The World of Kyrnd
City of Torm
It is the center of The Hand, the largest organised religious group in all the land, whose influence spreads right down The Red Coast, and inland to the smaller farming communities, anywhere humans are found, The Hand holds sway.
While the city was founded in the year 333pre, the first stone of the temple was put down in the year 0 post, around which the Tormish Calendar is centred.
Although many of the poor and the sick flock to the city for assistance, this is not always forthcoming. Some of the city elite believe the alms collected from around the world are better spent on edifice and monument venerating Torm, than on helping the unfortunate. This results in a stark contrast between the lavish wealth present in the architecture of the city, and the crushing poverty found in its streets.
Torm lies in a cool, rainy coastal region with harsh winters. It serves as an important port on the Bay of Torm off the Red Coast.
DISTRICTS OF THE CITYTorm lies between the Moonsilver forest to the north, and the sea to the south. The highest portion of the city, the Nobles’ Quarter, is built on the edge of the forest. From there, the level of the city drops down a sharp cliff to Oldtown, and then down again into Midtown. The final cliffs at the edge of Torm drop into the bay, with the only area of dry land at the bottom of those cliffs occupied by the city’s docks. Wellworn paths connect the various elevations and help make Torm very defensible (although the city has never been attacked). The Red River flows through the city, spilling into an eroded chasm in the northwest corner and flowing down to the Bay of Torm near the docks. The bottom of the chasm, called the Red River Gorge, is eighty feet below the level of the ground on the north side, but more than two hundred feet below on the south side. The south side still holds the old city walls and fortifications. A bridge built atop two massive pillars, themselves erected atop natural rock columns, stretches across the Red River Gorge at a steep angle, leading into the area of the city known as Oldtown. Another bridge stretches across the chasm to join Oldtown with the Rivergate District. Although Oldtown is higher, the difference in elevation between these two districts is not steep, so the slope of this bridge seems far less noticeable than that of the other.
THE DOCKSFar below the level of the city’s streets, the Docks rest at the bottom of the city’s eastern cliffs on a narrow strip of land. The wooden buildings here sit slightly askew from one another, because the entire small district is built upon slowly sinking sand. Even the streets are sand. A dozen or more ships moor in the deep waters here at any given time. This is a particularly rough area of the city, thanks to the influx of sailors and its isolation from the other districts. A single winding road provides access up a steep incline to the city proper. The Docks area is full of warehouses, shipyards, hostels, and taverns, all catering to sailors and merchants. Isolated from the rest of the city by the cliffs, sometimes it seems as though the Docks area has had to become its own little community. Many Torm residents live their whole lives without going there—but, of course, they probably haven’t been to the Nobles’ Quarter, either.
GUILDSMAN DISTRICTTorm teems with guilds. Every type of artisan, smith, or other professional belongs to a guild of similarly trained and employed individuals. These guilds enjoy a strong voice in the City Council. This district in the south end of the city holds many tanneries, smithies, foundries, textile houses, grain mills, paper mills, brickmakers, bookmakers, woodworkers, and other production facilities, as well as warehouses, granaries, coalhouses, stockyards, and similar storage sites. Not surprisingly, this district has a distinct odor. Unless one works here, a local rarely finds a reason to visit, although this district sports a few taverns and other businesses catering to the working class. The Guildsman District’s rough reputation prevents most people from frequenting the area at night. Those who live there often join a guild for protection. Just a few of the guilds in this district include: Drapers’ Guild, Goldsmiths’ Guild, Herbalists’ Guild, Ironworkers’ Guild, Masons’ Guild, Silversmiths’ Guild, Tanners’ Guild, Weaponsmiths’ Guild, and Woodworkers’ Guild. The Sages’ Guild, Shipwrights’ Guild, a warriors’ guild, and a few others are headquartered elsewhere in the city.
MIDTOWNAs the central area of the city, Midtown is both a commercial and a residential hub. It is also where one finds many local entertainment offerings, in the form of pubs and taverns as well as theaters, dance halls, gambling dens, and more. Visitors looking for a place to stay usually find themselves directed here, as most of the temporary lodgings in the city are found in Midtown. Midtown is home to both Tavern Row and Delver’s Square, where many employers seeking to hire adventuring parties can post their announcements. It also has a few shops and plenty of residential areas, such as Emerald Hill, where most elves choose to live, and Narred, a centaur neighborhood. Besides the Delver’s Square shops that adventurers frequent (Rastor’s Weapons, the Bull and Bear armory, Ebbert’s Outfitters, and Myraeth’s Oddities), those in the know also appreciate Saches clothiers on Yeoman Street and, of course, the Row Bathhouse. Potions and Elixirs offers a large stock of potions for sale. The most popular adventurer hangout is the Ghostly Minstrel tavern and inn in Delver’s Square. Many folks seem leery of both the Onyx Spider (on Tavern Row) and the Black Swan (which is mainly for dwarves). Danbury’s, also in Delver’s Square, caters to spellcasters.