Nightgale

Located on the top of a 100 meter high hill in the middle of a huge plain, Nightgale is a small village of roughly 600 inhabitants. It is named after the high winds that occur during the night on a regular basis. While the population is far from big, the village is very active, with many travelers going in and out, bringing exotic culture along. Surprisingly enough, even with this much activity, the city is very orderly, boasting nearly no crime whatsoever.

History

Built around 600 years ago, Nightgale was originally a military outpost. As its strategic importance became clear, it was transformed into a fortress and equipped with state of the art weaponry. However, it never saw combat, and 400 years ago, when it became clear that it was extremely unlikely for anyone to attack the fortress, it was vacated by most of its soldiers, leaving only a small garrison behind. After many years of idle existence, the fort’s weaponry grew old and useless, and it became clear that if the trend continued, the fort would simply fall to ruin. The few remaining soldiers then decided to transform the military structure into a settlement.

For many decades, the guards were unsuccessful in growing their settlement. However, 250 years ago, one of them came up with the brilliant idea of advertising the empty space between the settlement's two outer walls as the safest farming fields in the country. Along with farmers came traders, and along with traders came notoriety and prosperity. Only 50 years later, Nightgale was bustling with activity. The forests surrounding the walls were cleared out, turned into farmland, and with the Ungoda River nearby, production reached a peak.

Unfortunately, this did not last long. 120 years ago, the population started declining as many villagers moved to other locations, closer to the main trade routes. This left many of the fields unattended, and soon they were filled with tall grass and no crops. For 80 years, the population kept dropping, until 40 years ago it reached its lowest: 53 inhabitants. At that point, something had to be done, and three of the remaining citizens sought audience with the King. As they argued the many perceived assets of the city, they requested for the king to do something to prevent its ruin. After some thought and heated debate amongst the king’s advisers, it was decided that funding would be given to the old city to start anew until either the city could be made self-sufficient and attractive or this proved to be a lost cause.

Even now, royal funding is still in vigor. This is largely thanks to the de-facto leader of the village, Kiono, the only one out of the three who went to see the king who is still alive. With his charisma, he managed to revive the settlement, and even though by its population of 600 it is but a village, many of its inhabitants think of it a city, with the same prestige it had many years ago.

Layout

From the outside, with its three concentric walls, the village looks like more like a fortress. The Outer Wall is much lower than the two inner walls, and there is not much between it and the Second wall. The Outer wall is 4 meters wide at its top and 21 meters high, with eight towers — aligned with the cardinal directions — each 10 meters in diameter. These towers are not covered by roofs and, while slightly above the level of the wall, are very much like it. To access the village, there are two highly protected gates — one in the south and one in the north. This holds true for all three walls.

Over a kilometer from the Outer wall stands the second wall, often called the City Wall. Between the two, there are many fields with farmers working their land, occasional hedges, and a few trees. The City wall is smaller than the Outer wall, being 3 meters wide at its top and 17 meters tall. It has a total of 3 towers, each 9 meters in diameter. These have conical roofs and provide good protection against the elements. Even in these times of relative peace, each tower is equipped with at least one ballista.

Between the City wall and the Inner wall lies the Village, so to speak. The Inner wall contains a single tower that rises far above the rest of the village, from which all the surrounding plains can be observed. This tower is, however, largely unused. The village itself also is not particularly big, at only a few hundred meters in radius. It is a rather crowded place, with many large spaces created by destroying abandoned housing.

The village has two main roads leading from one city gate to the other, forming a near perfect circle. Many alleyways extend from these two roads, often leading to dead ends. The city boasts a grand total of four big open areas surrounded by shops and taverns on the north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west sides. It also has two temples, each dedicated to a god of justice, in the east and west.

Architecture

Most of the housing is typical of the current cities, being largely built of wood and isolated from the outside by either stone or mortar. The great walls protecting the city as well as its most prominent structures are made entirely of grey stone. A common trait is that there are very few decorations, as utility was preferred over aesthetic value.

Noteworthy Happenings

The High Wind Nights

What gives the city its name is a particular phenomenon. No-one understands why, but every few nights, very strong winds blow throughout the city. While they do little harm to buildings, their power can knock an unprepared person off their feet. Most of the locals have developed techniques to harvest the power of this wind. Some use it to easily go from any place to another, simply letting themselves get pushed by the wind, but that is on the scale of the individual. On city-scale, there are 5 huge windmills stored below the city streets. These are deployed when the High Winds are expected. These windmills can have many uses, such as moving heavy objects inside the city, resupplying the city’s stocks of water, or simply be used as regular windmills.

The Weekly Market

Each Week, the city officials organize a grand market in the entire city. There are merchants selling about anything that can be sold at every place where they can possibly be found. This market is an excellent opportunity for adventurers to pick up some rare and interesting trinkets.

The East/West Rivalry

The City has two temples. The temple dedicated to Saint Jonas is located in the east, while the temple to Asmodeus is located in the west. Understandably, both of them do not want the other in their city, because their values are very similar, yet opposite. A strange result of this rivalry is that both temples accept about anyone of any religion as long as they do not worship the opposite god.

The War Festival

The War Festival is a yearly event that showcases all of the city’s weaponry. This includes a long march around the city. This festival is also a good excuse for many citizens to party in the evening, which often involves fireworks and alcohol.

Noteworthy Individuals

Noteworthy Structures

Noteworthy Taverns

Noteworthy Shops


Creator: Neelien

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