The western-most town in Farandale is called Tilburne. It is a mining and farming community. Close to town, along the Churnwash, farming is good. North into the moors and hills, the land is progressively more barren, until not even sheep can find decent grazing. In the Lansryde Hills, rich deposits of iron and copper can be found. It is here that Sir Damien Catharn has his mines, which account for most of Tilburne’s wealth. Farmers and miners bring their wares to the Catharn Exchange in town, and river barges take the good down to Samurth and beyond. Overland caravans are rare, but there is usually one or two each summer. Within Farandale, most travel is along the river, simply because it is faster and less prone to attack by bandits or creatures.
The Catharn family collects taxes for Lord Farthane, ruler of the Farandale lands. Sir Damien is also responsible for pronouncing sentence on criminals. He is largely preoccupied with his mining interests, and is rarely seen outside his home except when he leaves to inspect his property or take care of administrative tasks in the Exchange.
His right hand in dispensing justice is a retired human ranger, and skilled carpenter, named Garyth. As the town Constable, Garyth maintains a small jail in the back of his wood shop. Tilburne has no real militia, though the Catharne family employs a small cadre of soldiers to defend their properties and wealth. Garyth is empowered to deputize the citizens, whether it is to hunt down criminals or fend off monsters. Day to day administration of Tilburne is left to the Mayor, a miller named Haldar. He resides with his wife, the baker Pelarra, in their bakery and mill.
The small temple in Tilburne is built in honor of Erathis, goddess of law and civilization. Within the temple, there is are a couple small shrines to other goodly deities, such as Bahumet and Pelor. In the temple gardens, there is a shrine to Melora. The current priest is young, and new to Tilburne. The elderly priest who ran the temple for many years recently passed away during a harsh winter. Hesein is filled with religious zeal and enthusiasm, always ready with a sermon for any who will listen. He is also a skilled gardener, and has greatly improved the temple gardens since his arrival.
Tilburne is becoming known for its high quality hunting and guard dogs, thanks to the efforts of a half-elf named Nethan the Quiet. His stable and kennels produces good quality riding horses, reliable pack animals, and superbly trained hounds. Garyth has two of Nethan’s best dogs as constant companions. Near his paddocks stands the dry-goods store of Falstirn, and eccentric elf who has been in Tilburne since it was founded. Along with the retired dwarven adventurer Old Grizz, the elf came here with the first patriarch of the Catharn family well over a century ago.
Old Grizz has a humble but sturdy home by the river, but spends most of his time in the nearby tavern. The tavern caters mostly to off-duty miners, boatmen, and riff-raff looking for cheap ale. The tavern keeper is a burly man of middle years named Thorsted. He is assisted by his young son Gergie. While fist-fights are common here, the constant presence of a still-capable dwarven fighter in the corner keeps this violence contained. From time to time, a good game of dice can be had here, though it attracts those who would try and cheat, as often as not.
For those seeking higher quality ale and fine food, the town’s sprawling inn is a better option. It is run by a venerable old man named Dirkstar. Half-blind, mostly deaf, and past his 90th birthday, the man still has a keen sense for his business. He is assisted by his grandsons in running the inn. Randen is younger, and betrothed to the miller’s daughter Jalenna. Barret is older, much more serious, and everyone knows he will soon take over the business. Barret’s wife Kryssa is the inn’s cook, and makes the best mutton stew in Farandale. Or so most people in Tilburne say. The rest of the inn’s staff are young women from the surrounding farms, earning extra coin for their families.
The town’s docks and warehouses are run by a stern middle-aged woman named Carella. It is rumored that she adventured with Garyth when the two of them were younger, and some still claim they are romantically linked. In addition to keeping the docks running smoothly, Carella serves as the town’s executioner when Sir Damien sentences a criminal to hang. Her skill with rope extends beyond tying nooses, and she sells the best hemp strands on the river. She is also a passable cooper, and her barrels are often in demand for storage of cider and ale come harvest time. She employs a pair of married red elves named Dreyiss and Lasrienne as her security. The mercenaries, along with their fine war hounds from Nethan’s Livery, effectively deter any attempts at vandalism or theft at the docks.
The town’s smithy is a large, old stone structure. Iron ore is smelted here, poured into ingots for shipping and crafted into tools or weapons for sale in town. The master smith is Welvrith, cousin to Pelarra. He has knowledge of alloying, in addition to smelting ore and forging tools. Hence, the smithy turns out steel as well as iron. Tools are sold through Falstirn’s shop. Weapons are sold at the Exchange, and only to those who have demonstrated that they are trustworthy. Welvrith is assisted by Seddren, a gentle giant of a man. Seddren is massively strong, a little slow in the brain, and the butt of much teasing by the young people in town. They say he has ogre blood in his veins, and call him “goblin-strangler” after he was seen to snap a goblin’s neck with one hand during an attack by the creatures. He is treated as an adopted son by the miller and baker.
Adjacent to the Exchange is a large warehouse built up on sturdy stone pylons. The villagers store hay and grain here in preparation for harsh winters. The miller has the key to the sturdy lock, and the building is considered communal. The Catharn Exchange itself is a large building attached to an open air market and number of stalls. In the market, goods can be traded or sold. The Exchange serves as the town hall, and also has an exclusive tavern and hostel. Membership in the Exchange is only open to the wealthy and upstanding citizens of Tilburne. The rooms are much nicer than those of the Baron of Mutton, and more expensive. Expensive spirits, fine wines, and the best ales are served here. The hostel is run by Orrina Nasiri, an exotic human woman from distant lands. The rumor mill in town claims that she is also Sir Damien’s mistress.
The last features of note are the Ford and the Folly. The former is a stretch of fast but shallow water in the Churnwash, where wagons and beasts can easily cross. The latter is an exquisite bridge, half built of good stone and the finest hardwood. The locals still laugh about the expense wasted on building a bridge not 100 feet from a ford. Now it serves mostly as a prime fishing spot.