|Demographics||98% human, 2% other|
|Leader||Mayor Nolean Oreld (LG male human cleric of Erastil 7)|
|Statistics||Corruption +1; Crime +1; Economy +2; Law +1; Lore +0; Society +2|
|Qualities||Defensible, Strategic Location|
|Marketplace||Base Value 600 gp; Purchase Limit 2,500 gp; Spellcasting 4th; Minor Items 1d6; Medium Items 1d3; Major Items —|
Being bordered by light forest, rolling farms, and the rumbling Marideth River, Marideth's Crossing is vanishingly small by the standards of outsiders, but also one of the largest settlements in southern Nirmathas. The town grew around the tumbledown ruins of Fangwood Keep, which itself was built atop an older elven ruin predating the Age of Darkness. A citizenry of little more than 400—spread between the town and outlying farms—makes up its permanent population. On any given day, citizens spend a few hours each morning and evening tending their small holdings, and then retire during the afternoon to pursue various handicrafts. Nearly every resident is a talented woodcarver, weaver, or leatherworker, and Nirmathi homes from Tamran to Skelt eventually gather a few sturdy furnishings born in Phaendar workshops.
Most of the town consists of wood and riverstone structures, and even a few canvas-walled pavilions. The heart of Marideth's Crossing is defended by the Winter Wall, an impressive and recently-constructed fortification built in 4707 to defend Marideth's Crossing against orcish invaders from the Hold of Belkzen. The town sees light trade in spring and fall as farmers, ranchers, and prospectors from the Marideth River Valley and the Hollow Hills gather to swap produce, ore, lumber, and livestock and to stock up on worked goods from the community’s many artisans.
Like many similar communities across the nation, Marideth's Crossing has little oversight. An informal town council reports to a Mayor (currently the beloved cleric Nolean Oreld) who is in turn appointed by the Duchess of Fangwood Keep to oversee the community. The role of the mayor and town council is largely to organize festivals and collect funds for repair. The town was, during the height of the Winter War, protected by an enormous garrison of mercenaries which were largely released from their contracts at the end of the conflict. The town is now policed by a small local militia based out of nearby Fangwood Keep.
Some notable locations in Marideth's Crossing are detailed below.
1) Oren's Fine Shop
Owned and operated by a survivor of the Wintersbreath Massacre, Oren Tareld (N human expert 2), Oren’s Fine Shop supplies Marideth's Crossing with minor alchemical supplies, remedies, dye, glue, and paint. Oren is also the closest thing Marideth's Crossing has to a doctor. Oren is a greatly compassionate and dedicated young man who witnessed his family slaughtered at the hands of orc raiders in 4707 and is determined to do as much good as he can with his limited healing skills. Oren once apprenticed to the renowned alchemist Jora, a fellow Wintersbreath survivor who perished in Marideth's Crossing during a siege by orc forces in mid 4708. Oren applies what little of Jora's teachings he could master to help the town.
3) Riverwood Shrine
Most of the buildings in Marideth's Crossing are strictly functional in design, but the shrine was designed to be beautiful
as well, being constructed from logs dredged from the thick silt of the ice-cold Marideth River. The shrine is intended for any worshipers to use, but most people in town venerate Erastil or Desna, and so statues and symbols of these two faiths decorate the walls in the form of homemade amulets, artwork, and offerings. A stone shrine to the Green Faith—far older than the larger temple or anything else in the area—stands beside the temple, accommodating local Green worshipers. The town's Mayor, Nolean Oreld, resides in a small home adjacent to the shrine, and Noelan’s assistant Demiere (N female human adept 2) tends to much of the shrine's day-to-day activities.
4) Taproot Inn
The Taproot—referred to simply as “the Root” by locals—is the only three-story building in town, and serves a wide variety of meals and alcohol gathered from travelers crossing the bridge. It’s also the largest indoor gathering place in
town after the temple, and most of locals spend far more time in the Root during any given week than the temple.
Ownership of the Taproot changes often as proprietors struggle or grow bored. It currently belongs to Jet (CG human female aristocrat 2), a recent transplant to Marideth's Crossing of mixed Shoanti and Varisian descent with twin black braids, black eyes, and an iconic teal scarf worn around her waist. Jet settled in Marideth's Crossing from the Bloodsworn Vale following the Winter War and took over the Taproot from its previous owner, who died in the attack on Marideth's Crossing.
5) Hawkright General Store
The Hawkright General Store offers trade supplies and traveling gear for wayfarers headed south into the Marideth River Valley or north to the Tamran road. The general store is run by Tomil Hawkright (CG male human expert 1), a survivor of the massacre at Skelt in 4707.
6) Marideth's Crossing Stables
This large building houses a small compliment of horses, offering shelter for travelers' mounts during busy harvest season or a small selection of local breeds for sale. Horsemaster Jeira Farmesti (N female human expert 2) maintains the stables.
7) Borbadil Brewery
Klessing Borbadil (CN male halfling expert 3) moved in to Marideth's Crossing in early winter of 4708 and took ownership of a derelict brewery following the death of its owner during the siege of Fangwood Keep. Klessing is a devout follower of the deity Cayden Cailean and sells the ale produced at his brewery to the Taproot Inn.
8) Jora's Home
This wood cabin in the heart of Marideth's Crossing is a reconstruction of the original building that once sat on its location. Named for the famed alchemist Jora Normurdan, the original building was destroyed during a siege in 4708. When orc armies threatened to overtake Marideth's Crossing using a massive undead siege weapon, the alchemist Jora sacrificed himself in a massive explosion destroying his home and the undead abomination, saving the people of the town from certain death. The Seneschal of Fangwood Keep, Iandra Hestring ordered the house reconstructed and furnished as close to an exact approximation as possible in memorial of Jora's sacrifice. Local alchemist Oren Tareld, one of Jora's former apprentices and caretakers, teaches alchemy lessons in his off time at this establishment.
9) Wayrest Cartography
This squat riverstone building once served as an additional garrison during the Winter War, but now is home to Lennis Talbot (LN male expert 4), a cartographer and explorer from Varisia looking to update maps and charts of Nirmathas for record in his home town of Korvosa. Lennis leases the building from the Duchess' offices and has only been in Marideth's Crossing for three months.
10) Militia Garrison
A long, single-story wooden building is the reserve garrison for Marideth's Crossing. The garrison holds barracks for fifty militiamen, additional arms and armor, and a root cellar stocked with necessary provisions for a prolonged siege. The garrison is usually empty and has not been actively used since the war in 4708.
This round granary holds the fall harvest of Marideth's Crossing's wheat and corn.
12) Iseld Fishery
Owned by longtime Marideth's Crossing resident Leira Iseld (CG middle-aged female human expert 1/warrior 2), the Iseld Fishery sells fish and fishing supplies across the Marideth River Valley.
13) Marideth's Crossing Trading Company
The heart of Marideth's Crossing is the trading post, where farmers, hunters, and artisans come to trade, and where travelers stop in to resupply. The store primarily sells seed, timber, farm supplies, and contracts for raw materials, but all sorts of odds and ends wind up in the small shop. The stone wall of the smithy is one of the oldest structures in
Marideth's Crossing, being part of a small fortress built to guard the road when the Molthuni army first erected the
bridge. The town smithy still uses the original forge located in this riverside garrison.
The current owner of the Marideth's Crossing Trading Company is the cantankerous and scheming local smith Kining
Blondebeard (LE female dwarf expert 2), who was exiled from Glimmerhold for crimes she refuses to divulge. Despite her greed and lack of compassion, she lives up to the letter of agreements and turns out fine metal goods the town relies on, and so most locals accept her inhospitable nature as “a dwarf thing” and leave her be.
14) Mardieth's Crossing
The Chelish army originally constructed this arch bridge some 300 years ago as part of the trade road connecting the empire to its Varisian colonies. Even after the army withdrew and its fortress crumbled, a town remained to maintain and take advantage of the reliable crossing over the tumultuous Marideth River.
Marideth's Crossing—the bridge for which the town is named—began an intense maintenance process late last year, recruiting the town smith, Kining Blondebeard, to oversee the project thanks to her extensive stoneworking experience. Kining performed some cursory repair work and removed the cracked keystone from the bridge’s north side before promptly announcing she would require twice her original estimate to complete repair work on the bridge. The construction shed and crane have sat untended beside the bridge for 9 months as the town struggles to gather funds, while a temporary wooden support frame takes the place of the vacant keystone. The river here runs fast and deep at the bottom of a 20-foot ravine.