“South Fort will fall, its heart is blacker than any would guess. It is but a small bother on the great road to the destruction of the Alliance Nations. Then, and it shall be soon, the Tyrant will hold all Avernos as his kingdom.”
– Karleethia Darkhand
A while back I gave an overview of Avernos, the Land of Adventure, and a brief introduction to South Fort, which is the city setting for the solo adventure Sentinels Watching. In this post I’m going to give you a heap of extra setting information so that you can use South Fort in your own campaign.
City On Watch
South Fort was established as a garrison in the Wilderlands, an inhospitable stretch of land on the Southern edge of the human kingdom. To the West lies the deadly mountain range known as the Jaws, and beyond that the Abyss, from whence every manner of foul darkness issues forth. To the east lies the Dead Wood, a forest older than time and said to be haunted by the spirits of ancient trees.
The city has seen more than it’s fair share of conflict, and yet has grown as a major commercial hub, due to the fact that it sits on three important trading routes. As the city has grown so too has the power struggle within it between South Fort’s elite. While the city is officially led by the Keep Captain, there is growing evidence to suggest that an influential gang within the city holds the real power.
Law, if you can call it that, is maintained by the city watch known as the Blue Capes. They owe this title to the blue capes of rank they wear to distinguish themselves from the civilian population. If the leaders within the Capes are doing anything to stem the corruption in the city they are keeping very quiet.
Districts of South Fort
South Fort is divided up into several districts, each with its own unique character:
The Keep: The military and municipal heart of the city. Here you’ll find clerks, judges, officers and other administrative personnel, along with a heavier presence of Blue Capes and South Fort militia. Other than at times of siege, common folk have little business in the Keep and the few merchants that have stalls here are solely concerned with selling stationery, inks and the stamps required for the daily running of the administrative offices.
Inner City: Surrounded by the main defensive wall of the city and the watchtowers known as the Sentinels, the Inner City is home to the richest citizens of South Fort. Built on top of a rising outcrop of rock, the Inner City commands a grand view of the rest of South Fort and the Wilderlands beyond. Foreign and trade goods are sold on Market Way, a wide thoroughfare, which draws merchants from far and wide, while the best craftsmen line South Fort’s famous Trade Road.
Outer City: Those living in the Inner City would describe the Outer City as “home to everyone else”. The Outer City sees more traders and travellers than the rest of the city as many visitors to South Fort prefer to ply their trade outside of the city walls and away from the high taxes they can expect to pay within. The Outer City black market does a roaring trade, with coin traded for goods from the Northern Kingdom, the Free South and the Eastern Ports in alleys, taverns, back rooms and through secret agencies such as The Raven.
The Sewers: The sewers of South Fort are an impressive feat of human and dwarven architecture hailing back from the first days of the Alliance. Having since fallen into decay, the sewers are now home to all manner of ne’er-do-wells, not to mention a growing rat population.
Organisations and Societies
South Fort is home to a number of organisations and societies, each with their own agendas.
The Sentinels: A secret organisation said to be operating within the Inner City. There is evidence to suggest that they control the taxation of trade within the city, which would make them powerful indeed.
The Blue Capes: The city watch of South Fort. Their main jurisdiction is within the city, but at times they help the militia patrol further abroad. Duties of the Capes include maintaining the peace, running messages and extracting taxes from visiting merchants.
The Raven: A clandestine organisation trading on the Outer City black market. The Raven have a reputation as heroes to the lower classes and as thieves to the wealthy, although much of their reputation comes from bar room chatter and old wives’ talk.
The Hoods: A large group of robbers, cut-throats and bandits who target the surrounds of South Fort. They are a constant blight on the trade routes and a thorn in the side of the South Fort militia.
The Fixers: A guild that hires and assigns unusual jobs to mercenaries and other adventurous types. It’s said that if you need extra coin and don’t mind a few scars then the Fixers are just the people to contact.
Want to experience more of South Fort and have a chance to influence the future of this intriguing city? Hop on over to The Rising Dark for another completely free adventure set in the City of Sentinels.
Well, that’s it for this week. Let me know what you think by posting a comment below. Your comments could help shape the future of South Fort, Avernos and the world beyond.