Defenders of the Vale
If Dennovar is the eastern gateway to Elsir Vale, then the small town of Drellin’s Ferry is the western. Once a dwarf-made bridge spanned the Elsir River here, but it was destroyed during an epic flood about a hundred years ago. Since that time, travelers from the Dawn Way have crossed by means of a ferry, from which the town gets its name.
- Watchposts: When there is trouble, the folk of Drellin’s Ferry set up five watchposts on the major roads leading into town. A member of the Town Guard and three members of the militia man each post. The guard member at each post carries a horn with which to summon help.
- The Green: At the center of Drellin’s Ferry is the Green, a broad grassy field where children play and farmers from outlying homesteads sell their produce.
- Town Speaker’s House: The home of Town Speaker Norro Wiston is one of the larger and more comfortable houses in the town. Wiston owns a fair amount of land in the surrounding area, including several orchards and woodlots on which he collects rent. He lives here with his wife Tara, three of their five children, and three servants.
- The Green Apple: A cheerful taphouse and inn on the north side of the Green, the Green Apple caters to travelers who have somewhat less coin to spend than those who stay at the Old Bridge. Many of the locals prefer to do their drinking here. The proprietor is a stout dwarf named Tharrma, who possesses a great gift for expressing her opinion, regardless of whether it’s asked for.
- Morlin’s Smithy: This is the workshop of Morlin Coalhewer, the town smith. Morlin also happens to be a talented armorer and weaponsmith; he takes on blacksmithing work to fill in between working on weapons or armor. He lives in a small cottage behind the workshop.
- Shrine of Pelor: A small temple of the same fieldstone-and-wood construction used by many other buildings in the town, the shrine is in the care of Brother Derny. He has two acolytes who help him tend to the shrine and look after the folk of Drellin’s Ferry. Derny sometimes sells scrolls to travelers who can afford such things.
- House of Sertieren the Wise: An old noble manor-house with a handsome view from the bluffs overlooking the river, this is the residence of the wizard Sertieren. Sertieren is somewhat reclusive, and his house has a reputation for being haunted. Sertieren occasionally trades in scrolls or minor wondrous items he creates.
- Old Toll House: The largest and sturdiest building in Drellin’s Ferry is the old dwarf-built toll house, which still stands where the foot of the bridge once stood. The Toll House serves as the town hall, courtroom, jail, and Town Guard headquarters, housing twenty of the guard members (the rest have small houses of their own in and around town).
- Armory: A small stone tower about 30 feet tall, the armory holds arms and armor for the town militia — spears, light wooden shields, leather armor, studded leather armor, leather helms, and a few old longswords and crossbows.
- The Old Bridge Inn: Somewhat larger and busier than the Green Apple, the Old Bridge is favored by merchants traveling the Dawn Way. The Old Bridge is run by the Shadowbanks family, a clan of halflings a dozen strong. Kellin Shadowbanks is the patriarch of the clan and proprietor of the inn. Guests and visitors can find a good game of three-dragon ante in the common room almost every night. Kellin plays often, and is so good that he doesn’t have to cheat to win.
- Jarett’s Sundries: The town’s general store is Jarett’s Sundries. Jarrett Nurth buys finished goods such as clothing, pewter goods, lamps, oil, rope, tools, wine, and toys from Brindol and Dennovar and has them shipped by wagon to Drellin’s Ferry along the Dawn Way.
- Delora’s Livery Stable: Delora Zann is a retired adventurer who settled down in Drellin’s Ferry twenty years ago. She stables horses and other mounts for a modest fee and buys and sells animals as the opportunity presents itself. Merchants using the Dawn Way have come to rely on her stable.
- Iormel’s Warehouse: As the last town on the Dawn Way for 100 miles or more, Drellin’s Ferry often serves as a place where out-of-town merchants temporarily store goods while waiting for the right time to set out for the west. Iormel is a miserly old man whose large and ill-tempered hounds are the terror of children throughout the town.
- The Ferry: Two enormously thick ropes span the Elsir here, affixed to a huge wooden capstan. A pair of draft horses harnessed to the capstan turns the device, drawing the ropes, to which a large flat-bottomed barge — the ferry — is secured. Another capstan and team on the far bank works a second ferryboat, if needed. When drawn by two horses, the ferry crosses the Elsir at a rate of 10 feet per round, taking about 6 minutes to make the crossing. The ferry is 30 feet long and 10 feet wide. A stable by the riverbank houses the draft horses, and nearby worksheds hold spare ropes and various other materials for keeping the capstan, barges, and hawsers in good repair. The ferry is operated by Drathgar, a great-grandnephew of old Drellin himself. He employs about two dozen horse-handlers, carpenters, and porters to run and maintain the ferry. It costs 1 sp to cross on foot, or 3 sp with a mount. By long-standing tradition, Drathgar doesn’t charge townsfolk for the first two crossings they make in a single day.
- The Dwarfbridge: The ruins of the old bridge consist of a set of old stone pylons that stand 10 to 20 feet above the water. The Town Council is considering using the solid, dwarf-made piers as the base of a new wooden span, but so far the ferry owners have vehemently opposed any efforts to build a new bridge.
- Gausler’s Brewhouse: Occupying the old barracks where a small garrison of Rhestiloran soldiers formerly guarded the bridge, the brewhouse is, of course, a brewery. A half-orc named Gausler runs the place.
- Jendar’s Warehouse: Similar to Iormel’s warehouse, this place serves merchants and traders moving goods along the Dawn Way. Jendar’s rates are substantially lower than Iormel’s, and the halfling is steadily eating into Iormel’s business.
- Sterrel’s Provisioning: Ben Sterrel caters to merchants and caravans passing along the Dawn Way, selling tack, harness, food, and other stores useful for folk traveling a long distance.
- The Old Ones: A small clearing in the woods on the west bank of the Elsir holds an old circle of small menhirs known as “the Old Ones” by the townsfolk. The circle has long served as a druidic sacred place, and the druid Avarthel now tends the Old Ones.