Berdusk

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Jewel of the Vale

Score 645

05/25/24

Berdusk is sometimes called the Jewel of the Vale. This is not a term that pleases residents of the rival neighboring city of Iriaebor, though the two cities are firm allies in matters of trade and defense.

The Uldoon Trail crosses the upper Chionthar at Berdusk. Three bridges actually span the river here, two making use of a fortified island to shorten their leaping spans. This spot's usefulness as a landmark and parley place plus the rising of a spring (the River Sulduskoon) to join the Chionthar here and the presence of rapids (the Breaking Steps) in the Chionthar just upstream of this spot have combined to ensure that there’s been some sort of settlement at this site since the dawn days: first the elven moot of Clearspring; then a human fishing village, Sulduskoon; and finally the city known today The current city is named for Berdusk Orcslayer, a local human warrior whose energetic patrols drove orcs from the area, making it safe to farm and opening the Vale for human settlement.


Today, Berdusk is an important trading center, much involved in the shipment of goods. High-sided local waybarges are winched carefully through the rapids, which have been known to smash normal rafts and barges, sending crew and cargo to the freshwater kelpies below. Businesses inthe city also make many wagons (considered fair to poor by most merchants) and excellent barges, and do extensive wagon repairs. Their wheels are very fine.

Woolen mills in the city serve farmers from all over the southern Vale, many of whom go to Asbravn for its large shearing market, selling the wool there to Berduskan millers. Dozens of caravans entirely of baled wool leave Berdusk for elsewhere in Faerûn at the height of shearing season.

Berdusk also produces a highly favored sweet wine, Berduskan dark, which is like very dark amber sherry, heavy and burning to the tongue. It fetches 6gp per bottle or more and travels well. Folk are apt to find it in taverns and eateries all over Faerûn. 


All of this prosperity is guarded by a city guard of 600 well-trained and equipped warriors of both sexes andall races, assisted by seven roving gauntlets (who raid Zhent and brigand holds, and escort caravans and travelers on the roads around the city) and by the famous Harpers. Not all Harpers look like merry minstrel rogues, but many do, and some can always be seen on the city streets.

The ruler of Berdusk, High Lady Cylyria Dragonbreast, is one of the leaders of Those Who Harp. Their most powerful base, Twilight Hall, stands in Berdusk, and many of the shieldmasters (officers) in the city guard are Harpers. High Lady Cylyria keeps Berdusk firmly in the Lords' Alliance, and the city welcomes all demihuman races. The Silent Lady loves music and poetry, and the city attracts the best traveling minstrels and musicians, increasingly joined by noted bookbinders, limners, and sculptors.


Among the most prominent family names in the self-styled nobles, or first folk, as they call themselves: are Athalankeir, Bellanbram, Caunter, Charthoon, Danallbur, Felannlilt, Gort, Halabart, Jalarghar, Lothkarr, Mreen, Oyindle, Parstin, and Uthgolabar. These folk throw parties, play elaborate games of capping each other's boasts, deeds, and displays of wealth.


Berdusk sits on both the Uldoon Trail and the River Chionthar in Sunset Vale. Twilight Hall is located here, making the city the base of many operations for Harpers in the west and the north. A person from Berdusk is known as a Berduskan.

Long before Berdusk was founded two other settlements stood in its placement. The first was an elven moot hall, the second a human fishing village. The city was named for a local human warrior, Berdusk Orcslayer, whose driving out of orcs from the Sunset Vale made it safe to establish settlements the area. The rapids were already named after Berdusk as of 241 DR.

At some point before the Year of the Griffon, 1312 DR, Berdusk became home of the elder orb known as the Unseeing Eye and its Cult of the Eyeless. The beholder and its cult allegedly were vanquished by Thom Wainwright, a hero sponsored by priests of Helm. Thom continued performing services for Berdusk's chapter of the Church of Helm until several years later and his fall into serious debt.

In the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, the High Sun riot erupted in Berdusk due to food shortages in the city. The local bakery was burned down, and the baker's daughter was tragically killed by the crown.


locations.

  • Costerheadshouse, the base of operations for the local branch of the Thousandheads Trading Coster.

fest halls.

  • Herald's Rest, the more luxurious and exclusive of the city's two fest halls.
  • Ruby Shawl, "another" festhall.

taverns & inns.

  • Bellblade Throne.
  • Blackpost's Bench.
  • Flourished Flagon.
  • Hullybuck's Gamble.
  • Memblar's Minstrelry.
  • Olyndin's Folly.
  • Running Stag Inn.
  • Sign of the Silver Sword.

shops

  • Alamather's by the Water.
  • Ondraer's Fine Pages.
  • The Dawn of Any Day.
  • Thunderwood Forays.
  • The Shining Sword.

temples and shrines.

  • [4]. Twilight Hall, temple of Deneir.
  • [27], Ready House of the Right Strong Hand, a temple dedicated to Helm.
  • [28]. Evensong Tower, a temple dedicated to Milil.
  • [29]. Seat of Lore, an old stone temple dedicated to Oghma.
  • [30]. House of the High Hand. shrine to Azuth.
  • [31]. Roseportal House. shrine to Lathander.
  • [32]. Mist Hall. shrine to Leira.
  • [33]. Starreval Hall. shrine to Llira.
  • [34]. Swordpoint Hall. shrine to Tempus.

other.

  • One of fanciful bardic colleges was located in Berdusk, favored by nobles.

landmarks.

  • Clearspring Tor, a park.
  • High Lady's Castle, a hilltop fortress that acts as the city's chief administrative building and quarters for most of the city guards.


1104 DR. The Black Hammer of Adlon is on display at Twilight Hall in Berdusk. Its message rune still endures, allowing us to hear the words of the last dwarf king to hold fallen Tethyamar

1321 DR. The Harpers [1236, 1349] are reorganized. Twilight Hall is founded in Berdusk. From this time forward, the so-called Harpers of Twilight Hall are more regimented and hierarchical in behavior and organization. Previously, Harper activities were more independent and decentralized.

 

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