Hell of a Summer
Controlled by the Stewards’ Council
Points of Interest
- Cathedral of the Church of the Silver Flame
- Civil Palace – city administration, courts, and City Watch barracks
- Embassy of Riedra
- Font of Knowledge – public library and temple of Aureon
- Mount Melody Walk – beautifully decorated tunnel dug through Thronehold mountain to New Olamn, site for frequent outdoor concerts
- New Olamn – bard’s college on the western side of Thronehold, outside the imperial grounds
- Singing Sword Tavern
- Spires of the Morning – beautiful temple of Dol Arrah
- The Market – the largest open market in the city, the surrounding neighborhood is home to a number of moneylenders, pawn shops, and other small businesses
- Tower of the Order of Watchful Magists and Protectors
- Yawning Portal – famous tavern built around a well that descends into the rat’s nest of tunnels and dungeons the city is built over
The Castle Ward is the heart and mind of Throneport, and once of all of Galifar, if not its soul. It houses the city’s military forces, courts, government, and the Market- a market square larger than most towns. It encompasses the City Navy’s docks in the Great Harbor and all of Thronehold, and is home to six walking statues, numerous temples, and many other landmarks.
Thronehold itself stands above the city on a great bluff that extends out from the mountain, its towers soaring hundreds of feet into the sky. Thronehold itself is off-limits to all but the caretaker staff, House Deneith’s Throne Wardens, the famous Griffon Cavalry, and House Vadalis’s griffon breeders. The city’s rulers and bureaucrats reside in the shadow of the mountain, an everpresent reminder of the great empire that had been lost. The Lord Mayor presides from the City Palace, set at the foot of the road up the mountain to Thronehold.
Though not quite as large as the castle, the palace used by government officials, guildmasters, and nobles for meetings and court proceedings. Many other buildings in the ward are given over to city business, including several courts for magisters and the barracks of the City Guard. So many of the ward’s structures are offices and meeting halls for business owners, solicitors, publishers, and the like that the Castle Ward has the smallest resident population of all the wards.
Many landmarks of interest are found in this ward aside from the six walking statues. You could hardly see them all in a day, but the following are highly recommended. The Shadow Tower is a squat black blot in the otherwise pretty ward. Humble though the edifice might be, looking at the place for too long can give you a queasy feeling and the sense that you are being watched- almost as if the tower itself has turned an unseen and wrathful eye upon you.
On the opposite end of the mountain, close to the Naval Harbor, stands the Magician’s Mansion. Once a fortress-like and glowering tower, it has been upgraded with more delicate fashions of architecture since the return of its long-absent owner. The eponymous magician himself has quite a history and is reputedly centuries old due to enchantments gained during his adventuring days. Castle Ward also holds what is arguably the most famous tavern in the city, the Yawning Portal. This place, known far beyond Throneport’s ways, is built over the only publicly known entrance to the ancient and extensive warren of catacombs, dungeons, caves, and passages that predated the city’s first buildings. Well over two centuries old, the proprietor of the Yawning Port charges coin to descend down into it onto a bucket.
The glorious Spires of the Morning, dedicated to Dol Arrah, is one of Throneport’s most beautiful temples. But it is rivaled in this ward by the Cathedral of the Silver Flame. The journey through Mount Melody Walk, a tunnel cut through Thronehold’s mountain to New Olamn’s academy of music and other arts is a wondrous daytime excursion. The Market offers a wild array of sights, smells, and sounds in which folk might lose themselves for a tenday. The Font of Knowledge is a temple to Aureon, but also the city’s largest public library. Titles written throughout the ages can be viewed here- under the watchful eyes of the temple’s priest-librarians. In short, the Castle Ward offers far too many splendors to list them all here.
The Castle Ward’s colors are blue and purple, and its mascot is a griffon. typically depicted in gold. These borrow colors from the city’s flag and reference the Griffon Cavalry, of course. Champions for the ward often come from among the ranks of the Guard, the Navy, or the Cavalry. Although such competitors have often have the advantage in races and competitions, their crowds of rabidly cheering fans are naturally much smaller than those of other wards.
Ward Entry Procedure
Rigorously neutral, Castle Ward’s borders are open to all. No papers are required to transit from any other Ward into or through Castle Ward.
The City Guard has its main barracks at the Civic Palace and the City Watch has a heavy presence here, so while they not as well equipped or as heavily manned as other Wards it is still best to watch one’s activities here as much as you would in a more heavily guarded part of the city.