Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #336
December 3rd, 2023
Name: Deep Dive of Subjects of Interest: Of the Accounting by Mister Zariya Savindy, Scholar, as Requested by the Arcane Guild - Part 7
Location: Across the hills and dales of the City-State of Taodeas
Population (approx.): 378 (Upper Orcwatch)
Brief: The latter half of Zariya’s journey takes him across the northern holdings of the City-State of Taodeas. This brings him to the borders of the Orc-held portion of the Lanu Maug, a land of constant skirmishes between the underground hives and the local authorities. His thoughts turn to the use of magic in warfare. Since the dawn of Kin on Aenwyld, people used any tool available to wage war upon their perceived enemies. Magic, raw as it was in pre-history, dealt brief but very destructive effects (blasts of flame, bolts of lightning and the like). As time passed and magic became more codified and sophisticated, vast numbers of offensive spells were created. This drove defenders to research and develop equal numbers of protective spells in response. Crossing the plains, Zariya and Jorgenson approach the border watch village of Upper Orcwatch, where the Order of the Fiery Omen, a Dwarven fighting company, in conjunction with the Lanu Hillwardens defends the lands of the Dwarves to the north and the lands of the Taodean Tribes to the east. After a couple of days of working through the politics with the local commander, Belrak Mountainsong, Zariya is rewarded with a chance to meet one of his defensive spellcasting specialists.
Gwynthiel (Gwyn) Darkbuster, 103, female Dwarf, is a shieldmaiden for The Order of the Fiery Omen. She is short, muscular, and beautiful. Her blonde hair hangs down her back in a long braid. Her nickel-gray eyes are fierce, and her smile is formidable. Gwyn has a scar over her left eyebrow from a previous battle. She wears chain armor with a large metal helmet. Her shield bears the picture of a shieldmaiden wielding a giant shield as a large fireball arcs through the sky. Her primary weapon and protection is the giant shield. Her backup weapon is a pair of short swords.
Gwyn's mother was a shieldmaiden and trained her daughter in the ways of the shield. When she was fifty-one, Gwyn had a falling out with her mother and joined The Order of the Fiery Omen. The Order welcomed her and taught her various spells that few dwarves know. A few years later, Gwyn participated in several battles and distinguished herself. Her current duty is to protect a government official, Belrak Mountainsong, 300, male Dwarf.
Gwyn lives with her new husband, Tyrim Darkbuster, 110, male Dwarf. They have purchased a small house and hope to have children shortly. Gwyn loves to sew and helps to keep her fellow shieldmaiden's armor in good condition. Gwyn loves to observe people and maintains a daily journal. Her best friend is Mistvia Everhammer, 97, female Dwarf. The two love to go to taverns where they can sing with the local band.
Required inquiries complete, Gwyn offers to show Zariya about the fortifications and the adjacent village. They discuss protective magics for people, places and things. As well as the more specific mechanics of using magic with various forms of armor, a topic near and dear to Gwyn’s heart. Zariya finds the countryside is quite pretty despite the monsters concealed benearth the surface to the west in the heights.
Geography: Upper Orcwatch was built in the foothills of the Lanu Maug just beyond the northeast corner of the territory of the Gray Skull Orcs (#52). It is part of the northern line of fortifications along with Orcwatch Spire (#53) to the west. The Dwarven fighting Orders patrol the underdark and the lands to the west while the Taodean Hillwardens patrol the surface and the hills to the south. Two roads lead out from the village, one east to the main highway and one north to a hill route connecting the highway to the Four Dwarven Clans (Lakeforge, Redgorge, Steelsons and Orccutters) of the Lanu Maug (#161). The centerpiece of Upper Orcwatch is the tall stone watch tower, complete with a top-level landing platform for the rare visit of Airwardens of the High Plains Drifters (#91). An adjacent curtain wall encloses barracks, stables, officer’s quarters and warehouses. Outside the wall are a variety of Inns, residences and businesses in the “V” formed by the 2 roads.