Alhaster

Alhaster

Perched atop a rocky outcropping, this town curls around a natural harbor that shelters numerous ships, from proud sailing vessels to small rickety fishing sloops. Buildings have been crammed onto the rocky promontory with such congestion that they almost seem afraid of the gray, featureless lands beyond. The town itself is a montage of different architectural styles, designs, and cultures. Black towers rise ominously along the walls and cliffs surrounding the town, while intimidating golden domed temples and pagodas cast shadows upon huge wood and stone manor houses that reach cathedral height. On the dockside part of town, endless rows of hovels made from bits of timber, barrels, sides of boats, and rubbish are interspersed with manor buildings that once enjoyed better times. The shanties spread at the feet of the town, like flotsam washed up at the seashore.

And above the town circle crows – thousands upon thousands of them – like black storm clouds. The town sprawled below is Alhaster, capital of Redhand, a small kingdom north of the Devil’s March.

Alhaster is a city of contrasts. The rich areas feature stone buildings, some of which are of considerable age. They rub gables with huge timber temples and manors. These streets are patrolled and kept immaculately clean by an army of gray-clad workers. Although Alhaster’s patron deity is Chardun, Prince Zeech tolerates other religions here in the interest of commerce, including those who worship Corean.

In stark contrast to the eastern third of the town is the true misery of Alhaster, hovels of flotsam and rubbish crammed together in tangled heaps, each using the other hovel for support as much as the soggy ground below. Despite the poor quality of its buildings and miserable state of its citizens, Low Alhaster is in many ways more important to the town’s continued prosperity than High Alhaster, for it is here that the corrupt merchants and pirates rule. Alhaster is the only port in the Bandit Kingdoms north of the Devil’s March. Much of the trade that passes through the town would be illegal in more lawful climates, but here, the law is less concerned with morality than it is with maintaining the status-quo. As long as the Bandit Kingdoms in the interior need imported drugs, food, slaves, and weaponry, Alhaster will continue to prosper.

Alhaster

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