Friday, September 23, 2011

The Village of Amphail

Tauron shares what he knows about Amphail, having spent many summers here in his youth.

The village of Amphail, famous for its horse breeders, lies on the Long Road, a good three-day ride north of Waterdeep through rolling farmlands. By night or in a snowstorm, a traveler can locate this quiet, beautiful village by the thick stands of duskwood and spruce that cluster along the road nearby. In summer, the stench of horse manure reveals the town’s presence.

At the heart of the settlement is an open space known as the Malanderways, where several side streets meet the Long Road. In the center of this square is a black stone statue of the great Shalarn, a war stallion bred in Amphail decades ago.

Other notable landmarks include the Horse Pond, the Old Dead Rowan (a tree as large as some cottages), and the ruins of the Laughing Bandit Inn. Amphail was named for Amphail the Just, one of Waterdeep’s early warlords who had estates here.

Amphail’s horse farms have traditionally equipped the noble families and armies of Waterdeep and Neverwinter, as well as merchants and satraps from the Empires of the Sands. Amphail grays are famous across Faerûn as intelligent, loyal, and hardy personal mounts. Most soldiers, however, prefer the larger, more powerful, glossy black chargers that Amphail’s breeders produce.

Various Waterdhavian noble families keep stables here; the Amcathra, Ilzimmer, Jhansczil, Roaringhorn, and Tarm families. Each is traditionally major breeders and stock liners. The independent stable masters Ohm “Steelhand” Oglyntyr, Rorth Baldasker, and Elraghona Selember are individually the most popular breeders.

The extensive holdings of the Eagleshield clan include a farm where sick animals are nursed and a shop where tack of the finest sort is made and sold.

The Ammakyl family—the richest in the region by far—is Amphail’s dominant producer of grain and vegetables. Ammakyl caravans are a regular sight on the road from Amphail to the City of Splendors.

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