Type: Walled town
Location: Metamor Valley
Although technically not really part of the castle it is intimately tied to the Keep both physically and economically. This large, sprawling town is located at the southern end of the ridge that Metamor castle rests upon. The road leading to the castle and the Outer gate runs through Euper.
Euper has a large marketplace and several inns, residences, warehouses and all other accouterments of a small medieval city. The Metamor common marketplace is here in the central square of Euper though lesser plazas and alleys act as impromptu markets during the busiest season and festival times. The restriction of the walled town and Keep do not allow a great deal of space for a large market so much of Metamor's active trading takes place here, and in animal trading areas to the south of Euper. Those visitors too frightened by the curse or unsettled by the higher concentration of animal-aspected citizens tend to stay in Euper as well. This also due to the larger number of quality nighting establishments with enough space to house entire caravans if need be.
It is an important enough place to have it’s own curtain walls which connect to the castle's outer curtain wall. These walls are small, 8-10 feet, built of unmortared stone, and generally not manned save at the gates of which there are four. The South gate, large enough for two fully laden wagons to enter abreast, is the largest leading down an avenue to the central square. The Gate of Dawn, or east gate, and the Gate of Dusk, or west gate, are little more than postern gates large enough for a single wagon or carriage. The Duke's Gate, or north gate, is large enough to let a fully laden caravan wagon through following the same avenue from the South Gate through the central square. All gates are manned by sentries of the Wardens at all times and close after dark. Though closed at night the gates are manned and will open to allow entry after a challenge. Euper is an independent town with it’s own mayor and political body unlike Metamor Town (also called 'Keeptowne' for short) inside the walls of the castle which is considered just a part of the castle itself.
On foot at a leisurely pace inner Euper (the area of the town inside its curtain walls) can be crossed in approximately fifteen to twenty minutes (approx. 3/4 mile). Due to two wars and the Curse the population has dropped to only half of what it had been at its peak. Many farmsteads, minor estates, and other private residences sprawl outward beyond the curtain walls a considerable distance. Several of them stand abandoned. Inside the walls there are also a considerable number of fallow, unused areas left vacant by wars and curse. Over the centuries many lesser walls have been erected and disassembled, built over, or left in disrepair. These smaller walls show the slow expansion of the town over time. Many of them have become the boundaries for the various wards overseen by the Euper watch, or Wardens.
Euper and Metamor Town maintain a single shared policing body, The Wardens, whereas the inner Keep maintains its own policing body. The Watch divides Euper proper (within the outer wall) into five precincts or wards; the Central Ward, comprising the town square, Mayor's residence, and most of the buildings that surround the square. Four wards, identified by the gates nearest their precinct house, surround the central ward (Dawn, Dusk, South, and Duke's wards).
The watch does extend its reach beyond the walls of Euper but the precincts are less defined. Each lieutenant has more men to oversee and, where patrols tend to overlap, rivalries crop up (both good natured and not). As with any endeavor giving a perception of legal power, corruption arises and disagreements crop up from time to time…
Euper has a lot of things available that have not been described in detail as of yet. They include the following:
- Warehouses & storehouses As the place where most of the visiting merchants stay there are several warehouses & storehouses that allow these visitors to store their goods. Since the curses taking hold most of these are now empty. The Thirsty Scholar, an artisan's tavern, is located in an old warehouse here.
- Stables Just as the visiting merchants need places to store their good they also need a place for their horses and oxen. There are at least a dozen stables in Euper. These vary in the quality and cost of service. Most are for short term care of animals (usually 1 to 3 days) and are for the visiting merchants and travelers. Others are for long term care and usually hold the animals of residents of Euper who own a horse but don't have a place to keep them. Sort of like the difference between long term and short term parking!
- Inns & Apartments Visiting merchants also need a place for themselves! As such there are quite a few inns & taverns in Euper. Also most buildings have at least 1 or 2 rooms to rent. Many regular visitors stay at the same place each time they visit and a few actually rent a room or rooms long term.
- Bathhouse Euper has many places where you can take a bath and get cleaned up. The main one in Euper is located just off the town square in a rambling building that is believed to date back to at least -45CR.
- Sewers & Drains Euper has an extensive if chaotic series of sewers and drains. No one knows who created the first but everyone who has lived at Euper Elves, Suielman, Cenetl have dug some sort of underground water channel. The elves are thought to have built the first sewer and drain and it was expanded by later people. This has led to a warren of brick and stone lined tunnels under the town. All buildings are connected to a sewer (It's a law that they must) but how old or effective that sewer is is usually unknown. Most homes still have a cesspit or private privy. Also public latrines are scattered about the town. Legends of course speak of long abandoned/forgotten sections of sewers that lead to hidden treasures or forgotten rooms. The Sewer has 2 main tunnels that run north- south and east-west. They intersect under the Town Square in a large room sometimes sarcastically nicknamed the swimming pool. Countless smaller tunnels and pipes branch off these two main tunnels eventually covering all sections of the town. All the sewers are sloped so that liquids flow towards the Swimming pool. It is believed that the sewage then drains downward and eventually finds its way out to one of a dozen large plots of land south of the Keep & Euper (as the prevailing wind typically comes from the north) and emptied into compost heaps. Over the next few months the waste is composted.
- Warrens Close in the shadows of Metamor's walls stands a tight packed cluster of ramshackle dwellings relegated to the lowest castes of Euper's peasantry. A fire-trap by any definition these dilapidated, ramshackle dwellings sprawl against and over one another, serving as the bolt hole for any number of unsavory, sick, poor, and downtrodden residents of Metamor. Roads are little more than narrow lanes choked by trash and trickles of fowl water. Most often the aged, leaning buildings loom over these narrow lanes turning them into burrow-like paths; thus the moniker Warrens.
- Streets Euper's streets range from wide avenues paved with thick stones, to cobblestones to brick to dirt to those barely above the level of an open sewer.
- Market Like all towns and cities Euper has a central market. In this case one day a week (Wednesday) is set aside as Market day. On that day the Main Square is filled with merchants and venders of all sorts. A good portion are people from outside the town and Keep. Usually they are farmers and the like selling food and drink. In a world with limited food preservation food has to be purchased fresh. This results in a market that is a mix of a flea market, a craft show and a food market. Most of the craftsmen and food sellers maintain stores elsewhere and the square always has someone selling goods there every day. An unofficial market has sprung up in the Docks Area but its hours are irregular. Usually it pops up when a caravan or a cargo ship arrives with goods. This turns the Dock area into a short term market that lasts only till the newly arrived goods have been sold.
The present town is built over the remains of the Suielman town of Eupernium but has a far older heritage. The Cenetl tribe called the Coritani had a town named Cavsennae on the site. It was taken by assault by the Suielman when they took the valley in -567. They subsequently rebuilt the town and renamed it Eupernium. The name has since been shortened to the present Euper. With the Keep itself closed to the empire and it's people this town became the center of commerce in the area. It was greatly overshadowed by of Camulodunum and was something of a suburb of that city. See metamor-valley-suielman .
The traces of an older Elven settlement do occasionally turn up. That towns name is thought to be Hiril Anoran (Lady Dawn) but little else is known about it.
There is one brief mention in a text of an even older settlement whose ruins were there when the elves first arrived. Some suspect that those might have been from a tened settlement. But nothing else is known and the text involved is undated.
Places of note
- The Main Square This large paved,open area is the center of town life. In the center is a large ornate fountain. On one side of the square is the town hall. Approximately an acre in area (200' by 200', but this is an entirely rough estimate).
- The Jolly Collie Until the Yule tide attack this three story inn stood on one side of the town square. It was leveled to the ground in the fighting and only recently has it's reconstruction been started. It is notable in that is own by Misha Brightleaf. Now rebuilt in stone with thick, oak gates sheathed in iron. It is something of a small fortress in it's own right.
- A Little Hole in the Wall This small restaurant on the outside consists of a single door sandwiched between two large buildings. The interior is decorated like the inside of a giant mousehole. Owned by a family of mice. First appeared in 'Dreams' by Hallan Mirayas.
- The Blue Note A small building near the Warrens serves as a school for the performing arts and a market for musical instruments. In the past it was once the headquarters of a long defunct thieves' guild, leaving behind all manner of secretive doors and passages. These days its proprietor is content simply to teach music. The minstrel, Malger Sutt, often attends the Note as a teacher and nominal leading figure of the loose guild of musicians and performers that call upon the Blue Note.