The Kingdom of Three
Darwen Cross straddles the Midland Ride where it intersects North Road. It is situated in the heart of the Winterbole Forest amid gentle hills and valleys.
For centuries Darwen Cross was a scattering of farms and ranchers along the Midland Ride from the fledgling city of Greendell to far off Firewine Crossing. After the Plight of Dragotha, however, and the construction of the North Road, Darwen Cross became a stopping point for travelers making their way deep into the Riverlands to escape the lawlessness and desolation of Ihmisia.
Although Falkirk seemed a natural termination point for many immigrants, Darwen Cross grew into a haven for native Riverlanders attempting to escape the culture and changing landscape of the city. With the establishment of Ten Bears Inn, Darwen Cross blossomed, and Ihmisian and Riverlander alike settled happily in the area.
Darwen Cross has an elected mayor who resides in Darwen Lodge, a walled manor on the southwestern edge of town. The current mayor is an aged, but dignified woman named Mora Colfre.
There are a variety of different races represented in Darwen Cross:
- Human 76%
- Half-Elf 13%
- Elf 6%
- Halfling 3%
- Dwarf 2%
Melora, Pelor, Erathis, Raven Queen, Ioun
Inns and Taverns
- Fool and Haven Tavern (7): More of a dining establishment than an alehouse or inn, The Fool and Haven is managed by a pleasant dwarf, Ladreyn Orestrike. Orestrike openly acknowledges the success of Ten Bears Inn, and offers slightly different fare to bring customers in. Although it will never see the bustle of Ten Bears Inn, it appeals to many of the locals, who don’t much care for the crowds. In a pinch, Orestrike can make up a bed and prices vary, He’s also willing to share some of his home-brewed ale with interested parties (for a small fee, of course).
- Ten Bears Inn (8): Run by a quiet half-elf, Warric Darkshadow, Ten Bears Inn has seen many hands over the years. Regardless, it is still the informal heart of Darwen Cross. Every traveler through town is likely to pass over its threshold to partake in the dark ales of the Riverlands, if they’re leaving Falkirk, or the fine lagers of Ihmisia if they’re heading south and west. Therefore, the inn bustles with a variety of patrons, with accomodations to match. A simple be can be had for 1 sp/day or a luxury suite for 2 gp/day.
- Market at the Cross (3): The main market rests on the western end of town. Market day usually happens on Moonday.
- Nerrim’s Stables (10): Despite being a small stable hand, the halfling, Nerrim Hedgethane is a wonder with animals. For 1sp/day, Nerrim not only will stable your horse, but he’ll soothe your mount with the hand of skilled stable buck.
- Runechip’s Fine Arms (11): Wynn Runechip has a solid reputation among many Ash’dalers as one of the finest smiths around. Runechip can not only do small repairs on farm equipment, but as the Drifter’s contract smith, Runechip can handle himself well around most weapons and armors.
Temples and Shrines
- Statue of Bren Narris (2): Known to many as Bren the Bold, a statue in his honor stands on the western end of the market. Portrayed as a man of middle age, Bren is brandishing a shield and spear to mark his exploits in defense of Darwen Cross during the Troll Raids.
- Temple of the Forever Sun (6): Despite a variety of religions in Darwen Cross, the temple to Pelor stands at its center. The head priestess, Sass Kenisville, is relatively new to the town, but she is welcoming to all visitors.
- Cemetery (9): The Darwen Cross cemetery resides on the south of town. A silent servant dedicated to the Raven Queen tends graves and protects the sanctity of the dead. Blessings of the Raven Queen can also be sought at the nearby temple.
- Darwen Lodge (1) : Over the years, Darwen Lodge has grown in size and importance. Originally, the manor home was the simple residence of the primary landholder, Elthid Darwen before the area needed any governance. The Lodge still remains in the Darwen family, however, the family conducts less farming, participates in more area politics, and has become much larger over the years.
- Drifter’s Outpost (4): Due to its central location amid three counties and ample resources, the local law enforcement, the Drifters, have built an outpost in the center of Darwen Cross. Day and night, Drifters are seen entering and leaving the outpost on ranging missions and reconnaissance for the governors of the Riverlands.
- Naldrin’s Tower (5): More of a sage than an apothecary, Naldrin the Ever-Living, keeps his own counsel within the borders of Darwen Cross. Having traveled the world, Naldrin has found a life buried in tomes and scrolls in the relative quiet of the town. To maintain a positive image, not one of a hermit, Naldrin takes on apprentices and frequently has them deal in the more mundane trade of potions and salves for the locals. In spite of his hermit-like habits, Naldrin has come to the defense of the town on many occasions in the past.
Nearby locations to Darwen Cross
Worklow lies to the west, Swinding, Inwich, and Ashenford to the north. Eastern roads eventually lead north taking travelers to Bodnock, Mandon, and Greendell, and south, of course leads past Abersmith to the city of Falkirk.
Easttenroath follows the Black Trail to the east. Abersmith is on the same path to the west.