The City of Hawkstone
Hawkstone is an independent city set at the southernmost edge of the Lake of Wyrms, where it drains into the Dragonwater River. It lies within a few miles of the Gleaming Forest. It serves as a crossroads of sorts, trading with the elf and eladrin settlements within the nearby forest, with the dwarves from the nearby hills and the Lakesrim Mountains, with Mythas, the town across the lake far to the north, with the barbarian tribes from the Howling Plains and the Beast Plains further beyond, and even with the occasional intrepid merchant from Atria, traveling up the Dragonwater River.
Aside from foreign trade, Hawkstone supports itself with a combination of both fishing, forestry, and hunting. A few farmers and ranchers work the arable land close to the city, but provide very little export. The city has recently gained fame as a number of local breweries have begun exporting their most fantastic beers and ales. Lumber harvested from the nearby forest almost always goes directly into supplying the city’s building, repair, and service needs. Surprisingly, very little is exported, in an attempt to minimize the impact to the forest.
At any given time, the city holds around 8,000 inhabitants, that number swelling up over 10,000 during the height of the trade season. Around 80% of the population is human, with half-elves, eladrin, and elves making up about 5% each. Of the remaining 5%, most are dwarfs, either craftsmen or trade envoys from the mountains. Some halflings ply the trade routes, mainly focusing on the waterborn routes around the lake or down the river. A few dragonborn make their living here, mostly as mercenaries, bodyguards, caravan escorts, or city guardsmen. Tieflings are rare and mistrusted here, and few of them walk openly.
The city is ruled by Lord Talamius Hawkstone, hereditary leader of the city and the nearby lands. He is a wise, just man who genuinely cares for the people under his rule. His will is enforced by the Stone Hawks, the local city guardsmen. They are so named because of the grey hawk on the city seal, which they wear proudly displayed on their tabards. They are assisted by an elite group of scouts and rangers, known as the Greenfeather Company. In the event of an emergency, the Stone Hawks and the Greenfeather Company act as Hawkstone’s standing army, with the ability to muster nearly 1,000 additional militia members. They maintain a small number of boats for patrols, but have encounted very little agression on the waters.
The Hall of the Dawnlord is the temple to Pelor. This large church is filled with graceful arches and delicate stained glass windows, which become absolutely breathtaking when engulfed in full sunlight. The congregation is led by High Priest Halvers Sunstar. An order of paladins, The Order of the Bright Sword, worship Pelor and assist the temple as needed. Durgrim Ironedge is a dwarf cleric of Pelor who most frequently interacts with adventuring companies or mercenaries, tasking them to aid in missions that the temple deems important but beyond their usual area of influence.
The Temple of the Bold is the church of Avandra. The largest church in the city, the Temple of the Bold is ornately decorated with intricate carvings and gold embellishments. The Lady’s Hand Adrienne Enual leads the Avandrans in worship. Sir Deakon Teluamar heads the Bold Templars, the order of paladins associated with Avandra.
The Warrior’s Welcome is a rowdy inn and tavern known for its free-swinging brawls and tall tales of adventure and treasure.
The Sign of the Dancing Bear is a clean and well-tended tavern.
The Wandering Wyvern is an inn and tavern that is a favorite with merchants and visiting dignitaries that don’t warrent a stay in Hawkstone Castle. It is grand and sumptuous.
The Magistus Arcantheum is an arcane college on the edge of town. Despite the pretentious-sounding name, it is a small, relatively new school less than ten years old. While lacking the facilities and prestige of older, larger arcane colleges found in bigger cities, it is both easily accessible and the only option for most aspiring spell-wielders. Its small laboratory and modest library is nonetheless a draw for any nearby practitioners of the arcane arts.
The Firebrand Merchant Guild is a group of mostly local merchants who have banded together and control most of the trade along the Dragonwater River, between Hawkstone and Atria. They are based out of Firebrand Manor, a fortified mansion on the outskirts of town.
Annazar’s Tower is the home of the eccentric wizard Annazar. He is very mysterious and reclusive, often disappearing for weeks as he travels to investigate this or that ancient ruin. This distinctive tower is made of red stone and stands near the southwestern edge of town.
The Guilded Dagger Gambling Hall is a shady gambling hall run by Tremul Gur, a half-orc who was formerly a mercenary fighter. The Guilded Dagger is rumored to also be the place to go if you’re looking to acquire or relieve yourself of any stolen goods.
The Rising Sun is an outfitter and clothing store run by the merchant Garen, that specializes in items of exquisite quality and craftsmenship, and often magical properties.
Kel is the name of a mysterious figure who runs a network of spies and informants that operate throughout the region. He specialized in information only, making it clear he does not run a thieves or assassins guild. He can be difficult to find, as he is a master of stealth and disguise. Even those who work for him cannot be sure of his appearance. His services do not come cheap, but the results are usually worth it.
Cassi is a local street-rat who is in the service to The Witch of the Wilds. Previously a rogue for hire, she was involved in a failed attempt to assassinate Alena and her companions. When the The Witch of the Wilds spared Cassi, the grateful rogue offered to help the The Witch however she could. Now trying to resume her life, Cassi now keeps an ear out for any threat or news that could be of interest to her mistress.
- A tiefling assassin (since killed) had been lurking in the sewers. He made his lair in the sealed-off rear of an old Firebrand Merchant Guild warehouse. Was there a connection, or just coincidence?
- A stone golem, presumably a construct from ancient Dalar, has taken up a silent vigil outside of town, along the Hawksroad. It has made no hostile action and stands motionless, only turning to watch those who approach too closely. When questioned, it only responds, “I wait for those who will come, when the time is right.”
- The Witch of the Wilds and her companions have returned from an adventure, missing several party members. The two missing members were prominent worshippers of Pelor. Rumor is that they were stalked and killed by a powerful demon who grew tired of their interference. While many still admire them for their aid they’ve repeatedly given to the city, a growing minority view them as bad luck and seek to avoid them, in hopes to dodge whatever evil may still hunt them.
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