The small independent city of Rivers Bend is located at the curve of the confluence of the Rumbling River that flows West from the Great Mountains near Wolfspack and the Velikaya River that flows south past Dryads Lair? to form Lake Peipus. This city has become a key stopping point on the river passage west to the Small Kingdoms and back North or East. Any traffic that does not want to go back upriver to Wolfspack to reach the Great Trade Route goes south from Rivers Bend into Everreach through Outreach. From the central crossroad area of the Nest travelers can go south to Everreach, East and Northeast to Terraguard or West and Northwest to the Small Kingdoms. The Nest was built in part as a reaction to the signing of the Treaty of North Hoarbrite that excluded Rivers Bend in 1 SKR. Only 15 years later (15 SKR) 1 RBR The Nest at Rivers Bend is completed and a new calendar for Rivers Bend was started.
There is a large well maintained harbor at Rivers Bend on Lake Peipus that the many barges and ships plying the rivers can moor in. The Nest is the large fortification carved into the cliffs above the town with the harbor directly underneath its watchful eye. Connected to the city by The Bridge which is condsidered by all to be the First bridge of the city. Simply called the Bridge by all the inhabitants of the city this is the engineering marvel that so encompasses people's thought about connecting to the rest of the world that to say you are crossing the bridge can mean you are taking a spiritual journey or have crossed into death.
The Heraldic Symbol of Rivers Bend is a square green field with four blue lines in the lower half and two pine trees next to each other in the upper left quadrant with a single pine tree in the upper right quadrant. The blue lines stand for the four settlements that make up Rivers Bend and the pine trees represent the original three families that founded Rivers Bend.
There are a couple of small villages that house guardhouses to watch the rarely used overland routes as well.
Rivers Bend is careful to not extend too far in claiming any territory to keep tight control over an area that ensures they are safe. The merchants who run the city have a careful eye on balancing the bottom line versus keeping an open independent city that could rival Wolfspack. They value security and commerce over the openness espoused there.
The Nest was built by a hired band of Hill Giants that came out of the Central Mountains east of Blackwater and were the first guards used by the ruling council. As the council added additional human and demi-human guards they found they needed to only pick highly qualified individuals to equal the current guards. Anyone hired to be a guard at The Nest needs to have at least expertise in three different weapons including one missile weapon. Each guard must also be specialized in one weapon. This creates a cadre of guards who are more experienced than the rest of the normal population. Some guards for the Nest are drawn from other guards around Rivers Bend and some are drawn from adventurers that sign long term contracts. These elite guards from the Nest are called the Order of the Eagles with a Heraldic Symbol of an equilateral triangle. This represents the three truths of Faithfulness, Readiness & Bravery.
The other key function that Rivers Bend provides to visitors is as money changers. Being the gateway to the Small Kingdoms for many merchants and adventurers there is a large need to exchange coins and gems to a form that can be used in the destination country. The banking system in Rivers Bend is trusted by many throughout the Small Kingdoms because of the high turnover rate they have with all of the travelers.
There is a large square with one side open to the harbor on the east side of town with The Nest looking down over it. In the center of the square is a platform with a hundred foot tall stone column that has three bronze pine trees on the top. At the base of the plinth is a set of gallows.
These gallows are where pirates and other thieves are executed. The merchant families that run Rivers Bend have no greater crime than theft. There are two thieves guilds in town that handle many other underhanded aspects of life or shady business dealings. They both are very strict with their members about any sort of theft.