The town of Altaruk sits atop an important juncture along the Balic-Tyr trade route. Other routes branching from Altaruk extend toward the northern city-states and into the eastern Tablelands. Altaruk lies near the head of the Estuary of the Forked Tongue, a silt channel dotted with small islands that pours into the great Sea of Silt.
Powerful Balican merchant houses sponsor the heavily fortified town. A 1 5-foot wall encircles Altaruk, and a well-trained mercenary army drives off raiders. The army’s frequent patrols flush out bandits and predatory creatures within a half-day’s ride. Only a sizable offensive might crack the mercenaries’ defenses. Lately, the army’s commanders have been casting a wary eye toward the Estuary as rumors swirl that the giants are planning to again move against the town. This protection does not come free to travelers, however. There is a 1 gp entry fee for every head, including beasts.
Arisphistaneles, a Balican noble, governs the town. He is well known as a pragmatic man who holds citizens and traders equally accountable to Altaruk’s laws, the foremost of which being “do not steal from other traders.”
Its way-station drama, regular bandit clearing excursions, and plague of giants keep Altaruk flush with job opportunities for the adventurous type.