One of the two major settlements situated in Vyankal, the other being the city of Wyrnward. Westwater is inhabited by mostly human descendents of the ancient Adranatan Empire during the war with the elves from over a thousand years ago.
The city was originally founded as an outpost and supply relay for the imperial soldiers of Adranatas. The Suncrest Peaks to the south made accessing Caelildran difficult because weather and the presence of ogres made travelling through the mountains an uncertainty. So the imperial human army found the least rocky section of coastline they could and built a small castle and dock. Over time this outpost would become more vital to the Adranatan war effort, more troops were stationed there and more infrastructure was needed. The outpost grew in size as the humans built a storehouse for supply goods, a large barracks, and even a stone church. Non-combatants were welcome to stay if they were willing to pay a premium and didn’t interfere with the war effort. Hunters, gatherers, fish mongers and merchants began to gather at the budding outpost that would some day be dubbed Westwater.
By the final days of the war, when the Adranatan forces were withdrawing from Vyankal, Westwater had grown into a fully self-sufficient city of its own. Throughout the war various quartermasters and captains were assigned to administering the city, but during the closing of the war a more permanent leader needed to be selected. The Emperor during those days had earned himself many opponents his policies given the brutality of the fighting and his focus on conquest to the neglect of his lands. A knight by the name of Lord Nelunor, was ultimately chosen to be master of Westwater. This was a political move by the Emperor to keep one of his mightiest rivals as far away from the Adranatan capital as possible. Nelunor, and the rest of the eligible lords of Adranatas recognized this “reward” as an insult, but few had the power to resist the Emperor’s wishes. In less than a year Vyankal was almost entirely vacated by the Adranatan armies and only the sick, wounded, elderly, and cursed troops remained. Lord Nelunor had few sworn men to his name and had a personal loathing for commonfolk. Wishing not to recruit levies from the peasantry, the newly dubbed master of Westwater cobbled together these rejected soldiers and formed “the Butchered Guard” for these men had seen some of the worst of the war and bared the worst injuries and maladies to show for it.
Time would pass and Lord Nelunor would die and a successor chosen, but his Butchered Guard remained. Over the years the lords of Westwater came to rely on the Butchered more and more. While many of the Butchered were physically weakened by their injuries they were able to pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation of soldiers. Due to the misery and desperation of Vyankal the Butchered Guard would see more action suppressing food riots, doing battle with bandits, and fighting invading monsters and undead. The Butchered Guard earned a dark reputation (thanks in large part to their black tabards and the crimson drops of blood they feature) for their ferocity and unflinching loyalty to the master of Westwater.
Today Westwater, like much of Vyankal, remains a bleak and desperate place. There is no viable land to till and there is virtually no trade along the Low-Coast Road, so Westwater’s economy is almost entirely dependent on the sea. Worse still there are few goods in Vyankal that can’t be acquired elsewhere, so the city is mostly inhabited by poor sailors, herders, a number of miners who find work in the mountains during the summer months, a small cabal of monks, and a league of ale and beer brewers.