The Queen's River
10 Things About Briarton
1. Briarton is a small port settlement at the mouth of The Queen’s River on the Midland Sea. It is an human settlement permitted in the edges of The Queen’s Wood by special charter from the elven court. The settlers are permitted to harvest certain kinds of rare trees from the Queen’s Wood for use by the empire. The village faces many limitations through the charter, particularly on population and expansion.
2. Current population is about 500, but the large Queen’s Cove Inn on the water can host two dozen travelers at a time and a score more in the large deck dining area that serves as a common room.
3. Briarton residents are mostly humans but several elves, half-elves and halflings are permanent or semi-permanent residents. There is one dwarf. However anyone of any race can step off a boat or barge and be part of the community if even for a brief time.
4. Briarton is almost equidistant between Drakkenhall, Concord and the capitol of the Elvish Nation, The Court. It engages with trade with all three cities and supplies many points on the Midland Sea with rare woods harvested from the forest.
5. Briarton is governed by Lord Roderick Arunel, a former highly decorated gladiator from Axis; drafted to Axis Dragon Patrol as a marine, fought against giants in the north, promoted to captain, reassigned to Drakkenhall as a diplomat’s gaurd; and given the title of Governor upon retirement. He is said to have met personally with Emperor and to have once had an audience with The Blue.
6. Until recently the closest neighboring settlement was the elvish village of Corwyl some 50 miles upriver. However about four years ago Drakkenhall occupied an abandoned fort in the Tangled Hills above the eastern banks of the Queen’s River. Manned by hobgoblins and half orcs, the fort is almost certainly a violation of the treaty between the Court and Axis but the Blue refuses to move it, declaring it legal and inviting all dissenters to appeal in the Drakkenhall Courts.
7. The fort claimed by Drakkenhall was constructed a human generation ago by the dark elves of the Spider Wood, under a similar charter from The Court. However the residents of Corwyl and their dark cousins had a serious falling out. The legend is that all of the dark elves were put to the sword by Corwyl militia. The place has had a cursed reputation ever since.
8. The nearby Wake Islands get their name as they are scoured by tsunami every several years (or even every several months) as the Koru Behemoths cross the straits. To date the only structure that has survived multiple Behemoth migrations is Von Brandt Castle on the largest islands, but the place is a pirate-haunted empty shell.
9. As a settlement on the edge of an ancient elven forest, Briarton has a rich history of the odd and unusual. Among the common legends are two aged sisters who dwell in an enchanted cottage near the Drakkenhall fort and who will bargain for wishes; stories of strange animal-men who prowl the forests of the far shore; and sightings of a dragon of indeterminate color dwells in the tallest of the Tangled Hills. Less legendary but no less strange creatures are known to dwell on either bank of the river are colonies of killer bees, ferocious giant ants, and otherworldly roach-like insects that dwell in in the scalding steam of geysers and vents.
10. There are some big names thrown around in this description, and potentially important-sounding issues such as treaties, rare woods and dragons. But Briarton is not Bluffside: The village may have some unusual circumstances but it remains a tiny out-of-the way settlement. It is among the smallest of ten-thousand contentions between the Emperor and the Blue, and unlikely to escalate to a matter of importance for either Icon. The challenges your undertake and the villains you face will be in keeping with the scale of the setting.
Until they are not.