The Barony of Avondale

Statistics:

Area:647 square miles
Total Population: 6400

Important Settlements

Avondale (Town): 2700
Avonmouth (Small Town): 750
Greenbluff (Village): 200

Description

The Barony of Avondale is one of the most wealthy within the Free Isles. It's proximity to the Dwarven city of Dal Skyr has meant that its main settlement, Avondale, has become a major trading centre. Raw materials and basic metal goods from the mines and foundries of Dal Skyr are traded here for foodstuffs and luxury goods produced elsewhere in the Free Isles. Dairy and beef cattle graze on the rich grasses of the coast while other farmers concentrate on wheat, rye and barley. Very good beers are brewed in the inns of the Barony. Some money is made from forestry but few are daring, foolish or desperate enough to fell trees within the Forest of Grimdell.

Avondale

Avondale is a cosmopolitan town with humans, elves and dwarves generally getting along without incident. The Baronial Seat is occupied by Thadima Jubfek, the seventh Baron of Avondale. Childless and in his forties he has a reputation for cruelty and arrogance.
The small garrison at Castle Kelter is under the command of Dalyor. The garrison strength is currently 11 heavy horse, 11 light horse and 32 men at arms. They are well trained, with able leaders and their morale is high.
In a tower north of the town lives Kesryk - Lord Guardian Of The Western Hills. A powerful mage, Kesryk is one of the favoured advisers to the First. He is often absent on business in the capital leaving the tower in the capable hands of one or other of his apprentices.

Avonmouth

Sailing into Avonmouth on a stormy winter's evening with the light failing is an experience even the most hardened sailor would blanch at. With shifting sandbars and a harbour wall too low to offer much protection from the south-easterly winds it takes a skilled pilot to get the boat safely up against the quay. Yet sailors to make the run from Safeharbour or Deephaven in the midst of winter as the rewards can be high. Once within the harbour goods can be offloaded onto the wide quay or onto barges and river boats for the journey up the river. Most of the occupants of the town are involved with the harbour trade in one way or another.

The Forest Of Grimdell

"A twisted forest. Dark and cursed" so run the first lines of the famous poem "The Lay Of Aromar". It could have been written for this expanse of ancient woodland north-west of Avondale. The people living in the small farming villages that are scattered around its perimeter instil a fear and loathing of the forest into their children. It is from here that the Bogeymen come to eat little boys, goblins to steal away noisy girls and spirits to scare those who don't wash behind their ears. Like all folk-tales, there is a germ of truth behind these stories. Goblins and orcs do live in the woods. Ghosts and lesser undead do flit between the boles of the ancient trees and other strange creatures have been seen dancing around eerie fires late at night. Most people avoid the woods but those who's journeys take them through it never travel alone or at night.
A wayside inn called 'The Greenwood' does good trade with travellers on the Avonmouth - Avondale road.

Greenbluff

This small fishing community lies well off of the beaten tracks. It has no harbour and boats are instead dragged up on to the shallowly sloping shingle beach.

Mercer's Crossing

This hamlet tends to prosper at Avondale's expense when there is a hot summer. With the River Avon at low levels barges unload their goods here rather than risk running aground before reaching the docks at Avondale. This causes much resentment between the burghers of Avondale and the carters of Mercer's Crossing. This prosperity is usually short lived as there is too little warehouse space in Mercer's Crossing and it lies very close to the dark woods of Grimdell.

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