The Adventures of FATVOE
Location: At the very west end of the Elsir Vale, past the Westdeep Woods on the eastern slopes of the Stonehome Mountains.
Details: Overlook was founded and built by dwarves after they threw off the shackles of slavery and chased the giants and orcs west across the Stonehome mountains. While doughty dwarf warriors hold the Watch, the city is far more cosmopolitan and includes peoples of nearly every race and culture known in this corner of the world. Dwarves are still the dominate group, but humans and half lings make up a close second, followed by dragonborn, tief lings, and a smattering of eladrin and elves, and an assortment of other, less familiar, races. Overlook is largely a trading center, and people on both sides of the mountain come to the city to exchange goods, rumors, and information. The city’s numerous markets and bustling streets makes it the ideal place to do business, thus characters in search of a particular tool or device are more likely to find it here than anywhere for miles around. The Council of Elders, a group of five male and female dwarves, governs Overlook. More details on Overlook can be found here.
Appearance: The dwarves erected steep walls to protect themselves, but as the city outgrew its original protections, the inhabitants raised more walls to encircle the growing population. So far, this has happened four times, giving the city four sets of walls, one inside of the other. The shantytown, the unofficial ninth district, grows beyond the eastern walls and it’s just a matter of time before the Council decides to raise another wall and add those squatters to the rest of the city. The outer walls are 100 feet tall, taller where they travel over higher elevation. Each inner wall stands another 20 feet tall. Overlook has nine districts (eight official), each distinguished by the types of its people there as well as the industry one finds there: Blister, Boneyard, Elftown, Forgeworks, High Hall, Nine Bells, Stonehammer, Tradetown, Shantytown (unofficial).
(Small Fortified Town of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos)
Who Rules: Lady Arteris Penhaligon (NG hf F9), who has ruled ably since her father’s death in AC 996.
Who Really Rules: Duke Stefan Karameikos, to whom Lady Penhaligon has sworn fealty.
Population: Penhaligon is a small town boasting approximately 4,000 in permanent residence. As this town is a waystation on the Selenica-Kelvin-Specularum trading run, the population swells to about 6,500 at the height of summer trading season.
Major Products: Trade, furs, cloth (wool), coal (mined in the Wulfwolde Hills).
Armed Forces: Penhaligon is quite heavily garrisoned for its size (500 F1s in chainmail and shield, with longswords and clubs). Patrols of 14 walk the streets at all hours led by an F3 sergeant. Commanding the watch is Captain Arielle Tanill (NG hf F7).
Local Laws: None in addition to the Duke’s Law.
Selina (LN hf W(Invoker)11); Selina is a competent, confident wizardess who hires herself out to those who “need a little more firepower”. Her fees are just on the shy side of exorbitant, but she boasts that she is worth every gold piece.
Magnus Nelaine (CG hm W(Enchanter)13); a just-retired adventurer in his own right, Magnus makes his living by hiring himself out as a tutor and enchanting items.
Meranan Ravensmane (CG em W13); Meranan has recently moved here from Alfheim Town, and has quite an extensive library on a wide variety of topics and subjects. He does go off on adventures from time to time.
The Healer’s Hall, temple to Mirrah; Master Healer Jenna Allinn (LG hf P11); 16 priests, 32 followers.
Shrines to: Beliaar, Heimdall, Koryis (seeking to become a church), Asterius (also seeking to become a church), Petra.
Notable Rogues’ and Thieves Guilds: Aside from several independent rogues, several Iron Ring cells and bands of brigands of varying size operating in the surrounding hills, there are none known.
Equipment Shops: Full, partial in winter.
Adventurers’ Quarters: There are a few boarding houses in Penhaligon, but most adventurers are directed to these inns;
The Merchant’s Rest (good/expensive); Mostly merchants passing through town frequent this place, but adventurers who can afford their prices are welcome.
The Strongbow Inn (fair/cheap);
The Shadow Dragon (fair/moderate); This establishment is very popular with adventurers, and most of them passing through town gather here to eat, drink, rest, brawl, and hire themselves out.
The Angry Giant (excellent/moderate); This establishment is by far the best bargain out of those in town, but it is almost always booked solid.
Sharrlaya Dancingblade (CG hf B6 [Blade kit]); Adventuress and local hero, when she is not on the road, she can be found in any one of the local establishments playing music, performing, singing, or telling tales of her journeys and exploits.
Keio Ohara (CG hegenyokai m F6 [Bushi Kit]); Lover and companion of Sharrlaya, wherever she goes he will be close by.
Important Features in Town: Penhaligon is a small yet rambling affair, with wide, paved earthen streets to accommodate the many trade caravans passing through. Most of the people are cordial to strangers, since so many of them pass through their town each year. It also has stout stone walls to keep those who would destroy it on the outside. Penhaligon and her sister town Stallanford act as waystations for traders and merchants on the Selenica-Kelvin-Specularum trade run, so business thrives for most of the year for both towns. Penhaligon does suffer its share of orc and gnoll raids, but is in no danger of falling.
Mistress Alicia’s House of Pleasure: A bathing house, massage parlour and festhall, the House of Pleasure sports a reputation throughout Karameikos and points beyond. Mistress Alicia (CG hf P8 of Valerias) runs her establishment smoothly and efficiently, with indulgences for almost every taste. It is even rumoured that Lady Arteris Penhaligon herself frequents the place, although it would be secretly done if she did.
Local Lore: Lady Penhaligon has been told of several incursions against trade caravans by the Iron Ring and independent bands of brigands. She wishes to hire out adventuring parties to put these vicious louts in their place.
To the northeast of Penhaligon is Castellan Keep and the small town of Castellan. The town is almost constantly plagued by humanoids operating out of caves to the east, and the Keep cannot spare the soldiers needed to put them down, so the Captain of the Guard is looking for adventurers to take care of the problem (Module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands, or Return to the Keep on the Borderlands).
Overlook has eight districts, each distinguished by the types of its people there as well as the industry one finds there.
A) Blister –
The Blister is a rough-and-tumble section of the city, populated by mercenaries, adventurers, and the usual sort of traveling folk with few roots. Characterized by a great number of winesinks, taverns, pleasure dens, gambling halls, and bordellos, Blister is not a place to get lost.
B) Boneyard –
Occupying the southeast corner of Overlook, Boneyard has every distasteful business and venture, including everything from the city’s slaughterhouses, renderers, tanners, dyers, and even the city’s graveyards.
C) Elftown –
Elftown covers the northwestern corner of the inner city and takes its name from the one elf to live there some seventy years ago. The community consists of upscale and well-off entrepreneurs, merchants, bankers, lawyers, physicians, and other members of Overlook’s upper crust, and many folk elsewhere want to inhabit a small house on the edge of this fine quarter.
D) Forgeworks –
The Forgeworks, or just the Forge, is a middle-class district given over to successful artisans, tradesfolk, and other men and women who work hard and are successful in their professions. More than half of the buildings here are workshops with apartments overhead. Warehouses, businesses, stables, and other places of industry round out the rest. The Forgeworks stands in the Middle City, south of Tradetown.
E) High Hall –
High Hall, or the Old City, is where the city leaders convene to govern Overlook. Few folk still live in High Hall since nearly every inch of available space is given over to the various ministries making up the city’s government. Thus, aside from a few extremely wealthy folks, most people funnel out of High Hall at the end of the day to head home to Elftown, Stonehammer, or elsewhere.
F) Nine Bells –
Nine Bells district takes its name for the nine temples found in the heart of the district. Since these temples cater to the sick and the poor, this district draws the hungry, the diseased, and the destitute to its streets. Before the walls were raised here, Nine Bells was a place of great wealth—a community favored by those rich citizens who wanted to escape the clamor of the city. However, after it was annexed along with Blister and the Boneyard, the estates were abandoned and the folks fled to Stonehammer or Elftown to escape the flood of destitute people that washed into the place. Now, Nine Bells is the worst part of the city and is ever a source of embarrassment for the city’s elite.
H) Stonehammer –
Stonehammer occupies the southern half of the inner city, and it wraps around High Hall up to the Dwarfroad. Like Elftown, Stonehammer is home to the wealthy citizens of Overlook, specifically the dwarves. Since this district is cleaner, safer, and more exclusive than other parts of the city, great deal of resentment exists toward the folks of Stonehammer from those of lower means and status.
I) Tradetown –
Tradetown is a melting pot of all races, cultures, and occupations. In many ways, Tradetown is a lot like the Blister, but it has been established for longer and it has a mix of fabulous wealth and appalling poverty. Tradetown, as one might expect, is a commercial and retail district, where merchants, tradesfolk, and prospectors come to do business. Most middle-tier business-inclined people have homes here and gather in coffee houses, upscale bars, and bathhouses to do business. In stark contrast to the bustling commerce, Tradetown is also home to a powerful thieving guild named the Lost Ones. A clandestine organization, they have agreements with nearly all the major enterprises here, offering protection (or rather exemption) from thievery and the promise to leave their customers alone.
G) Shantytown –
Not a true district, Shantytown clings to the back of the city like festering boil. Shantytown is a wretched maze of tents, shacks, and rotting wooden buildings, and it is home to the poorest and most desperate of people that have nowhere else to go. Most of Shantytown’s people are refugees from other lands, victims of tragedy and circumstance, or exiles who keep a low profile so they can go about their wicked business without attracting attention. Thus, Shantytown’s people are beggars, destitute farmers, maimed adventurers, undead, necromancers, cultists, and worse, all thrown together in one of the most desperate spots in the region.
The districts are broadly described so you can stock them with shops, temples, and inns as you need, but a few locations warrant mentioning. Each entry corresponds with a location shown on the Overlook map.
1. Dwarfroad –
The old Dwarfroad emerges from the Rethild and climbs the slopes of the Stonehome or East Wall Mountains, moving through Overlook and ascending up to Bordrin’s Watch and down the other side into the badlands beyond. The old road is far older than Overlook, having been paved during the Age of Chains by dwarf slaves for their giant masters.
2. The Gray Redoubt of Rufus Crumley –
The so-called “gray redoubt” is a leaning tower of gray and black stone that has the dubious distinction of being the tallest structure in Shantytown. Speculated as being as old as the city, the tower has had many owners over the centuries, but is currently the home to one Rufus Crumley.
3. Clean Sheets –
A sagging, rotting building leaning out over the old Dwarfroad, this inn hasn’t had clean sheets since it first opened for business a decade ago.
4. Mountain’s Hearth –
Just inside the east gates and facing the old Dwarfroad is a three-story inn named the Mountain’s Hearth. Famed for its clean and neat accommodations, fine meals, and pleasant staff, the Hearth is one of the more popular stops in Overlook. The dwarf matron Reggen runs the place like clockwork, and her persistence and dedication has paid off.
5. Pig and Bucket –
One of the Blister’s most famous dives, the Pig and Bucket is a one-story tavern squashed between two boarding houses of ill-repute. Kyle Rester, ex-adventurer, his bright red hair has gone to gray and his freckled face is creased and wrinkled with age, but he’s competent and still knows his way around a sword. An infamous tavern, well known for its beer hall, its wide selection of cheap drinks, and the great many criminals, mercenaries, and adventurers who frequent the place looking for work.
6. Dungeoneer’s Survival Emporium –
A narrow building, but deep, the Dungeoneer’s Survival Emporium is an adventuring gear store specializing in common goods such as rope, packs, tents, and bedrolls—all available for reasonable prices. Run by Myra Edgerton, a half-elf of prodigious size. (Edgar of the Farstriders hinted that PC’s should flirt with Myra to get special goods and prices)
7. Tombs –
Adventurers don’t have much reason to explore the Boneyard unless they’re in need of leathers, dyes, or a funeral service.
8. Dergan’s XXX Brewery –
Dergan’s XXX Brewery is home of Dergan’s XXX Stout, a full-bodied black lager brewed using a recipe passed down through a dozen generations of dwarf brewmasters. The current brewer is a dwarf by the name of Forsworth Clangman, and he takes pride in continuing his family’s tradition.
9. Stonehome Treasures –
Mikal Rensfield runs Stonehome Treasures, an unassuming shop specializing in selling goods produced in and around Overlook, especially munitions.
10. Belden’s Rest –
An adorable elderly couple runs Belden’s Rest. Rory Teng, human, and his wife Ruth, half-elf, have operated the inn since it was first built, and the inn has a reputation for its comfortable rooms, excellent food, and courteous staff. Prices are reasonable and the owners find new ways to surprise and please their guests during their stay.
11. The Salty Mug –
This tavern nestles between the steep cliff that runs through the Tradetown and the middle wall, so the sun shines upon the building only in the middle of the day. The rest of time, shadows cloak the place, providing a fitting atmosphere for a haven of thieves and scum. Founded a dozen years ago by an ex-pirate named Kyne, the Salty Mug immediately attracted the worst sort of clientele.
12. Merty’s –
Merty’s sells a variety of gear and equipment, all for 150% above the normal prices. What the place lacks in good deals, it more than makes up for in variety, making this shop an excellent choice for adventurers looking to track down ingredients, magic items, and other hard-to-find gear. A halfling named Riley Swifttoe owns the place and keeps a gnome artificer on hand to put together custom goods. They sell alchemical goods as well.
13. Shrine of Gond –
In the heart of Tradetown stands a small shrine dedicated to Gond. A gentle old woman named Haelyn attends the shrine and accepts tithes from penitents and those seeking the deity’s blessings. Haelyn might know a few rituals to remove afflictions, but she is not, in fact, a cleric.
14. Coxcomb Spirits –
More restaurant than tavern, Coxcomb Spirits offers a fine selection of wines, beers, ales, and liquors to accompany the artful meals prepared by Chef Drebben. The Spirits caters mostly to the city’s elite, and a nonpolitician might wait for months for reservations.
15. Stone Anvil –
Easily one of the largest buildings in Overlook, Stone Anvil is a grand cathedral dedicated to Moradin. The current high priest is Durkik Forgeheart, and he has served three decades.
16. House of Sleep –
The House of Sleep specializes in exemplary service and keeps out unwanted guests with its exorbitant prices. Kalaban Whisperwind, an Eladrin expatriate, owns the House of Sleep and dotes on his guests.
17. The Turned Spoon –
The Turned Spoon is a quaint restaurant on the southern edge of Elftown. Founded by a cadre of halfling chefs from the riverlands to the south, they offer a large menu and a dizzying array of spirits.
18. The Consortium –
Forty years ago, a group of merchants set aside their differences and combined their businesses to found this Consortium. Of note are the Apothecary, the Magical Emporium, Stables, and Tattoo Parlor.
19. Polliver’s –
Polliver’s is a small inn and club used by visiting officials and for local officials in need of clandestine meetings. 20. Michael’s Blond
Michael’s Blond is a down-to-earth tavern that specializes in serving the working class, offering honest fare, good brew, and a comfortable environment all for a modest fee.
21. Caer Overlook (Government) –
Caer Overlook provides quarters for the elders as well as smaller apartments for the districts’ representatives and their families. The Council of Elders is the ruling body.
22. Ministry of War –
The Ministry of War produces both soldiers and watchmembers, and their training regimens are nearly identical. The Ministry accepts most candidates provided they are fit and able, but it allocates recruits to the city watch or garrison.
23. Cadrick’s Boarding House
Cadrick’s Boarding House welcomes any and all inside its mildewed walls, offering dirt cheap rates that even include a loaf of bread (with crunchies!) and a pail of murky water. Wendell the Sott owns the Boarding House and is not sure who Cadrick was, though he’ll tell you he did at one time if he can be sobered up long enough to reply.
24. Divine Knot –
The Divine Knot is the name given to the nine temples filling out the northwest corner of the Nine Bells district. Each temple is a grand house of worship designed to honor the gods, but is marred by the squalor and filth contaminating this district. For years, the priests worked to clean up their environs but frequent failures have chipped away at their resolve, leading a few of the temples to close their doors (specifically Oghma, Moradin, and Amaunator). The rest—Waukeen, Bahamut, Gond, Tempus, Kelemvor, and, oddly, Shar—remain, but with small clergies and smaller congregations.
25. Pickled Imp –
The Pickled Imp is an infamous tavern located just inside the Nine Bells. Taking its name from the large jar containing a dead imp suspended in brown fluid sitting proudly on the old wooden bar, the Pickled Imp is no place for the meek.
Happy Beggar –
The Happy Beggar is a nondescript poorhouse run by a husband and wife team of retired paladins. The Beggar has a reputation for piety among the locals and serves the neediest transients of Tradetown. It is sandwiched between a warehouse block and a section of rundown tenements. Prashant and his wife, Ausma, run the Happy Beggar on the proceeds of their former life as adventurers. The poor know that they can find a warm meal and a roof over their head if they’re willing to pray with the owners and offer service to help out. the paladins keep their place clean and comfortable.