The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Nations - Arkalia

The Town of Stirling

"Naught is tempered like a Stirling Man."

Ruler His Lordship, Malcolm Teroth, Earl of Stirling
Population 3,900
Demographics Human 65%, Dwarven 15%, Grum 12%, Elven 6%, Ogre 5%, Saurian 3%, Other 2%
Adjectival/Demonym Stirling
Languages Northern 80%, Corven15%, Other 5%
Year Founded 1275 CY
Currency Northern
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Armor, Weapons, Metal and Leather Goods, Carved Art Objects, Horses
Wealth Wealthy
Walled Yes. 8.2 sq km within walls
Technology Level Middle Ages
Primary Religion Barrinor
Other Religions Imarus, Sarreth, Kael, Mireldokar, Glavyris, Kolo, Erylon
Climate Temperate

Overview

The proud town of Stirling is situated at the crossing of the West Swamp Road and the Stirling River. This shining example of Arkalian culture is one of the more famous towns in the kingdom. Built upon the ruins of an ancient Irenni palace, Castle Stirling and the town sit upon a large hill in a lush and verdant valley. Farmland spreads out from the hill to the borders of the swamp, taking advantage of the remarkably fertile land. The Stirling River provides a source of fresh water, a means of crop irrigation and power for the grain mill and lumber mill.

Renowned for the quality of its metalwork and craftsmanship, Stirling smiths provide all arms and armor for the Arkalian High Guard. Having a “Stirling blade” is a point of honor among many swordsmen in the North. In addition, Stirling is home to many fine craftsmen who fashion beautiful jewelry, stone sculptures, carved wood pieces and other objects of art. These goods are sold all over the north lands, especially to Vogue, and are quite profitable. Stirling also provides the High Guard with finished leather goods including saddles, boots, gloves and scabbards.

The people of Stirling are mostly human, but a scattering of other races call Stirling home as well - mostly dwarves, elves and grum. Dwarven influence is apparent in the quality of the metalwork. Outside the town, a few saurians and ogres live and work on the farms.

Originally, there were rich iron ore deposits in some of the surrounding hills. These deposits were mined extensively for many years and the availability of iron ore helped shape the history of Stirling during the early years. However, the iron mines were depleted by 2189 CY. For the past five centuries, Stirling has imported raw ore for processing and metalwork. It is a point of pride Lord Teroth that Stirling never uses ore mined in Bronzedale. Many in Stirling consider the ores of Bronzedale to be impure and inferior. Having to import ore does add an additional cost. This combined with their exceptional quality means that Stirling arms and armor are quite a bit more expensive than average.

Stirling is a beautiful city built upon ancient Irenni ruins. Small cobblestone streets wind between graceful arches and pillared domes in a blend of human, elven and Irenni architecture unique to Stirling. Because of its reputation, the architecture and the surrounding land, Stirling has become a common stop for pilgrims, caravans and travelers who wish to look upon its marvels for themselves.

Stirling is a walled town. At the base of the hill, just outside the town walls are a scattering of small wooden buildings - small farm houses and private homes, a smithy, an inn and a tavern. The gates of Stirling are closed at night. Travelers who arrive to late will have to find a place to sleep outside the city walls until morning.

Stirling Knights, Militia and Rangers

Because of its location, the King charges Stirling with defending the realm against any threats emerging from the Trackless Mire. Raiding bandits and dangerous animals are not uncommon and, every now and then, something worse will crawl out. Because of this, Stirling maintains a strong military which includes the Stirling Knights, the Stirling Rangers, the Stirling Militia and seven small forts along the border.

The Stirling Rangers are a group of mounted warriors that patrol the borders of the Trackless Mire. Their primary responsibility is scouting the area for any threat before it can reach the villages or the town of Stirling itself. They frequently assist travelers, convey messages, arrest bandits, find lost children and protect farms from orc raids and worse. The Stirling Rangers wear light armor and fight with long swords and bows. They use mobility and archery to good effect. They tend to be lean and wiry men with quick wits and fast reflexes. There are some 90 rangers in all and they are supported by roughly 35 squires and servants. The rangers maintain a number of small campsites, but they sometimes also stay at farms or at the forts. They rarely stay anywhere more than three nights. Stirling rangers are known for their excellent steeds and horsemanship. Their ability to cross long distances quickly is the stuff of local folklore.

The Stirling Militia are the heavy foot soldiers of the region. About 450 strong in total (which includes several officers and dozens of servants and squires), these soldiers wear heavy armor and fight with mace, sword, shield and hammer. Many of them also carry crossbows. The militia men tend to be more broad and well-built than the rangers. They move between town and fort as assigned. Typically 20-40 will occupy each fort and another 100 to 150 will be in Stirling. The militia's primary responsibility is protecting the town, villages and forts. They are trained in siege tactics, but will march out to meet an enemy when necessary.

The Stirling Knights are the pride of Lord Teroth. He has one dozen true knights that ride chargers into battle. These brave men usually stay in Stirling and attend to their Lord. They compete in jousting and other contests during faires. They attend court and often serve Lord Teroth and his family as bodyguards. When the region is endangered by some threat that the rangers cannot handle, the Knights will often lead the militia to battle. On special occasions, Lord Teroth will send out individual knights on special or secret assignments for him. The Stirling Knights are led by the Earl's oldest son who rides a koryn charger.

Stirling Expansion

A rumor has been circulating the kingdom that the King is considering moving the production of High Guard arms and armor from Stirling to Bronzedale. This rumor is actually true. It has been tradition for the High Guard to pay higher costs for the superior quality of Stirling weapons and armor. However, recent financial and political pressures on the crown are leading the King to consider awarding the contract to Bronzedale.

Lord Teroth is determined not to lose the prestige and status that comes from supplying arms and armor to the High Guard. He has ambitious plans and has ordered his men to begin clearing the land at the edge of the Trackless Mire. Every month, his men push a little further into the vast swamplands at the border. The Trackless Mire has large deposits of bog iron ore (limonite). By expanding into the swamp, Stirling would able to exploit large tracts of swampland as farmland. In addition, Stirling would also gain access to the valuable bog iron ore deposits, thereby eliminating the need to import raw ore and reducing costs.  Lord Teroth believes that this is his best chance to prevent Bronzedale from eclipsing Stirling and ensuring Stirling’s future.

Some wealthy families in Stirling have expressed concern at this expansion fearing that the focus on obtaining and mining bog ore will impact Stirling’s way of life, changing it from a town of skilled artisans and craftsmen into a common mining town. This expansion has also stirred up conflicts along the border. Bandits, orcs, a saurian village and several monsters have had to be dealt with in recent months and the problems are getting worse as they push further into the Mire.

Important People of the Town of Stirling

Malcolm Teroth, Earl of Stirling

The town of Stirling is ruled by His Lordship, Malcolm Teroth, Earl of Stirling. A haughty, arrogant lord who looks down upon the common man with contempt and disdain. Lord Teroth is quite proud of the "Stirling tradition" of quality and has no doubt of the superiority of Stirling metalwork over all others. Bronzedale is Lord Teroth’s favorite object of ridicule and he will never miss an opportunity to sneer at Bronzedale’s “inferior” metalwork. Lord Teroth is a tall and lean man with a completely bald head and a drooping red moustache. He dresses immaculately, typically in a high collared doublet and cape. He and his wife, Jesira, have three sons.

Jathor Teroth

Jathor is the eldest son of the Earl and commander of Stirling Knights. Young and handsome, Jathor has his share of female admirers in town. Jathor rides a koryn charger and wields a silvered hammer, a replica of the Hammer of Barrinor held in Strathon.

Harakan, Captain of the Stirling Militia

Captain Harakan is a huge, barrel chested man with close set eyes and a clean-shaven piggish face which seems always etched in a permanent frown. He has short, but unkempt, reddish brown hair. He wears armor often and fights with a large war hammer. An enormous man with a huge belly, his girth is matched only by his boundless strength.He is foul-tempered, quick to anger, loud, aggressive and hard on his men. His foul temper is well known in Stirling and is his love of ale and his fortitude. He can outfight and outdrink most men in the realm. Although he is a harsh master, the men under his command respect him. He does not tolerate cowardice or weakness and has thrown men out of the militia for exhibiting either. Harakan (he goes by only one name and no one knows if that is his first or last name) lives on the highest floor of Fort Wenok. He enjoys eating, drinking and fighting. He enjoys competition and will often spar with his men in the training yard or challenge a lieutenant to an arm wrestling contest. Captain Harakan owns a trio of trained war dogs who he loves dearly and they are usually with him. His dogs are named Grundel, Vaylur and Muthraka (after the Three Fates). These three dogs eat better than any of the soldiers.

Rolan Kemdar, Chief Scout

Rolan Kemdar is the leader of the Stirling Rangers. He is small man, both short and lean, with a wild mane of black hair, a pointed beard and black eyes. He has an cocky, impish demeanor and he is always smiling. Rolan is well-loved by his rangers who are absolutely loyal to him. He and his lieutenants know that the Earl has little respect for them. Rolan Kemdar is known as one of the best archers in Arkalia, but due to an incident that embarrassed the Earl, Kemdar is forbidden to participate in any archery contests at any faire.

Gyroll Mulden

A wealthy, flamboyant and eccentric man that runs an import/export business in town. This short, stout, garishly dressed little man has a big personality, a quick mind and a sharp wit. He serves the Earl as an advisor on a number of matters - finances, politics, government. Gyroll is known as a gracious host and often hosts extravagant parties for the few wealthy families in town (of which there are only nine). No matter what colorful and expensive gowns or coats he may be wearing, at parties and social events he add a golden sash adorned with jewels, brooches and various military medals (most of them fictional or meaningless).

Akyron, Advisor to Lord Teroth

Akyron is a tall, but stooped man of advanced years with a head of white hair and a short trimmed white beard. He wears roughspun brown robes and leans heavily on a gnarled oaken staff. He has a friendly demeanor and a gentle voice. Akyron is greatly skilled in history, animal lore and languages. An accomplished sorcerer, he specializes in spells of divination and enchantment. Alas, he has little skill in either alchemy or the healing arts. He leaves healing to the priests of Barrinor. Akyron occasionally takes on apprentices from time to time, though never for more than a few years and never more than three at a time. Akyron travels to Lord Teroth’s court once a week or more frequently if summoned. He advises the Earl on many matters, both magical and mundane.

Halgor the Wanderer

Halgor is a retired adventurer that now lives a quiet life in Stirling. He is a tall, lanky man with a lean face, curly black hair and a short beard. In his younger days, he was a Normidian soldier and fought many skirmishes in the mountains against orcs and worse. He has travelled a great deal and spent most of his life as a hunter in the wild. He now lives in a humble home at the edge of town, though he often leaves for days or weeks at a time to prowl the Trackless Mire. Although he is older and his black hair is sprinkled with grey, he is still a formidable warrior. He is an expert tracker, hunter and archer. He knows the Trackless Mire as well as anyone alive and is a wealth of information about the wilds and the Mire. He still speaks with a notable Normidian accent, though he speaks rarely. He has a quiet demeanor and has few friends in town. He mostly keeps to himself. Halgor is on good terms with the Stirling Rangers and they have asked for his help on occassion.

Notable Establishments

Castle Stirling

Castle Stirling is the residence of Lord Teroth and his family and his personal guard. The building is built upon the ancient ruins of an Irenni palace. The foundations and several walls of the original Irenni architecture are incorporated into the architecture. Castle Stirling is heavily fortified, is situated at the top of the hillock and is surrounded by a deep moat. It is rumored to have several tunnels and chambers beneath it.

Fort Wenock

Fort Wenock is the headquarters of the Stirling militia. This squat four story stone building serves as barracks, training facility and armory. It also holds the town prison and the office of the magistrate who holds court in the name of the Earl.

Church of Barrinor

This large building is crowned by a large bell tower. The roof is shaped so that rain funnels to one side and falls in a dramatic waterfall onto a sculpture in the courtyard which diverts the stream into three smaller waterfalls. The sculpture is named “The Three Blessings of Barrinor”. The bell tower has three bells varying in tone and plays each Barrinor’s Day (once a week).

Akyron's Spire

Akyron, the town's only true wizard, serves as advisor to the Earl. He lives in a crumbling stone tower on a small hillock about half a kilometer from the town. The town and Akyron’s Spire can easily see each other and a short, winding dirt road connect the two across the valley. The Spire, as the townsfolk call it, is seven stories tall and fashioned from stone and timber. Sometimes strange lights can be seen near the top of the tower at night when Akyron is casting magic. Most of the townsfolk are fearful of magic and avoid the tower. Others find Akyron harmless and bring him food and supplies to save him the trip, for which they are handsomely paid.

News, Rumors and Gossip

Black Claw

Over the past several months, a number of livestock have gone missing from local herds. A large winged creature was spotted one night, but the story has been dismissed by many as the witness is a local drunkard named Gaspard. What manner of creature might be responsible for the missing livestock has been the talk of the taverns. Not long after Gaspard's sighting, a mangled cow corpse was found with a large black claw embedded in its gut. Since then the locals have taken to calling the unknown beast "Black Claw". Thus far, there have been no other sightings, but more livestock have gone missing. Some farmers in the area have been hiring guards to stand watch over their livestock at night. The Stirling Rangers have just recently begun to make night time patrols toward the northwest, where the disappearances seem to be more common.

Spirits of the Old Mine

There have been rumors of strange folk seen around the old deserted iron mines up in the hills. One witness claims to have seen a man, short of stature and dressed strangely, vanish before his eyes. Another claims to have seen a ghostly apparition walk through a stone wall. No one is sure who or what these beings are. There is talk of spirits, apparitions and the like.

Shops and Guilds

Name and Proprietor Description
The Iron Goblet
Rayth Orssel
Inn/Tavern - A single story timber and stone building with shuttered windows. Accommodations include several small, private rooms and a central drinking room. The drink room has a wide variety of drinks, but also serves some food. Often has singing contests.
The Broken Forge
Wydan Atarmyn Forgebreaker
Inn/Tavern - A large two story wooden building. The main drinking and dining hall is in a large room, a half level below ground, with a tall ceiling and an enormous hearth. It is run by Wydan, a rotund dward with a fire red beard. Wydan named his establishment after his dwarven clan, the Forgebreaker Clan. It is whispered that Wydan's fourth name is Pytra, indicating that he is a dishonored in dwarven society. Some say he was exiled for a crime. No one knows for sure and few are willing to ask him to his face and risk his terrible temper.
The Seventh Pint
Willem Gowlan
Brewery/Pub - This is a small, but very popular tavern, in Stirling. It’s run by a portly human male named Willem Gowlan and his wife, Tara. He brews various ales and meads in the cellar and serves as bartender during business hours. His wife serves drink. They serve a little food as well. They’re nine year old son cleans and tends the horses and stables. The three of them live in the upper floor. This small building has a central drinking room, a back kitchen, a stable and outdoor privy. It has no rooms for guests. Willem is well-liked by all and a common face around town.
The Silent Bell
Greytusk
Smithy - This smithy is run by a huge ogre whom the locals call Greytusk. Once a slave in the Coalition, he escaped and made his way to Arkalia. During his years as a slave, he had his tongue cut out and the name of his smithy reflects his muteness. When he first came to Stirling, he could not read or write and communicated only by gesture. Not knowing his name, the locals gave him his name because of the grey color of his two large tusks. He arrived with only a hammer and his skills. Since that time, with nothing more than persistence and hard work, he has built up a small, but successful smithy. He is a hard worker and no one can complain about the quality of his work. Those who know metalwork can see that he uses a great deal of dwarven technique in his craft. Over the last decade, Grey Tusk has become a permanent member of the community. Greytusk has since learned to read and write Northern and has befriended a few. It is widely known that Greytusk respects dwarves, likes grum and hates all orcs. Though only a few people in town know the reasons behind this or the tale of how he came to Stirling.

Mulden's Keep
Gyrolll Mulden

Trading Post - Mulden's Keep is a semi-fortified four story stone castle which functions as a general trading post and an import/export business for the town. Most goods crafted in the town of Stirling are sold through Mulden's Keep which arranges transport by caravan. Conversely, most goods arriving by caravan stop here as well. This building is part warehouse, part business and part general store. The upper levels are the home of Gyroll Mulden and his family.
Silver Steed Ranch
Daen Randen
Ranch/Stables - Run by a retired Stirling Ranger, this large horse ranch is located about 2 kilometers outside of town. The ranch possesses 50 acres and about 30 horses, along with a few cattle and chickens. The Silver Steed buys and sells horses, trains horses and will stable horses for long durations. The ranch has a very good relationship with the Stirling Rangers and most of the rangers get their steeds from Daen. The ranch has one koryn charger which Daen is using as a breeding stud. The offspring are not true koryn charges, though they do retain the chocolate color and have small horns and slightly above average intelligence. He sells these "false" koryn chargers as the real thing to buyers who don't know horse flesh.

Hagerik's Blade Shop
Arik, Dorn and Trevis

Smithy - This establishment is one of the largest and oldest blacksmith shops in Stirling. It is run by a trio of brothers who learned the trade from their father who learned ironwork from his father before him. Despite the name, the three brothers produce all manner of metalwork, from blades to arrow heads, armor to barrel straps, horseshoes to nails. Each brother has his specialty and style. All three are married with children and, all together, about eighteen people live in the two upper levels of their shop. The shop is named for their grandfather, Hagerik. This shop boasts the largest forge in the city and a well equipped workshop. They do a great deal of work for the militia.

House of Grain
Jarl Morika
Mill - The House of Grain is a large grain mill just outside the city walls at the base of the hill. It sits at the edge of the Stirling River. This building itself is a sprawling thing with three levels and dozens of rooms. A huge water wheel is driven by the current of the river and drives the enormous grinding stone. This establishment is much more than a simple grain mill. Over the years the House of Grain has become a gathering place for the farmers of the community. Here, one can sell grain, buy seeds and farming tools, sit and have a drink and talk with other farmers. While there is no official agrarian guild in Stirling, this is the place where farmers get their news, swap stories, hire help and do their buying and selling. The store has expanded and become something of an all-purpose trading post. The House of Grain is often used as a central repository and distribution point for money, letters and packages.
The Goodway Inn
Kandel Goodway
Inn - Located 5 kilometers west of Stirling, the Goodway Inn is often a stop for late night travelers who know they will find the town gates at Stirling closed for the night. It serves food from the local farms around it. The inn is run by Kandel Goodway, a middle aged human male, and a small staff. The inn has a large kitchen and common dining room, several good rooms for rent and a stable.
The Rat and the Raven
Targis
Tavern - The Rat and the Raven is a small, muddy, run-down heavy timbered building with uneven floors and a leaky roof that sits just outside the town walls. Aptly named, rats and ravens are both a common sight here. This small establishment has a common room for smoking and drinking and a large enclosed stable in the back. For a copper, anyone may grab a blanket and sleep on the straw covered floor of the stable. Most of the patrons here are travelers who arrived too late and found the town gates closed. Those who know the area choose to stay at the much nicer Goodway Inn further up the road where one may have a proper room and a bed. While the Rat and Raven is closer to town, it's poor accommodations appeal only to those who have no other choice.

 

Many thanks to Laurent Remy for contributions to this page.

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