The Shattered Throne and the Thrice Crowned Queen
Major sights, cities, and places in Atren
Royal Downs – Royal Downs is a small town that was historically known as the village of Seyton’s Cross. the Town is in the north-west of Atren which is northern-most realm of the Three Crowns. The town sits at the foot of the western most mountain range which establishes a portion of the border between the realms of man and the realms of the goblin races. At the center of the town is Seyton’s Crossroad. Running north to south is the Iron Road. The Iron Road is the primary thoroughfare that funnels iron and iron goods from the southern iron mining human baronies and from the dwarven kingdoms, and carries those goods north to the baronies that served as the front and border against the goblin kingdoms. It is the most strategically important road in the kingdom. Running east to west and crossing the Iron Road is The Plum Ribbon. The Plum Ribbon runs from the capitol on the sea at the eastern most point of Atren to the western most point of the kingdom, the Gray Keep which sits in a pass between the mountains only two dozen miles west of Royal Downs.
Although a small town, because it sits on a major cross roads for trade that includes trade from other races, the town of Royal Downs is one of the most tolerant towns of the diverse races in the kingdom. Although the permanent residents are predominantly human, there are residents from each of the major races and seeing dwarves, gnomes, halflings, or elves is not considered remotely unusual.
Sitting on the north-east corner of the crossroads is The Inn of the Laughing Star, a large four story in. The Inn of the Laughing Star is one of two inns and taverns in the town, and tends to cater to the merchant classes and above. The ground floor consists three common rooms serving food and drink. Each common room offers fireplace to chase away the chill in colder months. The second floor consists of several banquet rooms of varying sizes that are available for rental and a small pub room catering to the wealthy and serving some of the rarest spirits in the realms. the top floor is split into two wings, both of which consist entirely of rooms for rent with the larger and more expensive rooms being in the north wing. The fourth hosts servants and retinue of those wealthy enough to afford northern wing rooms. The innkeepers live in a small house on the grounds of the inn but a separate structure.
Although a major crossroads, the town’s economy is not predominantly trade as the majority of goods passing through are war supplies and usually have been pre-purchased by the crown and are on their way to intended recipients. Instead, the economy of the town stands on three major pillars.
(1) Hospitality – Before and after the war, the town has served predominantly as a place for the wealthy and the nobility to escape the cities and pursue leisure. Primarily, the town hosts fox hunting and horse competitions, but the wealthy also hunt the deer and boar that are abundant in the surrounding forests. Historically, every 10 years, the town hosted the Atren royal jousting competition. The joust was suspended during the war and now that a new royal family governs not only Atren but the seven realms, it is a point of active town debate whether the town can hose a jousting competition that serves the entire Kingdom.
(2) Agriculture – Numerous farms surround the town. The produce and meats produced by the surrounding farms are rarely exported far from the town, save for the Royal Downs apples. Royals Down Apples are enjoyed throughout Atren and have begun penetration into the bordering realms. The most notable apple is the Royal Red. Not particularly good for eating, it is a cider apple and the town exports several hundred barrels of Royal Red Cider annually. Although not as well known or widely disseminated, the town is also known in the region for dark, heavy beer brewed in the winter months and consumed primarily during seasonal celebrations.
(3) Horses – The final industry in Royal Downs is the raising, training, and keeping of horses. Although breeders raise all types of horses, Royal Downs horses are primarily riding horses, trained for hunting and riding competitions. The great number of horses in Royal Downs means that those seeking to purchase a riding horse can often purchase a suitable horse at a discount, and stand a greater chance of finding an exceptional horse for purchase, if they can afford the very great price and the horse has not already been promised to some prominent noble.