Am-Xitha, Parts I & II

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Town of Thereen Guide

by T.A. Saunders, S. Robles, D. Etherington, K. Johnson and B. Kellestine ©2016

Overview

The town of Thereen is one of the younger towns in the nation, having been founded in 1319 AC, during the early part of the reign of King-Priest Harkanan Estaran and under the direction of Lord Conroy Urstadt. The result of the newfound independence from the Khavosian vampires that reigned over the land for thousands of years, Thereen was part of many farming communities that sprouted up in hopes to rebuild the nation under human rule and past all the oppression that had been theirs for so long. So with the nation divided up by lords, all answerable to the thought God-chosen King-Priest, the small community of Thereen was built with the hopes of one day being port city to the west, including trade with the Plainsfolk and the long lost brothers of Palanthia. 

While Thereen never really blossomed into the economic powerhouse the King-Priest had hoped, it managed to do fairly well for itself as a small fishing and farming community so long as the weather wasn't too harsh. People who moved to Thereen sought peace and quiet from the bustle of Sengaard and the plotting and counter-plotting the capital was suffering from, and were glad to keep things less than modernized. This happy balance came to an end in 1352 AC, when the Three-Way War erupted, at the same time the Benefactor's War on Imarel was in full swing. 

With Darius Tucker ultimately forming a true nation on the shores of Sengaard as he guided his loyal across the Exodus Straits with King-Priest Evran Estaran still hungering for a fight with his former general, Thereen suffered along with the other small communities across the nation. Depleted of their resources to fight that war, then the A'thrachian War later in 1361 AC, Thereen has seen better days. With the end of all the conflict and a new government directly ruled by the Barons of Sengaard, the once thriving town is hoping to recover and perhaps realize its true destiny as a port city. 

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Town Guide

Hope Company Hall: Serving as a quaint farmhouse prior to the A'thrachian War, when its inhabitants disappeared under mysterious and no doubt fateful conditions the ghost of a home came to be used during Thereen's revolt against the Royal Army as a center for orchestrating the rebel's offenses while its barn and loft became something of a warehouse and space for triage.

With the conflict's conclusion, its original purpose was thankfully lost and it slid instead toward assisting those who lost family and livelihood during the war as something of a community center. Coming to be called Hope Company Hall, the group's branch office is present here and headed by Captain Daelidan; while sparsely furnished beyond its lobby and meeting room, features a splendid portrait allowing access to a pocket dimension nestled into Mirdahl, with the spacious abode therein providing living quarters and recreation for the Company's members as well as arable land to sustain some of their insatiable appetites the rural town of Thereen simply can't provide for.

Kaal`Kor collaboration saw to the renovation of its basement to allow for a tunnel to their subterranean mining railway connected to Hrlundrir, which was be restored as a waypoint for the joint effort between the dwarves and Hope Company to address the future threat posed by Vakunah. Connected to an unknown number of Kaal`Kor tunnels, it serves the multifold purpose of transporting goods all across Mirislyr, allowing the Company's members to be movement without drawing much attention or interest, and allowing the dwarves to begin searching for clues as to Vakunah's madness.

Hundreds of years prior, a Niraethean scourge caused countless Kaal`Kor succumb to insanity, forcing their brethren to collapse it on them; is this incident perhaps related to the one-eyed fiend of legend associated with Vakunah?

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The Dirty Mug: Though the outside of the pub is a bit bland, the inside is layer on layer of detail that has been worn over the years and buried under the passage of time and feet. Most of the flooring is a mixture of stained oak planks, darkened by the stain as well as the years of dirt ground into the surface. With high ceilings in the main tavern area, there are beams that sit flush to the roof leaving no space for rafters, thereby making the room feel more open. The bar is in the center of the room with all four sides surrounded by bar stools, with the shelves of bottles set in an island in the middle. Hanging over the island is a massive wrought iron chandelier that is a series of rings inside of each other with years worth of candle wax dried down in the fashion of stalactites, which are occasionally knocked off when new pillar candles are placed into the slots.

Across from the main door is a set of stairs that looks relatively new compared to the rest of the building, and have a sign over them proclaiming ‘construction area' where the owner is set to build on, adding rooms to the building's repertoire and a second floor over the kitchen. To the left of the stairs is the door that leads into that area. The kitchen in the Dirty Mug is a relatively small and sad affair with the majority of the cooking being done for the proprietor and the limited number of regulars that come into the place done on the massive fireplace that takes up a chunk of the main room.

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Pressed up against the right wall of the main room with chunks of stone that were hand shaped and placed by the proprietor, the firebox is massive and a steel arm swings in and out to hang pots of stew or can be rigged with a spit when the fire is low enough to cook right there in the sitting area. Over the fireplace, mounted on the stone of the wall tiles, the enormous head of a Wooly Borjah stuffed and probably one of the least dusty things in the room with it being maintained carefully by the bar-keep. On the mantle beneath it, stretched out over the fire, the gun that was used presumably to kill the beast.

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Thereen Theater House: Though still under construction, likely on account of the great amount of detail it's designer has put into it's creation. The Theatre House appears as if it will one day be a marvelous structure, but for now is but a shadow of what it will eventually be. Though much of the interior and front-face of the exterior is complete, scaffolding can be found along the sides and backs, where work crews and artisans are still completing work and adding detailing to the masonry. The roof sits low and broad, with a front-facing gable with smooth, almost seamless stonework carved to look like a decorative, elaborate knots of vine work.

A row of half-pillars that span the front face of the building support the jetty, standing before the main entrance, a set of extra-wide double doors crafted of hardwood. The lobby beyond is decorative, with a vaulted ceiling and stairs leading to the public balcony above the performance hall. The entrances to either side of the lobby, which leads to the floor level of the performance hall, slope downwards setting the ‘ground floor' actually 15 feet below ground level.

The performance hall itself has capacity to seat more than the full population of Thereen, a decision of forethought on the part of the architect designing it, who projected that the population of the small town would swell and tourism would further attract business for the Theatre. Though it is built with an end-stage, removable seating and interlocking blocked-risers stored under the stage itself allows it to be quickly converted into a partial thrust-stage. There is also an orchestra pit, though a crank-operated gear work system can be used to cover this with flooring sections if the specific performance doesn't call for its use.

A smaller access door can be found along the side of the structure, to admit performers to a stairwell that provides access to the upper dressing rooms as well as granting access to VIP's to the private balconies on either side of the performance hall. These features, though, sadly are still work in progress. For the time being, any performers will have to make use of the smaller backstage dressing rooms.

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Packrat's Hovel: Having seemingly appeared out of thin air a year ago, this peculiar storefront is something of a knickknack shop. The owner is rarely seen, either in the back doing inventory or out doing acquisitions, but is alleged to be “an emaciated dwarf who hides himself from the shame of having no beard”.

The salesgirl is a capricious farm girl with freckles and twinkling eyes, who flits around with the vim of a butterfly despite a frumpy, rural fashion that should definitely trip her up. Perhaps something isn't as it seems, but the Packrat's Hovel is excellent at acquiring all sorts of merchandise upon request, including but not limited to farming equipment, exotic seeds, jewelry… and less mundane objects. 
The owner, Bihlee Maize, is quite eccentric about “magical shiny things”, and is often willing to trade or buy them from visitors. More than one person has tried to peek in on the salesgirl after hours, Bunny, or sneak into the back room…unfortunately for them a pair of domesticated Sand Drakes who, in addition to dragging Bihlee's wagon, also act as overly inquisitive guard dogs!

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Thurgarm's Smithy: The Kaal`Kor Smithy, a single storey structure of primarily stone, features a low tiled roof that levels and extends into an awning that partially shades the workyard to the right side of the building. Broad, heavy stone double doors below the awning open into the workshop of the smithy.

Many of the features of the workshop, such as tables, the anvils, and even the forge and bellows themselves are mounted on rails, to almost effortlessly relocate the shop to the yard by operating a crank-and-gearwork system, so that Thurgam can work outside if he pleases, while granted a degree of privacy while he practices his craft by a three-foot privacy wall that lines the property. The workshop itself contains all manner of smithing, gunsmithing, and stone working tools. In addition to the Dwarven Forge itself, quenching tanks, an annealing furnace, metal lathes and even a miniature Kaal`Kor power hammer can be found here.

The front door, meanwhile, grants entry to the main shop, where more mundane tools and implements are on display and can be purchased, as well as some examples of Thurgarm's weapon and armor work. Behind the marble countertop, are where doors to access both the workshop and Thurgarm's personal quarters can be found.

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A'thrachian War Memorial & Museum: The residence of Thereen's lost overseer and his family, all of whom disappeared after he refused to supply subjects for Sengaard's war effort. In his absence, it has been used to memorialize the inhabitants of Thereen who participated in the war, and those who were lost to it. Weapons and other miscellaneous objects are housed here for viewing, while Thereen's militia and constabulary operate out of its upper levels. A reward is still being offered for information regarding the missing family.

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Temple of the Gods: The temple used to be a small affair: a single chapel dedicated to Hiron, Kaal, Zorah and Jadaia. Damage during the war, however, saw it simply being demolished and rebuilt, with the addition of Seryn to the local pantheon. Both a little nod to the Hope Company (despite their lack of rooting in the faith) and a representation of newfound hope for the future, Seryn's touch has been felt by the populace and welcomed in the Temple itself.

Almost more of a Cathedral now, the main chapel has high ceilings and stained glass windows, filtering in an almost golden light to the pews and altars below. Wooden panels cover the wall facing the door, carved with effigies of the five main deities, with individual altars below. A podium resides infront of these, for services. The three steps down to the chapel floor are perfectly measured to hold a choir, as well.

Along the walls are smaller carvings of Indarian and Mirdahlian deities with their own small altars, and a discrete set of stairs leads down to smaller basement room containing stone carvings of Xosian and Niraethean entities, and small altars for worship. The people of Thereen recognized that people of all faiths assisted them during the A'thrachian War, and felt it far more of a good idea to give them somewhere to worship rather than forcing them to hide and form cults.

Two wings stretch to the left and right of the chapel, with the leftmost being an infirmary and place of shelter and aide, and the right housing a total of twelve ‘suites' for the attending priests and groundskeeper, containing simple living quarters beyond a small office meant for confessionals, or conversations best kept between the priest and their flock.

The grounds themselves are well tended, with green spaces to either side of the chapel and a courtyard at the front, and freshly planted shrubs that will take many years to fill the space intended for them. The grounds are intended to host various religious celebrations, and small altars to the more nature-aligned deities can be found scattered about for those that wish to worship outside.

The courtyard contains the Fountain of the Ancestral Star; a weighty, largely immovable fountain carved from a hulking chunk of petrified wood by Agnes Bernstein. Made in the likeness of a diamond partially exposed from a mound of coal, the former portion was polished with the utmost care to resemble the sheen of a diamond and the latter stained to resemble the dullness of misshapen coal by burning a cord of ruddy hair gifted by a Quivyni shaman. The true magic to the fountain though is in the cranny beneath it, where the Star of Sengaard — a forgotten relic from the nation's ancient history — bequeaths its blessing upon the water that sprays up through the diamond's mouth to fill the fountain's surrounding basin.

A bell-tower is half-built above the Chapel, and will soon hold a large bell for chiming the hours of the day, as well as significant events to the people of Thereen.

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Thereen Railway Station: Located on the outskirts of the town, the railway station is one of the newest additions to Thereen, as new as the introduction to the railway in Northern Mirislyr. Constructed in 1363 AC, by the combined efforts of members of Hope Company and Glantheel Clan Kaal`Kor, the station and small railyard is an impressive work of architecture.

Long and narrow, with a second floor that only spans about half the total length of the building centered atop, this building is constructed from primarily red granite and slate. Upstairs are a set of heavy double-doors, which provides access to a catwalk that extends beyond the double set of tracks below for maintenance purposes (though the owner has escorted the occasional group of youngsters to get a good view of the incoming engines) with a stairway extending down to the unloading platform opposite the station. Aside from the access to the catwalk, the maintenance room and temporary quarters for locomotive engineers are on the upper level.

Within the station, as expected, is the ticket booth, as well as a small cafe and seating area, offering beverages to those awaiting arrival or departure. The other side of the main floor are the offices of the Northern Mirislyr Railway Ltd., owned by Architect and Captain of the Hope Company Daelidan Arthandas. Beyond the office is the Architect's workshop, where he and his staff can both work on projects and innovations for the railway and engines, as well as other professional and leisurely pursuits. An awning extends from the roof of the first floor of the station to shade the loading platform below.

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