The Heroes of Westfall
The city of Westfall, also called the City of Bridges, sits on the west coast of the island-continent Avalona at the mouth of the Logrun River. It is the center for trade and commerce on the west coast and is home to a wide variety of men and women of all walks of life.
The government of Westfall is run by the City Council, made up of seven members (one from each of the Coven Arcanum, the Foresters, the Allied Church, the Watch of Westfall, two elected members of the noble class, and a representative from the Trade Guild). The Council is in charge of making all major community decisions, including building projects, taxes and tariffs, holiday celebrations, etc.
The current members of the council are as follows:
Coven Arcanum: Myra Blackbottle, Female Halfling
Foresters: Birian Iliador, Male Elf
Allied Church: Toldin Coldiron, Male Dwarf priest of Bahamut
Watch of Westfall: Hashsaik, Male Dragonborn
Noble Officer: Amerdan Wytherthorn, Male Half-elf
Noble Officer: Sera Rothchilde, Female Human
Trade Guild Representative: Ano Terrick, Male Human
Westfall is very unique geographically. The city itself is built around a near perfectly circular harbor. The harbor is almost exactly a mile in diameter. The city is built on a large gradient, so the elevation on one side is sea-level and the land quickly rises at about a twenty degree angle. At the very tip of the ridge is a waterfall – the end of the mighty Logrun River – which is where the city gets its name.
Sitting in the very center of the harbor stands a large, featureless statue. It holds a large sword and stands, back to the city, guarding the denizens of Westfall from intruders coming from the sea. The statue has been there as long as anyone can remember, and legend says the city was actually built around the statue, instead of the statue being built inside the city. No one knows for sure.
As the Logrun River flows through the city it is crossed by a series of fifteen highly stylized bridges. Each bridge was designed and built my members of each of the races that made up the kingdom of Nerath. Crossing just over the crest of the waterfall is the bridge designed by the humans. On the very edge of the city is the gnome bridge, which is (intentionally) ironically the largest and gaudiest of the bridges. These bridges were once a major attraction to the city for visitors, but since the kingdom has fallen they have also largely fallen out of repair, and the farther one gets from the center of the city, the worse the bridges are kept.
Spreading out from the harbor, and connected to the bridges, is a series of concentric roads circling the city. There are four major roads, each a mile apart, with four smaller roads between each one. The major roads happen to connect to the human, dwarf, half-elf, and shifter bridges.
About a month’s journey from the city, at the source of the Logrun River are the Blue Mountains (named for the coloration they reflect in the sunlight). The mountains are the main settling place for some of the more dangerous races in the world (orcs, goblins, etc.) as well as no more than two dragons who are constantly bickering over territory. Though they mostly stay away from the city, occasionally some will find their ways down the river and stir up a bit of trouble for the city guard. Some have even come down and made their way into the city’s good graces, becoming citizens in their own right.
Halfway between the mountains and the city is a large forest. There are a few human settlements close to this forest (which is where the logs the river was named for come from), but mostly it is a dangerous place filled with many strange creatures. Some say this forest used to come all the way to the coast, and that centuries ago the founders of Nerath cut them back to build the city, but this rumor remains unsubstantiated.
Watch of Westfall
The Watch is the official military organization of the city. It numbers about 300 people of different ages and abilities. They stand constant guard around the city’s perimeter, protecting all within from outside threat. The Watch is currently lead by Hashsaik, the father of Bharhash (a member of the Guardian Brotherhood). Members of the Watch are expected to hold themselves to a high standard, as they consider themselves the reason Westfall was able to survive the War in as good of shape as it did.
The Allied Church was formed shortly after the War started as a way to unite warriors and priests under each of the deities together. This, theoretically, was designed to make the work of the churches and the healers during the war more efficient, and it actually worked so well that they have never reverted back to their original ways. The AC is led currently by a Dwarven priest of Bahamut named Toldin Coldiron. He is old, but well respected for his past as an adventurer, though his term is almost up.
If it is the Watch’s duty to patrol inside the city and keep its people safe, it is the Foresters’ job to patrol outside the city and keep its borderlands and farmlands safe. They have existed as long as the city, keeping wandering monsters and gnolls at bay, and providing the city with escorts for any traveling merchants or caravans. The Foresters are led by a middle-aged elf named Birian Iliador. He is relatively unknown to most people in the city, as he keeps to himself, but rumor says he can change into the shape of a large bear.
The Coven Arcanum
The Coven Arcanum is made up of a group of thirteen mysterious people, rumored to be magicians, but this is yet to be substantiated by anyone reputable. The current head of the group is unknown to the general populace, but to anyone with connections to the City Council (or the Coven itself), the name Myra Blackbottle would be known.
The Trade Guild
Not the only guild in town, but certainly the most important. The city of Westfall prides itself as a safe haven for sailors and with that comes business. The trade guild employs steavedors, carpenters, clerks and all of the other necessary employees to keep the harbor running as it should. It also is in charge of tracking what comes in and goes out of the town and tries its best to crack down on illegal smuggling. The guild is run by a cunning man named Ano Terrick.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Because of the gradiant that Westfall is built on, part of the city sits sustantially higher in elevation than the rest of it. That district is called the Upper Block, and it is home to most of the wealthier denizens of Westfall and the businesses they like to patronize. The buildings in the Upper Block are fancier and better built, and while it is still not rare to find beggars and thieves in the Upper Block, they are better hidden from the plain view of travellers.
Important locations in the Upper Block include the Mended Drum (a high-scale tavern and restaurant), the Headquarters for the Watch of Westfall, the temple of the Allied Church, the Library of Ioun, the University of Westfall, and the Rookewilde Estate (now abandoned out of respect for the ancient family, none of whom survive any longer). There is also a sizeable cemetery built in the Upper Block, which is also the location for the temple of the Raven Queen.
The counterpart of the Upper Block, the Lower Block is home to a lower-class of people and businesses. But, as tends to happen, the Lower Block is also home to many more people in tighter quarters. It is considerably more dangerous, as criminals and scoundrels can operate more freely, but there is also a kind of honor system, that many of the natives of Westfall try to uphold.
Important locations in the Lower Block include Sid’s Salty Seaman, the docks, The Fracture, and hundreds of run-down tenements that are home to most of the residents of this part of the city.
Located near the Lower Block, the docks are home to hundreds of ships. From all the surrounding islands, these ships contain anything a citizen in Westfall could ever want – for a price. Spices, fabrics, dyes, and other exotic things constantly make their way into the city.
The docks are basically run by the Trade Guild, and the city council mostly leaves it up to Ano Terrick to make sure things run smoothly down there. This leads most citizens to believe that Terrick is up to something shady, and the truth is really somewhere in the middle. He definitely doesn’t have everything above the table in his dealings, but he generally is looking out for the good of the city as well.
Standing guard in the middle of the harbor, this featureless statue is striking when first seen. It is enormous, and a general wonder that anyone could build something so huge and fantastic in the middle of a harbor as deep as Westfall’s is. Added to that, and no one even knows anything about the construction of the statue. Some say it was there and the city was built around it. Some say the gods left it as a way to protect the city. Some say below it lies the tomb of some ancient ruler. It’s secrets may never be fully explained.
Spanning the Logrun river, right at the top of the waterfall in Westfall, the Human bridge is one of the most remarkable of the bridges in the city. Not as gaudy as the gnome bridge, and not as well constructed as the dwarf bridge, the Human bridge mostly stakes its claim because of it’s unique location. Added to that is the magical field surrounding it that prevents anyone from jumping off the bridge into the harbor far below.
The human bridge is a study in construction minimalism, but its design is classic and easy to maintain. It is the final destination for any parades through the streets of the city, and it is said to be impossible to take apart by force.
During the Defense of Westfall, when the Guardian Brotherhood finally faced off against Ulth and his minions in the execution square, they also found themselves face to face with Ulth’s master – the Devourer. The Devourer made his appearance by ripping a hole in the city streets near the square and rising up from whatever was underneath there. This spot, still ripped apart, is now called the Fracture by the people of the city, and there are plans to find a way to honor the Guardian Brotherhood for their service in the city’s defense, but these plans keep getting put on hold due to reconstruction of the city.
The Library of Ioun
Said to be the largest library on Avalona, this library (dedicated to Ioun) holds hundreds of thousands of books on all subjects imaginable. This is the first place any scholar would go for their research and people from surrounding islands often make pilgrimmages of sorts to the library to seek council in the words of the sages of the past.
A center of learning, the University of Westfall has stood for hundreds of years, educating those who can afford it’s high tuition fees. Students can study a broad range of subjects, like magic, music, history, astrology, mythology, or tactics.