Abridged History of the 10th Age
|Fortress and Town||Population: Around 8,000||Defenses: The Arx and its attendant knights|
The town of Hillbridge stands in the swamp at the far north of the Teralian heartland. The dangers of the swamp have prompted both the town and the castle to fortify ever stronger. The town is divided by the stagnant mere-water into two segments: the castle and the town proper.
The castle is massive, as befits one of the Arxes. It overshadows the town, a huge construct of stone that was once the Basilica of Hillbridge. The water has risen since the old basilica was constructed, turning the hilltop on which it rested into an island amongst the stagnant waters. The isle is protected by a great curtain wall that sinks straight down into the mire. The area enclosed behind the walls is large enough to be a village of its own and is known as Hillbridge Village.
The town is reached by crossing a heavily built stone bridge with a wooden draw connected to the main gatehouse of the castle. The town is quite large, serving as a central place for all the knights and barons that govern the swamp. It has a low outwall upon which the Duke has decreed that torches must burn all night to provide enough light for the patrols to see whatever is lurking near to the city.
The northern gate, near the bridge to the castle, there clusters a small wind elvish community. They live there under the subsidy of the Duke and serve as part of an elite force of swamp-rangers that defend the town and regions surrounding.
Hillbridge plays host to a large Avaunite community which has been bolstered by Duke Albartus. They maintain a large and impressive groin-arched stone building in the town known as the House of Healers. Many of the Hillbridge merchants and residents worship the Daystar and the Light of Avauna Ellene Marsh is a powerful figure in the community. The Hillbridge House also serves as one of the few places where Avaunites can learn the healing arts.
Hillbridge has two boarding houses and four small taverns that serve both the populous and the garrison at the fortress. The Iron Mace primarily serves the court of the Duke; it is a two story building behind the House of Healers facing its back door. It is owned by the Duke himself and the right to run it and collect its dues is farmed out to the wood elf Inariyen. The Duke charges six copper knuckles a week for a room and a further three knuckles a day for food and drink.
The Naked Blade is an adventurer’s tavern and inn located on High Street just next to the elvish enclave. It is run by a former adventurer, a dwarf from Rockstone named Hargrimmr Malhalm who once slew a swamp hydra near to the town in a cave. His inn is accompanied by the tavern called the Languishing Leech which takes up the taproom and most of the first floor. The Leech is owned by Hargrimmr’s close friend, former Avaunite-turned-alcoholic Julius the Healer. Rooms at the Blade cost 2 copper knuckles a night.
The other two taverns in the town are the Serpent Goblet and the Bonfire Watch.
Hillbridge is also home to a minor magician called Doneto the Evoker who dwells in a small townhouse on High Street. Doneto is a Dorlishman, and wears the flamboyant clothes common to his kin.
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