Town of Shrike's Perch
See also Shopping in Shrike’s Perch (WIP)
Township of Shrike’s Perch:This refugee camp turned Township sits at the headwaters of the River Shrike, Where the smaller streams of Shrike’s Intent, and Azata’s Run converge just before a mighty waterfall. Set among the slopes of the Everidge Mountains; steep cliffs, arrow trails, and seasonal passes make travel in this area difficult. That’s just fine for the locals however, who see these natural obstacles as protection from the world outside. The town is wishbone-shaped, and set in an alpine meadow dominated by the rushing waters. Steep valley walls, and the cliff-face of the waterfall itself provide the township with natural defenses on three sides; and wooden palisades along the upslope and accross the tributary streams complete them. In the valley below, farmers have begun to migrate out from the saftey of the Township proper. Their Quinoa (and actial Grain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa ) crops have become vital to the town’s foodstocks. In high passes, and pastures above the township; shepards mind their flocks of Goats and Sheep that keep the town in meat, milk, and wool. Though the Farms and the high pastures are difficult to defend against mutant creatures, and other predators; their value means that they are regularly patrolled by the militia. The archetecture of Shrike’s Perch is designed to minimize the town’s visibility to potential hostiles, and maximize warmth and comfort. Low earthen buildings (Similar to Tolkein’s “Hobbit Holes”) that appear as small hills are the most common structure, with their openings facing toward either side of the valley. People in the foothills cannot see them, and onlookers with elevation just see the town as a hilly meadow; not even the smoke from the fires within give away the township; as special Alchemical made ‘Dwarven Fire Stones’ within the chimineys of the houses abosorb the excess heat, and add the soot to their mass. This stored heat energy can later be harnessed for other purposes; and the collected soot is much sought after by the Dvergar for the production of Steel and Blasting Powder. A small foundry, powered by a water wheel, sits at the edge of the waterfall, and is built into the natural stone of the cliff-face itself. Within a small clan of Dvergar focus on the manufacture of goods, and teach metalworking to interested Alfar, and Humans. From here come the most of the village’s weapons, and tools. These Dvergar are all that remains of the Norad clan. Their nearby mountain city overrun by the mutated horrors of the convergence… Though initially distrustful of the Alfar of Shrike’s Pearch; they have since become pillars of the community. Their master Alchemist is constantly at work to create new wonders that fit in the narrow line between magic and tech. Under a set of Weathered Standing Stones is the Shrine to the Divine Guardians. Acolytes of the Guardians (Read: Clerics) perform ceremonies, and accept sacrifices in the name of their patrons, and all are united under the leadership of Oracle Amitri the Blind. The Oracle, one of the first of the HalfAlfar to be born, was given to the township as a blessing from all of the Guardians; and has acted as the town’s spiritual leader since she was able to walk; as she could talk almost from infancy! Now nearly 70 years old, she still appears as a hale and hearty woman in her thirties. Near the intersection of the headwaters sits the humble home of the Arcanist; an ancient Alfar sage who acts as the town’s historian, and guardian against magical foes. His home doubles as the schoolhouse for the youth of Shrike’s Perch; as well as a repository for Alfar artifacts. It is no accident that the Arcanist’s home is at the furthest point from the foundry… The town is ruled by the Council of Nine. Two elders each each, a male and a female, sit on this council; as do the Arcanist, Alchemist, and the Oracle. Together they work to guide their township into the future. Due to the ability of both Dvergar and Alfar to interbreed with Humans (Though the combination of Human and Dvergar is inevitably a pure Dvergar…); intermarraige between the peoples is commonplace, and HalfAlfar are a strong and welcome part of the community. (Many Alfar see the quick-maturing, and magically strong Half-Alfar as the best chance for the future of their people!) This solidarity means that racism, and bigotry are uncommon.
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