The Many Gates to Caelum
Bridgepuddle is a small city (pop. 8000) located on the southern end of The Westerlands, brushing up against the shifting sands of The Expanse. The city is spread across both sides of the River Londo, connected by a large main bridge, and lined with docks. Due to the ease of access to raw materials as well as other large cities, Bridgepuddle has prospered economically. Craftsmen and merchants from all across the region base themselves out of Bridgepuddle, traditionally ruled by a Merchant King and policed by the mercenary Snowcrest guild. The Snowcrests operate out of their ancestral stronghold at the heart of the city, the Whitehall.
Recently, the Merchant King was deposed when he fled during the failed incursion of the Shadowfell. The leader of the Snowcrests, Gavin Whitehall, has since reluctantly expanded his responsibilities to include the governance of the city.
The Whitehall is a tall ivory keep, and stands on a small island in the middle of the River Londo. Priests and worshippers would row across from the mainland to pay homage to the structure, which they saw as having religious significance. From this, a small village grew on the banks of the river, and before long a bridge was built to reach the island. As the village expanded, settlers staked out land on the opposite side of the river as well, extending the bridge to span the entirety of the river.
600 years ago, a dark Lich called Aleth attempted to conduct a death ritual centred on the Whitehall, offering up every soul in this burgeoning town as tribute for some dark cause. This is known as The Violet Night. He was thwarted by a travelling sellsword named Andor, guided by Amanorawho arrived just in time to disrupt the ritual. With the gratitude of the survivors, Andor was granted the Whitehall as his payment, and chose to make it the headquarters of his mercenary guild, dubbed the Snowcrests. He vowed the guild to stand as protector of the growing town.
What the common folk did not know, however, is that the dark offering made by Aleth was not disrupted in time. Lingering necromantic energies slowly flow into the town, and are abated only by the regular ritual blood sacrifice by Andor, and those of his line.
Recently, this ritual sacrifice was disrupted when two of the three surviving Whitehalls were murdered. The party was forced to join forces with their rival, Gavin Whitehall, and defend the city against an undead incursion from above. For months, they did so, until they gained the aid of The Order of the Eclipse. Together with their knowledge, they were able to develop a solution to this problem, and the city was safe once more, though casualties were great.
Now watched over by Gavin, as the sole survivor of the bloodline, The Order of the Eclipse and paladins serving Bahamut keep vigil against any undead foes.