Seven Kingdoms: Seowyn's Crossing
Estwald is the capital city of the kingdom of Summerlund. It is said to have been founded by Human and Tiefling refugees from the fallen lands of Falwyth. In despair for their self-imposed exile, they landed on the shores of the bay they called Summerhaven, founded their city on the coast of the Bright Sea, and built the beautiful Tower of the Rising Dawn which leans far out over the waters below.
Estwald is known as a place of learning and of lore. It boasts the famous Amphitheatre of Damotyre, a large public theater, as well as the Universitas Tarmoore. It is also home to famous thermal baths that’re housed in a vast complex known as the Palace of a Thousand Pools.
Estwald is divided into seven districts: Castle, Golden, Garden, Salt, Steel, Lantern, and Green. The ancient caves, sewers, and ruins buried under the city form the unofficial eights district: Beneath.
The Castle District is the north and northeastern part of the city, stretching from the walls of the Old City to Castle Caladorn. It’s surrounded by newer and higher walls, and the architecture is by far the most magnificent outside of some of the landmark buildings. It consists largely of manor houses of various lesser local nobility, the Ducal embassies used by the Dukes and Duchesses when they are visiting, and some of the city’s most expensive inns and taverns. It’s also the home of the Amphitheatre of Damotyre, one of the grandest theaters in the world, the Palace of a Thousand Pools, Estwald’s famous bathing complex, and the Gardens of Leocaedia, home to both an incredible array of fauna from around Tol and a menagerie of exotic animals.
The Golden District lies south and slightly west of the Castle District and is the northern-most part of the Old city. It comprises the local government of the city (the Lord Mayor’s Manor and the Mayoral Hall are both here), most of the guild houses, and many shops for more refined goods, such as alchemists, jewelers, banks, and the like. There is a large dwarven neighborhood called Khanduzak which includes the embassy of Kurdenheim. It is also home to many of the city’s temples.
The Garden District is the city’s heart, and many parks and private gardens make this large area feel open and airy. It is little surprise that the embassies of Tavanion, Faerinwold, and Dalenshire are all found here, and there are sections of this district that are made up entirely of neighborhoods of elves, eladrin, gnomes, and halflings, among other people. The elf/eladrin/gnome community of Quellion is one of these, as is the Halfling community of Stoneburrows. While the Garden District is largely residential, there are plenty of businesses as well. Some of the city’s best-loved taverns and inns can be found here, as well as many shops. The sprawling grounds of the Universitas Tarmoore are found here as well.
The Salt District is the eastern-most part of the city. Its northern bits stretch like a finger along the eastern-edge of the Golden District, and it buffers the Garden District from the waters of Summerhaven. The Salt District is built on tiers along the ridges of terrain, winding back and forth as it climbs to the level of the rest of the city. Besides Estwald’s bustling harbor, it houses the Embassy of Norhast, many businesses (warehouses, shipping companies, taverns, brothels, and the like), and two distinctive and impressive features. A series of low bridges connects the south-eastern corner of the Salt District to the Temple of the Dawn, the Cathedral of Shandalene and the center of Her worship throughout Aldorath. Almost at the district’s southernmost tip is the precarious-seeming up-jut of stone on which is built the Tower of the Rising Dawn.
The Steel District encircles the city’s southern edges, touching Lantern to the east, Garden to the north, and Green to the west. It is the first part of the city most people see if they come to Estwald by land, for it has the great Southern Gate that all Crownways lead up to. The Steel District largely houses the city’s military forces and various crafters shops, such as armorers, weapon-makers, blacksmiths, metal refiners, tanners, and the like.
The Lantern District is the oldest part of the Old City, sprawling its twisting and turning alleys and thoroughfares in between Salt and Steel. It’s the smallest of the districts and also arguably the most dangerous. Here can be found brothels, gambling houses, thieves, slums, assassins for hire, and generally the lowest parts of the city. Red lanterns are hung on the gates to this district, a warning to all that they are entering a less than savory place. Despite this, a thriving art and culture scene has grown up here. Some of its taverns are becoming well known for the excellence of their food, drink, and music, and the art-form of Farsa, a kind of improvisational street theater, is becoming popular here. Of course, many pick-pockets take advantage of distracted Farsa patrons. Rumor holds it that there are any number of illicit gladiatorial combat pits in the Lantern District, and most believe this is true. Patrols of city guards come through here regularly, but it does not seem to stop the crime.
The Green District doesn’t fall inside the city’s walls. Instead, it comprises the farms that sprawl along the city’s western side. Summerlund is well-known for its incredible soil, and these farms produce grains, fruits, vegetables, and livestock to help provide for those who dwell within the city limits. There are a handful of very small businesses, mostly taverns that seem positively rural for this immense city, but it is made up otherwise of farms, quiet residences, and the like.
The Beneath isn’t really referred to as a District. It’s well-known that the tieflings and Summerlings that first settled here were building on older ruins. It’s believed that Goblin ruins were built on top of the earlier Kalrentai ruins, which themselves were built over ruins of the Old Ones. As a result, the Beneath is made up of sewers both new and old, buried ruins, and natural caves. Occasionally, something monstrous will find its way beneath the city to bring danger, but the Beneath is more often the location of hidden thieves guilds, cults, and other unsavory sorts.