Bryn Shander is the central and largest city in the Icewind Dale. Beginning as a humble outpost in the shadow of Kelvin’s Carin; a keep on the tundra borderlands. The many of the towns are home to outcasts, eccentrics and mysterious individuals who have come to trust in each others personal space and privacy. They all share an prompt skepticism to any outsiders who are seen as threats to their idyllic, isolated existence.
The Ten Towns were built around three lakes about fifty years ago; fishing being the major source of trade, though home-grown gardens adequately supplement all the local markets. Maer Dualdon, Red Waters, and Lac Dinneshere—Icewind Dale’s three lakes—possess a treasure not found in any lake or river of the Realms: Knucklehead Scrimshaw. Not only valued for its succulent meat but also for the ivory-like quality of its knucklehead-skull. These bones can be carved into beautiful life-like and master-worked figurines of wondrous quality. Skilled Scrimshanders, carvers of scrimshaw, have become an important and respected profession of Icewind Dale, some often being elevated to political office as select-men (or women) of Ten Towns.
The Svirfneblin Bizzazz and Izza Spindleflame are famous brother-sister Scrimshanders. Each year they gather their carvings and set off from Bryn Shander traveling south to live out the colder months in Waterdeep living off the sale of their Scrimshaw. Their largest buyer being Mama Cass.
“We should continue south to Balder’s Gate soon, people say its going to be a dire winter and I cannot help but belive the rumors.” Bizzazz said to his sister. The two diminutive folk barely registered to the folk of Waterdeep- small folk were often regarded as just children. People seemed to move with haste today, adding to Bizzazz’s trepidation.
“We just arrived and you already want to plan our leave?” Izza asked, deftly traversing the snow-packed streets. “We have business here first—you know that.”
“Waterdeep is different Izza, you can not feel it?”
Izza looked at her brother then something in the sky caught her attention. Her eyes became large pools of silver as she looked into the grey sky. What she saw looked like gilded lightning, a peal of metallic thunder struck from the sky that reduced buildings to debris.
“What was that?!” Bizzazz asked peaking from behind his shield, Izza taking a defensive stance behind her brother.
“It was a dragon! Its coming about!” Izza warned as again the maddened bronze dragon roared its thunder. Narrowly missing the Svirfneblin, the dragon flew by snatching up a few people in the process before disappearing around a street.
Bizzazz and Izza advanced down the street trying to avoid the throngs of people who were running towards them, away dragon. Rounding the corner the gnomes saw a curious confrontation none would ever swear could have happened, never in all the levels of the tower.
People! The two Svirfneblin could hardly evade them all. They pushed, shoved and even trampled over their own kind to flee the dragon. Izza felt a pang of sorrow for the humans.
Sword and shield at the ready, it was Bizzazz who saw it first: Mama Cass verbally accosting the dragon!
|Look at this mess!!!!|
“Who gave you permission to come down here and make a mess of the place?! This is my home!” Mama Cass waved her arms to emphasize the city as her home.
The dragon’s eyes never left the irate woman its body was jerking about spasmodically; wings and tail taking out buildings and people alike who were unfortunate enough to be within its reach. Mama Cass continued to voice her grievances.
“You do not see me coming to your lair and give it a make-over! This is just wrong! You cannot come here, waive your bulk around, and not expect someone to react.” She was yelling in to the dragon’s face, just feet away from its deadly dagger-like teeth.
“Get ye out of here before you gets hurt.” Mama Cass’ eyes blazed. Her implication seemed to have its desired effect because the bronze dragon—in one graceful beat of its wings—took to the night leaving behind Mama Cass, two Svirfneblin, and devastation along the High Road.