- 1.) Town Square
- 2.) Temple/Church (House of Gods)
- 3.) Festival Grounds (Park Area)
- 4.) Governor's House (Grael Kohendrom)
- 5.) Shoot & Shimbers Inn
- 6.) Armory & Main Guard Barracks
- 7.) Market Area (Farmer's)
- 8.) Southern Guard House
- 9.) Mage School (Tower of Huzaarm)
- 10.) The Pavilion (Brothel)
- 11.) Equipment Shop (Olef Kurdnol)
- 12.) Weaponsmith (Gardon Nordmol)
- 13.) Armorist (Steen Lankbraust)
- 14.) The Tall Tower Tavern (Al Bolenstein)
- 15.) Stables
- 16.) Fighter's Guild
- 17.) Cemetery
- 18.) Outer Coal Mines
- 19.) Northern Guard House
- 20.) Middle Class District
- 21.) Upper Class District
||Governor Grael Kohendrom
||Yes, 8' thick x 20' high stone wall (Iron Portcullis All Exits)
||Common 97, Various 3%
||Human 96%, Half-Elf 1%, 3% Various other races
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods
||Wood products, coal, grain, freshwater fish, diamond dust, beef
|City Entry Fee
||1sp (5 cp for local citizens)
||standard (+10% at some shops)
||Demi-Human 2%, 2% Yuatepucan
|| Forest / Hills / Mountains / Rivers / Creeks
Elspir is a medium sized city and is completely fortified by 8' thick and 20' high stone walls. Elspir rests near the southern border of Bryn, not far from the borders of East Ekothia and near the shores of a large body of water known as Løgrinn or "The Lake". This city has continuously grown since it's inception in the year 727 BWoR (Before War of Religions).
Elspir's population slightly exceeds 10,000 citizens, which is quite large compared to the neighboring town of Barnweal. The general population here consists of mostly humans, however a handful of ragtag half-orcs, a few half dwarves and a small yet greatly excepted group of half elves can be found amongst the citizenry. Almost all occupations and establishments can be found strewn about the city, however the more sought-after businesses dominate the town square and the main roads through the city.
Some of these places of interest include the infamous Shoot and Shimbers Inn, The Tall Tower Tavern, Argent's Fighters Guild, House of Prayers and the looming magic school of Huzaarm. Elspir also has many other places of interest which adventurers may find intriguing such as "the outer coal mines" located as #18 on the city map or Festival Grounds located at #3 on the map. The mines offer an opportunity to explore the depths of Bryn and are often the talk to many lurking in the shadows. While the Festival Grounds regularly host tournaments of skill, including archery, hand to hand combat, horse riding, sword duels etc. However jousting is not one of the events held within this venue.
Due to the vast amount of forest within Elspir's vale, a large contingency of the population works with wood or is somehow impacted by the importing or exporting of wood products. Coopers (barrel makers), bowyer fletchers, cart wrights, carpenters and many other craftsman of wood are common throughout Elspir. As one might suspect, almost all homes are made of wood as well, with the exception of the very rich in which case they could afford to import quarry stone.
Lawfulness in Elspir is of utmost importance, thieves and other criminals are dealt with severely, yet not without due cause. The people are quick to act and even quicker to rat someone out. Most armors can be worn without arousing to much suspicion, however weapons are to be sheathed at all times, especially when entering any common place. Those not following these rules are quickly informed thereof and if these rules are not followed the city guard will assertively and aggressively enforce them. Common fist fights, verbal disagreements and other simple problems are dealt with justly in court, with all outcomes being decided by a council of 7 persons appointed by the governor and his/her electorates.
The cities prison cells are located under the Main Armory & Guard Barracks (see map #6) sunk some 16' below ground within 5' thick stone walls and ceiling. The floors are brick red bedrock and are harder then the walls themselves. Here an average of 90 prisoners make their homes for crimes ranging from murder to rape. Most of which are sentenced here for life. They are fed little, never see the light of day and rarely get the pleasure of having a roommate. Anyone wanting access to these chambers will require special permission from the city bailiff.
The tallest structure in Elspir is the Mage School of Huzaarm. This 90' high, 75' circular tower is home to Huzaarm the Inquisitor. Huzaarm spends most of his time studying tomes as most mages do, yet a large portion of his efforts is spent teaching a select few the arcane arts. Arcane magic is not usually tolerated by the masses, however in this case Huzaarm has the King at his side being one of the kingdom's lead advisors. Be it as it may, the citizens of Elspir wouldn't hesitate to throw Huzaarm under the wagon. He has been accused of treason, treachery and even murder in the past, yet has always been proven innocent and set free to continue his teachings which are now mostly viewed as harmless. Huzaarm doesn't sell magic items out of his school, but for a moderate fee his can examine and identify magic items using the proceeds for his students spell components. Other castings can be requested and are excepted or denied on a case to case basis.
Overall Elspir runs efficiently, effectively and continues to prosper even threw times of hardship. A little of everything can be found here and those making Elspir their home will find it quite adequate to raise a family or perhaps start a new business.
Beyond the Walls:
The outside perimeter of Elspir consists of hundreds of meandering foot trails, all leading to and from the forests at all angles. These trails are used by the locals who collect firewood and/or gather sections of trees for their many businesses. Several trails lead into farmlands or off into the foothills which eventually leads into the local mountain range to the north. A handful of small creeks and the cities main water source (river Løgrinn) can also be found nearby. The north and south entrances host the two most heavily traveled roads which lead north-west to Barnweal and south-east to Agoria (the capital of Bryn). One other large and well used trail leads directly east to Løgrinn lake. It takes approximately 2.5 days to travel to the lake, but is a common trek for those supplying Elspir with fresh fish and other products of the massive fresh water lake.
Elspir was founded over 1,300 years ago as an outpost for travelers heading to the far western reaches of the Brynian empire now known as Borme. Elspir has been part of many a war in the past and thus has erected it's walls to help defend attacks from those seeking to raise the city. Several acts of hostility have come from the kingdom of Borme in the past in an attempt to expand their borders, yet threats from Elspir's southern most neighbors (the Ekothians) still persist to this day, however they rarely consist of more then a handful of bandits or raiders seeking an easy target leaving Elspir's confines.
Elspir has a rich history in craftsmanship and some of the realms best wood carvers have made their homes here in the past. Several large wooden statues of warriors, priests and of course the many norse gods can be found throughout the city. Some of which have been badly vandalized over the years, yet the large majority still stand true after decades of being left to Byrn's southern weather front.
Elspir's coal mine has steadily produced a thick and pure source of coal deep within it's cavern's. The people of Elspir have worked these depths for over a century now and have established a vast network of mines, tracks, pulleys and carts. This provides a constant and consistent supply of coal to the citizenry and for export to the kingdom's other populations. This expansive set of caverns has worked it's way down quite deep now exceeding 500 feet in certain areas and thus only the most hardy workers can withstand the low levels of oxygen and coal dust. A few of Elspir's half-dwarven citizens lead these operations and are often the only workers that work deeper each year passing. It is not often, but sometimes local warriors are called upon to venture within these caves to rid of a would be foul beast or creature which threatens the lives of the workers. However, not much can survive for long in such an environment and quite often by the time these troublesome creatures are reported, they have already moved on.
Places of Interest & Descriptions:
The Town Square;
Elspir's town square is quite large, consuming approximately 1/32 of it's entire surface area. During the day hours this area is quite busy with traders, vendors and traveling merchants from abroad. From the center you can see a few of the larger buildings with ease. A weaponsmith, an armorist, an equipment shop and a tavern with a large tower attached to it rest near the northern tip of the market, while an assortment of other shops line the edge of this busy area.
During the night hours most of these shops are closed, bolting their doors shut around 5 pm. However a few of the shops are open late, including the armorist, weapon smith and the "Tall Tower Tavern" which is open the latest, drawing it's door closed around 2 am and not opening again until around 7 am.
2 large main roads lead south from the market, presumably leaving town, another main road leads west into what appears to be the upper class area of town, while a network of smaller roads lead to the east into the lower class district of town.
The Temple of the Gods / Elspir's House of Prayers - Meyaden;
The house of prayer's is Elspir's main city temple where a large portion of citizens go to worship or pray to their deities on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The temple itself rests in the middle of a large cleared park in the south-western area of town (see #2 on the city map). The temple is two stories high and can easy be spotted from the town square by anyone seeking out a large building of significance.
The temple has over 10 clergy members who actively maintain a presence within it's walls. The most interesting of these religious figures are Pallin Shrel (the temple's custodian) who greets all guests to the temple and manages all common affairs within the house. Pallin is shrewd though and any strangers are often met with intellectual confrontation. Pallin is not fond of outsiders and is unlikely to accommodate their needs or desires (see NPC's for details on Pallin).
Velek is the temple's mortician per-say and makes all arrangements for burials, grave plots, burning pyres and other ceremonies. He keeps to himself for the most part, however he is strange looking and tends to draw attention to himself as he scuffles around the confines. However if approached, he will seem quite pleasant, quick to help, yet odd in mannerism (see NPC's for details on Velek).
Lastly Meyaden, the temple's high priest (see NPC's for details on Meyaden) and would be leader of this house is generally studying in his personal library. However, several times during the week this man makes public appearances holding prayers/sermons at the temple or telling stories to young acolytes or children in the park. Pallin does his absolute best to make sure Meyaden is not disturbed by outsiders or interrupted during any sermons or ceremonies.
The Tall Tower Tavern - Al Bolenstein;
Running most of the day and night, this popular hangout caters to Elspir's regulars and most of the adventurers that pass through town. This 110 x 60 foot tavern has 6600 square feet of floor space. The tavern can seat up to 89 patrons, yet could easily host more with the amount of open floor space it has.
There are several large fireplaces that keep everyone warm and comfortable while they enjoy some of Bryn's best ales. A large partition separates the bar and kitchen area from the tower side of the establishment. Plenty of stools line the bar, while a large array of bench seating and circular tables can be seen throughout the building. The bar side of the tavern is well lit, while the tower side is quite a bit darker, allowing for the perfect relaxing ambiance given off by the large fireplaces set into the north-western wall. A single gambling table rests on the north-eastern wall close to two large curtains.
Several bar maids walk the floors serving the patrons, they are generally quite happy and are paid well to enjoy their jobs. Two large human bouncers stand at the front door. Another heavily scarred, yet sturdy looking human bouncer stands close to the side of the bar. This bouncer is responsible for watching over the bartender, which is usually Al, an elderly human male who consistently slings ale to those who sit the length of the bar.
Tower of Huzaarm - Huzaarm the Inquisitor;
- The bartender's name is Al Bolenstein, he works here for the full shift, 6 days a week. Sundays this bar is closed. He's 62 years old.
- The bouncers are all 16 STR or better, they are the equivalent to first level fighters, having wrestling and punching non-weapon profs.
- The waitresses names are Lori and Jayma, both of them are human, yet Jayma is much better looking then her partner having a COM equal to 16. Lori is more average looking, yet is twice the waitress and is much more knowledgeable about Elspir and the going on's around this neck of the woods.
- The tower is simply used for storage (wine / ale etc). If the stair case is taken up it leads to a locked heavy wooden door, banded with steel. Picks locks can be used at -25% for this lock is of superior quality.
- An average of 32 patrons can be found at this bar. Late at night it can easily surpass 60, while in the wee hours of the morning usually only a handful of people can be found here.
The tallest structure in Elspir is the Mage School of Huzaarm. This 90' high, 75' circular tower is home to Huzaarm the Inquisitor. The tower is constructed of granite stone and is fashioned in a way that barely a crack exists between stones. Presumably this is done to prevent would-be thieves from scaling the walls. No windows can be seen from the ground looking up, however at the peak of the tower and overhang juts out circling the entire top of the tower. A large set of iron double doors appears to be the only entrance to the tower. A massive brass knocker consisting of a devilish face with a large ring hanging from it's mouth centers the right door.
The Festival Grounds;
- Huzaarm spends most of his time studying tomes as most mages do, yet a large portion of his efforts is spent teaching a select few the arcane arts. Arcane magic is not usually tolerated by the masses, however in this case Huzaarm has the Governor at his side being one of the towns lead advisors. Be it as it may, the citizens of Elspir wouldn't hesitate to throw Huzaarm under the wagon. He has been accused of treason, treachery and even murder in the past, yet has always been proven innocent and set free to continue his teachings which are now mostly viewed as harmless.
- Huzaarm doesn't sell magic items out of his school, but for a moderate fee his can examine and identify magic items using the proceeds for his students spell components. Other castings can be requested and are excepted or denied on a case to case basis.
These grounds host a variety of events throughout the year. Sword play, archery and other medieval contests can be observed often and sometimes tournaments can be partaken in. The most popular event of the year being Einherjar (may 30th). This festival is attended by all the local warriors, men-at-arms and their families. Contests of strength and endurance abound, including the log toss, rock throw, drink off and the infamous staff bogs.
The Coal Mines;
See history above. Also see maps below for further details.
Here you will find the largest whore house in all Bryn. A massive pavilion style tent hosting all who come to it's doors with coin in hand. The tent itself is divided into over 50 rooms, separated only by canvas walls (perhaps wooden stalls if you pay more). He nobody shows any shame, sounds of women moaning and men grunting with pleasure all but fill the local landscape. Whores are cheap, turnover is quick and the lineups are long. Extra time will cost yeah more, larger rooms cost more and would-be virgins cost the most. Enjoy your stay!
The Weapon Smith - Gardon Nordmol;
Gardon (a half-elf) runs his smithy right near the town square, close to other major vendors of Elspir. His craftsmanship is second to none in Elspir and his quality in arms extends words beyond the borders of Bryn. Gardon is meticulous and steady at his work, yet slow. Weapons are his passion and uniqueness is something he takes great pride in. Almost all weapons in this shop are of fine quality, holding an edge longer and offering a +1 bonus to saving throws vs crushing or mighty blows. A weapon purchased off the shelf here is 25% more then the standard fee and a custom ordered weapon is x3 the normal price, however also offers a +1 bonus to damage attacks (non-magical).
The Armorist - Steen Lankbraust;
A few armorists exist in Elspir, but none more centralized and easily found then that of Lankbraust's Hammers. Here the owner Steen and his young apprentice Borme (see NPCs) work the heavy hammers and craft some of the better armors in town. Some claim the strongest anyway. Both Steen and Borme work long hours and tend to the armory from dawn till dusk. Prices are 10% higher then standard due to a slower market in Elspir, however color choice and ornamentation preferences are much better then most other armories.
The Fighter's Guild - Orris;
The "Dragon's Paw Guild" started 27 years ago by the original founder Bane Juhnem, since then Bane has left a legacy of finely trained warriors behind. Orris (the current head of the guild) runs the place much the same as Bane did, yet plans to expand it's members two fold over the next five years. Orris is a large burly human around the age of 40 and currently has 14 members ranging in skill from 1st level to 5th level, himself being 7th. Two of his more loyal and trusted guild members are Korrd Lavonsworth and Ardun Lordsheld.
Becoming a member is done by pledging a simple oath, helping teach skills to others and by freely offering 10% one's annual income to the guild for building upgrades, weaponry , supplies and special gathering goods. Here you are all treated as brothers, a family of un-breakable bonds and men of honor. Orris preaches lawfulness, charity to others and protection for the weak, yet he's definitely not some pompous knight or paladin. An oath given here is taken very seriously, an oath broken is generally a life removed. Orris bears a special insignia given to all who join the guild.
- to show strength, honor and pride towards all within the guild
- to not forget the goods and wealth received from their fellow brethren
- to always fight before their guild's walls
- to wrest glory from the foemen they face
- to flee only when all is lost
- to avenge their brethren if they are slain or die trying
Local Legends & Lore:
Chambers of Elspir;
Local lore states that Elspir was once home to a large underground set of chambers that were used by the upper class and/or various figureheads of great importance and/or rank during times of war. The corridors leading to this secret section of town have been long forgotten and buried and those living here have either never heard these tales, or have been told they no longer exist through mere hearsay.
Truth or Tale;
In this case the tales and local rumors are true. These chambers do exist and are currently being used by a secret cult to sacrifice living humans to their deity. They have been active for the last five years and only a select few areas can be located to gain access into these long forgotten halls.
Other Local Maps: