The Haunted Highlands
Dro Mandras Gazetteer
Dro Mandras is the capital city of the Duchy of Karbosk and home to Duke Mandras Karbosk V, the current ruler. It is the largest and most populated trade center of the area and is the only regional settlement that could truly qualify as civiliation by most standards. The city was founded some 500 years ago by Duke Mandras Karbosk I and sits on the banks of the Mandras River. Over the last half century, Dro Mandras has stood as a symbol of human strength in the area in a savage frontier. That is until recently, when a horde of humanoids, led by the mysterious Orc King Yorgach descended upon the city. Now the eastern half of the city is occupied by foul humanoids, while the western city is under siege.
Western City Districts
The following five districts make up the western portion of Dro Mandras. Although under siege, this area of the city remains unoccupied by humanoid invaders.
This section of the city is occupied by wealthy merchants, lesser nobles and the elite knights of the Duchy. Due to its distance from the fighting, the Garden Quarter is by far the least battle scarred of the entire Western portion of the city. The few shops and inns within the Garden Quarter cater to higher end clientele. As such, with the exception of official military patrols, knights of the realm and nobles, going about dressed for battle is considered in very bad taste, thus the wearing of armor and bearing of weapons larger than a knife is discouraged amongst civilians and especially foreigners. That said, with the influx of various western mercenaries and eastern
Much of the eastern wall of the Riverside Market has been destroyed during the siege of Dro Mandras, however its towers still stand strong. The Riverside Market is considered the most “adventurer” friendly section of West Dro Mandras, due to a large influx of mercenary forces and the number of taverns and inns which service travelers and tradesmen not directly aligned or highly ranked with the cities powerful merchant guilds or the Duke’s Nobility.
The southwest garrison is a military only district and all accesses are carefully guarded by sentries. Knights of the land and other officers, watchmen, sheriffs deputies and the like may enter and leave here through the South and Central gates during daylight hours as needed. Aside from this the only access to the Southwest Garrison is for those bringing captured prisoners and bounty to the Sheriffs Bailey, a rare occasion since the fall of East Dro Mandras and its subsequent occupation by the forces of Yorgach.
The western docks were once a thriving warehouse and dockside community. It is now the most war ravaged of all the western city. As Yorgach’s forces seized boats from the docks of the East City they attempted to ignore bottleneck of the battle of the bridge altogether by piling on boats and sailing across the river to push the invasion. Things did not go as planned and defenders in the western city flamed the boats, burning them in the harbor, killing thousands of the invaders. In retaliation Yorgach next sent reavers to seize small fishing boats from the coast and haul them overland to the city by wagon. These were lashed together and piled with casks of goblin alchemical explosives, lamp oil, and rendered fat from the bodies of the eastern defenders. These skiffs were then pushed across the river under cover of an eldritch fog and used to flame the dockside, burning many of the nearby wood framed buildings to the ground in the ensuing conflagration. Most of the individual private houses in the Western Docks have been taken over by militia and army troops as the survivors have fled the city and moved to other districts or to the refugee camp outside the city walls. A few taverns remain open, giving the semblance of normalcy, while smithies fire day and night, manufacturing weapons, armor, and ammunition with what materials can be stripped from the nearby buildings.
Locations of Interest
The following section details a number of important locations within the city of Dro Mandras.
Azrael’s Antiquities Exchange
This storefront and warehouse in the Gardens District is one of the primary retail establishments in Dro Mandras. Any manner of antiquities and curiousities may be found within the shop, including those of a magical nature. Azrael’s not only sells antiquities, they also purchase them and have become a popular establishment for adventurers.
The Four Helms
The Helms, as the locals call it, is a rough and ready tavern within the Riverside Market District. It is popular amongst locals and various adventurers that travel to the Karboskian Marches and is a frequent meeting place where petty nobility rubs shoulders with the working class. Since the invasion it has become one of the few spots that an honest person can still get a spot of ale or a quart of whiskey without it being watered down, though hardships have more than doubled the price of everything. Asalia is the proprietor of the Four Helms. She runs a tight ship at the inn and does a decent enough job controlling the often rowdy patrons.
The southernmost tower along the riverside wall, within the Riverside District, is referred to as the Hospitallers keep, due to its use as an infirmary for wounded soldiers and civilians. The connecting bastions between it and the other towers along the line have crumbled due to incessant enemy fire, which occasionally spills into the district. Currently the keep is under the command of the Hospitaller’s of Taxus, a holy order of acolytes who answer directly to Vicar Primiun Irtuk and Bishop Yakmin Gunsk. The lower two floors of the tower are filled with wounded and sick soldiers and citizens, who are granted simple healing just after morning prayers by the acolytes present here. The upper levels comprise barracks for soldiers who trade fire with their foes on the opposite banks of the river.
The Ipati Warehouse is a dark and unassuming building not far from the river bank within the Riverside Market District. This building serves as the central hub for the Ipati merchant network. Nearly all Ipati shipments funnel through this building. The inside of the warehouse not only contains numerous barrels, crates and other inventory, but also a number of wagons, including harnesses, bridles and other equipment necessary for overland travel. This building is always heavily guarded, as Maksim Ipati knows what a tempting target it makes for thieves, raiders and bandits.
This gatehouse is the main entry into western Dro Mandras and sits at the far wall of the Garden District. It is guarded by a pair of ballista on its roof and a dozen armed guardsmen in each of its towers. The gate itself consists of 2 iron portcullis and 2 heavy sets of heavy oaken doors two feet thick. Murder holes line the ceiling between the gate towers allowing guards to pour hot oil or fires arrows down upon any who penetrate the first gate and portcullis. Currently a series of gallows line the road leading to the south gate. Ten rotting half-orcs hang by their neck from the gallows, swaying before the gate.