Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
“We have all shed the blood of orcs. We all carry the hopeknives, ready to take our own lives rather than be captured. We work the land our ancestors fought to keep, and we draw strength from their sacrifice. Our people have stared into the eyes of the hordes for two hundred years. We have married, borne children, and lived more fiercely and freely than those of softer nations can ever imagine.
“Will we be here next year? Only the gods know. All I know is that this is our home. If the orcs plan on taking it from us, then every one of us will drag ten of them screaming down to Hell with us. And we’ll be laughing the whole way down.”
—Patrol Leader Jagrin Grath
The most immediately visible feature of the town of Palischuk is its palisade. Originally, the palisade was a hastily constructed fence of sharpened branches, but over decades of strife, the Rageborns have built it into something considerably more lasting and deadly. Ten-foot-high tree trunks, their tops sharpened into wicked points, surround the lower portion of the village, fitted so tightly that not even light passes between them. Their bases are driven another 5 feet into the earth, and the bottom half of the wall is encased in a rough but sturdy stone foundation.
Trenches filled with smaller spikes create a deadly briar patch guarding the wall from assault. Also incorporated into the palisade are several rock outcroppings that rise even higher, forming the bases for several wooden watchtowers, including those on both sides of the gate.
Past the gate is the Lower Quarter, the town then rises up a steep switchback (the Inner Quarter) in the cliff face to an exposed stone plateau 40 feet above the rest of the hill (the Upper Quarter). These cliffs are the town’s true defense, as even a handful of defenders can easily pick off any invaders attempting to scale the sheer cliffs, allowing the townsfolk to concentrate the bulk of their defense on the lower palisades.
Stone watchtowers stand in the town’s higher levels as well, with fortified structures crowding between normal houses and shops. While the barns and other working structures are kept outside the walls, and many of the residents spend their days and even nights in those buildings, all residents must either maintain personal quarters in the town or pay a “siege fee” to rent a room or a patch of floor in someone’s house inside the walls, to be used only during orc attacks. The siege fee is a set rate established by the Council of Defenders in order to discourage profiteering.
Outside the Walls
Two locations are located outside the palisades.
2. Barterstones (an open market for trading with outsiders who haven’t earned the people’s trust enough to be allowed in the walls)
22. The Burned Church (aka The Plague House) (a former temple of the Triad, built by crusaders confident that the Triad would strike down any who dared come for them)
The Lower Quarter
1. The Main Gate
3. Hopespring (a fresh and reliable spring which starts in the Upper Quarter and cascades down in a small waterfall)
4. That n’ Such (officially Meeson’s Goods and Salvage, human owned pawn shop and outfitters)
5. Ramblehouse (Hin-run boardinghouse and Inn)
6. Clamor (officially Morninghawk’s Fine Steel, Councilor Sara Morninghawk is responsible for virtually all the metalwork in Palischuk)
7. Cromm’s Holdfast (temple to Tempus)
Unlabeled. House of Wonders (“magic” shop of Agrit Staginsdar, Rageborn Arcanist)
B. Beacons. Pyramids of wood and kindling stand throughout Palischuk, ready to be lit as a beacon should the town come under attack.
8. Inner Gate
9. The Killin’ Ground (tavern run by Rabus, who makes his own moonshine)
10. High Gate
11. The Palischuk Countinghouse (Temple to Waukeen and bank, run by a long line of human priests)
12. Harrowtract Hall (clanhouse)
13. Stonebreaker Hall (dwarven clan house – one of the two dwarven clans living in Palischuk, in times of attack the Stonebreakers man the Inner Gate below through secret passages)
14. Weird Wingham’s Wacky Weapons Dealer (odd weapons and armor collected by Weird Wingham and his organization)
15. Wingham Manor
16. Kelver’s Boardinghouse
17. Amberfire Brewery (brewery run by second of two dwarven clans)
18. The Commons (amphitheater used for town meetings, ceremonies, serves as martial training grounds)
19. Ivory Hall (seat of power, council hall, home of Chief Defender Halgra)
20. Flames of the Fallen (funeral pyre)
21. Palischuk Longhouse (Common rooms for meetings, barracks, storerooms for emergency supplies, largest building in town)
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