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Walled City-State Kellen, located almost at the exact center of the Debon Plains, was once a humble village settled by one of the few non-nomadic cultures in the region. Over the years it grew to become a wildly successful trading hub for both the horselord clans to the west and the wandering nations to the east. Over time, the nation grew its infrastructure by building a castle within its walls, improving its surrounding roadways, and building watchtowers and other protective equipment. Recently, tensions with surrounding political superpowers caused the community of Kellen to vote in a new mayor -- one who was much more passionate about maintaining Kellen's independence at any cost.

This has caused a rapid transformation of Kellen from neutral trading hub to a spectacle of military defense. The walls that have traditionally surrounded the city have been replaced by stronger, thicker, and much taller versions. Kellen's walls are seventy feet tall, thirty feet thick, and made of a whitish-grey hardstone. Further improving its defensive capability is the wall's formation: a star shape that allows defenders to fire on sieges from multiple angles at once. Emplaced on the walls are massive defensive weapons either designed by Kellenites or imported from Cascadia and Balefire.

Inside the town's walls, the brick and dirt roads are wide enough to accommodate heavy traffic from wagons and horseback, and these avenues are separate from those available to pedestrians. The largest buildings in town are longhouses with distinctive rounded rooftops. The hefty wooden beams that support these structures are covered in carvings of welcoming totem-animals and other traditional symbols of good fortune. Each longhouse can contain multiple large trading posts for virtually anything money can legally buy.

A fortress is located at the middle of an elaborate water moat. Bright green vines snake up and around the cut stone. The moat is decorated with mossy stone statues of old heroes and monsters from Debonese mythology, each one jutting out of the middle of the water.

Moving on to new things...

Joined: February 7th, 2011, 1:15 am

August 4th, 2018, 6:42 pm #1

Victoria sat at the bar, listening to the pre- dinner rush tavern goers as they mingled, hearing the conversations but not really paying attention. Her sister and Don were almost back from the wedding. They had stayed behind longer to get the last ends tied up in terms of money and such with Mrs. Draka's mother. Viky thought about how odd it was that the bride's mother had been the one the one to walk her down the aisle instead of her father, but then again, it was also odd that her father hadn't appeared until near the end of the day...

She heard someone make a drink request, and auto-pilot took over. She got up, and went behind the counter, still thinking. "Someone's a little too pre-occupied today, eh, sweetheart?" Viky looked up, and then registered who had said it. "Oh, yeah, Steven. Yeah, just a lot going on. Don and Narah should be back within the next day or two." Steven was a regular, who took to Viky better than the others. He enjoyed her flirting but didn't read into as much as the others did; he was a married man who had brought his wife here more than once. All three of them, Victoria, Steven, and his wife, got along great. "Where'd y'all go the last few days?" He inquired. Victoria smiled at Steven, knowing that he already knew the answer.

"Steven, we had the wedding the last few days," she replied with a raised eyebrow. He nodded slowly, as though he remembered, but Viky knew he didn't. She smiled at him and then handed him his ale and he walked back to the table. "Thanks, darlin'!" He yelled behind him as he sat down. Viky sighed again and sat down behind the counter. As the crowd grew, Viky called upon their sometimes-extra hand, Clare. She came in quickly, helped out with the rush, running the food and drink, and then as helped clean up afterwards.

The evening came to uneventful close, as Victoria found herself laying in bed. She picked her hand up off the bed and laid it gently on her necklace. A pendant she received years ago, and she couldn't remember where she'd gotten it from. After thinking long and hard, Victoria came to a decision. One that she wasn't sure why she had come too, but one that she had. "Home is where the heart is. And my heart is not in the tavern anymore..." Victoria looked over to her lynx and contemplated what to do. The family pet had come with a note, trying to get Viky to come home. Maybe it was time to go back, face the fire...

Victoria got up quickly and started quietly passing the room. Was it really worth the risk? To leave everything here, and face whatever risk there was in returning home...? She looked back to her lynx, laying quietly, asleep, on her bed. Victoria stopped and watched, and then brought her hand back up to her necklace. Yes, this was the right thing to do... Things had to change, and something had to work out differently. As much as she loved Don and Narah...
~ ~ ~
I walked through the door of the Swarthy Hog behind Don and smiled. "The smells of home." I said quietly. I saw Don nod as he started up the stairs, carrying the luggage. "Start gettin' the place opened for the day, Narah. I'm not sure why yer sister hasn' done so already." I nodded as I set my music stuff by the stage. "You got it boss," I yelled as heard Don start yelling for Victoria. I walked to the counter and started getting things opened. I started singing to myself, not really registering anything, as I worked. I pulled chairs down from the tables, still singing to myself, oblivious to everything, until I registered Don standing on the bottom step. I glanced up, chair in hand. "Don...? Is everything ok?" I asked as I set the chair down.

I walked over to him, with mild concern. "Dad?" I stepped closer and glanced down at the paper was in his hands. "Don?!" I asked louder and then started reading.

"Dear Don,
It pains me to write this, but I must. I've been thinking, and it is time for me to go home. I've loved being here and being a part of our make-shift family, but, I can't stay longer. I need to go home and face the music there. Know that this decision was not made lightly, and that I weighed everything I could before making it.
Give Narah my love, and this necklace.
Good luck with the tavern, and I'm sorry for putting you in this position.
Love you,

I froze, and looked up at Don, as he looked down at me. "So, we're now a man down, now?" He nodded slowly, and then handed me the necklace. I wondered briefly why she had left it to me, and then decided I didn’t care. I slipped it on and looked around the tavern. Things were not going to be the same here, without her. My sister. I never gave her enough credit as my sister, merely harassed her like a sister does. She was a beautiful woman and got us enough money in tips to keep the place going for years to come. I know the locals were not going to happy that she was gone, but, they would survive. Things would change, but maybe Don and I could keep things going.

I took a step down, and then turned back to getting the tavern open. That’s when Don snapped. "That's it, Narah?! 'We're a man down'?! That's all you have to offer over this?!?" I turned back to him, and saw that Don was red in the face. "What else do you expect from me, Don? The woman decided that she'd had enough of the tavern life and wanted to leave. People leave. That's life. What do you want me to say? I'm heartbroken? Yeah, sure, maybe. But the woman has chosen what she wants. And that's clearly not us anymore." I stomped the chair down and glared over at him. I turned, pulled another chair down, and then half turned towards him. "Don, she's gone. That's the end of it. Move on." I turned to the rest of the chairs, and then moved on to getting the stage ready. Tonight was going to be a long night, explaining that Victoria had left, and that we were going to be looking for a new hire to help with waitressing. Clare would do for the time being, but she didn't like being full time. Not that I blamed her. Full time waitressing was not something I liked to do either. And that's part of the reason I opted to do performances to bring in crowds. I hated being on stage for the sake of appearances, but I loved being on the stage for the thrill of the crowd's reaction.

I sighed as the sign was flipped, and the first customers of the day came in, and moved to the stage. I would survive this. I would survive my sister leaving, and I would survive whatever happened next. This was not the worst thing I had gone through, nor would it be the worst I go through.