Alviss: 50/50 HP
Bricker: 32/35 HP
Elesandira: 34/54 HP, wielding silvered short sword
Lummel: 43/52 HP, wielding Sweet Edge
Ziz: 18/18 HP, mage armor, spider climb 1x4/10, 2x4/5
Bricker: 2x CLW, 1x CMW
Brindin's Ford is surrounded by a fortified stone wall 5 feet thick and 25 feet high. The walls are crenelated, and there is just barely room for guards to walk along the top of the wall. Ten “watch” towers interrupt the wall at irregular intervals. These are normally not staffed, as the city guard doesn't have the manning to keep that many soldiers in stationary posts. The towers are 35 feet high and 50 feet in diameter. They have three stories, with arrow slits on the outer side of the upper two, and crenelations at the top. Simple ladders connect the three stories and the roof. Heavy wooden doors, reinforced with iron and bearing good locks, block entry to the towers.
The bell tower standing in the middle of town is Brindin's Ford's architectural pride and joy, a 125' tall tower of fine workmanship and elegant beauty. The bell tower is 30' square, a 5' wide stone staircase winds around the outside of the building, climbing 30' for every circuit of the tower. The bells ring every 3 hours during the daytime.
Three gates allow entry to the town: the Old Ford Gate, the East Gate, and the Southspur Gate. The East Gate is actually a gatehouse with two portcullises and murder holes above the space between them. The other two gates are large iron double doors set into the city wall. They are closed at night and barred.
The main thoroughfares through town (East-gate Way, Old Ford Road, and Southspur Street) are 25 feet wide, with 5-foot wide sidewalks on either side. These are the widest streets in town, with room for wagons to pass each other. Secondary streets are about 15 feet wide, while alleys range from 10 feet to only 5 feet. During the fair, booths line the sides of Eastgate Way, narrowing the street itself to only 15 feet wide, while wagon traffic is barred from the road in daylight.
Most buildings in Brindin's Ford are made of a combination of stone or clay brick (on the lower one or two stories) and timbers (for the upper stories, interior walls, and floors). Roofs are a mixture of boards, thatch, and slates, sealed with pitch. While large temples, the Baron’s Keep, and some of the larger villas of Silver Hill form unique landmarks of the city, most of the other buildings of Brindin's Ford fall into three categories. Most inns, successful businesses, and large warehouses—as well as businesses that require extra space (millers, tanners, and the like)—are large, free-standing, sometimes elaborate buildings with up to five stories. The majority of buildings in the city stand two to five stories high, built side-by-side to form long rows separated by secondary or main streets. These row houses usually have businesses on the ground floor, with offices or apartments above. Finally, small residences, shops, warehouses, or storage sheds—particularly in Southspur but also in parts of Chatterstreet Market—are simple, one-story wooden buildings. Good wooden doors serve as the exterior doors on most buildings. These are usually kept locked, except on public buildings like shops and taverns.
Lanterns, hanging from building awnings at a height of 7 feet, light most thoroughfares. These lanterns are spaced 60 feet apart, so their illumination is all but continuous. Secondary streets and alleys are not lit; citizens commonly hire lantern-bearers when business calls them out after dark. Alleys can be dark places even in daylight, thanks to the shadows of the tall buildings that surround them.
The City of Brindin's Ford is roughly divided into six neighborhoods or wards. No walls or other clear divisions separate the wards (except around the Keep), but the quality of a neighborhood can change rapidly as one travels along a single main road through town. A map of the city can be found here.
The Keep and Silver Hill:
The Baron's Keep is the only section of the city that is walled off from the rest. The 100-by-150-yard area is built against the outer wall of the city at the top of Silver Hill, overlooking the river Keld. The walls boast the same height and thickness as the city wall. The wealthiest and most influential people in the city—including the baron, of course—have large houses within these inner walls, while the rest of the city's wealthy aristocracy inhabits the neighborhood called Silver Hill, extending west from the keep to Old Ford Road. As its name suggests, Silver Hill slopes quickly upward from Old Ford Road, peaking at the Baron’s Keep. The city's western wall crowns sheer cliffs overlooking the Keld. The cliffs rise 50 feet from the river to the base of the city wall.
Most of the buildings in Silver Hill are free-standing villas, with low walls encircling gardens and outbuildings on the property. The neighborhood's wealthy residents prize the art of topiary, with an emphasis on fantastic monsters as subjects. Silver openwork adorns nearly all of the villas’ garden walls, giving the neighborhood its name. Most residents have found themselves (or their servants) not up to the task of polishing all that silver, however, and have allowed it to tarnish. The estates inside the Baron's Keep are notable exceptions. The few businesses found in Silver Hill are the sort that cater to wealthy residents—a silversmith, a scribe and a library, a jeweler and a glassblower, a fine clothier, a clockmaker, and a renowned locksmith. Prices are high.
Just outside the Keep on Eastgate Way, the city library is literally a shrine to knowledge. The West Hill neighborhood would like to claim the library as its own, but the silver openwork that adorns the lintel above the entrance clearly marks the building as belonging in Silver Hill. Seir and Portia staff the library; they shelve newly-acquired books (in order of acquisition) and maintain an index to their contents. Trying to find anything in the library without the assistance of one of these sages is a waste of time. Books may not be checked out. Patrons must read the books at tables in the library, always under the watchful eye of Seir or Portia. They charge exorbitant fines for torn pages, ink spills, and any other damage to their prized books.
A large temple dedicated to Asmodeus defines the character of the Ford North district. The neighborhood that surrounds the temple has become Brindin's Ford’s “holy quarter,” as some citizens call it. Religions make their homes on Old Ford Road, even if they are too small to support a permanent temple. These godly locations range from quiet wagon-shrines where citizens can retreat inside curtains for a moment of silent prayer, to haranguing fanatics berating passers-by for their many failings. Long-faced prophets predict the end of the world, while joyful proselytizers exhort passers-by to join their faiths. A small number of fortune-tellers and similar “mystical” entertainers find their way here as well. Other businesses in the neighborhood include fine crafts, though not as elegant as one finds in Silver Hill. The district holds many makers of religious icons, altar trappings, and good-luck charms. Most of the buildings are large row houses, and prices are generally similar to those in West Hill—not as extravagant as Silver Hill, but beyond the means of most commoners.
Shrine to Gorum
This cart-shrine, fairly well-established in a side street just off Old Ford Road, could literally roll away at a moment's notice—the cart itself is permanently animated. It responds to commands given by any cleric of Gorum. While clerics come and go at the temple—stopping for a week or so to staff the shrine and work at its forge, then continuing their perpetual travel—the animated cart is a constant, and Gorum’s faithful treat it as if it had an intelligence and personality all its own.
The Chatterstreet Market neighborhood—and the market at its heart that gives the area its name—is the center of Brindin's Ford's economic life. Artisans of nearly every kind, from cobblers and carpenters to weavers and weaponsmiths, keep their shops in this quarter. Traders of goods from the surrounding region make their way to the open-air market, which is usually full of carts, booths, tents, and wagons. A vast array of services are available as well; here one may hire common laborers and architects, valets and mercenaries. With the exception of truly elite goods or services, which are generally located in Silver Hill (or possibly West Hill or Ford North) if the townsfolk can afford them at all. Most of the buildings in Chatterstreet Market are ordinary row houses, with shops on the ground floor and apartments above.
A gigantic stuffed owlbear stands outside the door of this weapons merchant. The owner of the shop, a half-elf named Dairin, makes no claim to having killed the beast, but he proudly displays the sword that supposedly did the job: a longsword with a very powerful (CL15) magical aura. This item is far more expensive than anything else for sale in all of Brindin's Ford, and no one has yet met Dairin's price for it (75,000 gp). He keeps it under excellent security, including both magical and mundane protection.
Eastgate is a rough-and-tumble neighborhood that includes the city's largest concentration of inns and taverns. Though not as frightening as Southspur can be, the city guard has its hands full in this area dealing with intoxicated tavern patrons, rowdy out-of-towners, and frequent robberies. A significant portion of the businesses in Eastgate concentrate on entertaining travelers and merchants, as well as providing goods of use to such folk (cartwrights, provisioners, and similar merchants). A number of merchant guilds maintain offices and warehouses in Eastgate. Most of the buildings in Eastgate are ordinary row houses, very similar to those found in Chatterstreet Market. Eastgate holds more free-standing warehouses and outdoor businesses (millers, tanners) than does the Market area, and many inns are free-standing buildings with yards.
West Hill is an eccentric neighborhood, not as pretentious as Silver Hill and characterized by intellectual interest. West Hill houses Brindin's Ford's two booksellers, an alchemist, an astrologer, a healer, two interpreters, a scribe, and other specialists. As in Silver Hill, many of the buildings in West Hill are free-standing homes with small walled yards, though residents of West Hill are more likely to grow bushes to prevent anyone from peering in their windows than to sculpt them into topiary. The neighborhood has a dark and mysterious feel to it, due partly to the old, dark stone used in many of the buildings.
Jutting out from the watch tower at the southeastern corner of the Baron's Keep, this low stone building houses the full-time city guards who are off-duty at any given time. Sergeant Gorum, the Watch Sergeant, has his office here. Lieutenant Brox (the second-in-command) works the night shift.
Southspur is Brindin's Ford's poor quarter, where undesirable businesses (dyers, perfumeries, tanners) and people collect. If Eastgate is rough-and-tumble, Southspur is just rough, and residents of other quarters believe it is dangerous to walk down the street in Southspur. That is not necessarily true, but walking down the wrong street (or, more likely, leaving the street and winding through one of Southspur's many twisting alleys) can be deadly. The city guard patrols rarely leave Southspur Street. In other neighborhoods, the thieves’ guild keeps close tabs on criminal activities. They don’t touch Southspur—primarily because there's little worth stealing, but also because many of the guild’s members grew up in Southspur and either have no desire to go back or hold to a sense of honor that forbids them to steal from their “own kind.” As a result, though little organized crime exists, disorganized thugs, robbers, and killers have relatively free rein.
Southspur's one prominent citizen is a figure of mystery, held in a mixture of awe and fear by her neighbors. Foora, a half-orc, sells spells and potions at low cost in the city's poorest area, and desperate individuals from every neighborhood make their way to Foora for her unusual wares