Adventures in Stormreach
Population: Mostly immigrants from Breland and Cyre as well as most of the city’s orcs and half-orcs.
Character: Crowded with an air of faded glory.
Businesses: Street stalls, cottage industries, and the House Tharashk refinery. 1,000 gp limit.
Key Personalities: Durgran’Torrn, Kurn d’Velderan, Miraan, and Rusila ir’Clarn.
Cross is all abustle.
The main streets lead to and from the city’s other districts, making it a busy place to pass through. Above the streets hang clotheslines and rope bridges between ruins and the places where people have built precariously perched homes.
Conversation flies everywhere, accent and idiom most typically from Cyre and Breland, while street hawkers, selling food, try to sound cosmopolitan, despite the parochial nature of their wares.
With access to five other districts, Cross connects almost as much of the city as the Marketplace does. For most people in Stormreach, Cross is a place you travel through on your way somewhere else, but it is also home to Brelish expatriates and a great number of Cyran refugees.
Much passes through Cross, so its street dealers and children hear about a good number of things, making Cross a good place to get information if you’re willing to part with a little coin to get what you need. The people here are often poor, but they are also proud of their heritage.
Overheard in Cross
“Hey, Mister, where did you get that axe? Is it magic? Have you ever seen a dragon? Did you kill it? Where are you from? Can you cast spells?”
“Apples! Get your apples! Pickled apples, sweet and tangy. Good for you sailors, and good for a treat! Spiced, pickled apples! A delicacy, green or red, sweet or sour. Get your pickled apples here!”
“Things can happen, things can happen all the time. You can’t trust these people or the Guard; they’re not like us. We can protect you. We wouldn’t stiff a countryman like yourself. All we require is a little donation from time to time, like a tax paying for a city watch. Only we’re better than the regular watch. What do you say?”
A little piece of Cyre survives in Dannel’s Pride. Once a small community, the ward is now bursting with refugees. It is a place of Cyran nostalgia and hope, but also a place of anger, regret, and overcrowding.
When Cyre still existed, the ward began as a trading outpost established by Cyran merchants and diplomats. Then came the Last War and the Mourning. Now the original trading outpost is the heart of what the ward’s inhabitants call Little Cyre, a shadow of their homeland.
The ward is filled with the poor and the desperate. Many have nothing, yet they do all they can to re-create their lost homeland. The community pays outrageous amounts to purchase Cyran relics, while neglecting everyday needs. Moreover, too many people live in too small a place with too much pride and too many dashed hopes. The shadow of the Day of Mourning fills Dannel’s Pride with despair and outrage, and gangs and militias feed on this. The Storm Hammers, led by Miraan, is a visible and growing gang, while Dannel’s Wrath builds strength in the shadows and prepares to take bloody vengeance for its fallen country.
Diplomacy (gather information) DC 25: In the refugees’ flight from the Mournland, many Cyran items ended up in Dannel’s Pride. No shop specializes in such goods, but a persistent shopper can find them, from magic items to unusual maps. A PC can make a Diplomacy check once per week to find out if a particular item, or type of item, is available. Cyrans get a +5 bonus on this check. If something is available, the owner might not want gold for it; sometimes the refugees want things more complicated than coin.
Graystone is the main corridor between the Marketplace and the Harbor district, and the ward is dominated by the House Tharashk refinery at its center. The ward has few residents, its main structures being the refinery and its storehouses and other support buildings, including dormitories for the refinery’s human, orc, half-orc, and occasional hill giant workers.
Saltire has grown into a residential ward for people who do not identify themselves with a nationality or dragonmarked house. They own most of the street stalls in Cross and maintain an unusually quiet neighborhood for such a bustling district. They have nothing to prove, but they are sometimes provoked to protect their own when they fall afoul of gangs and militias from other parts of the city.
The heart of Stormreach’s Brelish community, the Sloths is filled with opportunists, along with idealists seeking to establish a bit of Breland in Xen’drik.
Many tailors work in the Sloths, turning out light clothing—such as is favored in Breland—that is better suited to Stormreach’s climate than many other styles. Slowly the tailors here are creating a style unique to the city, a style of even lighter fabrics, reinforced for sturdiness, and covering as little as is decent to keep people cool in the humidity.
Using honey from beehives in the Rubble Warren (see below), the food stall Beehive Pastries makes miniature cakes, which are so mouthwatering that people actively seek the stand out when they pass through the Sloths. The baker and owner, Sulman (male human), hears a great deal and sees even more, giving him a side trade as an information broker.
For decades, Breland has maintained a consulate in the heart of the Sloths. Its paint peeling and shutters askew, the consulate is a stately building that has seen better days. The current consul is Lady Rusila ir’Clarn.
A few blocks from the House Tharashk refinery in Graystone, Havulak Prospecting has catered to explorers and prospectors for years. The shop stocks clothing, guidebooks, and tools, and the crotchety proprietor, a human named Havulak, has no end of opinions about the best paths through the jungle. See Specialized Clothing and Guidebooks.
House Tharashk Refinery
A smoky, dangerous, and loud world unto itself, the House Tharashk refinery looms over Graystone. The orc Durgran’Torrn oversees the refinery’s workers, who process dragonshards extracted from Xen’drik’s interior. From the small Tharashk enclave attached to the refinery, Kurn d’Velderan leads the house’s operations in the city: directing Durgran, hiring out inquisitives, and running mining camps beyond the city’s borders.
The Rubble Warren
Stone is rarely quarried in Stormreach, instead being recovered from the ruins. Stone blocks are broken up and reused in some places. The Rubble Warren, on Saltire’s northern edge, is one. Many street children play in the site, making their own tunnels in the rubble. A few of them are dedicated to becoming explorers and adventurers and are trying to hone their skills. One of these, twelve-year-old Cadroc (male human), is quite capable for his age and leads a small band of like-minded children.