Gold Guard Settlement in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

Gold Guard

Once little more than a stopping off point on the Great Imperial Road, the town of Gold Guard is now a heavily fortified bastion that protects the eastern borders of the Empire of Turelion's Turelion Province from incursion by the secessionists of Nova Norgantho.


Like many settlements within the Empire of Turelion, Gold Guard is a majority Human town, but there is a strong community of Halflings and Gnomes also resident there.   With regards to wealth, once Gold Guard was a centre of commerce as it was the first place that trade traffic coming by road would cross over into Turelion Province. However, since the rise of Nova Norgantho, it is much rarer now for trading caravans to arrive from the east, which has led to many of the towns more affluent merchant class moving to more prosperous centres of population. Whilst some wealthy citizens remain in the town, the vast majority of its population are regarded as being mid-to-upper lower class by the Imperial Bureau, though this has the advantage that many of them are attracted to enlisting in the town’s guard, serving to defend Turelion Province’s border in exchange for a consistent wage.


Like most towns under the rule of the Empire of Turelion, Gold Guard is governed by an Alderman, appointed by the province under whose jurisdiction the town falls, in this case Turelion Province. The Alderman of Gold Guard has a compliment of staff who work for them and help to run the town from the Alderman’s mansion, a large fortified tower located in approximately the centre of the settlement.


As it lies so close to Nova Norgantho, Gold Guard has a much larger contingent of Turelion Province's Provincial Army stationed within it than towns of its size and importance otherwise would. In addition to these provincial troops, the town has also formed its own guard, who fight alongside and are integrated into the command structure of the Provincial Troops, though these locally recruited troops are paid for directly by the town rather than the Province.   As well as having a curtain wall that circles the town, Gold Guard’s streets are littered with additional defensive towers, and fortified gatehouses whose portcullises can be dropped at a moment’s notice to create a barrier to those trying to move through the town. These extra defences have been put in place to guard against invasion by Nova Norgantho to the east, with the idea being that should the Rebel Nation span the expanse where the bridge connecting the eastern and western shores of the Sanguine River used to stand, they would be sucked into a bitter and attritional fight for every street, ideally long enough for reinforcements from elsewhere in Turelion Province to arrive.

Industry & Trade

Little trade moves through Gold Guard now, thanks to the emergence of Nova Norgantho to the east, and the majority of the trading establishments that did exist in the town, profiting off the caravans that would come up the Kaldara desert’s Great North Way have shut up shop and moved to the settlements further west.   Like most places in the Plains of Gold, the majority industry of Gold Guard is agriculture. Huge swathes of rich fields lie to the north and west, and the southern part of the town has been turned into an extensive network of vineyards. However, it is not the produce or wine of Gold Guard that puts it on the map, but its brandy. The majority of the wine produced by the town’s vintners is processed by the many distilleries in the town into Gold Guard Brandy, which graces the drinks cabinets of many a fine household across the Empire of Turelion and far beyond.


As a former trading hub, Gold Guard is blessed with wide, well paved roads, once intended to facilitate the flow of trading caravans through the town and onto the rest of Turelion Province to the west.   Additionally, as the waters of the Sanguine River are deemed by the inhabitants to be poisonous (see sidebar), the town has a far larger number of wells and fountains from which its people can draw water, so that they do not have to approach the river. Almost every square and courtyard has somewhere where water can be drawn, with wells even having been excavated in the middle of some of the largest streets.

Guilds and Factions

Unsurprisingly, the largest formal organisation in Gold Guard is the Guild of Distillers, who act as a consortium the both protects the rights and earning potential of its members and safeguards the reputation of their signature product, Gold Guard Brandy. Only those who have apprenticed with a guild member and passed a gruelling series of examinations are admitted into the guild, and are them permitted to either start their own distillery, or work as a full-time, highly paid worker in an existing facility. All the barrels of brandy produced in the town are rigorously tested by the senior members of the Guild before they are permitted to bear the Gold Guard Brandy branding and are signed off for sale. The guild ensures that any caught either selling brandy that has been rejected under the Guild’s branding, or selling knock-off versions are severely punished.   As a town in need of a strong military presence, the Bloody Wolves have established a base in Gold Guard, and the mercenary group are paid by the town authorities to train and drill the guard and they are also paid to undertake duties that either would take detachments of the garrison away from the town for long periods of time, or which the guard are not deemed to be experienced enough to do themselves. The border between the Plains of Gold and the Destra Wetlands that the Gold Guard garrison are responsible for controlling is almost exclusively patrolled and protected by members of the Bloody Wolves.


In general, visitors to Gold Guard are few and far between. However, every month a small number of visitors come in the day preceding the full moon to observe the phenomenon known as the Ghosts of the Sanguine (see side bar). Tourists who come to observe this strange spectacle are distrusted by the town’s inhabitants, who regard them as strange for wanting to view the macabre spectacle of an army of ghosts marching down the river. However, the desire to take the money of these tourists means that inns will always offer them lodging, even if the welcome they receive is far from friendly.


Gold Guard lies on the eastern extremity of the Plains of Gold, on an area of flatland abutting the banks of the Sanguine River.
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Ghosts of the Sanguine

  As the town lies on the Sanguine River, ever since the Battle of the Sanguine River in 212DW and the accompanying ethereal activity that regularly takes place every full moon, the people of Gold Guard have become very distrustful of the waterway. No one in Gold Guard draws water from the river for any purpose, and the town has an unusually large number of wells and fountains to service the people instead. Additionally, every full moon, most people in the town will refuse to go out at night, fearing that the ghosts who march down the river might abduct them and drag them into the bloody waters.

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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