Forgotten Realms - Excerpt From: Silver Marches
by Daniel Kaufman, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Mike Selinker, and Skip Williams
This city of merchant traders and caravan teams is one of the staunchest supporters of the league of the Silver Marches. This attitude comes as no surprise, however, considering the imminent dangers that threaten the city from all sides.
Everlund (large city): Conventional; AL LG: 40,000 gp limit; Assets 42,776,000 gp; Population 21,388; Integrated (humans 48%, elves (all types) 21%, half-elves 14%, lightfoot halflings 9%, shield dwarves 7%, others 1%).
Authority Figures: High Captain Kayl Moorwalker, LG human male Ftr4/Ari8 (current First Elder of the Council of Six Elders and commander of Everlund's army).
Important Characters: Yeshelnó Amrallatha, CG female wood elf Clr10 of Corellon (Council Elder and high priest of Corellon Larethian in the city); Malvin Draga, LE male human Rog8/Ftr3 (Keeper of the Bridge, Council Elder); Vaeril Rhuidhen, NG male sun elf Wiz13 (Council Elder, High Sorcerer); Borun Fendelben, LN male lightfoot halfling Rog4 (Council Elder, Master of Guilds); Sindyl Omoghael, CG female half-elf Brd4/Exp5 (Council Elder, Speaker of the Town).
The Army of the Vale -- Ftr11, Rgr10, Ftr9, War9 (2), Clr8, Ftr8 (2), Rgr8, War8 (3), Clr7, Ftr7 (2), Rgr7 (2), War7 (3), Ftr6, Clr6 (2), War6 (7), Ftr5 (2), Clr5 (3), Rgr5 (2), War5 (9), Ftr4 (3), Clr4 (5), Rgr4 (3), War4 (15), Ftr3 (7), Clr3 (7), Rgr3 (4), War3 (36), Ftr2 (10), Clr2 (8), Rgr2 (5), War2 (112), Clr1 (12), Ftr1 (18), Rgr1 (8), War1 (1,055).
City Watch -- Ftr4/Rog4, Rog8, War7, Ftr6, Rog6 (2), War6 (3), Rog5, War5 (3), Ftr4 (2), War4 (5), Ftr3 (2), Rog3 (3), War3 (14), Rog2 (4), War2 (19), War1 (125).
The other citizens of Everlund are too numerous and diverse to enumerate here.
Notable Imports: Ale, armor, cheese, clothing, fruit, grain, sugar, weapons, wine.
Notable Exports: Amber, charcoal, furniture, furs, stone, syrup, timber, valuable ores.
Located southeast of Silverymoon and situated on the north bank of the Rauvin River, Everlund is the second largest city in the Silver Marches and one of its most active mercantile communities. A thick stone wall rings the city, pierced in five places by the city's gates. Like the spokes of a wheel, broad, straight streets lead from each gate to Bell Market at the city center. The layout of these streets and the location of certain city features, such as the market, many inns, and warehouses, are designed for the accommodation of caravans and their merchants. Soldiers of the city's standing army make a show of patrolling the walls in strength, both to provide reassurance to citizens and visitors, and to discourage attackers.
Like many of the communities in the Silver Marches, Everlund traces its origins to a time before the ruin of previous civilizations. Since its humble beginnings as a fortified trading outpost and bridgehead on the Rauvin, the city's population and importance have increased to the point where it is one of the most important trading cities in the Silver Marches, and the North as well. The fact that nearly every single trade caravan that begins its journeys in the Marches calls at Everlund en route to other destinations brings to the city a position of considerable economic and social importance. The city's voice carries considerable weight among its peers, for nearly all are dependent to some degree on Everlund's role as the main caravan station in this region.
Everlund owes its survival to the thickness of its walls (the city's leaders have never failed to keep its first line of defense in good repair, nor to add to the fortifications whenever possible), some strategic alliances, and its ability to keep Evermoor Way open to caravan traffic. Everlund is one of Silverymoon's traditional allies and has historically sided with that city and its High Lady on nearly every important issue. The same looks to hold true today, as the confederation attempts to deal with issues of mutual importance to its signatories. The Council of Six Elders joined the city with the Lord's Alliance several decades ago and signed the Silver Marches articles of confederation with eagerness, hopeful of greater security for its primary trading road.
Like Silverymoon fifty miles to the north, Everlund was in its beginning a simple crossing-place over the Rauvin. During the last centuries of the dwarf kingdom of Delzoun, trade from the elf realm of Illefarn sometimes passed this way, particularly when monsters or bad weather made the river-passage up the Surbrin to the Rauvin unusually difficult or dangerous.
As the only crossing place for several days' travel in either direction, the Rauvin crossing here often attracted the attention of orcs, barbarians, and other raiders, who would lie in wait to ambush caravans. Around -334 DR the dwarves of Delzoun responded by raising a small keep overlooking the river crossing, and garrisoned the outpost with vigilant guards to protect the crossing. Under the protection of the keep, a tiny hamlet grew up to cater to travelers seeking the chance to rest and refit in safety.
The dwarf keep was abandoned in -104 DR as the onslaught against Delzoun grew too great to allocate soldiers to the protection of a distant river crossing. The first town on the site of Everlund was quietly abandoned over the years as trade ceased along this route. Wood elves roaming the eaves of Eaerlann sometimes came here, camping in the forests along the south bank of the river, but otherwise the site was empty.
Everlund rose again in 515 DR, as the folk of Ascalhorn decided to refurbish the dwarf-keep and establish a permanent garrison here. The city's growth had brought a new wave of settlement in the Rauvin Vale, and the princes of Ascalhorn found that the people living near the Rauvin's bend required protection against trolls from the Evermoors and goblinoids from the Nether Mountains. The lords of Eaerlann agreed to share in this duty, and elves of the Forest Kingdom joined the human knights of Ascalhorn in guarding this corner of the High Forest. Once again a small town grew up around the keep, this time a town of human traders and elf merchants eager to find markets for Eaerlann's goods in the burgeoning cities of the Sword Coast.
The fall of Ascalhorn in 882 DR, and the subsequent collapse of Eaerlann, left the small settlement at Everlund without a country. By the vagaries of campaigns and battles, Everlund had survived the terrible onslaught of the Year of the Curse virtually unharmed, although many of its human knights and elf archers had perished in distant battles. Many hundreds of refugees from Ascalhorn flooded into the area and took shelter in the town. Here they rebuilt. In the absence of the lord of the town (a prince of Ascalhorn killed fighting there), the people raised a council of six wise commanders and leaders to govern the town's affairs until something better could be arranged. Over time, the Council of Six Elders became the true rulers of the city.
Everlund has always been close to Silverymoon, its neighbor to the north. As more people have returned to the Rauvin Vale and Old Delzoun, both cities have grown. Here, as in Silverymoon, humans, elves, and other folk live together more or less in peace. For the Elders of Everlund, joining the league Alustriel proposed was simply a formality -- they were already committed to standing with the High Mage of Silverymoon against all threats to the peace of the North.
Despite its size and constant level of activity, Everlund's physical appearance is a testimony to both its founders and current leaders. Though ready to withstand an attack at any given moment, it is nonetheless a beautiful community that does not look like a city of war. Everlund's buildings are constructed mainly of stone and timber, and they show clear influence of both elf and dwarf architectural styles. Buildings are arranged in discrete sections separated by green space: trees, hedges, bowers, gardens, and flowerbeds are common sights in all parts of the city. The result is an impression of calm and tranquility that belies the many dangers lurking just beyond the city's walls.
The Rauvin flows through the heart of the city, crossed by two bridges - the Knightbridge and the Dwarfbridge.
The Five Gates
The city has five gates, each giving entrance to the city from a different direction and leading to broad, straight, and well-maintained caravan routes. The gates are, in clockwise order from the north, the Silverymoon Gate, the Mountain Gate, the Upriver Gate, the Bridge Gate, and the Downriver Gate. Each of these gates is open from dawn to dusk, and shut at all other times. Caravan masters know that gaining entry into the city after the gates close can be a tiresome chore, requiring them to consent to tedious and thorough searches of their goods by the city's guards. Most don't bother to go through the routine if they arrive at Everlund after sunset, preferring instead to avail themselves of the hospitality to be found in any of a number of inns and taverns that have established a thriving trade outside the city walls for just such occasions.
Evermoor Way begins at the Bridge Gate and winds its way southwest for hundreds of miles, passing between the Evermoors and the High Forest, north of the Dessarin Hills and offering the most direct available route to Waterdeep and the cities of the Sword Coast. Everlund has always been instrumental in keeping the roadway safe for caravans from its walls all the way to Calling Horns, hiring numerous mercenaries and adventurers to scour the route for monsters and other dangers.
The work has never been easy, and many are the sellswords and intrepid companies that have fallen to the trolls, orcs, and other marauding creatures that have preyed on the highway. In recent months Everlund has been harder pressed than ever to maintain the security of the roadway. Perhaps emboldened by the growing rumors of war between King Obould and the cities of the North, orc raiding parties have been striking hard at southbound caravans, and the depredations of giants based in the Evermoors (now depopulated of its former inhabitants, the trolls) have increased to the point where caravans are taking extra guards on journeys to and from the city. Many caravan masters are paying a premium for caravan guards who are also spellcasters, hoping that the additional magical power will help keep their goods (and their skins) safe. These are tough times for caravans, but profitable times for ambitious adventurers.
Built by a master dwarf engineer almost two hundred years ago, this keep of black, hard stone is one of the foremost Harper holds of the North. It rises from one of the higher knolls near the center of Everlund, visible from almost any part of the city. Moongleam Tower consists of four narrow, cylindrical towers joined together, surrounded by a dry moat that can be quickly flooded by a cunning system of cisterns and pumps. Its roof is crowned by an open turret, where a signaling mirror shaped like a crescent moon stands.
Moongleam Tower isn't meant to hold a great number of soldiers, but the keep is strong enough to put a stop to any attack made without heavy siege engines or great magical firepower. At any time anywhere from five to fifteen Harpers may be in residence, attended by a loyal staff and a garrison of twenty elite guardsmen. Moonlord Eaerlraun Shadowlyn (CG male half-elf Rgr16) is the master of the tower. Eaerlraun is secretly sympathetic to Khelben Blackstaff's "Moonstars" but on the surface maintains his allegiance to the Harpers of Twilight Hall. Should the High Harpers discover his loyalties and make an issue of them, Eaerlraun might break with the order altogether and take control of Moongleam Tower with him.
Hall of the Elders
The seat of Everlund's government is this low, circular stone building located on the east side of Bell Market. The members of the Council of Six Elders meet here regularly. The building is defended by a detail of guards from the Army of the Vale; four soldiers remain vigilant outside the building's main entrance at all times, and during the periods when the hall is open at least six more soldiers patrol the interior corridors.
The soldiers permit all those who have legitimate business with the council to pass, but collect their weapons first. No armaments of any kind are permitted within. To ensure that no one steals or tampers with the weapons they hold in trust, the soldiers place the arms inside locked, iron-reinforced wooden chests: Each container is protected by a glyph of warding that is triggered if a chest is opened without first speaking the password.
To either side of the hall, two long, rambling wings of the building house the various officials and civil servants who comprise Everlund's government. The remaining ten soldiers of the detail watch the entrances to the Hall of Records and the Hall of Redress (home to the city's courts and magistrates).
The Elders of Everlund
For nearly five hundred years, Everlund has been ruled by the Council of Six Elders. This group is always composed of the people holding the most prominent positions in the city, although from time to time debate breaks out over whether another civic figure is important enough to merit a position on the council.
The council is led by the First Elder of the Council, an office granted by vote of the Elders. The First holds his or her position until another Elder challenges it. Some hold the post for many years, others no more than a few days. Kayl Moorwalker, the High Captain, is the current First Elder.
The High Priest of Corellon Larethian, considered the leader of the elves of the city, is one of the Elders. Currently the High Priest is Yeshelnó Amrallatha (CG female wood elf Clr10 of Corellon). Yeshelnó is a former adventurer who has become circumspect and cautious in her role as an Elder of the city. For decades she worried that the humans would simply swallow the elf parts of the town, but in recent months the unlooked-for return of some elves from Evermeet has strengthened the elf community and charged it with determination to thrive and grow once again.
The Keeper of the Bridges is the civic official charged with overseeing the city watch and the conduct of commerce in the city. Currently this post is held by Malvin Draga (LE human male Rog8/Ftr3), a scheming man who uses his position to enrich himself by controlling the customs-taking throughout the city and overseeing the growing corruption of the city watch. The other Elders dislike Draga intensely, but it's long been the way of the city for Elders to avoid interfering in each other's selection in order to avoid civic conflict. Someone will have to catch Draga red-handed in order for the Elders to remove him from the council and appoint a new Keeper of the Bridges.
The High Captain, commander of Everlund's army, is Kayl Moorwalker (LG human male Ftr4/Ari8) a haughty nobleman who possesses an uncanny head for tactics and strategy. Extremely intelligent, he wields troops of cavalry and columns of infantry as deftly as a veteran duellist wields a rapier. Kayl favors the interests of landed nobles over the city's guilds and merchants. This makes him an unlikely ally of the elves on the council, who share his respect for the ways of the past.
The High Sorcerer, a position held by the most powerful elf mage willing to take on the duties of the council, wizard or sorcerer. Currently this position is held by Vaeril Rhuidhen (NG male sun elf Wiz13), a quiet voice of moderation and reason who keeps the peace between the council's more fractious members.
The Master of Guilds, an official representing the merchants of the city, is an extraordinarily stout halfling named Borun Fendelben (LN male lightfoot halfling Rog4). Fendelben is a very successful merchant who has his eyes firmly fastened on the pursuit of wealth. He also urges aggressive expansion of new enterprises into the wilderlands about, shouting down the cautioning words of Yeshelnó and Vaeril. Fendelben has no real friends on the council, since the Keeper of the Bridge is his natural opponent -- the Keeper's agents collect taxes grudgingly paid by the Master's fellow merchants.
The Speaker of the Town is the final member of the Council of Six Elders, a citizen elected every seven years to represent the common folk of the city. Currently the post is held by Sindyl Omoghael (CG female half-elf Brd4/Exp5), a minstrel and maker of musical instruments who once traveled far and wide as an adventurer. In the past, popular Speakers have served many terms on the council; Sindyl is in the middle of her second. She is the special enemy of Malvin Draga and opposes the Keeper at every turn -- a situation Draga finds intolerable.
The economic and social center of Everlund is the Bell Market, so named for the enormous warning bell that hangs in a frame in the open space between the Hall of Elders and the Barracks. The bell is sounded when the city is under attack. In the middle of the market are a number of open-air stalls and stands that offer fresh produce, poultry, baked goods, and livestock. Around the edges of this area are permanent stalls selling manufactured items, and surrounding the market is a ring of shops that vend all manner of trade goods and a variety of services. The market is open from one hour after dawn to one hour before dusk, to ensure that the evenings and nights of the residents are not disturbed by the noise created by such a thronged mercantile area.
The Barracks and Armory
Not far from the Hall of the Elders stands the city armory, a small, square keep built from dressed limestone blocks. The place is evidently one of the older buildings in Everlund, but parts of the keep have been recently reinforced and repaired. One of the new additions to the structure is a low stone wall that prevents anyone from approaching closer than 30 feet. Soldiers patrol the courtyard inside the new wall, prohibiting entry to anyone who is not a soldier or is not on official government business.
Hard by the armory are six large wood-frame buildings surrounded by another low wall. The sight of soldiers constantly moving in and out of the buildings, and drilling in the courtyard, marks this as the city's main barracks. (There are five smaller barracks, one located at each of the city's gates.) The army has set up a special station just inside the main entrance to the courtyard, where mercenaries and adventurers may obtain work patrolling Evermoor Way and keeping the route clear of monsters and other threats.
Everlund's most prominent places of worship are the Keep of Vigilance (Helm), the Evergreen Hall (Mielikki), the Starmeadow (devoted to Corellon Larethian), and the Grotto (sacred to Shiallia). The folk of the city tend to be devout and crowd the major temples on the first day of every tenday to worship their deities. In addition to the major temples, Everlund is home to shrines to Oghma, Shaundakul (popular among the caravan masters), and Waukeen as well.
Realms Personalities: Helm Dwarf-friend
This double-walled, circular fortress city is famous for its miners, master smiths, and woodcarvers. It's a harsh, treeless place, characterized by one visitor as "all stone and suspicion." A heavily guarded volcanic rift beneath Sundabar, the Everfire, is the source of many magic weapons.
Sundabar (large city): Conventional; AL LN; 40,000 gp limit; Assets 28,518,000 gp; Population 14,259; Integrated (humans 54%, dwarves (all types) 33%, rock gnomes 8%, lightfoot halflings 3%, half-elves 1%, others 1%).
Authority Figure: Helm Dwarf-Friend, NG male human Ftr10/Rgr5 of Mielikki (Master of Sundabar).
Important Characters: Guldrim Hoaraxe, LN male shield dwarf Ftr8/Def6 (Bright Axe of the Vigilant); Warblade Ilbrim Sarkro, LN male human Ftr9; Watchblade Brionn Haskur, LN male human Ftr8; Master Moneylender Homilar Drace, NE male human Rog8 (sponsor or owner of many businesses); Old Ornar Myntuk, LG male human Exp10 (proprietor of Old Ornar's Beds and Tables and greatest of Sundabar's master woodworkers); Gaurlar Darym, NG male human Ftr3 (proprietor of The Trumpet Inn); Uldro Baldiver, NG male human War4 (proprietor of Baldiver's Inn).
The Shieldsar -- Ftr14, Ftr13, Rgr12, War12, Clr11, Ftr11 (2), Pal11, War11 (2), Bbn10, Ftr10, War10, Clr9, Ftr9, Pal9, War9 (2), Bbn8, Clr8 (2), Ftr8 (2), War8 (2), Clr7, Ftr7 (2), Pal7, Rgr7, War7 (4), Bbn6, Clr6 (3), Ftr6 (2), Pal6, War6 (7), Clr5 (4), Ftr5 (5), Pal5 (2), War5 (10), Bbn4 (2), Clr4 (6), Ftr4 (6), Pal4, Rgr4 (2), War4 (22), Bbn3 (2), Clr3 (5), Ftr3 (12), War3 (81), Clr2 (12), Ftr2 (24), Pal2 (2), Rgr2, War2 (288), Clr1 (25), Ftr1 (49), War1 (823).
Stone Shields -- Ftr6, Clr5, War5, Clr4, War4 (3), Clr3 (2), War3 (9), Clr2 (4), War2 (14), Clr1 (5), War1 (42).
The Watchful -- Rog9, Rog8, Wiz8, Brd7, Rog7, Wiz7, Exp6, Rog6 (2), Exp5 (2), Rog5 (2), Wiz5, Brd4, Exp4 (2), Rog4 (4), Wiz4, Com3 (2), Exp3 (4), Rog3 (3), Com2 (8).
The Argent Legion -- Ftr6, Ftr5, War5 (2), Clr4, Ftr4, War4 (5), Ftr3 (3), War3 (11), Ftr2 (4), War2 (30), Clr1(2), Ftr1 (6), War1 (133).
The other citizens of Sundabar are too numerous and diverse to enumerate here.
Notable Imports: Food (especially grain, livestock, and fruit, which is highly prized), lumber, and textiles.
Notable Exports: Armor, clay wares (mostly pipes and tiles), copper, furniture, gold, lumber, pelts, silver, tools, weapons.
One of Faerûn's wealthiest and most warlike cities, Sundabar is a former dwarf citadel that has grown into a frowning fortress. Famed for wood and metal exports, it serves as the military bulwark of civilization in the North. Sundabar boasts many defenses against the orc hordes that plague the North, and has broken the onslaught of several major invasions. First are its two ring-walls, bolstered by an icy moat between them reputedly roamed by man-eating eels. Next are the city's capable and well-armed defenders, the Shieldsar, a standing army two thousand strong. Beyond the Shieldsar stand the city's numerous dwarf allies, stout warriors from the Fardrimm beneath the Everfire. Finally, Sundabar's deep coffers are frequently used to hire mercenaries and adventurers whenever necessary. Sundabar is well provisioned against a siege of many months, as vast granary caverns lie near the Everfire, and deep city wells tap the clear, fresh subterranean lake Anfarra.
Vigilance is the watchword of Sundabarian life. Outsiders are watched and viewed with suspicion. Those who seem too inquisitive or travel about the city too energetically are questioned by the Stone Shields, the city watch. The Stone Shields police the city under the command of the Watchblade, which also oversees a shadowy network of spies known to citizens as the Watchful. The Stone Shields won't hesitate to forcibly escort suspicious persons to the city's two large temples, where clerics of Helm or Tyr assist in the questioning with spells such as discern lies or zone of truth.
Stone Shields and Watchful who grow careless, overzealous, or too friendly with shadier citizens are transferred to the Shieldsar. In turn, the army's "problem" members are often transferred to the Watchblade's forces. The Shieldsar, commanded by the Warblade, sees to wall defenses and patrols throughout the Sundabar Vale. A Shieldsar patrol rides the wilderlands in full armor, armed with longspears, swords, daggers, battleaxes, and shortbows. They get to know their patrol areas very well, scouring every cave and hill-hollow. Shieldsar leaders are always wary of being outflanked or ambushed, setting scouts on all sides as they patrol.
In the days of the dwarf kingdom of Delzoun, Sundabar was a mighty dwarf citadel. The dwarves of Delzoun built a great underground city here sometime around -500 DR to take advantage of the Everfire, a volcanic rift in the Underdark. Citadel Sundbarr, like Adbar to the north, was mostly subterranean, with only a few structures on the surface. The heart of the dwarfhold lay in the immense foundries around the fiery rift, a source of heat so large and intense that works of the most massive scale and most difficult alloys could be accomplished here.
Sundbarr survived the fall of Delzoun's vast Underdark realm in the Year of the Black Unicorn by turning the awesome power of the Everfire to the city's defense. Safe behind walls of molten metal, the master founders isolated themselves from the lands about. Over time, Sundbarr's strength dwindled as its folk became less numerous and the mighty lore of old was forgotten. Marauding orcs and monsters plundered the surface portions of the city time and time again during the centuries between 329 DR, the year in which Hlondath fell, and 882 DR, the year in which Ascalhorn, Ammarindar, and Eaerlann succumbed to an army of demons.
Orc hordes driven from their homes by the demons bypassed Citadel Sundbarr, since nothing worth destroying stood on the surface and the underground foundries were still guarded by the Everfire, impregnable to orc assault. In the aftermath of Ascalhorn's fall, Prince Simberuel Astalmó, one of the high captains of that city, gathered up a small number of the survivors and led them to safety. Threatened on all sides by demons pillaging the Delimbiyr Vale, Astalmé turned north and brought his people over Turnstone Pass, closely pursued by a flock of vrocks intent on finishing off the refugees.
Near the buried dwarf citadel, Astalmé and his men were brought to bay by the pursuing fiends. Doom seemed certain, but then an unexpected ally appeared -- the Forgemaster of Sundbarr. Determined not to break his hold's isolation of centuries, the ruler of Sundbarr discovered he could not ignore the plight of the hopelessly outnumbered humans on his doorstep. Dwarf and human joined together to drive off the demons. During the battle, Prince Astalmé gave his own life to save the Forgemaster, and in gratitude the Forgemaster offered the humans a home in the abandoned surface portions of the citadel.
In the five centuries since that day, human and dwarf have flourished together. The humans rebuilt the surface keeps and strongholds, and went on to raise mighty walls around their city. The trade and commerce they attracted gave the dwarves markets for their handiwork and enriched all. Citadel Sundbarr, the insular dwarfhold, became the city of Sundabar, a bulwark of military strength and trade in the North.
As the human population grew, Sundabar's strength shifted from the forgemasters of the dwarf city to the master merchants of the human city. A Ruling Master of the guilds and merchants came to wield more power than the Forgemaster. Today, the Forgemaster is the leader of the dwarf community in Sundabar and an important advisor to the Ruling Master, but the Ruling Master guides the city for good or ill. Beneath the Ruling Master, wealthy guilds of craftsfolk, miners, and merchants feud and squabble for advantage and more wealth.
Helm Dwarf-friend became the sixth Ruling Master of the city in 1355 DR, after his predecessor died fighting against orcs assailing the city's defenses. He has done much to curb the infighting of the city's guildmasters and clear away the corruption of previous reigns.
Sundabar is a city of cobbled streets and slate-roofed, three-story stone houses that have tall, narrow shuttered windows, thick walls, and stout, ironbound doors that can be barred as well as bolted. Out of these miniature fortresses rise some residences and at least one inn (Baldiver's) that can function as keeps if the city is ever invaded. Trees are few, windowbox herb-gardens being the only visible growing things.
In winter, Sundabarian houses are cold and damp. Snow heaped high in the streets melts in the sun and seeps into the stones and the earth beneath. Most house cellars hold mushroom crops and are crammed with rodent-proof food casks; older Sundabarians remember hungry winters all too well.
Sawmills and paddocks lie outside the walls, but caravans need not form up or disperse unprotected: Roads lead straight in from Rivergate (west), Eastgate (east), and Turnstone Gate (southeast) to a central location in the heart of the city known simply as the Circle. No market stalls are allowed to encroach into this great open space surrounding the Master's Hall. Caravans assemble in the Circle, and if an orc horde should attack, local shepherds can drive their herds into the Circle, so the city will have food enough to withstand a siege.
The Master's Hall
The Master's Hall is a crowded cluster of huge round stone towers, their battlements bristling with heavy catapults and ballistae. Sundabar expects attacks and stands ready for them, and calls itself "the rock that shatters orc skulls and dragon jaws alike" (as the now-dead Master Thulntarn once put it).
An elite company of two hundred Shieldsar known as the Master's Guard mans the Master's Hall. Offices of many different boards, guilds, and councils crowd the building. While Helm has taken many steps toward simplifying Sundabar's confusing scheme of customs, regulations, and duties, he still must contend with hundreds of scheming guildsfolk who hope to legislate some small advantage for their craft or trade through his offices.
The Everfire and the Undercity
Steep, winding passages lead down and down to the Everfire, a volcanic rift beneath the city. Once surrounded by mighty foundries, the Everfire burns unchained now -- many of the great forges that harnessed the rift's might were destroyed more than a hundred years ago by a sudden surge of the buried fires, and most of these have not been rebuilt. The dwarves of Sundabar give the Everfire plenty of room now, and raise no permanent workshops or foundries too close to the rift.
A small company of elite dwarf warriors known as the Vigilant guards access to the Everfire at all times, aided by traps that harness that portion of the rift's power that is safe to use. In strong halls beneath the city, clans of master forgers, smelters, smiths, and armorers make up most of Sundabar's dwarf population. In the past, there have been times when dwarf-human relations were strained in Sundabar, but the dwarves trust Helm implicitly.
Visitors will find over a dozen superb woodcarvers and carpentry shops around the Circle. Sundabar boasts dozens of workers in wood and as many smiths who are capable of masterwork. Its taverns tend to be rough or rundown. Inns tend to be spartan; the exceptions here are Baldiver's (a sprawling castle where old warriors are welcomed, and quiet guests preferred), The Firestar Chariot (a place of loud revelry every night), Malshym's House (a quiet, clean, place popular with visiting merchants), and The Trumpet (a luxurious place where guests requesting privacy are left alone, popular with adventurers).
As one might expect, the worship of militant deities and those deities who stand for law, strength, and duty is popular in Sundabar. Temples to most deities in the dwarven pantheon, particularly Moradin, can be found in the hidden halls of the undercity.
The Hall of Everlasting Justice: Sundabar's temple to Tyr and Torm is a fortress-like building facing on the Circle, across from the Master's Hall. The clerics serve with the Shieldsar, providing healing and battle-magic for the soldiers of Sundabar. Defender of Justice Lathkiera Morlund (LG female human Clr9 of Tyr) leads the temple. She recently succeeded Triandial Truthammer as Defender, after her predecessor vanished while engaged in a perilous adventure. Morlund is known as "Lady Stone" locally for her cold, bitter manner.
The Hall of Vigilance: The local house of Helm, this building is both austere and imposing. It is overseen by Winterlord Senior Steeleye Mraskin Thoelaunth (LN male human Clr10), who like Morlund of Tyr's temple recently rose to his post after his predecessor left. Like his counterpart in the Temple of Tyr, the Winterlord has a nickname too -- "Old Grimfist." He harbors a special hatred for orcs, and does everything in his power to support adventurers willing to rout out orc lairs.