Madness on the Moonsea
Eveningstar and the Haunted Halls
Eveningstar and the Haunted Halls
Built around the crossroads of the Kings High Road and the Starwater Road, Eveningstar is a small, prosperous, idyllic agricultural community. It is thought that the town’s name is inspired by the spectacular colours cast on the surrounding cliffs and hills by the setting sun, and it is true that few poets and bards manage to pass through the village without writing a tribute to the places dusk-time beauty. The village itself (the residents of which are referred to as Evenor) is built around the copse of ancient and gnarled Shadowtop and Blueleaf trees that nearly outnumber the buildings themselves and have in many cases been incorporated into their construction. Buildings, almost all made of white stone quarried from the nearby hills, are rarely over a single story tall, but deep basements are common. Beyond the village proper is a wide expanse in all directions of densely packed crops, hedgerows and farmer’s cottages, with the neighbouring hills heavily populated by the small, shaggy, long horned local breed of cattle. Rumour has it that this king sometimes visits the town in disguise to escape the din of politics and the capital.
There are three noteworthy buildings in Eveningstar; the House of the Morning, Fort Winter and the Lonesome Tankard Inn. The House of the Morning is a grand temple to Amaunator the sun god, built in the north-eastern corner of town and featuring huge stained-glass windows that cleverly capture the sun’s light. Fort Winter is the main residence of Lady Tessaril Winter, the town’s ruler and a former adventurer, and also serves as a palisade in which the villagers can take refuge in the event of attack. Finally, the Lonesome Tankard Inn is the hub of village life, featuring an ample supply of ales, wines and fine spirits, as well as a large kitchen, boarding room and outdoor market.
The Haunted Halls
A few short lives of men ago there was a bandit warlord named Rivior, who made his personal empire in the hills in northern Cormyr. So wealthy did he become with plunder, and paranoid of losing power, that he spent his fortunes on commissioning a Dwarf crafted stronghold, carved right out of the cliffs a few miles from Eveningstar. Locking himself away in the depths of his new fortress, and imagining traitors and invaders in every shadow, it didn’t take long for Rivior to go mad and disappears into the deep tunnels without a trace. Soon after, his lieutenants fell to bickering and bloodshed over the selection of a new leader, and before long none were left alive to claim Rivior’s throne. The remaining bandits fled the accursed place with whatever they could carry with them, and the place soon became a local legend, filled with little more than bones and cobwebs.
But places that have seen so much misery and death don’t lie quietly. Evil creatures made their way from the deep tunnels to infest its halls, and then the tortured spirits of the place found the company of necromancers and other dark spirits. These cabals of dark magi brought with them foul beasts to act as guardians, many of whom outlasted their masters. Cabals slew each other over the warlords stronghold, bands of monsters warred over territory, and adventurers by the dozen died trying to cleanse the place and take its treasures. Nobody knows what lurks in the darkness of the Haunted Halls today, but those who survive their forays speak of fiendish traps, malevolent spirits and inhuman screams from the depths.