The Storm Rising
Stormhaven was founded some 200 years ago by a band of adventurers who, nearing the end of their careers, were looking for a place to settle down Prior to its foundation, the area was mostly forest and marsh, with the only structure being an uninhabited stone hut that still stands today. The town existed, until recently, in relative obscurity, with its population hovering at around two thousand. The biggest business was fishing (and more than a bit of whaling,) with about half the households in Stormhaven able to claim a fisherman as a member. The rest of the town’s economy came into being either to support the fishing business or to relieve its fishermen of their hard earned coin. Bars and brothels sprang up like mushrooms after a heavy rain. The town’s early lumber trade is survived only by an abandoned guildhall and empty lumberyard.
Despite Stormhaven’s history of seafarers, little mercantile trade ever came through its ports. The city of Seaton to the north was the region’s trade center. Stormhaven got its scraps, mostly ships carrying plain textiles, various ores (though nothing precious,) and unworked leather. Enough to support a small merchant’s guild and add some gold to the town’s economy, but not much more than that. Smuggling was not uncommon, especially while the Confederation’s Luxury Tariff was in effect. However, the town’s only large-scale smuggling ring was executed en masse by Confederation soldiers some twenty years ago.
Since Seaton was destroyed ten years ago, Stormhaven has become an increasingly important trading center, and it seems that the town may take over Seaton’s role as the trade center in the region. Many of the town’s fishing boats have been converted for merchant use, and the Merchant’s Guild has recently become the town’s largest guild. While this recent windfall has certainly stimulated the town’s growth it has also contributed to a large increase in crime. A boom in crime that the Watch is having a hard time keeping up with.
Seaton: The destruction of Stormhaven’s longtime economic rival has probably proven to be the most influential event in the history of the town. The influx of refugees more than doubled the town’s population, and the rape of the nearby port made Stormhaven an ideal alternative for merchants. Most of the survivors escaped with nothing more than the cloths on their backs, and a disproportionate number now live in the slums.
The facts surrounding Seaton’s destruction are still mostly unknown and the event itself remains an enigma. If this seems surprising considering the number of survivors and the time elapsed, that’s probably because it is. However, those who survived that bloody night all have one thing in common: they have no recollections of anything that happened after sunset, only overwhelming feelings of terror and unbearable loss.
Those in Stormhaven who were abroad that night reported various strange phenomena preceding the event. The most common claims involve bizarre flashes of colored lights in the sky the night of the attack, a fleet of black, bannerless ships sighted in the area, or a sheet of glowing mist. Other, more absurd claims are rampant. Of these, the most adhered to holds that demon cultists opened a gate to the Abyss and inadvertently attracted the attention of some obscene entity, possibly a Demon Lord. Numerous attempts to discern the truth have all failed to uncover anything of note.
The Slums: There are two distinct slums in Stormhaven, known colloquially as the East and West Holes. West Hole is the older of the two and is best described as a shanty town. The buildings in West Hole are, with few exceptions, ancient, leaning shanties. Most are single story, and are adjacent to paved roads of some kind. East Hole, also known as New Hole (or Asshole,) grew up in the ruins of the Centennial Fire. The buildings are tightly packed and many can only be accessed from the streets through a labyrinth of dirt alleys and small courtyards. Most of West Holes residents live in tenement halls at the whim of unscrupulous slum lords.
Stormhaven’s slums have grown both in population and peril over the past ten years. The sudden influx of penniless refugees from Seaton is largely responsible for both of these problems. Many of these unfortunates were unable to find a niche in Stormhaven and were reduced to mean labor, some forced into working the town sewers. Others rediscovered the age old aphorism: crime pays.
Now the slums (especially East Hole, where the crimes committed tend to be more severe) are overrun with criminal activities, everything from cutpurses to streetgangs to seemingly more organized perpetrators. The Watch is overwhelmed, and even after a decade of the Council’s initiatives the crime rate is increasing. More than half of the crimes committed in the slums go unpunished.
On the map of Stormhaven, the slums are marked as areas 66.
Sewers: Unusual for a town of its size, Stormhaven has a system of sewers pipes that utilize both gravity and the ocean’s tides. The sewer directs rainwater and the town’s waste into the Kingfisher River and the surrounding sea. Unfortunately, during exceptionally high tides (or storm surges) the sewers have been known to back up, filling low lying streets with diseased water. East Hole is the only portion of Stormhaven that doesn’t have a functional sewer system.
Procuring Goods and Services in Stormhaven: Goods in Stormhaven can be gotten through numerous channels. The first and most obvious involves the various stores and markets in town. Rarer and more expensive items can often be obtained from the numerous merchants and caravans that pass through town. Finding the appropriate merchant requires a Gather Information check. If the item is not available in town it is possible to advertise for your item at Surfside Shipping.
Services can usually be obtained at the appropriate guild.
The Watch: Stormhaven is defended against both internal and external threats by the Watch. Mostly the Watch spends its time policing the town’s streets, though they seem to have given up on East Hole. The Watch is also charged with running the town’s overcrowded jail, which is located underneath the barracks. The militia, which is responsible for manning the walls and aiding in the town’s defense, is an extension of the Watch. The Watch is commanded by a bear of a man named Kathar Haas.
Watchmen wear different cloaks to denote status:
Purple: Common street watchman.
Red: Watch brute.
Grey: Prison guard.
The Council: The town is governed by The Council, a six member body which includes the Lord Mayor. Each council member, except for the Mayor is elected by popular vote and serves for life. The Mayor also serves a life term, but is elected by the members of the council. The Council always meets at the start of each season, but usually meets more often to discuss smaller or far reaching matters.
The councilors are as follows:
Lord Mayor Tolas Aredin: Tolas has held his post for over three decades and is still highly popular. He always seems to have the best interest of the town in mind, and has led several initiatives (all of which ultimately failed) to deal with Stormhaven’s rising crime.
Lady Lyrin Ivres: High Priestess of Pelor, she has spent over fifteen years on the Council. She is well regarded, even by those who do not belong to her church. She has recently sponsored an initiative, along with Lord Toren Aerakin, to provide Lanorill Orphanage with increased the funding. It will come to a vote in about two months.
Lord Alain Gavrenath: Holds the position of Senior Councilman (though Sasha is indisputably more senior) and presides over sessions where the mayor is absent.
Lord Toren Aerakin: The newest and youngest member of the Council, Toren is only twenty-three-years-old. He was voted into office following the sudden and untimely death of the previous Councilor—his father. Rumors abound that he poisoned his father and bought the vote. His pet project is the Lanorill Orphanage. Toren can trace his lineage back to Lady Tasha Aerakin, one of the adventurers who founded Stormhaven.
Lord Hoskin Lashti: The patriarch of one of Stormhaven’s oldest families of halflings, Lord Hoskin is both a Councilor and the proprietor of the Raven’s Wing. He pushes for the betterment of Stormhaven, especially where it concerns halflings.
Lady Sasha Nightcowl: Believed by many to be a witch, Sasha is one the town’s enduring mysteries. She was a member of the town’s first Council over two hundred years and has served ever since. How she will vote is entirely unpredictable and many of her decisions seemed to contradict each other.
[[Stormhaven: Fortifications | Fortifications]]
1. City Wall: Built twenty years ago with the pretense of protecting the town from lizardfolk incursions. It served to protect Stormhaven from the Confederation’s armies in the recent civil war.2. Watch Towers 3. City Gates 4. Hoolwatch Tower: Built to watch both the marshes to the north and the sea. 60 ft. tall and stands on a 50’ cliff. A large cannon for defending against pirates sits atop it. 5. The : Local tavern. A bit on the pricey side, favored more by travelers than locals. 6. Stormhaven Sendings: Message delivery service. Sendings utilizes various means, ranging from on foot messengers to magic. Doesn’t ship. 7. Cathedral of Kord: Sermons here often include nonlethal duels. Not surprisingly the church is growing in popularity. Jossus Hewshard 8. Cathedral of Pelor: Possibly the largest structure in town. 9. Temple of Fharlanghn: Doubles as an inn. Prices are generally quite good. 10. Stormhaven Cemetery: Those interred here are mostly from the middle class. The poor can generally only afford to be cremated and the upper-class often have family crypts. It is well known that the cemetery is haunted by undead and that its groundskeeper is a lycanthrope of some sort. 11. Carpenters’ Guild 12. Radric’s General Store: Weapons, adventuring gear, tools and kits, clothing, food, drink, and gear for mounts and transport can purchased here. The owner also runs a popular bar and restaurant out of the store. 13. The Anvil: The smiths guild operates here. Almost any nonmagical metal object can be ordered here. Receptionist is a heavy set man. Measurer Marcon Agosto is tall and spidery. 14. Jewelers’ Guildhall 15. Scriveners’ Guildhall: This guildhall is a storehouse of considerable knowledge in the form of the written word. 16. Bakers’ Guildhall: Breads and pastries of all sorts can be purchased here. 17. Merchants’ Guildhall: The guildhall also serves as a moneylender and moneychanger. Most loans have a 10% monthly interest rate, though higher rates are available for short-term loans. The money changing services are free and include writs of credit. The guild is also willing to hold goods and money in its vaults. It insures up to 200 gp of goods stored this way. 18. The Lizard’s Boat: A local tavern popular with visitor and among the middle class. It serves a wide range of alcohol, seafood, and bread. 19. Blue Frog Brewery: A local brewery and guildhall to the town’s small brewers’ guild. Stormhaven’s famous Blue Frog Ale originates here. 20. Shrine of Obad-Hai: The shrine is tended by an aging and introverted halfling named Ferrin Kastilar. His temper is legendary; over the past year he has attacked some of the shrine’s visitor’s and passers-by with magic. No one has been seriously hurt. 21. Frog Park: A small wooded park. Its interior is a marshy pond. The park is home to a number of frog statues and even more live frogs. 22. Lizard Embassy: This is the embassy to a local tribe of lizardfolk. 23. Tailors’ Guildhall 24. Stormhaven Playhouse: An ornate three-story theater. The playhouse’s performances are quite popular among Stormhaven’s middle and upperclass. The playhouse also serves as Stormhaven’s entertainers’ guildhall. 25. Fishmongers’ Warehouses: This area of town is also home to the fishmonger’s guild. 26. The Hoof ’n’ Mouth: The town’s newest tavern and the cheapest to drink at. It is well known that the proprietor waters down the drinks and the house specialty is known by the locals as ‘dirt lager’. 27. The Shipyard: Home to shipwrights’ guild. 28. Drunken Urchin: One of the town’s busiest taverns; especially popular among fishermen and traveling merchants. The house specialty is a cocktail known as Urchin Wine. Ankus Akalvin. 29. Surfside Shipping: Most of the imports that come through Stormhaven have to be registered here. Arrangements for the shipping of parcels can be made here. 30. Alchemists’ Guildhall: Three story building built on 5’ pylons. Various alchemical goods can be purchased here. 31. Stormhaven Market: Various goods, including food, everyday supplies, and other miscellany, can be purchased at these open air stalls. Livestock can be purchased either directly or at auction at the weekly auction held at the pagoda. The market opens at sunrise and closes a few hours before sunset. When open the Watch maintains a strong presence here to deal with the numerous cutpurses and pickpockets that prey on shopper. 32. Anmeh’s Hall of Oddities: A museum of the bizarre, the Hall of Oddities is a permanent freakshow. The proprietor usually keeps two or three live exhibits at all times. Guided tours are available at ten times the regular entrance price; these also include access to “secret exhibits.” 33. Shop: One of the few shops in town that sells magic items. Spell components, various alchemical substances, and other unusual objects are available here. 34. The Leatherworkers’ Guildhall: The leatherworkers’ guild was once located in this deteriorating building. Some years back, the guild master Kiorn Krellin was found to be in league with slavers and executed after a highly publicized trial. The deed to the building was never found and the building has been abandoned ever since. 35. Marshgate Bridge: A covered stone bridge that crosses the Kingfisher River. This was recently destroyed in a Ku’o-toa attack. 36. Major Bridges: Two wooden bridges enough for two carriages to pass side by side. The northernmost bridge is called Anwyn Bridge, while the southernmost Sharkfin Bridge. 37. Minor Bridges: These two bridges are wide enough for a single horse to cross, but mostly see foot traffic. The eastern bridge is known as Market Bridge, while the western is known as Barnacle Bridge. 38. Stormhaven Museum: In addition to housing various artifacts from the town’s history (including the founding adventurers’ gear,) the museum also serves as an art gallery. All of the exhibits without historical significance are for sale. 39. Temple of Boccob: The Temple of Boccob is an extravagant pyramidal structure complete with towers and a rotating glowing orb on top. Magic items are available here for purchase, though at an inflated price. This is also the meeting place of the mages’ guild. 40. Town Hall: The Council meets here to hold town meetings. Various writs may be obtained here. Some can be procured from the dozen or so scribes that work here, while others require the approval and signature of one or all of the council members. 41. The Way of the Blade: This establishment teaches an acrobatic school of swordplay. Only those who show promise are admitted. 42. Raven’s Wing: No other tavern or inn in Stormhaven can claim the prestige owned by this inn. While the food and drink served here are unrivaled by other local establishments, the prices are nearly exorbitant. Consequently, most of its patrons are well-to-do merchants, adventurers, or belong to the town’s upperclass. The proprietor is none other than town councilor Hoskin Lashti. 43. Barracks/Jail: Most of the Watch is stationed here. The town jail is located under the barracks. 44. Slaughterhouse: The town slaughterhouse is owned by four unsavory brothers who call themselves the Sawtooth Boys. Poor quality meats and mystery sausage can be got here. 45. Stonemasons’ Guildhall 46. Lanorill Orphanage: An elderly woman named Ena Lanorill runs this home for unfortunate children. Those children who repeatedly break the law are also sent here to be reformed. 47. The Dancing Dryad: Stormhaven’s eminent and infamous inn, brothel, tavern, and gambling hall. One some nights a scantily clad dryad (what other kind is there?) dances on stage for the audience. 48. The Flounder Pounder: One of Stormhaven’s seediest and most dangerous taverns. The house specialty is “pounded flounder,” whole flounder that has been hammered to a mash and fried in grog and lard. 49. Lumberers’ Guildhall: The only remnant of the town’s extinct lumber business, along with the adjacent lumberyard. 51. Sewerers’ Guildhall: The sewerers’ guild meets here. 52. Tinkers’ Guildhall: The tinkers’ guild meets here. They are responsible for the bizarre and amazing mechanical toys that every noble’s child must have. 53–59. Mansions: A number of mansions belonging to Stormhaven’s nobility sit atop the Cliff, the name for the plateau on which are built the houses of the town’s well-to-do. 60. Avrenol Mansion: Numerous stories are told of the haunted Avrenol Mansion. The most popular among Stormhaven’s children tells of an unfortunate boy, usually named Harry Barlew—though other versions exist—, who, on a dare, spent the night in the mansion. Most recognize these stories as little more than campfire tales, but, that said, most also give the building a wide berth, day or night. 64. Menhirs: This ancient ring of black standing stones is often used in druidic rituals. People speak of them being built by the Old Ones. Sasha Nightcowl 66. Slums: Stormhaven has two distinct slum areas which are outlined above. 67. Stormhaven Asylum for the Disturbed: This forbidding and grim three story building serves as the town’s insane asylum. A number of those who escaped from Seaton lapsed into insanity, necessitating the building’s construction.