Tag: D&D

In Service to a Mysterious Noble House

First Day, Third Ride, Summer Light, 1262, Summer Solstice


In the early morning of what was going to be the longest day of the year, James found himself in the back of a butcher’s shop on Fleet Street in the Southside ward of Kingsport. The Daymaster had learned that the youngest son of House Sheridan was recruiting people at The Careless Wanderer for an unknown task at their Northshire estate. He wanted James to make sure he was recruited. The Steady Hand had no eyes inside the estate, and wanted James to have a look around and report back to him.


Emma awoke from a cryptic vision showing her dark halls harbouring even darker creatures, as well as an image of a mask and a bright sword crossed behind it, and the image of a minstrel carrying a knapsack and a lute. She was at the Sacred Baths of Sedna in Kingsport, where she had been staying since her arrival in the city. She spoke of the vision with Dagmaer, the devotee who ran the baths.

Emma couldn’t be sure whether it was a warning or new direction that Lady Sedna was showing her, but she decided to find out. The last image she was show was familiar to her, it was the fresco that was painted above the door of The Careless Wanderer tavern in Quayhill, so she decided to head there.


There were not many places that Hamish was welcome for a drink anymore, but The Careless Wanderer was still available to them. Luca had grown tired of the despicable mage and was hoping that his weeks of catering to his ego would pay off sooner rather than later.

Upon entering the tavern Luca’s eye fell upon a man who surely had giants blood running through his veins. The man was sitting at a table, playing a game of Demon Dice, surrounded by people who were cheering the game on. He had rose blonde hair, an athletic body covered in a well-maintained leather armour, and sporting several scars and tattoos. At his side he carried a strange weapon.

The weapon looked like a baton with an angular scythe at the end of it. At the bottom of the handle there was a metal ring to which thin, finely crafted metal wire was attached. The end of the wire held a counter weight, which was hooked back onto the ring at the end of the handle.

Luca was fascinated by the giant man and he lost interest in Hamish, who had started arguing over the price of the drinks with the elven bartender. Apparently, the man had issued a challenge; anyone who was capable beating him at the game would be eligible for a job he needed done. Anyone who was able to beat him more than once would be paid double. The pay was twenty gold crowns.


Across from the giant man sat a northern woman, wearing a sleeveless leather jerkin showing off her muscled arms. If it wasn’t for the man sitting across from her, her physique and her distinct blue face paint would be drawing all the attention in the room.

They played once, and the outlander won. Unconcerned with gambling, she took her winnings and stepped away from the table, allowing others a shot at the game. The people around her cheered her on, and the young lord seemed to be enjoying himself tremendously, calling for everyone to fill their tankards once more from the open keg of ale that was standing next to him and congratulating the winner once again by raising their tankards in her honour.

Demon Dice

Everyone had arrived at The Careless Wanderer and had understood what was happening. It was an unusual way of recruiting people, made to see what the recruits were made of. Were they resourceful in the face of defeat? Were they greedy in the face of victory, or were they only interested in the job?

James played a few hands while eagerly drinking the free ale that was offered to anyone who played or cheered the game on. The first few games he lost, eventually resorting to some minor manipulation of the dice to ensure his victory.

While Luca was still observing the game, trying to figure out an angle on how to win without it costing him too much coin, Hamish had grown tired of arguing with the bartender deciding to leave for a tavern across town in Northside. Luca could not tear himself away from the game for he had thought he found a simple way to assure victory, without costing him too much coin in defeat.

He sat down across from the giant lord wagered a penny. The lord, amused at Luca’s ploy, played a round, which he won. Luca continued, wagering only one copper penny. The lord understood the game now and after the first roll of the dice, reraised Luca by one gold crown each time, judging that to be the amount that Luca would be ill prepared to gamble away. He turned out to be right, winning every hand until Luca resorted to cursing the young lord’s luck and beating him.

In the meantime, Emma had been observing everything that was happening in the bar. She had talked to the elven bartender after she was done with the bickering scholar and introduced herself to as Lauryn.

She had also seen the young man she later learned was named James, had been carefully inspecting Lord Marcus’ sheathed sword when the lord had taken his tall frame to break water. The leather scabbard was etched and inlaid with platinum filigree and the handle had a braided metal handle a black stone set in the pommel. The cross-guards were twisted perfectly and also set with black precious stones.

Eventually, Emma had struck up a conversation with the dwarven brewmaster of the tavern whose name was Durham. She had ordered some seafood chowder and he had offered her a glass of Erveluce. Emma’s conversation with Durham eventually lead to lord Marcus and House Sheridan.

The Rise of House Sheridan

As it turned out, House Sheridan was one of the youngest of noble houses. In 1217 the Darkshore was terrorised by a pirate admiral by the name of Dapperfang. For months ships all along the Southernhay coast were being raided by the pirate fleet. One day the pirates had either sunk or incapacitated the royal armada who were at anchor behind the Lyrian Tooth, leaving their access to the Lyrian Gulf unopposed.

House Grey ordered their riverboats down the river Baugh and into the Lyrian Gulf at Wulferton, determined to sacrifice themselves to buy Kingsport more time to raise their defences. To everyone’s surprise they got reinforced by several dozen well-armed merchant vessels belonging to the Sheridan Trading Company, who, under the command of Benten the Purple, adviser and friend to Lord Marcus’ father, who revealed himself to be a powerful battle-mage.

Magical fire rained down on Dapperfang’s commanding vessel and as soon as the ship took on water and people started jumping overboard to escape the fire, the pirates turned their tail and head for open waters. Both House Grey, and the royal House Valois were grateful for the help that John Sheridan had provided. Both he and Benten the Purple were invited to sit on the podium at Steward Square during Dapperfang’s public execution.

In 1221, upon request of House Grey, John Sheridan was made Lord John Sheridan, of House Sheridan, first of his name, Baron of Lynnecombe and Darkhollow. Lynnecomb were the lands surrounding his estate north of Kingsport, and Darkhollow was a small bit of land in the Tiverton Glades. Benten the Purple was knighted for his valour during the Battle of Kingsport Bay and immediately swore fealty to House Sheridan.

Emma Changes the Stakes

When Emma asked Durham what the sigil of House Sheridan was he replied that it was a mask with a bright sword crossed behind it. She felt certain then that it was Lady Sedna’s will for her to join Lord Marcus’ expedition. She decided to change the stakes, and offered him a different kind of wager. She would either win the game of dice and she would be paid, or she would lose the game of dice and work for free. Lord Marcus seemed pleased with the suggestion. And promptly lost the game.

The Group was Complete

Lord Marcus seemed satisfied at those who had shown interest in working for him and had beaten him in the game of demon dice. He had made a choice of Astrid, James, Luca and Emma. He declared that it was time to eat. He had a table full of food prepared and began to eat. He told the recruits about the job.

His family’s estate in Lynnecombe, two leagues north of Kingsport, along the river Lyn, had their underground water supply interrupted. The dwarven engineers that the family used to maintain an underground aqueduct which lead from a small river to the east of the estate whom they had sent to investigate had not returned. The group of house guards they had sent in to investigate had also not returned. It was up to the adventurers to go in after them, find out what happened to the engineers and guards, and fix the water supply. They were to report to captain Hallis Mollen, head of the house guard, at the estate at noon.

The group of adventurers decided they would meet at The Careless Wanderer at the top of the seventh hour the following morning. Emma, having heard all that she needed to know decided to head back to the Sacred Baths. After she left, Lord Marcus decided it was time to settle the score with the bar, retrieve his horse and head back home. He would see the adventurers in the morning. Just as he stepped out, a young half-elf came into the tavern and Lord Marcus directed him to the remaining adventurers at the table. He introduced himself as Emrys.


The young half-elf turned out to be a frivolous and flamboyant man with an easy smile and lighthearted attitude. He had won a game of dice against the young lord earlier that day and had returned to The Careless Wanderer in the hopes of performing some songs to entertain the guests. He had struck a deal with Lauryn and bartered some lodgings in exchange for his performance.

James was eager to learn the capabilities of the people he would be going out on the road with, and learned that Astrid had been a sailor and that Emrys was a sorcerer. Luca was an arcanist of some sort, but was reluctant to define his abilities as that of a wizard.

Luca and Emrys had a brief exchange about the types of magic that Emrys was specialised in, and Emrys claimed that he was quite versed in illusionary magic. James asked him how that could come in handy in a dangerous situation, not unlike what they might encounter in the aqueduct below the Sheridan estate, but Emrys could not give a satisfying answer. He did, however, conjure up a minor illusion of a small man who danced across the table and claimed it took great creativity and ingenuity to come up with convincing illusions.

Eventually, after some discussion on the topic of religion, it became time for Emrys’ performance, which had a rough start. Eventually the crowd warmed up to the charismatic young half-elf and the performance was judged a success. He had earned a bed in the common room that night.

Sleep for Some, Less for Others

Astrid had taken a bed in the same common room as Emrys, but as opposed to him, she had to pay for hers. Luca had rented a single room in the inn as well, and decided to read until deep into the night.

James returned to Fleet Street and reported back to the Daymaster, who was in the midst of butchering a hog, deftly cutting it up in usable chunks, ready for sale. He seemed pleased at the news that James was recruited by the young lord Sheridan and reminded him to keep his eyes peeled. Especially for rare and valuable books. Returning to The Silver Cross, he briefly spoke to his mother about his upcoming journey, but she seemed too preoccupied to protest much.

Second Day, Third Ride, Summer Light, 1262

Rise and Shine

Emma was woken by Dagmaer and proceeded to cleanse herself in a morning bathing ritual. Dagmaer requested Emma to pray together, which they did. She donned her scale armour, grabbed her shield, tithed a gold crown and departed for The Careless Wanderer.

One of the local street urchins that hung around The Silver Cross, Dewey, found his way into James’ attic retreat and woke him as per their agreement. He quickly gathered what he needs and headed out.

A gentle knock on the door of Luca’s room by one of the tavern staff woke him up and he collected his things and went downstairs for breakfast. He found Astrid and Emrys both already awake and at a table eating a simple meal of porridge and milk served by Ramsey, the chef, while an elderly lady who appeared to be blind was busy tidying up the common room. She remarkably manoeuvred around the room without incident despite wearing a blindfold, which betrayed her intimate familiarity with the space.

After Emma and James arrived, both Emma and Astrid headed down to Quayhill to secure passage on a barge going upriver. The rest stayed behind to finish their meals. A boatsman named Aram was more than willing to provide passage to Lynnecombe-upon-Lyn for Astrid and the group, and was very pleased to welcome Emma aboard.

A Boatride Up the River

The barge was ready to start moving when the rest of the adventurers arrived. It was manned by Aram, his daughter and son, and carried two oxen and plenty of trade goods. Aram and his son used barge-poles to push the boat upstream while his daughter used a pole to keep the barge from bumping into other traffic on the river. Outside of the Water Gate the two oxen were offloaded and secured with ropes and they started pulling the barge further upstream while Aram’s son rode on one of their backs.

Aram and his daughter kept the barge on course while Astrid and Emma made themselves useful. James decided to take a moment to get some rest and enjoy his time on the river and Luca found some shade to read from a book. Emrys spent most of his time waving at people, strumming his lute and singing songs to entertain the others.

After two hours of travelling up the river, the barge arrived at Lynnecombe-upon-Lyn, a small settlement of a dozen houses surrounded by fields and orchards. James, once disembarked, went to ask one of the townsfolk for directions to the Sheridan estate and used the opportunity to buy a dozen fresh apples. The group started heading east down a well-trodden path and James shared his apples with the others. Everyone noticed Astrid’s voracious devouring of her apple and were once again reminded that she was from a land where fruits didn’t grow as abundantly as in Lyria.

Arrival at the Forest Estate

The adventurers reached a junction and head north. After about fifteen minutes they followed the path into a forest and immediately the temperature dropped to a more pleasant level. Not too long after they crossed a beautiful stone bridge which bridged a short, steep valley created by a brook which headed east, undoubtedly flowing into the river Lyn. Across the bridge they noticed an eight foot limestone wall, covered with well maintained stucco, topped with meticulously placed red clay shingles and cast-iron, barbed spikes.

A cast-iron gate offered entrance to a terrace overlooking the brook and bridge, with well-maintained flower beds surrounding a beautiful mausoleum. The adventurers followed the wall further north, until they came upon another cast-iron gate, this time the gate lead to a luxurious, multi-terraced courtyard. There were several people about, tending to flower beds, mending benches, tending to the stables or extracting honey from several beehives.

In the middle of the courtyard, awaiting the adventurers, stood the captain of the house guard, Hallis Mollen. She was dressed in chain mail, plate pauldrons and shin guards, wearing a helmet and a dark cape. In her right hand she held a halberd and at her side she wore the same odd side-arm as Lord Marcus carried. She offered the adventurers a moment to freshen up and escorted them up a lavish staircase towards the front of the mansion.

The mansion stood at least three stories tall, with two steepled towers flanking the front entrance. Balconies lined the third floor of the mansion and large parts of the walls were covered in rich, green ivy. Luca noticed a weathered carving on the keystone above the front doorway, depicting a mask, much like the one on the Sheridan sigil.

The adventurers were lead to a side building which acted as the quarters for the servants and guards. In front of it, stood the well, complete with mason patio and wall around it. A shadoof was installed in order to make it easier to hoist large buckets of water up from the cavernous well down below.

Captain Hallis departed to announce their arrival, while servants offered the adventurers fresh mead and a place to wash up. Emma decided to take the time to talk to some of the people on the grounds. In particular to one of the gardeners who had been tending to some of the flower beds. He could share that the water had still been used for drink, washing and irrigation, without any trouble.

An Audience with Lord Jonathan

When captain Hallis returned, she took them into the mansion. The entrance hall was lavish. Straight ahead was a large stairway which lead to a second floor landing. The landing was adorned with an impressive stained glass window, which depicted a fight between several figures, in which a blond man struck an old crone from behind with a sword. A gruesome depiction of violence which was unexpected.

To left of the entrance hall was a formal dining room with a high ceiling and a second floor balcony, and to the left was an informal sitting room, lined with bookshelves.

The captain went up the stairs and requested the adventurers to follow. At the second floor landing they turned right and up another flight of stairs to the third floor. The landing there had a many doors, only one of which was open. The captain walked through the open doors and into a study. At the far end of the study there was a large writing desk behind which stood two remarkably tall men. One was Lord Marcus, and the other was a slightly older man, clothed in noblemen’s attire, with an silk-embroidered, green doublet, knee-high black velvet pants, white stockings and black shoes. His hair was blonde and cropped short. His gaze was stern. He was introduced as Lord Jonathan.

Luca immediately noticed a small shrine behind and to the side of the desk, which was set in an alcove. Again he saw the symbol of the mask and would eventually remark aloud, and in elven, whether House Sheridan followed an elven god, an idea immediately rebuked by Lord Jonathan.

Emma was attracted to a large painting, hanging directly to the left of the entrance, on the far opposite end of the writing desk. It had a gold-coloured, decorated frame, the corners of which were once again decorated with the symbol of the mask. The painting itself depicted a similar image as on the stained glass window, except this time the image was much more detailed. In it, she saw the same conflict, but this time, the crone appeared to be more monstrous. She had moved through an open door, and a sandy-haired man was dropping down from the top of the door, with a bright blade in his hand. On the bottom there was some script etched into the frame reading “Hag’s Bane”.

The windows of the study looked out over a balcony. The door to the balcony was open and the warm air gently blew inside. On the balcony, sitting with his back towards the door, was man sitting in a wheelchair, at least as tall as Lord Jonathan and Lord Marcus. Next to him stood an equally tall man with grey hair and a beard, dressed in a deep purple robe.

Behind the writing desk, above the fireplace, there hung a bastard sword in a scabbard.

Lord Jonathan quickly and succinctly outlined the task for which they were recruited. A team of three dwarven engineers had been sent down into the aqueduct to investigate and repair a blockage in the water supply. Later, three house guards were sent in after them to discover why they had not returned. When these guards also failed to return, Lord Marcus was sent to Kingsport to recruit some resourceful adventurers. It was up to them to go into the aqueduct, discover what happened to the engineers and guards, discover and possibly fix what was blocking the water, and defeat any threats if they could and otherwise report back their findings.

Some questions were answered regarding the aqueduct, the river that it connects to, any if anything strange had been noticed besides the blocked water supply. All information that Lord Jonathan could share, he did. Captain Hallis was instructed to provide the adventurers with any supplies that could be provided.

Lord Marcus was noticed by Emma and Luca to whisper into Lord Jonathan’s ear; “this is the Masker I told you about,” while gesturing towards James, something James failed to notice himself.

A Descent Into the Dark

They departed the study and went back outside to the servant’s quarters. There, they were given access to the armoury and supplies, like lamp oil and lanterns, were shared. While they were getting equipped some of the adventurers started speculating about House Sheridan and some of the unusual things they had witness while in the mansion. Luca noticed that Ser Benten the Purple was looking down at them from the balcony adjacent to the study. They found it prudent to keep their speculations to themselves until they were alone.

The well-entrance was used to enter the aqueduct. Some stood in the bucket and were lowered down using the shadoof, while others used a knotted rope to climb down, with varying success. Luckily, the water in the well was still of a level that no injuries were incurred during the tumble, except maybe an injury to the ego.

Sheridan Estate, Lynnecombe, Northshire


The Sheridan Estate lies just outside of Lynnecombe-upon-Lyn, a small Northshire farming settlement along the western bank of the river Lyn, north of Kingsport. The five hundred acre estate is the seat of the small barony of Lynnecombe, which covers twenty-seven thousand (108 km2, the size of the municipality of Alkmaar) acres of vilages, farmland and forests. It is located a little over 2 leagues (~10km) to the north of Kingsport.

Brief History

Constructed in the late tenth century on the ruins of an elven settlement by the bastard Aelwyn, half-elven son of Lady Miranda of House Lockwood, a prominent house in the Silverpine Hills. He was given the estate and a one time fortune to set up a new life in Northshire. He died without an heir and the Lockwoods sold the estate to a small Northshire house, House Prescott. Lord Vincent Prescott settled at the estate in his later years after life long service at the royal castle as adviser to the throne. He was content to live out his life running the estate and the farms at Lynnecombe. The estate eventually passed on to his daughter Lady Gwendolyn, who passed it on to her son Lord Oliver. Lord Oliver fancied himself a business man, but gambled away all the family’s coin on failing ventures and troublesome business deals. He was eventually stripped of his noble title, lands and estate and died in exile. The estate became part of the royal trust and went up for sale in 1172, just in time for a mysterious man of incredible stature to arrive into a fortune; John Sheridan.


The five hundred acre estate is situated in a lightly wooded area of Lynnecombe. A road coming up from Lynnecombe-upon-Lyn passes along the eastern side of the estate heading to a nearby windmill to the north. From there, the road heads further north and splits off to head west.

To the south of the estate runs a small stream called Raven’s Craig Glen, which runs east toward the river Lyn. The road from Lynnecombe-upon-Lyn crosses the glen by way of a beautiful stone bridge, with high columns. It makes for a beautiful sight. Lady Gwynn was so fond of the area that they made a beautiful terrace overlooking the glen and the bridge, complete with a stone staircase leading from the road. Later, when she passed, a small mausoleum was erected at the rear of the terrace where she was laid to rest.

The limestone wall around the estate is about eight feet tall with decorative, red, clay shingles and cast iron spikes along the top. There are three iron gates which lead to a spacious courtyard, a northern, eastern and western gate.

In front of the main, northern gate there is a terrace surrounded by a flowerbed. Two paths lead around it to come up to the main entrance to the mansion.

A large tree strands in the corner between the northern and western gate, in the middle of another raised platform, the sides of which are decorated by stone masonry with curved steps leading up towards it.

The other corner, between the northern and eastern gate stands the stables, a two story building that also functions as a hayloft.

The front of the mansion, has an elaborate, stone stairway leading up to a broad landing in front of the main door. The stairway has long, flat steps leading up from the terraced rose garden, and is split in two by an aggressive looking landing, shaped like a diamond, giving the stairway the appearance of being cleft in two, like a curved v-shape.

A railing at the top of this landing which juts out over the steps like a balcony is a superb place to watch everything unfold in the courtyard, give orders to the people working in it, or a passionate speech to entertain guests.

To the right of the steps, towards the western gate, there are several beehives, standing below the landing. To the left of the steps, there are some salvaged sculptures from the original elven ruins upon which the estate is built. Among them some benches for a perfectly pleasant place to spend an afternoon reading in the sun.

Above the beehives, on the landing to the right of the mansion, there is a low-walled well. A bucket, attached to a high crane stands next to it, the counter-weight helping to pull up the water. At the far end, a servant’s building with a thatched roof.

The rest of the side of the building is closed off by a wall. The same is true on the opposite side of the mansion.

The mansion itself is an impressively tall building, standing three stories in height, plus an attic under the shingled roof. The first two stories are masoned, and the third story seems to be made of plastered brick.

Two main steepled towers jut out on either side of the main entrance, giving the entire place the appearance of fortress monastery, as was popular in the early tenth century, when the mansion was built.

Most of the facade of the mansion, including the two towers, are covered in ivy, giving it a lush, natural feel, a sense of age and gravitas. The windows are small and shuttered and there are several chimneys sticking out at different places of the roof.

The wooden double doorway is broad and tall, and looks like it has been adjusted and fitted long after the mansion was erected as it looks somewhat out of place. Upon inspection it seems like the doorways are made one size too large for the design of the rest of the mansion.

On the third floor, just below the roof, and just above the ivy, there is a railing between the two towers behind which there is a balcony.

Ground Floor

The entrance hall is lavishly decorated along each wall with brightly polished armours and displays of different weapons, interspaced with several expensive paintings. Opposite the main door there is a large stairway leading to a second floor landing. Overlooking the landing there is a large, stained-glass window depicting a battle between two groups, one of which lead by an old woman, who gets stabbed in the back by a blonde man.

To the right of the entrance there is a doorway that leads to a spacious, informal sitting room. The room is decorated along most of the walls with high bookshelves, thick carpets and comfortable chairs.

On the left side of the entrance there is a doorway leading to a large, formal reception area. It holds a long dining table that can seat twenty people, with enough space around the room for extra tables. The floor is made of polished wood, and if the room were to be cleared, it could function as a small ballroom.

Second Floor

It is unclear what the second floor holds. There are two doors on either side of the second floor landing which seem to give access to the galleries in the informal sitting room and the formal dining room.

Top Floor

The top floor landing is once again richly adorned with plush carpets. Pots of tall stemmed flowers, pussy willows and snapdragons. Paintings of different family members and friends adorn the walls. The interior seems more friendly and familial.

On the western side of the floor there is a door which leads to a spacious study, again adorned with bookshelves. Shuttered windows look out over a balcony. Directly after entering there is a heavy writing desk at the left far end of the room, standing in front of a fireplace. An impressive bastard sword, sheathed in a scabbard is hanging above the fireplace.

To the right of the entrance, directly opposite of the desk, there is a large painting with a gold-coloured, wooden frame. It’s painted in dark colours, depicting the same scene as the stained glass window overlooking the second floor landing. This time, however, the woman is clearly depicted as a monstrous hag, stepping through a doorway. From atop the door a young, sandy-coloured man drops down with a bright sword in hand, plunging it into her back. The painter obviously chose the dark colours to highlight the brightness of the blade.

The Careless Wanderer, Inn, Quayhill, Kingsport

At the very western bottom of Quayhill, overlooking both the river as well as the House of the Raven Queen, stands The Careless Wanderer, a place where travellers, minstrels, free-thinkers and adventurers come to eat, drink and lay down their heads to rest.

The first floor of the building is built out of limestone masonry, while the top two floors is half-timbered, with dark wood impregnated with oils and light plaster. A fresco of a travelling minstrel carrying a knapsack and a lute is painted above the door with “The Careless Wanderer” written below in elegant script. The roof is slightly sloped with red clay shingles that have become popular throughout Kingsport.

Before its opening as an inn, The Careless Wanderer was a spacious merchant’s house to a large family. The house was sold and the family moved away to Tiverton. They left behind a very well maintained building that they obviously were very proud of. Throughout the different rooms in the building there are paintings and portraits of some of the original family members, giving the entirely place a cosy and inviting atmosphere.


It has a large common room with a bar, tables, chairs and benches, a small podium, and two fireplaces, both along the eastern outer wall. Lauryn is Aen Cannel, and runs the tavern, together with Durham, a dwarven brewmaster from Ard Thoradun. Lauryn keeps control of the room, while Durham pours the drinks.

Several large barrels of ale are set behind the bar and Durham makes it a point to be the first to tap the barrel with a spigot and have the first sample, “to make sure the ale didn’t go off”. There is a trap door which leads to a cellar behind the bar as well. The cellar is connected to a small lower pier on the river.


The kitchen offers food ranging from modest to luxurious, and the chef, a gruff man named Ramsey, prides himself on his creations. He makes sure that everything is made exactly right. He spends most of the morning shopping for the best ingredients in Southside. Fish, sausages, leek, tomatoes, barley, radishes, mutton, spices. He also makes sure that the tavern stocks some of the finest Beauclair wines and is very familiar with Célestes, who provides half the city with wines.

The kitchen leads out onto a tiny courtyard where Ramsey smokes his pipe while waiting for his stew to settle. This is also where the stables are housed and where he chats with his best friend, Wojciech.


It has stables at the back, with enough room for half a dozen horses. For a few pennies the horses can be stabled, fed and rubbed down. Due to a lack of stable space often the horses have to be brought all the way across Steward Square to The Bridle. The stables are run by Wojciech, a middle-aged Silesian man who arrived in Kingsport a decade ago and has been working as a handyman and stablemaster at the inn since his arrival.

Wojciech and Durham have been experimenting in the basement with several types of strong liquor made from fruits and fermented potatoes.


The upstairs provides a dozen beds in the common room for a silver stag a night. There are six small, single rooms with a table, chair, bed and a small closet, which can be rented for a gold crown per night. There are three luxurious rooms with ample space, a four poster double bed, lavish interior and room for at least four other people. The luxury rooms can be rented for four gold crowns a night for the room overlooking the stables, five gold crowns for the room with a modest balcony overlooking the House of the Raven Queen, or six gold crowns for the room with a spacious balcony overlooking the river.

Baths can be drawn for a small price. Cold baths are eight pennies, while heated baths are two silver stags. The tubs are set out just on the lower pier, and water is drawn from the river. This is also where clothing is cleaned, which can be done for four pennies for an entire outfit.


The owner of The Careless Wanderer lives on the top floor and rarely comes down to sit among the visitors in the evenings. Her name is Magda, an elderly lady with grey hair tied in a neat bun. She is blind and either wear a veil or a blindfold over her eyes. She is remarkably spry for her age, but has been enjoying the solitude of the attic more and more over the last couple of years.

While she doesn’t come down in the evenings, she’s often downstairs during the day when there are fewer visitors. She maintains warm relations with the people who work for her. She has left the day to day to Lauryn but occasionally will help out tidying up. Even though she has lost her sight, she seems to have a remarkable way of navigating the tavern, even when there are people about.

Several rumour are told about how Magda lost her eyes decades before while adventuring in the Elder Foothills. The most popular of rumours is that while she explored the ruins of an ancient elven city, she stumbled upon a basilisk and gazed into its eyes. Rather than turning to stone she gouged her own eyes out before the petrification could take hold.

Another often heard story is that when she was near death after she was shot with several arrows from an orc raiding party while being chased through the hills. Terrified that she would be found, she prayed and pleaded for her life. She promised that she would give up her adventuring days, that she would give anything to retire to the city and open a tavern and tend to the needs of others. Suddenly her vision turned dark and the only thing she could hear were the snarls and screams from the orcs who had been closing in on her. Something or someone answered her pleas and took her eyes as payment.


Good/Service Price
Common Room 1 silver stag per night
Simple Room 1 gold crown per night
Stables Room 4 gold crowns per night
Raven Queen Room 5 gold crowns per night
River Room 6 gold crowns per night
Cold Bath 8 copper pennies per bath
Hot Bath 2 silver stags per bath
Laundry 4 copper pennies per outfit
Cheap Meal 5 copper pennies per day
Modest Meal 3 silver stags per day
Lavish Meal 8 silver stags per day
Common Wine 3 silver stags per bottle
Modest Wine 2 gold crowns per bottle
Fine Wine 10 gold crowns per bottle

Demon Dice


Demon Dice is a very popular gambling game which gets played all around the Verdant Kingdoms. It is commonly played “heads-up”, meaning one on one, but can be played with any number of people at the table. Practically, it is never played with more than eight people at a time.


The rules are simple:

  • Both players lay down their starting bids
  • Both players roll five dice, first the first player, then the second player
  • Choose which dice to re-roll, first the first player, then the second player
  • The players go back and forth raising, re-raising, matching or resigning, starting with the first player
  • Re-roll remaining dice
  • Compare end results

In order of importance:

  • Five of a kind
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house
  • Six high straight
  • Five high straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • One pair

In case of a tie, the highest remaining dice are compared. If the tie isn’t broken, the pot is split.

There are many different variations of the game, with blind dice, with multiple rounds of re-rolling, etc., but the one described above is the most common.

Lyria – Kingsport

Because the first humans settled themselves around what is now known as the Lyrian Gulf, Kingsport is likely to be the oldest human city in the Verdant Kingdoms. It is also the oldest trading port and the seat of the oldest monarchy.

As with all ancient things in modern day Lyria, Kingsport has a lot of features that its inhabitants take for granted, but whose existence can currently not be explained. Some of the masonry of the palace, the canalisation of the river, the walls, gates and bastions, the subterranean waterways; few of it could be reproduced with modern means. The levels of magic involved in their creation makes their reproduction virtually impossible.

The masonry of the castle, the city’s ramparts, streets, bridges, canals and most masonry buildings are built using Northshire limestone, a honey coloured stone, sprinkled evenly with colourful calcium deposits. It has resulted in a very distinct and harmonious appearance throughout the city. The smaller buildings are mostly half-timber framed buildings, with brick or wattle and daub infills, covered with a light plaster for a stark contrast against the dark timber. These buildings used to be covered with thatch, until the great fire of 1054, after which clay roof tiles became more popular.

While it’s not the largest city in the Verdant Kingdoms, it’s the largest city in Lyria. It has an estimated population of well over three hundred thousand people residing inside the city walls, while another hundred thousand are estimated to live in close proximity to the city. Its population tends to swell during the winter, as food scarcity drives people towards the city from the countryside, as well as during times of war, rebellion or uncertainty. All of this makes it one of the most densely populated cities in the Verdant Kingdoms, which is why priests of Pholtus have urged the Steward to maintain the ancient waterways underneath the city, in order to have access to clean water from the river, and to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Below is an overview of some of the landmarks and points of interest in Kingsport.

The River Lyn

The city is cut in two by the river Lyn, which enters the city from the north-west, and makes its way to the Kingsport Bay, which is part of the the Lyrian Gulf, in the south. The flow of the river was controlled by canalisation long ago. Intricate masonry, starting just outside of the city walls, has helped to keep the river from meandering, allowing for buildings and streets to be built right up until the river’s edge without worry.

Inside the city, the height of the river’s water sits significantly below the embankment. This is done to accommodate changing water levels and easy boarding of boats. The average flow of the river is not very high, which makes swimming  across, or taking a boat up-river a possibility. Higher flows occasionally occur during periods of heavy runoff.

The river also provides the city with a source of fresh water, opportunities for fishing, and a mechanism to keep the underground waterways from stagnating. Both embankments of the river are enthusiastically used for all manner of purpose and as a result, it’s usually the busiest part of the city.

There are three bridges that cross the fifty meters of the river, from east to west; Knightsbridge, Queensbridge, and Lynbridge. Queensbridge is the widest of the three bridges, allowing for a procession to pass from the Silver Square directly across the river and up toward the palace. The other two bridges can easily accommodate two wide carts passing each other without a problem. Each bridge is about fifty meters from end to end, but in some places the river is less wide, due water-level walkways and embankments created for smaller riverboats.

In the winter the Lyn tends to freeze over but the people of Kingsport break the ice to keep access to the fresh water and to allow for transportation to continue.


Kingsport has evolved in different wards, all divided either by the river Lyn or the different large roads. Scholars from the Bournemouth Academy have concluded that the oldest remnants of the city can be found on top of Garamond Hill, the current location of the palace. The city expanded towards the river and later across the river, building ever eastward.

A ward is usually divisible in smaller districts. Most of the time the feel or purpose of a ward doesn’t change from one of it’s districts to another, but sometimes distinctly different districts are grouped together to form one ward. Each ward is represented by an elected alderman who represents the interests of their wards in front of the steward of Kingsport. All of the aldermen together form the Council of Aldermen. Unsurprisingly, many of the aldermen are accused of nepotism and corruption and there are constant feuds between different aldermen as they jockey for more power and influence. Because aldermen are elected the majority of them are commoners, and it is likely one of the highest positions a commoner can reach in Lyria without being uplifted into nobility.

Old Town
The Hill
The Salt
The Docks
Steward Square
La Costa Verde

The Kingsport Ramparts

Kingsport is surrounded by a thick city wall, about ten meters in width, reinforced at strategic places with fortified bastions and gates. The inside of the walls have narrow passages running along them, allowing troops to make their way from one bastion to another.

Each gate consists of two bastions and a double portcullis. The only exception is the River Gate, which doesn’t feature a portcullis, but instead has large, grated doors which can be closed from inside each bastion on either side of the river.

Each bastion is a large, tower connecting two ends of the wall. Each bastion differs in look and dimensions, most are diamond shaped, but some are round. They are all constructed in such a way that they stick out from the wall in a way to leave no blind spots, and each of them have thick parapets to hide behind. Each bastion also has a large fire in the middle which gets ignited at dusk and burns until dawn.

The most noticeable is the most easterly bastion, called the Bastion of Illumination, which sits on the shores of the Lyrian Gulf and functions as a light house. The fire burning on its roof is brighter by several orders and can sometimes be seen from Blue Harbour.

Together, the entire city’s defences are referred to as the Kingsport Ramparts. Below are a list of the bastions and gates that make up the ramparts, starting at the palace, but not counting the bastions around the palace itself.

Bastion of Strength
Bastion of Will
Western Gate
River Gate
Bastion of Clarity
Brown Gate
Bastion of Patience
Locked Gate
Bastion of Humility
Corbray Gate
Bastion of Diligence
North Gate
Bastion of Focus
Bastion of Restraint
Elysian Gate
Bastion of Modesty
Bastion of Generosity
Old Gate
Bastion of Compassion
Eastern Gate
Bastion of Forgiveness
Bastion of Bravery
Salt Gate
Bastion of Resilience
Bastion of Illumination

There are several bastions outside of the city, along the major roads which are garrisoned by crownsguard. These bastions are equipped with a rooftop bonfire which can be seen from the city’s ramparts and each have their own rookery which can send reports back to Kingsport.


At the very top of Garamond Hill lies the royal palace. It is simultaneously a bustling place, with servants, diplomats and nobility coming and going, as well as a secluded place, when compared to the rest of Kingsport. The castle isn’t open unless you can produce a letter of pedigree, you have an official invitation, or it is one of the few days a year where the royal family opens up the castle grounds to the public. The current dynastic family, house Valois, is extensive and many of them stay at the palace when in the capital.

Besides a lot of smaller buildings, the palace exists of two large, sprawling structures; the manor and the dépendance.

The royal manor overlooks the terrace, a sprawling, immaculately kept park, filled with ponds, marble statues, rose gardens and the like. It also has a prominent shrine to Chauntea. The entire space is meant to impress any visitor who makes it from the gate to the manor’s entrance. The terrace is where official ceremonies and celebrations are held, but the royal family is rarely seen there.

The manor’s facade consists of a rusticated limestone base from which rise impossibly tall, white granite columns, framing the windows of the three main floors. The top floor is hidden by a decorated cornice, which encircles the manor and is capped with a large balustrade, richly adorned with statues of kings, queens and saints of Paladine. It gives the sprawling manor an almost fairy tale beauty. The inside of the manor is the subject of much speculation by the peasantry, and it said to be richly adorned. It is said to have 342 rooms, not counting any of the multitude of cellars.

The dépendance is a much simpler looking building, designed specifically for that purpose. A much plainer facade overlooking the terrace, but made from the same limestone masonry as the palace. It houses the servants, the barracks, the armoury the stables, most of the stores and larders.

Between the manor and the dépendance sit the water gardens, a secluded and private garden, designed by renowned Arroyan architect Francesca Sabatini, where the queen is rumoured to spend time on hot days.


The peace keepers in Kingsport are the crownsguard, a force of roughly two thousand trained militia men and women who regularly patrol the streets, man the gates, walk the ramparts, garrison the forward bastions, support the harbour master and accompany tax collectors.

They are uniformed in half plate armour, adorned with the engravings of the three Valois lilies on their breast plate, angels on their pauldrons and crimson cloaks.

The lady commander of the guard is Dame Miranda Ravensbourne, youngest sister to Lady Olivia Ravensbourne, first of her name, head of House Ravensbourne. She is a Lyrian knight, formerly of the Order of the Gryphon, zealous follower of Paladine and completely dedicated to the monarchy. She can often be seen patrolling the skies on her griffon Frostfeather.

An elite group of 250 veteran crownsguard guard the palace under the leadership of another Lyrian knight, formerly of the Order of the Shield. His name is lieutenant William of Eastwarren a handsome and charismatic folk hero who made a name for himself on the Plains of Strife when a large host of orcs descended down the valley.


The Steady Hand
A city the size of Kingsport attracts all manner of opportunists, thieves and crooks. There are several active gangs, the largest of which is The Steady Hand, who specialises in bribery, theft, smuggling, extortion and prostitution. It considers itself a proper guild in which apprentices are taken in to learn the trade of racketeering. They have a very large network of connected people, like pickpockets, beggars, prostitutes and smugglers, which makes them very well connected with what is happening in and around Kingsport at all time.

It is rumoured that there are two competing factions within the guild. The Daymaster runs all the business between dawn and dusk, while the Nightmaster takes over for all operations that take place from dusk until dawn. Another rumour is that they have been able to map the ancient waterways underneath the city and use it to get around.

The Sunken Knuckles
While the Steady Hand is the largest underworld organisation in Kingsport, the Sunken Knuckles – Knuckles or Knuckleheads, for short – are the most violent. They run a protection rackets, fighting rings and gambling dens, and they are known be violent when it comes to collecting their coin. They are often employed to intimidate, harm and sometimes murder people.

The Ravnos
A large group of Szygani stay just outside of Kingsport in a camp of wagons, which they call vardo. They are musicians, beggars, pickpockets and fortune tellers. The Ravnos is a family within this group of Szygani who are rumoured to be bandits and thieves. They supposedly use curses and magic in order to steal from people and caravans.

They are also well-known herbalists who trade in all manor of rare and illicit substances like Fadeleaf, Blindweed and the incredibly toxic Purple Lotus or Nightmare Vine. Fadeleaf is a popular herb among the peasantry for its intoxicating effect, but it’s illegal in Kingsport, and most of the lands of the nobility because it makes people dim-witted and unconcerned with work.

The Penumbra
It is rumoured that a powerful noble house is using a loosely connected group of people within Kingsport to manipulate markets and gain financial influence. They are referred to as the penumbra, because of the cross over between what is supposed to be the side of light and the side of dark. Oftentimes people operate in the interests of the penumbra and the house which is pulling the strings without knowing it.

The crownsguard have been working for years to find out who the puppet-masters behind the penumbra are, but have yet to find any conclusive evidence pointing to one particular house. They started to suspect that occasionally the group does things that is to the detriment of the guilty noble house in order to deflect suspicion.

The Procyon
A predominantly non-human group of burglars and brigands the Procyon are known to operate in Kingsport mostly due to its harbour. The majority is elven, but they have offered membership to dwarves, half-elves, halflings and sometimes humans. Politically, they believe that humans have become too dominant in the Verdant Kingdoms and as a result they are radically anti-nobility, because they have come to believe that to be the source of true human dominance.

The Guv’nor
A special character in the Kingsport underworld is the person they call The Guv’nor, a title reserved for the champion bare knuckle boxer. With the title of Guv’nor comes the deed to The Hoxton, a Lewisham tavern which is considered neutral ground by the gangs operating in Kingsport.

The current Guv’nor is a popular and lovable man by the name of Lenny who has held the title for over a decade now. He is a legend in Kingsport and an easy to approach man who is always willing to listen to your problems and see if he can facilitate a solution.

Ancient Waterways

Underneath the streets of Kingsport lies an array of tunnels that function as aqueducts and sewers. Their extent is such that they have never been fully mapped and explored. For most people in Kingsport they’re presence is so axiomatic that they hardly ever think of them.

The crownsguard, however, worry about them extensively, due to some of the tunnels running so far and so deep that it forms a gap in the defence of the city. They have explored some of them and barred them off with heavy iron gates, hoping that to be enough to keep possible invaders out.

Many of the estates inside the city use the waterways to provide them with fresh water. Even some of the estates outside of the city walls have dug wells that tap into the aqueducts, something that the crownsguard is very concerned about.

The easiest ways to access the waterways is along the embankment of the river. Half a dozen entrances are built into the lower landings along the embankment walls. They are gated and locked and the crownsguard keeps a close eye on them. Otherwise, there are several hundred metal, grated manhole covers found throughout the streets of the city, all designed to carry rain water into the waterways.

Who built the waterways, and why they are so incredibly extensive has been lost to time. There are rumours that some of the tunnels lead to fantastic, submerged estates which used to be above ground. Several scholars and engineers from Bournemouth Academy spend time studying the waterways and each year new techniques and engineering principles are gleaned from them.


All along the southern coast of Kingsport, between Garamond Hill and Quayhill, there are quays, wharfs, piers and anchorages designed to facilitate the embarking and disembarking of passengers and the loading and unloading of good from and onto ships and riverboats.

Harbour fees are steep and as a results few boats and ships remain in the harbour for long, preferring to quickly disembark what they came to deliver and take on board what they plan on returning. As a result, the bay in front of Kingsport is usually crowded with boats whose crews row ashore to make arrangements before they sail into the harbour and start paying harbour fees.

Where there are plenty of dock hands available, but because each ship is on such a tight schedule it is not uncommon for ships to bribe dockworkers with extras in order for them to drop what they are doing for one ship and go and help another. This leads to friction between captains and sailors, which in turn leads to violence.

The harbour master, Master Albert Coehoorn, is a veteran who grew up on the streets of The Salt and started working at the harbour as a dockworker at an early age. He knows everyone who works at the dock and has a great working relationship with most captains who frequent Kingsport. He also knows his way around a knife fight, should his experience prevent him from talking two rivalling groups from violence.

There is a group of fifty crownsguard permanently garrisoned at the docks in order to support Master Albert in his task of maintaining the peace. He hand picked the fifty crownsguard, and it came as no surprise that most of them are lifelong Salters.

Shops, Taverns, Crafters, Temples, etc.