Aylesbury

Note: This page is intended for general information about the starting town which would be known by anyone who starts here.

Aylesbury is located in the south east of England, roughly forty miles northwest of London. It is the county-town of the county of Buckinghamshire (colloquially Bucks), it being more important for trade and culture than the namesake Buckingham. Being a county-town, it is home to the Assize Court, which is a criminal court responsible for trying the most grievous crimes committed within the county. It is also responsible for a number of administrative functions for the county. Aylesbury is a market town, being the home to a large number of graziers (farmers who raise grazing livestock) and being at the intersection of a number of important roads. The population of Aylesbury is about 2,000.

History

Aylesbury is noted as being a home of the Boleyn family, who own Aylesbury Manor. King Henry VIII wanted Anne Boleyn as his mistress, but she refused him. Henry sought annulment of his marriage from Catherine of Aragon, and when the Pope would not grant it a chain of events was set in motion which resulted in England breaking off from the Roman Catholic Church. The Boleyn family chaplain was made the Archbishop of Canterbury, and when he declared the King's marriage to Catherine null and void, and his marriage to Anne good and valid, the Pope excommunicated both the King and the Archbishop from the Church, bringing the Church of England under control of the King.

During the English Civil War (the Great Rebellion), Aylesbury was home to Parliamentarian forces; like many market towns there was much Puritan sentiment here. John Hampden is revered as a local hero, and a statue of him stands tall in market square.

Locations

The King's Head Inn is an aged and renowned public house. It offers lodging and alcohol to those who pass through Aylesbury in return for a modest fee. The King's Head also takes in mail that comes from riders all around the area, which is then delivered out by riders or when people happen to stop in. The Inn has taken to minting its own trade tokens, which can be used around Aylesbury. The innkeeper is William Dawney. It has been said that the King's Head is haunted with the spirit of a maid who broke her neck falling down the stairs, but a long standing dispute between Dawney and the local priest has meant that she has not been exorcised. Dawney denies the haunting, but more than a few people have claimed her chill touch on the backs of their neck. Below the Inn is a series of tunnels dug during the Great Rebellion which connect it to other establishments around Aylesbury.

St. Mary's Church is the center of Anglican worship. The current priest is Father Jeffery John, who is working hard to ensure that the church does not fall into a state of disrepair. Though not the most gifted cleric, he has been known to take on local boys and educate them in the way of clergy in the hopes that they will decide to preach. Father John is in charge of most burials, marriages, and on occasion commissions groups of farmers to take on local threats from any of the uncivilized humanoids, who still make occasional incursions into the area.

Market Square has existed since medieval times, and is now paved with cobblestones, making it the better of many markets elsewhere in England. Markets are held four days a week, with both permanent and temporary stalls. When a market is not being held, the large area is used for other town events. There are several notable stalls within Market Square, some of which have been built up into buildings. Norwich Weapons sells high quality swords, daggers, rapiers, and other melee instruments, and was said to have been visited by none other than Oliver Cromwell himself. The Enchantoreum is a stall run by a wizard, which has been built up into two story shop. Though he keeps no magical items, the wizard can enchant almost anything given a few hours to work and the right components. He also sells components to other wizards, and has been known to take on an apprentice during the busy season.

The Aylesbury Grammar School is a place of learning where pupils are taught Latin, Greek, and other European languages, in addition to the natural sciences, wizardry, mathematics, history, geography, and other subjects. The school takes on many boarders, some coming from quite far away. Discipline is strict within the school, and like elsewhere there is some argument among the teachers as to whether it is proper for wizardry to be taught in the same school as religious education. This is largely a moot point, because the school teaches only theory and does not encourage the practice of magic.

Heywood House is the residence of Joseph Bell, the Registrar of the Commissary Court for the Archdeaconry of Buckingham. Bell is a relative of the Heywoods, who had held the house for a good many years and lend it their name.

The Hamwich Estate on the outskirts of town is a large country estate which has lain dormant for these past three years. Once the property of Callum Hamwich, a hobbyist alchemist, upon his death the estate was sealed, with furniture wrapped in clothes while the heir was sought out, a long and complicated process involving quite a few solicitors and a number of letters to far away places. The heir to the Hamwich estate, Sancho Hamwich, has now come to Aylesbury to sell it, but there are rumors of a malevolent spirit which lives inside, perhaps related to the alchemical experiments of Callum. Just recently, the rumors have proven themselves at least partially true, as a groundskeeper who came by twice a week to trim the hedges and keep the lawn neat was found dead.

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