The World of Arith
City-State of Brineven
Founded in the Arvanoran year 1687, Brineven was the youngest city of the Empire up until the founding of Hawkmoon. The local Jendarri around Brineven worked with the Arvanorans who sought a more peaceful place that the warrior city of Darcos. The city grew around an ancient henge, little used by the Jendarri druids. Castle Brin was built atop a nearby steep hill overlooking the henge and the nearby river.
About halfway down the hill, the land was leveled off, creating a shelf on the road up the hill. Here the garrison was built in the shadow of the castle. Literally and symbolically below the crown.
The various districts are detailed below.
Climbing Palace Hill from the central city, you get the feeling that you’re entering a different world. First you pass through Soldier’s Shelf, where the barracks of the city watch, Brineven’s military and the headquarters of the royal rangers, the Feryth Aran, are located. The royal smithworks and the jail are also located here. Then you arrive at Palace Hill, where Castle Brin, the High Palace, dominates the landscape beyond the royal gardens. Closer to the road are the embassies, city hall and the royal stables.
Castle Brin, Royal Gardens, City Hall, Embassies (Hawkmoon, Tarnauld, Sarten, Elteare), Court Stables, Royal Court, Dragon Citadel, Ardal Brin Monument, House McGregor, Feryth Aran Headquarters, The Lockbox, Royal Smithy
The literal center of the city is dominated by a large natural park. Paths wend through the trees and greenery and gardens, both formal and natural, surprise walkers around many turns. The Brinhenge Park extends outward from the Brinhenge, an ancient henge that predates the city. The actual henge, which is still used as a place of worship by members of the Green Faith, is surrounded by a ring of huge Shadowtop trees. In the southern portion of Brinhenge Park is a thriving elven neighborhood centered on the Temple of Silver Stars. Nearby are two inns, he Silver Elm, built around a live elm tree and opened to the sky with rooms downstairs to be used during downpours and Treant’s Hall, which has five interconnected buildings around an open yard which is centered on a giant oak, said by locals to be an ancient, hibernating treant. One shop stands out as unusual in the Park, A Handful of Stars sells navigation aids and is run by clergy of Desna. Explorers, dreamers and adventurers can often be found here, trading tales with the staff.
Brinhenge, Temple of the Silver Stars, The Meadows, Dragon Monument
The docks of Brineven overlook the Arthys River, once a major thoroughfare carrying trade to Darcos and Tarnauld. The river is still one of the safer ways to transport goods to and from Tarnauld, but the drop off in trade left many businesses bankrupt. Halidar’s Ship is the only inn in the district and is infamous for emptying its chamber pots just about the time the city watch happens by. The Prancing Satyr and the Lost Lady are two festhalls where companionship can be found, at least for a few hours. Other than that, many dive bars, taverns, billiard halls and other entertainments can be found “in the Row” and many gamblers, conmen, prostitutes and beggars infest the alleys and smaller byways of Barge Row.
Barge Hall, Shipyard
Dunbar Commons is an older section of town. The district wraps around Dunbar Close – formal gardens that have been maintained since the founding of the city. The district has a quiet, some say stodgy, feel to it. Here a traveler can find the Temple of the Ascended Gods and the Old College along with the Map House, which was once the location of the Vault of Wisdom, before it moved south to Neldath Hill. To the west of Dunbar Close, the district gets a bit livelier, Four Corner Square has been host to bards and street performers for the last fifty years, there is even a permanent stage set up in the center of the square which was once used by town criers. The Five Braziers is an older inn, but it seems like the permanent home of a variety of old men who sit over game boards for hours. The Bright Blade Brandished Inn and the Laughing Lass Tavern are favored by adventurers and are nearby West Market, which has slowly dried up with the change of trade patterns since the war.
Old College, Dunbar’s Close (Gardens), Temple of the Ascended, West Market Yard, Blackford Hall
The center of trade and business in Brineven, the center of the Exchange revolves around the fortress-like Crown’s Exchange, the bank of Brineven and Market Hall, a huge indoor marketplace across from Crown’s Exchange. The Sword and Board is a popular tavern which is frequented by off-duty Knights in Green. North of Crown’s Exchange the cobbles give way to gravel and mud as the North Road leads out of the city to the northern farmlands and eventually into the Kron Hills and Hillsboro. Once a sleepy little neighborhood called Fieldstone, the increase in traffic to and through the Kron Hills has made this area into a new business center. The North Market has sprung up around the North Road, and the Wandering Wheel Inn has seen business boom, along with the Bloodied Stag tavern. Those looking for mounts, vehicles, tack and harness could do no better that take the trip to Ruvien’s to the west of the North Road near the North Market.
House Donglas, Ruvien’s Stables, Crown’s Exchange, Market Hall
Brineven sprawls out on and between three large hills or mound, raised portions of the city. The northwestern hill is Palace Hill, south of Palace Hill is Neldath Hill and east of the others is Hightown. Hightown is broken up into three distinct neighborhoods, the Estates overlooks the North Road and The Exchange and is the home of most Noble Houses in Brineven, to the est of the Estates, Hightown is the home of the wealthy merchant class and has a sizable dwarven neighborhood. Stonehaven is a popular dwarven tavern located in Hightown, but those not invited by the dwarves are often made to feel out-of-place here. To the south of those neighborhoods is Roundhall, the entertainment district which extends around the Greyleith Theater, a large theater in the round. Roundhall is also home to the prestigious Mac-Fuirmidh bard’s college. The Dragon’s Jaw is a large inn in Roundhall, though getting a room is difficult when a new performance begins at the Greyleith.
Greyleith Theater, Mac-Fuirmidh College (bardic college), Order of the Golden Bee, Stonehaven (Tavern), Noble Manors (Carrick House, Auchen Manor, Lochore House, House Reagh, McGachan House, House Wernyss, House Brechin, Nairn Manor, House Moonstone)
Dominated by Neldath University, Neldath Hill is one of the busiest districts in Brineven. Students dressed in multicolored robes, many with patches denoting their specialties scurry around the Hill running errands or just trying to be on-time for their next lecture. Neldath has been considered the finest College in the Northern Empire for generations and now that King Alistar has pressured both the College Arcane and Prism Keep to work with Neldath to create a true University system in the city, the prestige of the University has only increased. While neither the Arcanum nor the Prismatic Order are happy having their local branches be considered “part” of Neldath University, the fact is that enrollment in both organizations and the identification of those with talent in the Art has increased since King Alistar not-so-subtly pressed for the integration. Many people visit the Hill to peruse the Vault of Wisdom, the largest library in all of Brineven. Though many tomes were taken to Hawkmoon when it was thought the city was lost, the collection that remains is still impressive. The Inn of Lusty Magi is the place to stay in Neldath, while the conspiracy theories spouted at the tavern Helegar’s Wall are always good for a laugh.
Neldath College, Prism Hall, The College Arcane, House Sonnborn
To the west of Dunbar Commons and Neldath Hill is the deserted ruins of Newton. One of the first districts to fall to the bugbear army, Newton is now a husk. Squatters and the truly desperate can be found living in the rubble. The city watch occasionally sweeps through the district.
The center of logging and woodcraft for a city known for its woodcraft, the Architecture and woodwork common in Oakenbank has no equal. The sounds of the smithies and the bustle of industry dominates the district. New Crown’s Crossing, a scaled down version of Market Hall doesn’t have the fine shops and expensive wares of its big brother, but most anything a common man could need can be purchased here. There is a thriving Tarnish neighborhood here, surrounding a large guildhall named Tarn-Trader’s Place. Though the Tarn-Traders in Brineven would be eaten alive by their brethren in the city of Tarnauld. The Guidlmaster of Woodcraft Hall, Hasculf Geddes is known far and wide as the best woodcrafter in the Empire and can work wood for any project, large or small.
Hasculf Geddes (Master Woodsmith), Oakenholme, Tarn-Trader’s Place, New Crown’s Crossing
This district was once known as sunnyside until the Sun Fane chose to build a large cathedral facing east. During the war, a lesser priest named Aldiss, barely out of acolyte robes, found himself facing one of the main wings of the bugbear army. The story says that Aldiss challenged the bugbear warchief to single combat. As the chief’s Morningstar smashed Aldiss’ chest in, a blinding flash erupted from the martyr and the bugbear army was blinded long enough for the Knights in Green to respond to the attack. The cathedral was rededicated to Saint Aldiss, and the entire district was renamed in the lowly priest’s honor. Saint Aldiss boats no inns or sites to see, it’s a quiet district filled with the homes and businesses of common folk who tend to keep to themselves, but all traveling members of the Sun Fane are expected to visit the Cathedral and pay respects to the Saint.
St. Aldiss Cathedral (Sun Fane)
Across the Ardal Bridge is the district of Southbank. Southbank fared poorly in the war and is now little more than a slum. Those who can’t afford to stay in the city may find rooms at the Nightingale Inn or have drinks at the Greedy Goblin, if they can stand the stench of the tanneries and leatherworkers mixed with the smells of the fishmarkets. They say anything can be bought or sold in Southbank, if you know the right people.
House of the Inconsolate, Calton Mill, Black Market, Lathmil’s Stables
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