Saturday, July 24, 2010

Night's Dark Terror Conversion XVII- Threshold (Overview)


by Rendclaw (from Vaults of Pandius. Edited for campaign)

Threshold Map

Who Rules: Patriarch Sherlane, Baron Halaran (LG hm C14 of Church of Karameikos); a kindly, aging priest who is quite friendly to his populace, but shows little mercy to the disrespectful or chaotic.

Who Really Rules: Duke Stefan Karameikos. The Duke's Law, along with a few stipulations, is strictly enforced here.

Population: Approximately 8,000 in winter, to 12,000 at the height of the summer trading and adventuring season.

Major Products: Fish, lumber, cloth, trade.

Armed Forces: The Town Guard; 300 Warrior 2 in scalemail armor and shield, armed with shortsword and club; 30 sergeants (typically human Fighter 3), and commanded by Captain Tyrantius (LN human male Knight 7). The guard patrols in squads of ten or twenty, depending on whether it is day or night, with a sergeant in command.

Local Laws: Within town limits, no mage spells may be cast. Any offenders caught will be brought to trial before a magistrate or the Baron. If convicted the guilty party will have a curse bestowed upon him, unless the court can be convinced that there are mitigating circumstances:

  • First Offence: Loss of hair, skin turned green in color or unsightly pimples or facial hair (-5 to Charisma). This can be removed by spell, but the offender must keep the curse active for at minimum one day before having it removed.
  • Second Offence: insomnia for two weeks (makes rest or regaining spells impossible.
  • Third Offence: Feeblemind
  • Fourth Offence: indefinite incarceration below Tarnskeep.

Aside from these additions, the Duke's Law is the law for this town. Threshold is a peaceful town where with the exception of Fogor Isle anyone can walk the streets at night, and Patriarch Sherlane wants to keep it that way. To this end the only weapons which may be carried in town are swords, daggers, and staves, and any swords and daggers are peace-bonded. Prohibited weapons are confiscated by the town guard and kept in town hall. The weapons are returned when the owner decides to leave town, then they are escorted to the town gate by two guardsmen and a 4th level cleric. Also, while not illegal, the wearing of armor is frowned upon by the town guard and most of the citizens of Threshold. People can enter or leave town while wearing armor, but they will be consistently followed around and questioned by the town guard if they are seen simply walking around town openly wearing armor.

Notable Mages: Since mage spell-casting is outlawed within town limits, no mage has set up permanent residence in Threshold town proper. However, there are several mages who live in the surrounding countryside.

  • Lynarra Silverpetal (N female elf Wizard 7) is a Callarii elf wizard who runs the local branch of the Karameikan Guild of Mages out of a converted inn two miles north of the town. She is a skilled administrator and will tutor promising youths at her “manor”.
  • Hagar of Highforge (LN male dwarf Artificer 10) is not a mage but his services are sought out by adventurers and nobles throughout northern Karameikos. He is a skilled smith and magical artisan, specializing in magic arms and armor. He will not craft or sell his wares for obviously evil characters.

Notable Churches:

  • The Healing Heart, Shrine of Chardastres. Sister Ulynov (LG Female Human Healer 8) is the mistress of the temple. This temple/hospital is situated between the north wall of town and Tarnskeep. They accept anyone for healing though a donation is expected, either in gold or services.
  • The Cathedral of the North, under the Church of Karameikos. High Templar Lanius (LN human male Cleric 9) runs a large, active temple under the watchful eye of the Baron. There are numerous crusaders (Paladins 1-3) who use this temple as a sanctuary and are available to assist the town when needed.
  • Petra’s Roof, a large temple of the Church of Traladara. Vicar Ivanov (NG human male Cleric 7) is the chief cleric of the temple but he is new to the posting. The Traladaran population maintains an unofficial militia that uses the temple as a mustering point.
  • Shrines to: Asterius, Koryis, and the Cult of Halav.

Notable Rogues' and Thieves Guilds: The Kingdom of Thieves, The Veiled Society, and (secretly) The Iron Ring all have branches of their respective guilds in Threshold, although most of their operations are done on Fogor Isle.

Equipment Shops: Partial, poor in winter.

Adventurers' Quarters: With the constant influx of adventurers, wanderers and transients of varying kinds, there are almost always a boarding house or three to stay in as well as several inns, but the ones of note are these:

  • The Hook and Hatchet; inn and tavern (good/moderate): although the lodgings and food are decent, adventurers tend to avoid it because it is a known watering hole for the town guard.
  • The Silver Dragon; inn (excellent/moderate): This inn is an adventurer's home away from home; decent prices along with some of the best food and lodging in the region, run by a retired rogue with varied connections throughout the duchy and beyond.
  • The Lion Rampant; inn and tavern (fair/cheap): This inn is frequented by adventurers and those who don't have (or want to spend) a lot of money, and they get a decent bargain for what they pay for.

Important Characters:

  • Aleena Halaran (LG Human Female Cleric 7 of the Church of Karameikos). She is Baron Halaran's niece and his right hand in most matters. She still goes on adventures from time to time but it is becoming increasingly rare, due to her growing role in helping her uncle govern Threshold.
  • Sergeant Arthol (LN human male F4/Marshal 2). Arthol is second-in-command of the town guard, and is usually the one who gruffly greets visitors to Threshold. He has an almost photographic memory, and can tell first-time visitors from long-time residents or those who come to Threshold often.
  • Chelsea Sweetwater (CG Halfling female Ranger 3/Scout 4). Chelsea is the local representative of the Hunter’s Guild. She is a skilled tracker and guide, often hired by adventurers to help locate ruins from ancient Traldar or the Beast Men. She has very close ties to the Vyalia elves and has been trained as a ranger. She is an excellent cook in addition to her other qualities.

Important Features in Town: Threshold is a very large town for its population. By decree of Baron Halaran, no building or residence may be built within 50 feet of each other. This gives Threshold an open, airy, comfortable feel that is popular with adventurers. Its more notable features are:

Fogor Isle: Every city seems to have its dark side; a filthy, run-down den where even the watch fears to tread, and Fogor Isle is no exception to this rule. Many businesses thrive here and while some are legal, most are not. When night falls, this place becomes so dangerous that even the city watch does not cross the bridges to patrol Fogor Isle. The Kingdom of Thieves and the Iron Ring both have headquarters here.

Loggertown: On the other side of the Windrush River is an encampment of approximately 1,000 loggers who work the forest to the east. From time to time, the community hires adventurers to rid the forest they work of various monsters. They have an agreement with the elves that for every tree that is cut down, two shall be planted in its place. Also, they are not to advance their logging operation more than 10 miles away from the shore of the Windrush River. All in all, this place is a bit on the rough-and-tumble side.

The Old Mill: On the northern end of Fogor Isle stands the charred ruins of The Old Mill, which was the main sawmill until it was all but destroyed by fire in 985 AC. The ruin is home to various kinds of giant insects, and adventurers are hired periodically to clean them out until it can be rebuilt.

Lakeshore Town: This is a small fishing community of about 250 people.

Tarnskeep: This is Baron Halaran's personal castle; a small, sturdy fortress with a single curtain wall and a large manor house. This is also the secret place where the Duchy's silver pieces are minted from the silver ore the Elvenguard brings upriver once per month. This is also where the more dangerous prisoners are incarcerated.

Town Hall: This huge five-story building dominates the centre of town. It is here that town meetings are held, confiscated illegal weapons stored, public declarations made, and major entertainment and events are held.

Weir and Dam: The dam was built to keep boats from being able to travel upriver from Threshold; Baron Halaran sees that as the prerogative of Threshold residents only. The weir (a small screen used to catch fish) is used by Threshold fishermen; it can be dragged aside, and is whenever logs are coming downriver from Loggertown.

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