And we're back to work. This is the third installment of this series, and the second with actual conversion/adaptation work. Anyone stumbling upon this is free to use it, of course. Most of the characters are not mine, but have ties and such that I have framed to fit into my own campaign, but others might find fun, as well (at least those that make sense out of context). My personal notes from the two campaigns I have ran using the keep are actually quite bare, and feature the names of less than a dozen characters, showing how little my group paid attention to the inhabitants.
Having said that, one might ask why I chose to detail the keep. The answer, simply, is that this front-loaded prep will serve to cut down on ambiguity and will help me seed adventures, both urban and wild, for times when my players become non-active.
And so, I continue on from where I left off...
8. The Smithy is run by a man called Rafe and his two sons. Rafe is a very skilled black, silver, and goldsmith, but has only moderate talent with arms and armor, which his sons - each to his specialty - excel in. Recently, Rafe had taken on an apprentice, but that apprentice, an orc tribeswoman named Skayza, has been given to a new arrival by order of the Vuzughar. This newcomer's precedence comes from the gnome's (a rather civilized one named Scotch Radister) skill at the fairly new art of gunsmithing.
The upper two floors of the building serve as storage for made wares and precious materials, as well as housing for Rafe, Dara, his pregnant wife, his mother, two sons, daughter, and Skayza. Scotch takes quarter in The White Cliff.
9. The Quartermaster's has served Bugbear Falls since its founding. Originally acting as the quartermasters of the keep's military forces, it later opened to the public as a general store and began stocking a larger variety of wares. With the World Emperor's declaration of land claims available to those who serve against their neighboring city-state as well as helping to keep monster numbers low, 'Quartermaster' Mosely has begun to keep a full stock of adventuring gear available, in addition to his usual wares.
Until recently, the shop was in fierce competition with the Bazaar for trade goods brought in from traveling merchants, but with the disappearance of that shop's owner, Mosely has been able to profit nicely from the increased trade that comes from not having a rival. If you ask most residents, though, they would go back to trading more amongst themselves if certain necessities were more readily available again (such as food or lumber).
10. The Unbreakable Warriors, now represented only by a man named Kuralen (a former hireling of one of the original guild), hold their guildhouse here. Said, depending on who you ask, to be either the greatest or most reviled adventurers to take up residence and ply their trade in the Falls, the official word from the Vuzughar's office is that these "unfortunate souls" dabbled too much into the arcane arts and had their wills enslaved by the fae, who rule over arcane magic.
The holdings were originally going to be seized by Dal Lago, but for the interference of the Black Adders, the World Emperor's secret police. This group, who act as the voice of the Green Emperor in all matters they handle, found Kuralen to be completely innocent and separate from the failed siege that the majority of the guild took place in, and thus handed over control of the guild to him and the few remaining, but still unaccounted for, members that are left.
11. The Locksmith & Loan, a bank/locksmith/pawn shop ran by Cranston Veg and his two new partners , a halfling by the name of "Mouse" and a wild-eyed man named Hubertus, has seen a recent decline in the quality of trade and clientele that once passed through these doors. Cranston seems almost bullied by these two, but he claims to be happy to be in business with his former adventuring companions.
Though this has seemingly ruined the bank (by manner of repute in clients, more than anything else), the three men all see brisk trade as the desperate and needy come in to pawn items, or pay for this service or that that Mouse has on offer, such as clockwork or other machine repair, mending, making, or opening locks. Though Cranston's business has suffered, there will always be adventurers who wish to keep their stuff safe, and so he doesn't worry...too much.
12. The Lookout Tower was once less cramped, but since the blight, the lower chamber has been occupied by cattle belonging to Neanne (see 7, here), where they are stabled and milked. This chamber also holds the manure until it is used for fertilizer in the Parade Ground gardens (see 21, next post). In the chamber above, inundated with the smells of milk, beasts, manure, and hay, are stationed 6 guardsmen and Praetor Donnlo, the recently-promoted Captain of the Watch.
Children used to be allowed to take watch on this tower's crenelated battlements to earn training for Guard or Watch duty, but that practice had been discontinued a little before the siege.
13. Fountain Square, named for the beautifully carved nymph adorning the large fountain in the center, traditionally holds market days on the last day of every week, on every holiday, and at harvest and on the first day a caravan arrives. This practice has come to a trickle in light of shortages of food, wood, potions and unguents, as well as livestock since the region has been wracked with various disasters.
14. The White Cliff Inn, owned by Anton Waters, is the only for-hire place to lay one's head in the keep, and does quite a bit of business with the influx of traders, adventurers and other vagabonds that pass through (or are exiled to) the area. Recently, Anton has ponied up a considerable sum and halved the size of his common room, building a bar and moving in tables so that he may serve simple meals and drinks to his patrons. He has also hired on three employees that run the dining operation (Wilf the bartender, his wife Calista the cook, and the serving girl Jess), himself taking more of a host/concierge role.
15. The Desecrated House, until recently known as the Deviant Church (but that name was frowned upon by the Vuzughar's office, suddenly, and so had to be changed), is owned and operated by Eka Colm, who cringes at the thought of what continued high food and drink prices will do to his business. Eka's son and the pot boy are the only employees dealing with the hostelry of the place, though a handful of performers of all stripes also call the House their home, and their discretion is much appreciated amongst the patrons here.
All three men live above the tavern in rooms across from the upstairs balcony area.
16. The Guildhouse is nominally ran by nobody, being an open guildhouse, available to all craftsmen, laborers, or caravan workers who are represented by guild standing somewhere. In addition to temporary boarding of traveling traders and workers (for the low fee of 5% of value of merchandise or take within the keep, if a laborer), the hall also serves as a meeting hall for various guilds represented and the keep, in general.
Though no great guild master is not around to run the hall, it is ostensibly ran by an elderly couple who keep the place clean and ready for any visitors or events the place will host. Even the Black Adders, who have made a temporary base within the Guildhouse, show great respect to Greeves and his wife, Peta.
And there's the next 9 sections of the Keep/Dunkiel/Bugbear Falls! In the next post, I'll be detailing the last 12 sections of the map, and will hopefully wrap up the write-up. As the sections go on, I find that many of them are quite a lot easier to write up, but many of the characters are requiring more shoe-horning to fit into my campaign as it stands.