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Kurth (town)

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Kurth, known as "Pirates' Rest", was a town in the Vast, located at the intersection of the Cross Road and the North Road, between Maskyr's Eye, Blanaer, and King's Reach, and at the end of the Hunt Trail from Tavilar. It sat at the northern entrance to Three Trees Pass, and east of the Beluar's Hunt hills.[2][3][1][4]

HistoryEdit

The town was founded by the adventurer Kurth "Banditslayer", who gave it its name.[1][2]

Kurth grew to be a large town, but its people were unable to fully defend the length of its walls, exposing them to raids by orcs. The inhabitants constructed another set of walls closer in, leaving the new "Tweenwalls" district to go to ruin.[2]

A mage in Kurth using a scrying spell was one of only two surviving witnesses to a rampage by a stag-horned lich in the Beluar's Hunt hills, around 1350 DR, the other being another scrying mage in Tavilar.[5]

The adventurer Feljack built the mansion of Feljack's Hall in the Tweenwalls area around 1347 DR. A sudden fire destroyed it one night, circa 1357 DR; Feljack was not found and was thought dead. Shortly after, as scavengers picked through the smoking wreckage for valuables, a giant skeleton armed with a magical black sword emerged from the ashes to slaughter them. A wizard identified the black sword as a shadow blade. The skeleton was presumed to be a guarding treasure, but the few who dared return to the ruins to investigate were often found cut to pieces on the road outside. The ruins of Feljack's Hall were wisely abandoned.[1][2]

However, after 1367 DR, on moonlit nights, human skeletons carrying swords were observed roaming the mound and poking around the rubble of the Hall, their presence and purpose unexplained. Feljack's supposed treasure went undiscovered by 1370 DR.[1][2]

DescriptionEdit

Kurth was described as either a large village[1] or a town, though it was big enough to be walled.[2] On the western side was the district known as "Tweenwalls", formed as the new city walls were built closer in and laying between them and the old walls. It was left to go to ruin, becoming an area of shanties, crude stables, and rundown warehouses. At its center was the blackened, overgrown mound left by the ruins of Feljack's Hall.

Kurth operated as a stop for caravans, a site for gatherings, and as a farmers' market. Among its industries in the late 1360s DR were two mills, large stockyards, and a brewery. The local wheelwright was a skilled woman who kept stocks of wheels and snow-runners ready for swift repairs.[2] The town held shrines to Chauntea, Clangeddin, Eldath, and Tymora, which was regularly tended by visiting priest from Mulmaster.[1]

There were many bars and several quality taverns and inns. The Gauntlet and Girdle tavern was the site of a great deal of shady backroom deals.[1][2] Two rival inns were the Beluar's Hunt and the Rolling Heads Inn, both named after the elven hero Beluar's victory over the orcs in the hills southwest of Kurth, also called Beluar's Hunt.[1][6]

ActivitiesEdit

Kurth thrived and profited off trade along the North Road and Cross Road, between King's Reach, Mulmaster, and Ravens Bluff.[1] Nevertheless, the town was grim and watchful,[2] and known as dark and haunted.[1]

Curiously, many pirates came to Kurth desiring to retire somewhere away from the sea, earning it the nickname "Pirates' Rest" in the nearby cities of Calaunt, Tantras, and Ylraphon. They brought what treasure they had with them, and were said to hide it in the town. Merchants starting their own businesses sometimes went to Kurth seeking sponsors and investors among the former pirates; the discreet and cautious often got what they needed, while the rest went afoul of still-active pirates. Smuggling and other criminal deals often went on in Kurth's taverns.[1][2]

Kurth suffered continuing water shortages. Thus the people recycled their water, filtering it with magic and recirculating it. This was thought to explain the taste of the local beer. The beer was dark and foamy, with a thick, rough taste similar to licorice and described as a "ropy".[2]

RumorsEdit

With all its former pirates, Kurth was rumored to be stuffed with their loot, reportedly hidden in cellars, attics, cisterns, and chimneys.[2]

A Cult of the Dragon cell serving the black dragon Velvet of the Flooded Forest was theorized to be operating near Kurth or Calaunt.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 74. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 152–153. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  3. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 145. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Maps. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  5. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  6. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  7. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.

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