Harrowdale 1368 DR
Harrowdale is a prosperous coastal Dale. Its center is the town of the same name, one of the wealthiest and most important towns in the Dalelands.
Population. Harrowdale: 1,085. Velarsburg: 230. The countryside: 2,100.
Inns. The Anchorage is a good inn that caters to seafarers and travelers. A room costs 14 sp per night, including meals.
Taverns. The Fouled Line is a sailor's alehouse, sitting on the rickety wharves of the town. Rude, arrogant, or boorish adventurers may find that the locals like to trick newcomers into standing over a trapdoor that drops the unfortunates into the bay.
Supplies. Goldenleaf Stables sells all manner of saddles, feed, and tack and harnesses at PHB prices. Willowman Trading Post is a well-stocked general store that sells most PHB equipment at a 10% discount, Treskeden Merchant Coster sells bulk provisions at a 20% discount for large lots.
Watch. Harrowdale-town has a town Watch, consisting of 30 constables in ring mail with crossbow and short sword. The countryside is patrolled by the Grey Riders, a company of 20 rangers who operate in small groups or alone.
Temples. Harrowdale is home to temples of Oghma, Tymora, and Mystra; a temple of Chauntea can be found in the village of Velarsburg.
"There was a time, a few hundred years ago, when a man named Halvan the Dark led an assault of axe and fire against the forest. Elves and their allies died by the hundreds, fighting off the Halfaxe trail. Halvan even thought to push on to Myth Drannor itself, but the elves summoned an ancient magic to stop the invasion of their forest. The army of men from Harrowdale was lost forever, in the Elvenwoods. But, ye know, since that time the folk of Harrowdale have had a change of heart. Ye'll find no better friends of the forest these days." - Elminster
The oldest Dale in existence, Harrowdale is a prosperous region of gentle farmlands and small, friendly towns. Harrowdale is one of only two Dales with a port and has boomed over the last 10 years, as Scardale has been in chaos. The folk of Harrowdale are organized and wealthy for Dalesmen.
Harrowdale lies in a shallow valley that runs from the Dragon Reach to the Elvenwoods. The land has been settled for hundreds of years, and the evidence of civilization can be found throughout the countryside - roads cut deep into the hillsides, old stone bridges, and the occasional abandoned farmhouse or stone wall in the middle of nowhere.
The town of Harrowdale sees a fair amount of traffic, with folk of Featherdale, Battledale, Deepingdale, and Tasseldale making the journey to the coast to sell their goods. However, the rest of the Dale is very quiet. With the Retreat of the Elves, the old Halfaxe Trail is opening again, and more and more trade is finding its way from Harrowdale to the Moonsea cities.
The largest settlement in the Dale is the city of Harrowsdale, an open town that overlooks the Dragon Reach. The town was once known as Velar, and the entire Dale as Velarsdale, but the Harrowdalesmen changed the name after the rise of the Seven Burghers. A smaller settlement named Velarsburg lies under the eaves of the Velarwood. Velarsburg is a large village of loggers and woodsmen who work in the Velarwood.
Harrowdale is largely self-sufficient, producing a variety of farm and forest products. It is noted for its extensive apple, pear, and grus-grus orchards. The people respect the forest, and are careful to preserve it - a number of elves and elven kin remain in the northern reaches of Harrowdale, tarrying by the forest.
The Council of Seven Burghers
Harrowdale's rulers are the Seven Burghers, the wealthiest people in the land. Each of the burghers holds his or her position for life or until resignation. When a burgher dies or steps down, the Harrowdalesmen hold a survey to determine who is the richest man of the Dale in terms of money, land, holdings, and so forth. The burghers have held power since the end of Halvan the Dark, and are generally popular with the Dalefolk.
Currently, the council is composed of:
Alosius Grimwarrow (LN male human Ftr3), a stout old human silver merchant who hides his measure of common sense behind a bilious and cranky personality.
Sheera Goldenleaf (CG elf female Wiz6/Rog7), a beautiful elf who has recently retired from her adventuring career. Sheera raises and trains horses, and owns the best stable in the Dalelands. Sheera is charismatic and outgoing.
Halfgar the Strong (LG male human Ftr7), a hulking, quiet Northman with a permanent glower on his face. Halfgar is a sea-captain of note and still enjoys a career as a privateer, hunting pirates in the Dragon Reach and on the Moonsea.
Helena Treskeden (N female human Ftr0), a middle-aged matron who runs the Treskeden merchant coster. She is a dignified and reserved woman of means who uses her position on the council to make sure conditions remain favorable for her business.
Gunderman Brewmaster (NG half-elf male Ftr0), a portly half-elf with a pleasant manner. Gunderman brews Old Smoke, a dark beer favored in the Moonsea area. The profits from his brewery have enabled him to speculate in commodities such as textiles and spices.
Erethun Rivenstave (NE male human Wiz10), an oily character who surprised the entire Dale with his ascension to the council six years ago. Erethun is a good citizen, and maintains a facade of civility: No one likes or trusts him, but the wizard's ostentatious wealth cannot be denied. Erethun is an agent of Mulmaster who engineered his predecessor's untimely death, although no one suspects him of foul play. He is currently plotting the replacement of other Council members with his own stooges.
Captain Durana Shaleel (LG half-elf female Ftr0), a gaunt, aging woman of sunny disposition. Durana was a seafarer in her youth and spends hours by the wharves, speaking with the sailors and fishermen. She is a very successful importer and exporter.
The Seven Burghers collect a small yearly tax and allocate the Dale's money to road and wharf repair and other community services. The burghers can pass laws, but do so only rarely - Harrowdale still lives under the laws of Halvan, the last lord of Velarsdale. The Council's chief concern is to preserve the town as a place attractive to business.
Law and Order
The folk who live in Harrowdale's countryside tend to look after their own affairs, much like the people of Battledale or Featherdale. They are aided by the Grey Riders, a group of about 20 mounted rangers who keep watch for monsters and bandits in the nearby woods.
The Grey Riders do not have the authority to arrest anyone, but in the event of trouble the locals first summon a Rider to either deal with the situation or go for help.
In the town of Harrowdale, the burghers provide a force of constables known as the Watch. The force numbers 30, equipped with ring mail, a crossbow, and a short sword. The captain of the watch is a seasoned elf named Ellarian (LG elf female Ftr8/Wiz8) who takes her duties quite seriously and also detests adventurers.
The captain of the watch is empowered to sentence criminals for most infractions. Usually, the penalty for breaking the law is a stiff fine or short stay in the town brig. Major crimes such as murder or armed robbery are brought before the Council of Seven Burghers.
Harrowdale does not maintain a standing army or militia. The Grey Riders patrol the countryside and the woods nearby, and deal with small incursions. If faced by something they cannot handle, the Grey Riders will attempt to muster support from the other Dalelands while the farmers and herdsmen take up arms. Harrowdale itself is an open city with no fortifications, defended only by its Watch.
The Seven Burghers have recently debated the possibility of forming a couple of companies of militia, or building a wall around Harrowdale. So far, the burghers have been reluctant to spend the money.
Over the last 10 years, Harrowdale has become the most important port in the Dalelands - but by Inner Sea standards, it is still not very big. The Dale produces and exports fruit, beef, mutton, wool, cheese, ale, furs, and lumber. In turn, it receives finished metalwork, paper, glass, silk and lace, and foreign spices and curios.
Harrowdale, like Archenbridge or Highmoon, is a place that people come to when they want to trade with the Dalelands. Outlying farmers and folk from the interior Dales come here to sell agricultural products to foreign merchants and buy the manufactured items and rarities they cannot make for themselves.
Burgher Grimwarrow owns an import company named Velarstown Silver and Jewelry, trading in silverware, pewterware, goldwork, and small gems. He quietly fences stolen jewelry on the side.
Goldenleaf Stables is noted as one of the best in the Dale. It is managed by Sheera Goldenleaf and has a fine selection of riding and warhorses in the paddock.
Helena Treskeden owns the Treskeden Coster. She organizes buying trips deeper into the Dalelands, bringing the produce back to Harrowdale to sell to merchants from overseas. Helena is always hiring guards and scouts for her caravans.
Durana Shaleel of the Harrowcoaster imports finished glass, textiles, and spices, transporting them inland to markets in the interior Dales. She used to compete with Treskeden, buying produce for the return trips, but Helena drove her out of the business with threats and blackmail.
Gunderman Brewery ships its Old Smoke to Essembra, Hillsfar, Scardale, and overseas. A keg of Old Smoke can fetch as much as 80 gp in Mulmaster.
Harrowdale-town is home to temples of Oghma, Tymora, and Mystra. Another major temple to Chauntea lies near the town of Velarsburg.
The House of the Singing Harp, Oghma's temples, is led by Learned Father Teredic Alton (NG male human Clr8), a fiery man who was born and raised in Harrowdale. Alton aids adventurers, but will exact service to the town in exchange for his assistance.
The Lady of Good Fortune is Tymora's temple. It is supervised by Reverend Sister Seresha Auric (CG half-elf female Clr11). Seresha believes that Tymora's temple should be moving to absorb the followers of Waukeen. Seresha is aided by five lesser clerics, and seeks adventurers to serve Tymora's cause.
The House of Mystra is a new temple, finished a few months ago. Priestess Llewan Aspenwold (CG female human Clr7) has found the Harrowdalesmen to be indifferent to her teachings, and has worked very hard for the few converts she has made. Llewan is anxious to do something dramatic to aid the community and will eagerly support and assist adventurers.
The Temple of the Harvest Moon is a major shrine to Chauntea. It is located in Velarsburg, about 30 miles outside of Harrowdale-town. High Mother Yvonna Oakenstave (LG female human Clr14) supervises a staff of 16 lesser priests and priestesses, as well as a small force of 20 temple guards. Chauntea's clerics wander the Dale, aiding all folk of good heart they encounter.
The center of the Dale is the city of Harrowdale, also referred to by seafarers as Harrowdale-town to avoid confusion. It is a small, prosperous seaport and is a frequent port of call for shipping on the Dragon Reach.