Saturday, March 18, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 11

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 11

Compiling week 11 of the project, comprised of an additional 7 settlements and/or sites of the City-State of Noldrune as shown below.

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #71 

Mar 12th, 2023 

  • Number: 71 

  • Name: Noldrune Scouting Service (NSS) 

  • Location: Unmarked building complex on the outskirts of Belladorn (#1) and a small group of offices in the capital itself. 

  • Population (approx.): 100-200 onsite employees 

  • Brief: Once House Noldrune and its allies secured the borders of the new City-State, it employed scouts and rangers to keep an eye on the borders and the nearby Guilds, Tribes and Clans. Later, House Claid, being somewhat paranoid regarding maintaining their newly acquired position of power, funded a dramatic expansion of their scouting. A Royal decree separated some scouts from the military into a new organization formalized as the Noldrune Scouting Service (NSS) and expanded their mandate to include espionage (both intelligence gathering (mundane and magical) and active operations). Now empowered, the NSS keeps an eye on the other 3 City-States, people of interest in the City-State and points of interest in the Narrows and the Wastelands. The Chairperson of the NSS reports directly to the Chamberlain of House Claid. 

  • Geography: The headquarters of the NSS is composed of two parts. The first is a half-dozen offices on one floor of the capital’s Complex of Government. The second is an umarked complex of buildings on the outskirts of Belladorn including more offices, laboratories, ritual rooms, warehouses and a training complex for ranges, scouts, seers and spies. The NSS maintains a network of offices and agents throughout the City-State. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #72 

Mar 13th, 2023 

  • Number: 72 

  • Name: Haldwen’s Folly Blind Aka Four Hands Ranch 

  • Location: On the Noldrune/Taodeas border 

  • Population (approx.): 12 to 20 

  • Brief: The Noldrune Scouting Service (NSS, #71), as directed by House Claid, established locations along borders with places of interest known as “Blinds” (also called “Mirrors” by some). A Blind maintains the fa├žade of being part of the local landscape (a settlement, manor or farm for example) but serves as an NSS forward base, home to a variable number of specialists whose skill set depends on the location and the target. Haldwen’s Folly Blind presents itself as the Four Hands Ranch in the pass between the two City-States. The “ranch hands” include outriders who keep watch on the highway traffic. Several rangers also keep an on the "illegal” logging along Fanlau River (#40) specifically in case Taodeas decides to take action against the Noldrune woodsmen. 

  • Geography: Haldwen’s Folly Blind is close to if not on the border between Noldrune and Taodeas, several miles north of the late Lord Haldwen’s now ruined manor house. The Blind is a ranch with a main house, several barns and smaller outbuildings surrounded by a number of fenced pastures. The ranch is functional and maintains about a thousand head of cattle, plus sheep, goats, and chickens. The Blind’s next project, as directed by the NSS, is to establish a relationship with the Four Dwarves Clans of the Lanu Maug (#4 and #53) and determine their loyalty, if any, to Taodeas. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #73 

Mar 14th, 2023 

  • Number: 73 

  • Name: The Narrows Blind at Riverbridge 

  • Location: On the Noldrune River north of Riverbourne (#3) 

  • Population (approx.): 850 

  • Brief: Riverbridge is one of the few settlements on the Noldrune River that might be considered to be equally part of both the City-States of Carasta and Noldune due to an ancient bridge spanning the waterway. With unfettered transit across the river, the NSS saw Riverbridge as the perfect home for a Blind focused upon the Narrows. Their cover is that of a trading house with strong ties with the Dwarven Clans to the south (see #4) and the Dwarven Mining Guild with concerns in the Narrows (see #23). The work is complex as the number of groups scattered throughout the land to the west, especially those with ties to the fallen Ta’arnan Empire, are numerous and diverse requiring a variety of approaches and surveillance techniques. 

  • Geography: Riverbridge is a small town ruled by Lady-Mayoress, the head of a small noble House of Noldrune. She has managed to keep the town somewhat independent from both City-States (the NSS supports this stance to keep their Blind operating freely). Riverbridge is divided into roughly equal halves by the Noldrune River, joined by the River Bridge constructed centuries ago by the local Dwarven Clans to support trading with the coast to the north. The Narrows Blind maintain their Merchant House offices on the Noldrune side and a manor house on the Carasta side. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #74 

Mar 15th, 2023 

  • Number: 74 

  • Name: Red Water Blind at The Corners 

  • Location: West coast of Red Water Bay along the Noldrune/Ceannar border. 

  • Population (approx.): 650 

  • Brief: In some circumstances the NSS wishes to keep an eye on other groups within the City-State as well as those outside. The Blind at The Corners, a bayside village, was established due to continued friction between the navies of the two City-States and other independent sailors on the waters of Red Water Bay. Agents keep an eye on Naval activity originating from Borderwatch Light (#42) and from Ceannar’s bases on the bay such as Pearl City (#9) and Long’s Sandy Isle (#45). Red Water Blind’s cover is that of a family of fisherfolk who are not above making special journeys for the right price. This allows their boats to troll the bay at irregular hours and observe sites of interest based on intelligence gathered elsewhere. Due to House Macad’s animosity toward Ceannar, Baron Claid has directed the NSS to diffuse tensions as required. 

  • Geography: The Corners is the northernmost fishing village on the Noldrune coastal highway, which parallels Red Water Bay, before the road turns inland and heads northwest toward Lapit Bay. It is typical of fishing settlements centered about a central building combining a small chapel to the God of Waters and a town hall. It is ruled by elders of the largest fishing Clans including a member of Red Water Blind. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #75 

Mar 16th, 2023 

  • Number: 75 

  • Name: Ceannar View Blind at the Skywatch Observatory 

  • Location: Mount Skywatch, on the border of Ceannar and Noldrune. 

  • Population (approx.): 50 

  • Brief: Skywatch Observatory was founded by astronomers and astrologers of a civilization that pre-dated the Ta’arnan Empire. It has been used and abandoned for the centuries since. In late Ta’arnan rule, priests of the Air, Day and Night gathered at Skywatch to make observations of the skies during both day and night. The NSS realized that with the right spell or ritual, one might be able to keep an eye on the plains of Ceannar to the east, so they recruited clerics and seers to establish the Ceannar View Blind at the Observatory. The ordinary and enchanted lenses in the towers allow long range scouting of military movements near the border and some magical activities. 

  • Geography: Mount Skywatch is the tallest point in the northeast spur of the Tuton Maug. The spur branches from the Tuton Maug near the source of the Lanumag River and extends northeast into Ceannar and along the north coast. The observatory is comprised of a central keep complex, with numerous large windows, small balconies and tower-top platforms. It is surrounded by a number of outbuildings including residences, offices and 3 chapels (Air, Light and Dark). The staff at Skywatch have a cordial relationship with the Dwarves of Firewalker Ridge (#47) just to the east in Ceannar. The Blind keeps an eye on the Dwarves and NSS expects the Dwarves watch Skywatch for Ceannar as well. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #76 

Mar 17th, 2023 

  • Number: 76 

  • Name: Anum Taag Mirror at Foothills Market 

  • Location: North border of Anum Taag (#37) directly south of Belladorn (#1) 

  • Population (approx.): 80 (staff) and 450 (local settlement) 

  • Brief: There are rare instances when the NSS wishes potential adversaries to know that the NSS, and by extension Noldrune itself, is keeping on them. Those offices are public presentations and have been nicknamed “mirrors” instead of “blinds.” The Elves and other inhabitants of Anum Taag, due to their distant and some may say aloof nature, have been deemed a potential adversary thus Baron Claid instructed the NSS to establish a mirror in Foothills Market. The mirror’s staff includes foresters and rangers assigned to carefully patrol around Anum Taag but never within the Elven lands. 

  • Geography: Foothills Market is a small village on the north slopes of the Tuton Maug range almost directly south of Belladorn. It is one of the few settlements to have established a relationship with the Elves of Anum Taag. Farmers from the fields to the north bring grain and animal produce to the fields outside of town on market days, trading with the Elves for crafts and forest produce such as nuts, herbs and fruit. The Mirror is a three-story residence with signs reading Embassy of the City-State of Noldrune , the local spymaster doubling as the “ambassador” to Anum Taag. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #77 

Mar 18th, 2023

  • Number: 77 

  • Name: Angry Dwarf Blind at Caer Granite 

  • Location: West slopes of Ma’amore Maug along Smuggler’s Pass (#5) 

  • Population (approx.): 40 (garrison and blind) and 350 (settlement) 

  • Brief: The NSS has kept a watchful eye on the comings and goings through Smuggler’s Pass for many years. The recent tension between Houses Macad and Claid caused the NSS to consider a more permanent presence in the region. A violent encounter between the local bandits, the Baron’s Bastards and Dwarves in service to Viscount Daron Ma’amore provided an opportunity. The Baron offered to establish a small cavalry garrison at Caer Granite, the Viscount’s keep, to protect transport of ore and metals from mines to points north and east. The “Angry Dwarf” Blind, nicknamed as such for the Viscount’s reaction to the incident, was formed within the garrison, to keep watch on the pass and the Bastards, particularly to determine their connections, if any, to Taodeas and House Macad. 

  • Geography: Ma’amore Maug is a spur of the Tuton Maug extending northeast about 50 miles into the eastern plains of Noldrune. Most of the land is claimed by the Dwarves of Clan Ma’armore who maintain their mines underground and settlements on the surface. Caer Granite, the capital of the Viscounty, is on the western slopes of the hills facing Smuggler’s Pass. It is composed of a central keep looking over a small settlement surrounded by a curtain wall, pierced by a main gate, and several towers. A road winds downhill to the main north-south trails. Tunnels dive into the hills to connect to the mines and other settlements. 


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