Coeduchel Settlement in Ulskandar | World Anvil


The small town of Coeduchal, located at the end of the far south-western branch of the underground highway that snakes through the Union of Mishtoon, is the seat of Clan Dwr-Haearn. It was widely known throughout the Union as being a production centre of lumber and products crafted out of wood, thanks to its direct outside access onto the slope of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains, but it was known for little else. However, in recent years, the town has attracted more attention, as it is the birthplace of the current High King of the Union, Medyr IX.


Coeduchal is an almost exclusively Dwarven settlement, with about 95% of its population being Dwarfs. The remaining 5% of its inhabitants are made up of the more diminutive of sapient species, predominantly Halflings and Gnomes. Other species are occasionally present in Coeduchal, but they are almost always just moving through the settlement, or are only resident for a short while to conduct business.   The nature of the Clan system means that the majority of Coeduchal’s residents belong to a similar base level of income class that covers labourers and crafts people, though there are of course variations in the incomes of people who make up this broad bracket. A small amount of individuals have been able to significantly increase their income through heavy involvement and investment in trade, or through familial links to the setting up of the town’s industries.


Like most other towns and cities in the Union, Coeduchal’s the city is entirely based underground within the structure of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains, which from a defensive view means that the principal areas of defence are gate complexes. Coeduchal has three gate complexes, one of which guards the entrance to the city from the underground highway, with this gate complex being capable of sealing off the entrance to the town from any potential attackers approaching along the roadway, whilst also providing defended points from which the town’s militia can launch counter attacks and fight with missile weapons. The second of these gates is designed to seal the town off from any potential incursions from the small mine complex that sits lower down in the mountain than the town itself. With the mine complex being that much closer to the dangerous labyrinth of The Underdark, it is imperative that there is the capability to seal off the mines from the town. Finally, Coeduchal has its own access gate out onto the slopes of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains. The gate complex that guards this access point sits in the open air, rather than being underground, and is essentially a small castle, specifically designed to stop unwanted access to the town, and the underground highway from outside, whilst still allowing the transportation of large amounts of raw materials into the town. All of the town’s defences are manned by the militia of Clan Dwr-Haearn.


Because the creation of new space in the cavern Coeduchal sits in requires so much manual labour, the town itself is set out in a very regimented way, with a grid system of streets focusing on a large central square. This central square is used for all manner of activities, from markets to funeral games. Most the life and amenities of the town are focused around this central square, with most of the shops and craft workshops being located in the streets immediately surrounding the square, with the most prestigious or successful having managed to gain real estate on the square itself. The main square of Coeduchal has a larger than life statue of High King Medyr IX, set in an ornamental fountain at its centre, to celebrate not only the rule of the current High King, but also the fact that Medyr is the only High King to have belonged to Clan Dwr-Haearn. One side of the square is completely given over to a large feasting and assembly hall, which has been designed with a retractable wall overlooking the square, so that as many people as possible can get inside, or see what is going on inside. This architectural decision was driven by the fact that the hall is used for all Clan meetings, which will often draw a large crowd.   The eastern side of the town has a concentration of more industrial units, that are linked to the processing and refining of ore brought up from the mines below. Processing of extracted minerals is deemed to be safer when conducted in the town, as it limits the number of workers needed down in the mine complex, and consequently closer to The Underdark. The western side of the town is dominated by a huge stone ramp that leads up from the floor level of Coeduchal’s cavern to the fort and access point to the outside world above. The foot of this ramp also serves as a depot for lumber harvested from the mountainsides, along with primary processing areas to turn the tree trunks into secondary materials, such as planks.   The town has three major roadways that cut through its grid system, one from the west, and the outside world, one from the east and the mines lower down, and one from the north which is the route of the underground highway to the town. These three roadways converge in the central square in a T-junction. The town’s grid system is roughly split into smaller community units, which are mostly defined as the communities that surround the many wells dug into the rock on which the town stands.


As the cavern within which Coeduchal sits has been purposely carved out by the town’s original builders, the whole is constructed on consistently level plain, with some very slight variations to take into account areas where some veins of harder rock were encountered during the initial constructions. There only major variations to the largely flat level are the two passages, one that leads up to the exterior of the mountain, and one that leads down into the town’s mine complex, both of which naturally need to be sloped in order to reach their intended destinations.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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