Hometown of: Nulath
(The game began in the town of Altair.)
NPCs of note:
Zandreth Kalazah… RIP male tiefling, mayor of Altair. All the bad things you hear about politicians? He’s done them. A smarmy lawyer-type who frequently rules town by technicality, and may have bribed his way to the post he holds, though no one can prove it. Killed in Adventure 1, executed as a traitor by Titus Imperius. Kalazah was also the slimy, disliked uncle of one of the PCs, Art Zoe.
Tennyson Featherin… male half-elf, creater of Featherin Fey Ale, brewing genius & CEO of Featherin Breweries
Gilraith Featherin…male half-elf, Tennyson’s son, military hero, promoted to General of Regional Army Reserves in Altair area. Marrying Christania
Alera Featherin… Gilraith’s younger sister. Just hitting the age where boys are becoming important, and the apple of most schoolboys’ eyes in town, she will definitely be trouble. Think Scarlet O’Hara.
Christania (of) Moonriver… female eladrin, Feywild princess. Recently married Gilraith. Her family is known to be allied in the Feywild with the Archfey known as Mab, Queen of Air & Darkness. Christania is a known hydromancer, demonstrating magical aptitudes in water and cold energies.
Elouise Bookwise… female human priest/librarian of Ioun. Think of a middle-aged Hermione Granger. Currently acting Mayor of Altair, standing in after Kalazah was removed from his post.
Omar Havarti… male human, Speaker for the town. Seldom seen in town, Omar spends much of his time dealing with regional issues along with the rest of the area’s town Speakers. A good guy, if a bit ambitious, Omar’s father was also a politician, as was his father. But he’s charismatic enough that folks don’t see him as “old money”, but rather as part of a long line of men who have given their lives to serve the people of Altair.
Wendy Fullbelly… female halfling chef, runs The Heaping Portion, the town’s largest restaurant. She and her staff will be catering the Featherin wedding.
Orn Steelshovel…RIP male dwarf who attempted to mine the rocky hills north of town. He and his wife refused to admit there was nothing there, and eventually worked themselves to death (maybe 6 months ago). The 3 Steelshovel sons, all in their teens (Morn, Dorn, & Axeblood), have been sort of town ne’er-do-wells since then.
Morn Steelshovel…RIP Eldest of the brothers, killed by double-crossing Drow.
Dorn Steelshovel…RIP Middle Steelshovel brother, also killed by Drow.
Axeblood Steelshovel… 11-yr-old, last to hold his family’s name. Disgraced by the poor business decisions of his parents and the even worse actions of his older brothers, his future is uncertain.
Halani Starstaff… female Eladrin wizard, official Ambassador from Moonriver. Often seen with a far-off gaze and a vaguely amused smile, she is the sort of Eladrin many dwarves base their stereotypes off of. She runs a magic item shop in town, and can also be consulted for other magic-related matters.
Colm Fireforge… male dwarven smith. He and his family (including kids, cousins, and misc others) have made most metal objects in town. He can make most any weapon or (metal) armor, but doesn’t know much about any magic beyond traditional dwarven earth magics (“if you want this axe to get good at killing orcs, smash it into a lot of orcs, and it’ll become an orc-slayer”). His items can be taken to Halani for enchantments, though, and he doesn’t mind (“You’d need a high quality base armor to hold onto any kind of magic permanently, after all.”) On the high feasts of Moradin, the Fireforges hold metal-working classes, allowing any who’ll participate to experience the joys of using fire to create something strong.
“Old” Zeke Valanche… male goliath head of municipal physical services. Zeke and his crews (many full of folks doing their mandatory service) keep the streets of Altair clean, clear away brush in the river after storms, light the town’s street lanterns downtown, and help out in the event of any sort of physical emergency (flooding, tornado, etc). He also oversees the town dump, which is mostly just Zeke’s backyard. While he likes antiques and other strange things that others have gotten rid of, much of the other trash taken there just “disappears” somehow. It works out well for the town, though, so people don’t question Zeke… which is good, seeing as how he can be kind of ornery in his old age. Picture the old guy from Disney’s “UP!”, but as a half-giant, and you’ve got a good idea of Zeke’s personality.
Jax Dangerdeath… Hero extraordinaire. male human of about 28 years, Jax runs the town’s chapter of the International Adventurer’s Guild, a loosely-collected organization spread across the globe with the state purpose of “Eradicating monsters, vanquishing evil, and seeking glory.” As there are seldom monsters or actual threats to deal with, Jax spends much of his time seeking out greater adventure in whatever nearby locales might have “some action”… which often means Mt. Overlook or the nearby Yew Woods. The staff at the Thellas Magirium often have to chase him off their grounds, though, as his understanding of what “proper adventuring” entails is often not in-line with traditional Eladrin standards of decorum.
Ararial… RIP aka “that crazy deva in the woods”. male deva, extremely old. Sort of a cross between Jedi Master Yoda and a crazy cat lady, with twice as many stories about him, many of them conflicting. He’s a hermit, so most folks never see him. Some kids will go through “rites of passage” with their friends where they blindfold themselves at the edge of the woods and call out “I’m not scared of the crazy hermit!” while their friends watch and toss sticks into the woods to scare the blindfolded kid… but it’s unknown if Arariel has ever actually been around for any of these invocations. Recently died of old age, or so the rumors go.
Griswold Many-Notches… male gnome, owner of general store. A bit of a tinkerer (as all gnomes are), Griswold proudly wears the many-notched, many-pocketed, many-tools-secreted-away-within leather apron/armor of his great, great grand-father, passed down from father to son for generations (each of which added more “enhancements”). Griswold is a nice enough person, a good businessman, and even keeps a small library of trap-related books and a few ornate locks that he picks at in his spare time… to keep the mind fresh, don’t you know.
Jenezra Floe… female genasi (water), dock manager & shipping coordinator. Jen manages most of the boats that come in and out of the Altair docks. She keeps her cards close to her chest, though, so most of her workers couldn’t tell you if deep down she’s fun-loving, ruthless, boring, or funny. She has few known “friends,” though she is on good business terms with the Featherin family and Mayor Kalazah. She generally just gets her job done and keeps to herself. Once, ten years ago, there was talk of piracy on the river one night in the tavern. One sailor escaped a ship and wandered back to town to tell the tale of woe. Jen got up and quietly left the tavern. A week later a ship full of dead men ran ashore north of town. The men had all drowned… while standing on the ship. Many people give Jen a wide berth as a result.
Father Antonin Bowstring… male elf, high priest of Erathis. Fr Bowstring is also the head of the town’s youth athletics leagues, which participate in contests of archery, footracing, wrestling, javelin-throwing, etc. Think of him as a really motivated gym teacher… who is also a priest. Known to his players by the reverent title of “Father Coach”.
Lugent “Lefty” Barker… male half-elf, foreman & head of workers’ bargaining at Featherin Brewery. Hard worker. Tells it like it is. Don’t call him “Mr”… just “Lefty” is fine.
Heather… female wilden, hosts drumming/dances every full moon in the woods for some of the younger folk (and the more “hippy”-ish). Not seen much, if at all, in the “civilized” parts of town, and always has a wild look about her… dredlocks, various natural garments (if any), etc. While she’s seen as a little crazy, it is known that she somehow keeps anything “bad” from coming out of the Yew woods to attack folks who attend these drum&dance sessions. There was even a rumor that she & the crazy deva Arariel had some kind of relationship, but since nobody spends much time talking to either of them, that has yet to be confirmed.
Lindsay Campbell… male human, the local high school sports star. A wrestler & shot-putter, Lindsay manages to work enough charm into his muscular physique to be quite a hit with the ladies. His parents run a shipping company that handles many of the Featherin orders, so he’s got some money, too. Lindsay took his semester abroad in the upper mountains outside Alexandria, which only seemed to improve his physique and appeal with the ladies when he returned. It is widely thought that if either he or Alera Featherin ever directed their efforts at the other, amazing things would happen… but she pretends not to be interested in him, and he feigns too much importance for a girl 2 years his junior.
Kyone Velve… female half-Drow/half-Eladrin. A cousin of Christania’s, she is also the Maid of Honor at the upcoming wedding. Basically Pippa, but with exotic partially Drow features. Initially kidnapped by the Yochloi, Yaxavanda, she was since cured & brought up to speed with the party, and is now a PC played by Niki.
Geography and General Information
The city of Altair has a population of almost 4,000 permanent residents, with another 500 or so temporary or occasional denizens. The main industry is the Featherin Fey Ale factory, where the only successful hybrid of elvish fey wine and dwarven ale is produced and bottled. Roughly half of the town works for Featherin, with many others serving supporting roles (farmers providing necessary plants, landlords running boarding houses for the laborers, school-teachers handling the children of employees, etc). There is also a decent shipping industry in the town, with the Deep Blue River running southward on the town’s eastern border, and a major road (the Yew Highway) heading west towards Alexandria.
On the other side of the Deep Blue River is the beginning of the Yew Woods, a dense forest known to have links to the Feywild. There is reasonable traffic from the Eladrin/Gnomish community of Moonriver bordering this realm in the Feywild. There is a magic school in Moonriver called Thellas Magirium, which uses dorms in Altair for many of its students who cannot abide the oft’ chaotic effects of sleeping in the Feywild.
Altair’s proximity to Moonriver also makes it an important political destination, as Moonriver technically is part of a foreign power outside the control of Ionian rule. Relations between Ionia and the Eladrin fey kingdom that claims Moonriver are cordial, though, and the small Eladrin embassy in Altair frequently opens its doors to any townsfolk with questions about matters Fey.
Demographically (looking only at permanent residents), the town is 35% human, 25% half-elf, 20% Elf or Eladrin, 5% halfling or gnome, 5% dwarven, 5% half-orc, and 5% “other”. There’s probably one Goliath family, two or three dragonborn families, and a handful of the elves who might have some Drow blood (though no full-blooded Drow).
The Yew woods and their connection to Moonriver provide the most interaction from a nearby civilization.
There is a logging town some 15 miles north called Oakenfold, known for the high-quality flutes and various other wood-based instruments produced there.
To the south (about 4 miles away) is Milltown, a small community that sprung up around a variety of water-wheel mills that grind various grains and store them in large silos.
SE of Altair (7 miles away) there is a Mt. Tom-sized mountain called Overlook Mt. Atop that peak sits Ranger Station Alpha, a lookout post where teams of rangers look out over the Yew Woods to the north, watching for any fell fey beasts that might slip through from the Feywild.
To the west (10 miles) is Crosstown, a trade center that sprung up because 3 major roads intersected there.
Stuff the Locals Say…
“Did you see those western boys in the Magirium’s freshman class? Care to take odds on how many nights they last over there before requesting transfers to the dorms on our side?”
“I hear Featherin Fey Ale is competing in this year’s Dwarven Brewers championships out west. ’Course, we know those things are fixed, but at least folks out there will get to sample a truly complex brew, instead of that dirt-water the dwarves are used to.”
“I heard that shooting stars happen when a fey dragon slips out of the yew and the Rangers shoot it out of the sky with fiery arrows.”
“This flute is an Oakenfold, passed down to me from my father and from his father before that. When I play it during the full moon, sometimes I can see the centaurs and other creatures of the Yew come out to dance to its music.”
“I heard the old Mayor was sent here by a greater demon to wreak havoc, and it was only through the awesomely righteous justice dished out by KING IMPERIUS that such a great evil was destroyed!”
“Alera always has the nicest dresses, and all the boys pay attention to her when she walks into the room. Why can’t I have pretty things? Ooooh… I just HATE her!”
It is said that there used to be a crippled ancient Gnome who lived in that hut by the crossroads north of town. He had spent his life as a Scholar, and lost the use of his legs when several bookcases fell on him in a horrid library accident. Though his knowledge of the world beyond what he could see was based only on books and the brief distances he could crawl after the accident, he nonetheless hoped and dreamed of worlds beyond his reach, just down the road in any direction. That hope was said to be so great that when he finally died, his hope lived on, connecting that place to the land of dreams and hopes: the Feywild.