Orion: The Explorers of Westmarch
On 1000 YK, the Explorer’s Guild first landed on the shores of Westmarch, soon after the town of Valgarde was founded. Valgarde lies on the eastern coast of Westmarch, within an alcove called Baelgun’s Landing. Over the years it’s population surged, and what started out as a base of operations to explore the undiscovered lands that lie to the west, grew into a large town of around 2000 citizens from across a wide variety of nations. Common folk who’ve traveled to Valgarde to escape the troubles of the nations back home, or to escape the memories of the Last War, make their living in a variety of ways. Hunters stalk the forests and hills that surround Valgarde for rare pelts and furs. Farmers have made crops out of the arable land, mostly consisting of barley and oats. The abundant ocean life that surrounds Valgarde make a fisherman’s life easy and stable. Now misfits, outlaws, veterans, and adventurers flock to the town in search of a new life, to discover the mysterious of the this new land, and to claim it’s riches as their own.
Size: Large Town
Area: Baelgun’s Landing
Exports: Furs, Fish, Barley, and Oats
The Explorer’s Guild originally founded the town and governed it, but as it started to grow they didn’t want their focus to be on governing, but exploring Westmarch. The nations of Lésonne all agreed that for the time being, and to avoid causing further tension, that Valgarde would not fall under any of their rule. The citizens of Valgarde decided amongst themselves that the town should be ruled by Thomas Helleran, a veteran of the Last War who came with the first settlers to the Westmarches.
Valgarde has a strong stone wall encompassing the town boasting a garrison of 300 soldiers and 100 mercenaries. Most of the defenders on the wall are Brelish and Karrnathi soldiers from the Thronehold Alliance, although some Thanish paladins can be seen patrolling the town. Mercenaries from the lands of Lurien, the Storm Holds, and the Five Nations were hired to bolster the defences of the town after Baelgun Fireheart’s airship failed and crashed inland. Two gatehouses guard the entrances to the town, holding 35 troops each, located by the northern forest gate, and the western hills gate.
When the Thronehold alliance came they arrived on many elemental galleons and a few elemental airships. Although an airship was lost in an attempt to rescue the Algrimm, two airships are docked above the town (The Pyrrhus, a Karnathi airship, and the Aurora, a Brelish airship).
The Nine Bells: a huge warehouse built over the hulks of nine sunken ships whose wreckage was fished out of the Grey Sea. The warehouse functions as the primary market for the town. A wide variety of goods were available for purchase although availabilities vary day-to-day.
Sorcerous Sundries: A shop near the eastern docks that stocks all sorts of arcane supplies, alchemical ingredients, scrolls, and parchments.
Fire and Steel: Near the Lord’s Tower, a blacksmiths shop that supplies most of the soldiers garrisoned in Valgarde
The Three Hammers: The Three Hammers is a well-known inn/tavern, it is the largest of its kind in Valgarde. With four floors above ground and two levels of cellar below, the Three Hammer easily trumps the smaller taverns and inns in town. The ground floor is given over to the kitchen and communal areas. The upper three floors consist almost entirely of bedrooms. All floors are connected in one corner via a dumbwaiter shaft sufficiently large enough to accommodate two persons pressed together. The inn is furnished with old, comfortable, and slightly shabby furniture culled from a dozen keeps and many homes of rich and poor. The walls are crowded with trophy heads of creatures from deer to Illithid, old fading paintings of fanciful and imaginative scenes, and thick tapestries from several score of cultures. The common room is filled with wooden tables and bar stools, a large kitchen in the back brews strong smells of cooked meat and mead. Three dwarvish brothers own the Three Hammers. Tank, Tech, and Tonk of Clan Longbeard. Former members of the Explorer’s Guild, they arrived in Valgarde with Baelgun Fireheart. Seeing the potential that the town had, they gave up their membership to build The Three Hammers.
Its a common fact that anyone who is looking to explore the Westmarches is welcome at the Three Hammers. A large table in the middle of the common room has become a meeting point for those wishing to venture out with a group of likeminded individuals. At some point in time, an explorer started to carve Valgarde and the area around it on the wood. Papers with notes and warnings were strewn across the table and carved upon the wood.
The Lord’s Tower: This tower was quickly erected after Valgarde was founded to be a docking station for the various elemental airships that arrived. Once the Thronehold Alliance arrived in the Westmarches it became their headquarters. Most of the soldiers brought from Lésonne stay within the tower. The Lord’s Tower is a large stone and wood tower with docks built atop it in the shape of an X.
Scryers Library: Nestled in the middle of town lies a small ‘hole in the wall’ building. Ivy and plants cover almost all of it save for the door. This is where the coalition of mages sent from the Circle of 8 and High Elves from the Vasaraset Isles resides. The Scryers created a plane where the portal to it is the door of the building.. Inside the building is a vast library with rooms where the wizards and mages live.
The Silver Enclave: Headquarters of the Knights of the Flame, within a temple built for the Church of the Silver Flame. The largest place of worship in the town of Valgarde, built by paladins and priests of the Silver Flame. Its marble halls lit by pale silver flamed torches are a welcome place for those seeking worship, and home to many paladins and clerics looking to spread the word of the Church and keep any evil of the Westmarches at bay.
Explorer’s Hall: A large manor built in the center of Valgarde. As well as being the headquarters of the fledgling Explorer’s Guild, it is also the town hall where Thomas Helleran governs. The Explorer’s Guild owns several other large buildings within Valgarde, but the Explorer’s Hall is where most of the meetings take place, most of the research is documented, and where most of the members stay.
Places of Worship
The Silver Enclave
The High House of Wonders: The High House of Wonders has became one of the focal points of worship in Valgarde. Various shrines to many different gods and goddesses make their home within the temple. More and more shrines are being built and expanded upon as the town grows.
Thomas Helleran: Human, male, 60 years of age, bald, but with a grand handlebar mustache. A veteran of the Last War, Helleran was an admiral of the Brelish 3rd Airship Fleet. He held a great number of ships under his command, but after the war ended and the treaty had been signed, he resigned from duty. Upon hearing the news that this new land had been discovered to the west, he was on one of the first galleons to leave Lésonne.
Tank, Tech, and Tonk of Clan Longbeard: The trio of dwarven brothers that run the inn The Three Hammers.
- Tank, a former bodyguard of the Iron Council, is the stoic bouncer of the inn. A larger than average dwarf, usually covered head to toe in plate armor. His black beard is braided with metal clasps.
- Tech, a former cook in the Storm Holds, he decided that his talents were to cook a hearty meal and serve a strong ale for those willing to explore the wilderness beyond. Generally only seen when bringing out plates of steaming food, Tech has cut his auburn beard short to make cooking easier.
- Tonk, a diplomat during the Last War, is the host of the Three Hammers. Welcoming all who enter her doors looking for rest or a warm meal. Most visitors to the Three Hammers see Tonk as they enter the door. Usually in common clothes, most people can recognize him from a distance by brown beard and mustache waxed into various different styles everyday.