The Seasons and Climate
The residents of Alden Minor experience a temperate climate, with short summers and bitter winters made harsher by fierce storms that head in from the sea. The heat of summer is relieved by the nearly constant sea breezes. Likewise, the winters are made colder by the damp sea air.
Average Temperature by Season: Spring 62° F; Summer 94 F; Autumn 80 F; Winter 32 F
Low Temperature (yearly) 12 F
High Temperature (yearly) 98 F
Annual Precipitation 35 inches
Appearance and Dress
As a coastal city, Alden Minor is often windy and is prone to suffering through vicious storms during the rainy season. As such, a sturdy water-resistant cloak is a must.
Since metal is precious, only dedicated warriors and the rich walk around covered in it. The Nobles are fond of wearing doublets resplendent with shiny brass buttons. No courtier’s outfit is complete without such a lavish display.
Recreation and Leisure
Few residents have the time necessary to enjoy leisure activities, what with the many rigors of toiling just to put food on the table. Even many of the nobles have jobs, though they are often comfortable positions within the government.
If one recreation had to be picked as the most popular in Alden Minor, it would be drinking. In this regard, the city supports an astounding number of taverns for its population.
Alden Minor can be a rough-and-tumble place, and many of its residents place a high value on toughness and strength. Other recreational pastimes reflect this, with games of strength and endurance being popular. Among these is pit-fighting, a betting sport in which opponents pummel each other until at least one can no longer stand. Other popular games include wrestling (of various kinds, from full-contact to thumb wrestling) and racing.
Even some of the nobles are known to enjoy such events (watching, of course, not participating), dressing somewhat incognito so they can blend with the crowd without appearing to be of common stock.
Animals are only rarely used in sporting events, and even then only in the seediest locations. The influence of the clergy of Chauntea is strong and they carefully monitor any such events for potential abuses of the animals. No such boundaries exist for human participants, though, largely due to the power of the temple of Tempus.
Art and Culture
Not everyone in town is a ruffian or thug. Most of Alden Minor’s creative outlets are focused into pottery and music. Caravans travel for hundreds of miles to pick up pottery for trade in other cities. Fine musical performances are provided at all the best inns and most of the better taverns.
Additionally, the temple of Milil sponsor’s the city’s most prominent knightly order, the Harmonious Order. These knights are as dedicated to fine art as they are to the military arts.
Weapons are very prevalent in society, even amongst the elderly and children, but edged or piercing weapons are rarely used in common fights. Those who are quick to fight most often do so with their fists or whatever is close at hand to grab (a chair, mug, plate, or the like). Those who do otherwise – without obvious just cause or some sort of political protection – typically find themselves looking up at the bad end of a headsman’s axe.
The houses of Alden Minor tend to be sturdy structures, designed to weather harsh storms and keep out the elements. Construction materials differ greatly by district. In the Common District, one of the poorest districts, the houses are wood and tend to appear held together by patches. In the Noble District, the richest district, the houses are made of stone and tend to be surrounded by large walls of metal and stone. In places in between, such as Midtown, it is common to see a merchant’s shop made of stone, atop which sits a second-story living quarters made of wood.
The Sword Coast allows access to the ocean in very few places between Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep, as its cliffs range anywhere up to a mile above the sea line. Alden Minor grew around one of these rare locations.
Alden Minor sits in the lowlands near the Troll Hills. The city proper sits about a quarter-mile above the rocky shores of the Sword Coast, with the Noble District occupying the highest ground. As it approaches the docks, the land rapidly descends until it reaches a cliff about fifty yards above the sea line.
Alden Minor as a Character Region
The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting establishes character regions for characters that meet certain prerequisites.
The Alden Minor character region is as follows:
- Automatic Languages
- Bonus Languages
Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Illuskan, Midani, Orc
- Regional Feats
Foe Hunter (Troll), Luck of Heroes, Survivor, Thug
- Longsword*, rapier*, or short sword*
- Light crossbow
- Studded leather, 4 Flasks of Oil
* Masterwork armor, weapon, or item.