Out of the Abyss
Location: Plains between Voorhiven and Bryn Shader. The castle itself sits atop a hill. A lake flanks the town from the north. The area is mostly flat, with the ground covered in heather, hardy bushes and clumps of trees. Much of the area around the town is devoted to farmland. A well-kept road, a trade route, runs next to the settlement.
Inhabitants: Mostly human, some elves and halflings, a few dwarves. Higher than usual number of half and part elves. There is some transient population - administrators and leaders of smaller settlements within the country, visitors from other nobles, traders and travelers.
Economy: Largely based on raw resource exports to Bryn Shader and tolls. Crops and meat collected as tax from other settlements are processed and organised before being shipped to the capital. Some potatoes are exported, along with the wool and meat from the large herds of sheep.
Government: Lady Alfwen is the ultimate legal, executive and legislative authority, although she answers to the Duchess of Bryn Shader. Less serious judicial cases are dealt with by an elected judge. The townsfolk also elect three representatives to meet with Lady Alfwen and present her with their concerns.
Security: Day to day law enforcement is kept up by a dozen watchmen across two shifts. Lady Alfwen's men-at-arms number some two hundred, out of which maybe hundred-and-twenty are present at the castle at any one time, the others stationed at outposts elsewhere or patrolling the roads and settlements. She has half a dozen Oathbound knights under her command, led by Sir Alawn Roge, her right hand man. Each of these knights is a tough combatant in his own right.
Services: There are three taverns. 'The Jester's Cup', a decent quality establishment, caters to traveling merchants and craftsmen within the city. 'The Witch and Mug' is a cheap, cheerful, loud tavern, cheap and large, catering to locals and poorer travelers. 'The Harper's Rest' is closest to the castle and the clientele is heavy on guards, soldiers and some of the castle servants – outsiders are rare here. The only inn is 'The Fat Dragon Inn', with fairly expensive alcohol, but a great selection of local ciders, good food and small but clean and comfortable rooms. Additionally there's a farrier, bowyer, weaponsmith, blacksmiths, carpenter, mason, leatherworker, a couple of tailors and a healer. Many of these are principally busy with castle work and may be unavailable at short notice. Mundane services: a couple of barbers, hatmaker, bather.
Religion: Chapels to Waukeen and Chauntea, a few smaller shrines serving all the gods, including a prominent one to Tyr at the castle. A couple of clergy to Helm are active at the settlement, belonging to the order of 'He Who Watches over Travelers' – their blessings are highly sought after.