The Oaken Path
The town of Torch.
This article provides details on the most important locations in Torch. Unlabeled buildings represent private homes, minor businesses, and small warehouses, while a few farms and outposts also lie in the valley surrounding the town’s plateau. Most of Torch’s buildings are constructed of stone, with the larger buildings being reinforced with metal. The rooftops are made of ceramic or stone tiles. Wood is rarely used as a building material in Torch, primarily to prevent fires. Torch has no underground sewer system—waste produced by the city is typically hauled up onto Black Hill and incinerated in the violet fires, but with the flames having recently gone out, filth is building up in the streets. Many have taken to disposing of refuse by dumping it in the Seven Tears River or Crowfeather Lake, something that’s already causing small outbreaks of sickness. The town council has just initiated a ban on disposal of waste in the water, and policing this ban and providing alternative solutions (mostly carting waste away to a small gorge east of town) is consuming an increasing amount of time for the city guard and workers alike.
9. Weeping Pond: This placid-looking pond is set off from the surrounding area by a crescent-shaped escarpment. No vegetation grows on the banks of this pond, and the waters carry a bitter stink of sulfur and other chemicals, enough to make the eyes water after spending too much time on the shore. The pond is fed by an underwater spring from under Black Hill, but no fish live in these waters. A shallow stream runs southeast of the pond and finally empties into Crowfeather Lake.
10. Crowfeather Palace: The waters running from the Weeping Pond collect in Crowfeather Lake. Here the water becomes drinkable, though it retains a brackish aftertaste. Called Crowfeather Palace because of its proximity to the lake and its almost miniaturized palatial facade, the building is the brainchild of Khonnir Baine. With the aid of the local priesthood of Brigh, Khonnir built this facility to help purify the waters of Crowfeather Lake. A pipe-like extension from the building constantly purifies the waters around itself, giving the townsfolk a safe source of drinking water.
12. Foundry Tavern: One of the more popular hangouts in Torch, the Foundry Tavern is aptly named. Its owner, Khonnir Baine, makes frequent appearances to demonstrate new inventions here— whether mechanical or magical. The tavern itself is always packed, and Khonnir rents out space in his neighboring foundry for visiting smiths and metalworkers to use.
15. Town Hall: One of the grander buildings in Torch, the town hall doubles as a second garrison and lookout tower watching over the eastern roads. Council meetings take place in the hall every week on Oathday, but the hall sees frequent use for social gatherings as well, including many dances held in the neighboring square.
17. Temple of Brigh: Bronze wind chimes and clockwork statues decorate the domed portico of this compound dedicated to the goddess of invention. The oldest faith in Torch, Brigh’s temple sees regular worship from many of the town’s citizens, and also includes a meticulously organized workshop managed by the town’s religious leader, Joram Kyte. His friendly demeanor, active interest in the metal trade, and innovative crafting skills helped land him a seat on the town council many years ago. Joram’s temple includes a small shopfront selling magic items and gear.
24. Black Hill: Easily the most recognizable landmark in Torch, this bald escarpment rises at a steep slope in the middle of town. The town’s namesake torch burned at the hill’s peak, emerging from a 5-foot-wide hole in the ground. The four specially-designed adamantine carts used to ferry ore to and from the fire stand a short distance down the hill near the Black Hill Craneworks—a building run by Smeltrunner Oskah Unteret.