Istivin : City of Shadows.
Especially this early in the morning, the small village of Istivin Crossing is not much to look at. Set on the north banks of the Davish River the center of the village made up only of a few warehouses and a large blockhouse at the banks of the ford.
Despite recent rebuilding after the war, many of the structures here are sagging with age, and everything has a very “worn-in” look about it. Moss or ivy covers many walls, and pavement stones have been worn smooth by the passing of countless feet. A large inn known as the “Laughing Trout” sits on the central green, catering mainly to the river trade.
Although the inn’s recent whitewashing makes it look fairly presentable, there are the tell-tale signs of old damage from the war. Next to the inn is an attached, large stable, and many wagons are parked outside, waiting to carry goods to and from the capital less than 10 miles away. Outside the center of the town are a few private houses where the dockworkers live with their families.
Istivin Crossing is actually the oldest settlement in Sterich, and was the capital before it was decided that Istivin proper would be more defensible. It also has a bad reputation of being haunted, stemming from a bloody incident which occured nearly 200 years ago. A group of miners from the headwaters went on strike against their heavy-handed foreman, an old orc-fighter (as opposed to an old orc fighter) named Brellis Krelont. To minimize the disruption in ore shipments, Krelont agreed to a meeting with the miners at Istivin Crossing. When the miners arrived, Krelont’s thugs murdered them and buried their bodies in a mass grave. Krelont reported that he sent the miners packing and that the threat of strike had been quelled by his get-tough policies. He was later awarded with the Wardenship of the Marchlands by the king of Keoland for his efficiency in handling the strike and defending against raids.