Penhaligon is a place of contrasts.
Penhaligon is a place of contrasts. It is a new town, built on the bones of a village that has existed here for hundreds of years. It is a small town, compared to the cities of Specularum and Kelvin, yet it boasts a magnificent castle that would be the envy of a city 10 times its size. It is famous for its chivalrous knights, but also widely known as a den of drunken roughnecks. Its inhabitants are a surly, suspicious, stubborn lot, but they are also hardworking and don’t think twice about going to extreme lengths to help a stranger because “that’s just what one does.”
Penhaligon is both a place of rural values and time-honored tradition, and a dynamic, fast changing town that is pushing the boundaries of Karameikan social order.
The town of Penhaligon is a walled settlement of 4,000 residents on the banks of the Hillfollow River, roughly 50 miles north of the city of Kelvin. The town is the last large population center heading north on the Duke’s Road, which actually bisects Penhaligon from north to south. Duke’s Road also divides the town along socio-economic lines, with the well-to do living on the east side of the road, and the lower classes living on the west side, between the road and the river. Although Penhaligon has some rough neighborhoods and most of the population is what
the modern world would consider “working poor,” there are no desperate slums. Even in the less fortunate neighborhoods, most of the houses are well-constructed, albeit small.
Penhaligon is famous for two things: one, the magnificent Castle of the Three Suns; and two, the rowdy, raunchy strip of bars, bordellos, and flop-houses known as “Hell’s Half-Mile.” The Castle truly is a wonder, replete with a moat and towers. It looks down upon the rest of the town from a ridge in the northeast corner of Penhaligon, and is protected both by the massive outer stone wall of the town and a second, inner wall. “Hell’s Half-Mile,” or Water’s Edge, as the locals know it, is a small neighborhood that runs along the Hillfollow river on Penhaligon’s
west side. It’s here that a veritable army of lumberjacks, teamsters, fur-traders, and soldiers descend every spring to fritter away the pay earned during the long winter months.