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Shrine City


The Hummingbird


ShrineCity.jpg


"In ice and snow we thrive."

Southern Capital: Shrine City

Built of white stone and architectural magnificence, Shrine City is the strong capital of the South and the prominent worshipers of the Dragon God Valjer. At first glance its beautiful buildings give the impression of elegance and sophistication. Its residents, however, have adapted to the cruel weather and rough lifestyles of their location. This is one of the few cities where it is normal to see almost everyone carrying some kind of weapon.

Being more concerned with displays of strength and survival skill, Shrine City provides taverns and inns of only modest accommodations. Crime rate is high and always in need of a demonstration of control, which is a rather attractive feature for adventurers in need of coin.


Flag: black background; silhouette of a bright red dragon against grey mountains.

Ruler: Lord Ethan Diandren (Shades of Grey)

Prime Military: Dragonheart

The military employs a diverse force of southerners. Some races within the ranks are unique to the south. A couple of these are given their own division to serve specific purposes. All Dragonheart soldiers are conditioned to hostile living conditions, allowing them to focus on their missions and training. Overall, the military makes the most of strong racial traits and supplements weaknesses. It underwent reform ten years ago and has seen many improvements since. How effective these changes are remains to be seen.

Population

1,100,000

Military

Two hundred and seventy thousand (270,000) army troops divided into three (3) Corps and nine (9) Divisions.

Five hundred (500) wyvern riders divided into two (2) air force wings containing ten (10) squadrons each.

300,000 reserves.

Defenses

5,000 City Watchmen

2,000 Palace Guard

Fort Mikil

Stone walls

Guard houses

Seasonal weather


Citywide Landmarks

Benton Hall

Named for the half-ling architect who helped construct Shrine City’s school system, this magnificent building stands at the head of the City Square. Twin dragon statues face each other at the bottom of the steps leading up to the porch. To either side of the double door entrance are two round pillars. Various events take place inside, some of which have drawn performers from around the continent. The interior is modestly decorated but often furnished to fit special occasions. Sometimes, it takes more than strength and magic to survive the southern winter. The hall serves as the heartbeat for the human spirit enduring cold and darkness.

Airship Base

Shrine City’s fleet is a mixture of commercial and military craft. The former are bulky models designed to import and export trade goods. They are also used to transport citizens who can afford the coin to use them. Since trade is important for the economy, four commercial craft could be in the air at any given time. The commercial base is located in the southern part of the city. Over time, other buildings were built around it. There are only four military craft of mediocre quality, built from old designs regarding speed. The military craft are stationed at Mikil Fortress.

Details Below.

Climate

Shrine City is located in a sub-arctic region where winters are long and summers are short. It experiences brief, wet, springs and falls. In a good year summer will last a solid three months but it is usually a bit less. Summers are mild. Temperatures raise just enough to warm the skin. There is almost always a chill in the air to remind citizens of the black of winter. On the bright side of things, summer daylight hours last nearly a full day. The rumors a traveler might hear about the epic sized vegetables that skim by late or early frosts are likely true.

A bad winter can last up to nine months, the worst in history having been recorded at ten. Even then it was said that snow flurries fell midsummer. At its peak, winter sunlight barely creeps over the horizon before slipping into back darkness. These are dark days where the human spirit can fade with the sun. Those who do not stay active may succumb to depression. Like many regions, anywhere in the world, Shrine City may experience unseasonal weather. Nothing is set in stone.

Wildlife

Moose, bears, reindeer, wolves, foxes, and hares, are among the most common animals found in and around Shrine City. Their numbers vary by location. Reindeer may be seen grazing out on the open range northwest of the city whereas glimpsing a moose might require tracking into woodland areas. A number of other species have been named on the tongues of travelers coming into the city, such as white stags and snow foxes. Many animals either migrate or hibernate during winter’s freezing months. The land may seem truly dead at times.

Tavern owners and Innkeepers have heard their share of lore over the years. They might trade a tale or two with their customers concerning local sightings, such as the Azurai spotted in coastal waters, or the Lanterns drifting deep within the Southern Wilderness. Some evenings by the hearth are filled with tales of legendary beasts. Even more significant to the people is the Dragon God Valjer. Travelers might hear talk of Him on the streets. Although many religions are practiced throughout the south, faith in the Dragon God is the strongest.

Demographics

Although the population of Shrine City supports diversity, the various inhabitants rest up against the backbone of a human majority. It was humans who settled the city and humans who returned to it to reconstruct the South. Their descendants have managed to survive in its walls to this day. The climate has molded these humans into a sturdy stock of warriors with boisterous egos to match their strength. Given the harsh environment in which they live, they are proud of their own skills and perseverance. There isn’t a distinct label for this group but they take up about fifty percent of the city’s population.

There aren’t many magick users among that fifty percent, however, the total number of mages extends beyond their numbers and reaches into the rest of the races residing in Shrine City. Another twenty percent of the population is made up of other human races. The remaining thirty percent belong to humanoids with varying origins. Residents who can wield magick are generally regarded as valuable assets, regardless of race.

Economy

Southern Genesaris is still rich in untapped metals and minerals. Metals waiting to be mined are copper, silver, and gold. The government of Shrine City supports the export of these metals by cutting taxes to business owners and providing security to trade routes. The most common southern minerals are nickel, molybdenum, cobalt, lead, and zinc. These minerals are treated more conservatively. Local demand of minerals is almost always checked before considerations are given for trade. There are a number of other materials that filter through the market place. Some of them are exclusive to Genesaris. You may view the list here

Furs, hides, bones and other animal by-products are also valuable exported goods. There are some desirable furs which the south has access to that no other region does. Furs such as baby seal are known to turn a high profit. Those who aren’t into the business of metals or furs may be found making a living off farming or animal husbandry, or both. Growing crops in the South isn’t impossible, especially plants that can grow between thirty to ninety days. Such plants are turnips, leeks, carrots, herbs, cauliflower, cabbages, radishes, chives, leaf lettuce, mustard, and spinach. The ever developing “greenhouses” greatly aid food production. Animal husbandry can vary greatly, but yaks are quite common. A yak can provide meat, milk, and hides, and they are well adapted to cold climates.

When the weather permits, netting salmon and deep sea fishing are two other good ways to make coin. Jobs aren’t limited to the above. There are numerous positions in the military as well in the city itself. Mercenary work is very desirable. Plenty of southerners are self-reliant and live off the land, not to mention those who take to illegal means of survival. Some examples of illegal businesses include drug trade, human trafficking, and the poaching of rare animals. If nothing else, one can try their luck at gambling to make a living. The options are limitless.

Arts

Art may not be the central focus for the average Shrine City citizen, but it can be appreciated in all its forms when one has the time to marvel at it. Art is not only the product of skill but labor, and hard work is given high regard in the city. It is likely that a citizen would attend concerts or value a piece of art over other materialistic goods for that reason. Those who are financially well off may showcase various pieces of art in their homes. One of the most popular places to visit in Shrine City is Arky’s Art Museum.

Sports

Wrestling is one of the most popular sporting events in Shrine City. Weather permitting, matches are held weekly at the Benton Hall where wrestlers compete from all walks in life. Another sport that fills the hall is dog fighting. The fights take place monthly and about mid-week. It isn’t quite as popular as wrestling but like any coin generator, it does draw crowds. Kickball games are quite common during the summer. Annual matches pitting teams together from different divisions, such as those found in the labor force and military, are very popular.

Recreation

Recreation varies widely and depends on a person’s interests. When the weather is good there really is no boundary to what one can do (legally). The people of Shrine City are accustomed to cold weather hobbies and welcome what little recreation they can from the short summer season. Some cold weather activities include ice swimming, sledding, dog-sledding, deep sea fishing, ice fishing, and gambling. Those who can afford the time and coin may delve into the arts, sports, or travel. Some might even try their hand at raising flower gardens in the summer. It depends on what tickles them pink.

Government

The government of Shrine City is an oligarchy where power rests on a group of people. At least that’s how it may appear to the outside world. This group of people is known as The Council of Eight. The council has lost much of its power since Lord Diandren seized the city and reassigned their roles by chair number. Its old plutocratic nature has been completely removed and some of its more corrupt members disposed of. The council functions more like a ring of advisors now, each with his or her given duties.

First Chair

The one in this position has the power to coordinate and supervise the functions of each chair member, if they so choose. No decision made by the council members is final without this chairperson’s approval.

Second Chair

This member monitors the security forces within the city. They administer programs which respond to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. Their duties also include acting as an informant to the South’s three representatives for the Genesar Grand Council.

Third Chair

He or she manages the city’s treasury. They oversee the taxation system, government spending, and both foreign and local economic policies.

Fourth Chair

This member is responsible for developing and executing Shrine City’s government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. Their goals should include meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers, promoting agricultural trade and production, food safety, protecting natural resources, fostering rural communities and end hunger in the city.

Fifth Chair

He or she ensures the justice system is fair, accessible, and efficient, according to the First Chair’s ideals. They represent the city government in legal matters and manage the judicial personnel of the city.

Sixth Chair

This member is responsible for establishing school policy, administering and coordinating financial assistance for schools, collecting data on schools, and enforcing educational laws regarding privacy and individual rights. They set educational standards and concern themselves with the quality of the city’s schools.

Seventh Chair

He or she monitors the armed forces and reports the conditions found there to the First Chair. They may act on the First Chair’s behalf when handling militaristic issues.

Eighth Chair

This member studies the labor market. They may investigate work conditions, help improve work conditions, create jobs and advancement opportunities, and enforce labor laws.

Crime and Punishment

Below is the list of major laws. Breaking them is considered a major offense and the consequences for doing so were added respectively. If sentenced to execution, a criminal may write a formal petition to the First Chair of the Council of Eight. Otherwise they can expect to be put to death on the next Execution Day. Lord Diandren may or may not pardon criminals for their crime(s).

1. Respect the hierarchy

Consequences: The disrespected party sets the consequence, within lawful means.

2. The trafficking of illegal goods is prohibited

Consequences: The “goods” will be confiscated and the offender shall spend a month (moon cycle) in prison. As further punishment, their taxes will be tripled for the year. Repeating this offense shall result in the loss of a hand. If this law is broken for the third time, the offender will be publicly executed.

3. Assault is illegal (includes cases of rape)

Consequences: The offender will undergo public lashings and be ordered to compensate the victim(s) for damages. Should they repeat the offense, it will result in the loss of a hand. A third offense will see them publicly executed.

4. Slavery is illegal

Consequences: All slaves will be set free and the offender’s assets will be divided equally among the freed slaves. The offender shall serve ten years in prison. Should they repeat the offense, they will be publicly executed.

5. Kidnapping is illegal

Consequences: The offender will be sent to prison for five years and fined the same amount of coin they demanded for their victim. Repeating this offense will result in public execution.

6. Murder is illegal

Consequences: Murder is punishable by public execution.

7. Failure to pay taxes is illegal

Consequences: Failure to pay taxes will result in some form of public humiliation, community service, and the doubling of taxes for that year. Taxes will be tripled for each offense given thereafter.

8. Civil unrest is illegal.

Consequences: Anyone caught planning or participating in a riot, sabotage, or other forms of obstructive behavior shall be fined and suffer public lashings. A second offense results in public execution.

9. Treason is illegal.

Consequences: All treasonous acts are punishable by public lashings then execution.

A different system was recently put in place to punish minor offenses such as thievery, brawling, trespassing, vandalism, prostitution, etc… For each minor offense, the offender is branded with a hot iron shaped like a circle. All circles placed on them will interlock. After the third offense offenders become indentured servants to the government and community. Every indentured servant is given a magical tracking collar that will strangle them if they get out of range. For those who are immune to magic, other means will be used to maintain control of them, often more brutal. If offenders commit a fourth crime, no matter what it is, they are to be executed.

Taxes

Residents of Shrine City may pay their taxes "in cash" or "in kind". To pay in cash, one may simply hand over coins, gold, silver or bronze. To pay "in kind" one may use crops, livestock, or whatever else of value they can produce. Due to the climate, the country's tax season is in late Summer.

Head Tax

This is a yearly contribution of no less than one tenth (10%) of a person's personal income. Only the head of each household is required to pay it. Since the citizens of Shrine City are mostly self-sufficient, this tax is saved for times of national crisis. A census to determine the heads of households is held every spring.

Property Tax

A tenth of a person's total property (including land, produce, material goods, etc…). It is collected quarterly. Half of these funds go to supporting the military, city guard, building maintenance, and other government projects. The other half goes to Lord Diandren.

Merchant Tax

A merchant pays a monthly fee of no less than a tenth of their earnings (10%) to Lord Diandren. Depending on the business, taxes may be reduced to a twentieth of their earnings (5%).

Education

Every child attends school for eight years to receive a general education. Afterward they are expected to enter a vocational school pertaining to their future role in society. The schools are divided into six branches under the Benton School System of Shrine City. Students may train in the areas of agriculture, magic, business, religion, law, or the military. Each school is divided further into programs of study. For example, the Benton School of Business offers a program for Domestic Service. Those who pass the Domestic Service program with high scores may be employed in the palace itself.

Transportation

Like other major cities in Genesaris, Shrine City uses Crossroads and Airships to cover long distances. In an effort to maintain Shrine City’s general population, the portals are well guarded. Citizens who wish to use them must apply for, and purchase, a license for a hefty sum. Airship tickets may be purchased for twice that amount. While these measures may seem unreasonable, they were designed to keep people in during hard years. The city would be hard pressed to keep running itself if everyone panicked and left.

Depending on the time of year, locals might find horses and dog sleds to be sufficient for short distances. One of the most popular horse breeds to use for travel is the Fresian. This handsome black horse was bred to endure sub-arctic living conditions. They do well carrying armored men, leaving their cousins, the draft horses, to more laborious tasks. As for popular sled dogs, malamutes are quite common but so are the various breeds of huskies. If all else fails, a good pair of snowshoes may work for short distances.

Holidays and Festivals

Holidays and festivals occur year round. Some of them provide additional entertainment for a city that is ready to pull its hair out in the middle of winter. As a diverse city, Shrine City has its share of festivities that have come in from the outside world. If a visitor celebrates a holiday or custom and is willing to share it, they may find themselves surrounded by enthusiastic neighbors eager to get involved. Listed below are the most common holidays and festivals celebrated by Shrine City.

Durgar

The holiday celebrates the ‘coming of age’ for boys and girls. In Shrine City boys are considered adults when they turn sixteen years old whereas girls need only be fourteen. It is celebrated in the dead of winter. Those who can make it may attend the festivities held in Benton Hall such as contests, singing, and dancing. Some examples of the contests held are wrestling, archery, axe throwing, hammer throwing, and short races. If the weather proves to be difficult, festivities will be postponed and the day shall be observed by other means.

Embily

The main holy holiday that observes the Dragon God Valjer. This is the most diversely celebrated holiday. Any number of activities could take place in order to honor the god so long as everyone has their own ideas about how to do it. Men may hold contests to show their strength. Women prepare offerings. Children make crafts. Elderly quietly pray. Like Durgar, this holiday also takes place in the dead of winter.

Ador

On the last day of summer, all Initiates of Valjer who have successfully completed their rite of passage are recognized. A tournament is held in their honor. Various competitions take place but none other captures the spirit of the occasion like a pair of warriors testing their skills against each other.

Days of the Fist

Since wrestling is the most popular sport in Shrine City, it has been given its own time to hold tournaments. The event lasts for three days. During that time competitors from across the south gather to test their might without the use of weaponry. Although it is more of a southern sport, contenders are welcome from other parts of the world as well.

Joker’s Day

This day was hatched in late winter to liven up the city’s dark, depressing atmosphere. It is a day dedicated to playing pranks and telling jokes. Comedians and musicians are invited to perform in Benton Hall as free entertainment. Many see it as a chance to make a name for themselves. If they can afford the resources at this point, late in winter, citizens may hold parties to express their own humor.

Execution Day

As simple as it sounds, it gets the point across. Execution Day is an event held quarterly where citizens may gather in the City Square to watch public executions. Since many methods of execution are drawn out, gambling is permitted to allow bets on the duration of time it takes for criminals to die.

The Summer Field Festival

The event is celebrated toward the end of summer. Farmers and ranchers alike bring their goods to market to auction or sell. In a good year, this is a time of plenty. Festive spirits might rise within the city. Parties could bleed into the streets. Everyone may love their neighbor in drunken stupor. However, if it is a bad year, than it is a matter of making ends meet.

The Salmon Run Festival

The event takes place during the salmon migration in late summer. Since spawning times vary, the festival doesn’t have a set date. It could run up against The Summer Field Festival, extending a day of feasting into days of partying. Feasting for this day typically focuses on salmon but if it is a good year, one can expect to see a variety of food offered in the market.

City Structure

Shrine City was once a clearly defined walled city. As it expanded over the years, more walls were added to make a total of six. These walls became known as “rings”. Although the walls still serve their practical purpose, maintaining a minimal form of security, they are now used to keep the classes divided. The rich occupy the inner most rings, leaving the poor to the outer rings and what has become known as the “bay”. Therefore, one can judge a person’s wealth by which ring they live in. Life in the bay is arguably the most perilous. It is the land developed outside the sixth wall, offering little protection.

To support a growing population, city developers have built up instead of out. Tall buildings stand over the rings. There are many areas in the city where the buildings obscure the view of the walls. Every ring has its share of general schools, taverns, inns, shops, trading posts, barracks, bathhouses, religious centers, etc… Some of the more prominent places are listed below. Visitors may be informed of these places depending on their needs.

Arky’s Art Museum

Initially owned by Shrine City’s first renowned artist Soris Arkale, this eccentric mansion was converted into a museum in honor of his memory. His work, along with that of other artists who have risen to fame since then, may be viewed inside and outside the building. The yard is filled with maddening sculptures taking on questionable designs, too large and heavy to carry off by simple means. These pieces reflect Arkale’s collapse into dementia toward the end of his life. To follow a timeline of his work is to glimpse the process of a man losing his mind over the span of six years. The museum is one of the most guarded buildings in Shrine City and is located in the third ring.

Ambran’s Casino

Arguably, this is the most exquisite building in all Shrine City. It spares no expense to the services it offers. Along with gambling rooms, the casino hosts concerts, comedians, and wrestling events. Escorts are ready to offer companionship. Exotic dancers may be seen in every room, including the casino’s own private bathhouse. The establishment is well guarded, using practices that delve into magical and supernatural forces to provide additional security. It is located in the fourth ring.

Courthouse

The central office is one of the oldest buildings in Shrine City. New additions have been added over time to accommodate the growth in local government and court of law. Located in the fourth ring, it has a similar design to Benton Hall. Polished steps lead up to the porch of the main entrance where pillars stand to the either side of the double doors. Above the main entrance, as if part of the roof, is the sculpture of a resting dragon, fore limbs crossed, tail coming around to hang off the edge.

Library

The library is another one of the oldest buildings in Shrine City. Like the courthouse, it has seen rooms added on over the years. There are three stories above ground and three below. The lower two levels are off limits to the public and heavily guarded. Only rumor and speculation can provide ideas as to what is stored there. The building itself is rather plain. It has four entrances. At each entrance is a statue of a child reading a book. Although the library lacks comprehensive research, it is rich in Southern lore. Anyone seeking answers about the South should find this library to be very useful.

Eragar Palace

The palace has been renamed as many times as remodeled by the lords that have possessed it. Not much is known about the interior private chambers used by the lord and his administrative staff. That knowledge is kept secret. Magical, physical, and supernatural forces keep the area secure. The guest quarters on the other hand are richly decorated with all the comforts the outside world could want. Guests are welcome to use any of the service rooms when appropriate. Many favor the bathhouse. One of the few luxuries Lord Diandren affords himself is his love of botany. Various potted plants may be seen throughout the palace, some imported. The palace is located in the first ring.

City Square

The City Square has traditionally been the central marketplace for Shrine City. As the name of the location suggests, businesses have been built around an open area to form a square. However, with the growth of the city, the area ran out of room to build new shops. Only the best crafters are given a permit to sell their wares here. This leaves others with fewer skills to set up stands on street corners, walk ways, or rented spaces inside shops. Public events are often held there. During the summer, citizens may be seen lounging around on the grass. It is located in the fourth ring.

Valjer Temple

The temple is one of the sturdiest buildings in all of Shrine City. It is also one of the biggest, capable of taking in large crowds of people for worship. Dedicated to a god of strength and survival, there is little use for mortal treasures within its walls. The building may be entered from all four sides. Each side has an entrance no less grand than the other. To either side of the double doors are fiery basins kept lit year around. Above the doors, sculpted out of the white stone, is a dragon head. Every pillar holding up the high porch has dragons skillfully carved into them. In the center of the temple stands a large altar on a pyramid of polished white marble stairs. The people believe that man should stand below the god and ascend to His greatness in order to worship Him. There is almost always some kind of incense burning depending on the hour and the day of the week. The temple is located in the fourth ring.

Benton’s Disciples of Valjer

This is a religious boarding school located in the fourth ring, about a block from the temple’s yard. It is the only school in the Benton School System that is separated from the rest. The main building is three stories high and two stories below ground. Instead of lavish accommodations, they provide students with well-equipped training facilities. They teach strength of body is as important as strength of mind. The school has been remodeled to resemble the other four Benton schools, only there is an impressive statue of a dragon, similar to the one erected outside the ColdStone Tavern, standing by the main entrance. Like many buildings in Shrine City, the school and its counterparts are built of white stone.

Benton’s Military Academy

The largest of the Benton schools, it takes up considerable space in the third ring. All security and armed forces begin their training here. Students are placed into departments according to their skills and potential. Exceptions are made for those applying for the City Watch. The school offers extensive training facilities above and below ground, utilizing as much space as possible. Some obstacle courses can be viewed from the streets. Rumors say there is a dungeon underneath. Outside the administrative office is the statue of two warriors’ dual wielding battle axes. They wear dragon engravings on their breastplates.

Benton’s School of Magic

The school could easily be over looked among the buildings of the agricultural school. Outside the main entrance is the statue of three students bent over an open book, offering the only visual sign to distinguish it from the other school. There was a time when the magic school was hard pressed to fill its classrooms with students. Now it has seen a steady growth of students. Some of the basement storage rooms have been converted into classrooms to take in as many students as possible. Entry into the school has become quite competitive. Entrance exams are now required of anyone wishing to study magic. Students from this school share housing with agricultural students.

Bention’s School of Agriculture

The agricultural and business schools are the most alike, sharing the same layout and number of buildings. In the yards surrounding the agricultural school are several statues of livestock and shepherds tending to them. It would be hard for a passerby in the third ring not to notice them. Students may be seen sitting on or resting against the statues. A student died in the rancher’s building five years ago where a fight broke out between the sons of rival families. Some say the second floor hallway, where it happened, is now haunted. Others laugh it off. There is no proof of the claims.

Benton’s School of Business

Outside the administrative building is the statue of a standing man holding his hands out, palms up. One hand holds a coin. The other is empty. All students wishing to enter the school are asked for their interpretation of this. The school offers the most diverse programs in the Benton system, attracting the second largest student body. Not all of them graduate and become successful.

Outlying Areas

Castle Kurjal

The castle was half destroyed during the eradication of the South. It was one of the first buildings to be restored and served as Shrine City’s main defense for quite some time. When Fort Mikil was built, it bumped Castle Kurjal into a supportive role. Only recently has much of the castle been converted to a food growing facility experimenting with “greenhouse” related magiteck. Compared to Fort Mikil, it has a light military presence which guards the food and polices the southern road leading out of Shrine City.

The castle maintains the same structure it had before. The keep has one underground level and four above, two curtain walls, and two baileys. Both baileys are used for “greenhouse” experiments, allowing some room for stables. The keep shelters the men itself. They still use the battlements on each curtain wall to patrol, but the castle has been stripped of most of its function. It is mostly used as a headquarters now. A dry moat surrounds the outer wall. There is only one entrance which passes through the barriers to reach the keep. The gatehouses and portcullis’ remain.

Fort Mikil

This impressive military stronghold sits northwest of Shrine City, within sight of city walls. It is Shrine City’s primary defense and also polices the outlying areas under Lord Diandren’s rule. Construction of the fort was taken very seriously, so much so that dwarven skills were contracted to do it. There are rumors of underground passages but none of them have been confirmed.

Positioned on a hill, the main keep has a depth of three stories and a height of six. The roof is wide enough to comfortably hold two airships. Inside, the keep is divided up into several rooms and offices. Little care is given to comforts, but one level is dedicated to providing training rooms while another one focuses on storage. Outside the keep is the inner most bailey. Military personnel use it as a yard to train.

Boxing in the inner bailey is the first of three curtain walls. There is only one gate through this wall accompanied by a gatehouse with two portcullises. The wall is rimmed by battlements and skirted by stones. On the other side of this wall is the middle bailey. The middle bailey contains all workshops, some garrison barracks, and some storage facilities. There are two entrances in the second curtain wall leading from the middle bailey to the outer bailey, one east and one west. Both are guarded by gatehouses with two portcullises. Just like the first curtain wall, this one is rimmed with battlements and skirted by stones. Added to this are four towers about four stories high built into the curtain wall from inside the fort. Each tour stands about four stories high. They are positioned northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest.

The outer bailey comes next. It contains more garrison barracks, storage facilities, and stables. There are four entrances to this bailey; north, east, west, and south. Again, one can expect to find each gate guarded by gatehouses accompanied by two portcullises. The last curtain wall is the highest and thickest of the three. Encircling it is a dry moat. Planted very carefully into the moat is a field of steel pikes. To help prevent bloody accidents, guard rails were added to the draw-bridge.

Mikil Village

Not everyone living and working in the fortress has a place to stay within its walls. This town houses many low ranking military personnel and civilians. It provides the fortress with its basic needs, thus cutting the need to travel to the city itself for goods. The town has a defensive wall built around it with two gates. When the southern island Kord fell to an Ishna invasion, several refugees of the psionic race Norian settled there. They have since been filtered into the military.

Twin Rivers Village

Southwest of Shrine City, within a day’s ride under good weather conditions, is the village of Twin Rivers. It is one of two Elemen settlements. Due to hardships in the past, the villagers aren’t very welcoming of outsiders. They prefer to keep to themselves. If not for the high quality products they vendor in Shrine City, the only ones that might remember them are military patrols.

The village doesn’t actually have two rivers running by it. When the village was first settled, it was believed there were two rivers running parallel to each other about two leagues apart until; the bend in the river was discovered.

The Southern Wilderness

For information concerning the Southern Wilderness and ColdStone Tavern within its grasp, click here



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