Kithtakharos Village Description
Koran Thelig raised the boat pole until the end drifted just below the surface of the water. The pole trailed a minuscule line of ripples that soon merged with the wake of his swamp boat. A half dozen heartbeats passed before he tightened his grip and pushed against the muddy bottom of the Big Water. Then he relaxed his hold and once more lifted the pole as the boat glided forward. Each stroke was fluid and precise, with no splashes that might reveal his position.
Dawn tinged the eastern sky as he neared Kith’takharos. Stealth should not be required so close to home, but he was a careful man. Quiet as a prowling Swamp Dragon, he coasted towards the Order’s docks. A blanket of fog was settling over the village, and already most buildings were obscured. Only Kith’takharos Keep rose above the haze on its low hill, signal lights burning in the guard towers.
A shaped occluded one of the lights for a moment. Koran strained his eyes and saw someone moving along the crenelation. Lady Salmissra, no doubt, taking an early morning stroll. Koran forced his gaze from the keep to the vague shape of the docks ahead. He could barely make them out in the fog. The space between his boat and the dock closed, and he prepared to halt his motion by stepping onto the dock. Soon he could relax and eat breakfast.
His body followed the motions it had practiced a thousand times, and tied the boat to the dock. But his heart remained on the parapets of Kith’takharos Keep.
—Koran Thelig arrives home after a night on patrol.
Most of Kith’takharos Village is clustered along an old Harlass Orn roadway. The road begins at Kith’takharos Keep and runs in a straight line towards the Big Water. Near the shore, the road crosses a bridge over an inlet. Here the roadway ends, although it would extend to the Old Beacon Tower if it continued to the Big Water. When the first Lady ir’Salmissra arrived in Kith’takharos, most of the roadway remained in good condition, and only required some leveling and the replacement of a few stones. Those stones were excavated from the ruined section between the bridge and Beacon Tower.
The Harvesters first built upon the strong foundations of ruined buildings near the keep. As the population of the village grew, wooden structures on stilts were built nearer the Big Water and along the shores of the inlets. The stilts prevent the buildings from flooding in the wet season.
Docks line the shore of the Big Water and extend far into the shallow lake. Scores of small, flat-bottomed boats bob gently along the docks. These boats, designed for up to a dozen passengers or commensurate cargo, are used for most travel of more than a mile or two from the village. The boatmen push themselves across the water with long poles.
Places in Kith’takharos
1. Kith’takharos Keep. The residence of Lady ir’Salmissra commands the high ground overlooking Kith’takharos. Ancient fires and more recent floodwaters have blackened the thick stone walls, which show obvious indications of repair. Much of the crenelation is still broken, leaving gaps in the line of stone teeth. Gatehouses flank the outer entrance and contain new crank mechanisms to operate the original Harlass Orn gates. Arrow slits ring the towers and the gatehouses.
Visitors to Kith’takharos Keep first enter the outer courtyard. A second gate leads to the inner keep. Corridors and stone stairways connect the various defensive rooms of the inner keep, and the parapet can only be reached from these rooms. The inner keep also contains a freshwater well.
2. Tipped Cup. Niki Ocnita owns the Tipped Cup. He creates many minor magical items used by the Order of the Jade Leaf in its harvesting activities, as well as enchantments used in the processing of swamp plants. He also accepts independent commissions.
3. Last Stop. Alma owns the Last Stop, a general store down the street from Niki Ocnita’s Tipped Cup. Many of the items he sells would be considered mundane outside the swamp, but command a premium price in Kith’takharos due to the expensive transport costs.
4. Sheltering Frond. The Sheltering Frond appears far too luxurious for a swamp. Cylene Edarrion established this tavern and inn to serve the finest beverages and swamp delicacies. The young leeches and swamp dragon eggs are especially popular. Cylene breeds her own leeches and fish in the pond behind the Sheltering Frond. She also imports skilled entertainers from outside the swamp.
5. Order of the Jade Leaf Keep. The Order occupies a fortress-like structure near the shore. Most villagers assume the placement of the keep directly across the Harlass Orn roadway from House Tharashk was purposeful. The Order also controls nearby docks.
6. House Tharashk. This rambling compound has a palisade wall that encloses a handful of wooden structures and a dock at the end of a small inlet. The buildings surround a freshwater well. Few villagers choose to live near House Tharashk.
7. Salted Eel. Cyrus Morgan owns this rough-and-tumble tavern near the shore. He serves low cost beverages of acceptable but not exceptional quality. Fistfights provide a way for patrons to blow off steam, and serve as regular entertainment. The Order of the Jade Leaf does not interfere as long as the fights are restricted to the bar.
8. Open Air Market. This collection of stalls is clustered in the space between the end of the Harlass Orn roadway and the docks. Some of the proprietors have occupied the same stalls for years, while others shift with the seasons.
9. Old Beacon Tower. The cylindrical stone structure predates Kith’takharos and is likely a Harlass Orn ruin. The first Lady ir’Salmissra built a lighthouse atop the cylinder to guide incoming cargo boats and patrols.