Southwatch

The Fortress City
of Southwatch
Member of the Domain of Man
Population: 27,000
Human 80%
Elf 12%
Dwarf’4%
Other 4%
Military:
Dominion Army: 8,000
Great River Militia: 500
City Militia: 4,200
Llorn Mercenaries 300
Major Temples:
Sect of Rurga
Church of Light
Temple of Hoknar
The Sect of the Red God
Ruler: Governor General Natsa Poledoris “Winter Fox” (10th
level Palladin)
Coinage: Merchant Guild trade bars
Flag: The Dominion flag, hunter green field with a wild boar
rearing (rampant) with 8 gold stars above.

Defenses:
Ditches: 16 feet deep (5 m), 39 feet wide (12m), lined with steel
scythe-like blades.
City Curtain Wall: 23 feet thick (7 m), 33 feet tall (10m).
Towers: 19 feet thick (6 m), 46 feet tall (14 m), The towers are
topped with catapults and ballista and each has a springal in
storage for use on the walls or in the streets.
Castle Curtain Wall: 33 feet thick (10 m), 33 feet tall (10 m).
Towers: 26 feet thick (8 m), 52 feet tall (16m). The towers are
topped with catapults and ballista.
Winter Palace Curtain Wall: 43 feet thick (13 m), 33 feet tall (10
m).
Towers: 33 feet thick (10 m), 59 feet tall (18 m).
Winter Palace: 36 feet thick (11 m), 118 feet tall (36 m).

Southwatch is built atop the ruins of an ancient fortification that the Wolfen called “Gronocht Urgag,” which roughly translates to “Dome of the Dead.” Even before the coming of the armies of man, Gronocht Urgag saw violence. Sometime far in the past, before the coming of the Wolfen, the fortress was destroyed, leaving only crumbling walls and a massive domed building, a mere shell of its former self. After the Danzi’s defeat at the foot of Gronocht Urgag, the Wolfen piled their slain enemy in the center of the dome and set them on fire for a warrior’s cremation. When the armies of the Eastern Territories smashed their way north, they found the ruin and immediately set to repairing and upgrading it. Of the original ruins, only the large domed structure remains. The human engineers quickly tore down the old crumbling walls, other than the dome, and used them as the cornerstones for the foundation of a new city. When the dome proved to be impervious to both their tools and magic, they set about patching its holes and rebuilding its interior. The rest of the fortress was completed in three stages, beginning with the other buildings atop the “Hill,” then the curtain wall that surrounds the Hill, and finally the curtain wall to the north that surrounds the city and watches over the beach. Southwatch is a busy place, full of soldiers, mercenaries, adventurers, trappers, traders, and civilians. The soldiers stationed there run the gamut from loyal men and women with a strong desire to defend against the “barbaric Wolfen bent on world domination” to lowlife thugs, criminals and mercenaries who were sent to Southwatch from their home cities to fulfill some obligation or to avoid prison. Morale runs lukewarm and the General is concerned about what will happen should war really break out. With the rate of desertion running at approximately five soldiers per month (most are captured, tried and summarily executed, which seems to only lend fuel to the problem), there is a general lack of confidence that the infantry can win against the legions of Wolfen. To that end, Southwatch is currently negotiating with Llorn to send more mercenaries. Already five of the cohorts in training in Llorn are tagged for service in the north. It remains to be seen though whether the city will be able to finance the additional 8,500 mercenaries it feels it needs to mount an adequate defense of the fortified city. To make matters worse, there are 500 followers of the Red God all eager to see the war start. Already, a force of 200 had to be forcibly stopped from marching on the Wolfen fortress capital of the Iron Claw tribe, Ironhold. The Danzi tribe in this region is also eager for war. The town militia on the other hand, looks a bit more rag-tag, but they are actually more seasoned and skilled: 20% Rangers, 10% Long Bowmen, 25% Mercenary Warriors, 10% Knights and Palladins (including some Palladins of Rurga), 10% clergy, 8% practitioners of magic, 2% Danzi Warriors and 15% other O.C.C.s; average 4th and 5th level. There is also a small militia navy of 15 ships that are as skilled as any Bizantium sailor. There are 4,200 volunteers in the city militia and 1,200 in the navy. Ditches and The Rim The first thing a visitor to Southwatch is likely to see of the fortress are the ditches that form two rings around the city and serve as the first line of geographic defense. The ditches are , filled with sea water and lined with rusty steel scythes. Soldiers falling in while wearing armor will sink to the bottom. Anyone attempting to climb into or out of the ditch is 75% likely to cut themselves on the scythes embedded in the walls, causing 4D6 damage (-20% to climbing skill). A broad, wooden bridge spans each ditch, bolted to stone pillars on the city side by six large pins. In the event of an attack, these pins can be hammered loose (each is kept greased to ensure the pins do not get stuck) and the bridge dragged safely back. A pulley and chain is kept connected to a winch within the bridge tower allowing one person to pull the bridge away. Should the winch become stuck, a team of horses can be used as well. Each bridge is guarded by a 26 foot tall (8 m) stone tower manned by 12 soldiers, 24 hours a day. The guards at the outer ditch will allow most anyone to pass during the day. Any of the canine races trying to cross the bridge are immediately arrested as spies or shot. Recently, the Dominion Army has learned where the Wolfen are keeping their prisoners of war and plans are currently being drafted on how best to recover these “patriots.” The proposals range from a direct assault by the Army, to magical infiltration, to hiring a band of adventurers who can be conveniently written off if caught. It should be noted that very few prisoners are taken by either side, even though confrontations occur on a weekly basis. At night, the bridge is closed to traffic and the guards are allowed to use lethal force to prevent unauthorized entry or departure. Similarly, swimming the ditch is illegal (not to mention foolhardy) and will result in arrest and trial for spying. The towers are manned by Elves or Dwarves (never both in the same tower) at night due to their superior nightvision, and one Wizard, Warlock or other practitioner of magic is part of the guard team. The inner ditch is exactly like the outer ditch, with the same wooden bridges and stout stone towers protecting them. Unlike the soldiers of the outer ditch who let most pass, the soldiers who man the inner ditch are more selective. Any creature considered dangerous, including but not limited to Ogres, Trolls and Bearmen, is stopped and questioned. Only those coming to town to purchase goods or seek work are allowed to pass. Hostility results in a single warning, followed, if necessary, by arrows from the archers in the tower. A heavy chain, like those used for ship anchors, is stretched on either side of the path between the inner ditch bridge and the city gates. Anyone caught in the open fields between the city walls and the inner ditch outside the designated path is shot on sight. Attempting to cross over the chain brings one warning before the trespasser is either shot or arrested, depending upon how dangerous the individual looks and what mood the guards are in. At the city gate are yet more guards accompanied by a Mind Mage or psychic sensitive skilled at checking peoples’ auras. To aid the psychics, each is issued a Spirit Stone, which provides the equivalent of See Aura to anyone looking through it (see the Magic Items section in this book for complete details). Those who register as having magic, psionics, a high level of P.P.E., is illness, possessed or having an “unusual aberration” will be stopped for questioning. Those who are sick will be turned away (sorry, they don’t want a plague running rampant within the walls). Possession or an unusual aberration will be cause to call upon a priest to determine the nature of the threat and whether it is safe to allow the person entry. Those who show a high level of P.P.E., are psionic and/or who register as having magic will be taken into a guard room and questioned further by the watch while a Wizard is summoned. After they are satisfied that these individuals are not a threat to the city they will be allowed entry. Creatures considered dangerous such as Ogres and Trolls must undergo a close interrogation and declare their intentions, but even they are likely to be given a “day” pass; checking in and out at the guard’s tower. Visitors are required to exit the town by the same gate they entered before sundown or they will be the target of a large-scale manhunt followed by a trial for spying. The best this unfortunate individual can hope for is an escort from Southwatch and a stern warning never to return. The gates are closed at dusk and do not open again till dawn. Only those on official Dominion Military business, with a pass signed by the Governor General, may leave or enter after dusk. City of Southwatch Beyond the fortified walls is a city where one can find most anything — for a price. The city’s economy is entirely centered on competing for the military’s business, whether it is to the army in general or for the soldiers’ paychecks. Southwatch has no fewer than 30 ale houses, scores of gambling dens, tattoo parlors, weapon shops, goldsmiths, tailors and even an alchemist shop. The ale houses cater to specific tastes and nationalities: some offer extravagant entertainment, some serve only alcohol and food from the southern Kingdoms, while others are shadowy, dangerous places where one had best be careful or face getting beaten, robbed, and tossed into an alley with a lump on the head, or worse. Rather than waste time and manpower on fighting these clubs, the military has given its troops a list of “safe” taverns and entertainment spots from which to choose. Any soldier caught in an unsanctioned tavern is subject to loss of one week’s pay. Southwatch is an ideal location to fence stolen property shipped from the south (so is The Rim nearby). The Governor General looks the other way so long as their activities help the city. The thieves’ guild within Southwatch is unusually loyal to the city, and takes an active part in ensuring its security. It has its own network of informants and investigators to sniff out and eliminate enemy spies and anyone else who encourages rebellion or threatens the city. The guild has proven to be much better at finding enemy agents than the military, a fact they make sure Governor General Poledoris knows. The Law Legally, the city has severe punishments and most crimes are reduced to just a few charges. Following is a partial listing of crimes along with the usual punishment. Murder: Death by beheading. This includes anything that results in the death of another with the exception of cases of self-defense, which has no punishment. There are no 2nd or 3rd degree murders and no manslaughter. If an individual gets drunk, stabs someone, and they die, then it is murder. Otherwise, the charge would be assault. Assault: Flogging (5 to 10 strokes) and public display in the Justice Yard for two days. Military personnel convicted of assault are typically discharged and shipped south on the first available transport. Brawling: Flogging (3-8 strokes). Military personnel convicted of brawling can expect additional discipline at the hands of their commanding officers. Rape: Death by disembowelment. Treason/Spying: Death by burning, hanging or drowning. Arson: Death by burning. Theft: Return of the stolen property or restitution in kind, and a fine of 500-2,000 gold. Theft from the city or the military means the convict will also lose their right hand! Causing injury during the robbery is considered an assault with the normal assault punishment added to that of the theft. If a Thief is killed while stealing, it is considered self-defense and the killer will not be prosecuted. Witchcraft/Necromancy: Death by burning or drowning. Summoning: Death by beheading. Summoning, especially the summoning of Deevils and demons, is seen as a danger to the security of Southwatch. However, Summoners may practice with the permission of the Governor General and under the watchful eyes of her personal Wizard, Master Merrith. Note: As is the custom amongst the humans in the far north, bodies are either incinerated or taken a mile (1.6 km) or further out to sea and sunk. Local superstition claims that the spirits of a buried body can never find peace, while the military would prefer to not have a ready supply of corpses laying about to be put to use as zombies. The lack of graveyards keeps many of the more fiendish creatures who consume dead flesh, such as Ghouls, away from inhabited areas. The local jails are small for a city its size. Prisoners are usually held for less than a week while awaiting trial and sentencing. The sole exception is for prisoners of war who are held until the Governor General decides otherwise. This is a city where war can erupt at any moment, there is no time or tolerance for those whose actions threaten security. Honor. In the event that a citizen feels their honor has been irreparably harmed (for those who care about such things), they may request a legally sanctioned duel against the perpetrator. In order to participate in a legal duel, all parties must go before the judge and make their grievance known as well as verify that everyone involved is doing so from their own volition. If satisfied that the grievance is justifiable (most are), the judge announces the duel as a binding legal proceeding in a public forum held on the steps of the courthouse. The victor of the duel is free from retaliation by, and responsibility towards, the loser’s family and friends. A date for the duel is then set (rarely sooner than a week), to be held in the Justice Yard, overseen by a “referee” appointed by the court. These duels can be for a specified number of “hits,” one or more falls, or to the death. In the case of a non-lethal duel in which one of the participants is killed, the referee determines whether the death was a murder, suicide or an accident. If the death is ruled an accident the family of the deceased must be financially reimbursed and the matter is resolved. If the death is ruled a suicide, no reimbursement is due the family. Murder is grounds for a swift trial and an invariable guilty sentence for the perpetrator. Duels can only be fought between those involved in the disagreement and can not include champions or stand-ins. Betting on these spectacles is illegal and discouraged by a 1,000-5,000 gold fine, but betting goes on none the less.

Southwatch

The taming of the North GwerinColin