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Current Date: May, 1012TR

Friday, 22 August 2008

Tekralh Gazetteer: Portown

Portown is a small fishing community of about 20 or 30 hovels on the south coast of Ouesterland in The Five Kingdoms. Sheltered from easterly winds by an unimposing headland, the beach-front village sits in the shadow of looming cliffs, atop which - reached by a well-worn track from Portown - sits the old graveyard and the ruins of a long-forgotten city.

Portown natives are a surly bunch and a general air of decay and dereliction hangs over the town; the one bright spot (by comparison) is The Green Dragon Inn, the only hostelry for several miles around, which offers a couple of basic rooms to anyone foolish enough to be passing through and seeking a bed for the night.

The mood of the locals has recently taken a turn for the worse as a small pirate operation seems to have started up on the other side of the headland. However, as the pirates don't bother the people of Portown (they have nothing worth stealing), the Portowners don't really bother about them.

What makes this blighted community noteworthy, beside the overpowering stench of fish which pervades its rain-lashed streets and environs, is the ruined wizards' tower on the edge of the old city on the cliff-top.

Legend has it that the tower was built bya great wizard called Zenopus a century ago, but abandoned after 50 years because of some unspeakable experiment or spell-casting that went wrong. After several years of enduring tales of hauntings and strange lights from the tower, the Portowners managed to muster enough enthusiasm to drag a giant catapult up the track to beside the graveyard and raze the tower for good.

Although this stopped stories of ghosts and goblins, it kick-started rumours of hidden passages, honeycombing the cliffs under the tower, packed with treasures and monsters. Only a few have been foolish enough to venture down the wide staircase that was exposed to the elements when the tower was destroyed and, of the handful that returned, they claim to have seen only empty corridors and chambers.

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