This town of 6,000 folk is connected to a fortified bridge and a citadel on the west bank. Yartar is always buzzing. Caravans come and go, and goods are shipped from the caravans to freight barges. The fisherfolk of Yartar scour the Three Rivers for catfish, cold-water crabs, eels, silvertail, and shalass.
All these can be bought fresh from stalls in Yartar's central market. The ruler of Yartar, the Waterbaron, is elected for life. The person who held the office for the last 20 years was Alahar Khaumfros (LN hm F4). He was revealed to be the Kraken Society leader. (The Society meets in the back of the Three Rivers Festhall; all entrances are guarded by thieves and assassins.) Four illithids walked into the baron's hall and calmly slaughtered Khaumfros for his treachery in Society monetary dealings.
Reaction from the Harpers and the Lords. Alliance was swift; today, the Waterbaron is Belleethe Kheldorna, a female paladin dedicated to Tyr. She's busy rooting out the agents of the Society who infest the Shields of Yartar (town guards) and the merchant council. She's also grappling with the difficult business of maintaining order in this roaring trade town frequented by adventurers and maverick merchants.
Most overland travelers use Yartar's caravan services. There are places for horse trading, wagon sales, repairs, outfitting, and provisioning. In addition to the services available, Yartar is famous for a temple of Tymora and its Shieldmeet festivities that draws thousands of people. During the three years between Shieldmeets, Yartar hosts the Hiring Fair. Outcasts, bandits, homeless, isolated landholders, and adventurous Uthgardt gather on the field just north of the town. Here, those who need bodyguards, miners, farmhands, scouts, builders, grooms, guides, and the like try to find employees that suit them.
The Hiring Fair is a time of crime; brawling; buying and selling armor, weapons, and stolen goods; covert exchanges of funds and information; and one or more wizard duels. It.s not unusual for adventuring bands to be formed by ambitious and unattached adventurers, or for wealthy folk to look for adventurers to solve their problems. These tasks are known as .slaying the local dragon,. whether that's what is actually called for or not.
Except for torches around the edges of the stone hall of the Waterbaron and for signal lights on the river, Yartar is dark at night; by tradition, light lasses are young local girls who know the streets and lead the way.
Yartar is a bubbling cauldron of plots, schemes, cabals, alliances, and under-the-table business arrangements. Everyone in Yartar is after money, power, or both, and they.d like it in as short a time as possible. There's a thieves. guild known as the Hand of Yartar. It.s continually razed by feuds, power struggles, and corrupt double-dealing; so, in effect, every thief operates for himself. Most thieves here are female and young. Zhent agents are rumored to exist in Yartar, in an attempt to secure a trade route through the vicinity.
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