Rise of the Red Hand
At the spot where the Dawn Way crosses the Talar River stands the small town of Drellin’s Ferry, once known as Dwarfbridge. As the old name implies, long ago the Elsir was spanned by a sturdy dwarf-made bridge at this spot, but a hundred years ago the bridge washed out in a great flood. An enterprising man named Drellin hammered together a small horse-drawn ferry to maintain a river crossing here, and a town eventually grew up around the enterprise.
In times of trouble, the folk of Drellin’s Ferry set up watchposts on the major roads leading into town. A member of the Town Guard and three members of the militia man each post. Strangers entering the town are stopped and questioned briefly, but unless someone in the group appears as an obvious threat or shows a monstrous heritage (i.e. orc, goblin, etc.), they are allowed to pass. The guard member at each post carries a horn with which to summon help.
2. The Green
At the center of Drellin’s Ferry is the Green, a broad grassy field where children play and farmers from outlying homesteads sell their products.
3. Town Speaker’s House
The home of Town Speaker Norro Wiston is one of the larger and more comfortable houses in the village. Wiston owns a fair amount of land in the surrounding area, including several orchards and woodlots on which he collects rent. He lives here with his wife Tara, their five children, and three servants.
4. The Green Apple
A cheerful taphouse and inn on the north side of the Green, the Green Apple caters to travelers who have somewhat less coin to spend than those who stay at the Old Bridge (10). Many of the locals prefer to do their drinking here. The proprietor is a stout old woman named Tharrma Goldhelm, who possesses a great gift for expressing her opinion, regardless of whether it’s asked for.
5. Morlin’s Smithy
This is the workshop of Morlin, the town smith. Morlin also happens to be a talented armorer and weaponsmith; he takes on blacksmithing work to fill in between working on weapons and armor. He lives in a small cottage behind the workshop.
6. Shrine of Lathander
A small temple of the same fieldstone-and-wood construction used by many other buildings in the town, the shrine is in the care of a stout old man, referred to simply as Brother Derny. Although pompous, preachy, and long-winded, he is a good and charitable individual at heart who goes out of his way to aid less fortunate folk. He has two acolytes who help him tend to the shrine and look after the folk of Drellin’s Ferry. Derny sometimes sells ritual scrolls to travelers who can afford such things.
7. House of Sertieren the Wise
An old noble manor-house with a handsome view from the bluffs overlooking the river, this is the residence of the sage Sertieren. He is a highly regarded scholar of middle years who wears spectacles and has a disheveled mop of gray-white hair. Sertieren is somewhat reclusive, and his house has a reputation for being haunted.
8. Old Toll House
The largest and sturdiest building in Drellin’s Ferry is the old dwarf-built toll house, which still stands where the foot of the bridge once stood. The Toll House serves as the town hall, courtroom, jail, and Town Guard headquarters, housing twenty of the guard members (the rest have small houses of their own in and around town).
A small stone tower about 30 feet tall, the armory holds arms and armor for the town militia — spears, light wooden shields, leather armor, studded leather armor, leather helms, and a few old longswords and crossbows.
10. The Old Bridge Inn
Somewhat larger and busier than the Green Apple, the Old Bridge is favored by merchants traveling the Dawn Way. The Old Bridge is run by the Shadowbanks family, a clan of halflings a dozen strong. Kellin Shadowbanks is the patriarch of the clan and proprietor of the inn. The Old Bridge is an inn of good quality with large rooms.
11. Jarett’s Sundries
The town’s general store is Jarett’s Sundries. A dark-haired southerner who came to Drellin’s Ferry and bought out the previous owner of the general store, Jarett Nurth buys finished goods such as clothing, pewter goods, lamps, oil, rope, tools, wine, and toys from Rethmar and Cannathgate and has them shipped by wagon to Drellin’s Ferry along the Dawn Way.
12. Delora’s Livery Stable
Delora Zann is a retired adventurer who settled down in Drellin’s Ferry twenty years ago. She stables horses and other mounts for a modest fee and buys and sells animals as the opportunity presents itself. Merchants using the Dawn Way have come to rely on her stable.
13. Iormel’s Warehouse
As the last town on the Dawn Way for 100 miles or more, Drellin’s Ferry often serves as a place where out-of-town merchants temporarily store goods while waiting for the right time to set out for the west. Iormel is a miserly old man whose large and ill-tempered hounds are the terror of children throughout the village.
14. The Ferry
Two enormously thick ropes span the Elsir River here, affixed to a huge wooden capstan. A pair of draft horses harnessed to the capstan turns the device, drawing the ropes, to which a large flat-bottomed barge — the ferry — is secured. Another capstan and team on the far bank works a second ferryboat, if needed. The ferry is operated Drathgar, a great-grandnephew of old Drellin himself. He employs about two dozen horse-handlers, carpenters, and porters to run and maintain the ferry.
15. The Dwarfbridge
The ruins of the old bridge consist of a set of old stone pylons that stand 10 to 20 feet above the water. The Town Council is considering using the solid, dwarf-made piers as the base for a new wooden span, but so far the ferry owners have vehemently opposed any efforts to build a new bridge.
16. Gausler’s Brewhouse
Occupying the old barracks where a small garrison of Rhestiloran soldiers formerly guarded the bridge, the brewhouse is, of course, a brewery. A half-orc named Gausler runs the place.
17. Jendar’s Warehouse
Similar to Iormel’s warehouse (13), this place serves merchants and traders moving good along the Dawn Way. Jendar’s rates are substantially lower than Iormel’s, and the halfling is steadily eating into Iormel’s business.
18. Sterrel’s Provisioning
Ben Sterrel caters to merchants and caravans passing along the Dawn Way, selling tack, harness, food, and other stores useful for folk traveling a long distance.
19. The Old Ones
A small clearing in the woods on the west bank of the Elsir holds an old circle of small menhirs known as “the Old Ones” by the townsfolk. The circle has long served as a druidic sacred place, and the druid Avarthel now tends the Old Ones.