The work contained on the following pages is the property and copyright of Jorkens and is presented here with permission.
The Town of Priapurl
This was initially intended for the Candlekeep Compendium, but I could not really get enough of the feel of the WotC Realms to satisfy me. It was too rooted in my own Realms. There might be some inconsistencies with canon lore, mostly when it comes to human cultures. When it comes to timeperiod it is rather open, the Cult of the New Sun being the most time-specific.
Architecture and general impression
This small, generally sleepy town is located in a shallow vale near the lake of Dramilard (or Heronswater in Chondathan ) which makes the area a fertile paradise for the travelers of the plain lands. Priapurl, being on the border of the southern plains, and among the older settlements of the Dragoncoast, differs somewhat from most settlements of the area, both culturally and architecturally. Here ideas from several cultures and ages mix.
Because of the lake and an extensive system of irrigations made by hired Turmish engineers during the reign of Tar Madiir, the town has been able to develop an extensive system of orchards in the area from the town to the lake, giving the town a lush beauty well remembered by those that travel the caravans of the southern plains. Most of the settlement lies surrounded by a low clay wall and has a rather circular layout. These walls follow a design several hundred years out of date, but the town has never seen the need to donate the large amount of gold needed to do more than upgrade the existing walls. Raiding nomads find these walls enough of a hindrance, and an attack by a major army would lay the small town waste no matter how high the walls, so the old walls are trusted by this generation as by the prior..
Priapurl has two markets, one near the town center with most of the merchants and shops in the surrounding houses, and an open marketplace right outside the northern gate. The exterior market is mainly for the farmers selling their wares, and the caravans. There are wells located at both markets, but the exterior also has long drinking-trays for animals.These have to be filled from the wells by the users. The area outside the walls is also used by traveling entertainers hoping to be hired by one of the town’s inns or taverns. More disreputable adventurers, prostitutes and various sellers of illegal goods will also peddle their services here until chased off or lucky enough to find a victim/customer.
Most regular buildings in town used for dwellings and shops are two story cob-buildings, with a few newer three- storied ones. The houses within town are generally squarish, with roof coverings of wooden shingles; outside of town the slightly oval traditionally formed buildings are still common, as is straw roofs. The farmers and herders often decorate their houses with ochre, something that is uncommon within town. This is typical for Priapurl, which owes more to a mix of Tethen tradition and the building techniques of the Shining plains than the rest of the Coast. As in Easting it is common to grow Mystryl-roses along the front. These are usually the pride of the household.
The houses are built facing each other in winding roads that are now mostly cobbled. There are also a second, narrower alley in between the back of the house rows. These are not cobbled and only the most drunken of visitors would go up these alleys, as this is where all offal and sewage are thrown. This garbage will lay there until the rain washes it down to the drains that are located at strategic places, and from there taken to the garbage dump about half a mile outside of town.. Earlier these alleys led to somewhat unsanitary conditions in town during dry-spells, a problem that has lessened lately with a deal struck between Gaberragh’s kobolts (a part of the Mindulgulph Mercenary Company) and the town rulers, that gives the small creatures free reign in the back-alleys, as long as they sweep the refuge not needed by themselves towards the drains at least once a week.
Near the west wall is the Rose square, named after a series of interconnected buildings made from red bricks, imported from Iriaebor and decorated with Turmish marble. These structures are of varied architecture (mainly pre-plague Chondathan with windows of newer Turmittic design put in by the previous Tar) and height. This palace-like structure houses the family of the Tar in addition to the visiting dignitaries and most influential (and pompous) members of the merchant-class. This has been the seat of the rulers since the abandonment of castle Mindulgulph three hundred years ago. Located mostly within the central area of the structure is a public park of mixed conifers and flower-bearing trees and bushes, centered around the fountain of Bhaeldara. This park is said to be the location that inspired Rhessajan of the Tents into writing her ballad The Magnolia’s Tear.
The town has about 3600 people paying the yearly tax of a citizen. Many of these are traders and caravan-workers, so the number usually to be found within town is around two thousand, with nearly as many visitors during the trade season. The number of people within town will therefore vary greatly, as in all trading settlements, with market days held or large caravans that travel through town.
The farmers and herders living in the surrounding lands are not counted as town members, although they are subjects of Priapurl’s ruler. These come to nearly seven thousand in the official scrolls, but it is believed that only about four thousand actually pay taxes to and pay homage to the Tar. The rest are mostly outer settlements of Elversult and Easting and taxes to these. Their main reason to pay their tax to Priapurl itself, is the benefits of trade within town. As Priapurl does little to patrol the lands, most of these people live gathered in hamlets or large, fortified farms and have gotten used to handle their own defences against raiders and brigands.
For as long as the town records show ( many of these were destroyed by fire in the year of the Sleeping Princess, as agents of the Baneson, ruler of Westgate, put flame to several of the town’s key buildings in retaliation for slights no longer remembered) the town of Priapurl has been ruled by the Tar. The title is unique for Priapurl in this age, although there are records of it being used by groups in the Western Heartlands at various times in history . According to the Waterdhavian sage Zeltabbar Iliphar, this title is a simplification of the western Tethen term Tarinae, or Mother and therefore a memory from a more matriarchal inclined age. As the ruling lineage of Priapurl has traditionally gone from mother to daughter, this theory is most likely true.
The current Tar, the middle-aged Hurara, has for years shown a remarkable lack of interest in her role as ruler, something that has caused increasing worry among the town’s leading circles. Tar Hurara herself, spending most of her time at the Cormyrean court since she was twelve ( her daughters has never left the Forest Realm at all), trusts blindly in the people set to administer the town, mainly her assigned deputy Ghazzar, a reformed Banite priest and owner of the inn Lord Cyric’s Bane. Her yearly return for one month is meant to be used to keep track of the happenings within her domain, but is usually spent dallying with her three husbands. As there has been few real crisis in the area during Huraras rulership, it has worked until now, but it is highly doubtful that any trust would be put on Tar Hurara in a crisis.
Who really rules
As Tar Hurara is rarely seen anywhere near the town she rules, the control has largely been given to the deputy Ghazzar, who administers the town with the help of the Tars aunts and sisters. These fiery ladies, numbering nearly a dozen, have little formal power, but as they are all members of the traditional matriarchal family and used to intrigues from an early age. These should therefore not to be taken lightly.
This division of power between the clan in general and the main administrator has not been taken well by Hurara’s three husbands, Budaiiara Acvairon, Wamomara Dhon and Ilbrianon Silvermane. All are foreign natives used to a far higher degree of authority and respect than they are given in Priapurl, where they are jokingly referred to as The Breeders. The Three Princes, as they are also called, all feel that their role in administering the town should be at the level of (if not more than) the Tar herself. Hurara’s female relatives have especially been troubled by the Turmish noble Wamomara, who has worked continually for the introduction of a more ”civilized (read, patriarchal) system of ruling the town. Until now, these plots has mostly ended with humiliation for the proud, bearded prince.
The dominating position between the Three Princes, who spends as much time intriguing against each other as they do working against the matriarchs, swings back and forth. Some years ago, Priapurl was on the brink of a civil war as they began to bring the foreign swordlords located in the area into the conflict. To try to get some degree of control over the situation, Hurara’s oldest aunt, Bharhira decided to hire mercenaries to guard the town, answerable to her and the other female members of the family alone. She decided on The lady Bloodsword, Gayrlana. She and her hastily formed Mindugulph mercenaries quickly drove the burgeoning forces of the Three Princes from the town and at the same time gave the town a more stronger hand when dealing with other mercenaries.
Since then the Mindugulphs are usually under the supervision of Ghazzar, but there is little doubt of their loyalty if it ever comes to a breach between him and the Grand ladies. They swore to protect Priapurl and to Gayrlana Priapurl is the aunts.
The situation now is one where the Three Princes will keep up their intrigues on a small scale, but with the elderly ladies making it quite clear that they will find it easier to explain their disappearance to Hurara than to build up the town itself after a civil war, if the conflict comes out of hand.
Priapurl has throughout its long history kept mostly to itself, much because of its rather isolated location and, in later years, the skill of its rulers in convincing potential conquerors of the advantages of keeping the town a neutral area. This has led to it also being the ideal hiring areas for mercenaries who treat the town as a non-fighting ground where all feuds are buried. Throughout the years this has been a mixed blessing, but the involuntary role as a mercenaries’ town has been turned to the town’s advantage in the recent years, and now it has additional safety in its position as a neutral zone for the various companies.
The relationship with the neighboring settlement is at the time of writing relatively good, although Iraebor has some objections to the amount of cattle sent to the markets of Easting, as they themselves have more than enough herds to fill the butchers’ halls of that settlement. Elversult’s merchants has at times taken a threatening stance towards the town, but this is now downplayed somewhat, as the activity of cult of the Rising Sun has given both the governments of Priapurl, and Elversult reason to worry and has made them see if they together can find a way to break the forming clergy.
As of old there is also a traders deal with the merchants of Westgate that makes these excepted from paying any taxes when traveling through town. They still have to pay for all wares of course. The relationship between the two settlements is diplomatically at a near master and vassal level, but because of the geographical distance the real situation is merely one where Westgate guarantees for the town’s independence. Naturally as long as the old agreements are overheld and Priapurls representatives take a sufficiently humble attitude before Westgates council.
The diplomatic contact with the larger organized states (outside of the merchant houses and coasters of course)has been limited for hundreds of years, but Tar Hurara’s long residence in Cormyr has made that country send Oldaern Ebonhawk as a sort of informal ambassador to town. His attempts at tying closer ties between his country and Priapurl has fallen on deaf ears with Ghazzar and the aunts, though. If he were to get some sort of formal deal with Priapurl, the towns relationship would worsen significantly.
As Priapurl lies along the Traders road, on the route between Elversult and Iriabor, the town’s main function is as a restocking and repairing site for the merchants and caravans crossing the lands between Amn and the lands of the Sea of Falling Stars. Most of the towns production therefore centers around foodstuffs (meat and grain), canvas (hemp and linen) and leather. All a traveler’s basic needs can be handled in Priapurl.
The only refined product of note made within Priapurl is the embroidered cloaks made from bull-hide and used by most of the caravan guards of the Dragon Coast trade roads. These are commonly a status symbol that will be further decorated on each visit to the town, showing the experience of a man to his would-be employers and colleagues. It is strongly advised to not try to forge these cloaks in any way.
In addition to the wares found in the town itself, the orchards around Priapurl produces large amounts of fruits that are dried and sold to the caravans. The large herds of black-backed cattle produces meat sold both to the passing caravans and to the butcheries of Easting.
The area is also known for the Illpaerin-horse, quality riding beasts commonly used by travelers of the Dragon Coast; bear in mind though, that this easily trained animal is to small to be of much use as a warhorse.
As mentioned, Priapurl is self sufficient when it comes to foodstuffs and leather goods. Metal articles will be bought from the caravans of Turmish, Cormyr and Amn; this mainly goes into repairing or replacing the gear of the mercenaries, both those traveling with caravans and those seeking hire. Most of the wood and timber arrives as half prepared rough-works to be finished in town, or as raw timber from woodcutters and loggers of Cormyr and Iriabor.
From Turmish and Hlondath one also gets dried fruits, cotton cloth from the cities of the Chionthar and drinkables from the distillers and wineries of Berdusk and Westgate. From the hidden dwarven holds comes traders with high quality arms and armours cherished by the mercenaries. Even the halflings of the Sunset Vale has recently made deals with the merchants of Priapurl and now send large barrels of their best beer to the town.
What one seldom find in the shops and town marked are the luxury items of the larger settlements, as there are few buyers of such and the little need there is for items such as paper, perfume and exotic spices, is covered by the caravans passing through.
Generally Priapurl is quiet for a frontier settlement with occasional bursts of rowdiness from travelers, but this is not worse than one can expect in most other caravan towns, such as Elversult and Berdusk. Just be warned though, that the drunken fools you meet in a dark back alley at night may be far more battle hardened than the common wagoners found in Cormyr or Sembia. The roads and caravan trails of these lands have little pity and only the toughest swordsmen and freelancers survive.
In addition to it being on the border of the plain-lands, Priapurl is not a large or populous settlement even by the standards of the Dragon Coast lands, something that should have made its existence something of a yearly struggle against both human and monstrous threats. Remarkably enough, the situation is quite the opposite as the relationship with the mercenaries makes it among the safest settlements of the Heartlands when it comes to large scale conflicts.
Priapurl is one of the key points of hiring when it comes to mercenaries and free swords in the Heartlands west of the Sea of Fallen Stars. As Westgate reaches out to sea with her buccaneers and hireswords, Priapurl looks after the caravans and travelers needs for fighting men and women of all sorts. Most of these, from Tethen riders, Wemic scouts and Turmish lancers to Vaasan ax-men, elven mages and Chondathan pike-men, can be contacted through agents dwelling in town, as larger groups of mercenaries are not welcomed in this (despite all) rather peaceful town. The larger companies send representatives to take care of their dealings near town and the traveling Freeswords keep their weapons well sheathed and usually gather in the inns located outside the town walls.
No sword-company will march against the town unless they are willing to risk conflict with the gathered mercenaries of the lands reaching from the Western Heartlands to the Vilhon Reach. Their common need for a neutral place for hiring and negotiations comes before the needs of one employer. Even the few groups who does not acknowledge the town’s position, such as The Blacktalon mercenaries and Zentharim-hired brigands, will commonly choose to stay a couple of days ride away from the town walls. Past transgressions have seen Taurgosz ”Tenhammer” having to look for a number of new recruits to replace his losses.
The town therefore does not employ a permanent armed force of its own, counting instead on the swords and claws of the Mindulgulph mercenaries of the Lady Bloodsword, stationed in the pinnacle castle Mindulgulph near town. More on this relationship can be read under history at the end of the article.
.Pripurl is now a neutral haven that it is in everyone’s advantage to both respect and protect. Any offences are handled by the Mindulguphs with the others keeping well out of the way. The town itself keeps itself safe in addition to getting 5% of any contract made within the town walls.
The necessary daily order in town is kept by a small force of thirty town guards that patrol in groups of five; they will only take actions if a fight gets out of control, mostly that means that the permanent citizens are threatened or harmed. Their responsibility is more those of fireguards and apprehends of petty thieves. The Mindlguphs are called in if the fighting seems to be over matters other than those strictly personal between individuals, such as between mercenary groups or caravan employees. If all else fails, the city has the right to call any mercenaries in town into short time service, but this has until now never been necessary. It is usually enough to call to the attention the Bladelord or Caravanmaster who has the offenders in their service.
For Priapurl, the mercenaries and caravan guards might be a secure defence against most two-legged threats, but there is always the threat of flying monstrosities looking for an easy meal, or (in earlier times ) giants wanting to test their rock throwing skills. Because of these menaces the town has, in addition to its low walls, five large ballista mounted on four wooden towers and the main gate. These are manned by the city guards who has more training with these machines then they have with actual combat.
Wizards and Mages
Priapurl is not among the settlements most welcoming to mages, wizards or other practitioners of the Art, but it does have one wizard of importance. Bhatmatar Moir is mainly known as a historian and sage that for years has used his spells mainly to help in his studies of various types of magic. Bhatmatar is, among other things, a renowned expert on all things draconic in the Western Heartlands and the Dragon Coast lands. He is even said to be among the few humans able to read Wemic symbols and markings from the days of the Lion-men arrival in the Shining Plains, and is rumoured to have extensive knowledge on secret and ancient magics of the Turmish peoples. As no one seems to have any idea what these magics are these may well be loose rumours.
In addition to the somewhat reclusive Bhatmatar there is usually a dozen minor magelings and freestaves in town. These are closely watched by agents of both the Tar’s aunts and the Mindulgulphs, and those that have tried to settle in town on a more permanent basis have been politely denied by the rulers. In the eyes of the grand ladies of Priapurl, every foreign wizard is most likely an agent of the Zentharim, the Wizards of Thay or a dozen other shady brotherhoods. Or even worse, working on his own. Wizards that have objected or tried to use their magic against the rulers have quickly disappeared. These rather draconic laws does not extend to dabblers that have other occupations useful to the town.
In addition to Bhatmatar Moir, the dabblers and those wandering through, both the Tar’s aunt madam Gairiia and prince Ilbrianon are rumoured to have magical abilities, but nothing is confirmed..
Unknown to most people in town, there is a far more sinister sorcerous danger to Priapurl. Agents of the merchant-house Stargaze arrived in town last spring and quickly established a headquarter in the abandoned old halls of the Truesword butchers by the southern walls. This group of crafters and merchants are known through the Dragon Coast and the Sea of Fallen Stars lands for their incredible stone works and sculptures. What few people have realised is that the group is secretly run by a group of five Medusa sisters from the Far Hills near Sunset Vale, that mainly operate through unknowing or charmed human and halfling agents. For the better part of a century they have sold the petrified forms of their victims to unknowing art-dealers and nobles of the coast lands. Even in far of Waterdeep there are nobles that brag about being the owner of one of their works. The earnings from these dealings the sisters have used to study and master many of the magics commonly practised by the humans of the Western Heartlands. Arts that few of their cursed species have ever been able to wield. To decrease the chance of them being detected ( both by the humans of the surrounding lands and the Nagas of the Serpent Hills), the Medusas have recently started to spread their hunting grounds.
The house of Stargaze in Priapurl is controlled by Hixarilda, the third sister, that lives under the cover of being a veiled southerner with a taste for Berdusk dark and the music of the yarthing. She keeps a low profile, preying on lone lades of the night and drunken freeswords, using little or no magic, despite her having abilities to rival most senior War Mages of Cormyr.
Temples and faith
The native people of Priapurl has never had very deep need for clergy and organisations in their religious traditions, resulting in there being only one temple of note within the town itself, dedicated to the old goddess of the winds, Akadi.
In their daily lives, most of the people of this area continue in the traditions of the old semi- nomadic Tethen peoples and the men of the southern plains, with offerings to the gods generally given when needed, then usually thrown into lake Dramilard with a short prayer. There are festivals and holy days, but these are more tied to the life and fertility of the seasons and all gods worth mentioning play a part in these. The names of the gods matter little, the manifestations of their being and their unseen blessings in life is their true divine nature therefore outlanders corrections on doctrines, names and godly titles are usually met with shrugs of indifference.
There are also, mostly among the rural peoples surrounding town, some continuations of the old homages to the cults of Besparr, the lord of horses, and Huru-a, Master of cattle. These are given little true religious attention and are more seen as spirits protecting the herds. Some mystics are said to give blessings from these spirits, but this is unconfirmed as are the rumours of druids dedicated to elder beast spirits. Be warned though, that any attempts by foreign priests or clerics to ridicule these divine beings or to claim their own gods as the masters of the animals will be met with anger and if necessary quick and decisive violence.
Other nature gods, such as Chaunthea and the lion god Nobaion, are also given homage by many, but somewhat strangely in the eyes of northerners, with offerings being laid out in the hills east of town and few sermons being given. No shrine or priests can be found within Priapurl though, as the followers of Chaunthea care little and the clergy of Nobaion has been banned as a result of past conflicts with the Tars.
The temple of Akadi, built out of an old warehouse and given large open windows to let the winds of the seasons blow through the shrine, is guarded by a single priest by the name of Illparcar Dustpath, who has resigned to the thought that his domain is one of large gifts from travelers, but rather few actual followers. Despite of this he can daily be seen by the gates or the roadside blessing the travelers departing the town. Lately he has been joined in this by a priestess of Shaundakul named Iprii; the relationship between the two is as of this time cordial.
Outside the sun baked walls of the town one finds two more established holy sites, in addition to the numerous small shrines mainly used by travelers and foreigners. One is a fortified abbey of the War god Tempus, named Astaparii by the locals and Ramshield’s Hold by the priests. It is located about two miles west of the town itself, near the main path to Amn. The small, square fortress is manned by battle lord Durthal Redwater and three minor priests, in addition to fourteen warriors dedicated to the grim god. It is mostly self- sufficient, living of fields surrounding the abbey and gifts from travelers happy for the war priests’ raids against camps and holdings of brigands and monsters farther down the caravan road. Aside from the caravans, the various mercenaries passing through town are its staunchest supporters.
The other is a holy place of a much newer date than the War gods fortress or Illparcars shrine. This is the temple of Aumathar, the sun god of old Netheril and his warrior priests. This group of priests, who’s members has broken out of the church of Lathander, have proclaimed themselves Priapurls protectors (much to the irritation and chagrin of the nearby abbey of Tempus ). The head priest, Firemane Tuarittick and his five northern followers arrived in Priapurl from Elversult two months ago and has since continually strengthened his position in the area. The Amutharians of the Cult of the Rising Sun has made a statement about their independence by placing their alter outside Priapurls walls, without seeking the permission of the town leaders, and has shown increasing tendencies to act according to their own rulings and judgements. Examples of this are happenings such as their proclaimed ban on all slavery within the lands governed by Priapurl. Unfortunately the few slaves within the towns territory are owned by the Tar and her family. The temple has also drawn the ire of several Amnish traders and several bladelords, who has seen their personal slaves suddenly freed during the night hours.
Now, despite of all the problems that has followed the Aumatharian priests, there are several individuals among the leading circles of Priapurl, such as the Tar herself (mostly because of her mixing up the faith of Aumathar with that of Lathander, which she finds romantic) and prince Wamomara Dhon, that are infatuated by the movement. Many of the traders also feel that the faiths ties to the old lands of the north and the church of Lathander, could be an advantage for Priapurl in the long run. These views have until now been opposed by the Tar’s aunts, seeing a threat to their rule and the mercenary agents in coalition with the priests of Tempus. There are also those among the farmer clans and cattle herders that feel the Aumatharians are trampling on traditions and showing increasing arrogance against their old powers.
Thieves and other Lawless elements
With the help of some of the Mindulgulphs more special members the town has managed to more or less exterminate any serious thieving or attempts at guilt-structures. Cut-purses and wandering thieves passing through are of course still found, along with some cases of brigandry on the roads.
Be warned, the places most likely to harbour thieves are the taverns and inns outside the town walls where each man or woman is seen as to be responsible for their own purse. Here the followers of the traveling mercenaries and caravans use their various charms and abilities to earn a few extra coins, both legally and illegally.
Trade and Crafts
With a people descending from herders and located on the borders of the open lands of the south, it is natural that cattle play a large part in the life of the people in and around Priapurl. The black-backed cattle of the plain lands are not seen as having the meat quality of the Chondathan cattle of the north, but they are hardier and the bulls have long become popular as guard (and breeding) animals in the northern Cormyr, as their more aggressive nature keep predators away. It is unusual to keep more than one bull per herd though, so as to not make the breed to intermixed with the fat, docile native animals.
Most of the free-ranging cattle herds are claimed by members of the Cardruin and Willowglow clans that drive their herds north of the town and to the markets of Easting, often using Wemik herders from the Blackwhisker clan. This group of Wemiks is related to those found near the Dalelands and the lands north of Cormyr. Like these, they were the losers of a long ago culture conflict within the southern Wemik tribes that led to several clans, whom had taken up sheep-herding, being exiled from the Shining Plains. Even today it is near to impossible to get one of these Wemiks to even talk to one of their southern kin, let alone travel to their lands. These Wemiks are less fierce than their southern relatives, but far more protective of what they claim as their own.
In addition to these major ranchers there are lesser herds that are claimed by the family's along the border lands. These are mostly for own consumption and minor trading with neighbours.
The farmers, mainly humans of mixed Turmish and Tethen decent, and Hin that originally wandered west from the Purple hills when the Shoonite rule was at its hardest, are somewhat clannish and distrustful of strangers. Near town their main crops are from the orchards that produce the fruit that is dried and sold to the caravans traveling through, In most of these farms there are also extensive beekeeping with friendly competitions between the farms. Further away from town grain fields are, together with cabbage and leeks, the main crops and supply Priapurl with most of its non-meat foodstuffs. Old agreements make it clear where the lands of the sheep and cattle herders drive their animals and where the farmers plant their crops. This is mainly in the north and east, as the southern and western peoples have more of a mixed household.
The further you come from the town itself, the less welcoming the locals will be. Their holds, taking elements from both fortified Hin dwellings and the walled clan holds of the mountain peoples, are forbidding islands in the wilderness where great care must be taken so as to not be greeted by a carefully aimed ballista. In town, the farmers are represented by Belidor Goldcorn a senior member of the richest hin family of the area, with the resistance of Hagari ”Dog-handler” Cardruin.
Within the town, the traders and merchant are organised within the Mardailh-guilt, that represents the collected groupings, whether they are locals or representatives of merchant-coasters from other towns and areas. They are led by Amphaliira Shaeilvir, who took over the position from her uncle Gathrael two winters ago. Tucharl Steelwheel, representative of the Iron Throne ran against her and still tries to undermine her position at every possible opportunity.
The Six Coffers Market Priakos keep themselves more or less independent of the Mardailh, as their interests are far larger than those in town, but they will not work against the guilt. The relationship between the merchant class and the Tar has been worked out hundreds of years ago, so the Tar, supported by the mercenaries and the merchants, supported by traders and caravans, are at a friendly stalemate. Even the Three Princes quickly learned that trying to meddle in these traditions was a bad idea.
Most of the craftsmen are so safe in their position that they will seldom bother with the politics of town. Generally, attempts at manipulating them into taking sides with the Tar, merchants or other has only led them to support the opposition anyway. Ronghaer Sharpcry and his companion Durg, the town’s leading wheelwrights,guard these traditions carefully usually warn any newly arrived craftsmen that there are rules to be overheld.
Equipment and Goods
Priapurl is in all ways the repairing craftsmen's town. Here are blacksmith's tools, wagons, wheels, fresh horses, dried meat and salt to be bought. One does not need to walk for many minutes to find places to have one’s sword sharpened, horse shooed and belly filled either. There are several armourers and weapon smiths of passable ability that cater to the mercenaries. The problem comes when one wants to buy something new; as few people start out in Priapurl only the most basic of wares are produced from scratch in the town. You can paint your wagon, but good luck with getting a completely new one.
And if you need a new harp, a fine tunic or cloak, you may have to wait until the next caravan travels through as items of delicate or unpractical nature are seldom found outside the Rose Quarter. The same goes for food, the fair of the town is simple and nourishing, with the exception of during the harvesting seasons where dozens of delicious fruit dishes can be found at a cheap price. It should be noted that the one foodstuff of notice in the area is the delicious honey produced by the farmers near town.
Even weapons and armour of quality can at times be scarce, as most of the work done is repairing damaged items and selling items made in the forges of Turmish and Cormyr. Because of this interplay between travelers and local craftsmen much of the transactions done with bartering, making silver and gold coins somewhat rarer here than in many caravan towns. Be also warned, that the moneychangers here are called ”corpse robbers” by most travelers.
Attitude towards adventurers, wanderers and such
Priapurl is a rather sleepy town and relatively quiet outside of the trading season; few caravans and individuals travel the Trade Road and the plains during the winter. The inhabitants are weary of groups of armed strangers not under contract with the caravan masters or belonging to one of the mercenary companies. People planning on a longer stay must be prepared to be asked a long series of questions by suspicious representatives of Ghazzar., especially if they are not merchants or craftsmen already known in the area.
The town watch will quickly call for members of the Mindulgulphs if it is felt that the town or its inhabitants are threatened or disturbed, so many rowdy travelers has felt themselves rather unwelcome within Priapurl, especially if they arrive outside of the trading season. Brawling, loud singing and rutting in the streets at night is a sure way to be lead outside the gates where such behavior is accepted. On the other hand, with a few exceptions ( such as Waterdeep and Scornubel ) you will have difficulties finding a settlement more open than Priapurl when it comes to so- called monsters. If an arriving creature is able to signal that it means no threat, it will be given access to the town, on the same terms as any others, under hidden supervision, of course.
In special cases (such as giants), where the town will be hard pressed to physically fit a creature inside the buildings themselves, pains will be taken to make the creature as comfortable as possible outside town. Larger groups of creatures, those that might be a threat if they are let inside the walls, are ordered to camp some distance from town and are only taken into town a few at a time.
The farmers are usually not so welcoming, but if travelers keep at a distance from their dwellings and don't disturb their fields they are let through. Be warned, an elf arriving at the gate without signal or warning stand as great a chance of getting shot as an ogre.
Because of the number of travelers arriving during the caravan season, Priapurl has more inns and taverns than its inhabitants need. There are five inns and nine taverns, in addition to twelve festhalls and brothels within the town walls, several of which see little use during the winter-colds. Some of them will only hold open during the trading seasons and several of the festhalls import most of their hard-coin males and females months from the larger settlements to the north and south during the same period.
Outside the gates there are five more inns, four taverns and one festhall. Those establishments outside the walls pay half the taxes of those within, but are on their own when it comes to troubles from the guests of the establishments. For the guests there is a much higher degree of freedom to let themselves behave like ogres at a family gathering (or elderly nobles at the end of the night). As long as no one is seriously hurt, few care what goes on here. These mostly see use during the trading season and are owned by craftsmen that spend the winters making their goods.
Inside the town walls:
The Inns are: The Arch Inn**** ( known throughout the southern Dragon Coast for having one of the largest choices of stout and dark ale in the area), Lord Cyric’s Bane ****, a warm Dalelands sort of inn that has had the misfortune of housing the ill-reputed Volo the Wanderer on more than one occasion, The Sleeping Carter**, a large three story structure offering small, simple rooms at low prices, The Lips of the Maiden***, noted for its Grippli cook Blougha and its low, but soft beds. The oddly named Two Fingers** is simple bunks, although the propriator Amla, will guard valuables for those that stay.
The more notable taverns are: The Banner Broken**, The Golden Flow* (catering mostly to mercenaries) and The White Sphinx**** that offers top money for any entertainers in town at the moment. Most taverns serve a variety of Berdusk beer, Westgate spirits and local fruit wines and brandies.
Priapurl has always been noted for its festhalls and prides itself on being able to cater to any taste, both when it comes to the sensual pleasures and other sorts of entertainment, such as gambling, dancing, drugs and organized fights. The various festhalls are gathered into a guild-like structure by Baeldhra ”Ramraths” Saelvir a rather plump dark haired hedonist known for seeking both coin and pleasures untried at any given chance. Baeldra herself runs The Lamias Bliss ****, a lush, pillowfilled cellar known for both its staff (of both sexes) and drugs. The rest of the festhalls vary in quality from the stylish Aszouns Dream**** to the Orc’s Arse* . Of note is Hambraddan’s ( * to **** depending on your taste), run by the muttonchops-bearing Hin by the same name, and catering to the Mindulgulphs and other humanoids.
As has been mentioned, the one rule in town is that the happenings of the inns shall not continue out in the streets. The fines for disturbing the peace are high. For disturbing the roses they are even higher.
Priapurl is, as has been stated, not a place for those with refined gourmet tastes and natures; the food is simple and, with the exception of The Lips of the Maiden it is nearly impossible for any one but visitors in the Rose square to get food above the level of hearty, good common dishes. There are also delicious fruit pies to be bought in the markets though and fresh fruits can be had in season for a reasonable price.
Outside the walls:
The inns on the outside are generally a bit cheaper, but one has to be careful as these are not within the restriction of the town when it comes to the quality of drinks or food. Neither are they responsible for the guests security and each patron is responsible for his own security. Generally mercenaries, caravan guards and traveling night-workers constitute most of the clients. Be warned that the Black Sash **is more of a spy center for the Nightmasks of Westgate. If you have to spend the night in one of these inns, you should choose Burnlog Inn **as the doors here are strong and the bolts well made.
The taverns, Queen Shlanarnla’s Blessing***, The Stag-rut****, Jhaeldar’s *** and The Giants Run * are all rowdy places that mostly combine the attractions of the inn-town festhalls and taverns with frequent knife fights and bouts of violence. Be weary though, the Giants Run is more of a slaughterhouse than a tavern.
In addition there are a motley crew of whores, gamblers, bootleggers, dancers and “sleep-wagons” that camp for a period outside the walls. These pay a small tax and are used at own risk. Consider yourself warned.
Ajahara, a young lass that has found herself a fine living showing visiting merchants the best fishing places in lake Dramilard. She hears much and tells even less.
Ajarama the Spell dancer, an Arabellan dancer that lately has impressed the locals of the inner town with his performance. Many has been surprised when the slim, gowned Ajarama has answered them in the deep, but cultured voice of a young man.
Amanira, a pleasure girl at the Lamias Bliss, is the grand-daughter of Hualtan, the last known relative to king Verovan. Her grandfather was not born at the time of the king’s death, and as his night with her mother, a known entertainer and prostitute of the time who left the town shortly after, was unknown to others, no one ever knew that the royal line had a surviving offshoot. The girl herself knows of the family history, but is herself deadly afraid of the news coming out and has no wish to make a claim of rulership.
Amaravall, personal servant of prince Wamomara Dhon. Amaravall is a very conservative Turmish trader’s son, who at an early age was given a blood bond to the prince by the wizard Thaerwaim of the Red Dawn. He might not agree with his master’s goals at all times, but he will attempt to follow through all orders, whether they call for him to use his head or his sword.
Daerin Westleaf is the local representative of the heralds. The town is rather small to contain a permanent dwelling herald, but the town’s role in the trade and mercenary business has made it practical. Daerin is more or less an apprentice and answers to the Heralds representative in Elversult.
Dhaegran Illjorin, a horse trader and orchard owner of some wealth has recently been taken into the ranks of the Men of the Basilisk and is eager to show his worth.
Drharet Oaksplow, official representative of Elversult. Has the latest years he has fallen under the influence of the drug Tekkil, something that has given Shaemiir, the Tar’s youngest sister, a hold on him. By now, he does more the work of the aunts and Ghazzar than that of his hometown.
Dumbralla Plowblade; the local representative of the Six Coffers Market Priakos and known to be the towns greatest flutist. She is a minor mage, but is not known to have used the arts in any of her competitions at the Winter Sphinx.
Garmarella the Blessed, a smiling and talkative lady in her late thirties that is seen to be the town’s premier rose grower; several nobles of Westgate and Marsember is said to be interested in getting her help. There are even rumours of a planned kidnapping.
Gelligael of the Silver Feather. A sage of writing and history educated by the royal scribes of Chondath. He arrived in town three months ago to be part of prince Ilbrianon’s last whimsy, a school of learning to give the town a shine of culture. Gelligael is rather disappointed at what he has seen until now and is eagerly scouting each caravan approaching town for others of his ilk to commune with.
Gordwarra Omnaeros. Represents The Broualla lancers, a mercenary company hailing from Turmish that has built up a respectable reputation by cleaning out brigand holds.
Gambrazir the Grey. A longtime member of the Mindulgulphs. This man claims to be from the lands south of the Golden Sea, but is in reality a Maedar, a rare breed of male Medusa. He has detected the nearness of the sorceress Medusa Hixarilda. Gambrazire is now pulled between the two feelings of loyalty and lust. Unwisely he has sent a message to the Medusa, wishing for a meeting so that he can find out more about her true plans.
Gwelliran; if you want some loaded dice for your caravan trip this curly-bearded gnome is the one to see.
Floshwa, Loxo wizardess and member of the Mindulgulph mercenaries, is a common sight at the town markets and in the quieter taverns in evening time, usually accompanied by her pet and comrade, the rustmonster Xib. She is a polite and quiet creature that may at times burst in to very loud (and at times lewd) loxo-love serenades when she has had to much to drink.
Hambraoir Graveface, a swordsman and adventurer from the Sword Coast lands hired in from the church of Lathander to find out as much as he can about the activities of the Cult of the Rising Sun. His methods are not to be questioned. With him he has four cutthroats, river rats from the Chionthar.
Helmadera Szashaer, an elderly lady of noble birth residing in Ordolin, who has bought herself a large house in Priapurl where she can spend the winter months. With her two young lovers, Shaermar and Maelar as representatives, she has started buying up the neighbourhood near the house and is said to be planning the building of a palace that will outshine the dwellings of the Tar herself.
Humwarun Silverbeard, once a noted actor based in Ormath. He left the city after an unlucky affair with the king’s brother and has since drowned his sorrows in The White Sphinx. For a drink or two, many tales of the lands south of the Shining Plains can be known.
Laumic Awtarell is a young perfume merchant from the Omrath that yearly makes a trip to town. As of the last year he has fallen under the influence of the Deepspawn Xharagath that lairs in the interior of the Osraun mountains. The Deepspawn is very interested in getting its teeth into some of the Mindulguphs more unusual members and Laumic’s mission is to find some way of tricking them into the deep mountains.
Nackrava, a hooded, purple-clad amnite, that has recently made quite strong speeches against the Cult of the Rising Sun, and has proclaimed that ”the lurker in the shadows will put out the fiery ones glow” A visiting trader thought he recognised the mans cloak to be made of Deep Rothe hide.
Norana the Scribe, writes documents and letter for pay and is respected enough to have her seal accepted in half a dozen settlements throughout the neighbouring lands. She will never do a forging.
Omagaii Aldraeeda is known as the best cloak-embroider in Priapurl, whether they are made by her husband Urnai or brought by seasoned caravan guards. She always has time for a quick gossip and cup of tea whilst she is working.
Ormgara Shallowbrook, an ancient, bent and stiff-legged woman, is said to be able to determine any sickness in the herd animals with one look. She claims her ability is a blessing from Huru-a.
Rheggin Goldenbrow, a minor member of the Cult of the Rising Sun, has managed to infiltrate the town and is for the time being trying to work out the best course of action to continue opening the town to the cults influence. He judges his best chances to be prince Budaiiara Acvairon.
Sampara Ilbrenna, a well-known sight in her blood red dresses and pearl-decorated hairnet, is the towns spokeswoman. Her job is to greet and welcome any visiting ”strange” creatures. With her open mind and magical medallion of communication she has charmed everyone from goblins to otyughs.
Shambla Yellowcurl, a slim, one-eyed Hin that has a reputation for being Priapurls premier drinker, having won thirty-seven drinking contests in a row and holding the record at The Banner Broken for consummation of the house whisky. There is a rumour that there is one unknown liquor that she can not handle and rumours are rampant as to what this could be. Others, those of a more suspicious nature, has suspected that this is a rumour set out by Shambla herself.
Sthardac, agent of Ghazzar and responsible for shadowing visiting creatures deemed as potentially dangerous within the town walls. He is a doppelganger, but will usually pose as a Tethen dandy sporting a well-oiled mustache and an amnish vest. He is glib and friendly in light social situations, but loyal to his duty and ruthlessly follow all orders given.
Stumpar, an elderly drunken gnome that can usually be found at the Stag's Rut. What few people know is that he is one of the few surviving member of Shadow Thieves that were driven out of Waterdeep. Even the guild does not know that he lives. It is quite possible that he knows of several hidden depots and treasures in the north.
Tabrasell; a mystic of Nobaion who is the nearest thing the town has to a priest of the lion-god. She has made some attempts at solving the old conflicts with the Tars family, but has made little way.
Warmcael, a barber specialising in the care of turmish beards and the selling of Nimpeth perfumes, he has recently become an ardent follower of the Sun gods cult.
The Wind-sisters. These four women, Halbrathii, Jhaelvira, Kariia and Mhaelvara, who have no blood ties to each other, are the chief agents of Priapurls matrons. One of them is always in town at any time, to do the bidding of Old Lady Bharhira, but the three others will travel the Dragon Coast and Western Heartlands and send their news to their mistress through Sambrails Emeralds, plundered from the grave of Maeldirus of Anauria.
Zholdar Oakenshield; the head of an extended dwarven family that has lived the un-dwarvish lives as farmers for generations. Their main living is made from the honey of the giant bees only they dare keep.
Zorgacx; a kobolt belonging to Gaberragh’s band that has fallen in love with Garmarella the Blessed, but is to shy to approach her. He is said to have contacted kobolt musicians from the caves of the Giant’s Run Mountains to help him in serenading her, but in his desperation he will take any help he can get.
Local customs, history and myths
It is not known how long people, humans or otherwise, have dwelt along the shores of the Dramilard, but it is documented that there was trading here in the times of the Talfirs rule. Both the legends told among the Wemics of the plains and the elven records talk of humans inhabitating the area even in the days of their glory and dragons tell of rich plundering in these lands.
As the ravaging of the Banesons agents in the Year of the Sleeping Princess made most of the town’s written history into offerings to Kossuth, there is little concrete that is known of the early days of the town. What is known is that the people dwelling from Lake Dramilard to the lands that today are ruled by Elversult was called the Priapi in old texts found in Chondath and Westgate, but little is known of this people beyond a few notes. The name is Tethen, ands the sources place their way of living as that of the tribes inhabiting the Chionthar and northern Amn. It should be noted though, that other sources tell of Turami people at one time having dwelt in the area also. From its earliest days it seems like Priapurl was a are of meetings and cultures mixing.
Most legends and stories in the area still told, state the first ruler of the town proper to be Tar Annaerill, a fugitive from the legions of the fledgling empire of the Shoon. She is believed to be identical with the matriarch of the Valnedorii clan of the Espharii, a tethen tribe at that time dwelling in the lands that today constitute Amns eastern borders. They seem to have been a thorn in the empires side for quite a while, though Shoon sources downplay the conflict.
Tar Annaerill is in most stories found in the northern Dragon Coast depicted as a heartless bandit and looter. Among the stories of the lands south of Priapurl she is more of a glorious warrior princess standing against the ravaging legions of the Shoon emperors. The truth would probably depend on which side of her banner you saw.
What is certain, as it is stated both in the annals of Turmish and several traders notes found in Marsember, is that sometime around the time of the early Shoon emperors’ northern expansions, hundreds of warriors from the woods and mountains of the east converged on the valley and made it their new home. Some claim that the older, native Priapi were exterminated, but this is doubtful. Most likely they were made into serfs or slaves under the Espharii, and were used in the building of the fortified town and the earliest versions of the fortress that would become Mindulgulph..
With time the Espharii lost most of their western ways and mixed in with the other peoples of the Dragon Coast and the plains. They kept their warlike nature for some time though. Internal feuds were common, as was raiding and outright brigandry. On more than one occasion the towns and traders of the north sent punitive expeditions to the lands of the Tar, but these made no attempts at permanent rule and the mercenaries staying behind were quickly rooted our or bribed off. Therefore the Tars managed to retain their independence through most of history, with the exception of a short occupation by Westgate. In addition to these minor wars there were marauding giants and trolls from the west that were also to be held at bay, in periods at a high price. Priapurls position on the borders as involuntary guardians of the north is probably the main reason it was not deemed advantageous to exterminate the Tar and her warriors once and for all.
Left on its own Priapurl of the crossroads therefore kept much of its archaic nature until today, including its singularly matriarchal rulership, of wich there are few signs today among most people of Tethen descent.
The raiding nature of the Tar and her subjects finally got a blow it never recovered from, with the defeat dealt to them by the Banesons soldiers at the shores of the river Reddan in the Year of The Dowager Lady. The time of the Banesons rule was a hard one for Priapurl and the position of the Tar was further diminished later, during the time of Azragorl, a wizard ”advisor” that for nearly a century ran the town in all but name. During his reign the Rose Quarter became the town’s center and the old castle became a place of refuge for the populace when in need, more than the dwelling of the rulers.
Although the Tars got their rule back after Azragorl foolishly chose to stand up to a black dragon from the north whilst most others hid in Mindulpulph, their militant nature and traditions were severely weakened.
The last centuries have been relatively peaceful for Priapurl with the exception of the giants raid that laid Castle Mindulgulph partly in ruin. This attack, which also saw the death of Tar Maeritta and most of the warriors of the town proper, made the town decide to open its gates to the various mercenary companies that at the time again became common in the lands of the Dragon Coast.
Priapurl, with its central position between Amn, the Vilhon and the Dragon coast has always been a popular meeting place for mercenary groups, but after some troubles about a century ago, the town found it necessary to ban groups of more than ten swords from coming within sight of the walls of Priapurl unless they are taxing citizens or currently employed by a caravan or merchant of a recognizable mark. Needless to say the respect for these rules from the mercenaries themselves was varying at best and the town often saw itself on the brink of conflict with the same mercenaries used to protect the town. Only by playing the various companies up against each other were they able to keep the situation somewhat under control. This situation lasted for years with the elder matriarchs developing a shrewd sense of political manipulations.
Shortly after Tar Huraras ascension to the throne, Old lady Bharhira, the eldest of the Tars aunts, worried over the towns future under this system, with Priapurl being under a weak ruler now for the first time in generations. When she saw the blade lords starting to take advantage of the conflicts between the Tars husband to increase their own power, she decided to act first. Bharhira used her four trusted agents, known as the Wind-sisters, to scout among the mercenaries to find one suitable as a more permanent protector of Priapurl. The choice fell on one of the more experienced free swords of the Dragon coast, one Gayrlana Bloodsword.
The real story of the deals made by the two women is still unknown by outsiders, but the end result was that Gayrlana was to get the monster haunted keep Mindulgulph south of the town as her personal base, if she could claim it, in addition to a yearly revenue in the form of goods from the town if she could marshal a force of mercenaries loyal and dependable enough to protect Priapurl. That the lady mercenary was at the time quite smittend by Shaemiir, the Tar’s youngest sister certainly helped also.
As is commonly known, Gayrlana, soon to bear the title of Lady Bloodsword, chose an unorthodox method of hiring her mercenaries; she and a small group of old friends and colleagues made a deal with the monsters of Mindulgulph keep and sent out word that she would take in any creature of any species willing to swear loyalty to her and the keep. That was the birth of the Mindulgulph mercenaries.
The mercenary blade lords and commanders were taken aback by this change in Priapurls tactics and were not able to mount a counter-ploy to stop Gayrlana. Some, under the Turmish warrior-priest Turwarer hired a small force of adventurers led by the renowned Brandon the Battle master to kill Gayrlana and her lieutenants, but the plot failed and Turwarer was himself killed by Brandon when he in a rage attached the mercenary on his return.
The only other force of opposition was the personal mercenary forces of the Three Princes, but these were as divided as their masters and after a short fight driven out of town. Since then the mercenaries have been under control and their behavior generally good.
Today Priapurl is at peace. Internal feuds and strife are kept relativly bloodless and the town is as safe from large scale attacks as a settlement ten times its size. No minor warlord or petty conqueror can expect to be able to hire a mercenary force large enough to threaten the town and with the exception of far of Amn and Cormyr, few rulers have a strong enough permanent army to be of worry. The giants and goblinoids of the south as well as single marauding monsters may attack the outskirts of the towns territory, but these have stayed away from the walls the last fifty years. All in all, one is as safe within Priapurls walls as one can expect to be in the lands of the Dragon Coast.
Happenings and rumours
Two groups of travelers demand the right to fight a minor battle on the plain outside town. As nearly fifty men are involved many of the town inhabitants follow out to see the spectacle. One side consists of Cormyrean drovers and cattlemen and the other of a mixed group of tethen herders from the Fields of the Dead and northern Amn that has been working as caravan guards. Some worry that this could be the start of a bloody feud, but as the fight is to take place outside of the town walls there seems like there is little Ghazzar can do but to grant them their wish.
Prince Budaiiara Acvairon is said to have found a new lover in Assam far to the south. It is said that he killed the son of a local chief over the woman. The aunts are taking steps to make sure the rash prince does not decide to escape his matrimony for adventures across the plains. Traditionally, Tar Hurara would then have to go hunting after him; but as the possibility of that happening now is slim, the old ladies wish to avoid the humiliation of the prince spurning his wife unpunished.
A rumour has started somewhere on the coast ( most likely Westgate) that Gayrlana is making plans for acquiring a deepspawn from a group of unscrupulous mages from the north. This will give the mercenaries a never-ending supply of cannon fodder. Even if the rumours are seen as unfounded by most people of Priapurl it is said that representatives of the Harper's as well as agents of other settlements are looking into the matter.
A knife fight in a bar between an orchish bird seller and a Turmish traveler has people talking. The Turmish claims that one of the birds carried the spirit of his beloved Ambuiwa something the orch denied as he claimed that he had caught the bird in the woods near Berdusk. Both the combatants were severely wounded and had to be treated for multiple stab wounds. When the Turami, whose face had been severely cut, was able to talk he asked for a servant of Chaunthea to be called for so that the words of the bird could be heard by all. A priestess arrived from one of the homesteads to the north, but by that time the bird seller had left Priapurl. The young Turmish swore revenge against the orch and swore to bring back his head tied to the saddle horn.
Among locals this conflict is talked about with some astonishment as the orch, known as Grozcka, is well-known in Priapurl and known to be both honest and harmless, if a little slow at times.
A large contingent of lizard men, members of the Servants of the Egg that were left behind by their commanders at the end of Tethyrs civil wars, has arrived at the town gates. They have stated their wish of registering themselves as an independent mercenary company. Their leader Dharzzhi, an intelligent and well spoken male has charmed Sampara Ilbrenna with his charm and eloquence and the papers were being drawn up when the trouble started.
As the meeting between the towns representatives and the lizard men was coming to an end, another lizard man arrived, Zhadresh Halftail, the local agent of the Servants of the Egg. He claimed that the lizard men under Dharzzhi were under oath to his master king Ghassis and are therefore deserters that should be taken into arrest. Gharzzi on his side claimed that they had been betrayed by their commanders and where therefore free of their slave bonds. Ghazzar stopped the meeting before blood flowed and told the lizard men that the case would be investigated and decided at a later date.
A Westgate nobleman arrives with a document from his home city that says he has the rights to a treasure that is supposed to be buried within castle Mindulgulph. It was carried into the fortress by his forefather when the giants attacked the town. When he died, it seems that the hiding place of the treasure died with him. The nobleman now claims the right to search trough the fortress with the help of a trio of mages and claim the treasure as his own. The document seems legal, but it does not say what the treasure consists of, a question the nobleman also refuses to answer.
The Mindulgulphs on their side has made it clear that they will skin the nobleman and his mages alive and cure their hides for saddle making if they set one foot within the castle.
All over Priapurl the roses are dying. They show every sign of having been struck by some sort of disease, but Garmarella the Blessed claims that this is no sickness, her theory is that it is some sort of magical malady that has been placed on the roses for unknown reasons. To foreigners this might seem like a minor inconvenience, but to the people of Priapurl the death of the roses is seen as a foreboding of catastrophe and death for the people as well as the flowers.
The youngest son of an exiled Cormyrean noble at this time living in Ilipur arrives in Priapurl and starts courting lady Amburiia, Old Lady Bharhiras 2nd daughter. This has caused quite a stir in the Rose quarters with the old matriarchs seeing the town becoming the new center of the exiles of Westgate and Oldaern Ebonhawk working frenetically to hinder any union to be made. If all else fail he will, with the help of certain members of the War wizards, try to assassinate the young nobleman. More reasonable voices try to suggest that the young man’s true motivations might not be political, but these have until now not been heard.
Several Aarakocra arrive in town demanding to speak with any Kenku dwelling in the area. Lady Bloodsword has three of the bird men in her service, but the tone of the Aarakocra irritates her so much that she refuses to cooperate. Travelers can inform those who ask that similar happenings have taken place in the town of Iliphur on the coast.
A mysterious pair of wagons arrives, decorated Gur wagons from the north. The traveling families asks for permission to camp outside of town for a longer period of time, which they are given. They spend most of the day as tinkers in the caravan areas, but at night they are often seen walking through the streets, one of them playing a small tin flute.
What the people of Priapurl don't know is that the Gur are yuan-ti from the Serpent Hills that have been sent to find an kill the medusa Hixarilda. The flute they are playing is a flute of Snake charming , that will make the hair of the medusa dance like flames. Sooner or later she will be.
A trio of strange hairy animals resembling small bears arrived in town a few weeks ago and just barely escaped the arrows of hunters before the largest one was able to show that she could communicate in a halting trade tongue. The animal, that gave her name as Burda, has been made welcome by the Mindulguphs, but has made it clear that she is on a mission. When asked about this she has shown her teeth in annoyance and answered that ”Lugg will take his responsibility seriously, this is his responsibility now, not pore old aunt Burda”. It is unclear what she means by this.
A rider from the hold of Chandrai, to days ride to the west arrives in town and tell of a fight that broke out at his family's holding, between two followers of The Rising Sun and a group of hill-dwellers from the west that were visiting Chandrai to buy cattle. The matter was one of the priests demanding prayers for their god as a blessing for the travels ahead for the group. The hill-men, thinking the protection of Huru-a to be enough, scoffed at the priests demands, leading to the priests turning to threats. The hill-men did not take well to this. Several bodyguards of the priests soon joined the conflict, and there were deaths on both sides.
The rider, a younger daughter of the Chandrais warn that there is a good chance of the westerners will return to take revenge on the priests by destroying their alter.
Smearclaw, a member of the Blackwhiskers clan of Wemiks has started an uproar at the clan gathering by proclaiming that he will start herding cattle instead of sheep in his private flocks. The smell of the wool animals is too much for him and he claims that the taste of the meat is nauseating .
Many of the younger Wemiks roared their applause for this plan, but many of the elders, fearing conflict with the other cattle ranchers of the north, are worried. This might be the start of a new internal conflict between the Wemiks, something that could have effects spreading through the human countryside settlements as there are long ties between individual Wemik and human/Hin families.
One of Gaberragh’s kobolts has found a beautiful egg the size of himself, hidden in the garbage in an alley near the east wall. He even heard the men inside one of the houses, short folk from a place called Glen, talking about where more of the eggs could be found. Now, if he only could find a way to open the delicious treat. He is so hungry that he can hear his own heart pounding every time he puts his head on the egg for a nap.
One night an excited prospector called Dheirav Oakenbeam arrives at The Banner Broken with a wild tale of a castle coming down from the clouds near his camp in the Giant’s Run mountains and several white haired giants walking out from its gates. They were friendly, but seemed to have a peculiar and old fashioned form of Chondathan as their only form of communication. They asked Dheirav several questions he found rather peculiar, about the king of Fire and about the Seven cities of the Coast. The answers he gave them left the giants rather confused and they promised him a rich reward if he was able to bring someone that could answer their questions at the next rising of the new moon.
In the Rose quarters, in Old Lady Bharhiras green-clad chambers there is a state of near panic. From an agent among the courtesans of Westgate her daughter Ambriica has learned that a secret brotherhood ( the Men of the Basilisk is suspected as are several of the shadier Cloak-societies ) has managed to kidnap one of the Wind- sisters and replace her with a Doppelganger magic shielding its mind. Unable to trust her agents the old matron is more or less crippled. She had originally planned to have all the Sisters murdered, as they in her eyes now pose a threat to her beloved town, but at the last minute she got news that the Sister in question most likely was still alive and held for information in Ilipur. At the moment Old Lady Bharhira and her relatives are looking for trustworthy agents to send north.
Several of the outlying farms to the south have been raided by what seems like Bugbears. The creatures took several captives and left one farmer, lacking both his arms, with a message that they would return until they were paid a toll of a hundred head of cattle before the fall of the leaves.
Nackrava of Amn has tried to recruit a group of adventurers and volunteers to go into the Underdark after the raiders. He has promised any clerics joining him a payment of five rubies from a necklace he carries around his neck. Several members of the Cult of the Rising Sun has shown their interest, something that has made Nackrava very happy.
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