by Carteeg Struve
Large Town: Conventional; AL NG; 1250 stl limit; Assets 192,732 stl; Population 4,825; Mixed (Human 65%, Dwarves 18%, Gildanesti 7%, Mentoi 4%, Corinesti 3%, “Catfolk” 1%, Bakali 1%, Other 1%)
Authority Figures: Mayor Keskel Holmestorm (Kehs’-kehl Holm’-storm), LG male human.
Important Characters: Gosma Falecohvo (Goez-ma’ Fal’-eh-co’-vo), NG male human. Dramin Holmestorm (Dray’-min Holm’-storm), N male human, Golaviers Mavaire (Go-lah-veerce’ May-vair’), NG male human, Hannean Mavaire (Han-neen’ May-vair’), CG female human, Zerakagaln (Zer-ah’-kay’-gahln), N male Gildanesti.
Government: Appointed Mayor
Trade: alcohol, boats, fish, horses.
Alignment: LG, NG, CG, N
The coastal town of Josal (Jo-sal’) is cut up into many minute pieces by the Maurtran River, which breaks up into several small tributaries before letting out into the Sea of Tears. This results in the town being interconnected by a network of bridges extending from island to island to mainland. Josal is also bisected by one of Mauritand’s major roads leading directly to the capital to the southwest.
Josal has a strong fishing industry and also produces medium to small size boats. However it is better known for the ale produced by the local brewery and the horses bred at the Falecohvo Ranch on the eastern side of town. Recently Josal was recently honored when native-born Noragaen (Falecohvo) Veliya was appointed the head of the Midland Guard by Lord Sovereign Montegron.
Life and Society
Although part of a border nation, Josal is far enough away from the Vacant Lands not to be under much direct threat. The greatest concern of Josal populous is living their life and contributing to their local businesses. However, like many of the citizens of Mauritand, Josal does turn out several who volunteer for patrol duties to better strengthen the southern line.
A mayor runs the town’s administrative affairs. The mayor is normally selected every ten years by the government in Losojadan, however their choice is always a Josal citizen. Often the town sends a short list of names selected by the prominent and trusted within the town. The names sent are almost always those who are either the most influential businessmen of the town, or closely connected to them.
Currently the mayor is Keskel Holmestorm, younger brother to Dramin Holmestorm, manager and owner of the Coastal Edge Brewery. Keskel is currently six years into his term, but is tiring of his position. Rumor has it that be will retire his job as mayor and send advisement to Losojadan that Golaviers Mavaire complete his term. Golaviers works closely with his wife, Hannean (Falecohvo) Veliya, who owns and runs the Falecohvo Ranch. As Hannean focuses on the treatment and breeding of the horses, Golaviers manages the businesses finances and sales. In the past decade, as his sister-in-law Noragaen climbed in influence within the Midland Guard, the ranch began to supply the Guard more and more of their stock. This increase in business has made him, his wife, and elderly father-in-law very well respected in Josal’s circles.
The first thing noticed by any new visitor to Josal is the expanse of bridges crisscrossing the Maurtran tributaries. Even though the population of Josal is less than even the smallest full-fledged city, the waters break up the town enough so that the area of Josal rivals even that of the capital. With so many waterways cutting around and back together again, it is nearly impossible to go from one location in Josal to another without using one of the bridges in the almost maze-like configuration of roadways.
Many of the smaller bridges are simply made of wood, while larger bridges with more steady traffic are made from stone. The three main bridges that allow the main route through town is made of a white coral-like stone purchased from the Corinesti a century ago. Having been struck by a few hurricanes over the last hundred years, these highly ornate bridges show no markings of ware or damage. Even a few of the stone bridges have needed replacement after the worst storms, but the bridges of the main thoroughfare are still standing as clean and spotless as when they were first chiseled by Josal masons over a hundred years ago.
Coastal Edge Brewery – Although the name of the company is ‘Coastal Edge’, the brewery itself is located more to the western section of town. The brewery is located by itself on a single island amidst the branching waterways. This helps keep the odors produced by the process away from many nearby, although occasional off shore breezes still tend to carry the smell in several directions. Regardless of the annoyance, the brews made are well received by the locals since Coastal Edge has customers from half of Mauritand. The owner, Dramin Holmestorm, is currently trying to set up oversea trading in order to increase sales in foreign nations.
Falecohvo Ranch – The ranch has been passed down from father to son for six generations before being passed down father to daughter ten years ago. The Falecohvo family has specialized in breed stronger and faster horses over the years, and many come to learn to ride as well as purchase the animals. Located on the outskirts of Josal, the ranch has the advantage of not being broken up by the tributaries. Instead the ranch extends over eighty continuous acres near where the Maurtran begins to break apart. Although he officially retired, Gosma Falecohvo spends most of his time here with his wife Rudaen, helping his daughter Hannean in choosing which horses to pair together to produce the better stock. Hannean Mavaire takes of the various breeds as well as gives lessons to new and expert riders.
Josal Meeting House – This building is used by both the mayor for town administrative buildings, and by the local businessmen who converse with each other in order work together and make the economy prosper further. The island the Meeting House was on is in the middle of Josal, but a special tunnel from the water leads into one of the basement meetings rooms. Half of this room is below water, and the other half is dry above it. The purpose of this room is to allow negotiations and trade to be conducted between the air-breathers and the Corinesti.
Kavite Bridges (Kay’-vite) – Named for the dwarven stoneworker who constructed and decorated them, these bridges act to allow traffic through Josal heading to and from Losojadan. Each of the bridges appears to be made of a coral-like stone, however each of the three is a different color. Heading from southwest to northeast along the road, they are red, blue, and green. Considering the width and expanse of each of them (150 feet across for the shortest), the difference of colors gives a bold variation to the light brown wood and white stone used elsewhere in the stone. The main road cuts more to the southeast portion of Josal, and so the center bridge allows a look out over almost all of town.
Tearstruck Shipyard – Tearstruck opened its doors ten years ago, and due to limited finances and supplies, the shipyard is restricted to only producing medium sized vessels and smaller. Luckily, since Josal has a good number of fishermen, the need of boats that only go out into deeper waters and return is what is in demand. Also Tearstruck has been manufacturing smaller boats meant for navigating the town’s collection of streams and rivers. Last year when a massive storm knocked out many of the town’s bridges, the boats became extremely useful in both transportation and in debris clearing. The business is owned and operated by Zerakagaln, a Gildanesti who moved to Josal twelve years ago. He has aims to eventually expand the business to construct larger ships, but he is not sure if Josal would be a proper place for such a shipyard. Due to Zera being an outsider who may not keep his roots in town, the strength of his say among the local businessmen has been wavering.