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Tharton 1: History

Posted by Chris Jones
On February 15th, 2006 at 17:42

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Tharton was originally written using PFS:Write circa 1987. It was developed for an AD&D campaign that I was trying to revive. This is not the original text and has been updated and revised to both improve the writing and make it more coherent.

In considering it’s applicability as an MMO world, Tharton is relatively small scale but would provide sufficient interest and opportunity for a few hundred players. Systems would need to be built for banking, trading, caravan visits, theft, muggings, guard duty, secret entrances to the sewers, politics, etc.

A city setting


Tharton is a small keep town on the western border of the Kingdom of Tocrat, nestled in a pleasant upland valley and astride a significant trade route. It was founded about 50 years ago and has grown quickly, no longer the hamlet around a keep but a bustling town within well-defended walls.

The first lord of Tharton was the famous military general Elban, who named the town after the local spring, Thar. He was granted the reward of a small barony to rule soon after the borderland keep was completed, but returned the lands to the king so that he might continue his lordship over the growing area. The lands surrounding the town, from the border of the kingdom throughout the valley and within roughly 15 miles, have been added into the demesne of the Lord of Tharton.

The construction crews of the keep found the land to be pleasant and were permitted to stay near the military outpost and established the hamlet, now servicing traders who journeyed between the two kingdoms. The trade route grew in importance after the valley was secured from the occasional brigand group, and with the money flowing through the area came new settlers.

In an effort to protect the growing town from the occasional threats of raiding, border skirmishes, and to help impose customs duties on traders importing goods, Tharton was walled ten years ago. Gangs of unskilled workers, masons, and foremen were brought into the town from rest of the Kingdom, and in two years had managed to raise strong walls of local granite, reinforced with iron—and just in time. Soon after the walls were completed, a massive band of over a thousand brigands from the kingdom’s eastern neighbors crossed the border intent on raiding the prosperous town. The defense of Tharton was dear, with citizen, worker, constable and lord’s guard alike fighting to defend their homes and families. In the end, the brigands broke against the strong walls of Tharton and its vigorous defense, and the exposed position of the brigand group prevented any siege.

Today, Tharton still welcomes traders and acts as an entry port for visitors to the kingdom. Many of the unskilled workers remained in Tharton, an underclass of laborers striving for a better life. Tharton’s more prosperous and established citizens cut deals and try to work their way into greater wealth. The Lord and his guards watch the walls and surrounding lands for any threat, while the constables under the mayor watch the populace and enforce the laws of the town.

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