The Dragon's Call
Darkwell, capital of the Kingdom of Ethaydus, was once a prosperous city benefiting from the Dwarven mines ( Mulgrim, Gombuhr, and Kul Baduhr) located to the north. The most dominating feature of Darkwell is Darkwell Castle. Darkwell castle floats above Darkwell Lake giant iron links chaining it to the bottom to keep it from drifting off. It is hard to find a place in the City of Darkwell that is not touched by the shadow of this dark enchantment. Story has it that when the city was threatened by Cornugon the Horned Devil and a powerful general in the dark armies, powerful enchantments were enacted to raise the citadel and keep Cornugon out.
The city is essentially divided into two districts by the river that runs through the center of the city. The wealthy patrons of Nicholas Carden used to not only live in the district south of the river but thrive. With the raising of the castle many of Carden’s court have left Darkwell for other courts. Fishing is a common livelihood, and the local diet includes not only fish and crustaceans, but also seaweed and other aquatic plants.
Recently Goblins, Orks, and others of the goblinoid races have moved into the areas surrounding Darkwell in numbers. Farms have been burned forcing many families to flee for the protection of the city. The roads and trails surrounding Darkwell are dangerous unless travelers are armed and in numbers.
Darkwell Castle is a vast estate floating on an enchanted chunk of rock above the city. It contains the living quarters, offices and meeting chambers of the king, his agents, and their servants. Citizens with no official business are often turned away at the cities docks however, even official business is more and more handled within the offices of South Darkwell. Darkwell Castle is becoming a ghost of it’s former glory.
Estates of green lawns, well-tended gardens, and sprawling manor houses that once featured every luxury imaginable occupy most South Darkwell. they have now mostly fallen to ruin or decay with some even abandoned completely. Statues and ornate fountains adorn street corners and some private yards but now only the occasional servant or citizen can be seen moving along the thoroughfares running errands for their masters.
Abadar reigns almost supreme in the City of Darkwell from its temple located in South Darkwell. It is referred to as The Vault by the local population and was initially intended to encourage Darkwell’s prosperity it has since become seen as only a place for the wealthy to secure and transport their assets.
Although not considered “fashionable” by the nobility a garrison has been placed on the extremities of South Darkwell. With the raising of Darkwell Castle the garrison is a newer necessity. The sounds of barked orders, marching boots, clacking hooves, and clanging metal dominate this neighborhood. This is the home and practice ground of the city watch and the city’s soldiers. Most of the buildings here are traditional in style, matching those found elsewhere in the city, but the garrison itself resembles a fortress. Built of stone, it has narrow windows and flat roofs with crenelations to cover defending archers. Patrols move in and out fo the garrison on a regular basis.
The houses here and the lots on which they stand are smaller than those in South Darkwell. Some have good-sized yards, while other encroach on their neighbors, with barely 2 feet of alleyway between houses. Apartment-style dwellings are somewhat cramped. The people here are not yet poverty stricken but broken fences, cracked cobblestones, and the occasional drifter appear here and there. The scents of sweat and horse dung are noticeable at the end of the day, and styles are more utilitarian than fashionable.
It is here you can find Darkwell’s Marketplace. It is filled with people from all walks of life, buying, selling, haggling, arguing, browsing, and otherwise passing the day in commerce. Some of the marked consists of open air bazaars, with shops little more than wooden stands. Others consist of rows of buildings whose storefronts display various wares. People are clothed in a riot of colors and styles, and the air smells of cooking food, perfume, ripening fruits, sweat, and animal dung. The Blind Eye is known to operate out of Darkwell’s Marketplace
There is a small Temple to Sarenrae that is almost as old as the city. It is believed that if you touch the statue Sarenrae will smile upon you.
A small population of dwarves haven taken up residence in North Darkwell. Their neighborhood is marked by the squat stone structures they prefer. Most residences are in the form of apartments rather than houses, often separate rooms behind or over workshops. The air here is filled with the sound of craft working, from heavy hammering to careful carving, and frequently smells of smoke.
On the south side of North Darkwell near the river are a few large and bulky warehouses filled with goods not yet ready for sale or shipment. Occasionally merchants and nobles escort their goods into storage or come down to check on their possessions as they await shipment down the river too other markets. Hired guards protect these buildings when they contain valuable goods as the city watch is not always reliable. This is another popular operating area for The Blind Eye.