Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Brightwater - City of Coins
Merchant Capital of the Realm of Two Princes
Brightwater is home to many locksmiths, pewterers, tinsmiths, potters, enamlers, leatherworkers, bootmakers and finesmiths; the latter fashioning latches, wirework, fastenings, corner-caps and hardware (for chests, coffers and doors). It is a hive of skilled craftsmen and close-guarded wealth, making it one of the busiest and wealthiest Borderer settlements, but also one of its most grasping and grubby. Citizens have earned a reputation for being unfriendly, self-important and “sharp” in their dealings.
Every merchant has a bodyguard and an “annunciator” (scribe or clerk). Most hire a handful of the omnipresent guardsmen to watch their homes and families, and their workshops.Originally necessary from the incessant raids out of the Beast Shards, these troops now represent the custom of declaring one’s personal status, rather than fro daily survival.
Brightwater is a crowded place of winding cobbled streets and mud-and-gravel alleys. Its timbered houses are narrow, steep-roofed and close-crowded. They rise four to five floors above the streets, typically with storage cellars and kitchens below and a rear chimney with a drop chute/dumbwaiter to access the lower levels.
Visitors will never find grand palaces, manors or civic buildings. Business is conducted in shops or at “firesword houses” (festhalls serving skewered fowl over central hearths). In better houses one can rent private rooms or booths as well as minstrels to shroud discussions and “fencers” to guard against intrusion.
The town council is run from the Risen Dragon Festhall, owned and operated by a grizzled, balding warrior named Ulfgaard Hearth, who runs the Council. Citizens come to the Dragon to find sell-swords, to pay their taxes, and to discuss Council business. The Council keeps the peace in the town through bands of veteran “Councillors” all former mercenaries wielding crossbows and longswords, and are known to employ Blue Whimis on their weapons. Council law includes “…no sale of tainted or deceitful goods, no sale or possession of poisons, no extortion, no attacking rivals in their homes or places of business, no theft, and no murder…”. Penalties are typically fines, property confiscation, and banishment (known as “Being under the Ban”).
Mercenary companies are not allowed to operate within Brightwater, but several have safehouses and training-centers north of the city. Established mercenary bands include : “The Gold Griffons” (an amber griffin on a crimson oval), “The Hawkfeathers” (a silver striking hawk on a green oval), and “The Fire Drakes” (a gold dragon’s head on a green oval). Council troops wear brown tunics, bearing the town crest (a silver turret on a blue oval), and are known as “Brightgaards”.
Brightwater is a place of bustling commerce, not a romantic backwater of pastoral beauty. One visiting band referred to it as “…necessary, like a rubbish-heap or a privy…”. Merchants from other lands in the Border Kingdoms often call it “Dungstink”, and the large cattle market northeast of town does little to improve matters. The town manufactures hides and spicy “trailmeat”, which is widely exported. The tanneries near the river add to making the place unattractive, if prosperous. North of town is a sprawling caravan grounds, and often the southern terminus for trade in the Border Kingdoms, and the occasional trade caravan to or from Westwind across the Trackless Wastes of the northern Beast Shards.