City of Nerisbeck

Nerisbeck is a bustling city built around the Neris Cascades, where the River Neris plummets over cliffs into the sea. Legend has it the city was once whole, but that a dwarf follower of Ioun fell in love with an elven follower of Vecna. In their anger, the gods split the city in half, banishing the other half into the Shadowfell. During the time of the last great empire, the city stretched deep into the ground as well, but these catacombs are now predominantly sealed off, save for a few exceptions.


Approximately 16,000, mainly humans and dwarves, who jointly rule the city. Dragonborn are the next most populous, largely concentrated to the Ivissandr clan, hereditary retainers to the nobles. Elves (and eladrin by extension) are the subject of low-level bigotry among some of the population, due in part to the legend; they are characterised as being greedy and lazy. The city is, however, relatively cosmopolitan: most races are at least tolerated as long as they obey the laws, even races such as goblins and orcs. That being said, it is still quite rare to see a member of a non-“civilised” race in the city.


The city is jointly ruled by two noble families, the human Karonov family and the dwarven Shantar family. Liana Shantar is the current dwarven Queen, while King Anatoly rules for the humans. Liana and Anatoly grew up together, meaning that this reign has been closer than normal. Though at fifty, Queen Liana is still quite young (for a dwarf) and healthy, Anatoly has been unwell of late and it is feared that he shall pass away as winter approaches. His heir apparent is Princess Vanessa.

The monarchs are responsible for justice, law and the city’s defences, but these duties are usually delegated to the four hereditary barons who govern the four wards of the city. The first of these is the Keepgarden Ward, lying closest to the Keep and containing the patriciate and administrative areas of the city, as well as the main markets. The ward is also home to the temples of Bahamut and Ioun. It is by far the richest ward of the city. The dwarf Lady Gita Keepgarden has governed it for the last 100 years, having governed for Queen Liana’s father. She also chairs the City Council.

The second ward is the Wintergate Ward, on the north side of the city. The human Wintergate family have been rulers of the ward since before the Karonovs came to power, though the latest baron, Lord Anton Wintergate has been more focussed on arcane research than on managing his ward. The Wintergate ward includes the northern gate (named the Wintergate, not surprisingly), merchant and craftsman districts. The merchant’s guildhall is also based in the Wintergate ward, as is the temple to Avandra.

The third ward, rivalling Wintergate for power, is the Darkwatch ward. The dwarf Lord Leodor Darkwatch rules it, having been appointed to the position for services performed for the city as an adventurer. Since his retirement from the adventuring life, he has been active in building the wealth of the ward. The ward contains the river docks (though the end of the river itself is under the jurisdiction of Keepgarden) as well as a large craftsman district, the south gate (known as the Boar’s Gate) and a small section of slums known as the Hogsfall. Both Kord and Moradin have their temples here.

The final and newest ward is Moonfield ward, created ninety years ago to cover the outer slums and shanty town. Moonfield ward also covers Cheesetown, the outlying odoriferous crafts district catering to blacksmiths, tanners, butchers and of course the region’s famous cheesemakers. Sehanine has a small temple here, as does the Raven Queen. Besides Cheesetown, the ward generates little income, however. Lady Ekatrina Moonfield inherited the ward from her father and is quite bitter about the state of her inheritance. She is vocally pushing for the two gates to be reassigned to her ward.

The City Council is constituted of fifteen elected members of the citizenry and is chaired by Lady Keepgarden. The City Council handles most of the day-to-day administrative affairs of the city. It is often mired down with bureaucracy, as each of the barons can make demands of the Council, as can the general populous, while the councillors themselves often have agendas to pursue.

Also of note, the College of Nine Stars, across the river from the keep, acknowledges none of the barons as having jurisdiction over it, submitting only to the monarchs of the city as a whole. The Illuminated Council manage its internal laws, with crimes involving external parties presided over by the monarchs.


Each ward keeps a standing guard of fifty soldiers, with a further fifty under the direct command of the monarchs. The barons also keep personal soldiers, numbering somewhere between about five and twenty.

A further eight hundred of the citizenry are part of the militia, regularly trained but not professional soldiers. At times of crisis, the nobles are able to call these people to arms.

The College of Nine Stars has a pact with the monarchs to offer aid in times of war, but does so on its terms.

In addition to these forces, there is also the City Watch, who number approximately fifty and act as the city’s police force. They report to the City Council. Their focus is more on crime prevention than on arrests, though, meaning they rarely investigate crimes in depth unless specifically ordered by the City Council.


Each ward has an inn, catering to that area’s expected visitors. Jared Ilanov owns both the Heavy Horse Inn at the Wintergate and the Broken Lantern at the Boar’s Gate. These are standard quality inns catering to travelling merchants and adventurers. Both offer rooms for 5sp a night, with meals costing 2sp. Jared manages the Heavy Horse directly, while he delegates management of the Broken Lantern to Marcus Halfear.

For those wanting more up-market treatment, the Birch Leaf in Keepgarden offers rooms for 2gp a night. Simple meals are available for 5sp, while feasts are available for 5gp. The dragonborn Netan Ivissandr runs the Birch Leaf.

Those willing (or forced) to brave it can stay at the Tanner’s Daughter, an inn nestled up against the city wall in Moonfield Ward. Rooms here go for 2sp a night (for a double bed, wink), but come with the risk of rats and disease. Meals are 2sp, though still of poorer quality than at the Heavy Horse Inn or Broken Lantern.


Both the Broken Lantern and the Tanner’s Daughter have taprooms, with the Tanner’s Daughter in particular being known for being a good place to meet certain outlaw elements, for good or bad. Along similar lines is the Two Sheep Tavern in Moonfield Ward. In Wintergate Ward is Shelley’s Rest, a popular ale and tea house for merchants, while the Golden Rule in Keepgarden is something of a soldier’s bar, catering to the city’s guards and watchmen. The Fire & Steel Alehouse alongside the Heavy Horse Inn is geared towards catering to guests there.


Maria Eyegleam runs Neris Trading Partners, a trader’s alliance based at the docks in Darkwatch. Neris Trading has an alliance of merchants along the River Neris, and buys and sells basic supplies. They rarely trade in weapons or armour, though, and magic items are also limited.

Neris Trading’s biggest competitor is Benford Provisions, a trading house a short walk from the Heavy Horse Inn. Like Neris Trading, Benford provisions carry little in the way of weapons or armoir, though they do keep stocks of ammunition.

In diKeto’s Curios, a side-alley store in Wintergate, Armand diKeto buys and sells magical trinkets. Though most of his items are unhelpful to the adventuring life, he does carry some oddments, as well as paying good prices for miscellaneous items collected by adventurers during their travels.

Though there are several blacksmiths operating in Moonfield, the dwarf Garrett Zinelli is widely recognised as one of the best in the field. He supplies arms and armour for both the guard and the City Watch, as well as selling to adventurers. The tiefling Joy Amnon has a shop in Keepgarden, where she enchants Zinelli’s items and sells them, along with other trinkets.

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