Scales of War - GenCon 2010
The city of Overlook stands on the eastern slopes of the Stonehome Mountains west of Brindol. The city was founded during the height of the ancient dwarven kingdom, and is one of the few constructions still inhabited from that ancient time. Overlook and its fortress Bordrin’s Watch were raised to be the first line of defense against the dwarves’ ancient enemies that constantly invade from west of the mountains. Recently a call to arms for adventurers went out, causing Valemen to suspect a new threat.
Since its founding, Overlook has never come under attack, though Bordrin’s Watch has time and again, at least once every century. Overlook supplies the mountain pass with soldiers, supplies, and needed resources, ensuring the Watch is never without the goods they need to live up to their ancient responsibility. While doughty dwarf warriors and towering goliath barbarians hold the Watch, the city is far more cosmopolitan and includes peoples of nearly every race and culture known in this corner of the world. Dwarves are still the dominate group, but humans and halflings make up a close second, followed by dragonborn, tieflings, and a smattering of eladrin and elves, and an assortment of other, less familiar, races.
Overlook is largely a trading center, and people on both sides of the mountain come to the city to exchange goods, rumors, and information. The city’s numerous markets and bustling streets makes it the ideal place to do business, thus characters in search of a particular tool or device are more likely to find it here than anywhere for miles around.
Supplementing its trade is a robust mining industry. The mountains are rich in iron, silver, tin, and no few gemstones. Dwarf and human miners and prospectors set out from Overlook each day, some working in the blackness of the deep mines, while others scour the heights in search of treasures—some succeeding, others failing, and others still vanishing in the misty peaks never to be seen again.
Although the city depends on Bordrin’s Watch to endure most of the attacks from the west, the city is not without its own defenses. The dwarves erected steep walls to protect themselves, but as the city outgrew its original protections, the inhabitants raised more walls to encircle the growing population. So far, this has happened four times, giving the city four sets of walls, one inside of the other. The shantytown, the unofficial ninth district, grows beyond the eastern walls and it’s just a matter of time before the Council decides to raise another wall and add those squatters to the rest of the city.
Piercing each wall, on both the western side and the eastern side, is a large gate flanked by two square stone towers. Most times, the gates stand open, even in the dead of night, but when trouble looms, such as now, the gates are closed at dusk, and the inner gates—the ones leading into High Hall—might close even earlier.