This city is the farming center of the Fields of the Dead, and its Hellriders guard and police not only Elturel, but much of the farmed and settled portions of the Fields along the Skuldask Road, the Dusk Road, and both banks of the River Chionthar. If Elturel’s ruler were an evil man, his city’s position atop a cliff that dominates the River Chionthar would cause no end of trouble for the other trading cities of the region. Fortunately for the peace and prosperity of the Chionthar valley, Dhelt confines his competitive instincts to running the safest, best policed, and most efficient trading and farming community in the Western Heartlands.
Elturel thrives on trade. Its a city of folk passing through. Barge trade on the Chionthar meets overland trade in the city where a six-wagon ferry crosses the river. The heart of the city is a cliff-sided tor. Its South or river end is capped by the soaring turrets of High Hall, the castle from which the High Rider rules. A long, wooded park runs along the ridgetop of the heights, watered by a spring that rises in the cellars of High Hall and runs down the Winter Garden to cascade off the tor at the northern end in a spectacular series of falls known as Maiden’s Leap. Elturel is home to a shrine to Tempus and two important temples – Helm’s Shieldhall, more of a holy fortress than a temple; and the High Harvest Home, a temple to Chauntea.
Civilization in the Heartlands depends on military power, and Elturel proves the rule with a crack army of two thousand mounted warriors known as the Hellriders. Caravans and riverboat convoys take routes into Elturel’s zone of control just so that they can relax and leave a day or two of vigilance to Lord Dhelt’s soldiers. Elturels reach extends to Triel along the Dusk Road, North to the intersection with Thundars Ride along the Skuldask Road, South toward Berdusk as far as Windstream Lodge (one of the Hellrider lodges), as far downstream along the Chionthar as Stone Eagle Lodge (another Hellrider lodge), and upstream as far as Scornubel. Its easy to tell these boundaries. Sheep and cattle wander on all sides when youre inside them, and brush is cut back, with hedged and stone-walled farms here and there. Outside Elturels sway, farms and livestock are gone, and scrub trees and shrubs are everywhere.