The Colony of Middle
"When the poisoned, assassin-notched crossbow bolts are flying,
nobody likes to be caught in the middle."
[Kyle's note: More or less accurate through 2185, the dissolution of the Stone Soules.]
Between the North Trade Highway and Tesla Ridge in the Northlands of the Kingdom of Dunador is a colony named Middle-of-the-Road along the road to End-of-the-Road. To the north of this part of Dunador, there is nothing but the Hadarna Mountains and the Indicara Jungle, until Port Elizabeth at the extreme end of the peninsula. A map of the locale can be viewed here.
Middle is a rapidly growing large town -- though it was started in 2172, by 2180 it had 650 citizens. Dunadorian highway connects the North Trade Highway to Middle. Various internal roads connect the town. Additionally, Turkonis Way leads to the town of T'Paura and Dranigh Road leads to Base Camp Hill, where the chaotic-good Phaulkonian and Auroran religions have (probably) constructed their Observatory and Institute for Sky Studies.
Since Middle was started by the Stone Soules, there was a Phaulkonian and an Auroran Church in town. There was also a Felcon Shrine (the god of travellers) at the town's entrance. However, for the town to be formally admitted to Dunador at some point, these Churches had to leave. Sir Faranyn struck a bargain with them to move to the location of the Observatory in return for his monetary contributions towards the move.
A palisade contains the center of town, and a keep is under construction. The palisade recently underwent an expansion due to rapid growth within town. Through collaboration with Dari, the Druid of Middle, an effort is being made to make the town environmentally-friendly.
For stories and histories from Middle, look here.
Personalities of Middle
Sir Faranyn Arathorne of Anserial, a Knight of Dunador and former Stone Soule, is the Governor of Middle.
Rescued from the Demonspawn of Tan-El's early years, a strange man from the jungles of the Indicara, begs on the streets of Middle. The Police Captain Barko affectionately refers to the man as "the Boogie Man." He does not speak the language of the country.
There is another beggar of note in town. Huron is an extremely annoying presence in any town. He constantly inflicts wounds on himself and decries his lot in life. He is rapidly becoming a fixture in Middle.
Lobal is a retired Justice from Dunthrane who has decided to move his estate to Middle. He is a hostile, antagonistic, imposing, slightly mentally-unstable, unforgiving, cowardly lady's man. Though he kisses up to Sir Faranyn, he constantly makes demands on him. Also, his three twenty-something cousins (twice-removed) made trouble all over town by starting brawls, wounding each other in archery and swordplay, and committing crimes. Recently, when the celebrated bard Phargus came to town, one of the cousins got himself killed in a foolish battle of honor. It appears also that he had stooped to attempting to kill Phargus with poison, which disgusts Faranyn more than any of their other antics have. Also, Lobal's seven personal bodyguards also make their presence known in mercenary crowds. Lobal owns one square mile of countryside in the southeast part of Middle.
Kant, the cooper of Middle, was a normal businessman in town. However, he was frequently seen begging for audiences with Faranyn. This is because he was a snitch to the nth degree. He seemed to have a compulsion to tell on others, even if nothing really was happening. This probably resulted in his death, possibly at the hands of one of the cousins of Lobal.
A blacksmith recently moved to town, attracted by the Phaulkonian Church in town. His name is Bert and he is quite a character. Bert smells foul and his speech is even worse. Despite this, he is a devout Phaulkonian who speaks little about his past. He is the kind of man who will yell out "Hell, yes!" in the middle of services. In fact, he's likely to yell it more than once.
Businesses of Note in Middle
Mercenary bars: The Rusty Saw -- Sign of the One-Legged Man; The Virtuous Maid; The Strangled Lizard.
Other bars: The Blue Star Inn; The Grain Harvest. Popular among merchants and more middle-class folks.
Stables: Griffon Stables; Red Fox Stables. These establishments are fiercely competitive.
Restaurants: The Dockside -- straight from Teft, specializing in Human, Dwarven, and Elven cuisine. Located on Whistling Creek, with an elaborate boardwalk and dock set-up. This is an upper-class restaurant.
Merchant Concerns: The Whistling Creek Company is headquarted in Middle. Run by the wealthy merchant Flan, who recently moved to Middle and set up his estate. There are numerous warehouses in town for many merchant concerns.
Weapons and Armor: Leather and Steel Armory; Frank's Crossbows; The Crossed Swords Swordsmith; Rock and a Hard Place Weaponry. The latter two weapons shops are the place to go for melee weapons and bows. Frank's holds the market solidly on crossbows. All three establishments are frequented by mercenaries.
In the Magic-Zone: The Alchemist; Fran's Healing Remedies Herbal Shoppe.
Other businesses: Gyge Brothers Liquor; The Royal Arms Silversmith; Quality Suppliers General Store; Bill the Glassblower; Amway Nursery; Elegant Furniture; The Market -- Grocers and Farmstands; Fyar's Tailoring; Bert the Smith; Bob's Barber Shop; Max the Leatherworker; The Middle Store.