The town of Ekkert’s Gorge
Ekkert’s Gorge, named for a deep ravine in the Zakath’s Run river, is a farming community and trading center in southeast Tirone on the outskirts of the Belfiad Empire. It is the site of a stone bridge providing access to the goblin lands across the river, and a common stop by the reclusive elves to the south.
The river has carved out a canyon here, which drops thirty feet from rocky cliffs to a rapids torn river. This is the furthest north the river is navigable and many barges from the south stop here to unload their goods on to caravans for the trip north.
The Great Gorge Bridge is a rock formation crossing over the gorge itself. Over the years it has been worn by weather and looks as natural as the cliffs it connect, but it was originally built by ancient elven wizards to promote trade with the east.
The goblin tribes to the east have been problematic for Ekkert’s Gorge and the people of Belfiad in general in the past. But, since the last goblin wars 300 years ago, there has been a great increase in peaceful trade with the goblins. The rest of Belfiad still prefers not to deal directly with goblins, so towns like Ekkert’s Gorge profit greatly from trade. The Hilgo family and the Figdarrows have both built a small fortune over the years buying from the goblins and shipping goods north to the Free City of Tirone or south to the elven lands for sale.
The Weslien elves to the south still remember the vicious Three Races war that pit the elves against the humans and dwarves (the humans have largely forgotten), and still hold the humans with a measure of disdain and distrust, but as they refuse to deal directly with goblins they trade extensively with the people of Ekkert’s Gorge.
The town is mostly human, but a large halfling minority is centered in the north of town in a community known as The Burrow. Several years ago a tribe of outcast dwarves led by Dorfin settled more or less permanently on the west side of town. Hunting parties regularly set out from the dwarven encampment, but always return to Ekkert’s Gorge. Dorfin himself is said to have not gone out in years, preferring to drink at Boon’s Beers and exchange stories with Ken Daddson
Three major religions have a presence in town.
A small church of Quolen is run by Revered Brother Dannick Ross (Brother Danny) and his assistant Sister Debra Smithy. They tend to everyday problems of the people and enjoy presiding over weddings (since Menaia has no church here) and celebrating births.
Father Pandier is a priest of Bordel who runs a small farm on the outskirts of town. He is very popular during harvest season and makes time to bless all his neighbors farms.
Oswald Grimm is a simple priest of Zakath who also works as the town gravedigger. Spending his time with the dead and grieving does not leave Oswald a cheerful man.