Castle Taulmark

Founded in the year 13 of the Age of Becoming (A.B.), Castle Taulmark serves as the capital and largest settlement in the kingdom of Fairwealde. Currently the city counts 11,000 inhabitants within the city walls, and another 2,500 in the immediate surroundings (not including Tharim’s Town across the river). Known as a shining bastion and an exemplary model for human settlements, Taulmark is not without its share of problems, including a large streak of poverty and moderate royal infighting.

Geography

Castle Taulmark is divided into several sections. In the north sits the castle proper, a marvel of architecture, said to be passed down from ancient designs of a long lost race of proto-humans. Research indicates similar architectural patterns are found in the large complex of ruins at the southernmost tip of the Wealde, the Nyet’Moyr Ruins. A large network of bridges connects the isolated pillars to the central chamber, an ornate receiving room with numerous relics of the Taul dynasty. Thick walls encircle the royal plaza.

Immediately outside and wrapping around to the west, the military district maintains a strict watch and a highly trained defense force at all times. Notable features include a large training ground, a menagerie, and a smith’s shop.

To the east lies the nobles’ district, a combination of lavish estates and tightly packed servants’ quarters. The plaza in the center features a statue to King Forthim, grandfather to the current King Rathim. The major estates, found at the north and east ends of the district, are Dearkin Manor and the Aedel Palace, respectively.

The central region of the city features the commercial district, where most trade, commerce, and social interaction occur. Many different races frequent the castle, taking full advantage of the Kingdom’s open-door policies. All manner of stores can be found in this district, as well as various high-class inns and beautiful parks and common grounds.

Surrounded by high fences, the church district is the smallest of the quartered-off sections of the city. Four separate temples cater to nearly all of the pious that frequent the city. The largest of the temples is the Temple of the Silver Hammer, overwhelmingly inhabited by followers of Bahamut and Moradin. Adjacent to this temple if the House of Quiet Worship, run by monks who offer services praising Corellon, Ioun, Erathis, and Melora. Next is the Temple of High Light, a very open house of worship, greeting followers of Avandra, Corellon, Erathis, Kord, Pelor, and Sehanine. The last and smallest of the “temples” is a dark and imposing building, said to house worshippers of Tiamat, Vecna, and Zehir.

Farthest to the west inside the castle walls is the poor district, affectionately known among the locals as “Taulass”. Poverty is overwhelmingly present here, as all different manner of races live on top of each other in very tight quarters. Crime is rampant and the royalty usually cares little about remedying these social problems. Major landmarks in the district are the cemetery, the Blackwealde Inn, and the Jakar House.

Finally, the eastern quarters of the city are reserved for housing for the middle class. The inhabitants live in relative peace, and little of the chaos of the central city spills over into this district.

History

The first King of Fairwealde, King Thordum, and his band of settlers built the interior castle out of stone carved and hauled from the nearby rocky hills, known as the Wealde. Thordum lead a band of humans south to escape the cold, hard living in the north. He was a remarkable leader, well-spoken and brave in the face of unparalleled danger. When he saw the Wealde, legend says, he remarked, “O’er thissum hilles thœt binden swa tha werlde, we thœt sindon here shallon plaecon wir heades donne. Thaer wir Cyngdom shalle be, o’er tha Wealde. Thaer mache thisse Taul his marke.” This quote is found on the pedestal of the statue to Thordum, found in the castle’s main receiving chamber.

Thordum gave birth to a line of kings, each a direct descendant, even to the present day. The line of kings is delineated below.

Thordum → Thorim → Tharim → Erthor → Aerthar → Ethnon → Tharim II → Thordnon → Erthor II → Erthor III → Radthor → Rathnon → Erthor IV → Rathnon II → Ethnon II → Ethnon III → Ardithan → Arfathan → Farithan → Forthim → Rathnon III → Rathim

The most notable Kings are the first three, in terms of expansion of the kingdom, popularity, and heroic exploits. Thordum receives the highest honor in most Fairwealdan traditions, cited as the father of the nation and most successful leader in all human history. Thorim, his son, received acclaim for his quests in expanding the borders, driving out orc hordes, and maintaining security in the regions of the Wealde. Tharim was more personable than his father and grandfather, and won the hearts of many settling in to the young kingdom. He spent much of his youth within Castle Taulmark, but often would go to the hamlets across the river to mingle with the commoners. The people became so enamored of him that the hamlet was renamed Tharim’s Town, which remains a prominent settlement to the current day.

Castle Taulmark

The Fairwealde Campaign grahamtheham