Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Rat Hills

The Rat Hills is the name given to the stretch of coastline a short way to the south from Waterdeep. When Waterdeep was still young, it was a simple, barren pebble beach that was a favorite spot for ships to land for repairs or take on cargoes like lumber since even a mile out to sea the water wasn't any deeper than five feet. Once the city had grown large enough to suffer from raiders, the citizens began to worry that such an easy port was not only a free alternative to using the city's harbor, but also an easy place from which to attack. A shanty town sprang up which was soon under the control of the Shadow Thieves. The lords responded swiftly though, ordering the City Guard to clear "the Beach" of its inhabitants, kill any who resisted and keep a strong patrol to ensure the area remained clear. Under escort, the citizenry began bringing their garbage here rather than burning it directly outside the city walls, though this task is now handled by the Dungsweeper's Guild.

The piles of garbage earned the place it's current name: "Rat Hills", and covered an area almost four miles in length by a mile in width. The accumulated waste poisoned the shallow waters and effectively prevented any hostile landing.

The Rat Hills Conflagration reduced the size of the piles to under two miles in length and a quarter of a mile in width (although the area is growing again by about half an acre per year) but apart from the daily Dungsweepers convoy and the guard patrols along the trade road, everyone leaves the area alone due the poisonous waters, the infestation of rats and the various monsters for which the Hills are a haven.

Every night a contingent of 20 or more men-at-arms, supported by at least two clerics of Torm and a hired wizard can be found watching over the Hills to make sure the hungry monsters don't make an incursion into the surrounding area.

As well as the poisonous water and the monsters, the Rat Hills are infested with disease. The animals and monsters carry it, the insects that constantly swarm the Hills carry it, the water (both rainwater pools and the seawater) and of course the dry garbage 'land' is infected. Although not the only disease you can catch, the most common one is known as darkrot.

9 comments:

Gordzilla said...

Damian: If ever there is a need to hide a body...sounds like they don't protect against what goes in, just if anything tries to come out.

James said...

Griffith: >;-)

James said...

James: Holy crap I love the profile pic TG!

robm1171 said...

Bordane: Would it possible to avoid this area? It doesn't sound that large, so a detour may not take that long. The only thing that worries me are taking the wagons offroad.

Gordzilla said...

Damian: I wasn't planning to visit the Rat Hills, plus when Bordane is deep in his cups he likes to send young adventurers snipe hunting there.

harrygoblin said...

(Tauron) Isn't that where you are staging your plan to bring the smugglers to swift justice? I kind of thought maybe I would ride ahead of the caravan a bit, leading it safely and hopefully apprehending such a traitor of the city should one escape his or her fate at yours and your lady's hands.

James said...

(Briar) I believe you are correct. I will ride with you.

Gordzilla said...

Troy: Is it Wednesday yet? Man, I'm jonesing.

Damian: Yes you and Briar ride ahead and catch any snipes that happen to escape our grasp.

James said...

I KNOW! Only 24 more hours.