"A little place called Hardrock"; or the story of how Hardrock came to be
Silverton was a quiet little community, independent from any government and that was the way the locals liked it: they could live free, simple lives. After being claimed by Cormyr, some very interesting events have turned it into a place of interest.
In the past, it was part of Sessrendale and ruled by the evil tyrant, Lord Vraath. Vraath was put to rest by the Archenriders of Archendale when they claimed to suspect him of manipulating dark magics.
During the goblin wars, only a few battles were fought on their soils, despite a number of active Goblinoid and Orc clans in the region. During the war, this region was deliberately populated by Cormyrians in order to dilute the native inhabitants and pave the way for a Cormyrian annexation. At the end of the war, after the death of both leaders and the subsequent ‘5 cleansings’ of the purple dragon knights, Cormyr claimed ownership rights as part of their peace treaty.
In 1479 DR, the PCs raised Lord Vraath and created the large town, New Sessrenglade. With the original Sessrenglade (Cormyrian name: Silverton) only a short distance south, these two towns are closely linked and will likely grow into each other.
Originally, 1500 or so. With the first wave of refugees, this increased to 3300. With the second wave, it increased to 3900 (making it a Large Town). Racially, the community is both isolated and artificially bolstered (over 99% humans, less than 1% other). Though the recent addition of Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears and Orcs have made it more mixed (approximately 89% human, 9% goblinoid, 2% other).
The goblin builders, having completed all their prescribed buildings and finding that there was still plenty more Goblin Ale left in their keg, decided they would continue upgrading the city until they were instructed not to or until they ran out of ale. They have built a wall right around the city, several guard towers along that wall, a moat around the keep, a sewer network which runs into the river just downstream, a bell tower and a few sentry towers a few miles outside the city.
Just outside the town’s walls (on the south side) there is a small gathering of Halfling Caravans. Normally serially nomadic people (not dissimilar to European gypsies), Halflings (or Hobbits) occasionally find desirable places to meet up and trade, socialise or just interact with other races – Evidently they have picked New Sessrenglade as a good location for just that. In addition to being something of a market place, the halflings are natural circusfolk and often put on shows for the permanent residents.
Eastgate (the Goblin Quarter)
Eastgate is a rough and tumble quarter where the law is set not by the Parliament but solely by the Ogre-Mage, Aggron Blackrock, who presides over this area. One might think that this is no better than the total anarchy experienced by Seaport, but actually the opposite is true – it is a rough neighbourhood but the Blackrock clan is diligent in attempting to live peacefully and with mutual respect for the humans in the other quarters.
The buildings here are free-standing fieldstone buildings with characteristically goblinoid/orc wooden supports with protruding bone spikes. Instead of doors, they simply use a leather cloth for privacy not security.
Aggron Blackrock runs this brewery fiercely and efficiently, knowing that without the regular stream of alcohol, his clansmen would become less capable of work and (even more) violent.
On the upper level of what seems to be an ordinary wooden house, there is a secret club where customers come to unwind to the pleasure of hard drugs and the beautiful servants who serve them.
Town Square (around Vraath Keep)
This area is dominated by a few notable buildings: first and foremost, the Keep around which this city is built. Secondly, the commemorative statue and fountain the villagers built as a constant reminder of the occasional benevolence of the PCs. And finally, the large wooden gallows where criminals are put to death. Around the town square, temporary tents are put up for the bi-weekly market that opens where the farmers (will eventually) bring their produce in to sell.
Besides of the Keep and the occasional market tents, there are but a few fieldstone houses and shops around this area.
West Hill (the rich district)
Here lives the intellectuals, the eccentrically rich and other upper-class men. It is a beautiful area with free-standing mansions and estates made from real stone and each with their own garden. There is one school in this district.
Having made an ally of the Cormanthor Druid Circle, the centre of this district has a medium-sized arboretum (a collection of magically grown trees) which houses the two druids of the town and their animal friends.
- Denny the Druid and Were-bear
- Mistletoe(N human druid of Silvanus), ambassador for the druid circles in Cormanthor.
- Jolan and his cohort.
Sessrenglade Mages Guild and the Wand and Bucket
Having moved north from humble Silverton, Rugan has set up shop in one of the stores here and is uncharacteristically inviting mages to join his guild. The adjoining house is one of the popular chain of taverns: The Wand and Bucket.
The Thieves Guild
Through a secret door in the basement of the Wand and Bucket, lies the thieves guild. It’s main hall is not unlike a tavern really, where drugs are bought as easily as ale from the drow barkeeper. There seems to be quite a few drow down here actually – and its not surprising as the thieves guild actually connects up to the shallow levels of the underdark.
- Vlistur(LE Illithid sorcerer) runs the thieves guild
The Dead Dale Guesthouse
This quiet tavern and inn caters for wealthy merchants and travellers. This is a popular meeting place for business deals over a finely cooked local meal.
- Ankus Aralvan (CN elf ranger), owns the merchant tavern
The Drider’s Teat
The Drider’s Teat is the establishment where rumours are made and nightmares come true. A stay here is expensive, but it may well be your last. This is the only place in 100 miles which serves human blood ‘on tap’, and thus it often attracts vampire customers (who also face less of a threat of becoming dinner).
- Selcar the Drider runs this tavern.
The Public Baths
This is where the rich come to bathe and socialise, it is often the meeting place for business deals and people who are having affairs.
South-of-the-River (the slums)
This is the poor quarter, as rough and tumble as Eastgate but without the attention of a powerful Ogre-Mage. It is physically separated from the rest of the town by the river, and is often neglected by the guards. Two covered bridges connect the major roads with the main city. There are two schools in this district.
This area is composed of wood and mud houses and temporary-made-permanent housing tents used in the migration. The businesses here are those which would not be tolerated by those with money – tanners, dyers and brothels are in abundance. This quarter holds the orphanage and the crypt.
- Audrey Leybrook runs the town orphanage.
What better location for a cemetery than the quarter with the highest death rate? Due to the arrangement Blarhg has with Lord Vraath, he opted to have a crypt built instead. In fact, the Crypt is quite extensive as Vraath took over what the goblins started and had his minions construct an underground lair, the crypt connects to the sewers in multiple places and
- Blarhg (LN Dwarf monk), undertaker (taxed at 20% of ‘tips’)
The Nymph and Wererat
This is the tavern to end all taverns – it’s a strip bar / tavern that doubles as a brothel. The patron, Twinkletoes, hires forestfolk including elves, dryads and nymphs to perform services for his customers. He also has a number of goblinoid, lycanthrope and undead employees who cater to ‘exotic’ tastes. He seems to be accepting of almost anything, having a well-stocked supply of sex toys, aphrodisiacs and healing potions, apparently he will cater to anyone’s tastes – except for fish-people, they pay extra.
- Baswulf Tinkletoes (CE gnome ranger), owns a strip bar/tavern/brothel with a racist policy against ‘fish-people’
Northblock (the guard quarter)
This is where the lawful, straight-edge inhabitants and middle income earners live. It is also the location for many of the warehouses due to the heavy guard presence.
Though it looks midway between a Goblin hill fort and a regular town hall, parliament house’s interior is lavish and grandiose.
- Erolin Timerkitos (NG Human aristocrat), Councillor-in-Chief
- Toren Areykan (CG Human wizard/aristocrat), Minister for Finance
- Auspicious Hoshken (LN halfling bard/aristocrat), Minister for Culture
Most of the treasury is desks and offices, but the vault which holds the town’s treasure is also located here. It is overseen by Toren Areykan, a mage and the chief accountant of New Sessrenglade.
Magically sealed by Toren, and built out of steel with goblin engineering, the vault would be very difficult to break into.
Barracks for the Sessrenglade Militia, and doubling as a prison, and armory. The armory allows for a better equipped militia, and the Masterwork Blacksmith increases their defence readiness yet again. The prison decreases crime and will continue to do so even if the population rapidly expands.
- Walthas Forearms (LN human fighter), Captain of the Guard
- Abu Riboran (CN human ranger), Lieutenant
- Geolin (LG Dwarf fighter), restricted to guarding the mining areas only.
- Approximately 40 low level fighters trained by the Academy of Blades.
The Academy of Blades
This large redstone building leads into a number of training rooms where its members train constantly in swordfighting, unarmed combat and acrobatics.
- Inigo Montoya (CG human fighter/duelist), runs the fencing academy (the school of blades) – he is also required to train the militiamen
This is the “one-stop-shop” for all things adventuring. Radric sells many all-purpose items here, including a few magical tidbits, 10-foot ladders, bandoleers and everburning torches.
- Radric(LG Dwarf rogue), owns a general adventuring goods store