In the capitol of the Empire, along the spur of the wide and winding Crystal River, there is a small waystation called Grimwell. Grimwell has gained mention in many, many stories. Far and wide, in tales new and old, the name Grimwell appears again and again. How could this come to be?
The renown is due to economic center of the village, the Final Rest Inn. Located on one of the most important and heavily traveled rivers in the world, the Crystal River, the Inn enjoys visits from people all over Breminor.
Of course, the Inn provides comfortable bed and excellent food, as is to be expected. It also serves one of the best barley nectars in the land, the product of the Grimwell Priory and the brothers of the Order of Sontor.
The Inn's location also makes it an excellent place for business meetings, both honorable and otherwise. Some have even given the Inn a greater role in the affairs of the land, saying that history has been made there. Whether its guests are involved in trading silks from far Nyslavadd, or smuggling weapons to Alisian rebels, the Inn welcomes all.
According to the monks at the Priory, who have kept records of the area since the Abbey was built three centuries ago, Grimwell has been inhabited for a very long time. Ruins about the area attest to the truth of this statement.
The name Grimwell is believed to have been the first settler to the area, and perhaps even a lord. Situated along a spur of the Crystal River as the village is, some have even speculated that Grimwell was a river pirate. Since no records exist from that period, no one will ever know for sure, but it does make for good conversation in the Bucket and Barrel Tavern.
Though it is unclear as to when the area was originally inhabited, it is popularly believed that Grimwell's Final Rest Inn is the oldest, continuously used building in the village. Many have speculated that the Inn was built upon the remains of Grimwell, hence its name.
Travelers to Grimwell
The village has grown up around the Inn, which is prominently placed at the river's edge. Grimwell has become a favorite resting place for the weary traveler.
The main road that passes by the Inn, called the Crystal Way, begins at the sea in southern Nythoria and more or less follows the Crystal River's banks until it reaches the kingdom of Kakehun. Grimwell is situated at the juncture of Nythoria, Eslebi and Valithra. It means that many land travelers heading south from Dython will pass through Grimwell, and much of the water-borne traffic from Dython to where the Crystal River empties into the Inworld Sea passes by the village.
Rulers of Grimwell
Until a few centuries ago, both the political and religious hierarchies ignored Grimwell. Besides a few peasant farms, its main feature was the Inn, which was hardly worth sending a tax collector out for.
Nearly five centuries ago, a decision was made back in Nythoria to place a garrison of twenty-five men in Grimwell to protect against highway robbers that were becoming prevalent in the area. The Old Garrison fortifications were built at that time, as were the docks.
This sense of security, and the docks on the river, brought others to the area and the settlement grew quickly into a village. Without much oversight or management, the village emerged haphazardly. Over three score years, the unsightly hamlet developed that is still visible today.
Three centuries ago, the lands surrounding Grimwell, as well as the village itself, came into the possession of the Holy Church, specifically the monastic Order of Sontor
. The Abbot of the Order based in Nythoria entrusted the area to one of his Priors, who built a small priory for a dozen monks in Grimwell.
The Church replaced the secular garrison with a handful of religious warriors from the Order of Thoria
, who protect the Abbey, the Church, the village, and the surrounding area.
Economy of Grimwell
The merchant trade has regularly used Grimwell as a way station on their way to and from Dython because it is both protected and toll-free, a rare combination along the Crystal Way.
The merchant trade has created demand for Grimwell's local products. Principally, this is the Inn: a place to put up the horse, berth a vessel, have a bite and drink, and a good night's sleep. The Inn creates demand on the local economy for food and beverage production.
The main Grimwell products consumed by outsiders are: the Abbey's ale, grains (chiefly barley and oats), and wool. The ale and grains are traded with the merchants as well as nearby villages and towns. As nearby towns also produce wool, the wool is produced for export with the merchants.
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Version Date: 15 August 2000 Primary Author: S.M. Castillet