DescriptionFrom the outside, the city of Firesight could easily be mistaken for a military base. After the first invasion, the Sighters have built three massive stone walls around the city, with a whole bunch of defense mechanisms. A large moat with hungry beasts inside surrounds the outer wall. On that wall, five ballistae are constantly armed and ready for battle on each side. The second wall is covered in magical insignia, and the third wall... well, visitors said that sometimes, it appeared to be alive. The locals don't tell their secrets, but sages believe there might be Unbound Spirits or powerful elementals trapped inside. Once you are in the city, Firesight is actually quite beautiful. People help each other keep the buildings intact, even those that currently have no owner. And due to its history, there are hundreds of houses still uninhabited. Anyone desiring to move here can talk to Jaxra Blackrock, the paladin mayor. If she deems a person worthy, they get a free house in the city, as long as they promise to take care of it. You would have to get along with a hardened, mistrusting population, though. Sighters do welcome well-meaning visitors. But they take their time to decide if someone is well-meaning. And if you have any intentions of harming the locals, or consider any kind of criminal activity, not only the local militia - the Sentinels - will hunt you down, but pretty much the entire city.
ResidentsThe residents of Firesight are a cautious, but ultimately friendly bunch. They make you work hard for it, but once you earn their trust, you're under their protection. Unless, of course, you turn out to have bad intentions. Betraying a Sighter has become a dictum in Delvaroth for doing something incredibly stupid. While most of the population has a regular job, people here know how to put up a fight. You'll never see a Sighter without a weapon, and most of the time not without an armour, either. But those who are helpless, including the wounded veterans of past battles, receive all the support they need from the community. You'll never see a beggar on the streets, or any kind of prostitutes, simply because no one has to do this kind of work - and no Sighter would even consider treating their fellow citizens with such disrespect.
Important charactersJaxra Blackrock, half-elven paladin of Trymor and chosen mayor of Firesight, leads the town like a military organization - and people love her for it. Despite her tough attitude, she has the best intentions for the city. She has led all the battles of the recent years, and people trust her with their lives. When the Laethian army stormed the city during the first invasion, she was publicly tortured for hours. People rarely talk about it, especially not in her presence. But they never forget what she endured for the city. Sandrin Whiteblade is the Human abbot of the local temple of Trymor. It's Jaxra's belief in Trymor that has kept the people of Firesight surprisingly open to religion. The other deities of the Divine Circle also have temples, and some other gods are worshipped here, too. But no other religion has as many followers as Trymor. As such, Sandrin is the most important spiritual leader in Firesight. Aside from that, he also has the role of town executioner. He rarely has to enforce a deadly judgment, but once he is given that task, he follows his duty silently and without wavering. Shagryn Lavrythe, a sixty years old Halfling, is the head of the local militia, the Sentinels. This organization was formed during the first invasion by Va'Laeth, and most adult people in town are part of it. Many just do their service one or two days a week, with only about 400 soldiers being full-time members of the Sentinels. That means that Shagryn is the military superior of many townspeople, and is treated with the respect that comes with it. Simiara is a human druid that lives both in the city and in a nearby sacred grove. The druid is the protector of the surrounding nature, leading a druidic community in the forest. As Firesight heavily depends on the income from selling their high-quality wood, the local lodgers and merchants have a strong bond with Simiara and her followers. It's known that the druid is still exploring their gender identity, and people always ask them how they want to be addressed at that day. Whenever Simiara asks for help, the Sighters help her, no questions asked. And if the druid asks them to reduce their lumbering activities, they do. Bartholomew Vadran is the leader of the local lumberjacks. The human is over seventy years old, but still goes to work in the forest every single day. He's a bit of a local strongman, which says a lot in a city where almost everyone has military training. But he's not a brute, and sees himself as a businessman and negotiator. He takes care about the major trade deals between the loggers and the local merchants and craftspeople.
The FirebowlThis crater is the result of a burning rock landing here. It almost destroyed Firesight - still called Grovepoint then - during the apocalypse. The impact knocked down the trees of the surrounding forest in a four-hundred yards radius, and resulted in a heavy earthquake in the city. The hole in the ground is about twenty yards deep and fifty yards wide. The remnants of the shattered rock still lie in the center. As the Sighters killed thousands of ravager elves during the first invasion, the Firebowl has become a mass grave, a small mountain of skeletons covering the impact site. Most of the local inhabitants try to steer clear of the place, mainly to prevent triggering unpleasant memories.
Temple of TrymorAs a means to pay respect to Jaxra Blackrock, the denizens of Firesight have contributed a lot to extending and maintaining the temple of Trymor. By now, the building has become a piece of art, both architecturally and because of all the beautiful ornaments, paintings and statues decorating the temple inside and outside. Somehow, the local artisans and artists managed to preserve a rather dark theme, reflecting the deity's portfolio of Death, Punishment and Executioners, while focusing on the strength, beauty and justice that can be found in these topics.
The City SquareThe stone platform in the city square is an open market most of the time. At the end of every week, on the Day of Spirits, the Council of Judgment gathers here. This is Firesight's equivalent of a court, held in public. In the rare case someone is sentenced to death - usually outsiders -, the execution takes place right after the court, on the very same platform that will be used as a market again the next day. The Council of Judgment consists of the mayor, the leader of the local militia, the Sentinels, and three randomly chosen people from the crowd (as long as they are inhabitants of Firesight).
The Druid GroveNot far from the city is a sacred grove, home to a druid circle. They have friendly relations to the city, their leader Simiara even living in the settlement part-time. There is a bit of gossip about the druids keeping a great secret here, but as long as it doesn't endanger Firesight, the locals are fine with it. The area around the grove is abundantly covered in vegetation, making it hard to travel fast through this part of the forest.
ServicesFiresight offers all the services typical for a city of its size, with the exception of any criminal activities and prostitution. What's a bit unusual is that the local shops don't negotiate with outsiders. Trying to haggle is seen as disrespectful. Grovepoint Wood is one of the hardest woods available in Delvaroth, and only produced in Firesight. The city is also known for its extremely competent teachers when it comes to fighting and defensive magic. Several ingenious engineers also work here, willing to both sell their inventions and train others. But as with so many things in Firesight, you need to earn their trust first.
Local rumours and news
- Jaxra Blackrock has stated that she wants to step down as mayor soon. She has taken on the role because people asked her to, but she never really wanted the job. Leading the city also doesn't really fit to her duties as paladin of Trymor, so she is actively looking for a successor.
- The druids of the sacred grove have mentioned signs of a supernatural creature in the forest. It seems to be benign, but hunts down the local deer population. There are rumours about the beast being a proxy of the goddess Brishnar, and her clerics are investigating the case.
- A merchant group from Felmor's Nest wants to make a trade deal with the lumberjacks. Bartholomew Vadran doesn't trust them, though, without stating why. The merchants seek for support to change his mind.
- The Firebowl is a mass grave for ravager elves. Recently, lumberjacks have seen the occasional skeleton walking through the woods in the area. Rumours are there's a meddling necromancer somewhere nearby - or maybe even in the city itself?
- There have been some strange cases of an illness in the last weeks. They resemble the symptoms of a poison the locals used to eliminate the invaders from Va'Laeth. But no antidote has helped, and no source of a possible poisoning has been found.
- The Voidflow lake, where the Voidflow River ends and the Grovepoint Hills begin, has seen a series of hauntings recently. So far, the spirits only scared off some fishermen. But they seemed very aggressive, and something worse might have happened if the victims hadn't escaped so quickly.
- There are rumours that Marisha Veilbreaker's mother lives in Firesight under a false name. The locals don't inquire, and discourage anyone who does. If there's any truth to the rumour, she obviously doesn't want to be found, so digging deeper would be disrespectful.
- Humans: 35%
- Halflings: 20%
- Gnomes: 20%
- Elves: 5%
- Half-Elves: 5%
- Dwarves: 5%
- Other races: 10%
Firesight is a beautiful town with a dark and bloody history. Founded a little more than a hundred years ago, this city was originally called Grovepoint. It started out as a lumberjack settlement, but over the decades turned into a prospering city. The trees of the surrounding forest not only grow fast, their wood is particularly robust and strong. Grovepoint Wood was valued as building material not only in Delvaroth, but many neighboring countries, as well. But with the constant flow of money came the attention of greedy people. The Slickers are a criminal organization that act as merchant guilds, but add blackmail, protection money and money laundering to their "range of services". In the years between 3120 and 3122 of the Virthys Calendar, the flourishing city turned into a hotspot of crime and corruption. With no bigger cities in the vicinity, and the local militia bought by the Slickers, the residents had little chance but to subdue to the new rulers. And they ruled cruelly for decades. It all changed, though, when the apocalypse came. On the last day of Virthys, the dragon gods Zathruax and Myrzakliaz fought right above Grovepoint, setting the sky aflame. Everyone believed they would die. And with nothing left to lose, many of those who felt oppressed decided to at least get their last revenge. Led by the human paladin of Trymor Jaxra Blackrock, the local population rose up against the criminals, and mercilessly slaughtered them and those who assisted them. Only a handful of the former tyrants managed to escape. As the city was drowned in blood, Zathruax ripped the land of Delvaroth out of the world, and threw it into space. Surrounded by debris, rocks and other fragments came crashing down from the sky. One of those boulders flew right towards Grovepoint like a giant fireball, and it was clear this would be the end. Seconds before the impact, an invisible force - Marisha's newly granted powers to create Ashandri - grabbed Delvaroth and moved the land. The burning rock still came down, but about half a mile away from Grovepoint (they named the crater Firebowl later, as it kept burning for two full weeks). The next day, people changed the city's name to Firesight - referring to the dragon gods' fire in the sky, the destructive burning rock that almost destroyed the city, and the fiery revenge the residents had. The locals had seen fire, and they emerged alive. When Ashandri was created and ended up in Braythe, the Sighters, as they called themselves now, focused on one thing: Putting up their city's defenses. And they kept working on it, even when things began to normalize. Then, the invasion of Va'Laeth started. The major force of the Laethian army simply marched by the city, but one legion attacked Firesight. Despite the intruders' battle prowess, the hardened and well-prepared Sighters kept them at bay for days. The ravager elves layed a siege on the city for seven days - the rest of the army had already moved past Firesight. Finally, the attackers breached the newly built walls, and stormed the city. It was instantly clear the locals didn't stand a chance once the invaders stormed into the city. Just about half an hour later, they surrendered. Officially. The very next day, almost all ravager elves became horribly ill. The Sighters had poisoned their own wells when they realized their enemies would break the defenses, and simply stopped drinking anything themselves. Suddenly, the legion of about four thousand elves was easy game for the residents of Firesight, and they were slaughtered as mercilessly as the former oppressors. The dead bodies were thrown into the Firebowl, and once again, the crater burned. Quickly repairing the damages, the Sighter engraved two words above the entrance gate: Try Us.