Hulburg has been devastated. With Zhentil Keep's devastating attack in 1347 DR, the Year of the Bright Blade, the city was finally brought to it's knees. Nonetheless, there are residents of the city who have decided to stay and rebuild as much as they can. Obviously, they are considerably poorer than they once were - their once prosperous homes have been largely destroyed, the few true stone buildings remaining may have maintained their outer walls reasonably well, but their interiors have suffered enormously. A few families still squat in those near-ruins, but most of the remnant population has moved to the southwestern section of the city, or remains outside the city walls, in the isolated farmsteads and small hamlets and thorps that largely escaped the destruction wrought by the Zhentish forces and their allied orcish horde.
The Winterspear River (from Rich Baker's article) flows into the Moonsea just to the east of the city's walls, beyond the map of the city currently provided. It's location was a significant reason for the city's founding in 940 DR, the Year of the Cold Claws — gold prospectors had been moving up the river, panning for alluvial gold in an effort to make a quick fortune from the mineral wealth of the Galenas, swept down towards the Moonsea. The setting of the city of Hulburg offered a convenient spot for those prospectors to trade the gold they had collected with merchants from the already thriving cities of the Sea of Fallen Stars and the rising cities of the Moonsea. At the same time, it also led to the growth of pioneering farmers, both close to the city and in isolated fortified farmsteads near the river and and further into the foothills of the Galenas as well as the borders of Thar.

Village Life

The people have returned to simpler pursuits - herding sheep and goats, fishing the rich, cold waters of the Moonsea, and subsistence farming beyond the walls and palisades of what now constitutes little more than a village. The sheep and goats are allowed to wander the lands to the west of the city during the day, under the care of their shepherds, but by night, they are herded back, within the defensive confines of the village. They are housed in the ruins of the western gatehouse - the inhabitants have used the rubble left behind by the enormous destruction to lay out crude but effective shelters for them, covered, mostly, with scraps of wood. The few horses and oxen used as draught animals are also sheltered here, along with a few cattle.
The location of the village and the walls allows the residents easy access to the shoreline, as well as the road that leads to the west and Thentia. Also along that road are the grazing lands that they continue to use, as well as the few isolated and fortified farmsteads that dot the road to Thentia, and the moors to the north.
Fishing has become a dominant sector of the economy. Fishermen typically operate either individually or in small groups, taking advantage of the cold but extraordinarily fertile waters of the Moonsea to provide significant amounts of protein for the community. In addition, of course, fish by-products make for excellent fertilizer, much needed by the farmers, whose fields tend to be somewhat below the standards one might find in the Heartlands. And, of course, given the limited growing season on the northern edge of the Moonsea, crops need as much help as they can get. The shoreline is typically laced with fishing nets either drying or under repair, in between the boats that are simply dragged onto the shore after use. There are no docks on the western end of the old city - any ships arriving must offload their cargo onto small boats to be carried ashore, something that has not helped to bolster trade.
The farms still under cultivation are all beyond the walls of the old city, albeit almost all families maintain mall vegetable gardens close to their dwellings for personal use. The farms are privately held, although the grazing land is communal. Neither are protected from the potential depredations of raiders - so far, the citizens have had enough trouble ensuring their own survival.
The village houses are currently little more than shacks - cramped, poorly and rapidly built, scattered with industrial sheds, such as tanneries, smithies, abbatoirs, etc. Many of these are used communally, at least for now. Even now the people are barely beyond subsistence level, years after the sack. They have had no capital invested in them, no local leadership. The Hulmaster clan has been wallowing in their lost prestige and power, and offered little to the city.
What little trade does occur takes place in the southwestern corner of the village. There are occasional market days, when surplus food and other goods are traded. These are often visited by merchants from Thentia and beyond, but rarely my more than one or two different costers at a time. Any valuable trade goods offered by the Hulburghers are almost certain to have been recovered during a foray into the ruins of the city - such items as candlesticks, cutlery, etc. looted from the remnants of the city's wealth.


As for the defensive perimeter - there were many breaches of the walls during the sack of the city. The parts of the wall that remain in fairly good condition are marked in gray. The parts marked in black dots represent those areas that are purely rubble, the detritus of once strong fortifications.
Around the southwest, the people have used the rubble to build up the walls again - they are not anywhere near their former condition, but they serve as a reasonably effective deterrent to anyone trying to enter the village, as well as maintaining the farm animals in security. The rubble walls average approximately 8 feet tall. They are far from vertical, and can be scaled, but they remain loose stones haphazardly piled together. Climbing them requires a Balance check of DC 20.
The brown line represents the defensive palisade the residents have managed to erect over the last three years in an effort to protect themselves from the many dangers of the Moonsea North. The palisade averages 8 feet tall, and consists of both newly cut timbers and wooden beams salvaged from the city. In addition, the village employs a large number of dogs as an early warning system - anyone not familiar to the animals is likely to cause them to bark during their approach.
The northern entrance to the village is guarded by a single, three story wooden tower. It is the only direct access to the ruins of the city. While it is often used during the day by those seeking to explore the ruins for anything of value, at night, in particular, the watch takes on a significantly more vigilant role. The villagers are comfortable, based on experience, with the belief that if is to be trouble, it will most likely come from this direction. The layout of the northern entrance allows the defenders in the watchtower a considerable amount of time, under cover, to pepper any attackers with missile fire and alert the village.
The western entrance is guarded by two small watchtowers, only 2 stories in height, but sufficient, so far, to control the chokepoints in the palisade wall that provide access to that side of the city. As well, there is the path that leads north to Hulmaster Keep, where the Hulmaster family maintains their manor house as well as their own palisade wall to provide for their retainers as well as a few tenant families.


In keeping to the southwest of the old city, the survivors keep the greatest distance possible between themselves and the resident evils of the city - the scrags that lair in the old dock on the southeastern side of city, the lacedons in the wreck of the Reaver just outside the eastern walls, the watcher in the Fastness near the center of the city, and the ruined gatehouse on the eastern road, under which dwells the lich, Aesperus. The residents are not specifically aware of what all, or even any, of these evils are, but they know that certain parts of the old city are to be avoided. And so they congregate where they believe it is safest.
The ruins of the city are the lair for a number of other creatures that are trying to keep a low profile. There's a small band of hobgoblins that lair in the basement of one of the ruined villas. The remaining tower in the northeast corner of the city may be the lair for a manticore. Both of these prey in large part upon the many flocks of sheep, goats, and cattle that used to belong to the people of the city, but which have, in the wake of the sacking of the city, been largely uncared for, and yet have managed to prosper, relatively speaking. These former domestic animals also provide prey for the growing numbers of wolves (including worgs), leucrotta, raiding ogres and orcs, and even the occasional hill giant wandering down from the Galenas.
There a number of other shipwrecks in the area, unlucky vessels that suffered due to the loss of lighthouse that once served as beacon along this coast. The lighthouse still stands, albeit barely. However, due to the presence of a haunt in the tower, the Hulburghers have not been able to reclaim it. As a result, a number of ships have been wrecked since the fall of the city. The largest, of course, is the Reaver, just to the east of the city walls.


Hulburg's economy is really all about exporting timber (from the forested foothills and lower slopes of the mountains) and refined metal (gold, iron, probably some lead and copper too). Mulmaster, Sembia, the Vast, and maybe Impiltur, Yurmish, or Akanul are the biggest markets. The town isn't really self-sufficient, and barely grows enough food to get by. In the river valley there is some decent farmland, but most of Hulburg's local food production is livestock. It's not really the temperature that's a problem, it's the shortage of arable land—the Highfells and moors are okay for grazing, but not for planting.


940 DR

The city of Hulburg is founded as a base for human forces fighting giants, ogres and other humanoids from Thar.

1306 DR

Moonsea War: Hulburg and Sulasspryn are defeated by Mulmaster. Mulmaster is later vanquished by an alliance between Sembia, Phlan, Hillsfar, Melvaunt, and Zhentil Keep.


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