A vast city (nearly the size of modern-day Greater London!) built in ages past by a long-lost race of giants. Now the vast stone structure contains no less then three seperate kingdoms.
The metropolis of Stoneholt is divided into three main regions, defined by the great Saar river. Thirty miles upstream from the sea, the Saar is split by the Sensaar island, forming the North Bank, Sensaar and South Bank regions. The island is linked to either shore by a large number of sturdy stone bridges which rise high enough to allow passage by most ships. Larger ships must be equipped with removable masts. The bridges end on either bank at fortified gatehouses.
All three sections are each surrounded with a single ring of massive stone walls. These walls are generally 60’ tall with an additional 18’ of crennalation along the top. The walls are tapered in cross-section, with the base about 30’ wide and narrowing to 18’ at the top. The battlements extend over the wall face 10’ and are frequently pierced by arrow-slits and murder-holes.
Spaced about 1000’ feet apart are round towers whose tops are nearly 100’ tall. These towers are generally 60-80’ in diameter, but some are monsterously large, nearly 120’ in diameter.
Gatehouses are scattered along the length of the walls and vary in spacing from 5 to 7 miles. These are generally of the double-gatehouse form, consisting of 4 huge towers (150’ diameter,200+ feet tall ) and having two huge iron portcullases. Operating these gates is quite difficult task as the mechanisms are built to Giant scale and now teams of oxen with special harnesses are used.
Within the massive stone walls is the city proper. All Giant-Built structures are stone - no wooden structures predate the human settlers in the city. Buildings vary in size from small (to a giant) single-family homes (100’ square, 20’ tall) to huge public buildings dwarfing anything humans have built. Most spectacular of all is the Great Colleseum, a structure 500’ tall at it’s highest point and 1800’ x 1500’ in footprint. (For reference, this is aproximately the same hight as the Great Pyramid on earth, and four times the footprint.) This incredible structure forms the centerpiece of the Sensaar Island portion of the city. There are more great buildings found within the city, and these will be covered in the individual region descriptions.
What may be observed by anyone familiar with fortication construction is the remarkable consistency of the work. It appears that all of the fortifications where completed as one large job - there is no sign of ‘evolution’ or gradual refinements. No inner walls or signs of inner walls have
been found within any of the three regions.
To further reinforce the ‘planned city’ theory, the roads and city blocks are fairly regular in layout. Each block is roughly 1000’ square. Major roads and highways form an approximate 1-mile grid, while the blocks are formed by lesser roads spaced 1000’ apart. All of the major and minor roads are formed by carved stone slabs at least 3’ thick and 18’ square. Alleys and other tertiary roadways are paved with rough, fist-sized rocks.
Below the surface is another well-planned system of sewers.
These generally follow the major and minor roads. They are built to Giant sized proportions as is the rest of the city, and they represent an engineering effort easily as impressive as the vast outer walls of the city.
The combined city of Stoneholt consists of three seperate political entities whose borders align with the three regions of Stoneholt. Within those entities exist, in varying forms, 17 clans. These clans are led by the decendants of the original 17 captains of the ships of the exodus.
When the original human settlers landed at Stoneholt nearly 200 years ago, there were 17 major ships in the exodus. Initally, the entire population was led bya council formed by these captains, but eventually internal divisions occured and this arrangement broke down. for the people and the clans consist primarily of the decendants of the crew and passangers of particular ships.
There is a hierarchy which spans the aformentioned politcal borders, stemming primarily by the size and quality of the ship in question.
None of the original ships remain, altough some clans have built ‘replicas’. The replicas, without exception, are pale imitations of the original tall ships.
Additional Ideas (6)
The North Bank is closest to a small range of mostly dormant volcanoes. The walled portion of the city runs along the Saar for 40 miles, and varies from two to seven miles in width, for a total area of 160 square miles.
Due to numerous minor eruptions, areas of North Bank have been buried quite deeply by lava flows and ash. The northmost blocks of the city have some buildings where the first story is completely buried. Due to these lava flows and ash-falls, the outer walls have enough debris on either side that they do not provide the same defence as is normal. Gentle slopes lead up to the walls in numerous places, allowing access to the wall-tops without use of climbing equipment.
North Bank is controlled by a somewhat democratic council of 6 clans and considers itself a republic. They have a Speaker elected from the 6 clanmen who nominally has control.
The Sensaar is basically a large triangle, but is not a river delta. It is largely a granite slab that the river has carved. It is roughly oblong shaped with an area of 140 miles. The walled portion of the island encloses fully 80 square miles of the island.
Sensaar island is controlled by four of the original clans,
altough there is a 4-stage hierarchy within, resembling more a feudal system.
Places of Note
The Great Mill
Located on the south-side of Sensaar Island is the Great Mill. This huge building has attached to it an immense waterwheen driven by the Saar. What the mill was originally used for is unknown as within the structure, the mechanism ends without any obvious application. There are signs that other machinery was once present (holes for mounting,etc) but the mill lacks dedicated storage rooms one would expect if the mill was used to grind wheat or other grain.
Recently, the wheel has been harnessed to drive all manner of contrivences - some wheels grind wheat, others trip-hammers for armor and weapon making and myrida other devices and applications. The entire works is overseen by a well-armed cadre of Engineers of the Wheel who insure that no-one interfers with the works, for it is the driver of much of the Sensaar's economy.
The South Bank is the largest part of Stoneholt, with only the Saar forming a hard border. It encloses nearly 200 square miles of land within it's walls. It is bordered on the south by the plains of Erethal.
The most highly populated region of Stoneholt, fully 10 clans populate this region. Of the three regions, this one is the most unstable, with open warfare between the clans. The ten are not tightly organized, but will cooperate to deal with external threats, either from the other regions, or without.
Locations of Note
Sages speculate that this large forest was once used as a park by the Giants. Odd stone monuments can be found throughout the forest, overgrown with vines and enscribed with runes. The monuments appear only to be geometric designs - no humanoid or animal figures have yet been found.
They also do not appear to be gravestones, for no escavations have found artifacts anywhere near them.
They are very large, even by Giant standards, and would have posed great difficulty in construction.
When the Giants abandoned the city, some creatures from their occupation remained. Some of these were pets while others were pests or gaurdians. In addition, once the city was abandoned, creatures from the surrounding countryside began to colonize the city before the Human Exodus arrived.
As a result, those portions of the city not currently occupied by people are quite wild with game, predators and the occasional monster.
Some of the more noteworth species are detailed below:
This, the greatest of cities on the World of Neyathis is a momument to the engineering ability of a long lost race of giants. Vast stone walls (60 - 80' in height) stand oppressively casting deep shadows even in the middle of the day.
Entering the city presents the traveller with the massive gatehouses, wide enough to march an army through, and high enought to admit a tallship. One can see the massive stones used to build the structure though the mind boggles at the thought of the effort required to move them. The entire city screams Not Built by Puny Humans.
Once past the massive gates, the traveller gains no respite from the overpowering presence. It is a vast city built for beings more then two stories tall! And even to those ancient giants the city would have seemed huge.
The area enveloped by the huge curtain walls is sufficent to contain entire kingdoms, and here it does.
All around, you see the massive buildings with additional floors fitted to provide human-scaled living and working quarters. Whereas human cities rarely contain structures greater then four stories, here four stories is the norm, and much larger buildings abound!