Secomber was a small, peaceful town that acted as the de facto border town between the relatively peaceful Western Heartlands and the more savage North along the Sword Coast. The town contained a number of colorful gardens.
It sat atop three stone hills on the northern banks of the southern-running Unicorn Run river and the western-running River Delimbiyr. Directly south of the town was the dangerous High Moor. To the north, along the Secomber Trail, was Uluvin.
Law & OrderEdit
Secomber's justice system was a basis for most of the settlements in the Western Heartlands.
The town judiciary, known as Rods of Justice, were respected elders who were elected every four years. At any one time there were between six and nine Rods depending on how many were deemed to be required to serve. If a majority of the other Rods voted for it, they could dismiss any one Rod from their company at any time and every Rod could also resign willingly at any time. Rods could recuse themselves from specific cases if they thought they could not be impartial but a Rod could not be compelled to, even if the potential for bias was obvious to all.
Secomber's laws were based on those of the city of Waterdeep with a few differences. First and foremost being the fact that there were no "crimes against Lords", which were the most serious accusations in Waterdeep, however, assaulting a Rod of Justice was treated as both "aiding an attack upon Secomber" and "assault upon a citizen", the sentences for which were combined at trial. The plaints were called 'godsfrowns', 'deathseekings' and 'deceits, malices and threatenings'.
Every judicial case in Secomber was heard by a nine-person jury made up of Secomber's landowners. The jury selection process was done by a blindfolded child who had themselves been picked at random by a local priest (or one of the Rods if a priest was unavailable). The child would be presented with a cauldron containing chits, upon which were the names of all eligible jurors, however, if the child picked a juror who had already served within the last year, the chit would be temporarily removed and they would have to choose again.
Trials were always public affairs often attended by bored citizens looking for something to do. Although the accused were allowed to speak freely, the utterance of threats, obscenities or going on tirades would earn them a gag to keep them quiet. Spellcasting within the court without the explicit permission of a Rod was a serious offense. If the defendant did so, they were knocked unconscious, then bound and gagged before the trial continued with the crime added to the list of charges against them. A trial would rarely last more than half a day, though a Rod could elect to have a stay while waiting on the arrival of a witness or crucial evidence.
Upon being found guilty, a defendant was subject to the whim of either the presiding Rod or the jury in terms of sentencing. If fines could not be paid, the guilty party's assets and property could be seized and any remaining monies owed were paid off in hard labor. Appeals against verdicts were not allowed, but as time went on, when new evidence came to light, it became more and more common to have an immediate informal retrial. If the convicted were proven innocent by the evidence, charges could be dismissed and prisoners swiftly set free.
Outside of criminal matters, Secomber had a system of regulations and bylaws for civic matters, the breaking of which earned the offender a fine and a warning not to do it again, since repeat offenders faced harsher penalties.
Farming, fishing, and stone-cutting were the primary occupations, but it also had a number of folk familiar with the High Forest. Some locals hire themselves out as guides or guards for the passing caravans.
The town welcomed and catered to travelers and caravans, especially adventurers who based themselves out of the town as they explored the High Moor and the High Forest.
The town was populated primarily by humans, but almost as many halflings called the place home, and some said they dominated the town. A small group of dwarves from the Ironeater clan lived in the area, as well as a few gnomes and moon elves.
Secomber was built on the western ruins of Hastarl, capital of the ancient wizard kingdom of Athalantar. By 1479 DR, Secomber had become a place under constant threat of hobgoblin raids. The citizens had erected a wall, which was their only defense against the raids, but it did them little good. Many adventuring bands were lost trying to free the town from the grip of fear and Secomber had resorted to leaving tributes outside Mishka's Warren, the lair of the Urshani clan, which did appease the hobgoblins but did not free Secomber from the occasional raid. Twenty years later, the regular stream of tributes to the hobgoblins had left Secomber poverty-stricken.
From time to time, gargoyles and other creatures were discovered and unleashed from the Athalantan ruins. Adventurers were called on to deal with them, though adventurers had likely inadvertently released them in the first place.
- Inns and taverns
- Tower of Amelior Amanitas, the home of the famed alchemist and sage of the North
- A small palisaded fort atop a hill housing about 30 soldiers provided by the Lords' Alliance.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 79. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Ed Greenwood (March 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Hin Nobody Knows”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #269 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dale Henson (as slade), Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays), Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
- ↑ Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 228. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 0786960345.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 0786960345.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0786960345.
- ↑ slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Map of Interior, Silverymoon, Longsaddle, Yartar). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (April 1996). “The Athalantan Campaign”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #228 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 978-0786966004.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.