Welcome to Claybough, starting point of countless campaigns...
Claybough is one of the largest cities in Kara-Tur and likely the most notorious. A melting-pot of eastern and western cultures, Claybough is technically the southernmost holding of Lorenia but, has grown over the last century into all but a sovereign nation. Yet while Claybough gives impression of a proper city, it is a haven for ninja and sea-faring brigands, teeming with criminals and rogues of all kinds, and full of potential danger and hard-to-avoid intrigue. Also known as the City of Glyph, a nickname derived from the long-dead dragon which once lived near the Glyphgate, a giant stone arch spanning the natural cove around which the city is built. The Glyphgate is covered on both sides with ancient Zamonian symbols, although their exact meaning is unknown.
Caer Cadiffor (named after the cadiffor trees which grew in the area; this clay-colored wood was popular with shipwrights; many "clay bows" were made from cadiffor trees) was popularized in the 10th century by the King Vortigern Camlach as a "Winterhame," where the court would relocate during Lorenia's cold winters. Camlach quickly secured oaths from the previously nomadic Veiletkan Samurai and assured protection to the founders of The Order of Glyph, a group of intellectuals that relocated to study the Glyphgate and take in knowledge from the gold dragon residing there. The smaller, closer port also opened new trade opportunities with Attillan.
Major upheaval occurred in 1098 when Lord Colleron Camlach's wife, Lauren, was killed by poison meant for the lord himself. The investigation led to the outing of the Gouka ninja that had infiltrated many layers of government, including Lord Colleron's Captain of the Guards, Prince Sealy V. The implications led to full-scale rioting in the streets and civil war within all ranks of government. The civil unrest ended abruptly upon the arrival of an army from Hyldlor, flying Myrlocke's banner, led by his son, Prince Daystar Llyr. The famous archer fired a single arrow, slaying Sealy and ending the rebellion. The army then promptly returned to Hyldlor. The reasons for Daystar's actions were never made clear, especially considering it occurred only six years before Myrlocke declared war on Lorenia.
Claybough had been traditionally governed by a series of lords, usually installed by Lorenia, who had full stewardship when the king was away. Since the War with Myrlocke, King Gwydion Camlach declared an end to the lord system and that each major city would have an Overseer, a position typically to be held for 30 years. The current Overseer of Claybough is Belvor Bastille. Overseer Bastille has maintained his rule over Claybough for nearly three decades since the War with Myrlocke and doesn't look to be replaced anytime soon as he is loved by the people and his leadership likely saved Claybough from destruction by Myrlocke's armies after his predecessor, Lord Colleron Camlach, died of natural causes. The town guard is augmented by the remnants of the Veiletkan Samurai and warrior monks from the Temple of Vision.
- Population 13,300
- Type mixed (77% human, 7% dwarf, 5% half-elf, 4% half-orc, 3% elf, 2% di'rak, 2% other)
Claybough is located in a secluded, rocky harbor situated at the easternmost reaches of the Hestmark, where the meandering Selint River meets the Bartold Bay. Although the site was partially chosen for ease of defense (either from Hyldlor or pirate raiders), the original settlers picked the site as much for its singular Zamonian monument: the mysterious and intriguing arch known as the Glyphgate.
The city proper is tucked in between two rocky ridges, the northernmost rising just over 300 feet in elevation and blocking the city from a tidal swamp of hillocks and mires that serves today as a dumping ground for refuse, derelict ships, bodies, and undesirables. The southern ridge descends swiftly into the Hestmark. Through the city, the Selint River threads its way between these ridges, leading up into the Helfurnace Mountains. While roads from the west and south exist, they are not well maintained. The most notable access to the city is its harbor. No one who sails into Claybough by sea can avoid passing beneath the Glyphgate.