Istur´s Places

Baroness´ Palace
Baroness Gelia, Baron of Suress (rumored to be at least 1/4 elven) is rarely, if ever, seen in public. She trusts her staff to handle all matters with the public. It is said that her half-breed heritage is obvious and that her grandparents´ marriage was arranged to settle some unknown dispute between Hurva and the high elven kingdom that occupies the woods of southwestern Suress. Her son, Galion is the barony´s Court Representative in Geston and won the Hurvan Games of 1076.

Beggars Boardwalk
Occupying the oldest boardwalk and piers is a shantytown of Istur´s poorest. It is difficult to get from the Naval Yard or most of the public and commercial docks without traversing this section of the waterfront. The high traffic volume helps support the beggars needs.

Bella´s Book Shop
A pleasant little shop located near Dorvin´s Ice House, this establishment is owned by a lovely young lady named Bella and her husband, Bruno. According to local legend, Bruno had once been turned into a hideous beast by an evil wizard, but was rescued by Bella, the pretty but absent-minded young mage who fell in love with him. More logical minds, however, argue that this is completely untrue -- Bella is, indeed, a wizardess, but Bruno was never a true beast, merely a former thief and/or assassin who was freed of his service to less than ethical masters by his brave and clever wife.

Whichever the case, there is no doubt that both husband and wife love books, and enjoy both collecting and sharing them with their customers. Bella maintains friendships with wizards, sages and scholars all across Hurva, with whom she trades on a regular basis. Indeed, considering the intellectual climate in Istur, most of the shop´s business is done on an export basis. Bella is a scholar in many ancient languages, and often translates obscure documents sent to her by her colleagues. Bruno has been exploring his natural talents as a story-teller, and is working on a collection of local tales that is part truth and part folk-lore.

Cap´n Bill´s Bait Shop (CB II)
Need bait or a good yarn - then Cap´n Bill is the one to see. He´s got a peg leg and a wooden clamp for a left arm, smokes a darkened meerschaum pipe, carved like a women (its left breast is cracked off) and still wears his tattered naval dress uniform. Some folks say that he knows the sea better than any man alive and has sailed to every corner of the world. Others say he likes his rum too much and just wants company while he´s whittling. Either way, his weathered gray shack two miles up the beach from the bustle of town has the best fish guts to be had.

Constables Garrison
Quick to respond and quite able to put down crime, the 1,100 Constables who patrol in groups of ten with leather armor, nightstick, crossbow, dagger, are also known for being quite selective in which crimes they deal with. Commissioner of Constables Leono also owns several merchant ships and leaves town for days at a time.

The Customs House (CB II)
Officially called The Department of Customs and Duties handles the inspection and taxation for all cargo shipped through this port. Merchants can also get requisite licenses and permissions here. Individuals entering or leaving the port must check in here. Director Ras Thevis reserves the right to inspect all cargo, ships, warehouses and individuals entering or leaving via the port. The Affiliates Amagigo have an adjunct stationed here to receive payment of spellcasting dues.

Dancing Dragons (Good/Moderate)
A lively jig can be expected most any time at the Dancing Dragons. This dance hall and restaurant features live music nightly. If you don´t have a partner, ´dancing girls´ can be rented for individual dances or for the whole evening. The cuisine tends towards lighter food - lots of fruits and vegetables. Honey Mead is the house drink.

The Diamond Star (Excellent/Expensive)
Posh luxury suites are complemented with room service and high quality food. All of the restaurants linens, draperies and tapestries are white and studded with rhinestones. Pork and chicken dishes are the specialties and a glass of champagne is complimentary with diner. Wealthy traders favor this inn, because of the quality and the dress code which excludes less savory types.

D´Menichi´s Villa
Duke D´Menichi, a mountain of a man, has become rich off the backs of the people of Istur. Granted his title for deeds, rather than bloodlines, he is sensitive to challenges to his authority. He supposedly doesn´t tolerate any law-breakers, but that obviously is a farce. Sometimes he can be encountered galloping his huge, heavy war horse through the streets at breakneck speeds.

Docks/Warehouses (Doc & Sardin´s, Jensen´s Exchange - CB II)
It just feels like half the city is covered with warehouses. Some of the more notable ones include: The Ice Pool (The wizard Dorvin freezes pools of water and the blocks are sold throughout the city. It is also now common knowledge that Dorvin keeps a number of dangerous monsters in stasis in blocks of ice); Doc & Sardin´s (Run by dwarves, it offers insured short and long term storage of valuable goods. Gotha, son of Gimmel, son of Gundel has overseen the safety of goods for over a hundred years); Jensen´s Exchange (have something to sell, want to buy something odd, don´t want questions, Heironymous Jensen is the man to see)

Ebb Tide Temple
The largest of Istur´s three major temples, half of this famous structure juts over the harbor. Tithes can be given to Jvelto that are washed out to sea at high tide. The huge blue-green marble pillars that support both the floor as well as the domed ceiling are connected to floaters so that the entire temple rises and falls with the tide. There are always a number of sailors, naval officers, merchants and pirates found here. Some captains insist that passengers or merchants shipping cargo make a donation before they will weigh anchor.

Read the local myth as to why the massive stone structure really floats.

Ew´s Wood & Bone Works (CB II)
Velaran Ew is a retired adventurer who is renown for his carving of wood, bone and ivory. Either the master himself or an assistant or apprentice can always be found at the workbench along the storefront windows. The merchandise also includes fine items carved in distant lands. The shop tends to be closed when the weather is bad and no crowds will gather around the windows.

Fallen Stars
An elegant jewelry shop in the wealthier part of town, Fallen Stars boasts a wide variety of exquisite jewelry, and often handles custom orders from Istur´s elite. The shop is well-appointed with plush carpeting, cherry wood tables and comfortable sofas, on which many a wealthy Istur husband can be found lounging while his wife browses among the well-stocked glass cases. During the weeks before many important holidays, the tables are always decked with hors d´oeuvres, and bards are hired to play soft music while the customers shop.

The owner, Petros Dhimani, is a large but soft-spoken gentleman with olive skin and dark hair just starting to gray around the edges. Rumor has it that Petros was a former Organization tough who did a good turn for a high-ranking member when he was in his twenties and was given a reward big enough to retire young. Petros certainly has the build for such a back-ground -- he stands over six feet tall and is still quite muscular. Realizing that his appearance might intimidate customers, Petros goes out of his way to be kind and charming, especially to the ladies, with whom he is very popular. His shop is rumored to be heavily protected by magics cast by a long-time female friend who teaches at the College Amagigo in Tonn. Petros does purchase quality gems and jewelry from adventurers, pirates and other ≥entrepreneurs,≤ but appointments for such transactions must be made in advance, and generally are held after regular business hours.

Garsen´s Tower (CB II)
Sitting in the harbor opposite the majority of the docks lies an island at the mercy of the moons. At low tide, the island and a narrow causeway connecting it to the shore rise well out of the water. At high tide, the causeway and most of the island are submerged. The ruins of a tower are just offshore of the island. The lone tree on the island is a massive oak, whose branches are bent under the weight of hundreds of gulls at high tide. Legend has it that an arch-mage has been sleeping for hundreds of years in the tower awaiting his true love to return. There is a corner of barnacle-encrusted white marble wall (including a beautiful, now greenish bronze gate), which probably surrounds the tower, on the island. Anyone touching or going over the gate or wall has been killed by a blast of magical energy. Due to the island´s isolation, as well as the romantic legend of the wizard and his true love, the island has become a trysting place for young lovers to escape prying eyes and parental chaperones. There are a number of odd flowers, molds, weeds and a poisonous fruit growing on the island that have been found nowhere else.

Garth´s Stables
Yet another retired adventurer, Garth specializes in warhorses. He prefers to rent, but on occasion will sell. (Renters must leave a deposit for the cost of the horse and equipment. in addition to the rental fee) He tends to be generous with his rates to adventurers and doesn´t ask questions.

The Magical Mermaid (Excellent/Moderate)
From the blue lighting to the coral walls, the first floor of this inn offers entertainment on most nights, usually comedy or stage magicians. There are portals in the walls with permanent illusions of fish and other undersea life that will swim into view when you drop a copper into a slot. If you drop enough coins, sometimes the ´Magical Mermaid´ herself will swim by.

Merchant´s Hill
Not actually shops, but the villas of the upper class of Istur. Their estates sit on a hillside that overlooks the city and the harbor beyond. On the crest of the hill sits Baroness Gelia´s palace, with its thin spires reaching skyward. Each of the estates has quite a bit of property around it and most are surrounded by high walls. The families and their trading concerns are refered to by the primary landholders (House Colnet, House Volenta, House Veneti, House Machi, etc.) This is some of the only property not owned by the Duke, Baron and/or King.

The Oasis (Fair/Cheap)
The newest inn and tavern in town, The Oasis is owned by a retired adventurer, Alanna the Illusionist. It features good food and drink at cheap prices and has come to be frequented by dungeoneers, pirate captains and some of The Organization´s white collar businessmen. When in Istur, Temmer the Black can be found here (see below). Hassan, who keeps the place and tends bar, now only cooks a few speciality dishes (in particular, his spiced hot prunes), as Alanna now has hired cooks who provide 'home-style' meals. Hassan has very odd looks (he´s from an Egypt-esque ravenloft realm) and accent. The shingle over the front door depicts a desert, though, from this port city there isn´t a desert for thousands of miles. A minotaur head hangs over the hearth and the leather chairs at one popular table are made from a baby green dragon´s feet. Alanna uses her illusions to enhance the atmosphere and the entertainment - and these embellishments vary based on her mood. On dark nights, when a thick fog is rolling in off the bay, after a couple of drinks Alanna is known to spin horrific tall tales to any willing to listen. Even though The Oasis is one of the safest taverns in Istur, Heronious, a former gladiator in the Dalwan Colosseum is employed as a bouncer, just in case (he claims to have slain the minotaur on the street just outside the front door - a likely tale indeed!).

The Pit
There are other gambling houses in town, but none as lively as The Pit. Nightly dog and cock fights punctuate the festivities. A caged area on the first floor with an overlooking balcony on all sides gives this establishment its name. Magically dead private rooms can be rented for private card games at a premium. Occasionally, illegal duels between willing or unwilling people are said to occur. No one knows who owns The Pit.

Port o´ Call (Poor/Cheap)
Nestled between looming warehouses, just a block off of a privately owned pier, The Port o´ Call is definitely the type of place you don´t stroll in by accident. Offering some of the cheapest drinks, food and rooms in Istur, the various pirates, grizzled thugs and thick- necked Organization guidos seem not to notice or care about the unsanitary conditions. Owner Sal Salvatore has chisled features though is gruff in manners of dress and speech. He is not one to be trifled with, as the guidos seem to be at his beck and call. Always loud and racous, the front sticky-floored room reeks of grease and fish, the rear barroom of sweat and alcohol. The rear bar, known as the Firm Stern, features some of the most voluptuous and barest dancers in the city. The second floor, has rooms which can be rented for short-term uses. The moderately cleaner third and fourth floors are leased long term, mainly to many of the thugs, guidos, and dancers.

Robab´s Fish Market (CB II)
From the lobster and crab tanks at the entrance, to the smells of frying crab cakes and scallops, Robab and Tilly Wilson run the fish market in town and the only one to offer seafood so fresh as to still be alive! Built like a fireplug and nearing age 60, Robab has a reputation for being more honest than ever. Ask for a pound of haddock and if he knows you you´re likely to get 1.5 - 2 pounds. Their son, Roscoe and Old Ed do most of the dirty work. Local women know to stay clear of Roscoe, he fancies himself a ladies man. As much as Roscoe causes women to hurry through the market, men tend to linger. Patti, a street urchin that the Wilson´s took in is commonly regarded as the most beautiful woman in the city. She has large deep brown eyes, flawless olive skin and long curly golden brown hair. She claims to have wed a mercenary who is serving overseas. Rumor has it the one time she took a lover, he had the man´s heart for breakfast. She now insists that she will be ever faithful. None the less, there are quite a few men who dote over her regularly.

Royal Naval Shipyards
1,600 sailors - Royal Navy Shipyards - Admiral Kells, CO; Port of Call for 3 galleons, 6 great galleys and 9 cogs. The RHN also oversee the enforcement of the Custom House´s rulings.

Sails of the Everpresent Journeywind (CB II)
Commonly known as Essani´s Sails, Makea Essani´s sails are the finest to be had in Istur. In addition to top notch normal sails for vessels of all sizes SotEJ is famous for its magically imbued sails. The aging wind-mage Patel Chhaya´s enchanting of these sails gives the shop its name. The enchanting takes place in the open lot next to the shop, where a collapsible mast is surrounded by a ´fence´ of seven foot tall etched brass rods. Even though it happens in public,no one has been able to learn Patel´s secret for enchanting the sails.

The Scotch Woodcock Fishery (CB II)
Primarily a wholesale fishery, Gregor McRoe´s business caters to the various taverns and inns. This establishment, located at the furthest seaside part of the docks, also does a high volume of salted and smoked fish. The most repulsive citizen of Istur, Guter Snype, cleans most of the fish. He´s paid a few coins + all the fish guts he can eat. At 5´0" and 280+ lbs. Guter´s only friends are three knives, who he talks to at length. Guter freelances about town doing the jobs more disgusting than others would even consider. He´s known to spend evenings ´bar shopping´ (rummaging through trash) and barkeeps have learned to slip outside to give him a drink so he won´t come inside. If you need to pass through the port bypassing the customs house and have cash, this is the place to go.

Soldiers & Sailors Hall
War, Fire and Soldiers, three evils that can be harnessed for good by force of will, strength of heart and the clear of mind. These are the basic tenets of Azkal, The Great Warrior. Sometimes this place resembles a rowdy barracks more so than a place of worship and there are quite often pigs being roasted on spits and large barrels of ale standing open for all to enjoy in the Hall of the Honored Fallen. The Azkalites have a zest for life second only to their zest to honor themselves through battle. You may well find mercenaries and trained officers who will face each other in battle the next morning fellowshipping here, as only true warriors can. This is not a place for the meek or the feint of heart. (Think Klingons)

Strand´s Shadows
Torodin, the patron of thieves and mages has both sects of his church represented here, though the thieves sect definitely has the larger congregation. (Due to the number of shops which carry the odd items required by mages, Istur has more than its share of spellslingers, its just most keep lower profiles here than in other cities) Silvio Vizzini is the High Priest of the thieves sect and is seemingly unapproachable to normal folk. Donar Greylock is the serious and reserved High Priest of mage´s sect. There are at least two dozen priests and half that many initiates. All who enter must don hooded robes and masks that disguise one´s general height and weight as well as voice. The sanctuary has no windows and is moodily lit so as to cast deep shadows across much of the space. Torodin´s clerics are skilled at interpreting dreams and reading omens and are oft sought out to reveal glimpses of the future.Even the most devout are not allowed into the priests´ living and working areas.

Temmer the Black
Not so much a place as a fixture of the Istur, Temmer the Black, real name Temmer Wadsworth Longfellow, is a bit of an enigmatic character. Dressed head to toe in black, and carrying more weapons than a small regiment (albeit many of them ornamental as they have soft, silver metal on their tips or edges), Temmer will talk to you with a rough raspy voice one day, and the next you will hear him sing a lilting tune with a very boyish almost alto-tenor. Temmer has acquired quite a following among the women of Istur despite his radical mood swings & bizarre habits. Even while playing his lute, he won´t remove his left glove. His penchant for black and silver caused him to be mistaken for a follower of Torodin, except when asked by a young priestess, he reportedly produced a charm necklace containing a ridiculous number of holy symbols hidden beneath his black silk shirt and leather vest. Equally likely to smell of garlic as of alcohol (or spiced prunes) he is known to be the occasional First Mate for Red Francis, a beautiful, though deadly pirate captain of ill-repute. Though this is may seem odd considering his close friendship with Alanna and other basically good adventurers, none of his friends seem to think so. Temmer shares the quality with all bards of being a vast storehouse of tidbits of information & strange tales.

Tony´s Tobacco Emporium
A quaint, little shop near the docks, Tony´s offers a pleasant view of the harbor, but is situated far enough from the docks used by the fishing boats so that no unpleasant odors interfere with the enticing aroma of the fine merchandise. Tony´s offers a variety of high quality cigars made from imported tobaccos, as well as chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and hand-carved pipes made by Tony´s cousin, Micky. The shop is a clean, pleasant establishment, decorated in green and white with curtains and table-cloths made by Tony´s wife, Angelina, who can sometimes be found selling her hand-made quilts in The Valley. Tables are available inside the shop, as well as underneath the awning, so customers can chat, sample the products, and catch up on the latest gossip. Tony´s is a popular hang-out for retired Organization members, who can often be found smoking, gossiping, drinking brandy and playing Nine Men´s Morris. Both Tony and these older gentlemen all chat amiably with the customers, trading jokes with the regulars and making an effort to get to know the new-comers. Tony considers it his personal duty to make sure not only that his customers are pleased with his product, but to treat them with kindness and consideration, making sure that their visit to his shop is a pleasant one that they will want to repeat. Tony always keeps a jar of hard tack candy in his shop to give away to visiting children, whom he adores, and every year he passes out free cigars on the king´s birthday.

Torscelli´s (Excellent/Expensive)
The one five-star restaurant in Istur (though some argue that the Diamond Star is just as good) Torscelli´s caters to the well shod. A full course meal here could run as much as 50 gp, not including wine. Pasta is included with most dinners. Torscelli´s has a renowned wine cellar with many rare and exotic vintages. Proper attire and reservations are required. Antony Toscelli likes to talk to his patrons - in fact, they hardly ever get a word in when he drops by their table.

The Valley
A 3 - tiered outdoor farmers market, The Valley is the place to go for fresh fruits and veggies, meats, dairy products, and the occasional craft items. Trees shade most of this green in the center of the city and many street vendors grill tasties here during good weather.

Walleye Pete's
The largest fish market in Istur, Walleye Pete's can be found by the docks. The shop itself is an open air market with a sturdy roof, crates overflowing with the fresh catch of the day, and a battered, wooden counter where customers pay for their purchases. The modest dwelling behind the market is Pete's private residence, although much of the ground floor is used for accounting and shipping purposes.

The amount of sea food for sale at Walleye Pete's is amazing. Ranging from fresh sea bass and shark to monster shrimp and Istur's famous spotted crabs. But it's the charismatic, jovial employees who keep the customers coming back. Each and every worker at Walleye Pete's operates with the enthusiasm of those who are determined to enjoy both their job and their fellow man. They spend their working hours teasing both each other and the customers, all the while doing their jobs with a certain flair. For those wanting to be prepared for the experience, read more on the employees of Walleye Pete's.

The Well-Turned Heel
A small but respectable ladies´ dress shop located near The Valley, The Well-Turned Heel always keeps a few gowns on stock for last-minute occasions, but carries a much wider stock of fine material, from which most gowns are made to order. The store also boasts the largest selection of ladies´ shoes in Istur, keeping many on stock and also offering custom-made shoes -- whichever the lady chooses, the store´s owner promises to be able to match any dress perfectly.

The Well-Turned Heel also has a secret stash of merchandise offered only to special customers who can be trusted not to leak information to the wrong ears, thereby ruining the shop´s respectable reputation. A secret door in the fitting room leads to a back room where ladies can browse among a wide variety of alluring lingerie and evening wear (Most of the tavern dancers in Istur buy their costumes here.).

The store´s owner and proprietress is Chasiya Wyn. A handsome woman in her mid forties, Chasiya is tall and slender, with long chestnut hair, green eyes, and a pale complexion. She has a rich, sultry voice and is said to be quite an excellent singer. Chasiya is very private and keeps her past a closely guarded secret. Some say she is a retired bard, some that she was a call girl, and others believe that she is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman. Others claim that Chasiya´s funds to purchase her shop were a reward for concealing the parentage of her toddler daughter, Suzetta, a charming, outgoing child with red hair and freckles who closely resembles her mother and is much fawned over by the shop´s customers.

Whatever the source of her income, Chasiya is well liked by her customers, with whom she is always pleasant and sociable. She enjoys chatting with her customers and sharing small talk, but tends not to pry into the ladies´ personal lives. Chasiya lives above her shop, and always offers tea and pastries to her customers.

Whale´s Eye Inn (Fair/Expensive)
Located right on the boardwalk in the heart of the commercial piers, the Whale´s Eye Inn is considered by all to be highly overpriced for the moderate quality of the fare and accommodations. Sails, ships wheels, mounted fish, nets and other nautical bric-a-brac obscure the view between tables and dampen the clinking of dishes and the hushed conversations. In addition to the many ship captains, influential merchants and craftguildsmen, Shifty Nicco himself is known to frequent this establishment. The entrance is usually obscured by stacks of crates or barrels coming through the port. The weathered shingle has no words, just the close-up image of a great gray whale´s eye that some swear watches them as they come and go. Quite often, a small group of large and unconversant men hang out just by the front door. The harborside rooms are quite popular with captains wanting to keep an eye on their ships.