June 21, 2014

Crowwood

I want to try out an initial setting for a novel by first running it through a DnD campaign. Certain friends of mine may have some deja vu.

CROWWOOD

Crowwood is filled with many, many people. Originally, only adventurers and traders passed through, but over time families, nobility, and merchants began to settle. The town began to grow, and now it serves as a hub for smaller cities around the continent due to its size and central location on North Lanbriar (link to continent). The town is circular, with three sectors centering around a sprawling marketplace and castle.

The western sector of the town is called Oakwing. It is the smallest sector, by far, and only noble families can afford to live here. Large homes and sprawling estates populate the area. A family's wealth is often judged by the size of their land in Oakwing. Each home tends to be architecturally different -- beautiful, and most importantly, expensive. The nights are quiet and the streets are clean. The king has a guest home in this district, though he lives in the central castle.

The southern and largest of the three sectors is is Ashefort. The name comes from a defensive fort that stood in the area when the town was in it's infancy. Fort Mason was hardly necessary at the time, as no town in Crowwood's vicinity had much interest in invading the small, rather poor town. Nevertheless, Fort Mason stood at the entryway of the town before it's borders had expanded. One day, the fort was fell under siege by a group of goblins. It was no great trouble defeating them (thought there were a few casualties). As luck would have it, a dragon happened to be hunting said goblins and showed up soon after the raid. The dragon burned the entire town to the ground. Fort Mason -- nicknamed Ashefort -- is all that is left of the old town. The rest was rebuilt and expanded, but the fort remained out of respect for the dead and, admittedly, because of the townsfolk's superstition. It is rumored the dragon still lives nearby.

This is the middle class district. The merchants who are prosperous enough to afford housing as opposed to living in their shops reside here. Families and adventurers with enough gold to own homes also have homes here. Houses are small in this district, save for a few plots of land owned by prosperous merchants who will never make enough to move to Oakwing. A few other large properties are owned by people who others speculate to be thieves... though this is only gossip and such accusations have never been proven. There are also a few low class homes on the outskirts of town as well as wandering homeless. Regardless of this fact, the residents consider the streets fairly safe.

The easternmost and aptly-named East Wing is the meat of Crowwood. All political and social events take place in this district. There is an opera house, a court house, large buildings to host galas, and other buildings to keep patrons entertained. For the less wealthy, there are accommodations such as the arena, a large closed off dome where fighters with inflated egoes fight to the death. This is often seen as commoner entertainment.

There are also several inns and pubs in the area with various pricing. Most are rather accommodating because the constant influx of people have brought owners of these establishments a good deal of wealth.

There are several other places of interest here as well. Most importantly is the Adventurers guild through which groups of people accept contracts and get paid through a third party to avoid both issues with payment and identity. There is also an academy for the study of magic that is home to mages and scribes alike. There are two temples: one for each set of gods, the "wild" and the "civilized." Most choose one set to pay tribute to, but some honor them all. Some honor none. There is also a jail to house those who break the city's laws.

Unofficially, there are rumored groups about... Underground mafias and groups of thieves and assassins for hire. No one has ever found proof of their existence.

Finally, there is the center of town. In the northern half there is a large castle. The king of North Lanbriar lives here unless he is on duty elsewhere. It is constructed of stone and shines ivory white in the sun. There are several small towers on each corner that house living quarters for guards and servants. Over the top of the large entrance doors hangs a large, rounded balcony that looks over the courtyard below. When the king was to speak in public, the townsfolk would gather around to hear his words. During festivals and special occasions, colored cloth would hang from the balcony.

The sprawling estate is only overshadowed by a clock standing tall in the center of the sector. The clock never failed. Children joked that the clock tower was run by a wizard who could use it to control time. This, their elders told them, was assuredly not true. It did not stop the children from joking and daring each other to climb the steps up to the top.

The southern half of the central sector is a densely packed marketplace. Many patrons sell bobbles from many different lands -- both real and fake -- and are willing to sell to anyone with gold in their pockets. Some shops are full buildings, often with two stories -- the lower floor  for sales and merchandise, and the upper floor for the owners to live. Many more shops are simply booths set up haphazardly. These shops sell cheap goods that are generally unwanted, but anywhere can have something that attracts the Adventurer's eye.

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