Hochoch is an overcrowded walled town that serves as a military base, refugee camp, and diplomatic arena. Map of Hochoch

Because of Hochoch’s position between two large forests, wood is plentiful as a building material. The town’s structures feature extensive woodwork, from shingles to carved frames, often with elven designs.

The largest buildings, including Hochoch Keep, are built from stone quarried in the Stark Mounds. As befits a village of Hochoch’s age, ivy covers most of the stone buildings. Since the repulsion of the giant invaders five years ago, several structures have undergone renovation to repair damage suffered during the battles.

Population: 5,500, with about 4,200 humans, 500 elves, 250 halflings, and the rest divided among dwarves, gnomes, elves, half-elves, and half-orcs. Individuals of other races also appear occasionally.

Government: Hochoch is governed by a town council, instituted as a diplomatic compromise to
ensure the town’s safety. The council’s members are displaced nobles, community leaders, Watcher and Dispatcher officials, and representatives of Duke Owen I and Commandant Magnus Vrianian of Gran March.

Defenses: Hochoch boasts a battle-hardened townguard, whose members maintain day-to-day order among the populace. The nearly 230 town guards answer to the local Knights of the Watch, who are honor-bound to uphold the laws laid down by the ruling council.
The Watchers are an elite force, overseeing the defense of the city walls and investigating serious crimes with religious zeal. The number of knights fluctuates due to reassignments, but usually hovers around 80.

Inns: The Streamview Tavern is probably the most popular establishment in Hochoch, overlooking the northern shore. The wealthier residents prefer Walton’s Winery, a well-appointed inn with an extensive underground wine cellar. Watering holes of all sorts can be found among the Shingles, where the poorer residents try to drown their sorrows.

Supplies: Hochoch has a long tradition as a starting base for adventurers and explorers, and several stores provide supplies for long-term expeditions. Since the giant invasion, these stores have become recruiting centers for brave Geoffites interested in mounting raids against the invaders. Olwyn’s Outfitters and the Cautious Dwarf are two of the most popular supply shops.

Temples: Every major non-evil religion has at least a small shrine or chapel somewhere in Hochoch. On Watcher Hill stands a well-kept church, favoured by the Knights of the Watch, that is dedicated to Heironeous, St. Cuthbert, and Kelanen, the Prince of Swords. The common folk prefer to attend the Old Faith services in the Grove, honoring nature-related
deities such as Pelor, Obad-Hai, Beory, and Allitur.

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