The Way of the Wicked
LG small town
Qualities: pious, prosperous, strategic location
Government autocracy chosen by the monarchy in Matharyn
Population: 1,800 (1,500 humans; 150 dwarves; 50 halflings; 100 other)†
Lord Thomas Havelyn, commander of Balentyne and Lord of Aldencross†
Aldencross is a township of necessity. It exists only
because Balentyne exists. First, there was the dwarven
bridge that spanned the nearby River Tyburn. That
bridge was built in a time when a great dwarven kingdom
spanned the entire island both north and south.
That bridge was a critical lifeline connecting the dwarven
realms, north and south.
In time, the dwarven realms faltered and disappeared
but their sturdy bridge remained surviving through the
centuries. When King Accarius IV called the Architect
built the Watch Wall, this ancient bridge was an obvious
place to build a fortress. The king considered destroying
the bridge but decided against it. The bridge might be
useful in the planned invasion of The Savage North (that
invasion never materialized) and the mere existence of
the bridge meant the bugbears had a known choke point
they were likely to attack. And so the dwarven bridge became
the death trap called Balentyne.
Balentyne was not far from a crossroads where the
north-south old dwarven road met the newer Talirean
road that ran parallel to Lake Tarik and the River Tyburn.
At that crossroads, there was single inn called St. Alden’s
Cross, named for an obscure Talirean saint who protected
travelers. That inn is long gone and in fact, its foundation
is located at what is now the Town Hall. This inn was
a small oft forgotten way station for traders and explorers
and for many decades, that was all that was here.
The construction of Balentyne changed everything.
Suddenly, the inn had guaranteed business. Off duty
soldiers need a place to drink and relax between guard
shifts. The Lord-Commander of Balentyne built a home
near the inn, as did some of his officers. And around that
central nexus the town began to spring up. The closeness
of this relationship is confirmed by the fact that the town
of Aldencross has no mayor. The master of Aldencross is
always the Lord-Commander of Balentyne.
Recently the town has gotten large enough (more than
1,800 people now call it home) that the Lord-Commander
has seen fit to appoint a reeve. The reeve is the de facto
day to day manager of the town and can approach the
Lord-Commander with any needs the people may have.
The current reeve is Dominik Vallison.
Aldencross was never a walled community. Balentyne
was the fortress and offered all the protection the town
may need. It is also a soldier’s town. Even though prostitution
is illegal in Talingarde, Aldencross has more than
its share of single women who seem always ready to have
a soldier visit for “lunch”.
This unseemly underbelly of the town does not change
that fact that this is a Talirean township. Most of the
people in town are good Mitran-fearing farmers and
artisans. They grow the food and make the equipment
that the soldiers at Balentyne need to keep the Kingdom
of Talingarde safe. There is not a single family in town
without a connection to the Watchtower. It is their sons
who guard the Watch Wall. It is their daughters who marry
those sons. It is there labor that feeds it, clothes and
equips the soldiers and keeps the frontier safe. This is a
point of immense pride to the people who make Aldencross
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