Welcome to Black Bone Harbor
Tucked away on the shorelines of Rush Water Pass on The Landing Isle, lies a city of absolute wonder. To the common folk, the sheer amazement of seeing Black Bone Harbor is something that one hopes they might do at least once in their lifetime. The city is not unlike most of the cities in the realm, save one extraordinary feature, it’s thoroughfares. These long roadways are laid out underneath the large bone remains of what are believed to be sea-creatures, and some say gods, that were here before the time of man. Over the millennia, the rib-bones and spines have fossilized into large stone like structures that have become practically indestructible. Many an alchemist, mage, miner, and cleric have tried to collect a small piece of these relics to examine them or use them for religious practice. Each have tried, and each have subsequently failed. Nothing can seem to penetrate, chip, or damage the bones in any way. Not even those items imbued with magical properties can damage these ancient relics. They are one of the truly unanswered mysteries of the realm.
One of the most unique properties of the bone structures, referred to as the Soul Stones in the common tongue, is that over the years as they changed from bone to stone, they gained a very unique ability. During the day they are black as night, and glisten with an almost obsidian sheen. Once the day gives way to night, the stones glow with a bright purplish-red hue, like that of a burning sunset. Nothing seems to extinguish the light except for the rising sun, and some clerics believe bathing in this light is the secret to immortality.
Due to this natural lighting, the city of Black Bone Harbor was constructed around the Soul Stone passes, giving the entire area an otherworldly glow when the sun falls. No fires or magical lighting is necessary in the areas surrounding the streets as the Soul Stones provide all the light necessary to illuminate this beautiful city.
Black Bone Harbor is a city with two faces. It’s main source of economy being the tourism industry as many species from all over the realm travel to see the glorious Soul Stones in person. This led to many taverns, inns, equipment outfitters, and specialization businesses to pop up along the main thoroughfare. One can purchase fine leathers and silks, rare books, jeweling and blacksmithing materials, weapons, armors, learn new professions and skills, or one can simply enjoy the awe and splendor of the harbor.
The city offers tours of the stones where one can hear what gathered history the city has found about the stones and where they came from. People are no longer allowed to approach and touch the Soul Stones due so many of the religious sects and scientific researchers fighting over what purpose the stones many hold. Many have lost their lives, frivolously over a difference in opinion. As a result, the Crimson Guard, called so due to the deep crimson armor worn by its members, was born out of necessity. These stoic, heavily armored warriors patrol the city and the streets to ensure the safety of all that come to Black Bone Harbor.
Their commander, Garrick the Wise, is a mammoth thrope warrior that wears the tales of his battles in scars across his body and face. With his greying long hair, one can see that he carries the burden of many ghosts on his conscience, but yet he still finds a way to be true and just. He runs the city with a soft but stern justice, acting as the judge, jury, and executioner. He is a fair being and has never been known to wrong anyone in anyway. A truly neutral creature that only sees things in the light of true justice. None of his soldiers are allowed to take wives or have families as they are dedicated strictly to the protection of the Soul Stones and the many travelers that come to this glorious city. They swear an oath of celibacy and are Crimson Guard from that moment until the moment of death. They are one of the most respected guards in all of the realm and very few have the courage to contest with its members.
In addition to the tourism trade, Black Bone Harbor is also one of the largest port cities in the realm. This makes it a necessary stop on the way for all shippers, traders, and traveling merchants alike. From fancy patterned silks procured in the islands to the east, to wheat and grains from the north, almost all trade in the southwestern part of the realm comes through Black Bone Harbor, making it a thriving metropolis of commerce and trade.
Black Bone Harbor may seem like something out of a dream, but it has its darker side as well. The underbelly of the city is known for some of the most violent and crime ridden ghettos seen anywhere in the lands. These areas lie mostly underground in the large network of caverns that exist below the city and have become so vast that they could almost be considered a city in their own right. Home to all walks of scum and villainy, the place simply known as the “Catacombs”, harbors some of the most notorious criminals in the realm. With fierce black markets trading in people, illegal contraband like dark magical items and stolen goods, it has become a haven for the darker side of Watorial.
One may wonder how a city can be so peaceful and beautiful on the surface, and so utterly terrifying in the areas that lie beneath. Well, it was not always like this. In the beginning the scoundrels would readily raid the city and Garrick lost many of his Crimson Guard to the nightly attacks by the subterranean colony. That was until Gragas the Red came along. Gragas, known for being one of the largest dwev’lar in the realm and being able to drink an entire cask of ale in a single sitting, came to the Catacombs by way of a trading ship. Once a fierce pirate captain, he found himself at home in the Catacombs and quickly began to organize the criminals into thief and pirating guilds, giving them order and structure to carry out their heinous deeds. He waged war on the Crimson Guard to the point where he and Garrick were almost all that remained. Finally, the two steadfast warriors met in secret, some say after some unknown event involving the Soul Stones and put together an ironclad treaty between the two areas. Gragas would keep his villains out of the city above, and Garrick would turn a blind eye to the debauchery that went on below the city streets. As long as neither dared step foot into the other’s territory, there would be no criminal activity committed upon the citizens of Black Bone Harbor. In turn, the denizens of the Catacombs could execute their black market business using the older trade routes and smaller ports on the outskirts of the city and they would not be bothered by the Crimson Guard. This treaty of peace has lasted over one-hundred years and the punishments are swift and strong for any unfortunate traveler that may attempt to break its bonds.
Travelers are warned to be wary and enjoy their time in this wonder of a city. They are encouraged to enjoy its attractions and all it has to offer, but with one warning. Be careful not to wander down the wrong dark alley, or you too could become a cautionary tale of Black Bone Harbor.
The Soul Stones
A Large network of fossilized bones lining the thoroughfares throughout Black Bone Harbor. Many believe they have magical powers. During the day they appear black as night, and at night they glow with a beautiful iridescent purple and red hue.
A large network of caverns beneath the city of Black Bone Harbor. This is home to the criminal element of the area. Most don’t dare head here unless with a known resident or a wish for death.
Located in the heart of Black Bone Harbor, this is the premier place to come for weapons and armor. It is known that for the right price, one can obtain a weapon or piece of armor that is truly unique and unlike any other in the world.
The Church of Light
The holy sanctuary of the Order of Light and home to Luna Silvermoon, is a beautiful cathedral located on the main thoroughfare of Black Bone Harbor. This is a place of peace and it is well known that anyone who comes to the church will be given a promise of safety, as long as they abide and respect the laws of the order while within its walls.
The Slaughtered Lamb
A tavern and inn filled with gambling and women of ill repute, where you will find most of the pirates and nomads as they make their way through the “Catacombs”.
Brumehilda’s House of Pastries and Pleasantries
Offering the most sought after cakes, pies, and sweets, Brumehilda’s is considered the upper echelon of bakeries and eateries. Offering succulent dishes made from strange and obscure ingredients, Brumehilda’s is the “it” spot for the wealthy to be seen when in Black Bone Harbor.
The Dragon’s Tear
One of the largest taverns in the city, it is the place where most of the travelers to Black Bone Harbor stop to enjoy a nice mug of ale or some delicious spiced meats. It is the known place for the Crimson Guard to gather when off duty, although they really only socialize with each other and never get out of control.