Hestor, a Town in Zeland
Table of Contents
Facts about Hestor
Who Rules: The town is ruled by Hoth Gezbag, an oluk orc war chief. Gezbag manages the day-to-day operations of the town, albeit he does so badly. Gezbag in turn answers to Lord Dargon Skullcrusher, but Skullcrusher is preoccupied with his evil machinations in the Troll Pits of Hextor, so his oversight of Gezbag is extremely lax.
Money Limit: Items costing 200 silver pieces or less may be purchased in the town, but since the town is occupied by the dark forces, no items may be purchased without the prerequisite papers authorizing it.
Population: 1,928 humans, 200 orcs
Major Products: Oats, and other crops, pigs, and chickens. The town's major product used to be iron from the iron mines of Hestor, but Dargon has turned these into the Troll Pits. They no longer produce. Thus the town is relatively poor.
Armed Forces: It is illegal for a human to bear a weapon in Hestor, as an occupied town. The town has 200 orcish "guardians." The minions of Dargon, in the troll pits, care little for the town.
The town of Hestor is located in the highlands of Zeland. It sits in a small valley in front of one steep hill. The front of the hill, pierced with an old iron mine, has been enclosed by a ten foot stone wall. Two dark watch towers overlook the wall and town.
Places of Interest in Hestor
1 Manor House of Hoth Gezbag
This large manor is both in ramshackle condition but heavily fortified. Its paint is peeling, it is missing shingles, and most shutters have broken slats. Still, a six foot stone wall, newer than the manor, surrounds the house. Rusty shards of metal top the wall. A sturdy wood gate is set in the wall. The gate is guarded at all times by two large oluk orcs. Inside the manor are more oluks, fierce brutes, the bodyguards of the Hoth (orcish for “general”). Hoth Gezbag is canny, treacherous, and dangerous.
2 The Gate of the Troll Pits
This is the main entrance to the Troll Pits. See the adventure "The Troll Pits of Hextor."
3 Secluded Homestead of Bebinn the Farmer
This nondescript farmhouse, set in a copse of trees atop a small hill, is the home of Bebinn O’Clare, a local farmer, and his family. Bebinn, a thin and nervous man, is actually a cleric of Heshtail. If convinced that any visitors to the town are good and that they seek its liberation, he will provide spiritual comfort and healing, for a fair price. After all, he has to feed his family.
4 Temple of Vornoth and the Haunted Grove
This large edifice has two tall spires, studded with spikes. It is adorned with horrid gargoyle and demon-statues that leer down at anyone approaching the temple. The temple itself is painted black. Inside, the temple is as horrid and macabre as it is outside. The high priest of the temple is an oluk orc named Toduk the Vile. Every resident of Hestor and the surrounding environs is required by law to attend Black Mass twice a week.
Abutting the temple is the Haunted Grove, an unholy copse of dark trees. Anyone entering the trees feels that the place is profane (it is sacred to the Dark God Vornoth). Anyone entering the Haunted Grove at night (except Toduk the Vile and those in his willing company) is likely never to leave it.
5 Banshee Inn
This inn, marked by a crudely painted sign of a female ghost, is a rough and tumble place, frequented by orc soldiers on rest and relaxation and by humans who dare be in their company. The proprietor is one Murchad O'Sullivan, a short, rotund man. In his heart of hearts, Murchad despises orcs and dark folk, but he is a master of concealing those feelings. He is a charismatic, congenial person who has the rare ability to get along with orcs and other dark folk, as well as humans.
6 Traders Guild
The Traders Guild is located in a large building that is part general store, part manor home, and part warehouse. It controls the trade that goes in and out of Hestor. It also sells items directly to the residents of the town. With the proper papers, healing potions and non-magical items up to 200 silver pieces in value can be purchased at the guild. The head of the guild is Nathi, a well-dressed half-orc. He is overly courteous and diplomatic to a fault, but he is in the employ of Hoth Gezbag and will report anything strange, including unusual purchases, to the orc war chief.
7 Orc Garrison
This ugly, squat building houses the orcish soldiers garrisoned in the town. Fifty orcs reside here, although only about half are here at any time; the other half are out on patrol or performing other duties. The orcs are commanded by an oluk named Harg, who resides here and who answers to the Hoth.
8 Market Square
This large, open space is the town’s market square. Market is held every Sunday. Most products sold at market are crops and livestock, but textiles, leather goods, and farming implements can also be had. Far away from Zel City, the market is rather busy and industrious, although orcs from the garrison patrol the market during every market day, randomly checking papers and otherwise hassling the hapless humans.
9 Hidden Entrance to the Troll Pits
This is another entrance to the Troll Pits. This secret entrance is well-concealed at the back of a small natural cave. Anyone opening the secret door will come face to face with troll guards.
Businesses and Professions found in Hestor
1 Inn Keeper
2 Water carriers
2 Chicken Butchers