Sunday, April 30, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #120

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #120 

April 30th, 2023 

  • Number: 120 

  • Name: Matumouth 

  • Location: At the mouth of the Matui River on Taop Bay. 

  • Population (approx.): 2200 

  • Brief: Matumouth was established as a fishing village on the Matui River centuries ago, about the same time as Taosport (#17) to the north when the Matui and Taos Tribes settled the region west of the Lanu Maug hills. Like Taosport, it was expanded into a town during the Ta’arnan conquest and retains features constructed by the Empire and a mixed population of Tribesfolk and the Ta’arnan expats. Unlike Taosport, Matumouth conducts a great deal of trade with the Ta’arnans of the Church-State of Earth and Water (#29) to the west across the delta. The town is the headquarters of the Matui Riverwardens (#51) who patrol the shallow waters in conjunction with the Baywardens (#88) who watch the deep waters of the bay. Despite tensions that remain in the background resulting from Taodeas’ independence and the attempts of reconquest that followed, relations between local and nearby factions are generally good.  

  • Geography: Matumouth was built on the north bank of the Matui River where it enters the Taop Bay. The original docks were expanded into a typical Imperial harbor with stone wharves, heavy wooden piers and overlooking fortifications. That keep is now home to the Lord Mayor and leaders of the Matui Tribe. Within the walls of the keep are residences, a Church to the Waters, barracks and granaries. The bulk of the town hugs the walls of the keep and spreads east along the river, featuring typical tenements and business. A main road departs east along the river and north along the coast. The Riverwardens and Sailors’ Guild manage a ferry to support travel across the border. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 17

 Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 17

Compiling week 17 of the project, comprised of an additional 7sites, this week site-adjacent/related settlements of the City-State of Ceannar as shown below.

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #113 

April 23rd, 2023 

  • Number: 113 

  • Name: People’s Portal 

  • Location: On the border of Noldrune and Ceannar 

  • Population (approx.): 3,370 

  • Brief: 4 centuries ago, 73 FC in the common calendar, Ceannar’s Baroness Eldest Ceannar declared the City-State an independent and united People’s City-State. The border between Ceannar and Noldrune ran slightly west of north from Red Water Bay in the south to the Lesser Staplefish Bay (aka Lapit Bay) in the north. This fortunately put the small village of Elben in Ceannar as it then became the gateway between the two City-States, because it sat on the main highway between Belladorn (#1) and Overlook (#8). As the City-States formalized relations and trade, Elben grew and was later renamed People’s Portal to signify its importance as the gateway to the east. The Baroness established a significant border patrol unit, headquartered in the town, to police the various crossings including the north and south coastal roads. 

  • Geography: People’s Portal is a sprawling plains town south of the Tuton Maug Spur and Firewalker Ridge (#47). The central portion of town is enclosed in a curtain wall with towers every 30 meters about the perimeter. Several caravan fields and markets abut against the walls on the outside. The main gate is on the west side of the wall and marks the formal border crossing (the actual border being a mile further west). Inside the People’s Hall is surrounded by businesses, tenements, guild halls and churches. Farms and ranches cover the plains in all directions as far as the eyes can see. The original highway passes through People’s Portal, but recently a bypass was constructed around the north side of town to ease the congested town streets. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #114 

April 24th, 2023 

  • Number: 114 

  • Name: Rainbelow  

  • Location: Where the Gata Tele Ley Line crosses the north coast of Ceannar 

  • Population (approx.): 300 (dry season) to 800+ (storm season) 

  • Brief: Years ago, Rainbelow was a simple farming village of a different name near the coast of north Ceannar. One day a coastal storm rumbled through, the wind driving the rain through the Ley Line overhead. The legend relates that day the rains drenched an old farmer and the next morning he was healed of all manners of ills, years added to his life. Years passed, another storm drenched the village and every leaf of a copse of trees changed to all colors of the rainbow. The stories travelled far and wide and soon, when the rains came, so did the hopeful. They brought buckets, troughs and all manner of devices to catch the rain and rarely, they were rewarded with a small amount of magical fluid with unusual properties related to healing, alchemy or crafting. Predicting the next storm is now the most important job in Rainbelow. Local priests of Vai, divines, weather-watchers, seers and astrologers both compete and cooperate to accurately make that prediction. 

  • Geography: Rainbelow can be found 3 miles inland from the north coast of Ceannar, near the apex of the Gata Tele Ley Line before it descends to meet the ground at Everblossom Fields (#79). It resembles an ordinary farming village but for 3 features, the first being a large chapel to the God of Water and a large chantry of the Arcane Guild, the second being a large number of inns for visitors, and the third is that every rooftop and surface under or nearly under the Ley Line is designed to catch water when it rains.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #115 

April 25th, 2023 

  • Number: 115 

  • Name: Noble’s Rest 

  • Location: Southwest Ceannar on the ocean coast across from Long’s Sandy Isle. 

  • Population (approx.): 250 (Winter) to 1,000 or more (Summer) 

  • Brief: Noble’s Rest is the last stop on the mainland before boarding private boats or public ferries to Long’s Sandy Isle (#45) and the summer festivities. Like the island, Noble’s Rest is a sleepy fishing village in winter but expands greatly in the days leading up to the trek of the nobles from their manor homes and keeps to the parties and beaches. Noble’s Rest provides required services such as stabling horses, parking carriages and housing various servants, guards, “noble camp followers” and minor nobility who didn’t “make the cut” to attend events offshore. The lesser sorts and some fisherfolk do a brisk business in smuggling or sneaking folk from the mainland to the island, dodging naval patrols on the water and noble’s guards on the island. 

  • Geography: Noble’s Rest sits on the coast on the east side of the ridge that separates Pearl Bay from the ocean. It is a village of two parts, the traditional trappings of a fishing village, operated throughout the year, and the seasonal trappings of a coastal resort, hosting those not traveling to Long’s Sandy Isle plus storing the trappings (wagons, carriages, horses) of those who departed by ferry or yacht to the south. The latter consists of several hotels, restaurants, three large stables and two caravan yards. The former is a collection of businesses, tenements, cottages and a combined chapel, elder’s moot and town hall.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #116 

April 26th, 2023 

  • Number: 116 

  • Name: Elfmeet 

  • Location: Several miles north of the Airontir Copa, northwest of Airontir Taun 

  • Population (approx.): 780 

  • Brief: Elfmeet appears to be a typical small town of Ceannar, sitting at the edge of dense forested hills. But it is unique in that Elfmeet serves as the gateway between Ceannar and the Elven “County” of Airontir Taun (#49). The village plays host to a Baronial ambassador, who serves as a gatekeeper for those who would do business with the Elves. She also commands a small detachment of Ceannar’s Rangers, who patrol outside the borders of the County to prevent intrusion upon Elven lands. The City-State currently takes a very “hands off” approach to business and diplomacy, letting the Elves initiate any communication or interchange, for prior mistakes have led to several rather bloody incidents not long forgotten by the long-lived Kin. 

  • Geography:  Elfmeet sits in the foothills of the southern Flattop Hills, a couple of miles north of the Airontir Copa bay. The ambassador’s manor sits at the east end of town, near the unmarked border with Airontir Taun. Elfmeet has its own mayor, elected by local elders, but he tends to rely on the ambassador’s extensive political experience (sometimes to her annoyance). The Peoples’ Hall is the center of town, surrounded by two Inns, several shops and Guild offices for businessfolk with ongoing interactions with the Elves. Homes and farms dot the hillsides between the trees and spread out on to the plains to the west on either side of a road leading to the main southern highway between Overlook (#8) to the northeast and Pearl City (#9) to the west. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #117 

April 27th, 2023 

  • Number: 117 

  • Name: East’arbor 

  • Location: Eastern coast of Ceannar on the ocean 

  • Population (approx.): 3,300 

  • Brief: East’arbor is one of the oldest settlements of Ceannar, if not of the whole region. A safe deep-water anchorage, it was settled by the Ceannar Peoples soon after their arrival on the shores of the continent. From East’arbor, settlers moved inland, quickly filling the plains between the coasts and Flattop Hills, and sailors explored north and south, mapping the coast, finding potential harbors and other sites of note. Although Overlook (#8) is the center of Ceannar, many feel East’arbor is the soul of Ceannar and retains some of the spirit of the Peoples ancestral home to the far east. East’arbor, being the largest port near Overlook, continues to serve has a hub for the City-State's Navy and hosts much of the seaborne trade traffic to Noldrune and Taodeas. 

  • Geography: East’arbor sits on the east coast of Ceannar at the end of a natural inlet, just west of East Point Light (#10). It is shielded from most ocean storms by the land to the east and a long barrier island 20 miles to the southeast. The town is dominated by the ancient harbor and its piers, docks, warehouses and businesses all overlooked by First Landing Castle, ancient home to the Lord Mayor, their family, a sea gods cathedral and the headquarters of the town guard. The central keep is several millennia old, made of ancient magicked stone, and has been rebuilt and expanded several times. Past the curtain wall that protects the harbor district and the keep, the town spreads out to the west onto the plains, about a main highway headed to Overlook in the distant hills. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #118 

April 28th, 2023 

  • Number: 118 

  • Name: Woodsedge 

  • Location: Along Ceannar’s central highway north of the Gnarlwylde and west of Overlook 

  • Population (approx.): 1200 

  • Brief: As the Peoples of Ceannar explored across the land, they encountered the chaotic tangle that is the Gnarlwylde (#81) and deemed it prudent to skirt the site when establishing the highways of the City-State. The infrequent appearance of the airborne Wyrdwood Torus (#84) was less of a consideration. Woodsedge was founded in the northern portion of mundane woods around the Gnarlwylde along the main trail from east to west. It plays host to a small campus of the six churches, home to resident druids and animists who study the area, and a small chantry of the Arcane Guild, whose magicians and alchemists undertake similar exploration. A company of Ceannar Rangers patrols the region as unusual creatures have been known to exit the Gnarlwylde and run wild in the surrounds. 

  • Geography: Woodsedge is in the center of Ceannar along the central highway, 2 days travel west of the capital Overlook. The small town features typical roadside amenities such as inns, general merchants and caravan fields plus a variety of woodland-related businesses (carpenters, herbalists, woodcarvers and the like). Several businessfolk maintain cabins in the mundane woods that they rent to those interested in sometimes risky business of foraging or hunting the fringes of the Gnarylwylde. There is no wall about Woodsedge, but the perimeter features guard platforms built above ground in the trees overlooking the area.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #119 

April 29th, 2023 

  • Number: 119 

  • Name: Jamsworth Keep 

  • Location: South corner of Orchard Hills along the Tuton Maug Spur 

  • Population (approx.): 350 

  • Brief: During the fall of Ta’arna and the formation of Noldune and Ceannar, some of the fiercest fighting between the two nascent City-States occurred around the village now known as Jamsworth. Originally known as Southillside, a young defender of the village, facing Noldrune troops for the first time, complained the place was “Not worth the jam it kept within its walls.” To which the leader of the troops, Sunder Ceannar (brother of the eventual Baroness, Eldest), simply declared, “You’re wrong for it is of Ceannar and thus worthy of our blood, sweat and souls.” The Ceannaran defenders persevered and the word “Jamsworth” came to mean something worth dying over. The castle in the center of the village, part of the fortifications of the time, was nicknamed Jamsworth Keep. The troops of Noldrune were eventually driven westward, beyond People’s Portal (#113) where today’s border is now drawn. 

  • Geography: Jamsworth keep is one of the three villages along the southern border of the Orchard Hills (#14). The fruits of the trees, once harvested, are brought to the village and the other two to be cooked variously into jams, jellies preserves, wines, brandies and liquors. Jamsworth Keep features a market square plus stores, mostly selling fruit-based products, warehouses and small factories. The keep serves as town hall and a wing holds a chapel to the gods of light, earth and water who have blessed the soil of the hills.