Keep of Oran
Keep of Oran (Keep uhv Oh-ran) is located in the North, providing the largest port between Sassa and Ashkent, whether by sea or over the New Road. The Wild encroaches more closely there than any city except Byara.
Oran was a major port city, strategically located between Sassa in the West and Ashkent in the East. It flourished as a financial power, not a militaristic one, and established early relationships with Alel to ensure support in conflicts that arose with other cities/powers. This dynamic, however, left them exposed during the events following Valeed's Folly. The armies of undead that roamed the land destroyed much of the city's defenses, and reduced significantly reduced the population. Following the expansion of The Wild, a orc army led an invasion, and completed the destruction of much of the city. The orcs that captured the city fortified the port and the keep that laid against its shores. This fortified area remains as the sole civilized area in the region, and has led to this location designation being "Keep of Oran" rather than simply "Oran" or "City of Oran".
Historical events have driven this city towards a population dominated by 1/2 orcs. A particularly violent incursion from The Wild left the city mostly uninhabited (both through losses in battle, and flight in the face of danger). Over time, the remnants of the original populace stabilized the area, and as they were mostly 1/2 orc, other 1/2 orcs tended to migrate here to find a place where they were welcome. There are few non-orc races here, as it is not a desirable location, but those that are tend to be human. Visitors are not shunned though, so visitors should not be surprised to see other races.
The Wild lies close to the south end of the ruins of the city. The remaining citizens of Oran have prevented The Wild from expanding further north, but the city's ruins provide cover when The Wild's inhabitants decide to try and raid the keep. The keep itself is an area that has been expanded beyond the original keep. Its wall encases the city and goes briefly into the water to the north. A sea wall protects the port, which is how most goods arrive. For the most part, the land is flat. Some farming is done inside the walls, but the ruined city is not suitable for growing.
Visitors who arrive over land will first pass through the ruins of old Oran. Empty buildings covered with crawling vines, some of which stand much as they once did, some which have started to show the ravages of time, and some of which are merely piles of rubble. As you get closer to the walls of the keep, there are no more piles of rubble, and soon the buildings are replaced with holes in the ground, basements no longer covered with the floorboards of the missing buildings. The wall of the keep bulges south, spanning from one shore to the other, with gates on the east and south-west sides. At the eastern end, the wall meets a breaker wall, which curves northwest before bending back south west, leaving an opening for ships to enter from the west. Two lighthouses span the breaker wall, and another two are on shore, guiding large visiting ships to the main dock.
The Keep is governed by an "elected" leader who is given the title "The Marshall". The election is informal, but one Marshall is only replaced when he or she has lost sufficient support to their opposition, allowing the new Marshall to evict the previous from office (both politically and physically). To that end, it is a system in which "Might makes right", but because for the most part, each individual understands that they could not stand against the populace, it rarely comes down to a particularly strong candidate injuring and/or killing multiple members of the opposition in order to take office (although it has been known to happen). In fact, sometimes a particularly persuasive member can garner enough support to take office, even if they might be considered one of the weakest citizens.
Center of Government
See #1 on the map
The Marshall's Mansion The largest and most resplendent building still standing in the Keep.
5) Waterhorse Inn - This inn was familiar to Gwennaeris, as she had stayed here with her family as a child.
6) Flowing Horn Inn - This inn was suggested to the group by one of the guards as a place where they might be able to trade their horses.
7) Spiked Mace Inn - Nothing is known about this place
2A) A temple to the Raven Queen - Headed by Larabelle, the temple has a small library, cells for those who stay or wish a quiet place to pray, an office for the head priest, and a large dining area off the kitchen to feed the Raven Queen's followers.
2B) A temple to Corellon
2C) A temple to Avandra
2D) A temple to Kord
2E) A temple to Melora
8) Apothecary Medicinal tea shop
9) General Store Purveyor of salt water taffy, spices, and trail rations.