Leaving Murasha you travel back to Seaburgh for rest, recuperation, and research. The citizens greet you warmly. Conversations are exchanged. The time flies by and the hour to depart arrives. The conjured steeds run through the woods with ease and the familiar river-side trek flies by. Parts of the route along the river are familiar, but your footsteps here seem like so long ago. The days are spent in phantom saddles, and the evenings in ritual books (for some). Orcs are spotted in the woods, more frequently than you’d like; however, they seem to be keeping to their own devices. Upon reaching the swamps you come across and old goblin village, now deserted. Swamps give way to hills and fields as Munstonville comes into view. As you ride through the pastures the distant mountains that wall off the sea become visible. The sheep greet you before the shepherds do. The warm hearth and mutton stew at the Sheep-Town Tavern makes for a pleasant stop-over. Tales and bag-pipes fill the air of the dining hall this evening, a nice break from crickets and ritual books.
Another days travel north you find the road. An odd sight this road, and one you have not really encountered before. It seems well traveled, and as much as a medieval road can be, maintained. Travel along the road is quite easy and the refreshing sight of new scenery is welcome. Expanses of scrub-land, scattered patches of forest, and increasing hills fill your vision as you ride north. It is not long before you encounter the Highwaymen. The first such Triad you meet are heading south along the road. The three well armed men make a point of stopping in the road as you approach almost forcing you to stop and meet them or take your steeds off the road. They wear well-worn chain-mail and carry broad swords and crossbows. Only one of them speaks to you, he wears his authority with much pride. They are pleasant enough, but very inquisitive as to your comings and goings. They do not dwell after asking their questions, and continue their ride.
The following day the city comes into view, but not before it’s people do. Numerous smaller roads join the main, and seem to be organized into a regular pattern. Wagons of agricultural goods enter onto the path, eager to be on their way to the markets of Gehrbonne. The people are in good enough spirits. Dragonborn and Tieflings are known, but rare, so you draw gazes from most of the common folk. Most will offer a greeting, some ask questions. Humans, halflings, and half-elves make up the majority of the folk you encounter. Some appear just to be travelers while others are obviously traders. Your steeds outpace the wagons, mules, and riding horses you encounter on the road so your meetings are short. As the city draws closer the Highwaymen triads become more common, they ride at night as well as the day, always in groups of three men. You pass and are approached by several more, all of whom make a point of stopping to ask you questions. Most inquiries involve who you are, where you come from, and what your business in the city is. They do not seem ill-intended or wishing to impede your progress, but seem more interested and making their presence known.
Encased in massive walls of stone, said to have been enchanted by the Parliament Arcane prior to the Conjunction, the city of Gehrbonne appears in the distance. A massive city that seems to have spilled over its walls like a pot boiling over. There are residences hugging the walls as far as you can see in either direction. Numerous tall buildings peak over the tops of the walls, varying in height and design, creating a complicated and confusing silhouette. People mill about all over, running good to and fro, riding toward and away the city. More races become prevalent as you near the city, dwarves, gnomes, elves, and even the occasional half-orc and goliath mill about. The gates of the city are very well patrolled and monitored. The massive gates are open as you approach the city in the early evening. You pass beneath the stone arch that spans the gate, and the great iron teeth of the two portcullises reach done from the stone threateningly. The noise and lights of the city wash over you…
Gehrbonne is a city. A city with people. Lots of people. The interior of the city is a complicated juxtaposition of elaborate classical architecture and hastily created jury-rigged residences. The city was meticulously planned out and structured in its early days, based on a circular core with an outer ring. The Core of the city holds the university, the manor houses of the more affluent members of the city, government buildings, the towers of the Parliament Arcane, and military complexes. The inner side of the ring holds industry, while the outer edge hold residences. There are roads outlying the ring on both side granting easy access to any area of the city. At least in the old days…
Now the city is overcrowded. Gehrbonne was the only safe haven in the area during the Conjunction, but did not have the space to hold the amount of people who flocked to its walls for protection. They took in everyone though, turning no one away. The Parliament Arcane’s magics held and the city was protected from the turmoils outside its walls. In order to accommodate the people, new residences had to be constructed. They were built atop existing residences, some precariously so. Alley’s and streets became filled with hasty structures, often a couple stories tall. A large portion of the people left the city once things were safe outside, but the city’s population is still brimming over. There is a constant influx of new people seeking residence.
There are cloaked figures, in dark blue robes, accompanying some of the Highwaymen within the city. Triads with one of these men do not take time to stop and talk. There are shops that sell magic items, but not many. All of them are regulated by the Parliament Arcane and found within the Core of the city. In the markets there may be the occasional odds-and-ends of a magical nature, but they are rare. When selling magical items you are questioned as to the items origins and creation, where you acquired it, etc… The market district is quite booming, goods of all kind and from all over are sold here. Many people travel here just to sell their goods in these markets. There are street performers and peddlers walking about, eager to take peoples coin. And the Highwaymen keep a ever present vigil.
The people of the city seem to be in generally positive temperament. You hear people talk of the local merchants raising prices to high, and the price of honey has skyrocketed (only the rich seem able to afford it these days).
There are three inns/taverns of note. The Soaring Gryphon Tavern caters to locals, good food and atmosphere. It gets its name from the giant wooden gryphon carving that hangs over the bar. The Hero’s Lodge caters more to adventurers and travelers. And if you’re looking for a more ribald crowd, there’s the Sleepy Cat Inn. Once a reputable establishment, it is now is a “hot spot” for the seemy underbelly of the city. All but the Sleepy Cat are found in the residential “ring” of the city. The Sleep Cat is in the Core. You do find out that there is a Dwarven micro-brewery in the market district, deemed Rock Hard Ales. Their beers and ales are made only for trade, they don’t have a dining room/bar; however, the dwarves in the area swear by the quality… “Rock Hard but goes down Smooooth”… its pricey though.
You are able to purchase five Lvl 5 Healing potions. The potion vendor/alchemist will not have any more until next week. His supplies/materials/reagents are all regulated. He is the best alchemist in the city, so he says (His name is Pellonius Tarr). You are able to buy a Blessed Book if you wish but it is 20 gp more expensive (380). Upon purchase you are asked if you are a registered practitioner with the Parliament Arcane (they get better prices). There are no generic ritual components for sale. Only Residuum is for sale, but in very low quantities. You could maybe acquire 15 gold worth with some scrounging about. (The alchemist mentions that residuum is the most highly regulated substance in the city.)