Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Neighborhoods: The Nobel Quarter Pt. 2 Stormhold Estate

Stormhold: Home to the descendants of Palanas Rockhammer, Stormhold is by far the largest privately owned residence in Stormhaven, the envy of all who look upon it.

The Outer Wall: Stormhold is enclosed by a rough stone wall, eight feet tall and three feet thick, topped with razor-sharp spear points and shot through with veins of purple and white quartz. A rune-carved stone door is the only access to the grounds, and is kept shut day or night. Small, single-man sentry posts are built into the wall on both sides of the gate, occupied by a Stormhold guardsman wearing a gate key on a chain around his neck.

The Grounds: The expansive grounds of Stormhold are sparsely decorated and manicured to exacting detail, a tribute to the dwarves’ love for clean lines and design perfection. A wide cobblestone lane lined with hedge rows runs in a straight line from the gate to the front steps of the family mansion, with left and right paths branching off at the center point of the lane. The left path leads to a small copse of trees surrounding a shallow pond. The pond’s waters are a sparkling, unearthly blue, speckled with lily pads that flower all year round. The right path leads to the servants’ quarters and the stables.

The Garden Maze: Behind the main house is a large hedge maze scaled to dwarf size, so humans and elves have little trouble seeing over the tops of the hedge. Once a year during the first week of spring, servants under the direction of the dwarf Gleely Stormhaven and aided by the magic of Senevessa Seawillow, radically alter the garden’s design into the shape of some fantastical animal. Shortly after, Gleely hosts a party for the children of the noble estates to run the maze.

The Stables: The clan stables are small, with only a dozen stalls, half of which are unoccupied at any given time. The pride of the stable is the four-year old Pegasus Foamcharger, the personal mount of Gleely Stormhaven. Gleely and Foamcharger go for daily rides across Upside, recklessly darting through the twisting streets of the Rat’s Nest and soaring over Staircase Keep.

The Main House: A two story triangular keep with towers three stories high at each corner. The keep’s walls are built from the same stone as the outer wall, with additional wings constructed from wood, with stone reinforcements. In the early evening, servants place dozens of torches all around the towers and the walls flare up like a glittering sapphire. A wide set of four steps leads up to a porch and the mansion’s main entrance, a magically-reinforced wooden door decorated with elaborate dwarven runes.

The main house is home to a dozen members of the Stormhaven clan, two score servants and a private army of fifty men-at-arms. The men-at-arms are elite dwarven troops armed with heavy crossbows, battle axes, and banded armor.

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