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snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:38 AM
hi hi

Here goes. *I'm almost done with it, but I figured I would start dealing with formatting issues now. edit: Now I'm done, woo!
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Introduction: *The sky remains covered and dark, yet there has been no sign of rain for three days already. *To the north a line of majestic mountains rise up to meet the clouds and their tops are hidden from view. *On both sides of the road are endless fields of well kept wheat, barley and the occasional orchard. *A firm breeze flows from the west bringing with it the unmistakable smell of pine and dust. *Yet there are only a few spots of trees that rise up from the sea of grasses, and there is no labor working the fields today. *The path has improved since this morning, gone are the endlessly rolling foothills and broken ground. *In its place is a steady but gentle uphill climb and it has been smooth and uneventful for the past hour or so. *Every few miles you come across a cottage or two and some fenced in livestock, but the residents pay you no attention. *Up ahead, the well kept farmland ends abruptly and in its place is a vast sea of shrubs and wild grass. *A small dirt path branches off the main road and leads off to the south, and there is a small worn looking sign, clearly reading "Arlinfort 3 miles," ahead and "Saddlebridge 18 miles," to the south. *As you travel further down the road, you notice no signs of civilization save for the burnt out shell of what was perhaps once a large barn and some broken fences. *Even the animals seem scarce. *You can see a songbird perching on an old fence-post, but it makes no noise before darting off in your wake. The road winds around a tall ridge and as you come out from behind the rock-face you see Arlinfort come into view.
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~knhauber/approach.jpg
* * *Situated on the slope of a large foothill is a tall stone wall, two or three stories tall at least, broken to the ground in three places. *There are piles of stone and rubble at its base, and even more large craters in it's surface. *The gaps in the wall have been patched by a wooden palisade and you can see several thin wisps of smoke coming out from behind the great stone wall, the product of cooking fires and little more. *There is a large gate in the wall who's wooden doors sit half opened. *A castle sits upon the top of the hill looking out over the vast open plains, yet there are no banners flying in the breeze. *It's roof has long since torn away, and the shattered walls tell a tale of conflict long past. *The overcast sky looks colorful in comparison to its scorched battlements. *As you make your way across the last mile of open ground you notice that there are several guards on lookout atop the outer wall. *While a couple of them watch you intently, for the most part they seem more interested in sitting and talking amongst themselves. *They carry no visible weapons, though they are dressed in unadorned chain-mail hauberks. *A couple of large wooden chimes dangle from under their makeshift wooden roofs, no doubt for signaling. *As you approach the gates, one of the guards leans over the edge of the wall and hollers "Cassus! It is time to wake up!" before going back to what sounds like a game of cards. *Upon passing through the gates you see the rusted out fittings of the entrance's former doors, broken down decades ago, and a nervous man hurriedly placing a coif over his head off to one side. *He notices your presence and nervously says "G-g-greetings traveler, welcome to Arlinfort," but he seems uninterested in pressing a conversation and lets you move on without hinderance. *
* * *Inside the great stone walls are a host of buildings both small and large. *Along the main road the buildings look well kept, primarily wooden framed structures with a handful of stone architecture in-between, with recent paint and colorful signs posted on their faces. *However, looking in the alleyways and side-roads you see a different picture. Many of the buildings are in various states of disrepair. *Quite a few buildings look like they have suffered from a fire and never been repaired, their blackened frame's standing defiant against the passage of time, others look like they have just collapsed from neglect. *There are empty and ruined buildings everywhere, and yet there is a tangible serenity about the place. *A sort of peaceful calm that fills the otherwise empty streets. *The spirits of the past do not linger on here in sorrow, though this town has obviously seen its share of hardship. *The townsfolk seem well dressed and healthy, a few of them even smile and wave at you. *Going about their daily routines, carrying food, water, cloth and firewood about. *The town seems mostly populated by humans and gnomes if those outdoors are any indication, though a particularly surly looking dwarf crosses your path at one point. *In the center of town is a large open space, lined with shops and stores. *Though many of the shops look like they have been closed for some time, there are plenty that look warm and inviting to make up for it. *About this time you see the statue.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:39 AM
Stats:
Size: *Small Town.
Gold Limit: 800
Population: 1875
Youth: 24% - 451 ** * *(male 243 / female 208)
Adult: ** * *71% - 1331 ** * *(male 634 / female 697)
Elderly: ** * *5% - 93 ** * *(male 31 / female 62)
Human: 41% - 768
Gnome: 36% - 674
Halfling: * * *11% - 207
Dwarf: * * *6% - 114
Half Elf: * * *3% - 56
Elf: * * * * * *2% - 38
Other: * * *1% - 18
Militia: * * * *337 militiamen
* * * * * *16 officers
Climate: Temperate to sub arctic; dry with rainy seasons in spring and fall; mild summers and cold winters.
Alignment: Neutral Good
Religion: Any good aligned; deities that stress hard work, honesty or tenacity are most prevalent.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:39 AM
History: *Arlinfort, which was originally named Haliston after the founding merchant family, who built the town around a single inn and general store as a stopping point for the caravans. *The town, no more than a hamlet at this time, stayed small for generations until an entrepreneurial Gnome took up residence there. *Though his name has been lost to the sands of time, his creation lives on to this day, an alchemical substance made from local herbs and berries that silkworms thrive upon. *Once this discovery was made, silk quickly became the area's largest export and the population of Haliston grew rapidly. *Along with this increase in population came wealth, and those that prey on the wealthy. *An intricate tradition of fabric making and unique stitched patterns evolved to rival some of the finest works from far off lands. *Legend has it that Lord Arlin Marcus Ramyson XI was so taken with the silks produced here that, for an kingly sum of money, bought the land and built himself a castle into which he moved and ordered a large curtain wall to be constructed around the town and it's silk-shops. *However, there are some skeptical historians who claim that it was likely a three fold move in response to the harassment of caravans by bandits, the economic conditions of the time, and to secure a garrison along a geopolitical boundary of tension. *After the castle was built, the town was renamed Arlinfort, though the garrison and curtain wall were built much later. *Many generations passed without incident and Arlinfort prospered and grew into at small city. *During this time, Lady Kiara Nolan founded the Healer's Union. *The Healers Union consisted of an agreement between the clerics of several good aligned deities in the region to pool resources and provide unbiased aid to those in need. *Official records indicate approximately 11,000 citizens lived in Arlinfort at it's peak. *Then came the war that would shatter the city's fortunes.
* * *About a century ago, this region of the world was engulfed in a bitter war that left hundreds of thousands dead. *There was no doubt that tensions at the time were high, but nobody foresaw the onset of war. *Every two years, the rulers of the allied nations of Harst, Kethlir, Mihuara and Jerrona met at what was known as the council of four sovereigns. *Lord Paraton ruled Harst, which was the largest and most wealthy at the time. *Lord Kethlir was the ruler of Mihuara, and at the time was still a young man. *Lord Weizler of Jerrona was known for his generosity and was well loved by his people. *Lord Fitz of Ermaji was a gnome, and known for being a shrewd tactician.
* * *Legend says that a quarrel broke out amongst the four rulers, that swords were drawn, and Lord Fitz was forced to flee the manor with his closest aid slain. *Shortly after Lord Paraton IV ordered the execution or exile of all Gnomes living within his domain for crimes of treason, and declared war on neighboring Ermaji. *At the same time, he demanded that Lord Kethlir and Lord Weizler do the same or face dire consequences.
* * * *There is still much debate over what really started the war. *Some say that Lord Paraton IV simply went mad, that old age or perhaps some disease had addled his mind, as he died in his sleep only months later. *Some say that it was Fitz who instigated the whole thing by demanding reduced tariffs on Harstine Lumber and Spices. *Some say that it had been a long simmering rivalry between the two over a minor transgression years before, yet none of these explanations seem to answer all the questions.
* * *Whatever the case may be, Lord Kethlir declared war on Ermaji soon after Paraton's declaration, and Lord Weizler ordered his boarders closed and declared neutrality. *When the Harstine Army marched for Jerrona a month later, many of the nobility under Weizler's rule pledged their loyalties to Paraton and plunged the nation into civil war. *Soon the battle lines were drawn between those who wanted to see the sizable gnomish population exterminated or at least driven from their lands, and those who were gnomes themselves and their sympathizers. *Riots and fighting broke out in almost every city while armies marched against each-other on open fields, and Arlinfort lay besieged for the better part of three years.
* * *In the early days of the war, Arlinfort's governor, James Weslee Ramyson, sided with Lord Paraton and ordered the exile of all gnomes living within the city walls. *Instead the people of Arlinfort, along with most of the militia and even a few of the high-guard, rose up, stormed the keep and burned it down in the process. *It wasn't until the war was in its last years that Arlinfort came under siege. *Expecting the defenders to give up quickly, the invading army was completely unprepared for the ingenuity of the defenders. *With the aid of the militia and a couple of learned engineers, the Arlinfort defenders dug a series of intricate underground tunnels to connect them to the outside world and carry supplies. *However, by the time the first of the tunnels were completed, almost a third of the town's population had perished to disease and starvation. *Near the conclusion of the conflict, with the Jerronite armies closing in, the invaders made one final push to break the cities defenses in hopes of holding out inside themselves. *Whether by magic or by newly delivered siege weapons, they finally breeched the city walls and rushed into the city where they immediately began to burn buildings and kill the townsfolk. *However, the officers lost control of their troops, and they got so carried away with looting and pillaging that they gave the defenders enough time to regroup and launch a counterattack. *After setting more than half the town ablaze, the attackers were completely surprised by the sudden and fierce resistance and were soon in retreat. *Marshal Summers wrote of the event in his diaries:
* * *"I am filled ever with grief as I recall those moments and the look on my Lieutenant's face when I gave the order. *Pull the men back to the north wall and regroup, I told him, and his eyes which had been full of fire only moments before opened wide in shock. *Now I wish almost that I had ordered the charge to the breech, to defend friends and family. *A glorious death in combat seems at times, preferable to this life I live in victory and regret. *Two hundred against Three thousand, I must remind myself how fortunate we were to save any at all."
* * *There are those still alive today that remember the troubled times, elves and dwarves mostly yet even they are very old now. *During the troubled times, Arlinfort went from a population of roughly 11,000 to just over 1,500, though it's population has rebounded some in recent years. *More than 8/10ths of the cities buildings are left abandoned or in disrepair.

Rumors: *Arlinfort has a bad reputation, a very bad reputation. *People travel for many miles out of their way to avoid the city as it is rumored to bring bad luck or worse to those who stay there for too long. *Yet the city seems peaceful, even at night, as opposed to any number of large towns who's slums are permeated with feelings of danger and vulnerability. *Perhaps it is because of the massive city walls, which can be seen from almost any point in the city or perhaps it is because of the ever present murmur of harmless creatures scurrying about and minding their own business. *However, on those dark nights when the moon is new, local lore speaks of a nameless fear that prowls the streets. *It is said that on those nights, the air is filled with an overbearing silence and those who leave the safety of their homes have been known to disappear without a trace. *Even the guards stay indoors when the moon is new, and you won't find any townsfolk outdoors without a huge fire, a large group or no other choice. *On the other hand, since everyone stays indoors, nobody can seem to recall the last time anyone went missing in the middle of the night like that.
* * *Arlinfort has been a quiet place for the better part of a hundred years, and everyone around knows that nobody has lived in the keep on the hill since Lord James Weslee Ramyson was killed. *With the exception of the tall watchtower, which is accessed by an external ladder these days, the entire keep has been sealed off and goes unused and unappreciated. *There's talk in the town meetings lately of tearing it down to patch up the holes in the outer wall, but everyone knows they don't posses the manpower or the money to pull off such an endeavor. *For the most part people ignore it completely, but recently there has been talk of activity inside the keep. *Drunks and children are fond of telling ghost stories about eerie lights shining through the keep windows in the middle of the night, and strange noises to boot. *Nobody ever comes and goes from the keep though, and it is still sealed off, how could there be anyone living there?

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:40 AM
Local Geography: *Arlinfort sits on top of a foothill at the base of the Yitterbine Mountains. *There is a small river a half mile to the east which acts as the towns secondary source of water after the wells in town. *Most of the surrounding area is farmland with small patches of wild-grass and forrest in the mountainous and rocky parts. *There is a patch of wild-grass shrubs and brambles that surrounds the town in a three mile radius, where farmers refuse to cultivate. *The closest towns in all directions are small farming communities.

City Layout:
8/10ths of the city lays in ruins. *Most of the commercial businesses are located in the town center. *The silk shops tend to be set up in the northern part of town around the base of the castle cliff, where there is more open space for growing silkworm food. *There is no set residential area, the majority of houses are set up along the main road through town. *Some people prefer their privacy and situate themselves in the obscure locations amongst the ruins.
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~knhauber/city.jpg

Places of Interest:

1 - The Monument: *It is a statue roughly 7 and a half meters tall, carved out of solid marble and crafted in the image of Lady Kiara Nolan, the founder of the Healer's Union. *The passage of time has been both gentle and harsh to the statue, its surface is marred in places by damage inflicted by war and conflict and is stained with soot in places in spite of efforts to clean the surface. However, aside from the inflicted damage, the statue shows no other signs of wear and tear that are normally associated with marble exposed to the open air. *Lady Nolan is depicted with long flowing hair, a thoughtful expression, regal garments with tassels and embroidery, a sword resting tip first into the ground and a book cradled in her left arm. *The carvings on the book, though partially obscured, imply that it is a book of medicine. *At the base of the state is carved "In memory of Lady Kiara Nolan" followed by her famous phrase, which became the motto of the Healer's Union, "Let none be turned away."
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~knhauber/statue1.jpg
* * *The locals treat the monument with a great deal of respect. *It was the Healers Union that, after the war, made the difference between a total collapse of social structure in Arlinfort and a Meager survival. *In times of hardship people often look to the ideals of faith and tenacity which drove Lady Nolan. *It stands as a beacon of hope to the people. *If anyone were to willfully damage the statue, they would find the reaction of the people would turn very hostile, very fast.
* * *

2 - The Old Keep: *When the people rose up and overthrew the lord of the keep, they burned down the main living areas, the guard house and servants quarters. *The keep's stone walls were damaged during the 3 year siege, as the invading commander had assumed that the local guard would have fortified itself inside the keep rather than the underground logistics center that was tunneled out during the first months of the siege. *However, the lower levels of the keep remain intact.

3 - The Snapping Turtle Inn: A large building with a subtle green paint and a banner of a stylized pointy looking turtle hangs from it's front lintel. Through the cracks in the windows you can see the faint warm glow of firelight, and the aroma of fresh spiced bread reaches your nose. The inside of the inn is well kept and it is obvious from the atmosphere that the innkeeper is a competent one and does everything he can to make his guests feel at home, because they usually feel quite ill at ease simply being in town. The rooms are clean, whether because of they are scarcely used or because of a diligent cleaner you cant be sure. Even in the low cost rooms the beds are surprisingly soft. A hearty breakfast is served in the morning with fresh cream and coffee, while tea and sandwiches and soup are served for lunch. The innkeeper is a jolly young man who has recently taken over from his father, though if it weren't for the age difference, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. This is the very same inn that serviced travelers since the towns founding so many years ago.

4 - The Old Temple: The temple is a hard feature to miss, located near the center of town, with it's tall spire reaching up into the sky at least five stories. *Made out of white granite and adorned with carvings of geometric patterns with local significance, most of it's stained glass windows have been broken and are boarded up over the years, but those few that do remain are truly works of art. *In it's prime, thousands of people came to worship at the temple, however since the war it has fallen out of use as there are not enough patrons to support it. *Currently, the town doctor makes his residence there, though he is not a priest of the deity the temple was dedicated to. *It has become more of a place of healing than a place of worship, as curing the sick and healing the wounded are among the doctor's primary goals. *Unless there are a great many sick or injured, the main gathering area remains dedicated to it's deity, but all of the back rooms are filled with healing supplies and room for the infirm.

5 - The Big Mansion: *The mayor of town lives in a large two story manor, built from stone and surrounded by a tall wrought iron fence, and a gate which is usually locked. *The manor is modestly decorated and you can tell be it's design and upkeep that it's owner is more concerned with solid functionality than flashy displays of wealth. *There are a couple of militia guards that keep watch of the premises with orders to not let anyone in who hasn't been invited.

6 - The Weaver's Guild: *The Weaver's Guild is located in one of the few surviving large silk houses. *It was originally designed to be a self sufficient operation, with a silkworm garden in the central courtyard, plenty of space for spooling and weaving and living quarters on the upper levels. *Not many people bother using those rather meager living quarters, however, the leader of the Weaver's Guild has converted a large portion of the living area into his own private mansion with no expense spared for luxury. *He has at least nine rooms, each extravagantly decorated, which he enjoys showing off his wealth with.

7 - The underground tunnels: *These tunnels have been sealed of as of late due to an infestation of giant insects. *Someone ought to go down there and clean it out, but the militia certainly can't afford to spare anyone for such a task. *They were designed to be a confusing series of winding passages and dead ends so that if they were ever discovered, the defenders would have enough time to prepare themselves and collapse segments of the tunnels on their attackers and still be functional.

8 - The Militia Barracks: *Most of the militia stay in their own homes, however the officers and a handful of regular soldiers make their home in the old army barracks. *The building managed to survive the fires and is in relatively good condition, though the roof leaks from time to time. *None of the rooms serve their original purpose except for the mess hall, as most of them have been converted into living areas for the militia officers.

9 - The Old Theater House: *It was one of the first buildings to be restored after the war through private funds, and though it is rarely used for it's intended purpose, it is commonly used as a place to drink after a long day's work and watch local performances. *The performances have no common theme, one night it might be a prize fight between two rivals, another night it might be a dramatic storytelling or an impassioned rant by the town idiot. *Whatever the performance might be, for better or worse, the atmosphere and company makes it a worthy place to spend one's hard earned silver.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:41 AM
Arts and Culture: *The most prevalent form of art is the decorative silk making styles that the locals employ in their crafts. *Generally there is a difference in the patterning that corresponds to the quality of the silk threads themselves. *Lower quality threads are frequently used locally as clothes or decorations by the citizens of Arlinfort. *These silks often incorporate grid based designs that hold significance due to local customs and traditions. *Straight lines and overlapping edges are signs of prosperity and are superstitiously claimed to bring good fortune. *While silk scarves and sashes are commonly worn on cold days as decorative garments. *Ornamental tapestries locally feature solid warm colors with the occasional phrase or passage from ancient lore or holy text and simplified imagery. *The higher quality threads are almost exclusively crafted for export and easily fetch a high price amongst nobles and the wealthy. *These are often patterned in as extravagantly as possible with curving shapes, scripts, ruffles and delicate embroidery. *Ornamental tapestries of this sort are usually packed to the edges with all sorts of heraldry, scenes from mythology and geometric flowery patterns.
* * *Silk isn't the only form of art in Arlinfort, several well known architects and carpenters live in the city. *One of which has the driving passion of meticulously restoring old buildings, though at the rate he works, the locals often joke that it will take him a hundred lifetimes to finish. *The other is a forward looking individual that prides his structures for their durability, insulation and precision joinery. *Woodcarving is another commonplace form of art in the region. *Smoothly sanded and intricately carved signs are often placed outside of shops and residences. *Long stylized leaf patterns carved into eaves, posts and lintels are a normal sight.
* * *The local food usually consists of spiced bread, soup made from local tubers like potatoes and turnips with fresh meats, beer and stout, and sometimes sharp cheeses and a type of sour berry that grows in the brambles outside of town. *A common and popular dessert is a sort of almond cake, which Arlinfort was famous for before its collapse. *Sourberry pie is another common, though less famous delicacy that is often prepared in the fall seasons after the grain is harvested. *However, the few rich folks who live in Arlinfort make an effort to eat anything but the local cuisine, almond cake aside.
* * *The local area has quite a number of traditional songs and dances, but in Arlinfort, song is usually limited to drinking songs, and dance is not an everyday occurrence. *However, every once in a while there is something to sing and dance about. *Aside from the occasional wedding and jubilant birthday, there are two widely celebrated festivals, one in the spring and one in the fall. *The spring festival usually takes place on the second warm day of the year, with the first warm day being spent preparing. *Though there are no feasts on the spring festival, there is plenty to drink and lots of singing, dancing and some sport. *The music is full of energy, and though the rhythm is lacking, it makes singing the lyrics all that much easier. *The traditional dances involve groups of two and four, and involve fast movement around the center of the couple and quick trading of places. *The fall festival is less energetic, but it is also a feast in celebration of the harvest. *Though nobody in Arlinfort is truly a farmer, it's a welcome tradition and people eat enough to warrant slow dances that don't jostle the contents of one's stomach. *The music mostly rhythmic with few words and a steady intensity.
* * *The people of Arlinfort have something of a humorous view of death. *It is certainly something to be feared, but as it is always close in people's minds, they have come up with a great number of ways of dealing with it. *Death and the afterlife are often joked about and taken lightly in public. *Demonic and celestial beings are often represented by ridiculously exaggerated hand puppets, while disease is personified as a rambling old man who keeps repeating himself. *Funerals are not extravagant affairs, and usually involve drinking, dancing and a minimum of mourning, while the dead are buried in a graveyard north of town. *Cremation is common, but not the norm.

Economics: *Though people generally avoid Arlinfort, the quality silks produced here are highly valued and thus the caravans regularly come through to pick them up. *They don't make a point not to stay any longer than they need to, but when they come through they bring with them money and necessities. *The silk trade is the only thing keeping Arlinfort afloat. *Without silk there wouldn't be enough money for food. *Because of the silk most residents of Arlinfort are more wealthy than the average commoner, but there is a fine line between success and failure in these conditions. *To make matters worse bandits have started preying on caravans, the caravan drivers are discussing bypassing the town all together. *The already delicate balance between the silk makers and the caravans is on the verge of collapsing. *The town militia has exerted much of it's efforts to put an end to the bandit threat, but the thieves are always one step ahead of the guards. *The militia itself has put something of a strain on the economy of the town as new equipment is increasingly required to deal with the bandit threat, the mayor has been forced to put in place even higher taxes.
*
Religion: *Religion is important to the people of Arlinfort, but there is no standard religion. *The most commonly worshipped deities are those who's clerics belong to the Healer's Union, but there are no regular ceremonies. *There is a single cleric who resides in the old temple, but the temple has become more of a hospital than a place of worship and the cleric is more of a doctor then a holy man. *He is involved in weddings and monthly or bimonthly ceremonial prayer services. *Outsiders will not likely see much of the influence religion has on Arlinfort, but if they should start interfering with people's religious customs they might find themselves in any number of uncomfortable situations that might warrant leaving town in a hurry.

Government: *There is no single strong governing force in Arlinfort. *Though technically the sole power is granted by the Lord of the Land to Mayor Katrin Summers, there are several other factors that are just as influential. *There are three power players in the community, The mayor, the leader of the Weavers Guild and the Doctor all hold a significant sway in the operation of business in Arlinfort. *Every week the people hold a town meeting, where anyone who wants to speak in a public forum may do so. *The forum holds no official power or authority, and the mayor is rarely present, but it is one of the most influential factors in deciding public support of policy. *The Doctor is a powerful and well spoken participant in the forum and because of his well respected position in the community, as both a healer and a holy man, his words have as much weight as even the Mayor's. *While the mayor does not usually attend the meetings, her assistants are usually there to explain policy and take note of the public mood. *The leader of the Weavers Guild stays mostly out of public eye though anyone who works in the silk industry knows him well. *He has the final say on anything regarding the production of Arlinfort's most valuable commodity. *If anyone threatened his hold on power, he could easily bring the economy to a screeching halt. *Though the balance of power is maintained satisfactorily, there's no telling what might come along to disrupt it.
*
Law and Crime: *As is the case with most small towns, the crime rate is very low, at least on the inside of the city walls. *The guards know all the good hiding places in the ruined sections of town, and everyone seems to know everyone else, making it difficult to get away with anything. *There's not much profit to be gained from thievery in a town like this. *The few crimes that do happen are usually crimes of passion, fights and alcohol induced disturbances, or caused by travelers passing through. *People don't tend to live in Arlinfort unless they have a very good reason to do so. *Alcoholism is a widespread problem in Arlinfort, which isn't surprising considering the economic situation in town. *However, the harsh conditions also keep it in check. *Those who aren't in working condition, at least most of the time, don't last long in Arlinfort. *Not that it keeps the numbers of raging drunks down in total, they just leave town to find more hospitable places to live. *
* * *Travelers are usually monitored by the militia, and the owners of the local businesses have an understanding with the them. *When travelers cause trouble in public or in any of the local shops, the law is not far away. *In return, the shop owners are given all the leeway they could want in running their businesses. *This doesn't usually mean that people get ripped off, after all, bad word of mouth can be just as damaging as a fine or official sanction. *What it does mean is that businesses can buy and sell goods as they see fit, without heavy taxation and of just about any variety, with the exclusion of slavery and deadly poisons. *Any disturbances usually warrent getting kicked outside the city walls.
* * *The area outside the city walls is a totally different story. *Bandits and highway robbers have been appearing with ever increasing frequency along the main road and it is beginning to hamper trade in spite of the local militia's best efforts to track down and confront the bandits.

Military: *The city is not large enough to support a organized proper military force. *It is wealthy enough that it is able to maintain a sizable militia of modestly equipped commoners. *The mayor of town is granted control over the defense of Arlinfort, however, because its military value is much decreased since the war, Arlinfort is responsible of maintaining its own militia. *The militia is comprised of 337 volunteer men and women and 16 officers. *The volunteer force is equipped with chainmail, random swords, some long spears, and sometimes crossbows. *Many of the volunteer forces work different jobs in their off time as they are payed only a small compensation for their time. *The armory has enough gear to equip 350 militiamen with armor and swords, 100 militiamen with long spears and 25 militiamen with light crossbows. *Most keep their equipment at home rather than in the old barracks, and many use family owned hunting bows for ranged weapons rather than hope for a chance to use one of the few available crossbows. *On top of the wall, there is more than enough rubble to launch at the rabble of bandits that might challenge the defenses.
* * *The mayor has a decent sense for defense and tactics, but she defers most of the decision-making on these lines to Commander Wilder who is a trained warrior. *Under him are 15 other officers that are in charge of a group of twenty to twenty four militiamen.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:42 AM
Important NPCs:

Mayor Elsa Katrin Summers: *Human, Rogue. *Neutral Good. *Slightly lower level than party. *Elsa Summers is the official ruler of town, with mandate from the Lord of the Land. *She is given sovereign authority over the town and command of the militia, but as is usually the case, things are not that simple. *She is decently liked and very highly respected but she is not very approachable. *Her intelligence and cunning has earned her that respect and her fairness has endeared her to the people, but her taxes and uncompromising attitude on certain issues are bothersome to many. *She usually has her assistants deal with public relations, but has been known to grant audiences every once in a while. *She is a short woman with grey and brown hair, dressed in average silks with a particularly fancy looking vest, probably mid 40s and a healthy look about her.

Weavers Guild Master, Himlan Appalt Sorensen the 3rd: Human, Commoner. *Lawful Neutral. *Much lower level than party. *He is the leader of the silk industry, a positioned granted to him through hard work and perhaps a little skullduggery in his early years. *He likes to think of himself as a noble father figure, but he is poorly liked by his workers because he is rude and keeps too much of the profits for himself. *The main reason why people put up with him is his impeccable business sense, while greedy, has kept the silk industry going in Arlinfort. *He's a wiry, grey haired old man, probably in his mid 70s. *He does have his own sense of morals, but when it comes to business he is a warrior with money and numbers. *He likes to dress himself in the most over the top garments possible in his attempts to project an aura of untouchable wealth.

The Doctor, James Walters: *Human, Cleric. *Chaotic Good. *Lower level than party. *James Walters, commonly known as just "Doctor," pulls a lot of weight with the people. *Almost everyone living in Arlinfort has been healed or cured of disease by him at some point in time. *His outspoken sense of pragmatic morality and willingness to put himself in danger for others has earned him a great deal of respect. *His bedside manner and sharp wits make him very well liked and approachable, and people look to him as a sort of community leader. *He does not follow any of the most popular deities in town, but as a member of the Healer's Union he manages to fill in for religious duties as best he can. *As a cleric he is only trained in the art of war as much as is required, spending most of his time devoted to healing. *He is a young looking man, perhaps in his mid to late 20s. *He normally dresses in common linens and only wears his ceremonial vestments on rare occasions.

Commander Gisbert Wilder: *Gnome, Fighter. *Lawful Neutral. *High level. *Runs the militia under the Mayor's lenient command. *Something of a braggart and on off days a drunk, always throwing his weight around and standing up to those taller than him or shorter than him. *His gruff attitude has made him not well liked by just about anyone, but he is at least grudgingly respected for martial prowess. *He received formal education at a big city university and was highly regarded for his tactical theory in war games. *Some say that some transgression earned him his post in Arlinfort, others say that it is because "He's drunk all the time," some say that its because he's too small to ride a horse in a parade. *He might say that its because of the "Cursed bandits and the stupid caravans," and that "the sooner we get rid of those bandits the sooner I can land myself a real post and gain some honor." *The only people he feels he needs to show respect are his superiors.

Bandit Leader, "Rusty Jack" Ryan Tilver: *Human, Fighter/Bard. *Chaotic Evil. *Comparable level to party. *At one time he was a simple farmer, but a dispute over land and a killing turned him into an outlaw. *Since then he has turned his sharp wit and intellect to a life of crime and theft. *His charisma and personal presence earned him the respect and following of several different bandit groups, uniting them into a ruthlessly effective force. *Caravan's as far east as Greenshire and as far west as Kathelrok have heard of "Rusty Jack" the scourge of Arlinfort. *Even the caravans hired protection seems to be of little help against his brilliant ambushes.

Lieutenant Marcus Laylin: *Human, Fighter. *Neutral Evil. *As a officer in the Arlinfort militia, he is granted access to all the sensitive knowledge about the city's defense and planning. *Not satisfied with his meager salary as a soldier, he has sold out to the local bandits for a cut of their profits, in return for money he tells the bandits everything they want to know about Commander Gisbert's plans for stopping them. *Besides, it's not like the bandits are attacking any of his friends or relations in the city itself.

Conjurer Staleth Athan: *Human, Wizard. *Lawful Evil. *Higher level than party. *Only recently took up residence in the keep, a malicious conjurer who is studying better ways to access the dark arts, his presence has thus far gone unnoticed, but it cant stay that way for long. *With his loyal minions, he conducts dark rituals deep underground and spends a considerable amount of effort keeping himself hidden, but it is the townspeople's superstitions about the old keep that allows him to go undetected. *He plans to eventually kill everyone in town and claim it as his own. *Nobody knows who his master is, but it might very well be any number of major villains that the party is familiar with.

Adventure Hooks:
*
A nameless fear: *There is indeed a monster that prowls the streets on moonless nights. *It is a specter, ghost or appropriately challenging apparition. *On a night when the moon is new, the sky is invariably covered in an unnatural darkness. *Anywhere inside the town that is not lit by manmade sources is considered total darkness. *All artificial light sources fall to total darkness at the end of their radius. *The creature will not enter a lit area, nor will it enter a secured building. *It operates on a metaphysical level, so a secure building does not need to follow any exotic guidelines so long as it is inhabited, has walls on all sides, a roof, a floor, the entrances are closed, and the inhabitants feel that it is secure. *Any entering or leaving breaks this aura of security as do windows and doors left open, but the creature will normally only enter a building if it is pursuit of prey that have escaped it in the open.
* * *If the characters are outside and are protected by a light source, the apparition will attempt to extinguish it in the form of a sudden chill wind. *If no actions are taken, the flames from normal fires will be extinguished and items enchanted with a light spell may go tumbling off down a dark alleyway. *If the entire party is relying on dark-vision, the entity will attack from behind cover with impunity. *If the apparition is cornered by light sources it will flee by passing through walls, ceilings or even the ground. *If a character is reduced to 0 hit-points, or 0 levels if level drain is used, the entity will attempt to carry the body away where it will feed on its physical form, after which it will materialize and take the form of a cloaked humanoid. While in material form it seeks to avoid all contact with living creatures and will flee if any sentient being gets too close. *This form will slowly fade away until it reverts back to its immaterial form on the next new moon, leaving a pile of bones behind.

Marauders and the Caravans: *A charismatic leader has united several criminal groups to overpower and loot passing caravans, and with the help of an informant inside the city militia itself, they have been able to evade confrontation at every turn. *They maintain a mobile camp which can by packed up and on the move in a matter of minutes should word arrive that the town guards are on the prowl. *With the help of their informant they are able to know just how long the town militia will escort caravans out of the city and strike soon after the militia turns back for home. *The bandits have almost 70 members to do their bidding, but only a dozen of them are at a level to be a significant threat to the party.
* * *If the party manages to find the bandit camp before they are discovered themselves, they will find that it is guarded by a series of patrollers on horse back, each with a loud noise making device as a warning system. *Inside the camp are several large tents and more than enough horses for every bandit there. *Each bandit will be equipped with minimal armor and weaponry, mostly leather with some chain mail, short spears and bows. *If the camp is attacked they will fight fiercely with good moral until they have packed up and are ready to leave or if 50% of their forces have been killed at which point they will scatter and flee. *The bandit leader holds a map which tells the location of the hidden loot.

Enough to Eat: *Someone or something has been destroying crops on an already hard year, the farmers don't know if there will be enough to feed the town if things keep going the way they are. The troublemaker is not the bandits as everyone assumes. It is actually a supernatural being of some malevolence that hides itself away in the mountains. If the characters should attempt to track it down they will find themselves fighting the beast on uneasy terrain.

A light in the castle: *A group of evil aligned humanoids have taken up residence on the lower levels of the castle, with a powerful conjurer as their leader. They have been using a hidden lay-line in the castle's lowest levels to aid them in their dark rituals and are planning on moving their operations up to include human experimentation soon. When this happens, local townsfolk are going to find themselves subject to unimaginable hardships. For every towns person taken, the conjurer intends to use their life force to summon a terrible creature. A demon, or devil of some sort no doubt.
The upper levels of the keep are completely uninhabited, however the residents of the lower levels have set up a series of deadly traps, disguised as old unused defenses, falling rubble or unstable ground. Once in the lower levels, the conjurers minions will attempt to keep the party from escaping as well as killing them in any number of brutal ways. The conjurer himself will be guarded heavily, as he does not have much combat ability aside from his creatures and a few powerful spells.

Something lurking deep in the tunnels: *There are malevolent creatures living in the old escape tunnels. *While the tunnels remain sealed off, there has been no incident, but some suspect that it is only a matter of time before the dealings underground spill out onto the streets above. *Should the adventurers attempt to enter the tunnels to deal with the threat, they can expect to encounter any number of giant sized insects (spiders, centipedes, beetles) before reaching the old logistics center which has been newly re-fortified and is inhabited by goblinoid evildoers.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-25, 02:54 AM
hi hi

Edit: Finished! :D

snow_cheetah
2005-07-30, 09:06 PM
hi hi

Now the trick will be reviewing everyone elses cities. I gather there were quite a lot of them made. :)