Raiders of the Obsidian Sun
The Balican merchant dynasties of Wavir, Rees, and Tomblador sponsor this fortified town of about two thousand souls astride the trade route that connects Balic with Tyr. Desperate raiders wait in ambush in the stony barrens and rocky badlands that surround the village, but Altaruk’s well-paid mercenaries drive off any bandits they find lurking within half a day’s travel of the town’s gates.
This protection is not free to travelers. All who want to enter Altaruk must pay a toll per visitor (including each beast of burden). But for those inside the 15-foot-high walls, Altaruk offers stables, room and board, trade opportunities between merchant houses, and gossip from all corners of the Tablelands. Only the largest and fiercest raiding tribes would consider attacking Altaruk, but rumor has it that giants of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue are gathering to strike at the town. It’s happened before.
The village is governed by a Balican noble named Arisphistaneles. In his role as master of the town, he deals with traders in a stern but fair manner.