Wayne Rossi reminded me that I have been meaning to do this for a long time.
1) What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
See here. Shorter version - you're Catholic.
2) Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Any true town or larger has places to get gear. You begin in Ekull, a city on the frontier so prices are decent.
3) Where can we go get plate mail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
The human cities of Ekull, Adrian, or Eastford; the gnomish city of Gladdenstone; or the dwarven cities of Karag or Khuzdun. Khuzdun is best, but it is distant and costly.
4) Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
It is rumored to be Kendrick, Lord Mayor of Adrian.
5) Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Some say Abram the Tall, oldest son of Count Abram of Ekull, because of his great skill in jousting. Others say it is Sir Wendell, Knight Commander of the Order of the Starry Banner.
6) Who is the richest person in the land?
Not counting King Alarin that would be Kendrick, Mayor of Adrian and head of the Merchant Houses.
7) Where can we go for magical healing?
Most villages have a parish with a Religious Brother capable of minor healing magics. Towns and cities have multiple parishes.
8) Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
You just have to find a powerful enough Religious Brother or Cleric. Some of the more powerful Hedge Mages can help, too.
9) Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
If you aren't part of a Mage House the guild in Adrian can fill that role.
10) Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Sages are scattered based upon their studies. Alchemists and others are in the cities and towns.
11) Where can I hire mercenaries?
Ekull, Timberlake, and Seaward are good bets. Also Esber on the King;s Road and Eastford.
12) Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
The Royal Island is very off limits.
13) Which way to the nearest tavern?
Just look around or ask - they're pretty common.
14) What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
The Beast of the White River Fens; Ol' Knobby of the Briars; The Red Maiden of the Greywalls.
15) Are there any wars brewing I could fight?
The Orcs are crawling the Stone Hills again and many believe the pirates are really privateers from Banath, itching for war.
16) How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Not in these parts. Far over the Dawn Sea in the City of a Thousand Islands they do such things, I hear.
17) Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
The last few years have seen a fair number of foul cults formerly thought crushed reappear....
18) What is there to eat around here?
That depends! Mutton in the west and south; beef along the rivers; goat and pork almost everywhere. Chickens are kept for eggs, so game birds sometimes, but they are costly. No place serves meat on Fridays or fasting days, so fish markets are common and many farmers keep fish ponds (with freshwater eels being very popular!). Venison and other game is hard to find in the east, but is plentiful on the western frontier and around the Briars.
Unleavened oatcakes (which are made of wheat and oats) are the typical bread for villagers with rye bread (usually 50/50 rye and wheat flour) saved for feast days. In towns and cities rye and wheat loaves may be purchased from bakers.
Ale or wine accompanies almost every meal, as does cheese and fresh vegetables (in season). In winter sauerkraut and pickles are ubiquitous.
19) Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Bjorn's Spear, The Blue Ring, The Crystal Eye of the Lost, and Myrkul's Robe are all said to be lost in the region. More mundanely, the 7 chests of gold from the legendary pirate captain Oswain are rumored to be buried on one of the Drift Islands, just offshore.
20) Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
Armitratious the Blue lives in caverns above the Bramble Wood, but no adventurers have ever returned from there. Perhaps The Devil of the Demon Isles, the massive dragon turtle that haunts the waters around the Demon's Eye? He is closer....