Old Skool Gamers SoW Campaign
Click this (players guide to…) Overlook is a very big dwarven city located on the west end of the Elsir Vale, nestled into the lower elevations of the Stonehome Mountains.
The maps are clickable for much higher resolution
- 1. East Way The old East Way emerges from the Dalelands and climbs the slopes of the Thunder Peaks Mountains, moving through Overlook and ascending up to Bodrin’s Watch and down the other side into the badlands beyond. The old road is far older than Overlook, having been paved during the Age of Chains by dwarf slaves for their giant masters. After the dwarves successfully rebelled, the East Way served as a primary trade route for the old dwarven kingdom that followed, but over the last century or so, goblins, bandits, and worse, have made travel along it perilous. Still, closer to Overlook, the road is somewhat safe and folk near the city still make use of it.
- 2. The Gray Redoubt of Rufus Crumley The so-called “gray redoubt” is a leaning tower of gray and black stone that has the dubious distinction of being the tallest structure in Shantytown. Speculated as being as old as the city, the tower has had many owners over the centuries, but is currently the home to one Rufus Crumley. It’s whispered that undead horrors guard the tower, so not even the thieves of the “district” dare attempt burglary. It’s well known that Crumley pays good gold for cadavers and is knowledgeable in a few rituals useful for removing afflictions, and, if it can believed, thwart death.
- 3. Clean Sheets A sagging, rotting building leaning out over the old East Way, this inn hasn’t had clean sheets since it first opened for business a decade ago. What it does offer is shelter and a suspicious meal. Clean Sheets’ accommodations include a pair of private rooms, or a cot in a large common room in the attic. The main floor consists of a kitchen and dining hall where a patron can buy a burned or undercooked meal, tepid beer, and cloudy water for a reasonable price.
- 4. Mountain’s Hearth Just inside the east gates and facing the old East Way is a three-story inn named the Mountain’s Hearth. Famed for its clean and neat accommodations, fine meals, and pleasant staff, the Hearth is one of the more popular stops in Overlook. The dwarf matron Reggen runs the place like clockwork, and her persistence and dedication has paid off.
- 5. Pig and Bucket One of the Blister’s most famous dives, the Pig and Bucket is a one-story tavern squashed between two boarding houses of ill-repute. Most of the tavern consists of the beer hall, where booths line the walls, and row tables and benches fill the open area in the centre. A wooden bar, replete with names and curses carved onto its surface, runs along the back wall, where a dozen casks hold a variety of beers. Adventurers and mercenaries loiter in the Pig and Bucket, because it’s a good place to find work and exchange news. Merchants, wizards, and shady types drift in and out the bat-wing doors day or night, so one doesn’t have to wait long before someone blows in with a job offer. Kyle Rester cultivates this atmosphere since he was an adventurer in his youth. His bright red hair has gone to gray and his freckled face is creased and wrinkled with age, but he’s competent and knows his way around a sword.
- 6. Dungeoneer’s Survival Emporium A narrow building, but deep, the Dungeoneer’s Survival Emporium is a general store specializing in common goods such as rope, packs, tents, and bedrolls—all available for reasonable prices. The shop doesn’t deal in weapons or armour, but if a customer flirts enough with Myra Edgerton, a half-elf of prodigious size, he might just gain access to the store of wondrous items she has collected over the years.
- 7. Tombs Adventurers don’t have much reason to explore the Boneyard unless they’re in need of leathers, dyes, or a funeral service. In fact, the thing that brings most people to the Boneyard is the Tombs, Overlook’s old graveyard. As large above ground as it is below, Tombs contains the burial vaults for citizens dating back to the city’s founding. The city eventually swallowed it up when it annexed the Boneyard a hundred years ago. For as much as the groundskeepers maintain Tombs, the cemetery is a grim and foreboding place, aided by the overlarge temple of Kelemvor that crouches in the heart of the maze of headstones, vaults, and crypts.
- 8. Dergan’s XXX Brewery Dergan’s XXX Brewery is home of Dergan’s XXX Stout, a full-bodied black lager brewed using a recipe passed down through a dozen generations of dwarf brewmasters. The current brewer is a dwarf by the name of Forsworth Clangman, and he takes pride in continuing his family’s tradition. The Brewery is beloved by labourers throughout the Forgeworks, and off-duty workers come each day to drink away their wages in the comfort of this dark tavern and brewery.
- 9. Stonehome Treasures Mikal Rensfield runs Stonehome Treasures, an unassuming shop specializing in selling goods produced in and around Overlook. Rensfield, an enterprising human merchant, solicits finished materials from artisans in the city and from the outlying villages and turns them around for a profit in the Forgeworks. His merchandise is an eclectic mix of mundane equipment, weapons, armour, and a smattering of magic items he has picked up for a steal from local explorers. Treasures, as it’s often called, does a brisk business in the city, and adventurers of discerning taste shop here exclusively.
- 10. Belden’s Rest An adorable elderly couple runs Belden’s Rest. Rory Teng, human, and his wife Ruth, half-elf, have operated the inn since it was first built, and the inn has a reputation for its comfortable rooms, excellent food, and courteous staff. Prices are reasonable and the owners find new ways to surprise and please their guests during their stay. The inn consists of a lounge and restaurant on the main floor, with the upper two floors given over to private rooms. They’re best known for their pressed duck.
- 11. The Salty Mug This tavern nestles between the steep cliff that runs through the Tradetown and the middle wall, so the sun shines upon the building only in the middle of the day. The rest of time, shadows cloak the place, providing a fitting atmosphere for a haven of thieves and scum. Founded a dozen years ago by an ex-pirate named Kyne, the Salty Mug immediately attracted the worst sort of clientele—prostitutes, thugs, murderers, thieves, and, of course, adventurers. Fights break out here all the time and murders are common enough that when a stabbing occurs, the bartender—a brutish hobgoblin named Krunk, collects the body and sells it to the renderer the next morning. In spite of the danger, the Salty Mug is a good place to pick up rumours and happenings in the city. People haunting its booths are connected and they keep a finger on the pulse of the city.
- 12. Merty’s This gaudy shop fronts the old East Way as it passes between Tradetown and Forgeworks. The place is painted in pastel colours and big glass windows in the front display adventurers battling with papier-mâché monsters. Merty’s sells a variety of gear and equipment, all for 150% above the normal prices. What the place lacks in good deals, it more than makes up for in variety, making this shop an excellent choice for adventurers looking to track down ingredients, magic items, and other hard-tofind gear. A halfling named Riley Swifttoe owns the place and keeps a gnome artificer on hand to put together custom goods.
- 13. Shrine of Erathis In the heart of Tradetown stands a small shrine dedicated to Gond. Little more than a covered altar, littered with stubs of incense and scraps of paper containing prayers offered up by locals for good fortune, and a large idol of the goddess looking off to the horizon, people come here throughout the day or night. A gentle old woman named Haelyn attends the shrine and accepts tithes from penitents and those seeking the deity’s blessings.
- 14. Coxcomb Spirits A proud rooster adorns a hanging sign above the entrance to Coxcomb Spirits. More restaurant than tavern, Coxcomb Spirits offers a fine selection of wines, beers, ales, and liquors to accompany the artful meals prepared by Chef Drebben. The Spirits caters mostly to the city’s elite, and a nonpolitician might wait for months for reservations.
- 15. Stone Anvil Easily one of the largest buildings in Overlook, Stone Anvil is a grand cathedral dedicated to Moradin. The church’s foundation extends deep into the earth, where copyists work to transcribe the holy texts of Moradin, write holy books, and compile ritual books for the clergy. Some say these cavernous vaults hold far more than the legion of scribes and that ancient relics from the Age of Chains are buried in the deepest of vaults. Above, stone walls assembled from blocks of stone larger than many homes climb far above the bridges and buildings of Stonehammer. Its uppermost levels are studded with leaded windows that sparkle in the sun, each of which is shaped to resemble hammers. Doors to the worship hall rise 40 feet and require six dwarves to open or close them such is their great weight. The Stone Anvil is open to all who would pay homage to Moradin, but its placement in the city as well as an unwelcoming atmosphere results in its congregation being nearly all dwarves. The current high priest is Durkik Bronzegilder, and he has served three decades.
- 16. House of Sleep The House of Sleep specializes in exemplary service and keeps out unwanted guests with its exorbitant prices. A great tower that stands seven stories tall and is pierced with so many arched windows, the building appears as if it has more glass than stone in its construction. The House offers private accommodations only; each suite of pleasant rooms includes a small kitchen, lounge, and bedroom, as well as the service of two servants who see to the guest’s every need. Kalaban Whisperwind, an eladrin expatriate, owns the House of Sleep and dotes on his guests. A cultured and educated man, his life is one of service. Those who can afford a room here are never disappointed.
- 17. The Turned Spoon The Turned Spoon is a quaint restaurant on the southern edge of Elftown. Founded by a cadre of Halfling chefs from the riverlands to the south, they offer a large menu and a dizzying array of spirits. The restaurant is comfortable, with padded chairs and low tables. Deemed a romantic spot by the elite, and the epitome of excess by everyone else, the Turned Spoon offers large meals of unimpeachable quality.
- 18. Elsir Consortium Forty years ago, a group of merchants set aside their differences and combined their businesses to found the Elsir Consortium. Their unified front allowed them to expand their individual markets to nearly every community in the region until a decade later, and they have emerged as one of the most powerful commercial forces in the region. Ever since, the Consortium has only grown larger and more successful, which is a fact not lost on the folk of Tradetown and elsewhere who have begun to resent the Consortium’s influence. Overlook houses the Consortium’s warehouses and production facilities in Elftown. Fronting these buildings is a small shop that provides goods, weapons, armour, and other materials (none of which is magical) at a 10% discount below those normal prices.
- 19. Polliver’s Polliver’s is a small inn and club used by visiting officials and for local officials in need of clandestine meetings. A large building, four stories tall, it sits atop a tower near the eastern gate into the High Hall. Tall glass windows face out on all sides, with burgundy curtains inside that can drawn closed for privacy, while a pair of golden griffons stands watch to either side of the bronzed doors. The inside is just as grand as the outside, with high ceilings, patterned floors in priceless woods, and a legion of servants that cater to their guests. Large rooms, on scale with those found in the House of Sleep, fill the upper levels, while a bar, restaurant, game room, and smoking lounge fill out the main floor. Officials and envoys use Polliver’s to conduct private meetings, to make secret deals, and to chart the course for the future of Overlook. As such, membership is gained by not only circumstances of birth and wealth, but also for a candidate’s discretion. Being a member of Polliver’s is an expense many in Overlook find worthwhile.
- 20. Michael’s Blond In stark contrast to Polliver’s and the other pricey establishments in High Hall and Stonehammer, Michael’s Blond is a down-to-earth tavern that specializes in serving the working class, offering honest fare, good brew, and a comfortable environment all for a modest fee. Few officials would sully their names by having dinner here, but those looking for information on the elite might pry a few secrets from disgruntled servants deep in their cups.
- 21. Caer Overlook (Government) Rising above all the other districts and buildings in the city is Caer Overlook, a sprawling fortress of stone hauled out from the depths of the earth from the very mines the dwarves excavated during the dark days of their enslavement. The castle consists of eight round towers arranged in a star pattern surrounding a central keep capped with a domed roof. Hedging in all the towers and the keep is another stone wall, taller than the wall bounding the High Hall, and it raises 200-feet tall. If the scale were not impressive enough, the architecture in the details establishes the fortress as one of the greatest in the lands. Carvings, engravings, and bas-reliefs adorn the walls, capturing moments of dwarven history and inscribing those grudges to which all dwarves still cling. Scroll-work bears threats and promises, vows of vengeance against orcs, giants, and anyone or anything else that had wronged these people. Inside, the same degree of artistry appears throughout the building, from the brilliant tapestries to the inlaid stone work covering the floors, and statues of the courageous Firstborn who sacrificed their lives to liberate their kin. All this, inside and out, pales before the brilliant majesty of the Council Chamber: the High Hall. This magnificent room measures 200 feet in diameter with a great dome overhead. A dais, raised 20 feet above the echoing chamber, holds the five high-backed chairs for the councilors. The floor around the dais is polished to a mirror finish to reflect the mural on the dome overhead. In it, one can see an artist’s rendition of Moradin’s wrath against the primordials, telling the story of the god’s gift, the betrayal, the Age of Chains, and culminating in the dwarves’ liberation. Caer Overlook provides quarters for the elders as well as smaller apartments for the districts’ representatives and their families. Each is a sumptuous room with high ceilings and marble floors. Fireplaces large enough for a grown man to stand hold roaring fires, heating the entire castle through a feat of engineering, while everburning torches illuminate the halls and chambers with a soft white light. Few, however, have the chance to behold the splendour of this place, since the guardians protecting the councillors are vigilant in safeguarding the private rooms and inner vaults.
- 22. Ministry of War The Ministry of War is more compound than single structure, consisting of six buildings arranged inside a walled-in courtyard. Three buildings are barracks for the garrison that protects and patrols the city. The fourth serves as an armoury and smithy, producing weapons, ammunition, and armour for recruits. The fifth building houses the officers quarters, while the sixth contains the officers of the War Minister. The Ministry of War produces both soldiers and watchmembers, and their training regimens are nearly identical. The Ministry accepts most candidates provided they are fit and able, but it allocates recruits to the city watch or garrison. Some candidates, no matter how eager, are refused. Topping the list are gnomes, any goblinoids (reformed or not), orcs (and their kin), and any other individual that lacks the strength, discipline, or ethical substance to serve.
- 23. Cadrick’s Boarding House When other districts provide lodgings, one might wonder why anyone would rent a room in the Nine Bells. There are few good reasons and those who do seek out a place to stay here are either too poor or too desperate to hunker down anywhere else, or, worse, need or have to keep a low profile. In any event, Cadrick’s Boarding House welcomes any and all inside its mildewed walls, offering dirt cheap rates that even include a loaf of bread (with crunchies!) and a pail of murky water. One never fears being alone in the rooms, because lice, fleas, and other vermin infest the straw mattress beneath stained sheets. No detail is spared in this interesting place, with peeling wallpaper revealing swathes of black, quivering mould, clouds of flies, and spiders so big, a shoe large enough has not been cobbled to silence their scuttling. Wendell the Sott owns the Boarding House and is not sure who Cadrick was, though he’ll tell you he did at one time if he can be sobered up long enough to reply. An army of sycophants and hangers-on lurk in the shadows of this building, taking residence here thanks to Wendell’s good graces or his obliviousness.
- 24. Divine Knot The Divine Knot is the name given to the nine temples filling out the northwest corner of the Nine Bells district. Each temple is a grand house of worship designed to honour the gods, but is marred by the squalor and filth contaminating this district. For years, the priests worked to clean up their environs but frequent failures have chipped away at their resolve, leading a few of the temples to close their doors (specifically Ohgma, Moradin, and Amaunator). The rest—Tymora, Bahamut, Gond, Tempus, Kelemvor, and, oddly, Zehir—remain, but with small clergies and smaller congregations.
- 25. Pickled Imp The Pickled Imp is an infamous tavern located just inside the Nine Bells. Taking its name from the large jar containing a dead imp suspended in brown fluid sitting proudly on the old wooden bar, the Pickled Imp is no place for the meek. Tucked away on a side street a few blocks away from the western gates, the Pickled Imp squats at the end of a foul alley, which is littered with slop tossed from the windows of tenements on all sides. The favoured watering hole of beggars, storytellers, vagabonds, madmen, and shiftless folk, the Pickled Imp provides watery wine and a bitter yellow fluid that passes for beer. Fights are common, and in the cellar, the Imp’s patrons can watch kobolds fight brutal death matches.
- 26. The Happy Beggar The Happy Beggar is an out of the way poorhouse run by a husband and wife team of retired paladins. The poor and destitute come here, although many gripe at the tasteless gruel which is served up each day and endless sermons given by the overly pious hosts.
Beyond Overlook Overlook is one of the most interesting features of the Thunder Peak Mountains, but it isn’t the only one. Ruins of the old dwarven kingdom dot the peaks for hundreds of miles to the north and south, while old caves lead to tunnels worming through the rock. Closest to the Overlook, though, the land is safer and is home to numerous villages and other places of interest. Please check the players guide for other interesting places.
Bodrin’s Watch: Straddling the old Dwarfroad is a mighty fortress that was raised to control traffic across the mountains and protect the area from attack. The stronghold consists of a long wall, which is 150-feet tall and over 80 feet thick at the base, and it is punctuated with steep towers fitted with arrowslits. Battlements cap the wall, allowing sentries to watch the pass and defend the fortress from attack. Atop each tower is a pair of catapults. Ballistae and scorpions are positioned every 40 feet along the wall’s length. In the centre of the pass is a massive gate. Its doors stand 100-feet tall, and it takes 40 aurochs to pull them open. The gatehouse surrounding the doors consists of two towers, each as tall as the wall and wider than three standing towers together.
Bodrin’s Watch can accommodate 3,000 soldiers on the walls and in the towers, but the grounds on the eastern side of the pass can hold up to 100 times this number if need be. Granaries are replenished each season, fed by towns, hamlets, and communities all under Overlook’s protection. The stores can keep a modest-sized force fed and watered for up to six months without needing to resupply.
|Places Main Page|