Cavalier's Falls

The town of Cavalier’s Falls is named because it perches on the edge of a high plateau on the boarder of the Forest Kingdom where the River Roth pours over the cliffs and into the forest below. Its position as the first settlement on the Highdunn end of the Forest Way makes it important and prosperous, though the terrain limits its size. Thin forests that surround, and even penetrate the sprawling town, which is made up of stone, timber, and wattle and daub structures of differing antiquity and style. A gentle misting of spray rolls off the majestic falls themselves and enshrouds the town, and the glittering lagoon at their base makes Cavalier's Falls quite picturesque. Wildflowers and weeping willows line the approaches, and the Forest Way winds by the lagoon and up a broad thoroughfare on the gentlest approach to the town, where golden wheat and barley surrounds the road bordered by ancient stone walls, giving travellers approaching from the deep dark of the Forest a good look at the lovely falls and the pretty surroundings.

Region: Ahlonia, The Tresser Veldt, Rotheron
Total Population: 4,400 approx.
Demographics: 100% landsmen
Government: Appointed Doge serving the Earl of Rotheron
Wealth: 5
Tech. Level: 6
Major Industry: Timber, furs, trade along the Forest Way, barley, wagon repair and oxen.
Major Religions: Orthodox Church of the Dioune

People have been in Cavaliers Falls since the early days of the Veldt, and the folk here have a proud history. The lesser nobility and farming families have lineages more ancient than many of the Barons of Highdunn. They are a proud people, but the beauty of the place they live and the proliferation of trade traffic and strangers into the town has made them friendly and unpretentious. History and money have meant that the rich have abandoned fine homes for newer ones, moving always towards the edges of town, and so despite a high population most houses are sprawling multi-room, single level affairs, and many former manors moulder in poor repair with simple commoners inhabiting them. Many a former great hall now keeps sheep safe from wolves in the night. These old manor houses have been split in two or three, and barns and out buildings converted to homes and shops.

A stout citadel at the forest end of the town houses the town's garrison, and the apartments of the Doge of Cavaliers Falls, Marquis Alvin Ferron while Douglas Adun, Margrave of Cavaliers Falls, makes his home in an extensive manor a few hours south of the town with his family. Dalia Merreth, a sister in the Order of the Hands of Aliel has established a small monastery here to care for those who leave the forest in need of the attentions of a healer or priest.

Locations of Interest

Cavalier's Respite
The local hostel is, like many buildings in town, of generous proportion. A long, low, timber building with shingled roof and a vast common room, offering cots around the two massive hearths that dominate the front room. Basic private rooms with two or three straw-stuffed beds with barrable doors, and corals for pack animals are also available for a good price, and the hostel boasts a good cellar of Rialan wines and considerably less refined meals. On any given day the common room teems with caravaneers and other more diverse travellers. The proprietor, Danil the Elder, is a prominent member of the town council, and a vocal advocate of the townsfolk.

Smaller establishments include the Cracked Pot and the Lost Key, which offer more comfort, albeit with less capacity.

The Western Hold and the Doge's Tower
Both home to the substantial town garrison, and its Doge, this imposing structure is a squat, round motte with thick stone walls, pitted with arrow slits and sitting on a low hilltop, surrounded by a steep ditch save the approach to the gates. Within there is a blunt-headed, single level tower that rises from a sloping roof, that houses the doge's offices. Below, a reception room, barracks, and modest dungeon. Around the base of the rise archery ranges, a forge and a practice field sing with the ring of metal on metal dawn to dusk.

Monastery of Her Hands
Constructed by walling in a pair of old stone manor houses to form generous dormitories and a garden, with a beautifully kept shrine beside the main doors, the Monastery is a pleasant place of reddish brick and timber frame, with high stone walls with just a hint of bobbing foliage, and the scent of flowers suggesting what lies in the walled courtyard inside. While no man is allowed within the walls, save within the small infirmary, most can tell that the place is home to perhaps a dozen sisters, and a couple of local girls working as servants, and seeking to become initiates. The sisters help those in need, with no thought of recompense, but frequent donations of goods and services from the townsfolk keep them in comfort.

The Wagonyard
Many large convoys of oxen-drawn wagons pass through town, and there needs to be a clear space suitable to accommodate several at a time. Tents of canvas and hide, wagons of all sizes, and camp-fires dot the broad meadow at the centre of two year-round, and at night bawdy laughter rings well into the dark hours as wagon drivers who bunk with their loads share tales of the forest way, and complain about the stench of their oxen. But it can be a rough place, and brawls are not unknown.

Message Post
A lot of people pass through the falls, and a many either need to find a professional for a job, or to contact those who might pass after them. What started as a mere pole at the centre of town, used in festivities for the unwed girls to dance around in high summer with their hair down and call to the boys, became a repository for scrawled notes as wagon convoys and travellers left messages for one another. Over the years it grew. Now the "post" is a timber wall taller than a man, and longer than most wagons, gaily bedecked with fluttering messages all crying for attention. Anyone looking for work would do well to start here.

The Falls
The falls themselves are not far out of town, and though they are pretty they are far from the majestic, thundering testament to the grandeur of the elementals that many picture. Still, falling down a terraced limestone rock-face some fifty feet, it is a wonder when the waters are swollen after the rains of spring, all sparkling green-black. The meadow at the top of the falls, a short stroll from town, is a favourite spot for the youths of Cavalier's Falls to wile away their days hiding from chores, and the slick alcoves present a sporting challenge for boys trying to prove their manhood.

The Ald Stone House
The largest of the abandoned homes at the centre of town was the first fortified garrison in Cavalier's Falls, and though its history isn't entirely clear, it is likely one of the first landsmen structures built in eastern Ahlonia. Known affectionately by the locals as the Ald Stone House, it is a sort of combination of town hall, overflow accommodation, and warehouse-for-hire depending on what it seems best suited to at a given moment.

Notable Groups and Individuals

Alvin Ferron
Alvin is Doge of Cavalier's Falls, appointed by the Earl of Rotheron himself some twenty summers past, when both men were more in their prime. This thick-set man in the twilight of his life saw little fighting in his time in the Earl's armies, but he remember the camaraderie of his youth fondly and a fellow soldier willing to lend an ear and share a tale will always find a welcome at the Doge's table.

The Town Garrison
Cavalier's Falls is an important place, both for trade and military advantage, and with caravaneers and their hirelings through town constantly it needs a strong hand to watch it. Conversely, even the Burned Stump tribe seldom rove this far south, so it suffers little external threat. This means that it is usually the young soldiers, still training for more perilous positions further north, who man Cavalier's Falls.

Dalia Merreth
Dalia is something of a newcomer to town. As little as two years ago Dalia was Prelate of the Order of the Hands of Aliel, and a sitting member of the Order of the Garden, and she gave it all up to come to the Falls and, as she puts it, "turn my own hands to Aliel's work".

The Town Council
The council is a body of men who essentially run the daily goings of of Cavalier's Falls, petitioning the Doge on behalf of all of the residents. Alongside Daenil, host of the Cavalier's Respite, and Old Wint the miller who runs the mill-house by the falls, prominent members of this thirteen-strong body include Brecker Gaine the head of the local loggers, and Hansen Corwell who speaks for the farmers.

Old Wint
Old Wint is a troublemaker, pure and simple. A member of the town council, and miller by trade, he is more often seen about town griping than he is at his work, which he largely leaves to a cadre of beleaguered apprenticed. Gnarled, beady-eyed, and thin-haired, his reedy voice sends townsfolk scurrying lest he spot them and unleash some tirade or another.

The Adun Family
The Margaves of the region do not have the town's history - the Aduns have only held the post for a generation or two, prior to which the Earls of Rotheron had cavaliers manage their territories, not noblemen. The Aduns are part of a new breed of upper class emerging in Rotheron, akin more to the country nobility of Highdunn.

Ser Barnell
Halden Barnell was once a cavalier, stationed out of Madagar Keep, but thanks to a Killing Claw arrow in the leg he has been retired here for over a decade. An old rogue, he likes nothing better than to wile away his days in the respite, spinning tales of his past glories that grow more glorious by the cup. Naturally he and the Doge get on famously.