Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Pereine Bridge

The long stone-arch bridge was constructed several generations ago - a crowning achievement of cooperation between two kingdoms.  But as such things go, the administrations, character, and relations between the two countries changed.  Current relations are quite sour.

On the west bank, the theocracy of Aughum took hold, and a round tower and gated wall rose up, with fierce battle-nuns stationed therein. Battle-nuns (24): 1HD, AC6/13 (leather habits covered in iron holy symbols), battle axe and shortbow; Lieutenants (3), 3HD, AC3/16 (as plate), two-handed sword.

The kleptocracy of Arenn (although they will insist they are a lost royal lineage, simply making right) built a massive keep on the west bank, manned by mercenary troops from the hill-country. Mercenary troops (36): 1 HD AC 5/14 (chain mail), light crossbow or polearm and falchion; Sergeants (3), 2HD, AC5/14, longsword; Captain, 4HD, AC3/16, mace, short sword (+1 Smiter, double damage on 18-20).

Either side could choose to take the bridge, but this would be considered an outright declaration of war, as the bridge is one of the few remaining crossings, other than a few ferries or clandestine methods, connecting the two regimes.

As the two new regimes rose up, and sealed off the respective ends of the bridge, a small community of ne'er-do-wells, refugees, and heretics took up residency on the bridge, initially building lean-to's and shanties, and as time passed, more substantial structures were constructed along the bridge deck. Structures are typically wood, with some stone or masonry. Due to the space restrictions on the bridge, many buildings have been built to extend over the water, with elaborate bracing of various construction and reliability...

Approximately 100 people huddle on the bridge.

Community Citizens of Note:

The township has no real leadership per se, with the exception of occasional ad hoc 'street meetings' where citizens spontaneously gather to resolve conflicts or communicate issues.

Baker - Gerrik Kimbel - Can make passable bread from any grain, since supplies are variable, depending on access from east or west. He supplies the inn and tavern, the community, and sells to travellers crossing the bridge. HP8, AC9/10, club.

Carpenter - Oleg Trask - paranoid, HP6, AC 8/11,  two loaded light crossbows under workbench.

Mason - Garsam Loop - Was a soldier-mason involved in the construction of the Arenn keep, but became disillusioned over the project.  He noticed the shanties growing on the bridge as the Aughum tower rose on the opposite end of the bridge, as well.  One night he slipped past the construction-guards. Garsam led the construction of several of the permanent buildings, and often leads street meetings. HP10, AC6/13, hammer.

Mercer - Aera Danech - She is spy for Aughum, assessing news of Arenn via her suppliers of fabrics from the Arenn side. HP4, AC9/10, dagger, poisoned (save vs death +2)

Tavern - Drunken Eel, Single story, of wood construction, The owner is an old woman named Adar Garbo.  Although she appears tottering and a bit daft, she is actually very astute and observant, collecting hints and rumors from overheard conversations:  Menu: Mutton and parsnips, Mutton Stew and millet bread, Millet bread and cheese, wheat porridge,

Inn - The Floating Cask - Single floor, of wood and brick, with an odd collection of fine glass vessels behind bar. The owner, Kheli, is a zealot of Arenn, and anyone with fealty to Aughum had best keep moving on across the bridge, regardless of the hour or weather (Th3, AC7/12, pair of fine daggers (+1 damage)). Accommodations consists of a small shared room with six cots, a few hammocks in common room. Menu: fish stew, biscuits and cheese, boiled pork and cabbage.

Shoemaker - Samden Thun - He became marooned on the bridge when left Aughum, but was not allowed to enter Arenn due to a birthmark of ill portents (port-wine stain resembling a wolf). He was destitute at the time, and had no fare to pay the exorbitant 'entry tax' to return to Arenn. Fortunately he had his lasts and tools, and was loaned a corner of the carpenter's shop until he had accrued enough funds to return to Aughum.  However, he found a good trade in repairing locals' and travelers' footware, and instead established his own shop, crowded between other buildings on the bridge.

Cutler - Daraw Oreu - Amnesiac prince of Arenn (real name: Daneel Orotha II). His memory was magically blocked by a loyal adviser to the old regime in an attempt to protect him and maintain a thread of hope that the old ruling family may survive. If Orotha ever recovers his memory, he may be able to lead the overthrow of the kleptocrats. (HP12, AC9/10, +2 sword with sigils of an even older regime. Has never drawn it. If he draws it, there is a 25% chance that it will be recognized as a royal artifact, and a 5% chance that he will recover his memories).

Clergy - Brother Asbel - In spite of being considered a heretic to both sides of the bridge, he preaches reconciliation. He started out bitter, but accepted the community and looks out for spiritual well-being or the citizenry. (Cleric 4, HP18, AC6/13, staff, cure light wounds, purify food and water, speak with animals) . His acolyte, Cedric, looks after the offerings and alter (HP4, AC9/10, club)

Nestled along the upstream side of the bridge is what appears to be a logjam.  Closer inspection will reveal that it is a lodge-hold of beaver-folk - semi-aquatic humanoids who live and fish among the slow waters of the river.  They are tolerated by the Arenn, but not the Aughum, so they have located closer to the western shore.  The beaver-folk commonly trade fish and items dredged from the river with the bridge-villagers.

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  1. I've always liked these sorts of mini-Kowloon type places, communities jammed into phone booths and the like.

    1. Thanks! Was a fun mini-project. I think Mike Monaco entered a bridge-town as his OPD entry this year