© Sleepy Hollow
Aquila. The sign is simple and well visible from the footpath, despite the shadows cast by the rising sun. A wooden stake driven into the ground, and a broken piece of planking, it would seem, nailed to the top of the post. A full healthy green vine has found its way around the sign and it hangs down, partially obscuring the carving of the town's name. The dirt path eventually turns to cobblestone and the trees become replaced by buildings. The nearness of the ports is evident in the sound of waves lapping upon the shore. The sun is rising, leaving its colors streaking both sky and sea in mirrored images and the twin moons hang low in the east. The large, empty expanse of moors stretches out behind you as you step into town.
At first glance, Aquila is not unlike the other large towns of the Realm. Buildings and streets stretch out before you and you start down the widest street leading to the town square and marketplace. Beyond the ring of merchants stand the buildings which border the town square. Two corners are occupied by small shops, another by the Vale, the most popular tavern in Aquila and the surrounding countryside. The corner adjacent to the well-known inn houses the Rangers' Station, their base of operation. While the city is inhabited by many decent, law-abiding citizens, the Rangers are kept busy by their fair share of criminals.
Turning left, you head down the town's main street. Long and fairly straight, there are many side streets and alleyways which branch off and twist through the town. Unless very familiar with the surroundings and very stout-of-heart, one would not be wise to venture into the maze of Aquila's backstreets. However, from the glimpses you are able to catch from the safety of the main fairway, taverns and inns seem to have sprung up on many of the streets. Bringing your gaze forward once again, you notice for the first time the looming structure at the end of the road. Despite only the guard wall being visible, it is obvious that the estate that lies hidden behind it belongs to a truly powerful family. Merely standing in the shadow of such a place stirs within you a feeling of awe and uneasiness and so you move on.
The street bears off to the side to accomodate the estate and after walking for about a mile you find yourself at the docks. Lined with warehouses to one side and the piers to the other, the only thing breaking the monotony of the shipping trade is a small tavern. The Sleeping Wyvern is the only structure in sight that doesn't reek of fish and salt water, but of ale instead. The tavern is a favorite of the town's darker citizens and it would not be wise to enter without a dagger in plain view. Turning your back upon the bar you begin walking the length of the docks. The ships rock calmly upon the serene surf of the harbor and a few tired sailors pace the decks as they go about their morning chores.
Reaching the end of the shipping district you veer off on a well worn cobblestone path that leads past the beach and cliffs and eventually to a large, fenced in, dirt fighting arena. At the bottom of the hill lies a large amphitheater, and a bit further down, the town stables. To the north stands a large, rather foreboding forest. Why it strikes such fear in you, you know not, for it seems as harmless as any other forest in the Realm. Choosing not to face your fears this day, you turn and head back to Aquila proper in search of an inn with a vacancy.
To explore Aquila further, click one of the locations below:
The Town Square and Marketplace / The Vale / Ranger Station / Na'Broth / The Docks / The Sleeping Wyvern / Beach and Cliffs / Arena, Amphitheater, and Stable / Forest / Temple and Graveyard* / The Catacombs*
Or take the Guided Tour.
Get to know the main characters:
Kyra'Taryn and Bodika / Lord Khraal Nel'Fray* / Navu Ditreksen / Dracelnesse / Corin Delstanith*/ Mish'Ceal / Leanndril ap Lordrien
General information about the Realm:
Map of Lithrah / Gods of Lithrah*
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