Takanal is a small farming and quarrying community near the headwaters of the Turan River in Rakore. There are only a couple of docks on the river, for transporting feed, grain, leathers, and the best marble in all Rakore downriver, and bringing in luxury goods and metals from downriver. The center of the town is a statue of Thravord Amorse, with a bleeding rock fountain pouring from his hands held before him, cupped. Thravord was a farmer turned warrior who beat back the last of the bandits in the region, nearly a century before. Around the town square is the old count's manor, the main smithy, the Temple of the Trees church, and the Seven Sisters inn. The tannery and the Rabid Plant inn are located along the stream the river becomes, to the north of the city. Most of the buildings are of stone and wood mix, with steep roofs of wooden half-logs and wattling. The town has had the occasional stirge infestations, that crop up in the summer months – at which time, mercenaries are often employed to thin them out. Takanal lies just south of the Ruins of Tymarell.
Classification: Small Town
Population: 1,500 (64% Slate, 18% Amarans, 18% hill dwarves)
Spending Limitations: 8,000 silver maximum
Economy: Takanal's primary industry is agriculture, with farming, ranching, and fur-hunting being the primary support of the city. The hill dwarves – mainly Wirebeards and Grimhammers – quarry high-quality marble, and do stone-work around the city. Some trade goes on in Takanal, as it lies on an old east-west cross-road that goes from Firland on the western coast, to Kashin further to the east.
Rulership: The town is ruled over by Baron Cardovar Thespulae, who takes considerable advice from the lead priests in the region, Father Thomalis and Mother Tia. The baron is a rather shrewd, cautious man that only moves or decides on an issue after considerable research and discussion. He's capable of action when necessary, but slow to start it, having once run a mercenary company in his past. The last of his mercenaries helped establish Takanal as a safe-haven from the wilds of the Rakoran forests, and also serve as his reeves and knights.
Baron Cardovar Thespulae: The baron is a 45 year old slate human male of medium height and build, balding with gray hair and an often pinched expression. Cardovar wears chainmail and his Rakoran longsword on a daily basis, though he keeps a burnished set of enchanted plate and shield in his manor for emergencies. The baron is still formidably strong and rather dangerous in a fight, but is not the most intelligent of men – and he knows it, which is one reason he often questions his own judgement when the advice of others is handier.
Alignment: The town has taken on a Lawful Good mentality, due to the meshing of the mercenaries, and the Temple of the Trees' dedication to Whalin and Barith.
Defense: Takanal has 15 knights that serve as full-time soldiers. They're led by Sir Antolin Tirod – Cardovar's senior enlisted man during their mercenary days.
Sir Antolin Tirod: Tirod is a big man in his early 40s, armed with a greatsword over his back and stalking around the town in well-worn and scarred leather armor. Tirod is 6'3“ and over 230lbs – and a demon in a fight. He served Baron Thsepulae for many years as a mercenary, and has been the baron's right-hand man, serving as assassin, chief-of-the-guard, detective, and lock-smith. Tirod has a keen and cunning intuition about a great many things, and his hands are unbelievably fast in a man so large. The chief-of-the-guard moves rather quietly, and often eavesdrops on conversations.
When mobilized, the town militia consists primarily of veteran dwarves from the Wirebeard and Grimhammer clans. There are also a fair number of Amaran tribesmen who act as rangers and scouts. The remainder of the militia outfits from a central armory with enough chain, spears, shields, and shortswords to arm most of the town – a town so used to the occasional bout of violence from the outside that every man and woman in it knows how to kill.
The town has a representative of Gideon Enterprises named Ta'Crae Sandrider. Ta'Crae serves as Takanal's ambassador and information funnel, keeping the town in constant communications with both the other leaders in Rakore and the outlying areas around Takanal. Helping Ta'Crae is one of Baron Thespulae's knights and a good friend of the priests in the city, Zachary Kantor.
Takanal is dominated by a temple dedicated to both the God of Compassion, Whalin, and the God of the Harvest, Barith. There are several other altars within the town to the other gods, and those altars are maintained by the accolytes of the main temple.
Grown from pin oaks and laced together with the kind of grace that only a druidess of considerable power can achieve, the Temple of the Trees is as much a mix of the love of the two priests that created it, as it is a mix of the power of the God of Compassion and the Harvest God. The main portion of the temple sports seating for close to two-hundred, and is partially exposed to the outside. The back of the temple houses a library, private prayer room, study, bedroom, kitchen, and bunks for the accolytes. The grounds of the temple are an orchard and garden that grows foods and herbs renowned for their healing properties all over Rakore.
The altar to the two gods at the heart of the Temple of the Trees is a black basalt outcropping from which an underground stream emerges. The catch pools for the altar hold water that can cure poisons and cure diseases. The use of the water to feed the gardens and the Temple of the Trees itself makes it a specially consecrated ground (such that all Healing and Nature spells cast within the temple are enhanced considerably). The temple also sells a special form of peppermint with considerable healing qualities. Each sprig of peppermint from the Temple of the Trees has three leaves, and each leaf heals physical damage; a whole sprig can be ingested at once, as a potion. The healing peppermint is only given as a gift, and cannot be purchased.
Father Thomalis Engrin: Father Thomalis is both a cleric and a monk, and is the quintessential 'jolly fat man' with heavy jowls and a wide smile. Though moderate in height, this slate human's presence is a powerful thing, and he can brighten up even the most dour of rooms. Father Thomalis once broke up a bar fight with his bare hands, going toe-to-toe against armed men – and at the end of the fight, had all of the combatants on their knees, in tears, begging for forgiveness for their sins. Intelligence, learned, and wise, Father Thomalis also has considerable knowledge of the body, its aches and pains, and how to help. He speaks a smattering of dwarven – usually enough to get a few laughs from the dwarves, and is also an accomplished sculptor.
Mother Tia Engin: Mother Tia is a plump, matronly slate human that is as sweet as can be, and beloved by the people of Takanal. As quiet as her husband is boisterous, Mother Tia is a druidess with hands as hard as oak when needed. Hers is a quiet, inner strength that rivals adamantine – and she loves to cook, be it sweets for the children or sweets for the bigger children that wear weapons.
A treant tends the Temple of the Trees, and only makes itself known during festivals and holidays – leading most to believe that it's an aspect of Mother Tia's work, and not necessarily a separate, living tree. The small maple was raised by Mother Tia as though he were a son, although a whole-together different kind of son.
Krish: The treant is a maple tree 40 feet tall and weighing over two tonnes. The young treant is a patient watcher and listener, constantly maintaining a vigilance over the town square and the Temple of the Trees. Wise of his age, Krish often prefers to animate the other trees throughout the town to do his bidding, when necessary.
There are also anywhere from 3-5 accolytes – priests in training – at any given time at the Temple of the Trees. Druids, clerics of Barith, and clerics of Whalin all come to study at the temple, before moving on to more formal education elsewhere.
There are two main taverns in Takanal – the somewhat disreputable Rabid Plant, and the slightly more noble Seven Sisters, both of which are inns as well.
Run by a tough barkeep with a strange sense of humor and a penchant for practical jokes, the Rabid Plant hosts the largest tavern in town, and has a fair number of small rooms, as well. Low ceilings, dark decor, and a rough-hewn look give the joint a sort of run-down appearance, but Joseph Candor actually runs a clean facility. His staff revels in his jokes, and also helps in his practical jokes, and most of the town is aware that they may sometimes have to laugh at themselves, in payment for laughing at the jokes played on others. Joseph brews his own beer, too, and a number of experiments are kept for special occasions and odd guests.
Joseph Candor: Joseph is an older man with a bit of a belly growing on him. Single and never married, he has yet to run into a woman that can tolerate his practical jokes and childish sense of humor. Joseph has a quiet side to him, as well, and occasional flashes of those horrible past experiences can be seen in his eyes.
Andra Modar runs a posh, upper-class restaurant that caters mainly to the few merchants in Takanal, and to the travelers going to the Star's End Monastery northwest of the town. Andra is an understanding, yet snooty sort of woman, but the facilities at the Seven Sisters is well worth the extra money: hot baths, luxurious beds, great maid service, excellent food, wondrous stables, and more. The lighter colors draw minstrels and those needing a change-of-pace from the Rabid Plant. Many suspect that Andra and the Seven Sisters are a front for the Star's End, because the monastery is devoted to the study of languages, and Andra knows quite a few.
Andra Modar: Andra is a short woman in her mid to late 30s, though still with the figure of her youth. She speaks the Common tongue, but also Dwarven, Elven, Sholin, Amaran, and Vridaran – as well as Ogran. She also speaks the obscure Karatikan and Celestial tongues quite fluently. Andra is an intelligent and astute woman, with a keen mind and a powerful voice when she chooses to orate, tell a joke, or keep her patrons in line. She also has a good ability to judge the value of a person – as well as his items.
Blacksmith: The hill dwarf Jolain Wirebeard is the town's primary blacksmith. She specializes in farm implements, and the materials of the quarrying trade. Her six journeymen and three dozen apprentices handle the rest of the business for Jolain's Smithy. One of her journeymen, a slate by the name of Ankar, does all the weapons and armor work for the town.
Leatherworker: An Amaran by the name of Thalamar runs the tannery, and helps coordinate the fur trade in Takanal. His tannery is located on the eastern side of the city, where his four journeymen, two apprentices, and two-dozen workers buy and sell hides, raw leathers, finished leathers, and tooled leathers, plus furs.
Glassworks: Ibria Naellin is a slate woman that crafts the windows, glasses, vials, and other glass-worked items for the town. Ibria is handsome, tough, and brisk woman that enjoys her work, and is proud of her accomplishments. A single mother with a young son, she is wary of strangers and distrusts all but a select few people. Most of her raw materials come from glass ingots shipped upriver, though she can make glass from scratch if she has to.
Miller: As in most agricultural communities, the town's miller carries a lot of clout and respect. John the Miller is fair but narrow-minded man that has difficulty wrapping his mind around new ideas. He maintains the grains and storage bins for the town, and it is through him that feed and plant-stock are purchased.
Scribe/Cartographer: The town's librarian, scribe, and cartographer is a slate man by the name of Thaddeus. He works alone from his small store, with his room set up above, but will often travel through the town to set up a desk and write letters, or update his maps with information from the trappers and the guard. A jovial, older man, he is good friends with Joseph Cantor of the Rabid Plant, and has been known to set people up for some of Joseph's practical jokes.
Stonemason: The lead mason for the town is a slate man by the name of Candar, who continually works on expanding Takanal or improving it. A devout follower of Mikindim, Candar is a fair and pious man, such that the Wirebeard and Grimhammer clans respect him and use him as their headman, to prevent clan rivalries from getting out of hand.