As time went on I grew more refined and was able to further flesh out the broad strokes of Shakun. This place holds a special place to me as I have had countless adventuring groups either "start" from here or make it their home after the fact.
However with my current group I have not been describing the city as well as I should have, playing it in my mind and glossing it over to the people around the table (plus it is VERY hard to town adventure properly with 7 players!). In an effort to rectify this, I have been penning a few short essays about prominent places in Shakun and forwarding it to the group.
Here is the 2nd one:
Originally the Shakun Town Hall was used as the trading hall for the visiting caravans during Marketday. As time went on, the interest in imported Pervian goods grew and the sheer number of traders coming through Shakun made the hall impractical. The shanty of hovels and lean-tos that had grown outside the Hall were cleared away and cobbled over, making what is now known as Town Square over 60 years ago.
The Town Hall was first officially used during the Gaia’s Festival in 127 as the place for the brewers and vinters to set up their wares out of the rains that had been hitting that week. A few drunken brawls followed and the first trial was held here at that time to identify who threw the first punch. Not a noble start but an honest one.
Since then the Town Hall has been refitted for its new purpose and is one of the more structurally sound buildings in Shakun. Although it is a single story building, it does boast over 15’ of height on the inside from the stone floor to the open rafters above. The windows are plentiful but narrow, a mere 13” in width making it difficult for anyone other than halflings to slither through. The main double doors are 4’ wide each and have been replaced many times – the current set are iron banded reinforced oaken timbers. The main entrance is also set partially inside the walls of the Hall; set back and concave to the furthest point of the exterior wall by almost 10’. This was by design since the Hall can also be sealed from the inside and anyone attempting to gain entrance would be subject to many potential flanking attacks through the windows by either bow or long spear.
There is a weapons rack and closet just on the inside right door where citizens are divested of lethal weaponry and it is placed here until they leave. During Court Day the Town Hall will have 12 guards on duty and placed in various spots both within and outside the building. At other times only 4 guards are on duty although the full roster of 12 can be mustered within 15 minutes if need calls (over 30 citizens are classified as Town Hall Guards but the “active” duty roster rotates so most of them can pursue whatever other jobs they need to maintain their homes and families).
The center of the Hall is dominated by an 8’ diameter fire pit which is lit during the winter months to provide warmth. The ceiling above does allow smoke to escape but the flue and chimney is not perfect and when it is cold there is a sweet spot where the people who do come to the hall try to sit; someplace where they are warmed by the fire but not choked out by pluming smoke.
Seating in the hall is primarily along the back, left, and right sides where simple roughhewn pews of 12’ lengths are set in not quite perfect rows. Up to 200 citizens can sit on the right, 250 on the left, and another 150 can sit in the back. There is also standing room for another 200 or so should that many people come to the Hall.
The front of the hall is dominated by a large scarred bench. 5 chairs are placed behind the bench with the central one for the town Magistrate. The other 4 chairs are for: the Baron (Taugis), Consul (Ikarsbane), Reeve, and Captain of the Guard. Not many matters require the audience of all 5 members of the Town Board and most are handled by the Magistrate or in the matters of common cases, the Reeve. The bench was used by the Leech during the goblin occupation for a time as a torture table before being discarded. Local artisans had scrubbed, sanded, repaired and refinished the bench lovingly after the Leech’s destruction and it has since been replaced here in the Town Hall.
In front of the bench is a cordoned off barred area where plaintiffs or accused can be brought to present their case or matter to the bench. Behind it is a grand table with seating for 18 where supporters would sit. To the right and left are two smaller tables, much newer constructions, where defendants and accusers would situate themselves.
Finally, behind the bench are three doors. One on the left leads to a private lavatory, one on the right leads to a storeroom where often times dried meats and vegetables, a few barrels of water, and a small amount of simple arms and shields are stored (enough to outfit 12 men if need be), and the one in the center leads to an apartment where the Magistrate resides. The apartment has 4 rooms and is fairly spartan, but is provided free for the Magistrate and any potential family for as long as he holds the position.