Skien is a wallless city built on and around a prominent hill. The architecture is stone and thatch and nothing is particularly tall. The keep, visible from a long ways is at most three stories tall and is the tallest building around. A rocky and narrow river runs south through the valley beneath the city proper. A cool breeze blows the sparse copses of trees every now and then. Exposed rocks here and there share the land with green fields and pastures. Skien seems a prosperous place.
Near the outskirts of town there are two inns sitting opposite each other by the road. One is signed as “The Tiller’s Toil” and is quite modest but cozy with round cross-paned round windows and the other as “Highton Inn” which emulates the distant keep’s architecture with a stained-glass window atop the door and a manucured garden surrounding the approach.