Paths of Vengeance
Notable Landmarks of Farholde
This grim castle of grey stone overlooks the Scardynn delta from high Hamarhill and remains the most obvious sign of royal might. Usually garrisoned by one hundred soldiers plus officers and support personnel, this castle
is not too different from the Watchtower Balentyne.
2. The Accarian Beacon
Where Lake Scardynn meets the sea rises King Accarius’ other less famous building project. The lighthouse guides ships into the port through the jagged, rockstrewn breakwaters. It also anchors one point of the great sea-chain that can be raised to block access to the Scardynn in times of war. The keeper and guardian of the beacon is actually a hereditary position bestowing a minor noble title. Sir Bonder of the Beacon holds the position today, charged with securing the beacon by a three hundred year old royal decree.
3. Calliver Green
This gently sloping hill is amongst the highest points south of the Scardynn delta and has become home to the wealthiest residents of Farholde. Access to the Green is blocked by a small private guard post. Without a pass granted by a residents, access is not allowed.
Only six estates stand on the hill: Welshire Hall (the personal estate of the duke himself), Vanderhall (Baron Arkov Vandermir’s estate), Beaconhelm (the estate of Sir Bonder of the Beacon), Hallynsgate (home of the mayor and reeve, Hugo Hallynbeck), Cranstyn Spire (owned by Farholde’s wealthiest merchant – the lady Shalyn Marsten) and Far Ghasten (an empty but meticiously maintained manor owned by the powerful Ghastens of Ghastenhall).
The six estates surround a large picturesque communal green. This lush private park, once venerated as a holy place by the Iraen, still boasts a great and ancient yew tree, its knotty trunk more than sixteen feet across at its widest. This tree gives the hill its name – Calliver (pronounced Cowl-liver similar to caliber) is a bastardized version of its older name Cannock Ivar, which means literally the Hill of the Yew. Once druids prayed to this old tree, but now it is far more likely that you will find some young noble scion picnicking beneath the vast spread of its countless branches.
4. Abbey of Saint Cynthia-Celeste
Usually called simply the Abbey by locals, this large walled manor house is home to a devout order of Mitran nuns. The nuns are a common sight about town dressed in their dark blue and white habits. These “brides of light” are a chaste and cloistered order, but still must frequently leave their abbey to conduct their business. They are a relatively young order, their founder having been martyred only a hundred and fifty years ago. Saint Cynthia-Celeste was a powerful cleric of Mitra who frequently ventured into the north. Her greatest achievement was single-handedly defeating a powerful ice devil (a gelugon) known only as Skathyl.
Skathyl had manifested on this plane and threatened the peace by unifying an army of northern monsters. It was Saint Cynthia-Celeste who lead a party far to the north and slew the beast. Unfortunately, the saint herself was dealt a mortal blow in the fight and was brought back here by her distraught devotees. Her incorruptible body lies enshrined in a perpetually guarded sarcophagus looking as if she died yesterday. Skathyl’s weapon though is on display in the Abbey’s shrine wrapped in chains of silver.
The Order is well regarded throughout Farholde thanks to their many good works. Led by the Abbess Temperance Avigail, the sisters are quick to offer aid. The order has more than three hundred sisters within its walls.
5. The Vandermir Orphanage
Baron Arkov Vandermir established this orphanage obstensibly to help the most needy of Farholde’s children. However, the hill around the orphanage has become a famously crime-ridden neighborhood.
6. Bryrwatch (“The Trident”)
This small watchtower just outside of Farholde rises on the highest promintory south of the Scardynn delta. It over looks both the edge of the Caer Bryr and the lake.
Manned by guards with piercing signal horns, it could alert the town if anything dangerous emerges from the woods. It has a very distinctive shape with two smaller turrets jutting out of the main tower, hence its nickname
“The Trident”. One turret faces towards the river and one towards the forest.
Built upon the largest of the nine hills, this is the oldest section of Farholde and the only part of the town surrounded by a wall. When the hill fort that became Hamorhall fell, there was across the river a small Iraen town.
The town surrendered without battle and was captured intact. Auld’Irey (pronounced all-DIARY), a corruption of “Old Iraen”, is the rebuilt remains of that settlement.
Today Auld’Irey is the mostly densely populated portion of Farholde. Every available plot has been developed and buildings are stacked upon buildings. The majority of commerce is done here and the lionshare of Farholde’s
shops, taverns and inns are located in this quarter. This quarter is not just filled with shops. Many people live here and the oldest houses in Farholde are located here. Once Auld’Irey was the nicest place to live in Farholde but recently that honor has been usurped by the manors of Calliver Green (see ahove).
Auld’Irey is also where the headquarters of the town watch is located. This ensures that this quarter is the most patrolled and safest public section of the city.
8. Templeton Rise
Located at the highest point in Auld’Irey is the center of all trade in Farholde — the Templeton Rise. Originally, a pagan Iraen temple, a temple to all the Talirean gods (including both Asmodeus and Mitra) supplanted it.
When the Darian dynasty overthrew the Barcan kings, that temple was abandoned and sold to the Marsten family, rich merchants. The family remains the current owners and this is the hub of their mercantile empire. The lady Shalyn Marsten (the Marsten family a century ago bought a very minor noble title — thus she is the “lady Marsten”) presides over her dominion from this perch. The building is an open hall where goods are traded in bulk. Various merchants maintain stalls where sellers can take their wares in hopes of finding a buyer.
At the far end of the hall is the only permanent fixture, the Marsten Offices. The place is loud and furious during business hours as auctions are held one after another.
Newchurch is the name of the neighborhood, the hill it sits on and the common title given to the Mitran church at its center. The church was commissioned by the Victor during his visit to Farholde. It was this commission that caused the old temple (now the Templeton Rise) to be abandoned and later sold to the Marstens.
The church itself, formally known as the Hall of the Sun Victorious, is perhaps the most majestic building in all of Farholde. It rises in baroque splendor to dominate its hill. Its great central spire, crowned with a Mitran
sunburst, can be seen from almost any point in town.
This is the low-lying middle between Auld’Irey, Newchurch, Estell and Jasperhill. Being one of the lowest areas around the delta, no one sane would live here and yet it is crowded with temporary structures, water-logged shanties and traveller’s tents. This transient community is definitely the bad part of town.
It exists because the town watch has repeatedly proven it is loathe to come down here. This is understandable, it is not easy to get to Drownington from Auld’Irey. The bridge that connects Auld’Irey to Newchurch is seperated by a wall. The eastern gate that connects Auld’Irey to Estell has no access to Drownington. You have to leave through the north gate and trudge through hundreds of yards of muddy bog to make it to Drownington. The guard rarely bothers. Thus, there is effectively a small lawless zone right in the middle of Farholde. This is Drownington. And if someone needs to avoid officials and doesn’t mind the occassional flood, anyone can setup shop here.
Drownington is a maze of transients and cast-offs. Fights and muggings are common. Illegal goods unthinkable to trade up on the hills are openly trafficked here. Desperate prostitutes peddle their wares besides drunken river sailors too broke to afford lodging above.
11. Lord Drownington’s Manor
There is only one permanent structure in Drownington built on a slab of rock that is mostly above the flood line (by almost four inches!). There stands a stout stone bunker that has barely survived a hundred floods. A crudely made sign in front reads “Lord Drownington’s Manor”. Equal parts bar, brothel, fight club, black market and thieves’ guild, this is without a doubt the most dangerous place in Farholde.
12. Wrecker Isle
This large accumulation of pebbles and debris in the river delta is largely seen as navigation hazard these days.
This low hill has a small rural community that marks the beginning of a collection of loosely affiliated farms that stretch south towards the Caer Bryr’s edge. Baron Arkov Vandermir owns a great deal of this farmland, but he prefers to be an absentee landlord and rarely visits.
14. Corgan’s Landing
This is a large slab of stone built on the banks of the Scardynn almost two centuries ago. Though it has settled some, it remains comfortably above the flood line. Thus, it is completely filled with warehouses, businesses and offices of all sorts. It is also the home of the Harbormaster’s House.
The current harbormaster, Captain Charles Ritkin, is a retired member of the duke’s garrison. He is honest, forthright and relentless in enforcing the king’s law on the harbors of Farholde. When the war started, he almost reenlisted but
was talked out of it by the duke himself. “I need you here, Charlie, keeping my city running,” the duke commanded. Harbormaster Ritkin takes this duty very seriously.