Monday, January 13, 2014

A Visual Guide to Duirndown

1. The Thane's Keep - Home to Lothorn, hereditary thane of Duirndown. The town of Duirndown was a bustling trade center during Lothorn's grandfather's day. Today, much of the keep is abandoned, like the town itself. Lothorn's wife died several years ago, leaving the three children in the care of the nanny, Elichu. 

2. The Dwarf Bridge. The dwarfs of Durinhold built this dam and bridge several hundred years ago. The dam stores water for the mill (12) and the bridge provides access to the  entrance to Duirnhold (3).

3. The Entrance to Duirnhold. Gas-powered flames once burned night and day at the grand entrance to the under-city of Duirnhold. Today the flames are extinguished and the gates are magically sealed. The under-city fell to a massive catastrophe over fifty years ago. The mine boss declared the city off-limits and ordered the quarantine. 

4. The Amber Lake. The lake is forty feet deep and is home to a fish-like lizard called icthys. 

5. Temple of Tzann, the Sun Father, now abandoned.

6. Temple of Thumina, goddess of the moon, now abandoned.

7. Temple of Ordain Stoneshield the Mountain Lord, occupied by a few dwarfish acolytes.

8. The Waterfront. These ostentatious homes and walled compounds were once occupied by wealthy merchants, their families, and households. Many were abandoned over the last fifty years as dwarfish trade disappeared. Many commoners and craftsmen moved into the large drafty buildings before moving back into smaller cozier structures, leaving the edifices to slowly crumble and succumb to broken glass, weeds, and small trees. A few of the merchants still occupy their decaying mansions, shut away from the outside world and slowly going mad.

9. The Inn District. This row of inns, hostels, and bath houses were once busy with traders and travelers. Today, only one public house is still in operation. Most of the other buildings are occupied by the farmers' families.

10. The Stables. Dwarfish craftsmanship constructed underground animal stables built into the side of the hill. The stables are hundreds of years old are are rumored to connect to secret dwarfish tunnels underneath the town.

11. Terraced Fields. The Dwarfs terraced the side of the hill in order to create stepped fields for the humans to grow grains, corn, and potatoes. 

12. The Water Wheel. Water from the dam powers the wheel and in turn drives the mill. 

13. Artisan District. This area once housed skilled artisans and craftsmen and their shops. Carpenters, wainwrights, tailors, dyers, leatherworkers, and coopers once did their business here and lived in the upper floors. Stonemasons, armorers, and blacksmiths found it difficult to compete with the fine work of the dwarfs of Duirnhold. Only a handful of craftsmen remain. The abandoned structures are slowly crumbling.

14. The Oak Tree. This ancient oak tree was planted at the founding of the town over nine hundred years ago. The tree is massive and was once used to execute criminals.

16. The New Fields. This area was once the location of the hovels of the farmers, ditch-diggers, and menial laborers of Duirndown. After the exodus of the wealthy forty to fifty years ago, the poor that remained left their ramshackle homes and moved into the nicer abandoned structures. Eventually, the hovels were torn down and the open lots were turned into additional farming acreage. 

17. The Watchtower. This lone tower stands upon the pinnacle of a nearby hill. From this vantage, one may see the Standing Stones to the north, the Fortress of the Exile to the east-southeast, and the small tower in the village of Choke reaching above the trees to the east-northeast.

18. The Notice Board. This small board in the center of the town square is used to post bills and notices.

19. The Potter's Den. This tall structure, half-built into the side of the hill, was once home to a guild of dwarfish potters, clay workers, and sculptors. Such crafts were seen as unbecoming of a dwarf and were frowned upon in Duirnhold. The inhabitants of the potter's den were considered outcasts from the under-city, and were objects of derision. A few of their descendants remain.

20. The Stone Path. A zig-zagging path lined with paving stones leads down the embankment to the river below the dam. Another path leads up the far side.