Wellspring

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WELLSPRING

A frontier town, Wellspring is surrounded by rugged and dangerous territory. Beyond the riverfront square, narrow streets wind through tightly packed homes, some of which rise two or three stories. The roads are cobbled and clean. Four bridges allow passage over the various waters that run through the town, and a steep wall encircles the entire place.

Population: Approximately 1,000; another 1,000 live in the countryside within a mile of the town. Humans and halflings are common, but all peoples are represented here.

Government: The human Lord Garen Criswell is the hereditary ruler of the town. He is in charge of the town’s justice, defense, and laws. From among the guilders and commoners, the lord appoints a town council to handle running the town’s public business.

Defense: The town guard has forty fulltime warriors. Castle Criswell is their barracks. Lord Criswell can muster 200 militia.

Inns: Inn on the Square, various riverfront hostels.

Taverns: Spotted Toad (part of the Inn on the Square), various riverfront dives.

Supplies: Gunderson’s General Store.

Temple: Mindspire (Temple of Ioun; no priest), various shrines.

Wellspring nestles in a valley, astride a river known as the Chill and between two arms of the Kadagast Mountains. The town’s folk are farmers and fishers. Cultivated farmland surrounds the community. Less than two miles away is Kord’s Tankard, a deep lake fed by runoff from the mountains. A Nerathi road winds down from a northern pass, heading south and splitting into a westward arm. Paved with cut stone, the roads still see caravans from the north.

The most common travelers, though, are pilgrims devoted to the deity Ioun and her saint, Estered. Each year brings another band of devout to the town’s center square. They pay their respects under an ancient statue of Estered.

Wellspringers, famous skeptics, can’t help but wonder if the statue actually marks the grave. They keep their doubts to themselves, since the pilgrims play an important part in Wellspring’s economy. To the pious, Wellspringers are gracious hosts quick to doff their caps to the statue.

Places of Interest

Estered’s Square: Paved in cobblestones and dominated by the worn statue of Estered’s robed form, the square is the center of the town’s activity. When not playing host to a festival, it functions as a market. Wellspring’s major businesses ring the square, and traders set up stalls in the area.

Mindspire: Locals claim this ancient temple stood long before the town did. Its old stones, covered in strange sigils just hidden by the ivy, suggest some truth to its legends. Multicolored pieces of glass in a rainbow of colors peek out from the mortar so when the sun hits it, the temple sparkles. Two massive brass doors serve as its only entrance.

Castle Criswell: Rivaling the old temple of Ioun, Castle Criswell stands on a sharp rise overlooking the southern branch of the Chill. A fifty-foot tower dominates the castle, and the colors of Lord Criswell fly from its conical roof. His standard depicts a rearing brown bear flanked by two downward-pointing swords. The rest of the castle consists of a two-story house and two smaller outbuildings used as servants’ quarters and a garrison, surrounded by a low curtain wall.

Guild District: Three powerful guilds — Bakers, Ironworkers, and Tanners — control the town’s industry. Each guild oversees a variety of related industries, and they set the prices in the town.

Town Hall: Facing the square, the town hall is a building of wood and stone roofed in slate shingles. Narrow windows look out over the square. Most of this building consists of the audience hall, where commoners voice grievances to the lord, do business, and hold town meetings. Weddings are common here as well.

Low District: Although definitely home to Wellspring’s poorer citizens, this district holds the homes of commoners who work in the market or Guild District.

Riverfront District: Both sides of the western Chill are crowded with warehouses and hostels, all of which cater to the merchant sailors who travel from other settlements to do business. This district is the area of Wellspring most troubled by crime.

Common District: Given over to commerce, middle class housing, and a scattering of shrines, this ward is a safe if dull part of town.

High District: Named for the hills rippling out from the eastern shore of the Chill, this is the wealthy part of Wellspring, made so by merchants and successful guilders. With wide streets, several cultivated parks, and higher-end shops, the High District is a bright spot of prosperity in the darkness of the frontier.

Wellspring

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