Cullenshole (AKA Cullens’ Hole)
A fortified island town at the northern tip of the bay east of the Woods of the Dithedine. It is owned and operated by The Family Cullen. It consists of 100 or so families all related directly or indirectly to the Cullens family. Each aspect of the town is run by one “clan” of the family: Prison, guards, shipping, pub and inn, etc. The current ruler is the Lady Shennesy Cullen. Her brother Bellow Cullen is the City Manager. Shamus Cullen runs the pub and inn, 3 Hooks and a Nail.
The town is built upon a small island and consists of four parts separated by gates:
- The city proper. The island has a ring of stone and wooden buildings built around the outside with services being at street level and living quarters being above.
- The garrison is the gate house to the north separating the 2-mile long bridge to the mainland from the city. The bridge is significantly lower than the city and a large wooden platform can be raised and lowered from the guard house to receive goods and/or visitors (which are few now).
- The prison sits just off the island to the south-east and is separated by a draw bridge operated from the prison side.
- The castle is to the west and is connect by a natural bridge to the main island.
At the center of the main island is a large, deep hole filled with sea water. A deep, mechanical bellowing can be heard from the large hole. The water level in the hole rises and falls with the tide but it lowers far slower than it rises (this is likely a kind of wave or tide powered pumping system). Two windmills (one on the castle and one on the city’s edge) operate a vast mechanical system that is hidden in tunnels within the island’s core.
The tide here is extreme and when “out” the island is surrounded by miles of muddy sea floor. The harbor is a raised, stone platform on which ships rest while the tide is out. Trade and access to the city are strictly regulated. There is a ’landing fee" of 2 gp to enter the city from the port stairs.
Cullenshole believes sparrows to be “precious” and the Uncle of Lady Shennesy is the Sparrow-Keeper. There is an aviary above the guards’ complex to the castle where an unknown number of sparrows are kept. Cullenshole is the starting point of a path known as The Sparrow’s Reach (aka Talon’s Way).
Grandmother Cullen (the eldest living Cullen) lives in a bio-illuminated cave beneath the prison island (Accessible through a complicated system of tunnels and passageways). She is some type of spell-user and seems to operate a very effective spy network in the city, knowing all that happens with her family and visitors. She is the sole keeper of the knowledge of the secrets of the Sparrow’s Reach. Any family member can allow visitors to access “Grandma Cullen” but this is rare and costs as much as 1000 gp (of which Grandma receives a significantly high percentage). She is a jolly old woman pleased to remain away from the “clutter and calamity” of her family and town life. She has a trace of Elven blood in her and is of a venerable age. NOTE: When last seen she was paid a large vial of water from the Fountain of Youth that could rejuvenate her as much as a 100 years if imbibed.