Places of Interest In Twill
The smallest of the three city gates, its gate house and towers are crumbing through neglect though this lack of attention is nothing to do with the amount of traffic it receives. It is as busy as the other gates with farmers bringing their goods from along Lake Road and the eastern caravans using it to exit the city. The reason for the lack of maintenance is that neither the farmers nor the spice traders are represented on the City Council and no one else is willing to spend city money improving, maintaining or even properly manning the gateway. Long queues often form because of the narrowness of the gate and a shortage of guards and tax collectors. Those who do work there, do not like it because of the heavy work load and large amount of animal dung that inevitably accumulates around the gate.
The main gate to the city is an imposing structure. The gate house is a mini-castle and is the centre-point of the city's defenses, not that they have really been needed in the last few decades. It is through this gate all the caravans have to enter the city and pay the levy.
If you are not a farmer or driving a caravan, this is the gate for you. Closest to the castle and used by the city's elite, the gatehouse is highly ornamental. Rich patrons have paid for various statues and family crests to be displayed on its walls.
A massive structure with walls tens of feet thick, when the first 1st Lord of Twill built this castle they built it too last. Sitting a top of a ridge that rises sharply from the lake shore, until the city's capitulation to the Empire, no enemy had ever come close to breaching its defenses. Its walls have provided a base from which successive 1st Lords have protected traders and enforced their will.
Six days a week, this empty, cobbled area becomes a thriving mass of humanity (and other species). Anything needed for day-to-day life can be bought here from one of the hundreds of stalls that appear at dawn and disappear at night. No one officially regulates the market but several gangs, guilds and clans control parts of the square. They control who can run a stall in the market and territorial disputes are common.
In winter, when the storms roll down from the mountains and across the lake, sizable waves can threaten the barges and small fishing vessels used on the lake. The city's harbour provides adequate shelter against them and during storms, it will be so packed with boats that no water is visible. The rest of the time the harbour is busy with crafts loading and unloading cargo from the quays.
Stretching along the lake front from the south wall to the harbour, Long Street's name is as apt as it is unoriginal. Some of the cheapest rents in the city can be found along its length. With the lake's occasional floods, the lack of shelter against the winter gales and the numerous ditches and dykes full of sewage that exit along the lake front, few want to live here. Naturally this is were the desperate and less reputable people live.
All of the city's dead are buried in the graveyard half-a-mile outside of the city regardless of race or religion. Even the poor unidentified souls who are found floating in the harbour end up here, buried at the City's expense. The city even pays to have a dedicated team of staff to guard and maintain the graveyard. This is done to protect against the rise of undead, a very real threat in a densely populated urban area. The graveyard is large and has been used constantly for thousands of years. New mausoleums rub shoulders with ancient, weather worn gravestones, and a huge ossary occupies the caves underneath.
Immediately outside the North Gate, a large, flat area is used to corral the camels and other pack animals that make up the great caravans from the east. It is also used as an encampment and is in a constant state of flux with caravans arriving and leaving all the time.
The Mossy Garden is a depression in the ground that runs around the outside of the south, and and some of the east, city wall. Hundreds of feet across it dips into a narrow, water filled ravine. The whole area is water logged and the ground is marshy, making it difficult to move across. It forms a natural barrier to any enemy wanting to take the city. Unlike just about all the land around the city, it is left uncultivated and wild.