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8Aug/180

Lyria – Kingsport – Points of Interest

Here are several points of interests in Kingsport. Places of worship, shops, crafters, taverns, etc. They are arranged in no particular order.

Sacred Baths of Sedna

In the eastern most district of Southside, in sight of the river gate the priests of Sedna run a public bath house. It is run by an elderly priestess by the name of Dagmær of Hammerstrand together with half a dozen devotees. The entrance can be found by going down a stone staircase on the southern end of Knightsbridge to the lower bank along the river. A doorway, set inside the river wall, allows access to the bathhouse, which sports cold and warm pools, as well as a sauna. Sailors, river folk and coastal people often visit the baths. There are separate male and female areas, despite Dagmær's protests to the ward's alderman.

Fast Feathers Rookery

There are several rookeries throughout Kingsport and they are all private, with the exception of the rookery run by Toruviel Fast Feathers, an elf resident of Quayhill. He and his wife, lady Orianna of House Waxley, own a small manse and run a successful aviary there. They have ravens that they can send to most of the major locations around Lyria and even have some birds that are trained to fly to places in neighbouring kingdoms.

The Silver Cross

This tavern can be found in The Lace, a district in the Northside ward which is known for its brothels and prostitution. The Silver Cross is probably the largest and most well-known house of ill repute, and caters to all comers, as long as the requests stay within the boundaries that madam Valerie Brécourt has set. The first floor of the tavern is run by Samuel Alito, a stout and swarthy Càrcerian. The upstairs is run by Jeanne White, a long time Kingsport resident who originally hails from Silesia.

The Hoxton

The most famous of all Kingsport taverns, the Hoxton sits at the heart of Lewisham and is run by The Guv'nor. The Guv'nor is the title given to that year's bare knuckle boxing champion. Besides the title, the winner also gets the deed to The Hoxton. Currently, the Guv'nor is a man named Lenny, a legendary boxer in Kingsport. Every year he puts his title and the deed to the Hoxton on the line but he has managed to retain the title for over a decade.

House of the Raven Queen

The Raven Queen is the goddess of fate, destiny and death. Despite her ghastly portfolio the residents of Kingsport have a comfortable relationship with the clergy because of the grief counselling and funeral services they provide, even to the poorest of families, free of charge. The large, dark building dedicated to the Raven Queen sits upon the river in the ward of Steward Square. Acolytes of the Raven Queen have taken a vow of silence giving the entire place an even more solemn atmosphere. Priests, who regain their voices after they are anointed and reborn in the service to the Raven Queen, are available for counselling and funeral services day and night. The head of the clergy is a man by the name of cardinal James Roark.

Cathedral of the Platinum Father

Right on Steward Square sits the enormous cathedral dedicated to the worship of Paladine. It's open to the public for worship and usually quite busy, no matter the time of day. The leader of the congregation is high bishop Aldred Grey, younger brother to Lord Edgard Grey, the head of House Grey of Ashenvale. It is the largest congregation in Kingsport, as well as Lyria, and it regularly gets large donations. As a result, the building is magnificent and awe inspiring, with bright silver threaded flags billowing from each the corners of its two towers and the tips of the flying buttresses.

Its interior is equally awe-inspiring, with its high, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, and intricately carved wooden doors and pews. Several dozen special chapels are available for worshipping specific saints. There is even a special section for those who worship Paladine in its draconic form of Bahamut, but it hasn't been actively used for as long as anyone can remember. It's more a curiosity than anything else.

Temple of Light

Right behind the enormous Cathedral of the Platinum Father stands the modest Temple of Light, the primary place of worship of Pholtus. It is also the foremost place to go in order to be treated for injury and illness. Mother Superior Arwyn runs the clinic, while High Priest Selwyn is the spiritual head of the congregation. The clinic and the temple are two separate buildings, with separate entrances, so as not to have the treatment of the sick interrupt the worship of the healthy.

There are several selfless priests who tend to the spiritual and physical needs of both the congregation as well as the patients, but one stands out to anyone who has ever had to be tended to; Father Devon. While the wealthy and fortunate are able to call upon the services the temple at their homes or estates, the poor and dispossessed are required to come to the temple of aid. Father Devon has made it his duty to treat those who are unable to make it to the temple and don't have the coin to pay for a visit. It has made him an immensely popular individual throughout large parts of Kingsport, especially Lewisham and The Lace, where he regularly tends to the lads and ladies of the night.

Temple of the Mother Creatrix

Chauntea is the largest and most worshipped deity in Lyria, after Paladine. Even so, the temple in the Steward Square ward of Kingsport is modest, consisting of a building with a large open court in the middle in which a beautiful, lush garden has been planted. The priesthood dedicated to Chauntea prefer to dedicate their efforts and spread their word around the farming communities around Kingsport and throughout Northshire.

The leader of the congregation is Mother Gwendolyn, a warm and nurturing woman in the twilight of her life. She is grooming a replacement, a younger woman by the name of Lilly of Fairfields, whose connection to the Earthmother is reported to be boundless. They often tend the gardens together and talk about fertility and nourishment. Women who are with child often sit nearby to learn about motherhood while their husbands lend a hand tending to the garden, simultaneously learning about how best to provide for their new families.

Tomb of Saint Catherine of Dunagore

Along the street of King Augustine in Eastminster, inside the fortified monastery devoted to Paladine, is the final resting place of Dame Catherine of Dunagore, Lyrian knight in the Order of the Shield and famously the woman who gave her life to save Sir William of Garamond at the Battle for Blue Harbour.

Legend has it that she was the first chaplain of her order, and that she shielded the leader of the Silver Crusade with her body as it rained hellfire upon her and the troops around her. Paladine blessed her for her faith, heroism and sacrifice by letting her withstand enough of the damage to keep Sir William safe while all around her scores of knights roasted and boiled in their armours.

Her charred bones have been laid to rest in the impressive chapel, and her soot-covered armour has been crafted in the lid of her tomb, not showing any signs of deterioration, despite the countless centuries. Pilgrims, devotees of Paladine and Lyrian knights come from all around to touch her plate armour, be witness to her sacrifice and pay their respects.

Shrine to Lady Luck

A small fountain in Sevenoaks is dedicated to Tymora, Lady of Luck. Young couples coming to ask for her blessing before their wedding throw coins into the waters as an offering, or sailors come to make a similar offering before departing to a far-off land. Squires make offerings the night before a tournament in the hopes to gain sufficient glory so that they will be knighted, and soldiers pray there before departing for the Plains of Strife. The shrine is maintained by the people of Sevenoaks, but there is no official care-taker. They find that nobody dares to defile the shrine or steal the offerings made to the Lady of Luck.

Church of Deus

In the ward of Ravensbourne, right next to the Daerlan embassy, stands a modest Church of Deus, the monotheist god who represents the just, righteous and everything good and who stands in opposition of Asmodeus, who represents the wicked, vile and everything evil. The church is lead by His Excellency, bishop Menno Haanstra.

Very few people attend the church. The people who do attend mass are almost exclusively Daerlanian. Occasionally a Lyrian will wander in to check it out, but they rarely stay. The only reason for its existence is its proximity to the Daerlan embassy, and it has been suggested that the presence of the church is a form of cultural encroachment that should be forbidden. In order not to strain relations, the church is allowed to practice and all are welcome, but many believe that this might change as soon as Lyro-Daerlan diplomatic relationships worsen.

Daerlan Embassy

One of the few estates in Ravensbourne was acquired by the Daerlan empire for their embassy. They heavily fortified the estate and made sure to decorate it in the black and grey colours of the empire and its imperial eagle. Some have suggested they are signs of their expansionist tendencies and to flaunt them so brazenly in the capital of a neighbouring kingdom is an act of disrespect at best, one of hostility at worst. But ambassador Baron Stefan var Rittersberg has dismissed such claims as slander. He claims that "Imperator Wilhelm var Adelheim-Stoltenborg has nothing but the warmest regards for Lyrian sovereignty and its continued independence and offers its unconditional assistance in allowing Lyria to remain so."

Library of Ioun

The is no real place of worship for the followers of Ioun in Kingsport. The closest temple is in Bournemouth. According to Lord Caedmon, head of House Bromley, this is an affront to Kingsport's status as the capital and has opened up his private library at his estate in Ravensbourne every last day of the ride for worship. The proximity of the Circle of Mages has meant that this service is heavily attended by the mages and apprentices that study there. It is a relatively informal gathering, and in recent years Lord Caedmon has been corresponding with the Iounic order in Bournemouth to get an anointed priest of their order to lead the congregation. Until then Lord Caedmon himself, with the aid of his librarian, lead the services and read from Iounic texts.

Circle of Mages

One of the few estates in Ravensbourne belongs to the prestigious Circle of Mages. Dedicated to raising the next generation of arcanists and trying to hold onto as much of the waning understanding of magic, and nurturing those with the talents to reclaim some of Mystra's lost knowledge.

While they do provide programs for sorcerers and warlocks, their primary interest is in creating wizards through fastidious, rigorous study and have found themselves ill equipped to facilitate the development of sorcerers and warlocks. They have even tried developing mystics, witches and other such "blunt instruments", but with little success.

The leadership of the Circle consists of the highest ranking members of each specialisation (Abjuration, Conjuration, Evocation, etc.). They are referred to as the Archmages of the Circle, they represent their school of magic and are the very pinnacle of the understanding of that school's magic. The head of the circle is the ninth and last member, who represents the overall arcane discipline and is referred to as the Grand Archmage of the Circle. The long time Grand Archmage is Réonan.

Réonan has been at the Circle for so long that nobody quite remembers when they arrived. I say they, because it's currently unclear whether Réonan is male or female. Some say they're neither. Some also claim that Réonan is not human. They hardly make public appearances, preferring to work through assistants and apprentices, but managing to keep tight control over the school nonetheless.

Another important figure at the Circle is a mage by the name of Olafur, who hails from the far of kingdom of Miðgarður. He functions as the quartermaster, and as a result is always interested in buying rare herbs and strange substances like teeth, scales, eyes and other parts of rare animals.

College of Bards

In the norther-eastern part of Sevenoaks is the home of the College of Bards, run by the legendary bard Le Papillon himself. Le Papillon, real name Adrien de Rouleau, is a Beauclairois musician, poet and playwright who impressed and moved Queen Isabella so deeply that he became the court minstrel for years, before opening up a school in Sevenoaks. The price of admission is steep, but the curriculum and the teachers are sanségal.

With Le Pappillon as headmaster at the college, it has become a destination for aspiring singers, poets, minstrels, playwrights and mummers of all backgrounds, walks of life and ethnicity. When city officials tried to prevent Càrcerians from taking up residence at the college dormitories, citing the rules that they could only be housed in La Costa Verde, Le Papillon took the matter up with Queen Isabella herself. He claimed that it would interfere too much with their education. They would waste valuable time walking to and from La Costa Verde, and what if inspiration struck them in the middle of the night!? Would they have to go out in the pitch dark to reach the college!? Outrageous!

An exception was made.

The college regularly has rehearsals at the stage set up in their courtyard which is open for all, where young, up and coming performance test their new material. Their quality is "unpredictable" so usually only a handful of people show up. Once per ride, however, a full performance is organised, which charges a five pennies entry fee for standing room, one silver stag for a seat and five silver stags for the balcony, and a gold crown for the center balcony. For two platinum dragons the entire théâtre can be reserved for a private viewing.

Forgewright Arms

The most important armoursmith in Southside is Dagran Forgewright, a mountain dwarf and member of Clan Thoradun. His shop is set on the corner of the river and the Street of Steel. His forge sits behind his shop, on a courtyard he shares with several other craftsmen. He is considered a wellspring of knowledge and experience by the rest of the Street of Steel and while the rest of the crafters compete with him in terms of business, he has proven to be a generous father figure to anyone willing to learn. Dagran specialises in beautifully crafted metal armours but has a good working relationship with Lyandra Wildrunner, a leatherworker just outside of Kingsport who specialises in leather, scale and hide armours.

While Dagran's presence in Southside is a welcome one, and people are always fond of seeing his steel-grey beard and soot covered bald head walk down the Street of Steel, there is some controversy that surrounds him. When he first arrived in Kingsport, three decades ago, he requested an audience with the Steward to request special permission to set up business in Kingsport and function as a informal ambassador to the dwarves of Ard Thoradun. He was eagerly welcomed with open arms. His only demand was that he could keep a bonded servant; a young orc by the name of Kargath of the Stormwolves clan.

Years before, when returning home from a trading expedition to White Fork, his caravan was set upon by a raiding party of orcs. The orcs had underestimated the dwarves and they were defeated. When it came time to kill the defeated orcs, Dagran decided to spared a young orc's life and nurse him back to health. Unable to return to Ard Thoradun, he was allowed to leave his ancestral home without forsaking his clan allegiance. Over the years he trained Kargath in smithing techniques and developed him into an outstanding weaponsmith.

When the Steward of Kingsport was presented with the conundrum of either turning away such a valuable member of the Thoradun clan, or accepting him on the grounds that he bring his orc apprentice into the city, he chose to let Dagran stay with the caveat that he become personally responsible for the orc and anything that happens as a result of his stay in Kingsport.

Lyandra's Leatherworks

Just outside of the Brown gate lies an area where trappers, tanners and leatherworkers have congregated with a cattle market close by. It's here that Lyandra Wildrunner, an elven woman from the Worthwilde has set up shop. She only crafts leather items upon commission, so that she does not have to maintain any valuable stock outside of the city walls, and only if the price and assignment is to her liking. A boiled leather breastplate, or a simple leather saddle, or an unremarkable pair of riding boots is not enough to tease her interest, but as her to make an elaborately decorative, full leather armour and she will deliver the most amazing quality that coin can buy.

Her shop consists of a half-open shed with all the required tools, and she knows almost all the leatherworkers, tanners, dyers, cattle farmers, hunters and trappers in the area, so if she can't help you, she will likely know who can.

Kingsport Carceratum

Deep beneath Steward Square lies the infamous Carceratum a place where Kingsport's prisoners get locked away upon order of the magistrates or the Steward of Kingsport. Most people who get sentenced for small crimes either get lashed or are forced into temporary labour in the limestone quarries nearby the city. Those people who commit more serious crimes get sent to the Carceratum.

Originally the Careratum was a part of the ancient waterways underneath Kingsport but has since been sectioned off and drained. It is said to have multiple levels, but it is hard to find anyone that, when pressed, seems to know just how many. What everyone can agree upon is that they are dark, wet and very unpleasant. And that the lower they bring you, the worse your time in the Carceratum is going to be. The lower levels are reserved for the worst criminals that Kingsport has seen.

Claims of torture have always been denied by Dame Miranda Ravensbourne, who, as captain of the crownsguard, is responsible for what happens in the Carceratum.

L'eau Célestes

Along the north side of the street of spice, close to the Western Gate lies a small shop by the name of L'eau Célestes, run by Beauclairois socialite by the name of Céleste Deschamps. What is remarkable about her shop is that it seems to be permanently stocked with bottled wines of amazing vintages as well as with barrelled wine of different sizes. Her prices are amazingly steep and yet she seems to keep her head above water quite well. What is remarkable about Céleste Deschamps is, well...

For a start, she has managed to gain access to court in just a few short years after arriving in Kingsport, with little more than a cart filled with wine, a chest of personal belongings and a deed to the shop on the Street of Spice. She has managed to become friendly and associated with every ancient noble house in Kingsport, and she has become the exclusive vintner and sommelier of many of them. She has openly joked when addressing Queen Isabella that she will not rest before she exclusively stocks Her Majesty's cellars.

Adria's Novel Idea

Just north of Wickenham Street in Sevenoaks, in an alley tucked between different book binders, scribes and pamphlet makers, lies a small shop called Adria's Novel Idea, run by an elderly gentleman by the name of Calford. He's a quiet man with great sadness behind his eyes. The shop is always gloomy, with little sunlight reaching its small windows. Great, intricately carved oak wooden bookshelves line the walls and are filled with dust covered books of different shapes and topics. Most of the floor space has been taken up by large stacks of books, giving the entire shop a maze-like quality. Some of them are leather bound, some of them are bound in wooden covers, some of them not bound at all.

In the back there is a desk where old Calford sits. Unlike the shop, the desk is neat and clean Atop the desk sits a lantern, a pot of ink and a quill and two stacks of parchments. One stack of parchments is empty, the other stack is filled with neat writing. Nobody who has visited the shop has ever caught him putting ink to parchment. Calford lives above the shop and only leaves the shop on occasion to attend the service at the Library of Ioun or to buy supplies. He can sometimes be found at the docks, picking up a shipment of new books. Other than that he can be found in his shop, sitting behind his desk.

Herbs, Salves and Ointments

Outside of the Elysian Gate, just north east of the wall that borders Grimsdown sits a large thatch covered cottage that has a sign in front of the door reading "Herbs, Salves and Ointments". On most days, you'll find a cantankerous Kaedwyni man named Ecgbrith sitting on a stool outside of the hut nursing a strong alcoholic drink. He claims to have been schooled in the natural arts by the Aen Nord, a moon elf tribe in northern Kaedwyn, and that he has learned everything that the Dol Naev'de druids had to offer him. He knows about the healing and harming properties of all herbs and, when pressed, is familiar with many alchemical formulae.

His cottage is filled with the scents of lavender, rosemary, silversage and whitecaps, and long, looping wreaths of grave moss and bristles of dreamfoil are hanging from the rafters. Baskets filled with ghost mushrooms and goldclover are usually drying in the sun, while the shadow side of his cottage is growing a steady supply of wildvine. The acolytes of the Temple of Light and the apprentices from the Circle of Mages often come to Ecgbrith for their supplies, but so do a large amount of cooks and chefs in Kingsport. The szygani have a strange relationship with the man; sometimes they can be seen yelling at one another, while at other times, shady figures come to his cottage at strange hours of the night.

Heartseeker's Strings and Fletchings

Garrick the Heartseeker was a marksman in the employ of House Grey when he was ordered to the Plains of Strife to fight against an ever encroaching force of Daerlan invaders. It turned out that the invaders were none other than the 8th Daerlan brigade; twelve hundred of Daerlan's finest soldiers. When the Lyrian forces of House Grey and the 8th Daerlan brigade fell upon one another, the Lyrians were quickly put on their back foot. Their flank was being attacked by Daerlan arbalists, whose fire power quickly decimated the Lyrian lightly armoured pikemen. The Lyrian marksmen, under Garrick's command, quickly taught the Daerlan a lesson in firing ranges; the Daerlan crossbows carried the heavier punch, but the Lyrian bow had the range. Garrick earned his nickname that day and was celebrated for his bravery and performance under pressure.

When he returned home, his wife and young children welcomed him with open arms, having heard about his exploits. It turned out that news of his deeds had been spread by several travelling minstrels. Quickly he became the talk of Ashenvale, and he was invited to participate in the archery competition that accompanied a tournament being held in Kingsport. Against some of the best marksmen in the Verdant Kingdoms he managed to prevail and win the competition. This cemented him as a legend and a folk hero. He ended up staying in Kingsport to teach archery lessons to young nobles, and he ended up opening up a small shop together with his family, who had all moved to Kingsport too.

Now his shop and home sit just outside of the Eastern Gate, with plenty of targets set up against the walls of the walls. He is a familiar and much loved individual who has converted his once brittle folk hero status into thriving business. Quality bows of different sizes and compositions, different types of strings, as well as differing types of arrows, arrowheads and fletchings are on offer.

Kingsport Manège

In the western-most district of the Northside ward sits the Kingsport Manège, a sprawling area where different businesses find their home.

The most prominent is the auction house which specialises in riding animals, mostly horses. Sometimes beasts of burden and other live stock are put to auction from time to time, and on rare occasion some exotic ones, too. The lead auctioneer is a retired merchant called Fiona of Egremont, who made a fortune in trading Silesian stallions. She knows everyone at the Manège and rules it with an iron fist. Anyone who gets on her bad side is quickly disinvited from the next auction, missing up lucrative opportunities. She has a soft spot for small ranchers and farmers who come to the city because they need a sturdy ox or stallion, but she has no patience for entitled breeders who try to bully their way in an auction. She has a whiplash tongue and uses it to cut anyone down who dares to cross her line. There are several prominent Silesian horse breeders have an office at the Manège so that they can attend auctions as regularly as possible and keep their ear to the ground for good stock coming in and they make it a point to stay in Fiona's good graces.

While the Manège deals mostly in horses, on occasion it also auctions off beasts of burden and cattle. Because this isn't Fiona's specialty, she steps aside for other auctioneers but keeps a close eye on the proceedings and puts a stop to any dirty tricks being played in order to drive up the price or block people from being able to bid. On rare occasions the Manège will have exotic or fantastic animals up for sale, like olyphants, lions, griffons, unicorns and gorgons. Most unusual auctions are only open to invited parties, but these require a special invitation which is very hard to acquire. While these animals are also not Fiona's specialty, she reasons that they are nobody's specialty, so she leads those auctions.