Edge Field is a large settlement, with some 16,000 people and 4,000 humanoid soldiers. The city and a long swathe of land bordering the Adri forest are owned by Prince Hastern of Naelax. Halstern is one of the few North Province nobles turned into an animus by Ivid. The overking felt relatively confident of the support of Grenell and thus concentrated on rulers elsewhere, but he made an exception for a cousin who, he believed, always had been less than fully subservient.
Hastern has the hatred of Ivid which most animuses have, and he plans to strengthen his already powerful army and ally with Grenell to march on Rauxes. His human soldiers are terrified of him. Hastern makes a point of regularly drilling and inspecting them and using his command and other powers to showy effect, to ensure their servility. Thus, they do not rebel against having to fight alongside the humanoids.
Hastern has a mix of humanoid forces. The majority are Euroz orcs from the Bone March, but he also has about 500 orcs from the Adri (who he keeps separate from the Euroz) and elite squads of forest bugbears. His ogre battalion mans the ballista and trebuchet defenses of the walled city, and armorers make chain leggings and plate breastplates for them. Placing them in such highly visible locations does wonders for keeping the ordinary folk of the city scared. Hastern rules by fear. It’s a lesson he learned quickly as a Naelax prince.
Hastern is also more wealthy than most princes. When the Bone March was overrun, many fled here from Knurl; Hastern imposed a special tax on their belongings. Also, Edge Field has traditionally been the place where Aerdy bandits fleeing towards the Adri from imperial soldiers have been taken – for the city boasts a great jail with virtually impregnable stone walls and many magical wards and barriers. Such bandits often carried fair sums in gold, or gems, with them. Hastern has avoided paying too much of this wealth to Grenell by the simple expedient of paying tithes instead. These take the form of wood, slaves, and gold from the Adri, taken in the raids his powerful soldiers mount from the city and a string of outlying militia camps, of which the orc camp Gerrkadenk is the most important.
Hastern’s troops fare well on their Adri raids. However, he has two border disputes of note. The exact southern border of his lands is challenged by both Prince Strychan of Dustbridge and Countess Ishell of Rikerstone. Since the countess is generally seen as a liegewoman of Prince Montand of Delaric – who is powerful and dangerous – these are troubling disputes. Hastern’s view is that he who holds the disputed lands is the winner in such conflicts; he does not bother with diplomacy or treaties. However, rather than allowing his own soldiers bearing his heraldry and insignia to enter the disputed lands, he allows orcs to maraud there “off duty.” This means that along the central southeastern fringe of the Adri most of the fighting takes place between Aerdy factions and orcs rather than the Adri being subjected to any attacks. This is one merciful zone of respite for Adri folk, allowing them to concentrate their defenses on the more dangerous northern and western fringes of their forest.
Edge Field has high rulership level, but the lands around have medium to poor rulership. Those lands with mainly orc encampments are low, while those with human soldiers posted at small villages and settlements are medium. No few human troops outside Edge Field are drifting away to the highlander castles, seeking employment as mercenaries or in the service of Baron- General Shalaster. Hastern is renowned for his pursuit of such defectors, however, so only a trickle of men escape in this way. Hastern is also known to have many mercenaries in his service, including even renegades from the Bandit Kingdoms with knowledge of forest and woodland banditry around the Fellreev, Phostwood, and Nutherwood.
The city itself is mainly built of Adri wood, with some Blemu stone for richer buildings. The city walls are made of that stone, with the town gates bearing huge bronzewood shields with Hastern’s heraldic emblem – a red griffin rampant on a green background. Edge Field’s few resident mages conduct their research at an exceptional dweomertorium with a glassteel cupola used for astrological studies.
Among other striking sights in the city, Rostanna’s House of Pleasure is of special note. A vaguely hemispherical building, it was built in the shape of a galda fruit by a very eccentric mage who placed many strange enchantments within. Visitors are greeted by talking doors reciting the services available, and banquets are served by constructs of unique design. For example, roasts of beef are carved up by the very platters they are placed upon! Visitors should beware the couches here, for they are capable of tickling those reclining upon them as expertly as any courtesan.
Less pleasant are the forbidding city jail and tall, narrow cathedral of Hextor that looms behind great rusted iron railings as sharp as spears. These buildings stand within a separately walled-off central city area which also houses Hastern and his personal bodyguard in a four-story keep.
A special feature is a walled-off maze garden currently being completed for Hastern. Thick, thorny hedges form the maze walls, and the maze is filled with hangman trees, kampfults, and like terrors in addition to distance distortions and other confusing magics. People who displease Hastern are thrown into this maze. He watches
their struggles with a specially-crafted crystal ball while he sits in a flowery bower which magically hovers above the maze. Sometimes, plant monsters escape by night and attack city folk, though now that the outer walls are almost fully enchanted with barrier spells this hazard should become less onerous.
Lastly, Edge Field has many notable inhabitants. The most dangerous, perhaps, is Plandarn Reshelfer, a preceptor of Midnight Darkness. His profile below details his interests and concerns; beware this man!