Welcome to another Community Spotlight! These spotlights are dedicated entirely to community content, usually about a player town and presented by a single individual or an entire guild.
This week we return to the snowy peaks of the soon-to-be Municipality of Beran’s Reach. Home of The Bear Tavern and waypoint for many who venture out into the frozen wilds of Regalis and North Paladis. Beran’s Reach earned a reputation as being a sanctuary for all from the wilds beyond its high walls. We catch up with Vallas Tellen, Tavernkeeper of The Bear Tavern and Governor of Beran’s Reach, to find out more.
Can you tell me a little about Beran’s Reach?
Beran’s Reach has a long and distinguished history, growing over the years from a sleepy farmstead to the gateway to the northern reaches. Dominating the local countryside and overlooking the main road leading south to Britanny, it acts as a vital way station for both merchant caravans and those seeking fame and coin the wilds beyond. Indeed, Beran’s Reach has become a sight of veritable pilgrimage for newer adventurers looking to make a name for themselves like the heroes of old, a bastion that separates civility from savagery. To go beyond Beran’s Reach is to begin a journey to paths unknown, indeed perhaps best left untread.
As a consequence, Beran’s Reach has developed a unique culture that is surprisingly welcoming to all. In the northern reaches where survival presents an almost daily challenge, divisions and the complexities of life at court are luxuries that few can afford. Within the inns and markets that sprawl within ‘the Reach’ as it is more affectionately known, grim north men rub shoulders with wealthy travellers. Amid the hubbub of the central market square, merchants can often be seen vying for trade, with gold changing hands for valuable furs, wood and ore. All manner of adventurer can often be seen seeking food and provisions among the many shops and bazaars that dot around the city, providing last minute supplies for their journey.
Rising up from the centre of Beran’s Reach, the keep of The Bear Tavern shines night and day with the warm glow of a multitude of candles, torches and open fires. A Beran’s Reach tradition, The Bear Tavern provides a home-from-home for all as well as a venue for travellers and locals alike to eat, drink and seek respite from the outside world.
How do you get to Beran’s Reach?
Despite its seeming isolation, Beran’s Reach is a relatively short ride from central Britanny. Most travelers take the northern road that lies along the coast of Spindrift bay, turning right as the road forks within the Serpent’s Spine Foothills.
Crossing the bridge that spans the confluence of the Fortus and Sanctus rivers, the road leads on to the town and its prominent position on a hill within the Sanctus Forest.
What major landmarks are there in Beran’s Reach?
Within the walls and environs of Beran’s Reach are a diverse range of shops, businesses and locations, each contributing to the its rich and unique culture. Here is a selection of just a few that can be found, with many more yet to be discovered by the discerning visitor:
The Bear Tavern
One of the most iconic landmarks of Beran’s Reach, the towering keep of The Bear Tavern dominates the central square, it’s many lights beckoning in residents and travellers alike. The beginning of countless adventures, for a few coin the Bear Tavern provides good ale, good company and respite from the icy winds beyond its thick walls.
The bear tavern offers numerous facilities, from warm beds and meals, to comfortable lounges and reading rooms, from lively music to private meeting venues. There’s even a sauna to help ebb away the aches and strains of wilderness living. Below, the Tavern Arena plays hosts to concerts and galas, as well as the occasional Tavern Brawl.
Beran’s Reach Crafting Centre
Nestled into the Reach’s south-western quarter, the Crafting Centre is a distinctive landmark that plays hosts to many a budding craftsman. Well equipped and with a wide array of facilities, it is a regular haunt for those looking to tend to and repair their equipment before venturing out on their adventure.
Rising above city landscape and occupying the southern wall, Mhtic’s Inn provides safe and clean lodging for many of those either passing through, as well as those who have just started their adventure in the north. Simple, yet comfortable, Mhtic’s inn is run by its amiable namesake who is renowned for taking in those in need.
High Rock Brewery
Located directly on the central market square, the High Rock brewery produces some of the finest beers and ales in Novia. Renowned for its flavour, and indeed its potency, many of its finer creations remain a firm favourite for both locals and visitors alike. In particular, the High Rock brewery’s ‘skull smasher’ ale, brewed in small batches and on special occasions takes pride of place in taverns and beer halls across the land.
Beran’s Reach market square
The heart of Beran’s Reach, the market square remains one of the focal points of town life. Dominated by a great yew tree and bordered by both businesses and The Bear Tavern, the market square acts as both the gateway to the city and a common place to both meet and for recreation.
Tucked away behind the Silvergate Inn are a variety of devotionals, as well as one of the land’s many fabled oracle confirmatories. Throughout each day, many can be observed visiting this quiet part of town, both paying their respects and taking a few moments of quiet contemplation.
The Whacky Note
One of Beran’s Reach’s longest-running businesses, The Whacky Note has provided musical instruments to bards and entertainers across Novia. From flutes and woodwind instruments, to extravagant grand pianos, The Whacky Note provides an exhaustive selection for all manner of tastes. The doors are always open, a worthy visit for those of an artistic nature.
The North and Southern Palisades
The influx of new travellers and settlers has slowly-but-surely led to Beran’s Reach expanding beyond its city walls. In recent years new outlying villages have emerged, protected by stout palisade walls. These fledgeling settlements, but a stones throw from Beran’s Reach-proper, provide ample opportunities for new arrivals to find their place in the world.
What rules are those who visit or call it home expected to abide by?
The rules of the Reach are simple… don’t cause trouble. For those seeking simpler lives, away from the confines and sometimes stifling world of civilisation, it’s a simple mantra that meets the needs of those that dwell there. Law and order is strictly enforced by a local militia. Disputes, while surprisingly rare, are dealt with swiftly-yet-fairly by the local Governor. The end result is that Beran’s Reach, while not necessarily as refined as some more cultured settlements to the south, retains its reputation as an oasis of calm amid the wilds of the north.
Does Beran’s Reach play host to events or activities?
Yes it does. Indeed, one of the reasons the township exists is to provide a suitable venue to all. This is partly the reason why the township has maintained is open and welcoming reputation, not just as a way-station for travelers but as a community hub of activity. The Bear Tavern proudly displays its Royal Warrant in recognition of its efforts in this regard.
Beran’s Reach has played host to a variety of events and activities, drawing crowds far and wide. Here are but a few examples:
Shooter Jennings concert
Beran’s Reach played host to the one of New Britannia’s largest parties during the concert of master bard Shooter Jennings. This is by far one of our busiest events ever with the tavern packed full of visitors and the party spilling out into the streets. Some less reputable minstrels have exaggerated that so full was the Tavern that reality began to cave in on itself. However, mirror universes and multiple parties all happening at once is a little far-fetched, so we try to not spread that sort of thing.
The Bear Tavern Brawl
Every so often, Beran’s Reach becomes the home of one of New Britannia’s oldest competitions. Beneath the Bear Tavern lies the Bear Tavern Arena, an enormous event space that is the home of The Bear Tavern Brawl. Part tournament, part beer festival, The Bear Tavern Brawl draws all-manner of fighters who seek to make their name on the arena floor. The Bear Tavern Brawl is often a venue where good money can be made, either fighting in the tournament or while placing a wager on the sidelines.
The Bear Tavern Pub Crawl
True to its reputation, Beran’s Reach regularly plays host to The Bear Tavern ‘Pub Crawl’, a regular foray into the many of the most dangerous realms of New Britannia. Intended to provide strangers a means of meeting like-minded individuals, Pub Crawls draw both new arrivals and veterans alike.
It’s clear that Beran’s Reach has a place for travelers
Do many call it home? While it’s fair to say that few would seek to live in the wilds of the north, Beran’s Reach plays host to a community that calls it home year round. For those seeking a fresh start, either to cast aside former troubles or to reinvent themselves in the face of adversity, it represents an ideal location. While close to the merchant roads leading directly to the capital, it remains far enough away to provide a modicum of privacy. Few that live there delve too deeply into the past of others, it’s regarded as somewhat of an irrelevance.
Behind the walls of Beran’s Reach is ample room for those looking to establish shops and businesses, as well as play to lay down roots. There’s opportunity a’plenty to make a fair bit of gold, if that’s you passion, for those with the foresight and business acumen to attempt it. Still, for those simply looking for a home, it remains a locale where new arrivals are welcomed with open arms. With many opportunities for cheap lodging and with plots open for the taking, all that’s required is for would-be residents to seize the moment.
Is the town and its surroundings dangerous?
It can be, to say otherwise would be a lie. Wolves and bandits prowl the roads and forests, so travellers are advised to keep a watchful eye. The walls of Beran’s Reach are there for a reason, trolls have been known to test their luck and seek to force their way in, only to be beaten back by the defenders. Even dragons have made their mark in recent memory, perhaps drawn by whispers of wealth and prey. Still, despite the challenges, Beran’s Reach provides a bastion against the threats that roam beyond its borders.
Within its gates, the town, largely, is safe enough. Would-be visitors are minded to greet their fellow with respect. Rough men tend to respond poorly to poorly-chosen words, especially when ale is involved within Beran’s Reach’s drinking establishments.
Beran’s Reach clearly seems to have it’s own culture. Where does its loyalties lie?
A question that is both straightforward forward and at the same time difficult to answer. As a township, Beran’s Reach is loyal to the crown and on a number of occasions has stepped forward to ride to needs of need. Beran’s Reach, like many other settlements across New Britannia meets its obligations for tithes and taxes. However, beneath the surface and perhaps a product of its environment, the township and its people are staunchly independent. To those who have made the commitment to make the north their home, it is perhaps unsurprising that they often look to themselves and their kin before seeking further aid.
From rallying against common foes, to working together to overcome greater challenges, the people of Beran’s Reach share both a common bond and a certain pride in their home that helps them overcome adversity.
Is Beran’s Reach welcoming to new residents?
Quite simply, yes. Beran’s Reach, since its early days has been open to all, regardless of rank or affiliation. The town isn’t just for visitors, many who have wandered through have also decided to stay and make a life for themselves, either by making their home here or by establishing shops and businesses intent on making their fortune. Due to life on the frontier where times can be hard, those who set up shop providing new goods and services are typically welcomed with open arms.
For those who agree to keep the peace, there are boundless opportunities to stake a claim, either within Beran’s Reach herself, or within the outlying villages that encircle the township-proper. This provides a range of environments, tailoring for all manner of tastes. In recent memory Beran’s Reach has undertaken a bit of a renaissance, with larger dwellings signifying the influx of wealth. Larger merchant houses have also begun to appear, with plots of land set aside for further growth. There are no restrictions, with newcomers welcome to find a plot that works for them. As long as they keep the peace.
The Bear Tavern and the Municipality of Beran’s Reach is an open community that welcomes all, regardless to ranks and affiliation. It is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment, intended to encourage cooperation provide a fun environment for all in new Britannia. Regular updates on town developments can be found here. If you’re keen to get involved, or if you want to find out more, visit us on our discord server at www.discord.gg/H9b5mC4
There are countless towns and historical landmarks to explore throughout New Britannia. Visit the Community Spotlight section of the website to read about more of these sprawling towns. If you are interested in sharing your tales of adventure, message community managers Berek or Cerus!