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Heraldic colours are silver and pale blue.
Sparks Hill is not a particularly wealthy town, and so the residents are accustomed to conditions that might seem a little shabby to visitors. In spite of the generally poor condition of the town’s coffers, the houses are sturdy and the people are cheerful. Ill fortune seems to pass Sparks Hill by, striking softer than in surrounding areas or not at all, and nobody is quite sure if this is because of the spirit or just plain good luck. Because of the spirit’s dislike for it, alcohol is quite rare in Sparks Hill, and the people don’t seem to be any worse for the wear.
The townspeople enjoy their leisure time, but work well and quickly when the need arises, sometimes surprising even themselves with what they can accomplish. The people are all quite fond of their sometimes addle-pated spirit, and the source of the town’s luck is often a topic of discussion. Strangers are treated in a friendly fashion, unless the townsfolk deem their behaviour as unacceptable – at which point, they become distinctly stand-offish and almost (but not quite) rude. The absent-mindedness of the spirit has worn off on the people, and sometimes they even forget what they’re doing in the middle of doing it.
The spirit of Sparks Hill is a little bit odd, rather forgetful at times and strangely intense at others. The spirit is as fond of play as his people, but voraciously collects knowledge – which he often passes to his clerics, who are some of the most learned minds around. He tries to be generous, whether this means a gift of aid, wisdom, or helpful good humour, and he is most times in a rather good mood.
Because of all the information he has collected over the years, the spirit of Sparks Hill is probably the best entity to ask about the location of long-lost relics and artifacts. Magical ability is not as common as in Caitan, but there are still a few townsfolk with talents in that direction, and some low-level spells and magic items are used in everyday life. The clerics of the town act as healers, as well as teachers of the mundane and the magical.
A fairly standard system exists in Sparks Hill, where crimes are punishable by fines or imprisonment, according to their severity. Anyone imprisoned for murder or a similar charge is given weekly exercise in the form of supervised civil labour (cleaning the streets, mostly, and sometimes replacing the cobblestones). The guards are perhaps not as well-equipped in the way of weapons as those in other towns, but they are steadfast in their duties (some would say stubborn), and are rather difficult to coerce.
The mountain is a good source of various metals – even a few small veins of silver – and these are sent to most of the other towns. Yarad Crossing is the only town that can avoid the tariffs incurred by the passage through Redking, but everywhere else has to pay that little bit extra. Regular items are offered at standard prices, and buyback is also default. Most goods (like everything else) in Sparks Hill prefer function over form, to the extent of being rather ordinary to look at. Quality items fetch a higher price, but most of the townsfolk don’t bother – as long as it works well, it doesn’t matter if it looks boring. Because of this, masterwork items are rare and expensive. Some of the food that supplies Sparks Hill comes from the farms around and on the base of the mountain, which also produce some foodstuffs which can’t be grown anywhere else because of the climate. The rest gets shipped in from New Sephos and Agium.
As its name suggests, Sparks Hill is located on a mountain which shares its name. The town is nestled between the two peaks of the mount, and because of its height it is one of the few towns that gets snow in the winter. The forest that covers the mountain has been cleared around the town, and farms on the sides of the mount eke out a meagre but happy living.
Chill winds blow up both sides of the mountain in winter, and snow falls in slow sheets. The spirit uses a modified continual flame spell to provide the heat and light of a roaring bonfire in the town square without the danger of a real flame, so the people can go about their business without too much inconvenience. Summers are cool, and rather dry. The rainy season is autumn, but because of its elevation less rain falls on the town than on the farms at the base of the mount.
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