Situated on a rising, defensible hill that falls away in a rocky cliff on its south side where the Chionthar flows, the city of Elturel rests atop a cliff that dominates the River Chionthar. Elturel was the farming center of the Fields of the Dead and thrived on the trade the passed through its domain.
Elturel is the capital of Elturgard and ruled by the High Observer of Torm. A stout stone wall encircles the city, pierced by two gates, and open on the river side.
The city’s most distinguishing feature is a brilliant magical light that hovers above it, known as Amaunator’s Gift; although it was unknown if this was truly a blessing of Amaunator. The orb produces light that is painful to undead, and could be seen from virtually anywhere within Elturgard.
The High District of Elturel dominates the untidy, noisome Dock District below. The High District is built of stone, with narrow, twisting, steep cobbled streets that are crowded with spired and balcony-festooned tall narrow houses. High Hall is the residence of the High Rider, and seat of local government and all large commercial meetings.
The Garden stretches away from High Hall in a narrow cut amid the buildings, “like the blade of a naked sword” as Elminster put it. It is an open place of flowers, wooded paths, arched bridges, and a spring that rises under High Hall (ensuring the city a supply of fresh water), and winds the length of the Garden, to tumble down the hill in the cascades of Maidens’ Leap, and thence by canal to form a moat and bargeway for the eastern Dock District,w ere it joins the Chionthar. The Garden is a favorite meeting place for citizens of Elturel, and retains wild beauty in winter (Local songs and tales often call it “the Winter Garden”).
The Dock District or Waltfolk is settled below the High District. The Dock District is all dirt, business, and utilitarian buildings, which is dominated by warehouses, markets, wagonmakers, and large stockyards. A Dragoneye Dealing Coster way-base is located in the Dock District and many other caravan-related concerns also have yards, or atleast offices there. To the east, warehouses and hovels crowd together around the docks and the crammed stalls of Shiarra’s Market.
Westerly is the more prosperous and orderly homes and shops west of the heights that are still part of Dock District. This area has been increasingly referred to as Westerly for separation to imply cleanliness and prosperous success or, to look at it from the other view, laziness, soft living, and pretentious arrogance.
Dungeon of the Inquisitor is reserved for those who trespass against the laws of Elturgard three times. This vast, subterranean maze lies deep beneath the streets of Elturel, and its population is constantly being replenished by new lawbreakers. Parts of the dungeon consist of natural caverns discovered during the excavation, and their full extents and final destinations have yet to be determined. Strange sounds infrequently echo from unknown cavities—sometimes rushing water is heard, other times the enraged roars of vicious behemoths ring out. From time to time, dungeon prisoners on mining detail escape their captors and dash into unexplored crevices and tunnels. They are never seen again, on or below Faerûn.
Inns and Taverns
- Oar and Wagon Wheel Inn is cheap and always crowded with noisy patrons.
- The Wizard’s Harlot is a well kept inn and tavern
- Bent Helm is a tavern of poor quality.
- A Pair of Black Antlers is the best known tavern in the city.
- Gallowgar’s Inn is a ramshackle inn.
- Phontyr’s Unicorn is a famous and expensive place to stay.The inns and taverns of the city are all fairly good with a few exceptions, especially near the docks.
Temples, Churches and Shrines
Elturel is home to a shrine to Tempus and three important temples, that give temporary shelter and aid to the devout. Each of these temples have much smaller shrines, and places of worship throughout the city, including ones to Ilmater, Tymora, Waukeen.
Helm’s Shieldhall is a large holy fortress ruled over by High Watcher Berelduin Shondar, also known as Bereld the Just, a stern priest who leads as many Rider patrols as Lord Dhelt.
The High Harvest Home, a temple to Chauntea, is presided over by High Harvestmaster Baulauvin Oregh one of the most goddess-favored servants of Chauntea in all Faerûn.
The Workshop of Gond, which is a temple in west of the city overseen by High Tinkerer Maurice Louvre.
This city is the farming center of the Fields of the Dead, and its Hellriders guard and police not only Elturel, but much of the farmed and settled portions of the Fields along the Skuldask Road, the Dusk Road, and both banks of the River Chionthar. The long patrols of the Hellriders, 30 riders strong, pass along the roads every four hours, night and day. The upkeep of the patrols was aided by lodges (stockaded outposts) placed strategically within their patrol area, where food, water, flammables, weapons, and fresh mounts were kept for them. These lodges were protected against arson and casual theft by strong wards.
Elturel has been a city on decline. For many years it stood as the pinnacle of beauty, order and safety in these parts of Faerun. But, a series of catastrophic events have drawn it down.
About a hundred years ago, Elturel was ruled wisely and well by High Rider Lord Dhelt, a paladin of Helm who was ever-vigilant when it came to the defense of his city and to lawless elements who might skulk in to do business in it. A just, no-nonsense ruler who lead patrols on the road as often as any of his war captains, Dhelt keeps the city a clean, law-abiding place, a firm member of the Lords Alliance. His 2,000 Hellriders were superbly equipped and trained as a fearsome fighting force equaled by few realms in Faerûn, Hellriders must be skilled at the use of horse bow, lance, and saber before they are allowed to ride the roads.
Travellers could rejoice in the safety of Elturel’s reach, which extended as far as Triel along the Dusk Road, as far as the intersection with Thundar’s Ride along the Skuldask Road to the north, as far as Scornubel along the Chionthar upstream, as far south toward Berdusk as Windstream Lodge (one of the Hellrider lodges), and as far downstream along the Chionthar as Stone Eagle Lodge (another Hellrider lodge). It was easy to tell these boundaries. Sheep and cattle wandered on all sides when you’re inside them, and brush is cut back, with hedged and stone-walled farms here and there. Outside Elturel’s sway, farms and livestock were gone, and scrub trees and shrubs were everywhere. Now-a-days, due to the events described below, there are large sections, especially to north east of the city that are shrubs as far as one can see.
Lord Dhelt passed on, due to natural causes at the ripe age of 70. This paved the way for his son High Rider Lord Wallace, a pale comparison to his father. He was arrogant and lax in his duties. He attempted to keep things as they were, but he paid less attention to the thieves of the city, the training of the Riders and the general security of the city.
Then, many say because of Wallace’s lazy eyes, Elturel was caught offguard when, in 1403 DR, the murderous orc King Arboult brought a huge army of orcs and trolls down from the Storm Mountains and attacked the city, aiming to take back a land that was once theirs. It was a well played attack and during this ten-day long pitched battle many lost their lives. Over 1,000 Hellriders lost their lives, and three times that in citizenry. But the battle was won and Arboult’s army was driven back after they lost almost 10,000 men. While Arboult’s army was gone, the damage to Eltural was catastrophic.
Confidence in Wallace was lost and he was ousted for more vigilant, thought to be fairer Lord Walt Brembar. Lord Brembar helped bring the city back somewhat, but the city is complete disrepair. He was a vicious ruler, doing what he felt needed to be done to rebuild. The lower class revolted twice. Trade, which was Eltural’s lifeblood, all but ceased, shifting to the trade giant Baulder’s Gate further up river.The economy was devastated and the Dock District went from the nicest area to the most destitute area of Eltural. The poor and homeless there were nicknamed the Walt Folk, as they blamed Lord Walt Brembar for their woes.
For the next 70 years, every 10 years or so a new ruler would take over the mantle, trying desperately to pull Eltural back from the brink and restore her to her former glory. Recently, in a desperate bid to do just that, they elected Lord Dhelt’s great grandson to office. So far, he is popular and many people compare him to his pedigree. He even rides at the head of the latest batch of Hellriders, who number about 1,000 these days. But the city has a long way to go and the new Lord Dhelt has much to do to bring back Eltural’s status as the most secure city in western Faerun.