Caltaran (pop. 870) sits on the bank of the Serault River. It is ruled by a noble family, the Grandhearths, who also look after farmers, riverfolk, and woodsmen in the “westlands” across the Serault, some of the most remote portions of the Free Lands of Dyvers. A small stone bridge crosses the Serault, and a toll is collected from all mounted, cart, and wagon traffic that wishes to cross that fern-lined river. Across the Velverdyva is the Furyondian town of Dianrift. The two are linked by a ferry, with Dyvers collecting the toll of those departing from Caltaran, and Furyondy receiving the payments of those from Dianrift. A garrison of the Free Army is stationed in Caltaran, but duty there is light.

This fortified town is the seat of The Right Honorable Lord Klebert Grandhearth, Lord Mayor of Caltaran, Protector of the West Lands. Its small size belies its importance as a crossroads for overland travel and as Dyvers’ primary source of wood for our renowned shipyards. Just half a day’s ride to the east lays our fair city of Dyvers. If you see a rider galloping from Caltaran toward Dyvers, it’s probably a messenger with urgent news about a trade caravan that will arrive in the City tomorrow. In the cutthroat markets of Dyvers, information is power. Four day’s ride west along the River Trail, which passes Westguard and follows the beautiful forested Velverdyva River Valley, brings you to the Free City of Verbobonc. The path from Westguard to Verbobonc has not been improved for wheeled travel. The Low Road is a smoother but one day longer route to Verbobonc. It has been the preferred caravan route for centuries, starting in Dyvers, crossing the bridge into Caltaran, and then taking you southwest along the Serault River, winding up into the deep-forested hills and valleys of the western Gnarley Forest. It passes through Hommlet, and then curves north to the City of Verbobonc, and all the way up to Veluna City. The whole trip from Dyvers to Veluna City takes ten days mounted, thirty days by cart and wagon. The Caltaran-Dianrift ferry is the first Velverdyva crossing west of the Nyr Dyv, and the only land traffic link to our motherland, Furyondy, for the next one hundred miles. The mighty Velverdyva River is 3-¾ miles across at this point, and dotted with semi-permanent sandbars. For most of the trip, the ferrymen employ 15’ poles, but oars must be used to cross several deep channels.

Small river barges are poled upstream on the Serault River as far as Sobanwych. Along the way, they must dodge huge log rafts traveling downstream from the woodcutters of the Gnarley to the lumber mill in Caltaran. On the north side of town are the docks, which serve the ferry, barges, and even merchant ships sailing far up the navigable channels of the Velverdyva. Many caravans and pilgrims pass through Caltaran, but rarely stay more than a single night. The travelers usually set up camp outside of town along the bank of the Serault, so there aren’t as many inns and hostels as you’d expect for a crossroads. What rooms there are, however, are expensive and in high demand. Nightly entertainment and good local food can be had at any of a dozen taverns, inside and outside of the town walls.

Adventurers may find employ guarding caravans leaving for the Far West on the Low Road. The Low Road is notorious for bandits who display disturbingly organized and planned ambushes. Rewards for their capture are often posted in public places, as are the raven adorned skeletons of those brought to justice. But be careful, the Lord Grandhearth makes sure that Caltaran is known for its strict laws and merciless punishments. And the Sheriff seems to be even more intolerant and ruthless than his liege. Pentar Kayim of the Dyvers Adventurers Guild owns a hostel there. Drop by if you need help or information



Greyhawk Samaryllis Samaryllis