Located in the heart of Dorsill, along the River Howling, lies the Town of Howlbeck.
Originally built in 1289, Howlbeck existed merely as a fortress outpost and a means for Ardennian forces to assert power over the region. However, this would not last as frequent rebellions by locals eventually forced the first of many governors to flee the region. From 1289 to 1315, roughly seven governors would hold the position of Count of Dorsill, but ultimately abandon it due to stress, peasant revolts, or madness. This would earn Dorsill the reputation of a most cursed land.
It wasn't helped that the lands of Dorsill were, as many Ardennian soldiers would discover, a horrid and wretched land filled with monsters and beasts of various kinds and led to many soldiers refusing to enter deeper into the their new territory.
In 1315, Gregor de Hue, a soldier and rising political figure in the Courts of Ardennais, was forced to take position as Count of Howlbeck or be put into a position of political obselence. Unlike his predecessors, de Hue wanted to learn and worked alongside with many Dorsillians to ensure their own survival. Throughout his reign, he studied and made accounts of the creatures and beasts that inhabited the land. In 1319, he completed the first map of Dorsill. Under his supervision, Gregor oversaw the construction of roads, bridges, and fortifications which bettered many in this savage land. Ultimately, dying in 1363. His son, Mathias would take up the role of the Second Count of Dorsill and continue his father's work.
During the Danic War of Independence, House de Hue and the Dorsillians fortified their keep into a full stronghold to defend against Ardennian incursions. Though Mathias would not live to see the end of the war, his son Haralt would ultimately be rewarded the position of the Count of Dorsill from the new King of Dane, Daighne Arundel.
Under A New Crown
From 1390 onward, the lonely fort known as Howlbeck would quickly expand. In its first twenty years, a new chapel, marketplace, military barracks, and even a series of water-powered lumber mills would appear around the city. However, increased attacks by animals and creatures called for a massive construction effort unlike anything the city had seen before.
In 1430, the city built its first walls as well as demolished the old keep in favor of a new royal keep later named "Beastmaster's Keep". The construction was long, as the city rested on a tall hill and stone was hard to retrieve from the mountains. New roads were established, as well as a connection of bridgeworks over the Howling River which would give Dorsill quick access to the capital, this would be later named "The King's Road."
Construction in the city finally finished in 1512, after nearly 80 years and the city quickly grew both in size and reputation as a sanctuary.
Modern Day (1593)
In modern day, Howlbeck is the largest city in Dorsill and is often called "The Old Fort" by many locals. It is the most fortified city and serves as the industrial heart of the area, where logs are sent down to the various mills to be converted into timber before reaching Feygrave for transportation.