Avondale
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History And Description

Avondale is a small town that snuggles quietly in the foothills of the Whitecap Mountains in the valley of the river Avon. As the largest settlement in the area it has attracted a wide range of colourful characters to itself. Nothing is truly scarce as the town is a trade centre. 'All things must pass through Avondale' the saying goes. The population of about one thousand souls is a cosmopolitan mix of races and religions as befits a trading centre of this size and importance.

The town grew up around the bridge which marks the end of the navigable section of the river. A little further downstream from the solidly built stone bridge is a series of jetties at which boats are continually loading and unloading. The land slopes steeply to the north-west to The Mount on which stands Castle Kelter. On the flat land below the castle is the main market square, a large open space surrounded by shops. At the north-west corner of the market is the Castle Tavern, a large inn that occupies this important corner site. The town has two major temples one dedicated to Koryis and one dedicated to Yamuga. Other notable sites in and around the town are the Town Hall, the Guild of Weapons, Oscar's Stables, the Bridge Inn and the mansion of Baron Jubfek.

Places of Interest

Castle Kelter

Castle Kelter is a large stone built keep that stands at the summit of The Mount and commands superb views along the River Avon and the town of Avondale. It has four strong stone corner towers with connecting curtain walls. A gate-house and barbican controls the only access which rises up the hill from the south-west. No building or trees are allowed within 100' of the castle to improve its security. It was built some 250 years ago after the Western Realms were divided.

The Mansion of The Jubfek Family

The mansion squats behind tall stone walls topped with iron spikes. The only access is through a gate flanked by two tall towers. The Baron's personal guards are constantly on duty. The mansion itself is a fine example of its kind. Built of local stone with a slate roof and tall lancet windows. Many ugly gargoyles decorate its gables. As for the interior, no one has been in there for many a year.

The Castle Inn

This is the largest building in the town aside from the castle and illustrates the prosperity of the town. Famous for its standard of rooms (many have their own latrines and bath rooms), food (especially fish) and the quality of its ale. All this doesn't come cheap, the best rooms cost 2gp a day and even the cheapest cost 5sp a day. The 3 story building has 75 rooms, 10 are single rooms, 25 are double rooms the remainder hold 4 people. During festivals the Inn often accommodates almost 200 people. The two large common rooms are where the majority of people eat and drink. Those who want more privacy hire a private booth or for larger events one of the six private dining rooms that each hold 8 people and are served by their own staff. The owner is one of the richest people in Avondale, Calebrind.

The Temple Of Yamuga

This temple to Yamuga is typical of its kind. Light and airy with a low wall surrounding a peaceful stand of trees. Within this copse a circle of stones stand, the site of especially important festivals (Midsummer and Midwinter days). The main pillars of the temple are living trees which have been trained into shape and then smaller trees, mainly willow have been intertwined to produce the walls and roof.

The Town Hall

This is both the home of the Mayor of Avondale and the seat of justice. It also holds the main library for Avondale and the surrounding towns and villages. Assizes are held 4 times a year on the 7th day of the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th months. The current Mayor is the halfling Keramore Nimblehand. The librarian is an elf by the name of Elil-Gandel.

Avondale Docks

The docks at Avondale are the last point a boat of any size can reach on the River Avon. Above here flat bottom barges are the only form of river transport but most goods would be transported by road from here. Needless to say the docks are a hive of activity all year round, except when the river is in flood in early spring or if there is a very hard winter and the river freezes over. Beside the river at this point are a number of warehouses along with inns offering low quality food and even lower quality entertainment for the dock hands and watermen. The warehouses often have accommodation for the bargemen on the upper floors. As well as providing a useful resting place for the hard working bargemen the warehouses owners gain a modicum of security. Some of them also have small drinking dens constructed next to them or in the cellars under them. Reputable merchants rarely visit the Docks, having runners and go-betweens do the dangerous work for them.

The Mayor has tried to get things under control but the various Guilds like things the way they are, it gives them more power.

The burnt out hulk of McGreggor's warehouse is the legacy of a accidental fire caused by D'mond Fourfeathers.

The Cheeky Cleric

This dark tavern is the largest in the dock area and is run by Leo Ross, a shady human of ill repute. It is not a place to flaunt valuables. It is however a good place to pick up interesting gossip and intestinal complaints. It's sign is a crudely painted monk lifting the back of his cassock up and breaking wind.
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The Bridge Inn

This humble building is usually the first or last sight anyone has of Avondale. It has 1 communal sleeping room and 8 smaller private rooms (sleeping from one to four people each) all clean but simple. A pallet in a common room costs but a 5 copper pieces a night while a private room costs from 2 silver pieces. Food is simple but the portions are large and the ale (made by the innkeeper herself) is famous for its flavour and strength. The innkeeper is a quiet human female, Jerili Task, who though kind, is strong enough to deal with even the most boisterous dwarf.

The Temple Of Koryis

This temple is a large and prosperous one reflecting the importance of trade in the town. Gold and silver ornaments, gifts from petitioners, coloured glass in the windows and a large set of bells in the tower indicate the esteem that Koryis is held in Avondale. The clerics of Koryis do many good works throughout the town, helping the homeless and those whose businesses have fallen on hard times.

Oscar's Stables

The stables lie on Market Street an ideal location as most people entering or leaving town will pass by. The stables have space for almost 50 horses and their tack. Many of the young men and women of the town have at one time or other worked in the stables under the watchful gaze of Oscar a foul-mouthed human male aged about 40 who took over from his father, also called Oscar some 7 years ago. Business is good as there is little stabling available elsewhere in the town, the Castle Tavern for example has no space for horses.

The Guild Of Weapons

This large building on the edge of town houses the largest guild house within Avondale. Other guilds make do with rooms above shops, (the location of the Thieves' Guild is unknown to all but its members). The Guild of Weapons is run by Greatha a hulking brute of a man with astonishing strength and lightning quick reflexes. People come here for training in weapons and also to purchase or sell weapons and armour in the attached smithy run by Dugnar a friendly and loquacious dwarf. Accommodation for guild members is free but spartan and experienced adventurers are expected to help train those who are just starting out on the adventuring life.

The Crossroads Inn

The Crossroads Inn caters for travellers who are not wealthy enough to stay at the Castle Tavern but still want to be near the market place or the docks to do their deals. It is clean, safe and popular. It is run by a young human named Sandy who took over from his mother after she perished in a boating accident on the river.

Kesryk's Tower

Lord Kesryk has a tall tower set in the hills overlooking Avondale. This is near to the spot he is said to have appeared some forty years ago. The tower is over seventy feet high and few are ever granted admittance.

The Market

The market is one of the largest in the Free Isles. Traders from all over the Western Realms visit to buy and sell goods both exotic and mundane. Permanent shops are built around the perimeter of the market and these are also the homes of the more successful traders. The market itself is a riot of colours, sounds and scents as deals are done and contracts are signed. There are a large number of canvas capped stalls some almost totally enclosed to protect their wares, others more open to better advertise their contents. One thing is common to all however is the tall flagpoles with colourful pennants which help the patrons find the stalls they are looking for. On a windy day the sound of the pennants reminds frequent visitors to Avondale of the festival fireworks display held on Independence Day in front of Castle Kelter.

The Market Tavern

Another small tavern. This one tends to cater mainly for dwarves. It is run by Dofia Skarrad a female dwarf who tries to keep the rowdy patrons in line. She usually succeeds. Business has started to decline recently and she often appears tired and drawn. The tavern is most famous for 'Ironbrew' a hideous beverage supposedly made from water seeping out of the mines at Dal Skyr. Dofia has barrels brought in regularly at great expense from the Dwarven city.

Avondale Bridge

This is the third bridge to stand on this site. One was washed away in a flood and the second was burnt down during the war of independence. This latest bridge is constructed of stone and is much sturdier than the previous wooden constructions.

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