I now present my fourth post in my A to Z Challenge series describing 26 different locations in the World of Samardan campaign setting, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, D is for Deval, Guardian of the Gate.
1523 Deval, Guardian of the GatePopulation: 9,000 (Human). Ruler: Raganu Sano Podatur (7th Level Human Warrior[Tactician]). Resources: Fish, Oil.
Ambiance: A multi-walled city broken into districts, Deval overlooks the southern end of the mountain pass separating the northern Barbalemdan and the southern Malbalemdan regions. Each district "stairsteps" up the side of the pass, built on stone terraces that have been cut into the steep mountainside. At the very top, a highly fortified citadel stands vigil overlooking the city and the river beyond.
History: Originally a small fishing village, Deval grew in local importance when Torkobalem began sending mercenaries down the Tratagak River in an effort to expand its empire. Other cities, particular Valdren, have provided some support to the growing city of Deval, recognizing its role as their first defense against non-aerial assault from the imperialistic City-State of Crystals.
Encounters: Fishermen and craftsmen rub shoulders with mercenaries and merchants on the streets of Deval. The Gaksanani ("River Guard"), a military order devoted to the defense of the lower valley region, are recognizable by their emblem of the white krisabil ("crystal lance"), the Order's weapon of preference.
Treasure: Deval is home to few unique treasures, but two are worthy of note. First, the Crown of Deval, worn as a symbol of state by the Raganu Sano Podatur, is obviously an artifact of the Ancient Ones. It is said that the Crown grants heightened insight and awareness to its wearer. Second, the original krisabil, carried by the Gransen of the Gaksanani Order, is far more powerful than those of the rest of the order. According to rumors, the Gransen's Krisabil has the destructive power of ten standard krisabili, and is one of the main weapons the Order has to bear on any force that would attack through the mountain pass.
Adventure Hooks: Adventure hooks for this site could include the following:
- Criers in the street announce that the Raganu has posted a reward for the identify of several Husrani mercenaries that have been investigating the defenses of the city. Rumors abound that this news means an attack from the Barbalemdan may be immanent.
- Pansanu Danlobo Kasakan, a young lord with a penchant for dueling, has posted a notice soliciting sparring partners. The posted salary appears generous.
- Reko Peshmadan, a ruthless fish-merchant, seeks to clandestinely hire adventurers to sabotage the productivity of his main rival, Hadapor Yatanu.
- Smaran of Deval, a young thief, seeks some muscle to help him acquire a krisabil for an unknown patron, as the weapon is not commonly available to the general public.
- The Oilmakers' Guild is seeking guards for this month's caravan of fish oil destined for Valdren, due to recent attacks on other caravans.
This is the first city that I've detailed using this template. In general, I like the results, although I feel one of my adventure hooks is a little weak, because it doesn't emphasize an element of local flavor. I'll have to work on that with my next one.