City of Gyrdon
- Ruler(s) – Lord Mayor Isylan Dàçan
- Population – Gyrdonyr 22,510 (650 DR)
- Elevation – 3,530 feet (The Bottom)
Grydon is a cold and bleak mountain city built at the head of the Run Hèdrym. The river’s source is comprised of numerous springs that cascade from the surrounding mountainsides. Long ago these rushing streams and waterfalls were tamed by hundreds of dams and mill ponds piled one atop another against the valley walls. Today, the valley is packed with countless gray houses, bridges, and structures built from the surrounding native stone. The effect is a city of wooden shake roofs with walls that blend almost seamlessly into the encompassing mountains. The Gyrdon Road climbs along the rocky banks of the Run Hedrym, crossing from one side to another as the steep terrain commands. The gates stand at the lowest point of the city, opening into a small plaza surrounded by narrow warehouses and guildhalls. Tight avenues extend from the plaza’s perimeter along dizzying switchbacks that climb high-walled canyons of gray stone.
Rumors that Gyrdon was originally built by the Dwürden surface from time-to-time, but are unsupportable. There is no evidence of permanent Dwürden settlements in Ildûn.
The Ildûni history of Gyrdon states that it was founded by twin explorers, Bèlyras and Tèlyrgæn, seeking the headwaters of the Run Hèdrym. The twins climbed Mor Lûdyn, where they found an isolated tribe of Hedrèwyr that were unaware of the Dekàli triumph over Ælyra. The Hedrèwyr worshiped the spirits of the springs, oblivious to the mineral riches in the surrounding mountainsides. The twins returned with a military cohort, and forced the tribe from their mountain hold. To this day, there are legends about the displaced Hedrewyr tribe.
- The Bottom
- Kældyvan Gyrdon. This broad flagstone plaza greets all visitors that arrive along the Gyrdon Road. Despite its heavy gray stone construction, visitors can feel the vibrating force of the Run Hèdrym as it’s channeled beneath the bustling marketplace. Weather permitting, each morning welcomes colorful tents around the plaza’s edges and the swung-wide shutters and doors of the surrounding shops and businesses. Unlike most marketplaces throughout Ildûn, the primary language spoken in the Kældyvan Gyrdon is Ildûnic rather than Trade. Some merchants will refuse to do business with those that do not speak the “native tongue”.
- North Slope
- Tier of Æntèran.
- Tier of Kalydran.
- Tier of Vel Màmra Tier.
- South Slope
- Tier of Esmyræ.
- Tier of Nædre. The lowest tier above Kældyvan Gyrdon, the Tier of Nædre caters to outsiders. It is also one of the few places in Gyrdon where outside goods can be found for sale. In addition to boutiques, the neighborhood is home to numerous hotels, taverns, inns, and brothels. Most visitors to Gyrdon are members of teamster guilds and mining companies, and the prices are reflected here. Nædre was a famous 5th century DR dancer-prostitute who worked-in and owned a number of hotels in the neighborhood. For decades, most visitors to Gyrdon would simply ask for Nædre and be directed to the southern slope.
- Tier of Tan Bèlyras. Tan Bèlyras, one of the Founding Twins of Gyrdon, is believed to have established a large manor on the southern slope. The manor was manned and fortified to protect against his brother’s forces. After founding Gyrdon and beginning to exploit its resources, the twos’ sense of competition evolved into murderous animosity. For years, the twins waged war against one another in an attempt to control the city’s resources. One winter, Tan Bèlyras grew terribly ill. Fearing death and wishing to make amends with his twin, he went to Tan Tèlyrgæn seeking forgiveness and an end to hostilities. His brother invited him to dinner and while he supped, brained him with a heavy candlestick. The opposing manor was soon dismantled. Today, the Tier of Tan Bèlyras is one of the poorer neighborhoods in Gyrdon. Despite its state and reputation, the walls and buildings are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the city.
- Tier of Venden. Few visitors give a second look to the Tier of Venden. The neighborhood is crowded with two-story barracks that house miners, and in some cases, their families. The block buildings are built against the mountain slope, because many have tunnels that connect directly to the surrounding mines. Because miners are paid at the beginning of each Midmonth and Monthturn, the tier can be very boisterous during those times.
- West Slope
- Tier of Sadrànyð Nar. The highest of the western tiers, Sadrànyð Nar is an enclave unto itself. Dominated by the beautiful Hall of Springs, the tier is crowded with architecturally unique buildings and homes. The second largest building, outwardly, is the temple of Draun. The majority of the temple is built deep into the mountainside, currently making it the largest temple to Drāūn in all of Ildûn. The remaining buildings are the homes of politicians, businessmen, priests, and nobles. The Tier of Sadrànyð Nar is patrolled by a privately-funded police force that enforces a strict dusk to dawn curfew on all non-residents.
- Tier of Tan Tèlyrgæn. Tan Tèlyrgæn, one of the Founding Twins of Gyrdon, is believed to have built his home at this location on the western slope. The ancestral manor was once surrounded by the homes of his descendants and their families. A curtain wall and guard towers once circled the tier, but those were tore down for spolia centuries ago. Today, the area is marked by three ponds and a dozen or more mills perched atop steep man-made walls. The walls are divided by large overshot waterwheels that turn whenever the gates are lifted. The ancient wheels are the largest and most powerful in the city, depositing their tail-water into cisterns that feed lower mills.
- Hall of Springs. A large temple-like building in the Tier of Sadrànyð Nar, the hall’s high walls contain twelve stained glass windows that fill the interior with colored light each dawn. The hall was built atop the city’s largest spring, which flows from five different openings within the hall. The springs are then diverted into a maze of pools and small waterfalls visible from circling walkways, staircases, balconies, and bridges within the hall. At the center of the hall stands a copse of giant ferns that once grew within the grotto where the hall now stands. The hall is used for both secular and religious events.
- Mills (Various). Gyrdon is known for its many mill-houses. During the day, the creak of old water-wheels often drowns out the ever-present howl of wind. During the fall, the roads are jammed with wagons brimming with grains from the lower slopes. The Gyrdon millstones are renown for the fine quality flours they produce, but also many others uses, e.g. bellowing, crushing, forging, fulling, malting, pressing, sawing, sharpening, tanning.
- Temple of Drāūn. A massive and intact subterranean temple dating to the Dekàli era, today the Gyrdon temple holds many artifacts scavenged from Kyrm Orydnur.