Tyranny of Dragons
The city is the farming center of the Fields of the Dead, and its Hellriders guard and police not only Elturel, but much of the farms and settlements of the Fields, at a radius as far as Scornubel, Berdusk and the Stone Eagle Lodge(Hellrider Lodge) downstream along Chionthar.
Elturel is ruled wisely and well by High Rider Lord Dhelt, a paladin of Helm who is ever-vigilant when it comes to the defense of his city-and to lawless elements who might skulk in to do business in it.A just, no-nonsense ruler who leads patrols on the road as often as any of his war captains, Dhelt keeps the city a clean, law-abiding place, a firm member of the Lords’ Alliance.
His 2000 Hellriders are superbly equipped and trained-a fearsome fighting force equalled by few realms in Faerun, Hellriders must be skilled at the use of bow, lance and saber before they are allowed to ride the roads.
Travelers can rejoice in the safety of Elturel’s reach.The long patrols of the Hellriders, 30 riders strong, pass allong the roads every 4 hours night and day.The upkeep of the patrols is aided by lodges placed at strategic positions where food, water, flammables, weapons and fresh mounts are kept for them.These lodges are protected by strong wards with small stone tokens.
It’s easy to tell when you are inside Elturel’s reach.Sheep and cattle wander on all sides when you’re inside them, and brush is cut back with hedged and stone-walled farms here and there.Outside Elturel’s sway, farms and livestock are gone and scrub trees and shrubs are everywhere.
Elturel thrives on trade.It’s a city of folk passing through.Barge trade on the Chionthar river meets overland trade in the city where a six-wagon ferry crosses the river.
The heart of the city is a cliff sided tor, a natural stronghold that was held by trolls and then orcs before humans drove them out and settled.It’s south or river end is capped by the soaring turrets of High Hall, the castle from which the High Rider rules.A long wooded park runs along the ridgetop of the heights watered by a spring that rises in the cellars of High Hall and runs down the Winter Garden to cascade off the tor at the northern end in a spectacular series of falls known as Maidens’ Leap. A beautiful spectacle indeed.
On the slopes around are the tall, narrow, many-balconied homes of the nobles.Below this High District are the flatlands of the city, known as the Dock District.The Dragoneye Dealing Coster has a major waybase hard by the docks, and the caster’s organized presence along with the watchful patrols of the Riders, assisted by a trained and loyal guild of handlers keep this one of the safest dockside areas in all Fareun.
To the east, warehouses and hovels crowd together around the docks and the crammed stalls of Shiarra’s Market.The more prosperous and orderly homes and shops west of the heights are still part of the Dock District, but are increasingly referred to as Westerly, a separation used to imply cleanliness and prosperous success-or to look at it from the other view, laziness, soft living and pretentious arrogance.Whatever the sneers exchanged, no one denies that this city is wealthy.
The traveler can wander about anywhere in Elturel in perfect safety.The chief danger is from pickpockets not knife-wielding thugs.No thieves’ guild is tolerated in this city-and the best way to attract some hard questoning from a lot of eager-looking Riders with drawn swords is to whisper that so-and-so is a member of or such-and-such an incident is the work of a thieves’ band.
The inns and taverns of the city are all fairly good-the lone exception that comes to mind is the poor but cheap Oar and Wagon Wheel Inn, and even it is always crowded with noisy patrons.
Elturel is home to a shrine of Tempus and two important temples.Both of the temples give temporary shelter and aid to the devout.Helm’s Shieldhall is a large holy fortress ruled by High Watcher Berelduin Shondar, also known as Bereld the Just, a stern priest who leads as many Rider patrols as Lord Dhelt. The High Harvest Home, a temple to Chauntea, is presided over by High Harvestmaster Baulauvin Oregh-one of the most goddess-favored servants of Chauntea in all Faerun.