Friday, October 28, 2016

Layout and notable NPCs of Queen's Landing

Disclaimer: when I started this post I was still under the influence of The Village of Hommlet. I should like to think I've shed that now, for the better (sorry Timrod), but you'll still see the influence in wordiness/stats/treasure write-ups for some of these NPCs. Frankly, that level of useless overproduction is most of the reason this post didn't get finished two years ago.

With that in mind, I give you:


Queen's Landing is that rarity of medieval settlements: a planned town. It was erected by penal labor and has orderly rows of streets and buildings, though the edges are a bit busy by now with the new population.

The town walls form a rough square on three sides, projecting into the bay to protect the harbor both as a seawall and from attack along the beach. The fourth side is open to the bay and comprises the harbor, with 1 quay large enough for blue-water shipping and several other piers for fishing vessels

A section of the palisade

The Law

Lord Otto Marchand, governor of Queen's Landing
AC 3 (chain and shield +1), F4, hp 27, D 1d8+1 (longsword +1) ML 10

At 67, Lord Marchand is getting on in years. In his youth he played a prominent part in the Saxonid Wars, but he's no longer as strong as he once was. As governor of Queen's Landing, his word is law. (Anyone of noble blood would be able to write a petition to the King to protest a decision of his, but no noble not of the Marchand family has ever set foot in Queen's Landing.) He spends as much time as possible in Albilonia, so is usually only in Queen's Landing for the summer months. On his person he always has his signet ring, a gold ring with an emerald worth ~1,000gp to the right buyer. (219gp if melted down with the emerald prised loose.)

When here, he takes up residence in the Governor's Quarters. This large log building is in the center of the town and has its own palisade, plus a garrison of 10 men (AC 6, F1, HP 6, D1d8, ML 11) led by a Sergeant (AC 4, F2, HP 11, D1d8, ML 11, silver pin of office worth 20gp) and a Lieutenant (AC 4, F3, HP 11, D1d10, ML 11, gold pin of office worth 110gp) wearing the green and gold crow livery of House Marchand. People come and go on official business a fair amount, and for an appointment you can just approach the gate. These men are men of House Marchand, not the guard of Queen's Landing.

With Lord Marchand are his wife and three daughters, along with his only son, Adam Marchand, 11, who will likely become Governor of Queen's Landing upon his father's death. He keeps them all in style appropriate to his station, and anyone ransacking the compound would come away with 10,000gp worth of miscellaneous loot, much of it recognizable.

Jordan Merriweather, steward
AC 9, hp 2, F0, D 1d4 (knife), ML 5

Jordan Merriweather, 54, is the chosen steward and castellain for the Marchand family. Matters too unimportant to bother Lord Otto come to him for resolution. The position has rather gone to his head, and he sees his purpose more as seeing that the Lord doesn't get bothered than resolving problems. He lives by himself in snug but nicely appointed apartments directly across from the Lord's Manor, and he doesn't go out much, feeling constantly buried under paperwork and minutiae, most of which he creates for himself (albeit unconsciously).

Merriweather is also in charge of the local 'bank' that pays in salt-cakes (or, more often, scrip representing salt-cakes), which are the only accepted currency in the town, by fiat of the Governor. 'Real' money or other valuables can be exchanged at fair and posted rates.

In practice Merriweather is seldom directly involved, leaving such things as the actual trading to a few clerks and scribes running an office attached to the inner wall. This also involves a rather large storage warehouse where goods brought in by the townsfolk and villagers in exchange for scrip wait until they are moved to the docks warehouse for shipping back to Albilonia or sold to others in the town.

The only thing of value he keeps on his person is his ring of office (silver, worth 44 gp) and a jeweled dagger (nonmagical, worth 233 gp). Were someone to break into his abode and ransack it, they could make off with 1,000 gp in rugs, tapestries, furniture, etc.

Boris Borisson, Captain of the Guard
AC 4 (chain + shield), hp 14, F2, D 1d8 (longsword) or 1d6 (xbow), ML 9

Boris is the Guard Captain of Queen's Landing, in charge both of defense of the walls and keeping the peace. He answers directly to either Lord Marchand or Mr Merriweather and has a decent working relationship with both. Folks on his good side can hear stories about his veteran days in wars down south before he took the King's Commission for Queen's Landing. Under him are twenty men of the Guard, including his Lieutenant, two Sergeants, and twenty-two Guardsmen. Usually busy, unless the PCs have something really pressing, and relies on his LT and sergeants for most grunt-work.
Gold pin of office worth 100gp

Mikhael Gunderssen, Lieutenant of the Guard
AC 4 (chain + shield), hp 7, F1, D 1d8 (longsword) or 1d6 (xbow), ML 9

Boris' right-hand man from waaaaay back. The two are old campaign buddies, and when in their cups will regale listeners with war stories from the south. Otherwise, Mikhael is an accomodating but no-nonsense guardsman who just wants to see things flow along with little trouble and an eye toward the security of the established townsfolk.
Silver pin of office worth 25gp

Sergeants (2)
AC 7 (leather), hp 5 each, F0, D 1d6, ML 8

One is usually on gate duty, the other patrolling or dealing with things in town. Usually with 1-2 other guardsmen. Spear, shortsword, and xbow. Will also carry truncheons (1d4) for breaking up disputes.

Guardsmen (22)
AC 6 (leather + shield), HD 1d4+1, F0, D 1d6, ML 8

Usually 7 on the walls (1 @ each corner, 1 along the length), another 3 at the gate, 2 on patrol through the town (w/ a sergeant), and the rest off duty.

Night shift has 6 on the walls, one watching the docks, and the gate is closed.


Tully Kivversen, ostler of the Mermaid and Mouse and shopkeep of the Seal's Knees

Tully and his wife Anna run the Mermaid and Mouse, Queen's Landing's only licensed tavern. During the day, they also staff the general store, the Seal's Knees. Tully closes it up by drinking time, usually around three or four o'clock.

Tully is an influential citizen in Queen's Landing, and well-liked by just about everyone. He's taken to his role as a kind of peacekeeper and facilitator. For many people with a problem, Tully is the first and last stop. He came to Queen's Landing 10 years ago after a fairly long career in the southern border wars Albilonia fights perenially with the Qynarate, one of Queen's Landing's few voluntary colonists.

The Seal's Knees provides pretty much everything an adventurer could want for general goods, but since most of the wares are imported, they cost 20% more than the listed price. Notably lacking are any forms of arms or armor, but if you want tents, rope, rations, lanterns, etc. this is the right place.

The Mermaid and Mouse is a fairly large building on the two-story log-house plan. Downstairs is all one large common room, capable of comfortably holding upwards of fifty people. As such, it's not only a good place to pick up rumours if you're willing to buy drinks, but an adventuring party can usually find 1-4 non-combat supporters in any given week for about 10 gold each per day. On a 1-2 on a six-sided die, a man-at-arms may also be found if you're willing to part with 50 gp per day. Doubling the offered amount doubles the prospects and/or number of potential followers.

Upstairs are five rooms to let, one of which is occupied on a long term basis. Rooms can be had for 2 gp per night. Also available is a common sleeping area, mostly used to house drunks who can't walk home or who live outside the gates after they've already been closed for the night; a pallet here costs about a silver piece.

Tully, Anna, and their two children live upstairs as well in private apartments; during tavern hours, Tully keeps everyone else upstairs out of the way of the customers and hires serving boys to wait on tables and pot-boys to run the kitchen. Three or so can usually be found after hours sleeping in the common dorm.

The Mermaid and Mouse serves decent fare at decent prices; a home-brewed ale can be had for 5 coppers and is the most common drink. Imported ale (of the hoppy variety) costs a silver, and a bottle of Albilonian wine will run you anywhere from 1-5 gp, depending on quality. Harder spirits are usually only available during the summer, and can get fairly expensive. Fish stew is the main victual, and a bowl can be gotten for standard meal prices, with more exotic food involving a commensurate increase in price.

(See? This right here? This is what I meant by the Hommlet influence. Moving swiftly along...)

A nearby street in the summer

Delightful Meg

Meg is the forty-something proprietress of Kissing Nelly, Queen's Landing's licensed whorehouse. If you want to have some fun or just take the pressure off, Meg's your girl. Or rather, one of her thirty girls is. Kissing Nelly also serves drinks, but everyone agrees they're inferior to the Mermaid and Mouse's stuff. Even Meg, who doesn't want to step on Tully's business. She's in good standing with the guard and most of the men in town have visited at least once.

Delightful Meg is the woman to talk to if you want to know the rumours around town; as the town's madam she knows all the news.

Aksar the Omnipotent (or Aksar the Egghead, or Akshorty, or Aksar the Bastard, etc.)
Sage. Major area: Dwarven history.
Minor areas: Elvish legends, Underground agriculture/husbandry
Consultations are 100gp, 1/week

Aksar is a bespectacled, ink-stained dwarven sage. He specialized in ancient and obscure dwarven archaelogical history and coming off mad as a loon. He's convinced - convinced - that there was once a dwarven civilization in the Spine of the World before what he calls the 'Great Opposition' that 'created all the ice and snow.' His theories have earned him a reputation as a cook and a laughingstock, and he's in Queen's Landing because there's just no place for him in Albilonia anymore. (He tells himself he's out here on an indefinite-length expedition to prove his theories.)

He's cranky and obsessive, and prone to be brusque or downright rude to someone boring him and taking up his time, but he'll light up like Christmas and talk your ear off if you get him started on his pet subject.

His Excellency of the Sub-bishopric Tertiary of Queen's Landing Terrence Grayling

Generally venal and more interested in the world than God, though he puts on a good face on Lordsday. Not evil per se, but definitely not a good priest, either. Not a Cleric, and technically a Bishop of the Church, Bishop Grayling is hyper-conscious of his rank, not the least because the 'cathedral' is really more like an oversized parish church and he only has two other priests in his diocese. Likes to eat and drink. Has even gone to Meg's on occasion, when he thinks he can get away with it.

Nevertheless, he takes his job seriously; he just thinks of it as a job, instead of a calling. He will also gladly sell holy water, though of course it's not being sold, the PCs are just generous with donations!

Robert Crae

Robert, looking about thirty, runs the one and only smithy in Queen's Landing that will deal with arms and armor. He doesn't make swords, or plate, but he'll turn out or repair most anything else. He's shy enough to be almost mute, so anyone doing business here is probably going to deal with his apprentice Timothy instead.

Harbormaster Gerald Fitz

Gerald is a rail-thin man of about 70 with scraggly hair and a huge beak nose. He's an officious busybody, full of his own (actually rather minor) importance as THE harbormaster of Queen's Landing, which means he's THE man all the stuff to and from Albilonia goes through. A penny-pinching, sour-faced and sour-minded wheezy git who has a soft spot for Tully's wife Anna.

Rounding up and out

In total, Queen's Landing has about 1,000 souls, of whom 200 or so live and pursue trades inside the walls, with the rest being hetmen, farmer, hunters, a fair number of fishermen, and so forth comprising roughly eight square miles of settled land.

About four miles away (within sight from the walls) sits the salt mine and its compound consisting of about a hundred workers (half of them guards) and two thousand indentured criminals working off their sentences. They're fairly self-contained, with on site bunkhouses, mess halls, a farm, chapel, and so forth. Once a quarter Merriweather's men collect a shipment of around 100 tons of rock salt.

A view over the town in winter

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