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Secomber was a small, peaceful town that acted as the de facto border town between the relatively peaceful Western Heartlands and the more savage North along the Sword Coast. The town contained a number of colorful gardens.[3]

GeographyEdit

It sat atop three stone hills on the northern banks of the southern-running Unicorn Run river and the western-running River Delimbiyr. Directly south of the town was the dangerous High Moor. To the north, along the Secomber Trail, was Uluvin.[4][3]

GovernmentEdit

Around 1367 DR, Secomber was ruled by Traskar Selarn, a ranger who truly had the best interests of the townsfolk at heart, and he was seen as one of the people by his loyal subjects.[1]

Law & OrderEdit

Secomber's justice system was a basis for most of the settlements in the Western Heartlands.[5]

The town judiciary, known as Rods of Justice, were respected elders who were elected every four years. At any one time there were between six and nine Rods depending on how many were deemed to be required to serve. If a majority of the other Rods voted for it, they could dismiss any one Rod from their company at any time and every Rod could also resign willingly at any time. Rods could recuse themselves from specific cases if they thought they could not be impartial but a Rod could not be compelled to, even if the potential for bias was obvious to all.[5]

Secomber's laws were based on those of the city of Waterdeep with a few differences. First and foremost being the fact that there were no "crimes against Lords", which were the most serious accusations in Waterdeep, however, assaulting a Rod of Justice was treated as both "aiding an attack upon Secomber" and "assault upon a citizen", the sentences for which were combined at trial.[5] The plaints were called 'godsfrowns', 'deathseekings' and 'deceits, malices and threatenings'.[6]

Every judicial case in Secomber was heard by a nine-person jury made up of Secomber's landowners. The jury selection process was done by a blindfolded child who had themselves been picked at random by a local priest (or one of the Rods if a priest was unavailable). The child would be presented with a cauldron containing chits, upon which were the names of all eligible jurors, however, if the child picked a juror who had already served within the last year, the chit would be temporarily removed and they would have to choose again.[5]

Trials were always public affairs often attended by bored citizens looking for something to do. Although the accused were allowed to speak freely, the utterance of threats, obscenities or going on tirades would earn them a gag to keep them quiet. Spellcasting within the court without the explicit permission of a Rod was a serious offence. If the defendant did so, they were knocked unconscious, then bound and gagged before the trial continued with the crime added to the list of charges against them.[5] A trial would rarely last more than half a day, though a Rod could elect to have a stay while waiting on the arrival of a witness or crucial evidence.[6]

Upon being found guilty, a defendant was subject to the whim of either the presiding Rod or the jury in terms of sentencing. If fines could not be paid, the guilty party's assets and property could be seized and any remaining monies owed were paid off in hard labor. Appeals against verdicts were not allowed, but as time went on, when new evidence came to light, it became more and more common to have an immediate informal retrial. If the convicted were proven innocent by the evidence, charges could be dismissed and prisoners swiftly set free.[6]

Outside of criminal matters, Secomber had a system of regulations and bylaws for civic matters, the breaking of which earned the offender a fine and a warning not to do it again, since repeat offenders faced harsher penalties.[7]

EconomyEdit

Secomber was a stop on the Delimbiyr Route, part of the trail between Waterdeep and Llorkh. Another trail, the Secomber Trail, connected Secomber to Uluvin to the north-west.[8]

Farming, fishing, and stone-cutting were the primary occupations, but it also had a number of folk familiar with the High Forest. Some locals hire themselves out as guides or guards for the passing caravans.[4][3]

The town welcomed and catered to travellers and caravans, especially adventurers who based themselves out of the town as they explored the High Moor and the High Forest.[3]

DefensesEdit

A small garrison of about 30, provided by the Lords' Alliance, guarded the town, and the local militia boasted over 100 members.[4]

InhabitantsEdit

The town was populated primarily by humans, but almost as many halflings called the place home.[citation needed] A small clan of dwarves lived in the area as well.[9]

HistoryEdit

Secomber was built on the western ruins of Hastarl,[10] capital of the ancient wizard kingdom of Athalantar.[4][11] By 1479 DR, Secomber had become a place under constant threat of hobgoblin raids. The citizens had erected a wall, which was their only defense against the raids, but it did them little good. Many adventuring bands were lost trying to free the town from the grip of fear and Secomber had resorted to leaving tributes outside Mishka's Warren, the lair of the Urshani clan, which did appease the hobgoblins but did not free Secomber from the occasional raid.[12] Twenty years later, the regular stream of tributes to the hobgoblins had left Secomber poverty-stricken.[13]

ActivitiesEdit

From time to time, gargoyles and other creatures were discovered and unleashed from the Athalantan ruins. Adventurers were called on to deal with them, though adventurers had likely inadvertently released them in the first place.[3]

Notable locationsEdit

Inns and taverns
Structures

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  2. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 228. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 0786960345.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 0786960345.
  7. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0786960345.
  8. slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Map of Interior, Silverymoon, Longsaddle, Yartar). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  9. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. Ed Greenwood “Athalantar:the Early Realms”. Dragon #228 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  11. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  12. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  13. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. In Kim Mohan, Michele Carter eds. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  14. 14.0 14.1 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.

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