Willip is the largest city in Furyondy, dominated by its great naval quarter where barracks can accommodate up to 3,000 soldiers and sailors. At any given time, over 1,000 of these men may be occupying the barracks, turning Willip into a thriving military town.
Willip’s great dockyards employ over 3,500 men in the Arsenal, where this work force is capable of producing a completely fitted war galley in barely over a month when working at full speed. The Arsenal has been functioning at full speed since the beginning of the wars. This work force has been swollen by Shield Landers and even a few Nyrondese, but there is work for all. Belvor is replacing vessels lost on the Whyestil, and Greyhawk is helping meet the costs, so war galleys are being built from the best imported woods and torches and braziers burn throughout the city during the night.
Willip is not walled, but the naval quarter has the beginnings of a stone wall and a completed strip of 30’ high stone. This wall has evenly spaced battlements bearing four ballistas, each with a specialist crew of naval militia. Heavy crossbowmen are stationed along the battlements, their bows and bowstrings specially oiled to keep them from warping in the damp, salty air.
Willip is also a major fishing and trading city, with goods arriving from Urnst and especially Greyhawk. The warehouses, markets and homes of the less well-to-do merchants, who dwell amidst the constant smell of fish, surround the Goose Yards.
This market district is named for the annual springtime Goose Fair, which features a fat local breed of goose. The market has become rougher and seedier since the wars, but still boasts many foreign traders, oddities, entertainments, and curio shops. Here one can buy almost anything, from a Tiger Nomad shaman’s garb to the genuine skull of Iuz in his last incarnation. Of course, the man who sold you that will offer you a smaller (vaguely orcish) skull next week, claiming that it is also the genuine skull of Iuz. When you argue with him he’ll plead that this time, it’s the skull of luz as a child he’s offering for sale.
Charlatans, bawds and thieves are no strangers to the Goose Yards. The militia have only token presence there despite their large numbers. The attitude of the authorities is that their job is keeping the Nyr Dyv safe, not prowling the streets. For this reason, the Goose Yards have a deserved reputation for crime.
Most of Willip is noise, color and distraction of all kinds. But along the great, tree-lined boulevards of Highplace and “The Land Legs Road” (a road near the barracks where sailors walk to regain their land legs after weeks on ship), there are a few less boisterous taverns and hostelries.
The Gardens are bright and cheerful, with grassy arenas for ball games and archery contests and a large flowered bower garden where a priestess of Ehlonna tends the flora. It is said that those who are married here will not argue for at least seven days, and certainly minor nobility travel some distance to take their vows in this delightful spot.
The Grand Admiralty is the residence of senior naval officers including Grand Admiral Rosen, the wily commander of the Furyondian navy.
The Prow and Rope and Tar are noisy taverns, much frequented by ordinary navy seamen. Lower level naval officers prefer The Salted Barrel. All three taverns offering plain fare, but at fair prices, and with the enormous portions Willip’s healthy sea air seems to encourage people to eat.
The Hands of Istus is a gaming house where richer merchants and a few lesser nobles may be found. The Billet is a hostelry and gaming house where many of the exiled Shield Land nobles drown their sorrows.
Grandien’s is a noisy, shady gaming den and bawdy house, but has a reputation for occasional visits and performances by good bards and minstrels.
The Boar’s Haunch is the best restaurant, famous for its roasted boar in berry sauces. Other exotic dishes from around the Flanaess are served here.
Batrachio’s is a haunt of ne’er-do-wells, thieves and rogues, which is often raided by the militia. They raid the place looking for fugitives, or just to keep the clientele on their toes.
Dialamen’s is the place where adventurers gather to share their tales. This tavern is famous for its games of dice, played with yellowed dragonbone dice. The proprietor, a burly Urnst man, claims these dice were made from the jaw of a blue dragon he slew in the western hills around the Bright Desert.
A small but beautiful temple is currently being built to Mayaheine, whose priests collect funds for building the new walled sea defenses. For obvious reasons, this faith is most appealing to Butrain. The protective, martial faith of this new deity is finding many adherents among naval men, somewhat to the discomfiture of the priests of Procan, the traditional faith of sailors.
Carl Sargent. Greyhawk Adventures, The Marklands, 1993