Tuesday 26 August 2014

Peakvale setting: The Port of Middenhall

Three days north-west of Peakvale's capital, Thornguard, lies the town of Middenhall. A port town, Middenhall crests the waters of the Barren Sea where fishermen make livelihood and where the threat of pirate attacks are all too real.

Middenhall is home to nearly 2,000 people, mostly human and halfling, although elves can also be seen wandering its grim streets. The smell of seaweed wafts through the town and the screech of gulls is a constant chaotic echo throughout the day, giving way to the calm washing of the tide at dusk.

The Red Pike is a popular watering hole for sailors and fishermen who like to while away their time drinking whisky and singing shanty songs of maids and times past. Hunor Blackrock is the owner of the establishment - a retired naval officer with a quick wit and an even quicker eye. Some say that his mother was an elf, as his powers of observation are far beyond that of any human. He can spot a gull from a mile away, they say, and should you be doing something untoward in his pub he'll always notice. Hunor is a rogue, having learnt the art of magic from one of his companions out at sea, although nobody knows it.

Brinda Blossom is the councillor who overseas Middenhall. She is a brash and strict woman with a pale complexion and a wiry frame. Whenever she walks into a room people get nervous, even the burliest of adventurers. She doesn't say much, but when she does it's in an icy tone, like the crack of a whip. Her life is a thing of mystery, which is the way she likes to keep it. In truth, her parents abandoned her when she was very young and she was brought up by a mean guardian called Tress, who regularly beat her. She ended up fleeing from home at the age of ten and becoming a beggar in Thornguard. Later she would meet a man who would take care of her and show her all the compassion in the world. However, he would tragically die in battle against the urook hordes from the Greyshades and she would be alone once more.

As I said before, pirate raids are part of life in Middenhall. Fierce sailors come from the island of Katara to raid and plunder coastal towns. Captain Indreas Razorback is the most feared man on the seas and leader of these raids. Stories of him have circulated around Peakvale - Razorback the butcher, they call him. He is the person people in Middenhall fear most and few who have seen him in the flesh have lived to tell the tale. Some say that he has been corrupted by the darkness, while others say that he's not human at all - he is a ghoul who roams the seas looking for his next kill.

Adventurers who venture to Middenhall are unlikely to be bored. There are enough rogues, vagabonds, pirates and mysteries to keep them busy for a while and perhaps earn some coin while they're at it.

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