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a typical East Gate night and day (Fondfield, Trillolara)


Most night shifts are quiet, unless someone starts something at one of the taverns. Generally speaking the adventurers don’t cause a free for all, and they don’t like it when someone does. They spend days or weeks out beyond on little sleep, and they prefer quiet when they get back into town. The town guard arrives at the Green Goose Inn, they typically find a group of smiling adventurers. Some of them are only partially dressed. But the burglar or pickpocket is typically in much pain and tied up. The burglar or pickpocket is hauled off to prison.

The gates are always opened just after dawn. How do they do it ? There is a small protected slot in one gate. A small white pole is placed in a iron-socketed hole behind the gate. When the white pole is illuminated by false dawn the gate crew starts opening it. On cloudy days the Serjeant of the Guard decides when the gate opening process starts.

Sometimes the gate crew don’t want to get up. The new ones anyway. They don’t get supper dessert for 3 days if they are late for gate opening. Gresha makes wonderful desserts.

Before the gate crew arrives for duty, the gate and the opening mechanism are inspected by the night shift Serjeant of the Watch and the night engineer. Yeah, night engineer. Somebody has to be up if one of the ballistas fails. And sometimes the night shift might mumble about one of the balistas or something else that is acting quirky that never gets into the shift report.

The gate bell tolls 3 times. The gate crew starts to work the gate mechanism.

Several locks are undone, a magic-user removes the magic locks. Gears are engaged.

Once the opening is large enough, the herald and 5 guards go out and make the announcement about costs to enter.

The gate continues to creak open.

Any wounded adventurers go in first. Then their wagons and other gear. Well, they have to have something to bring treasure back with, or the bodies of their compatriots.

Scribes, guards, and a few servants check the arrivals. The tax collector notes which adventurers made a good haul, and who needs medical help. Allowances are made if they need medical help, sometimes an unscrupulous group will pretend injury. In that case, their taxes are doubled.

Clerics have been checking for evil, from up on the wall. Yes, detecting evil and checking alignment. Such checks have saved the town more than once.

The sun is barely clearing the eastern horizon. A few small birds head for the open market. A family of squirrels, that live in the few trees near the market, look for Khanta the merchant. They steer clear of his market stall, evidently they have learned he likes cooked squirrel.

A few small clouds float by over head.

Shala, the morning star, slowly dims as the sun rises.

Sometimes both moons are in the sky.

The sky gets brighter.

The door opening mechanism continues to move.

Extra guards await nearby, in case an evil group tries to rush the gate. Which has happened in the past. Their backup are druids, magic-users, illusionists, and clerics. Along with a squad of 20 longbowmen.

The sun is now above the horizon.

The gate is opened. The gate opener crew relaxes, some pick up weapons in case they are needed.

Next are a few select merchants, then the rest.

Some food sellers have already setup in the open air market.

Adventurers are being tended to at the Green Goose Inn.

A group of scribes and servants show the merchants where to setup their stalls. A nicely drawn, accurate, map of each stall location is clearly marked on a map of the market map. Alongside of each stall location is drawn where the merchant’s wagon can be parked. The map is only of the open air market, so the town guard isn’t too worried about thieves using it to move around town and steal. Some people in Fondfield have worried about evil teleporting in, using the map as a guide, but the those in the know don’t seem too worried about it.

There are refreshment and snack food vendors that work just on market day. Merchants get a small discount from them.

Most days the open market is full. After mid-summer festival the merchants and town folks are usually too tired to go to the open air market.

Mid-summer festival ? I’ll talk about it some other time. Three days… it deserves its own story.

Around mid-day, sometimes later, a few adventurers arrive at the open air market. Usually they are looking for items not available in town. They have also been known to expose merchants with badly made armor and weapons.

After the merchant wagons go in, one side of the gate is closed. Makes it easier to quickly close the gates if that becomes necessary.

Sometimes it was a good idea, sometimes not.

Most days the area around the West gate are quiet once the adventurers and merchants go into town.

Occasionally a messenger or a troop of cavalry will cause a bit of a stir.

From time to time the messenger will have a call for help. These requests are handled by the Serjeant and Captain of the Guard. Why not the Leutenant of the Guard ? That officer of the guard deals with town guard rotations, alerts, and defending the town. The Captain has the authority to send a group out to help, and the serjeant has the knowledge to determine who to send. More than once they had had to decide to not send help as it looked like the town was being depleted of enough guards to make it easy for an enemy to take the town.

In such instances, adventurers defend the east side of town, and the Captain and Serjeant decide if those city guards can be sent somewhere. Sadly, there are times the outlying garrisons don’t get any help. But that doesn’t happen often.

(to be continued)

Categories South Hemisphere

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