Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Town: AL CN; 15,000gp limit; Assets 9,000,000gp; Population 5,000; Mixed (90% human, 5% halfling, 2% dwarf, 3% other)

On the coast of the Jæruel, where the river meets the sea, lies Tannen (pronounced TAW-nen), a bustling seaport of a town built on sandy soil.


The larger, more established buildings of Tannen are of sandstone and light wood from the forests harvested upriver near the village of Ches.

The buildings on the capitol grounds are of carved alabaster, taken from the mines east of Alabaster. The humbling, white edifice in the center of the city lies on a 5-acre plot surrounded by formal gardens decorated with flowers from the farthest reaches of the Jæruel. This is truly where the goods of the Jæruel comes together in an impressive display of what a successful merchant collective (some would say oppressive) can accomplish.


Along the banks of the river Ches runs a short wall of sandbags to keep the river in its banks in rainier months. Within five feet of these walls rise the older and more ornately-decorated buildings made of old hardwoods, including the town hall, the Jæruel central offices, the two inns that made Tannen famous (Inn of Golden Meadows and The Lark's Nest), Smullivan's Emporium, and, where the river meets the sea, the shipyard, where ninety percent of the seaworthy vessels in the Jæruel are built.

The town blocks off the river are devoted to residences, including the mayor's house and on a low hill the wealthy neighborhood inhabited entirely by those in executive positions within the Jæruel, retired merchants who now manage their personal matters from their estates.

The rest of the town is a hodge-podge of market squares, shops on lower levels, and residences rising in the second and third storeys.

Key locations:
* Capitol Grounds - large, new construction that towers over town hall
* Town Hall - a converted keep that predates the town
* Jæruel Central Offices - new constructions across the river
* Twin Lighthouses - one in north-town and one in south-town
* Smullivan's Emporium - market for many items
* Inn of Golden Meadows - standard inn named for the surrounding countryside
* The Lark's Nest - exotic inn, featuring delicasies and fine things
* the shipyard - busy, working-class district where the river actually meets the sea

This town has served as the center of government for the Jæruel since the central offices of the merchant collective moved here two generations ago.


(to follow in later post)


The Jæruel hierarchy represents the most notable personas in town. Galway Froid (mayor), Fennel Chatwid (head consulate), and Zann Diacon (finance minister) are the highest-ranking officials in Tannen.

The innkeeper owner of the Lark's Nest is a boistrous legend. Of foreign descent and well-traveled, he tells stories the way most men tell lies, with the upmost of ease. Chariz Muqatad is known throughout the Jæruel, and there are those who visit Tannen just to meet him and hear his stories. In the process, he listens to their stories, which he uses to continue to embellish his own tales.

J.P. Smullivan is a trader who has recently joined the Jæruel, electing to pay his membership dues rather than risk losing his business to the town guard. Though less-than-friendly to new faces, largely due to this pressure to join the Jæruel, he is aware of much that transpires in Tannen and thus represents a great source of knowledge. The key is getting him to share it.

Plot Points

Each of the executives in the wealthy district finance treasure hunting expeditions and each have constant need for couriers and escorts. In addition, the Meldor House is known for financing voyages inland, past Westfort into the mountains and plains beyond. Zane Meldor is a known eccentric, known for his misadventures in the brothels in Tannen's slums. He is ailing, and has been convinced that the fungal cure for his illness lies west of Westfort.

Smullivan is always after new supplies, especially those of an exotic nature. He knows of certain individuals who possess such items, and runs a secret business trading such items. Interestingly, it seems he has thieves steal from one Jæruel or Tannen city official which he then sells to another, and so on. He is likely to hire a party with an experienced enough thief to acquire such items from the homes of the wealthy.

Chariz Muqatad needs a message delivered to his extended family back in the dry lands to the far south, across the Old Bay. He is willing to pay handsomely for the message's delivery. The message itself is so important that it has been stuffed inside a chicken, and must be delivered while the chicken still lives. This is an age-old custom for communicating among his people.

Galway Froid's daughter, Ammrie has gone missing. Rumor has it she is being held for ransom, but there is no official word on this. If the party inquires too directly in official circles, they are likely to be taken to the dungeons beneath the town hall, a converted keep that predates the rest of the city, for probing and questioning. Others who have relevant information include Chariz Muqatad, who said he overheard some of the kids joking about staging an abduction, and Smullivan, who sold a load of face paint and robes to some of the local teens. The real story is that Ammrie had her allowance cut back and so she and her friends decided to stage a kidnapping to collect the ransom. It turns out, however, that when a local thug heard of this, he took her from her friends, and now holds her in a cliffside camp overlooking the sea to the north of Tannen, where he awaits delivery of the ransom sum.

Once the teens are found, they will admit their part in the staging, and provide a description of the thug, who happens to be Thaddius Brewster, former employee of Smullivan's. He used to lift large crates by himself and earned various nicknames for his feats of strength. If asked, Smullivan will mention Brewster's departure from his shop lines up with the time of the supposed kidnapping. Once returned, the mayor will pay the party handsomely, though less than the original ransom. He is a shrewd merchant, after all!

The dungeons beneath the keep lead in various directions throughout the city. They are well-explored in the vicinity of the town jail; however, the secret, windy passages are said to hold more in store for an adventurous enough lot.

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