Finally, nearly Christmas and the last level of the Caras Castle maps are edited and tidied up. All that remains is to add the room details for description purposes and then hit the details of the main characters for the solo adventure and the town gazeteer.
The ramparts of the castle are covered with slate roofing thus providing soldiers manning the walls with some protection from missiles.
Gate house towers
City corner towers the stairs lead down to the ground level positions
River towers the stairs lead down to the ground level positions
Mid river tower
Muster spaces but also a storage area.
Missile storage – Bins of arrows and bolts
Balcony that gives a clear view of the courtyard covered with a simple slated roof. Attackers gaining the central courtyard would find themselves surrounded by firing posistions on all sides.
Balcony outside staff rooms
Senior staff room
Senior staff room
Bregol’s Bedroom secret entrance to 18
Bregol’s Reception room
Corridor stairs leading to top level of tower will have a guard
Haradric mistress’ room
Haradric mistress’ room secret entrance to 13
Hall way space reached by stairs from below or wooded walkway
Eunuch responsible for meeting Haradric Mistress’ daily needs and guardian of the hallway.
Entrance hallway of noble lodge – visiting nobles and important guest are lodged in this section.
Guest room – Nobles are lodged in these rooms so they are well appointed.
Guest room – Peep hole hidden in portrait
Guest room – peep hole hidden
Secret chamber accessible through secret door in corridor. Has spy hole into rooms 24 and 26. Two possible reasons for this chamber. a)Bregol constructed it to view the rooms to gain blackmail evidence against visiting nobles b)It is a hidden chamber long-forgotten with an alchemist laboratory and some potions that will help an adventurer on a quest.
Well at this rate, I won’t even get the castle top levels out before the month is out. This is a nearly completed version – I got held up when I had to digitally add in windows that I had forgotten to include. I would like to add some more details to the rooms later but they aren’t needed for the main details.
The ground floor levels of Castle Caras Celairnen are reached via a drawbridge and bridge that span a wide defensive ditch. As the central castle is at the top of a rocky outcrop and backs onto the steep cliff down to the river, the risk of seige machines being brought to the main walls is very remote. Hence the purpose of the ditch is to create a killing field for the archers of the castle. Like all castles that have developed over time buildings have been added into the central courtyard, defensive structures have been converted to other uses and the overall feel is now of a ruling administrative palace rather than a defensive fortress.
Defensive towers are three floors tall and topped by blue slate conical roofs. The lower levels are only accessible from the wall levels via the spiral stairs. The embrasures provide a wide arc of fire out onto the defensive ditch and also down to the river below.
Central River defensive tower is similar to the corner towers described above except access to the tower can also be gained from the ground floor via a hidden door in room 18 which can be barred from both sides as needed.
The right gate tower is similar to the corner towers. It has a stairway leading to the main wall above the gate and can be entered through a stout oak door which can be barred from the inside and outside of the tower.
Central town-side towers are similar in style to the corner towers. Spiral stairs give access up to the defensive ramparts and both towers can be barricaded from both sides by stout doors.
At the far end of the courtyard is the town’s administrative offices. The outer office is staffed by six scribes responsible for the administration of landing fees, permits and the other day to day minutiae of running a Charter town.
Inner office staffed by two senior scribes.
Records libraries lie off the inner office and are stacked with scrolls and papers related to the trade and administration of the town over the last twenty years. The doors to these rooms are often open during the day but are firmly locked at night (PL Medium).
A series of steps lead down to an iron gate which is locked at night (PL medium) and a stout wooden door barred on the outside. These steps lead to a hidden water source down in the rock from which all the castle water is drawn. During the day in peacetime, it is often left open and unguarded.
The kitchens are a constantly busy place. It would be difficult to pass by them without being noticed. A kitchen boy sleeps in the room to tend the fire and help the baker prepare bread for the morning.
The larder is guarded by a single wooden door. Inside a wide array of perishable goods and preserved rations that keep the castle functioning are kept. A single arrow embrasure is closed up with wooden boards which can at need be removed.
The guardroom can be entered from the main courtyard. The castle no longer garrisons a full militia here but 14 soldiers are permanently billeted within the walls. They man the walls in two shifts and are supplemented by locally billeted other members of the militia. Consequently, there will be 7 soldiers at ease here sat by the fire, eating, playing cards or in the dormitory beyond.
The dormitory is filled with 7 bunks and 14 trunks for personal effects. The trunks have very simple locks (PL light). At the far end a curtain hangs over the embrasure for the arrow slit. When not sleeping the guards keep the wooden shutter down unless the weather is inclement.
The door to this room is, like the door to the armoury, made of stout oak, bound in iron and locked (PL Very Hard). The ancestral armour of the house Silanir is kept within.
The sergeant’s rooms are often occupied but are clearly empty when is voice can be heard dressing down one of the guards. It is simply furnished with a desk and bed.
A stout oak door bound in iron and locked (PL Hard) protects the armoury from the casual intruder. Inside is a store of weapons needed to protect the castle in a time of siege. Not that this has happened yet but the captain makes sure that all the weaponry is well-tended and ready for action.
Hall chamber with stairs to upper levels and locked oak door bound with iron.
Storage room with a hidden door (perception Light) concealed by a hanging and a rough plasterwork wooden door made to look like stone.
Entrance hall. A set of wooden stairs lead to the next floor. Two locked wooden doors (PL Light) stand in the far wall.
The muster room
Guardroom – metal grill looks out on to the hallway from the main door.
Hall. Stairs lead up into the tower on the left and down to the gaol below
Entrance hall. Designed to serve as a defensive space for the tower funnelling attackers into the kill zone from the arrow slits of both guardrooms.
Minor hall used for general castle functions and meetings. Stairs lead up to a wooden structure that makes the second floor.
Open walled courtyard with a rain-fed pond.
The main courtyard is often busy throughout the day with castle staff, administrators, day guards, merchants and the general public. At sunset, the main gate is closed to the general public and the courtyard becomes a quieter place.
The upper story to this building overhangs the one below. Beneath is space for stabling several horses of a short period of time. Longer-term stabling of horses is provided closer to the Causeway gate.
Used as storage space but part of the defensive structures of the castle. The doors in and out can be barred in either direction to hinder attackers progress. Stairs lead up to the next floor.
Anteroom to 32 and 34 is again another part of the defences of the castle that has slowly been converted to more prosaic day to day use. In this case a temporary tack room
Used as storage space but part of the defensive structures of the castle. The doors in and out can be barred in either direction to hinder attackers progress. Stairs lead up to the next floor.
So Mapvember has arrived and as a little fun and to keep me going, I am going to try and join in this year. I can’t promise a map a day but I can contribute a little of the work ongoing in Caras Celairnen. Castle Basement level.
Stairs passage from outside kitchen to the hidden well used to draw water in case of seige.
A rough area for transporting smuggled goods. The stairs lead up to a secret entrance in a lodge beside the main keep.
A locked door (Pick lock: Hard) of hardened oak bars entrance to a store area for smuggled goods. D10 crates with Southern wines and spirits. D10 pouches of hallucengenic herbs hidden in each crate (Perception: Medium). In the far wall is a secret entrance (Perception: Medium) to the excavation site beyond.
A 25′ diameter cirular chamber of rough hewn rock stretches up in a small dome. Torchlight flickers off of a enormous pale yellow skull of a great dragon.
The guard post stairs down from the keep lead to the dungeon. A single guard keeps a lonely vigil until relieved every 2 hours. His only task is to ensure that prisoners have not found the means to escape. The cell keys are kept by the guard captain and the chamberlin.
Each cell is barricaded by an iron door (Pick Lock: Hard). Inside two small wooden benches serve as beds. In one corner is a piss pot and the other a small jug of water.
One little side project is an inn generator for Middle Earth (it’s not a tricky job but I’m not hitting it hard at the moment) so that I can just add colour to stops on journeys. One in created for the Shire Campaign is the Midnight Rooster which has become the base of the characters. Hence, it received a little more than the usual brief description. I have used the “Remarkable Inns” ratings system (well worth getting a copy here).
Wibblesham, The Shire
$ $ $
Hobbits and Eriadorians
Friendly to all Free Peoples
One common room and two single rooms
The Midnight Rooster sits at the foot of the hill on the bank of the River Fayn in Wibblesham. Sarsen sandstone blocks have been used to build this tavern, each block telling its own story through the weathering on its surface. The original building has been enlarged by burrowing into the hillside to create a small smial for the owners that faces into the stable yard at the rear of the inn. The area in front of the inn is churned with mud due to the proximity to the river. To allow patrons to enter and leave without tramping through the mud wooden planks have been added to create a veranda and entrance route. Round to the side, within view of the entrance, a patch of ground is used for regular games of toss the horseshoe.
Inside the main common room is furnished with simple pine tables and benches scrubbed with with regular use of soap and water. In each corner of the room a hanging brazier smoulders casting a musty fragrance into the room. In the winter, the table closest to the fire is occupied by the Gaffa and Sam; anyone who tries to occupy these seats, should they be empty, will receive disapproving stares and if they still don’t take the hint then Theo will come and have a quiet word. The inn has three lodging rooms – one common room and two single rooms. Should the inn become overfull then Theo will seek alternative space in local houses of the village although the costs will rise.
The inn keepers are Theodulf and Primrose Sandy who manage most of the day to day affairs. Theodulf is well known within the village, often consulted by Mayor Gresham Shaper on matters outside of a moot. The capable pair are supported by a stable boy Benji Heathertoes and Molly Bracegirdle the kitchen assistant.
A portly, bustling Harfoot of average height whose nut-brown round face is always ready with a friendly greeting for both local and visiting traveller. As the Inn is never packed with travellers, being on a less travelled routes, Theo can take the time to get to know his customers and is very knowledgeable about the travelling conditions for the local region. He will be able to inform travellers of the state to the toll at Axbridge by Cluad and the presence of Amlin’s blue-scarfed Road Wardens.
Cheery and with a ready laugh, Primrose is most often found in the kitchen of the Midnight Rooster preparing the food for the evening or around the village collecting ingredients for the meal. In addition, she can be found clearing the sleeping accommodation and doing the laundry. As she often says, “a woman’s work is never done” as she tucks a stray strand of light brown hair back into her cap. The poor woman should be given more recognitions for when her husband is out with his cart collecting a delivery of ale or goods from further afield she is also serving drinks and attending to the customers.
Ales and Drinks
A light ale with the smell of caramel and herbs and a light fresh taste.
A dark chocolate porter ale kept for winter
A rather bitter brew drunk as a restorative with morning breakfast
Roasted wild mushrooms
Rabbit stew with Rosemary
Lamb hot pot with neaps and tatties
pint in a pot
dish of the day
sausage, bacon, egg and slabs of bread
Bread and cheese
Common room lodging
Shared room of eight guests with straw pallets
Single room lodging
Individual beds with fresh linen
Enough space for ten horses with feed included
Cribbage, Nine-man Morris, Horseshoe rings, singing led by Ed
Patrons of note
Short-haired and lean in the face for a Hobbit, Gresham has a quietly handsome visage often marked by an expression of mild puzzlement. Some think he spends too much time on reflection and philosophy. Gresham is not only the Mayor of Wibblesham but also a respected sculptor who is called upon for commissions from Fornost to Tharbad. He lives behind the Inn and has a studio in the wood on the far side of the hill.
Ring of Shaping: Allows wearer to sculpt quickly and exactly according to his feeling.x3 PP multiplier.
Short Sword: Avar kynac (long knife), blood-drawing. +15OB; does a secondary slash critical.
Shield: Missile warding. +10 DB; +20 DB versus missile attacks.
Braces: Suspenders, protection against bleeding wounds. Reduces bleeding hits per round to the body and neck by half.
Unusually for Hobbit Shirriffs, the Shirriff of the Valley Rovers division of the Southfarthing is a rosy-cheeked and sandy-haired female Fallowhide. Born with an adventurous spirit Mally was always to be found climbing trees with her elder brothers or boating and swimming in the river Fay. With a natural sense of justice she became a natural choice for Chief Shirriff. She can be found in the Rooster chatting to locals and catching up on the gossip and rumour with a smile and a ready laugh.
Towering over the usual patrons of the inn, the blonde-haired, craggy featured Riverman is a well known visitor to the Rooster during the summer trading season as he makes trips up the Fayn to Axbridge and Sackville with goods for trade. In general, he keeps to himself sitting in the corner of the common room to drink and eat before retiring to his camp and boat at the end of the evening. However, if a game of cribbage is on offer he may stay later, particularly if there is a chance of playing for money. Those seeking local knowledge of the area surrounding the Branduin would do well to ask over a game of chance rather than directly.
Trading 30, Gambling 25, Boat handling 45, River Lore 45, Region lore (Fayn & Branduin) 38, Navigation 30
Items of note
Superior steel handaxe +5OB
A grey-haired Harfoot of many summers can be found, pint and pipe in hand, either enjoying the warm sun on the veranda in the summer or occupying the prime spot near the fire in winter holding forth on the local news and business of the day. He doesn’t much like the refugees from Cardolan who he thinks are stirring up trouble by not fitting in with the live-and-let-live philosophy of Wibblesham.
Intense chocolate brown eyes peering out from under white bushy eyebrows, Sam is Gaffa’s companion in arms. Sam remembers the great migration and the fearful days up in the Ettenmoors and the stories of his elders of the days when Hobbits lived by the Anduin. He provides a counterbalance to Gaffa over the refugees, reminding him that they are all refugees and of the worries of settling into a new land. He is however, quick with advice on how things should be run in Wibblesham, whilst being supportive of Gresham as Mayor.
Stout, even for a Hobbit, and with traces of flour in his hair and clothing, Bill is the local baker. He pops in to the Rooster at the end of the day for liquid refreshment and the dish of the day after a hard day in the bakery, leaving the lad to stoke the fires before the next night’s bake. A widower, he and his sons bake the finest bread between Michel Delving and the Branduin. Bill is very knowledgeable about local matters as his sons who travel delivering bread to the local farms gather rumour and gossip.
With a ready smile, this ruddy cheeked farmer will happily launch into song and fill the common room with bawdy songs of love and life. The rest of the locals are well-versed in the songs and join in readily with choruses and responses. Ed is the local most likely to welcome travelling strangers with a strong gripped handshake and an earnest greeting. Soon the visitor will find that they have bought him a pint and revealed the reasons for their journey and, if not careful, minor details that should not be revealed. Ed is a good judge of character and if concerned about the traveller will send a message to Shirriff Mally or Mayor Gresham.
Dark hair tied in a top knot and with a permanent scowl of his face would lead most to think of Creg as at the least unfriendly, if not hostile. However, a blow to the head when younger has left this simple farmer with a permanent twist if features. Creg can often be found in the Rooster on market days amiably chatting with fellow Wibbleshamites over a pint or two of Golden Ale. He is a very trusting soul and generous to a fault and the locals will protect him from those who may take advantage of his simple nature.
The stable boy is a twenty-five year-old Eriadorian of average height and chestnut brown hair. Mostly, Benji tends to his own small holding of a few sheep and goats on the edge of the village. However, when he notes that visitors are arriving by road he will pop down to stable the horses. He is a likeable chap who has a reassuring way with livestock and especially horses. He keeps the stables clear and the grain hoppers for the horses are always filled. Any conversation will inevitably turn to either the horses at hand or the fine animals he has tended at some point in the past.
Hair falling in dark curls and dark red pouting lips would make most grown hobbit boys melt on the spot and they do. Molly is without a doubt the most popular girl in the village and currently is helping her aunt in the kitchen of the Rooster to keep her away from obvious trouble. Thankfully she is a diligent girl with a sensible head on her shoulders. Her father is only too keen for her to find a suitable husband, if only to reduce the number of idle hobbit youths he regularly has to scare out of his flowerbeds.
Commonly known as Herbert is the long suffering father of Molly, who he adores. Herbert has a small farm on the hills outside of Wibblesham and has sent Molly to work with his sister Primrose at the Rooster where he hopes she will be kept away from the local hobbit boys. Primrose should keep her safe enough during the day. On the other hand, it wouldn’t hurt to occasionally check up on the girl and then it would be rude not to have a pint and a chat while he was at.
1 Common room
Inside the main common room is furnished with simple pine tables and benches scrubbed with with regular use of soap and water. In each corner of the room a hanging brazier smoulders casting a musty fragrance into the room. In the winter, the table closest to the fire is occupied by the Gaffa and Sam; anyone who tries to occupy these seats, should they be empty, will receive disapproving stares and if they still don’t take the hint then Theo will come and have a quiet word.
Primrose and Molly are usually busy in here preparing food or washing bedding. The kitchen is large with scrubbed preparation tables from which cooking utensils hang. A couple of large kettles and pots sit by the fireplace where a fire is always burning. Near the door three laundry tubs can be found.
3 Hay loft
Originally a storage space for a cart this area now is where bedding and oats for the stabled horse is kept.
Each stable has room for two horses in close quarters if needed but in general only one horse is stable in each double doored stall which allows comfortable movement for the beast.
5 Store rooms
A passage from the original building has been built to connect the inn to the hill behind. A door which is not often locked (PLlight) leads down to the store rooms and the entrance to the Sandy’s Smial. The storerooms contain about a week’s worth of provisions for the inn.
6 Living room
Entrance to the Sandy’s smial is through a locked door (PLMed). It is a cosy dry space with a small fireplace on the inner walls flanked by two comfortable armchairs. Rose patterned curtains hand over the round windows that look out onto the inn’s courtyard. In front of the windows is a small dining table with three stools. Currently in one corner is a small camp bed for Molly if she is staying at the inn overnight.
The bedroom is relatively large for a hobbit smial and contains a generous double bed, a large wardrobe that occupies one wall and a dressing table in front of the windows.
8 Single guest room
The larger of the two guest rooms is clean and has storage for items in a lockable trunk (PLMed). The door to the room can secured with a key rented from the inn for 5tp per day (PLMed).
9 Single guest room
The smaller of the two guest rooms is clean and has storage for items in a lockable trunk (PLlight). The door to the room can secured with a key rented from the inn for 5tp per day (PLMed).
10 Common sleeping dormitory
The dormitory is regularly swept and the pallets are beaten and aired every week making sleeping comfortable if basic. There is plenty of light provided by a number of small windows around the room. Paying guest will need to provide their own bedding, although it is possible to hire sheets and a blanket for 2tp per night. Theo is proud of the safety of his inn and travelling kit can be left safely in this room.
In the courtyard a simple well which draws its water from the Fayn.
In the Shore district of Caras Celairnen tucked up against the main walls and away from the main streets is the Captain’s Daughter. For where is stands this is an impressive in complete with brewery and a good sized drinking room. The two story structure is the home of Hrothgar and like his name sake it serves the finest mead in the town.
“Then it came into his mind to raise a mead house, mightier far than ever was seen by the sons of earth, and within it, then, to old and young he would all allot that the Lord had sent him, save only the land and the lives of his men.”
Well so lay the grandiose hopes of Hrothgar, a Northman who though trained in weapons never saw action. His wife Hilda and his son and daughter (Unferth and Hrethal) help in the running of the inn. The inn does well because the mead is good and Hrothgar has relations who are rivermen. From such contacts Hrothgar also runs a quiet line in hard to come by artefacts.
“So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel a winsome life, till one began to fashion evils, that field of hell.”
All was well with Hrothgar’s inn until he opened up new cellar space. Behind a rock wall he discovered a passageway that led down into the underdeeps of the old Dwarven citadel. Perhaps not so bad if these depths had not become how to all manner of dwellers of the dark. Soon his inn became plagued by strange visitors and worse his paying guests would disappear. It soon became clear to Hrothgar that he would have to block up the cellar. However, no matter what method he tried there was always one visitor who returned thirsting for fresh meat, Grendel. The only solution was to slay the monster as quickly and quietly as possible before the authorities became aware of the danger and took the inn away from Hrothgar.
With the defeat of Grendel, the way became clear to explore areas of the Underdeeps opened up by the passage in the cellar. Many hidden doorways and collapsed passageways wait to be found and cleared. The risk is great but the potential reward of discovering a lost Dwarven artefact attract adventurers in the know to the Captain’s Daughter. Hrothgar charges a fee for entry to the Underdeeps and also sells adventurers packs of useful items such as torches and lanterns in bulk. Adventurers are expected to find their own path and pay a finders fee on all treasure returned to the surface. In addition, Hrothgar will often buy items that would be difficult to sell from adventurers.
This sideline in artefacts and a well connected network to distribute them means that Hrothgar often has small commissions for adventurers to undertake for a reward. These can involve the Underdeeps below the inn, but more often the wily inn keeper has heard rumour of an item in other locations which he believes he can sell on at a profit. For such tasks adventurers will receive the usual adventurer’s supplies excluding transport (unless needed to return the item).
So finally, I think I have managed to find a purpose for the town of Caras Celairnen. Using Rolemaster campaign lore it is an easy task to begin populating the town with militia and the usual tropes of healers, mages, and thieves. A random variation on percentages of populations really does take care of that. But who else lives in the town aside from the main characters of the town?
A simple trawl of medieval professions leaves a huge list of potential trades that could be used to populate the town. The problem for me as a GM is that I really don’t care about them in any detail, and neither will my players, who will probably only want to see the inside of the nearest tavern and the outfitters. However, my trick is to have these trades available to draw on to create colour to the daily life and give a reason for different districts to flourish. After all who would live in a town dominated only by criminals and militia?
So more to the point how common are these trades and how many of each will we need to populate the city. In Caras Celairnen, I have set 7 trading lords (that is lords of sufficient wealth to trade over distance). They will have their own network of middle men, merchants who will sell to the local market of transport goods onwards at their own risk. That means a transport crew (ship or otherwise) of around 20, dockers, warehouse men, clerks, would account for another 10 or more workers. That is without including servants needed for running the household, Although some may work for more than one employer. No man is an island they say, and certainly not all will be bachelors so now we need to multiply to include a family of between 5 and 12. Easily each Noble Lord could be directly responsible for the “existence” 50-100 people of the town
To support around 100 people there will need to be a baker, some form of costermonger, tailor, inn keeper with their families. Ancillary trades such as tailors, washerwomen, cloth dyers, leatherworkers, tinkers would also be needed but probably to a lower density than the main trades. So the trickle down effect means each noble lord creates around 150 people of the town.
Beyond these direct employs there are other direct employees we need to consider. The Militia need feeding and entertainment, as do the local healers, wizards and other local colour. There are also the middle merchants to consider who will also use services and goods and employ a few others directly. To complete these thoughts on the demographics of the town, because there are so many wealthy individuals, there will also be high quality, high end artisans. Not forgetting at the lower end the night soil movers and beggars.
Having considered all these factors the demographics of Caras Celairnen begin to look something like this.
A Militia Garrison for around 400 with 30 or so NCO and officers.
2 shrines with Clerics – one should be to Ea as this is Dunedain culture
30 or so healers of various levels
30 Guides but I may change this as there seems little need
4 magic users or different shades
74 Criminals in various guises of fences, footpads, burglers and thugs – some of whom will have day jobs.
400 businesses – Acater (food vendors such as bakers), innkeepers, boothman, colliers, costermongers, habdasher, iron monger, hay merchant, egglers, fishmonger, blacksmith, linen draper, mercer, milkmaid, oynter (oil seller), peddlers, pie sellers, spice merchant, vintner, leatherworker, fletcher, wool stapler and wood sellers
124 transporters to include carters, ferrymen, lightermen, bargees, and pilots
At a conservative estimate this would put the population of the town between 1500 and 4000 which neatly fits with the suggested population of the town by Thomas Mowinsky in Other Minds and Jeff Erwin in the Lindon gazetteer.
First I must say I owe a debt of gratitude to Tommi Salama’s “Coldwater” map as the starter and providing various features that were adapted to create the final map. Also a note of thanks to Dyson for the cave map that became the smuggler’s caves. It is a real time saver to have people who are happy to draw maps. Fine pencil/pen work is not my strong point. As such I am in the process of buying up maps as a support to these map resources and I encourage you to do this as well. The featured image from Wallpaperup was the final part of the image puzzle.
The River Town was always going to be dominated by Rivermen (Northman lineage stock), who would need linguistically to be similar Old English/Saxon style of the Rohirrim. I decided to adopt Norwegian to avoid the names sounding over familar, but still make the setting sound authentic.
On the great river Lhun, in a small valley carved by the passage of the Laughing brook, is the small town of Elvenbyen (Westron Riverton). The sole purpose of the small town is as a transit point for goods of Numeriador across or down the river Lhun to Caras Celairnen. A man-made harbour shelters warehouses and pontoons from which Guild approved riverboats load and unload.
Guild politics are important in Elvenbyen with various Riverman families controlling the passage of goods and people up and down the Lhun. The the Laug av Vannmennen (Watermen’s Guild) has negotiated paying a guild levied tax to Arthedain and this appears to have allowed the small town to operate outside of any other claim.
The flow of goods through the port is heavily from the Numeriador. Raw materials sent to Arthedain via the marsh port of Caras Celairnen such as coal, wood, hides, and ores, but also occasional items crafted in the Dwarven cities of the Blue Mountains. Returning goods are mostly what is required to support the survival of Rivermen and the Dwarves. These include wheat and grain and goods manufactured to a high standard (+5). In addition, there are the occasional luxury goods supplied from the Caras Celairnen through its trade links with Gondor and Harad.
As with every frontier town, life can be a little rough round the edges. There are plenty of taverns and inns to supply the needs of trappers and traders who overwinter in the town. Black markets attempt to avoid the enforcing eye of the Guilds and smugglers attempt to avoid paying too much tax. Beware the adventurers who make themselves look too much like an easy mark!
Klanenherre (Vannmennen) Asbjørn Persson
Government Guild council
Population 250 (249 Riverman, 1 Dunadan)
Languages Westron, Northman, Dunedain
Civ index Corruption 30 Crime 30 Economy 80 Law 50 Lore 10 Society 80
Danger 30% Disadvantages Guild town – smugglers – tax collection
The population of Elvenbyen are Riverman through and through, although a few adventuresome folk of other races are to be found. The main focus of the small town is the transportation of goods either across the river to the Marsh road or down river to Caras Celairnen. Control of the town is strictly through the Laug av Vannmennen (Watermen’s Guild) with some influence from the Laug av Handelsmenn (Trader’s Guild).
Asbjørn Persson (Loc 16/1 Northman lvl 8). The head of the Persson traders and current Klanenherre (Guildmaster) of the Vannmennen. The Persson family are the richest of the Riverman families and historically occupy the post of Klanenherre. Asbjørn cuts an imposing figure at 6’2” in tooled leather Riverman dress. He rarely, travels the river now, leaving that to his three sons. He is a shrewd merchant, and the current tariffs are set at a point where he feels the market will bear the cost. Of course he knows about the smugglers and tolerates them on a small scale but if they overstep the mark the guild levy will be sent in. The Klanenherre believes in swift and harsh justice.
Håvard Ivarsen (Loc 16/3 Northman lvl 6) head of the Ivarsen river family. Second richest family after the disaster that befell the Rolfsons. Håvard is a broad-faced with a tendency to run to fat. His cold blue eyes bely the openness of his features. He has the closest connections with the traders Guild, and uses this influence to channel as much trade towards his boats. Unfortunately, he is not as shrewd as Asbjørn, and despite the fixed rates is less successful in his business dealings.
Stein Rolfson (Loc 16/2 Northman lvl 8) head of the Rolfson River clan; a sturdy hardworking Northman with lines of grief around his eyes and sorrow in his heart. Two of his sons took a risky run early this season down the river. The river flow was strong, but both were skilful enough to navigate its currents. However, disaster befell them and both boats were lost.
Vegard Thorsen (Loc 15/4 Northman lvl 6) Head of the Thorsen River clan. Unusually, dark-haired with sharp weather-beaten features, Vegard is bent ruthlessly on raising his family’s fortunes. To this end he is the most open of the Vannmennen to private chartering
Kåre Arnesen (Loc 5 Nothman lvl 5) is a big hearted individual with a ready laugh and an open hand. Round the taverns and inns he is well known. A successful chandler he supplies many of the boats and has good contacts with both the Vannmennen and the traders. This open friendliness is all a front as he is also the head of the smugglers who operate out of the area. He is able to launder the profits through his chandlery. Any attempt to expose his operations or to muscle in on them will be met with extreme force. Of course Kåre will be nowhere near any of the unpleasantness unless a very strong message needs to be sent.
Oddvar Toreson (Loc 6/17 Northman lvl 7) Dressed in fine furs and with weasel features you would not expect Oddvar to be the first choice of Klanenherre for the Laug av Handelsmenn (Guild of Traders). He is however, a very shrewd negotiator and has a reputation of driving a hard bargain. For this reason Rivermen use him to regularly negotiate contracts with Dundadan of Caras Celairnen.
Pål Roarsen (Loc 7 Northman lvl 5) A large bull of a man and landlord of the Røyskatt (Stoat). He takes care of his ales and rooms and is careful with his clientele. Beware trouble makers.
Kristian Larsson (Loc 8 Northman lvl 5) Honest of face and of a burly build. Kristian runs the ørret (Trout) a haunt frequented by many of the local Rivermen, particularly those who run cargoes from the north and know the backwaters well. It is a rough place with cheap communal board for those who wish to stay. Fights are frequent, but Kristian and his bar staff soon clear the trouble makers into the street. For the right price he can put you in contact with specialist navigators.
Trond Bjarnesen (Loc 9 Northman lvl 3) A thin weasly man with greasy hair held up in a top knot. His wiry frame is covered in tattoos. He is the landlord of the Yppig blondine (Buxom blonde) probably the most dangerous inn of Elvenbyen. Although the dregs of the town and the surrounding countryside frequent the inn Trond is not wise enough, not has enough leverage to put the resources to good use.
Sindre Steinsson (Loc 10 Northman lvl 4) A handsome young man who looks every inch a warrior and is indeed the model for the painting that hangs above the entrance to the Kriger (Warrior). He is a fraud and a cheat in every sense of the word.
Leif Eriksson(Loc 11 Northman lvl 8) The landlord of the Blåfjell (Blue Mountain) is a non-descript Riverman who many immediately forget. He doesn’t stand out in a crowd, he is polite enough, generous enough, but not particularly memorable. This is just the way he likes it. Leif runs a black market operation from his cellar dealing in herbs and potions not readily available on the open market. He pays a cut to Kåre to avoid any trouble.
Håvard Håvardsen (Loc 12 Northman lvl 5) A careworn face wrapped in a hooded cloak of green. The injured and sick are brought to him for healing and he never turns one away. Although he has no magic he has a wide ranging knowledge of herbs and often forages for them in the surrounding countryside.
Ingborg Jørnsen (Loc 13 Northwoman lvl 4) A plump bustling riverwoman who runs one of the outfitters in Elvenbyen. She is always cheery and appears to have many nieces who help with the repair of garments.
Morten Viggosson (Loc 14 Dunadan lvl 6) Despite his claim to be a Northman, (he was raised in a Riverman family near Culwic), Morten is of Dunadan descent. An orphan he has always felt isolated and this has led to his dark brooding personality. Quite frankly all will recommend him as the best guide in the area to get rid of his sour looks. He is competent but don’t get into trouble as he won’t be able to help.
Gunnar Gunnarsen (Loc 14 Northman lvl 4) Scarred and dressed in tattered leathers it is easy to assume that this man is the best frontiersman, fighting wild bears and such. Gunnar has in fact been unfortunate in one too many knife fights in town. He is still a competent guide.
Hilde Signesdottir (Loc 14 Northwoman lvl 8) A tall and with a sturdy frame and thick features Hilde would never be considered a beauty for her looks, but more than one man has asked for her hand in marriage. Hilde is immensely practical and a skilled ranger. Amongst those in the know she is the best guide and ranger in town.
Einar Håvardsen (Loc 15/16/17 Northman lvl 8)Grim-faced and battled scarred, Einar dresses in chainmail and carries a large battleaxe strapped to his back. At his side are two axes that can be used in hand to hand or thrown. The head of the Laug Milits (Guild Militia) he ensures that good order is kept in town.
Persson residence. Sitting high above Elvenbyen sheltered from the prevailing winds and weather this impressive, white-washed two story mansion is protected by a low wall. Inside a drive way allows carriages to turn and a small stable and coach house stand either side of the gate. To the rear a small kitchen garden.
Rolfson residence. At the end of a long drive almost the last house before the river stand a long low building that ends in a three story tower that looks out over the river. Eaves and shutters are decorated with wave and river motifs, and the house is in general good order, but windows and doors are shuttered tight. Most of the Ivarsen business is now conducted at a nearby warehouse at the main docks. The private jetty remains unused.
Ivarsen Residence. Despite the obvious elegance of the long house and the extensions there is something down at heel about this house. Perhaps it is the paint is not white enough or the shutters appear to be inexpertly painted. Three jetties sit in front of this house the largest serves Persson craft the others were built by Rolfson almost like dogs curling at the master’s feet.
Thorsen Residence. A moderately decorated long house with one wing sits almost alone the last house before the difficult, rocky river bank to the north. To be sure the owners of this house are above the standard Rivermen, but the house does not have the finery of the big three house.
Arnesen Chandlers. Standing opposite the ørret is a veranda fronted emporium of all things to do with river craft and boats. Above the veranda is a sign proclaim “Arnesen”. Arnesen has no direct family, but does employ male assistants to help with sales and delivering stock. You will find everything from trail rations and rope to tarps and oil. If it is to do with travelling the rivers then you can find it here.
Toreson residence. A well-built and finely decorated with painted eaves and a well-tended surrounds. Tonje the wife of Oddvar and his three daughters and infant son live here.
Røyskatt (Stoat) On the road into the valley that shelters Elvenbyen is a plain inn with the sign of a stoat hanging above the door. Lean to stables round the back allow for visitors beasts to be sheltered. The main door is painted a dull red. The inn looks quiet and homely. Inside you will find decent beer with plain but nourishing food and a clean bed, all at a reasonable price.
Ørret (Trout). Opposite the Chandlers is a large building that would appear to have seen better days. Although on closer inspection an observant PC will notice that the windows and doors are securely fitted and really it is the woodwork that is need of a little paint and protection. The interior matches the shabby exterior, with one large bar/lounge in which Rivermen pilots and navigators congregate between times out on the river. Food is cheap and lodging is communal (-25% ). Beer and drinks are +10% base cost.
Yppig blondine (Buxom blonde). A gaudy sign showing a buxom blonde with hair in pig tails leering over the top of an ale jug makes this inn appear very appealing. The whitewashed walls and dark wooden door hint at a fun place to spend an evening. The inn itself is filled with the dregs of Elvenbyen and this should be apparent on entering. Tables and chairs are made of sturdy stuff and the beer is passable. Be careful who you insult and don’t flash the cash.
Kriger (Warrior). This fine large inn has many features to recommend it to the more discerning traveller. The main door features a frieze of a great hero conquering a hoard of Orcs or some other foul beast. Inside the main bar area is bedecked with red hanging cloths some of velvet (but only where you would notice). The bed chambers are equally well furnished. As expected the charges are above the average +25%. However, the beer is watered and the wine is cheap. The cheapest cuts of meat are used in the cooking and the beds are not as clean as they should be. Sindre rather overspent on outfitting and now needs to recoup costs.
Blåfjell (Blue Mountain) Off the main road, North of the bridge towards the mill, is a plain and ordinary inn. The exterior is clean and well maintained and this appears to be a drinking establishment used by the locals. There is nothing out of the ordinary to the casual observer. However, stake out the inn and you may find a small black market in exotic spices.
Hospice. A single L shaped building consists of two small rooms that serve as the study and sleeping quarters for Håvard Håvardsen, kitchen, herb preparation room, and one long ward for long-term patients.
Jørnsen Outfitters. Conviently situated opposite Laug av Handelsmenn is a two story building with two main doors and unusually large window spaces. In these windows are various examples of needlework and clothing, examples of which can be seen worn by the wealthier townsfolk. Very pretty women and a few gentlemen will attend to your every desire.
Wilderness house. A simple wooden structure sits to oneside of the main road. Several cloaked figures lounge outside if the weather is fair. Some will be mending equipment. A fire is always burning inside the main hall. Around the hall hammocks and bedrolls are spread out beside backpacks and equipment. Anyone seeking a guide will be advised to ask at this house.
Laug Milits house. A typical L shaped longhouse sits on the main route down into Elvenbeym. Outside sit two militia men dressed in rigid leather armour with spears propped against the wall and shields hanging from hooks above. Inside is a large communal sleeping room with a fire for cooking (there is always a stewpot on the go). A second pair of rooms that can only be entered through a separate locked external door are reserved for Einar and serve as his office and bedroom. Up to 10 militia men might be resident although a levy can be called in times of trouble.
. Laug av Vannmennen. Upon entering the town down the valley road this building is clearly the most important one in town. It is the largest, and ornately decorated with scenes of river life and tales of Rivermen of legends. Three large buildings appear to have been merged into one great complex, or perhaps the two smaller were later additions. Personal office space for all guildmembers takes one wing and the other is designed for visitors to come and negotiate contracts for cargo to be shipped or passage to be booked. As such the public must enter through the grand main entrance fully 8ft high into the atrium area, where then can glimpse at the great feast hall before being ushered into the public offices. The feast hall is a very grand affair with a high table on a dias and rows of tables with benches and the occasional well carved chair. Candelabras lit with oil lamps hang from the vaulted ceiling, which like the outside of the building is carved with fabulous friezes.
Laug av Handelsmenn. The other major building that is immediately noticeable on the way into town is the trader’s guild hall. Sitting like the thinner sister next to its fatter more opulent sibling it is still an impressive building. The main entrance leads onto the public offices where trade deals are done in a series of small booths. A tax is charged for striking a deal here, but payment is assured and to default would have disastrous consequences. Private offices are in a two story tower from which the wily traders can see the arriving caravans and boats. A smaller feast hall lies beyond the public trade hall. It is as fine as that in the Waterman’s hall, but on a smaller scale.
Mill. A modest mill sits upstream from the town. Imported grain is ground into bread for the inhabitants of the town.
Smugglers cove. Of course it is just called the bay. But look very closely and you might notice something amiss on the rocky shore. A small inlet leading into a cave allows the smugglers craft to unload unseen by the casual observer. There is a 5% chance of catching smugglers on any random day.
Secret exit from smugglers cove. A very well hidden exit allows the smugglers to distribute goods around town to various vendors or to traders who are to transport the goods from the town out into the wilderness of Numeriador.
Baker. You pass a small house with a brick chimney stack. The rich aroma of fresh bread hangs in the air.
Warehouse and boatyards. A mix of boat sheds close to the water and warehouse at the water’s edge and further back. Dark alleys abound and at night the area is devoid of people apart from the odd Laug Millits patrol.
Winter Camp ground Depending on the time of season this is either a quiet empty field used for common grazing or a loud an raucous encampment. It is why the Laug Milits barrack are on this level and not in town.
The falls A small series of cascades drop the Laughing Brook into the town. In winter this can often freeze and is used in ice climbing challenges by bored Rivermen.
Hidden entrance (-50 from the bank, -30 on the river)
Storeroom (locked -10, trapped -10 [per -10]) The room contains and oversized sack containing one bolt of blue silk and one bolt of red silk. Each bolt contains enough material for five cloaks and is worth 5 gp weighs 25lb. To the right is a steel door.
Storeroom (locked -30 trapped -20 [per -30]) Behind the door are two coffers. The small dark wood coffer contains 12 small packets of exotic incense. The coffer is worth 2 gp and each packet is worth 1 gp. The lid of the other small coffer is sealed with white wax. The coffer feels light if picked up as if it were empty. In reality, it contains ten sealed packets of exotic spices—each sealed with wax and stamped with a seal depicting a stylised sailboat. The whole is worth 15 gp.
Main storage and transit area. You step into a large cavern that goes round itself. Several passages lead off either up or down. It contains 20 large casks of cracked salt worth 1 gp each.
A large cage contains a beaten and starved baby Great Eagle destined to be the plaything of a noble obsessed with owning the most exotic mounts. Although caged and maltreated the Great Eagle is still a proud, violent predator. Characters getting too close to the cage could be in for a shock. The cage is locked (-10). Anyone with beast languages or animal mastery skills could attempt to talk to the beast and arrange its release.
Storage area A small cavern that contains several large barrels of middling to fair quality red wine. One of which contains a secret. Hidden within—in a waterproof sack—are three scrolls of Life keeping. The wine itself is worth 1 gp to a tavern or similar establishment
Special storage area. A stout wooden door prevents entry. It has no lock, but a large latch is protected by a piece of string. Inside the cavern a lidless chest holds six large clay jars packed with straw. Each of the jars holds peaches steeped in whisky. A current favourite among the local nobility, each jar is worth 20 gp. A wooden case contains six bottles of exquisite elven wine; each is worth 20 gp—even the bottles are delicate works of art
Normal storage This cave smells musty several sacks lie piled to one side. They contain a mix of fur pelts. Among the more common wolf, fix and rabbit pelts is a full Glutani and a thick, gorgeous winter wolf pelt. Each of these atypical pelts are worth 25 gp, while the others are worth a total of 25 gp
Slope up to hidden exit. The hidden exit is protected by a simple trip wire trap +30 spot +20 disarm. This sends a signal that the tunnel has been discovered to Thorsen and the smugglers.
Tariffs for river journeys to be added
Base value 1SP
Purchasing limit 10GP
Spell casting 5th
Following items for sale
+2 spell adder
+10 DB magic ring
+20 magic whip
Small town Lore
0 -50 Elvenbyen is a small port at the mouth of the Laughing Brook. It has a man-made harbour to shelter riverboats loading and unloading goods
50 – 120 Elvenbyen is a Guild town with a strict tariff structure enforced by the guild of watermen. The prices are high, but the service is guaranteed. Nominal taxes are paid by the Guild on behalf of members to Arthedain.
120 Passage up and down the river can be arranged discreetly by the right people with no questions asked.
Blonde haired and blue eyed, the Northman of Elvenbyen dress in muted tones; favouring leathers that are practical for both the cold and wet weather of Ered Luin. Working gear predominates, but one or two senior figures are marked by finer dress. A warm welcome is extended to all who are prepared to pay for the services they use. Like all ports, there are criminal elements who are less welcoming and visitors should take care when strolling around docks and unlit dark alleys.
Elves are viewed with suspicion and they will sign themselves in public against the evil enchantments.
Whispers and rumours
Make a diplomacy, investigation type check to discover rumours. Roll 1d10 for each success.
Smugglers are running cargoes of spices to the dwarven cities
In the Marsh just across the river, to north of Caras Celairnen lives a tribe of Marsh Goblins who smother themselves in mud to survive daylight
The watchtower in the marsh contains a great treasure but is guarded by magic
A group of elves have taken residence in the nearby forest and are enchanting innocent men
The Alabaster queen of Caras Celairnen has a frog for a husband
Håvard Ivarsen sabotaged the Rolfson boats leading both to sink *
House of ill repute rumour
Hoegwar campaign links as a transit point. You may wish to use this as a way of providing information of characters. If pursuing key characters then they will have left on a charter down river. Unwanted PCs from Road less travelled could be the cause of disappearances in the nearby woods.
Marsh adventure Although the Frog Idol marsh trawl should be left there is still scope for the adventurers being paid for collecting herbs or other items from the marsh.
Marsh tower The tower could provide a natural dungeon trawl developed to suit the experience and skills of the party.
Forest of fear Who will investigate the mysterious disappearance of travellers in the nearby woods. What is the cause? Are elves bewitching travellers or is something more sinister going on?
Guild quest. Bounty hunters wanted. Expedition guards for a trip to Forochel required. Investigations into the smugglers are needed by those unconnected to the town.