The northern most barony of the human-dominated empire of Nerath, Winterhaven is a sizable city built around the shores of Lake Nen. Specializing in lumber, iron, fish, scrimshaw, and furs, Winterhaven’s economy has recently taken off with the discovery of admantine, gold, copper, and lapis lazuli within the region, and now supports a growing art and culture scene.
Winterhaven also serves several important military functions. Not only does it supply the imperial fortress-mine of Arneswatch, which produces a great deal of the empire’s silver currency, but it also guards the headwaters of the Nentir River, one of the empire’s most important bodies of water.
The governance of Winterhaven is divided between the imperially appointed baron, Casseran Tabart (the executive head of the city), and the locally elected council of magistrates, headed by Chief Magistrate Hughes Milfort, which handles the day-to-day operations of the city.
Winterhaven is divided into four quarters:
The Steel Quarter sits on the northern shore of the lake, where it serves as the barracks of the city guard, the reserve headquarters for northern imperial forces, the home of many of the city’s best smithies, and an industrial park.
The city’s western shore is the site of the wealthy residential district, appropriately named the High Quarter. In addition to large townhouses and urban villas, the High Quarter hosts many upscale shops, cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues, including theaters. It is also home to the Northern Vaydalis Institute, a museum, library, academy, and temple of Dythadin, considered to be one of the best sources of scholarly lore in the region.
The Merchant Quarter is the heart of Winterhaven’s economy, situated on its southern shore. Here countless shops, stands, and merchant carts vie for the attention of would-be customers, offering goods as mundane as simple sundries and as exotic as tropical fruit, masterfully blown crystal, and intricate scrimshaw. It is also the site of most of Winterhaven’s more modestly priced inns, taverns, and gambling halls, as well as the city’s House of the Nine.
The Low Quarter sits on the eastern shore, comprised of a disorganized assortment of wharves, warehouses, dive bars, and lower class housing. The most popular spot in the quarter is the Open Door, a large hostel and soup kitchen operated by the church of Solomial.
At the center of Lake Nen is an enormous pillar of rock. Accessible from carefully monitored bridges in the Steel and High Quarters, at the top of this pillar sits the baronial manor and its fortifications.