Bilverton Settlement in Challaria | World Anvil


Describe a settlement that is famous (or infamous) for its industrial activities.

This article currently deals with Bilverton as it was at the collapse of the Marivan Empire, some centuries before the “current” time in Challaria.
  Situated close to the ore bearing Crags of Cranach, the town of Bilverton has a long history of metalwork and mining and a reputation for industrious tinkering and manufacture, notably of nails and chains. Following chemical discoveries involving some ores and Firestone at the nearby Crags of Cranach, it developed rapidly as a centre for the dying trade. This brought the town first riches and then notoriety as Lake Bilver, near the town became contaminated with the dyes acquiring a mottled green, red and blue appearance.
Although the dyes are still produced and are a major source of income for the town, cloth is no longer dyed in Bilverton or the neighbouring areas.


The town is run by its Guild Council, a body representing the trade guilds with voting rights proportional to the taxes paid by the Guild’s members. For more details on some of the Guilds, see below. The chair of the Guild Council is, in effect the mayor of the town and it's leader - but would never be acknowledged to be its ruler.

Industry & Trade

The main industrial base of Bilverton is in metal production, with Bilverton nails and chains famed for their strength and resistance to rust. This is supported by the local mining industry which also provides the raw materials for dye manufacturing, with Bilverton Blue rising to be probably the single most used dye across the Marivan Empire. The once mighty cloth dying trade, infamous for its effects on the local lake, has been eliminated, though the dyes are still produced in large quantity for trade.


The discovery of Firestone and iron in close proximity made Bilverton a metal working area from the earliest users of metal in Marivar . In the period of imperial expansion the town grew and prospered and its development of dying technology at the start of the Empire’s decadent period was the spur for further growth. The infamous “painting of the lake” some fifty years later gave the town its biggest set back, reducing the population by around 20% but it stabilised and continued to thrive despite the Empire’s collapse.

Guilds and Factions

  As a town run by its Guilds, Bilverton has a rich range of Guilds details of some of which are given below:-
The Smiths' Guild
As the longer established of the town's main industries the Smith's is the oldest of the guilds with precedence at formal occasions. A quirk of it's history is that its membership is drawn from all of those deemed competent to make a chain, though the masters have been known to be less than consistent in their judging of competence where scions of old guild families run large smithing concerns purely as a business, rather than as craftsmen.
  The chair of the Guild Council, known as the "Guildsman", is the de facto leader of the town and is normally drawn from the Smiths' Guild or the Smelter's Guild though, perhaps one year in four or five they will be chosen from one of the other Guilds, the Dyer's Guild being the guild of choice when administrative reform or a clean up of standards (commercial as well as environmental) is felt necessary.
The Dyemakers' Guild
Formed of the owners of the dye making concerns, reflecting the nature of their industry the Dyemakers' is the richest of the guilds but its reputation is at the lower end of the scale - partly for it's exclusive and oligarchic approach but also for their historic involvement in the Painting of the Lake.
The Tradesmen's Guild
In many towns each trade might have its own guild. The merchants, traders and craftsmen of Bilverton who are not intimately involved in the smithy or dye making trades have pooled their resources to act as a counterweight in the town's government to the large, export orientated trades.
The Smelters Guild
Formed of the miners and refiners of metal their business is in the production of crude metal including the iron, bronze and brass used by the Smiths. Most of its members work outside the town but the business of the mines and the furnaces is key to Bilverton's prosperity and the miners and smelters have leveraged this to gain a say in the town. A small but lucrative part of the gild members business concerns small metal castings - buttons, belt ends, ornaments and such like which tend to be produced in small operations within the town or on its edges.
The Dyers’ Guild
Despite the elimination of the cloth dying industry in Bilverton the Dyers’ Guild still exists and, surprisingly, thrives. Following the suppression of the cloth dying trade, the Guilds’ resources (and many of its members) were sequestered to support the clean up and decontamination effort. The Dyer’s Guild is now focused on preventing the occurrence of similar issues. As a non trading guild it pays no taxes, but as it’s members are often powerful members of other guilds it has power and influence in the town despite no formal direct part in the town’s government.
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Alternative Name(s)
The Noise
Inhabitant Demonym
Bashers (from the smithing trade), Lake Painters (from the notorious dying of Lake Bilver)
See Bilvertongue
Around 5,000 after the collapse of the cloth dying trade.
The population is largely from the central regions of the Marivan Empire, though each year brings a steady trickle from the mountains of the Long Range to work the mines. Some put down roots in the town, others return home after a few years. More, alas make their way to Dunlivvin (the cemetery overlooking the town).
Local Notables
Hieron Nollerute was born in Bilverton, grew up an was apprenticed here before moving to Mariv-thip.

Industrial Diseases of Bilverton

Take my advice lad; ye forwant1 to work the firestone mines. Bilverite may pay better but ye forpay1 a too high price
— Experienced miner to novice, all through the Long Range.
Whilst its environmental sins have given the town infamy, with the work of the Dyers' Guild the lake is now generally agreed as fully restored. Bilveritis however remains a common affliction in those employed in the mining, refining and dye making trades associated with the mineral Bilverite. This results in a progressive tremor and mental deterioration, known as the Bilverton Shakes, and is linked to inhalation of the dust of Bilverite and the manufacture of Bilverton Green.
1 See Bilvertongue for this dialect form of the future tense.

Articles under Bilverton


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