FoundingPerryden was founded by Lucyn de Pre, the legendary founder of House Perry, in the early 200s AR. According to the house's founding myth, he received a pear tree sapling from a serpent of Mae, and planted it at the site of what is now the central market. Founding myths in the Vinelands are often based around plants, particularly those that are the main export of the respective house, and involve the spirit of Mae giving them as gifts.
"Where the serpent Promona coiled and slept, from the center grew a seedling. Lucyn, recognizing the spirit of Mae, reverently stood guard until it was revealed to be a pear tree, knowledge of its fruits would be his reward." - Lucyn de PreWhile the legendary founding involves pear trees, the actual purpose of Perryden's location has been the same throughout its history. Numerous ancient sunken wrecks have been found around the city and Lake Salis, with the ships dating far back to the Age of Rule. Perryden's shipbuilding was likely as prominent at its start as it is now.
ShipbuildersWhile myths and legends say Perryden sprung up around that first pear tree, a gift from the goddess of nature, it really grew from another gift of hers. Perryden sits at the mouth of the Timber, a wide, lumbering river flowing from the Murkmantle down to Lake Salis. As House Perry was the original lord of this area, they legally had free reign over the borders of the forest nearest them.
"The stripping of bark is forbidden, and any fallen products of trees are the property of the forest's legal overlord." - The Forest Laws S.III, P.IIIThe logs taken from the Murkmantle were floated downriver, around the bend at Surlee Rock, and to the shipyards of Perryden. House Reed held sway over the Winerun, and therefore dominated most of the waterways of the Vinelands with their powerful navy. The largest shipyard outside of their territory was at Perryden, and was thus very valuable to the houses of the Blossom Fields. Even more so to House Thewisy, who became House Perry's greatest ally, and tacitly supported their shipyards to facilitate smuggling around House Salis', and later Semillon's, Reed-backed embargo on wine exports.
FruitsWhile the Vestral Downs are the breadbasket of Anhara, the Vinelands, and Blossom Fields in particular, have the fertility and temperate climate necessary to produce much of the nation's fruits, wines, and ciders. Perryden is the largest producer of pears in the region, and they make up a considerable export, as well as the basis for much of the city's unique foods. Jellies, jams, fresh and dried pears, pears simmered in wine, spiced and roasted pear, pies and tarts, and Perry Pudding are all delicacies available there.
PerryThe Vinelands are most noted for their alcohols, and Perryden is no different. Their beverage of choice, Perry, is a pear cider. Sweeter and more difficult to press than apple ciders, Perry is less common and more expensive than other ciders. Given how easy it is to cross-pollinate pear trees, there are a wide variety of pear ciders, with some rural villages having their own unique, local flavors. The most expensive is that produced in the groves on Castle Hill, where House Lyonel's gardners place bottles directly onto budding pears, allowing them to grow into the bottle. This particular brand is known as Pere Decalier, or the "Prisoner Pear."
Pear WoodWhile Perryden is known for the lumber from Murkmantle, it produces another, more niche, high quality wood. Wood from pear trees is valued for its aromatic smoke, close grain, stability, and lack of warping. Perryden produces, in particular, pear wood lutes and woodwinds, fine furniture, aromatic firewood, and utensils.
Alainic UprisingsHouse Perry's rule of Perryden was relatively without note until the Alainic Uprisings of 454AR. Until then, it was a small town, known for their alcohol, fruits, ships, and smuggling between the Eastmarches and the Vinelands.
"House Perry, small in number, unnoteworthy in lineage, unimportant economically, was through their bravery able to postpone House Reed's control over the Timber and thus the Ciderwinde, giving the Cyrtons sufficient time to fortify their river." - Sir Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red BlossomsWith civil war sparking in the Blossom Fields, and House Reed's navy allied with the usurping Semillons, their shipbuilding became crucial. House Thewisy, long an ally and financial partner of House Perry, finally succeeded in lobbying them to openly raise their banner in support of their true overlord, House Braelea. Perry forces seized House Reed's ships, at anchor in Perryden, and took control of the Timber. While the siege of Septhearth is most remembered from this phase of the Braelean Hedge Wars, the siege of Perryden was just as brutal, if not more so. Because they were such a small house, the usurping Semillons had no issue slaughtering them to make way for a new vassal to control their territory. Perry forces, with some Thewisys, were slaughtered by The Free Company first at Copse Pond, which gained its local name of Corpse Pond, and later at the Fallen Fields.
"The Free Company was particularly brutal, under the southern Fields commander, the Lion of the Ruby Key, who massacred civilians as he torched homes. Reports from survivors say he even led the charge through the halls of Caer Perry, slashing at men, women, and children alike." - Rys Thewisy, Blood Red BlossomsThe final battle took place in the town proper, in what is now Sirene Corner, where Perryden residents jumped from the Bloody Bluffs to escape the inferno engulfing the town. The siege of House Perry's castle was slow, and they held out until 460, both within the walls and with guerilla parties in the hedges, before the eventually sacking and razing of Perryden.
Lords of the Southwestern VinelandsFollowing the siege of Perryden, House Semillon rewarded their brutal southern commander with control over Perryden and its surrounding territory. Cadan Lyonel became Lord Lyonel, and installed himself in the blood-stained halls of what was now the Lyonel's Den. Between the keep on the cliffs in the east and the castle on the hill in the west was a swathe of burnt, ruined land.
Skirmish and DetenteThe Free Company's brutal treatment of the town came back to bite House Lyonel, as they now ruled over ruined buildings, dead bodies, and a frightened population. The first Lord Lyonel, a brutal commander, nevertheless had the sense to designate to subordinates. With outside help, the Lyonels were able to begin rebuilding the city. Families loyal to House Perry fled south, and established Acornmill, leaving behind only those families insignificant enough to have remained neutral.
"House Perry, small in number, unnoteworthy in lineage, unimportant economically, was through their bravery able to postpone House Reed's control over the Timber and thus the Ciderwinde, giving the Cyrtons sufficient time to fortify their river." - Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red BlossomsThe Brunelles, not a noble house but nonetheless a wealthy family, established the Brunelle Home. This elaborately designed orphanage sits just outside the old city walls, and was built to house those who lost their families in the razing of the city. Within the old walls, Fairmont Manor survived. The Fairmont Family, later House Fairmont, became the foremost lieutenants of the Lyonels, purchasing up much of the real estate abandoned by the Acornmill expats.
"This was the first time the Thewisy banner had officially been marched into the Vinelands, as our forces went to the defense of the long-suffering House Perry." - Rys Thewisy, CQ, Across the TwineWhile the Fairmonts, Brunelles, and Lyonels worked to rebuild the destruction from the war, House Thewisy and House Perry opted to continue it. In the years following the Alainic Uprisings, Perry forces tried to take back various farm towns between Acornmill and Perryden, and the Lyonels tried to force their way across the river and into Acornmill. The back-and-forth continued until the defeat of Etien IV Braelea and the end of the Braelean Hedge Wars.
"The banner of my family came tumbling down last week, says messengers who have began trickling south. I am to be the last of our line, as my kin were butchered by those who's oaths our lords once held, the detestable purveyors of sellswords, lowly hawkers of coin, those ill-bred Semillons." - Guy d'Aimonne, Chronicles of Guy d'AimonneWhile Cadan Lyonel was one of the usurping Semillons' most brutal commanders, they were still, at heart, a mercenary. Located far from the heart of Semillon territory, in a city premised upon exports and shipbuilding, the Lyonels made the business decision to enter business with House Thewisy. The Lyonels allowed to reforming of the Shipwrights Guild of Perryden, and turned a blind eye to the growing black market in Coethrum's Warrens. Many of Perryden's former industries had now returned under new management.
Jetty VillageThe Timber is a wide and lumbering river, crucial to providing lumber to the shipyards of Perryden. Too wide to bridge, and separating House Lyonel's territory from their historical enemy, House Perry, it is instead crossed by a ferry. The Jetty Village, on the southern bank of the Timber, is technically within House Perry's territory. However, to maintain an efficient means of travel for the region, the village has existed in a neutral status quo. Governed by a council of local business owners, the Jetty is home to many taverns, shops, and inns for those arriving at night or unwilling to enter the city of Perryden. The neutral nature of the village, at the mouth of a crucial river, has given rise to a strong smuggling community and black market. Given that the city of Perryden itself is ridden with organized smugglers, the Jetty provides an opportunity for up-and-comers.
Copse PondThe Village of Copse Pond includes most of the outlying farms around Perryden, and is the furthest expanse of the city's territory. It mostly refers to the cluster of buildings and homes around Copse Pond and market, at the road junction just northwest of the city. Alternatively known as Corpse Pond, this was where the first battle of the Siege of Perryden took place. Hundreds of Braelea Loyalists, both Perry soldiers but overwhelmingly civilians, were killed and dumped into the lake.
"The brutality of their usurpation was not what turned Anhara's politics against them, it was rather the blatant disrespect. The news of the massacre at Copse Pond spread, as they dumped the bodies in the lake to prevent their ritual cremation. - Rys Thewisy, CQ, Blood Red BlossomsJust east of the Pond is Copse Market, the main market outside of the city to the north. Unlike Copyu Village's market to the south, this mainly serves nearby farmers. Besides travelers passing by for a quick bite, it would be rare to find a casual shopper hanging around this crossroads farmers market. Given its more professional nature, the smuggling and fencing common in markets closer to the river is unheard of up here, where a square deal and reputation is most valuable.
Copyu BendOriginally a village far outside the walls of Perryden, the city has grown and subsumed it. In recent years, it has grown to be an essential and integrated part of the city. Named for the large river rodents that used to be prevalent along the shores of the Timber, Copyu Bend's livelihood has been based off the waters.
"Their origin is surely from the Other Side, having come through the Vinelands' many gaps in the Veil. At some point, what was perhaps large beavers or otters have shrunk down into the modern copyu, their orange teeth remaining from a diet of Fae mushrooms." - Bestiary IsidoriThe most dominant feature of Copyu Bend is found along the waterfront, its famous shipyards which, by now, have entirely subsumed the banks of the river. Often fought after, and a key site for smuggling around House Reed and into the Eastmarches, the shipyards provide employment for most people living within Copyu Bend. The largest authority in this neighborhood has become the Shipwrights Guild of Perryden, who are given a respectable distance by the government.
Copyu MarketLocated outside of the city proper, Copyu Market is less regulated than those within the city, and has much easier access to smuggled goods from the Eastmarches. Bursting with seafood options, the smell of imported spices, and most luxuriously, rare coffee from Somae, Copyu Market is a cacophony of smells unusual to the Vinelands.
Goddesses' OutcropHigh atop bluffs where the Timber meets Lake Salis is the ideal location for a fortress. Instead, its home to temples to two of the most important gods in the area, Nemura and . The Timber Lighthouse guides ships to the harbor, but also doubles as a very ancient shrine to the goddess of the sea. East of this ancient lighthouse is a more recent Vestrial Choir, a rare type of temple to Vestria, as it is home to Vestrial Priestesses, who rarely live outside the Coquet Heights. Formerly a chantry of the Order of Bellowing Brothers, they were kicked out for Braelea Loyalism by the Lyonels.
Castle HillLooming over the farms west of the city, and looking down on its poorer neighborhoods, is Caere Lyonel. Originally a squat, stone tower on the west side of the hill, Caere Lyonel has grown into a fortress, housing the local detachment of the Free Company. What had begun as a mercenary company under House Semillon's loose control, is now a rather unruly bunch. Still requiring contracts to skirt the law, Free Company detachments extract payment from vassal houses to put down unruly locals, often incited by the Company's own behavior. Castle Hill, the first landmark to fall in the Siege of Perryden, also functions as a crossroads of a sort. Because of the neutral nature of the Jetty crossing, Castle Hill acts as the checkpoint House Lyonel authorities use for funneling travelers through to the Cooper Road.
RavenwoodA large wood along the Cooper Road, this area sheltered retreating soldiers during the Alainic Uprisings. Today it shelters those trying to avoid entering the city while travelling past at the Ravenwood Inns, a cluster of hostels centered around a huge, ancient tree. Another form of shelter is the local Altrarie, a temple to Altra, the goddess of healing. This circular cluster of buildings serves the local community both as a temple and hospital. At the southern extent of the woods is the Chardine Tower, seat of minor House Chardine. Sitting on a bluff overlooking the Cooper Road, Chardine Tower watches over the northern borders of the city. The Chardines are both tasked with protecting the area and fulfilling the traditional guest right granted to travelling questers and nobles.
Insworth HarborJust outside of Perryden and its rural districts, Innsworth Harbor is the next village along the Cooper Road. It plays an important local role, mostly in the fact that it's outside of the city's control. The Free Company will often stir up trouble with the fishermen, who are always smarting over some sort of maritime encroachment. Because Perryden's city guards cannot reach this far north, the Lyonels will need to contract out the Company.
The JutsThe commercial docks of Perryden, the Juts serve as the main entrance to the city from the south, connected via ferries. The docks here also receive shipments of logs from far up the Timber, cut at the borders of the Murkmantle. While smaller rivers like the Twine require logs to be driven, a dangerous practice, the Timber is a wide and slow river. Here logs can be rafted, lashed together into large platforms, and floated downriver. The largest could stretch for miles and have their own sails, if need be, as well as structures atop for the use of crew.
"Special licensing granted to rafters, floating, and crews thereof, should confine their activities to the optimal season, reducing disruption to the traffic upon the river. Passing rafts, of all sizes, shall go through territories without tax or tariff, in exchange for a lump transit sum to be paid by the House(s) receiving." - Forest LawTimber rafting occurs largely at the start of spring, as any potential ice on the river would be disastrous. While some timber is floated down at any season, its also necessary to close much of the Timber to riverine traffic to allow the huge rafts to pass. Local officials have pushed most loggers to confine their activity to early spring, to minimise disruption. Because of this, the Juts triple in size in the spring and early summer, with temporary campsites set up along the shore for the loggers, and taverns overflowing.
Bruyants' ClustersDuring House Perry's reign, what would become Bruyants' Clusters was a village well outside of the city walls. Utterly destroyed during the Lyonel siege, its reconstruction was funded by the Bruyants, one of the few prominent families to not flee south. Not an ally of the Perrys, not even a minor house, they jumped at the void left by the Lyonel takeover. Their method at achieving power was to pledge loyalty to the Lyonels and get permission to parcel out what would become the Clusters. Dividing them up, they filled carefully measured lots with housing paid for in increments for refugees returning after the war.
"The couple picked up for smuggling were released yesterday evening, their fine being paid by an unknown benefactor. They were the fourth from the clusters in as many days." - Lyonel's RoarThe Bruyants' method of parcelling out land to desperate families, for which they would pay in installments, allowed the family tight control over the neighborhood. Their quick flip to the Lyonels helped them build up the area and incorporate it within the city walls. Able to rule the district easily as their own fiefdom, conveniently divided up into manageable clusters, the Bruyants had a base of operations from which to move into smuggling and the black market. While the Warrens are home to professional smugglers, the Bruyants are believed to be the true masterminds. As the centuries have passed, the days of the Bruyants as self-appointed lords has waned, and while they ocassionally make an appearance as aldermen, the family sticks largely to the "import-export" business.
Little TrifleAnother post-Perry addition to the city, Little Trifle popped up in the century following the Alainic Uprisings. While House Lyonel was technically an enemy of the Thewisys, their origins as mercenaries meant they had little loyalty to the Semillon cause. As such, expediency required a working relationship with their closest, and dramatically more powerful, neighbor. As such, many from the Trifling Wards, the capital region of the Eastmarches, slowly moved to Perryden, following a vanguard of merchants. The Little Trifle is one of the few places one can find an easily accessible Crimson Quill archive, here an aumbry, much smaller than a library but nevertheless, available in a non-Thewisy city, outside of a district largely exclusive to nobility.
The TriangleThe Triangle is a small but significant neighborhood in the life of Perryden. Centered around d'Sarnroe ("the Triangle" in Anharan), a triangular market selling artisan crafts, the Triangle is home to many of Perryden's artisans. Thanks to their adjacency to Little Trifle, this neighborhood is home to a few coffee shops, rare outside of major cities. Coupled with the nearby aumbry, the mix of coffee, scrolls, and artisans has created a vibrant, active neighborhood of creativity.
The WarrensA neighborhood of alleys, homes-above-stores, and market stalls, the Warrens is a narrow and dense area of the city. The predominant feature is Coethrum's Warrens, the market which gives the neighborhood its name. Located roughly in the center, it's a hard to reach marketplace for the uninitiated, particularly Free Company troops. Residents can easily block alleys, move the market around slightly, and confuse soldiers, allowing shady businesses to thrive. Anything can be got in the Warrens, if one knows where to find it.
"Resembling an overturned ship hull, the Shipwrights Guild of Perryden has a fitting and commanding headquarters. Not only does it reflect their art, but is easily defensible in the face of occasional crackdowns." - Merchants' Roadmap of the VinelandsThe other prominent feature of the Warrens is in its south, along the base of the city walls. A long structure resembling an overturned ship's hull, the Forecastle serves as the headquarters for the Shipwrights Guild, surrounded by open yards and other facilities in which they practice their craft. Highly defensible, the Forecastle has been the site of many a skirmish with the Free Company, as the Guild has moved towards becoming a countervailing force in the city.
Coro PointsOne of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Coro ("Four" in Anharan) Points was the village at the original road junction outside the walls. Much of that original character has been lost, not only in the siege of Perryden centuries ago, but also in the dramatic growth the city has seen since the Second Climbing War.
"The guards watched closely as Eleric Silverstring opined on the current leadership. While he left the stage unmolested, next year's airing of grievances best toe a careful line." - Lyonel's RoarChanges in the city's demographics, as well as the history of heavy-handed governance by House Semillon, has made some citizens a bit acerbic. One hub of this energy is the temple of Ealaine, the goddess of art, literature, and poetry. From this safe haven operates an order of troubadours, bardic recorders of history, and a class whose satire is protected.
Fallen FieldsOnce one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, the Fallen Fields was the site of the most crushing defeat of Braelea-allied forces in the Hedge Wars. This area went from the site of a massacre, to a refugee camp, to an impoverished village, and eventually to one of the most upscale neighborhoods. Unlike the Coro Points, a number of ancient structures survive here. Most visible is the Perry Pyroie, a huge cluster of monuments to those lost in the Fields. Another survivor is the Ashened Oake, by far the oldest tavern in the city. Originally the Oake Tavern, it was the only structure to survive the razing of the homes outside the original Perryden walls. Free Company soldiers so enjoyed their ale that the only damage the structure took was a coating of ash from the surrounding blazes. In the northeastern corner of the neighborhood, on its own, are the Halls of Enech, the god of honor. This complex of structures is dedicated to training adventurers, carrying on the Vineland's cultural tradition of questing, largely serving upper-middle class Vinelanders in martial skills.
The SpineRunning down the central axis of the city, the Spine is the old portion of the Cooper Road, before the city's walls expanded. Once this separated the old from the new, but now many of the structures along it are upscale shops. The storefronts here lean out over the road, their awnings drooping towards travellers. Interspersed amongst them are many inns and taverns for the relatively well-to-do. Off of the main street, amongst the homes of many moderately wealthy merchants, is a structure that dominates the neighborhood of the Spine. The Brunelle Home was constructed after the destruction of the city by the Free Company as a home for orphans. The Brunelle family, one of the most prominent in pre-Lyonel Perryden, got permission from their new overlords, and poured most of their wealth into the construction of an architectural wonder. Here, orphans from across the region have been taken in for centuries.
FairmontAn upper class neighborhood on the hillside heading towards the keep, Fairmont was quickly taken over by House Lyonel's forces after the siege. There, the temporary quarters for the Free Company were constructed, whose commanders made it a more permanent home after the war. It is now a bulwark of old, moneyed families. Looming over this smaller neighborhood is Fairmont Manor, the seat of House Fairmont. This house was established for one of the Free Company commanders who helped storm the hill with Cadan Lyonel, and they remain a powerful local force.
NewtileNewtile, a mocking name for the nouveau riche across Anhara, references the blue tiles, faux versions of the bluestone used in Meridia, that clad the roofs of families who came into wealth and power after the Crossing Over, or in particularly rural areas. This neighborhood has stayed true to that image for centuries, and it hosts many of the city's wealthier merchants. In the middle of Newtile is the city's Central Market. This was, in ancient times, the city's foremost market, and where merchants and farmers from villages across the region came to ply their goods. Now, its been dwarfed by the markets towards the docks, home to the city's smuggling elements. The Central Market, crowned by a gilded statue of Cothrum, instead plays host to negotiations, companies, and powerful merchant groups, keeping them away from the shadowy warehouses outside the city walls.
Courier HeightsAs Perryden came out of its war footing, following the Alainic Uprisings and later Thewisy clashes, they cooled relations with the Eastmarches. Being a natural trading hub between the two regions, their population steadily increased, as did their middle class. Courier Heights, where towering, multi-story homes have been constructed, has become the densest neighborhood east of the old city walls.
"Make quiet and pay heed! A banquet was held yesterday evening to celebrate the successful tariff negotiations! House Lyonel's brilliant diplomats bargained with the Thewisys, trading away nothing the city did not need." - Courier Post ProclamationThe neighborhood is named for the Courier Post, the news-writer of note for Perryden. News-writers are a type of news service common in Anhara, and serve as the official reporter, sponsored by the local ruling house. Their headquarters are a landmark in the neighborhood. Another notable Courier Heights resident is the Mirabelle Theatre, founded by a Tahati immigrant to share traditional Tahati stories via the stage.
Sirene CornerWhile contemporary spellings often label this small neighborhood the Serene Corner, given its cliffside view, its name actually comes from "serene," the Anharan word for refuge. Here, many Perryden citizens were surrounded by Lyonel soldiers, leaping from the Bloody Bluffs to avoid burning alive. Now, this area is home to a few large, exclusive homes.
The BluffsThe Bluffs is the largest wealthy, residential neighborhood in the city. It has a commanding view over the steep cliffs along Lake Salis, known to many as the Bloody Bluffs. Here, hundreds plunged to their death during the siege of the city, and their ghosts are said to still haunt the beaches and groves below. To the residents of the poorer parts of the city, and those with Loyalist tendencies, it's a poignant juxtaposition with the manors above.
"Cremation of the deceased is necessary to properly convey the spirit to the Choir. [...] Without the proper rituals, the spirits may remain upon the Mortal Plane, expressing their discontent eternally." - Book of EtiquetteTwo other prominent structures look down over the cliffs above the lake, complimentary in nature. The first is the Rostrele Hall, seat of the city's municipal government. A Rostele is a common form of government in Anharan cities and large towns. A diminutive form of the word rostrum, the nation's ruling government, a rostrele is a council of local notables, often selected by the lord, or, as in Perryden, elected as aldermen from wards.
"Here sits one of the last locations to have a good bath before passing south to the Eastmarches. So, traveller, kick off your boots, rest your weary body, and take a moment before the long road south." - Merchants' Roadmap of the VinelandsAdjacent to the local Rostrele Hall is another import from the capital region, a traditional Anharan Bath. Bath houses are an important feature of the Coquet Heights, and most of the coastal parts of the Vinelands and Vestral Downs. When found outside of those regions, they are often a symbol of, like faux bluestone, a grasp for the decadence of the capital.
Lyonel's DenAtop the highest hill overlooking the city sits the castle of House Lyonel, Lyonel's Den, crown of their conquest. This fortress greatly expanded House Perry's original keep, and is the seat of the noble family that effectively governs the southern Blossom Fields. As the military management and governance of their domains largely occurs over at Caerbre, Castle Hill, Lyonel's Den has become more of a palatial complex. What was once the ancient hillfort of House Perry has become a monument to the wealth of their conqueror.
Early 200s AR