Thursday, February 19, 2015

Smendric 2nd orgin Part 2

The small town of Eleanor has known nothing but prosperity since it was settled. Built in a valley of the Frostback Mountains this city’s natural defenses made it the perfect location for anyone looking to enjoy the simple life. Surrounded by mountains on all sides Eleanor is well protected from most land based aggressors. The height of the mountains ensure most of the inclement weather bypasses the valley entirely which allows for plentiful crops year after year. A mere five miles from the coast, the distance is enough to ensure the safety of the city during stormy seasons (do to protection from the mountains). But not so far away to hamper any trade or fishing the citizens may wish to engage in. A narrow yet well-traveled pass leads to the sea where a small series of docks & storage buildings has been erected to help facilitate trade with the city. 

Smedric had arrived in Eleanor only 3 months before the first frost. He had run across the name of the city while investigating “the master mages” of the realms. He was intrigued not only because he could not find any reference to an actual mage living here, but there was also no records of any notable deeds performed by anyone either. He wasn’t sure if a mistake had been made or if someone was trying to hide something. His sources ensured him there was once great magic worked here, but he was looking for an active practitioner not an ancient relic.

It had taken him months to find a ship captain competent enough to bring him here. It seemed several sailors had heard of the city, but few knew where to find it. It wasn’t until he stumbled upon a small trade ship owned by the city itself was he able to book passage. Upon arrival he was initially reminded of Mirabar, with its stone structures & the close proximity of the mountains. But he was surprised to learn there were no dwarves here. The population around 4,500 was all humans. He was told it was not unheard of for someone of another race to visit, but none ever stayed longer than a season.

After poking around his first few weeks he had made some notes about this unique town. There was only a modest library aimed toward rudimentary education. It also contained a very brief overview of the city’s history and founding family of merchant sailors. Apparently there were no surviving members of the original family left in the city. A very basic form of government was established where the city elders made decisions on anything that was not covered in typical day to day operations. The day to day responsibilities were handled by rotating groups of men and women that alternated between working the fields, mines & civic responsibility’s. All able bodied men and women worked in this rotation for at least 10 years.  Its operations reminded Smendric more of a commune than actual city even though its size suggested the latter. The shop owners & city crafters where generally older citizens who after years of running daily operations settled down to a less demanding form of service. Though they did use minted currency (from other regions) it was clear no one actually understood the value of it. Gold, silver, and even copper were all seen as equal value & for all intents and purposes a coin was a coin. There were two yearly festivals Expiry which he had attended in mid fall and Nascent which was early spring. It was the second festival that intrigued him. It culminated with a few hundred able bodied citizens taking a pilgrimage into the mountains. While most people referred to the destination as The Eonian they all seemed to revere this location & it was the first sign of any religion Smendric had heard of since arriving.          

Smendric now stood upon the highest peak looking down at the valley sprawled out ahead of him. He was certain magic had been use to shape the landscape, however that was done centuries ago. The surrounding mountains blanketed with a deep accumulation of snow yet only a light dusting lay across the valley below. The scene was perfect, too perfect he noted as he studied the overall layout of the valley. The forest and river were positioned along the eastern side of the valley. They ran right up to the fields providing no need for irrigation or wind breaks. The fields to the north were remarkably rock free in this mountainous valley. Large enough to feed the entire population of Eleanor he had heard the fields would support a wide variety of crops simultaneously. Someone had created this valley he thought, the river, fields, even the location of the buildings in the city were meticulously placed. It reminded him of the time he created a demi-plane and secretly transported that barbarian tribe to live there for a month, but this was on a much larger scale. Smendric had been coming here every day for a month. There was something about the layout of the valley that gnawed at him, a kind of familiarity even though he had never seen it before.  

It was designed as series of safe guards each area protecting another area of the valley. Floods, avalanches, or any natural disasters had each been taken into account & planed for centuries ago.  Invasion would be the only real threat to the valley however a land assault would be too costly. Bring an invading force over the mountains would take a year; you couldn’t bring enough resources for that long of a campaign. To come by sea if you could find it would have been possible, but what’s the point? Smendric had lived here over nine months and had yet to see anything worth invading for. They had food, a couple small mines for silver & iron ore but nothing of great value. It certainly wasn’t a strategic location. Even their smithy & crafting techniques were dated compared to other cities he had visited. His attention came back to the present, there was something else, something that kept calling him back up here, something he had yet to see. He hoped tomorrow’s pilgrimage would inspire him to find what he was looking for.  

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