting-order, the Knights of Avarkiel. It also provides barracks for the knights of the realm who are in the Duke’s Guard, known as The Order of the Black Stag. The fortress is substantial, and a notable strong-point for defense of the city.
While the temple provides services primarily for the local nobility and soldiers in the Duke’s Army, it also provides protection for the Godsbridge, the southern entry into the the City of Greenwalls, as well as the open farmlands of central Ambarin. The fighting-order has a large pasture along the river for a mile or so, eventually reaching the small hamlet of Elfstone, but is considered to be very land-poor and depends on its clerical order for support and maintenance.
Mangai Hall (“The Tollhouse”) : A large three-story tower connected to a fair-sized hall and walled compound, the Mangai provides various important services. Its cellars have a deep stone well, which provides fresh-pumped water to merchants for 1 cp per handkeg – usually sufficient to water a horse or oxen after a long day’s journey. The main level provides advanced customs services to caravans, with space for scribes, a storeroom for impounding goods, and quarters for its local master, Alexius Stonemark. The second level serves as barracks to the town guard assigned to the site on duty, and the upper level acts as an armory and records storage for the scribes. A lookout post is provided on the top of the tower, which has a narrow catwalk roof.
All goods brought to the city for transit through Seville, can be registered at this post. Such goods are sealed, assessed duty, and paid to the Mangai, allowing less traffic at the town’s Mangai offices, and speedy transit through town for merchants hauling goods further north. Tolls are also taken at this site, allowing quicker passage south to Mornhaven.
The Mangai also offers a walled common pasture in the far north-east corner of the community, set aside for in-coming caravans to rest and organize. These merchants are charged a small fee, but clerks can be summoned to conduct assessments in the commons to speed along any work. When several caravans gather, a spontaneous market erupts with mercenary guards and merchants trading supplies and other goods, and local youth selling a variety of services.
Seaman’s Guild Hall : The local Seaman’s Guild recently built this small hall for its members, in support of the growing fishery and river trade with Mornhaven. It is a bare-bones operation, but is something of a novelty among the local fishermen, who have begun using it as a social hall, drinking cheap ales (2 cp per tankard), and dicing.
Chandler : ### $$$ : This long, single-story building is a small rope walk; making lengths of cabled rope for use in various tasks. The cords are drawn and twisted double, to produce long, continuous lengths of rope. Strands of fibres are hung on a hook and threaded through a central ring, then back to another hook and so forth, until the required strands are in place. A grooved wooden crook separates the strands again near the ring. Turning the machine’s bundles then twists the them to become ropes. Thicker ropes can be made by using completed ropes as though they were fibre strands. Ropes are finished by stretching to harden them, and singeing off loose strands and bristles. The ends are whipped with small fibres and charred to forestall unraveling.
Typical wares are sold to various engineering enterprises, other chandlers in the region, and the shipwright. Most are typical 50’-long hemp products (1- sp per), weighing 10-lbs.
Chandler : ## $$ : An airy, single-story affair heavy with the scent of fish oils and tallow. The shop collects fish oils from the local fishery, and combines them with common animal tallow to produce cheap tallow candles and lamp oils. While her products tend to smell poorly, they are inexpensive (candles – 2 for 1 cp; lamp oil – 5 cp per flask).
Clothier : ### $$$ : A dozen women work here, from dawn to dusk in a single-story mud-and-wattle shop. They produce workman’s smocks and simple clothes used by laborers, and most of its products are sold in the city. While they work mostly in linen and wool, they have also begun using Melisande’s recipe for hybrid cloth to make clothing on consignment, produced in her shop in the Warrens.
Innkeeper (“The Five Stars”) : ### $$$ : Catering mostly to the local fisherfolk and occasional merchant’s drovers and guards, the Five Stars is known for a simple fare of pottage and bread (1 s per serving), ale and wine (2 sp per pitcher) and has a couple of cheap common barracks for pilgrims (1 sp per night), with a pallet and night chest. It is otherwise unremarkable. It does have a small stable (1 sp per mount per night). Most regulars to the community prefer the Mantle a mile south in Elfstone, because it’s generally cheaper and the fare is better, but those who want to drink and dice stay here.
Merchant : ### $$$ : Four warehouses are kept here for the use of the three major local trade costers, the Three Stones Company, the Swordflames Trade Company, and the Stags Trade Company. A fourth warehouse is kept here for use of smaller merchants. Operated by the independent Ghail Whitestone, she charges typical fees of 1 sp per ten-day per “longbox” (2′×2′×5′), typically stacked two deep and five high. No flammable (oils or alchemical mixtures) are welcome.
Metalsmith : ### $$$ : Connull Redhands, a former military smith with close ties to his highland Ninnellen clan, keeps a tidy and well-appointed workshop. He has two forges, four anvils, large stocks of iron ingots, tools and charcoal, and keeps his quarters above the shop. Connull and his four apprentices have contracts with most of the local caravan groups, and are busy restoring wagons and caravan equipment. He is credited by many in the costers with the reason for their ability to maintain their activity along the Forest Walk.
Connull is average in appearance, with thick black hair always in disarray, and brown, welcoming eyes. He is known for being something of a hothead, and bashes heads as easily as he bashes anvils. He is known to conduct repairs on caravans i a strict order, but has been known to hurry along certain merchant’s wagons when paid extra to do so.
Miller (“New Mill”) : ### $$$ : A stone building covered in swaths of ivy, the New Mill is a former warehouse that has been converted by installing a horizontal grinding stone powered by a pair of patient oxen that walk around in a circle, moving the grinding stones. The owner and innovator is Uillean Greystone, of the famous Greystone clan of farmers, who married their only sister Liusadh and took her name. He spends half his day grinding wheat and barley into flour, storing it in simple second-hand barrels, some of which is sold locally, but most makes its way into the city markets.
Uillean is a cheerful, almost jovial fellow, who chats with everyone who visits. He also handles rye and pulp (garden greens, bones and scraps ground into mulch and spread across the local fields as mulch). A busy, noisy place, the upper floor has a set of rooms which overlooks the river, and is used by locals for gaming late into the night. His wife produces a stout, hardy mixed-grain bread from his ovens popular by most locals.
Ostler (“East Ostler’s Common”) : ### $$$ : A large stableyard located on the crossroads between the Forest Walk and the east-bound road known as the “Shadow Walk”, or more commonly, the “Long Road”, which stretches east through Brightwall March and into the Shadow Dragon’s Remnant. This spot is best known for its infamous stone pillar, the Hartstone, which is engraved with the whorls and natural animistic imagery associated with the Amber Mages. The stables are small, lacking a pasture, but provide standard stabling services (5 sp per mount per day), and also resells animals that have rested and been brought back to health.
Perfumer : ### $$$ : Owned by Karim Firerust, a perfumer in the town, he operates this second shop through a bonded journeyman. She produces basic blues, red, yellows, greens, blacks and browns, but mixes them to produce very subtle shades that are poular among the local nobility. The bulk of her products are consumed by both her master and the local nobility, with a few of them shipped off to other shops in the province.
Potter : ## $$ : A simple one-story wattle-and-daub building fitted with several potter’s wheels, stools and a large kiln. The shop produces simple “crumble-clay” bowls, pitchers, plates and mugs. The local clays and product quality are not exceptional, but the clan keeps their price low to match.
Salter : ### $$$ : A local man who buys local river fish, for bulk sale in the city. He brings whatever fish doesn’t sell back to his shop in the village, and smokes them overnight in his large stone oven. Most of his smoked-fish sales are to the royal castle, for which he has a private contract.
Woodcrafter : ### $$$ : Established due to the large number of caravans and wagons and carts that move through the local community, the workshop here is owned by the woodcrafter from Elfstone, to better facilitate his operations. Much of his time is spent away from the shop, assessing repairs among caravans at the Mangai’s commons, so his journeymen do most of the work.