This village in eastern Ballia (province of Mysia) lies in the eaves of a pair of hills, where a stream trickles down out of the mountains. Along with a marshy pool next to the town, this stream makes it one of the wetter places in the very-dry countryside of Ballia, and it is a popular stop-over in the wanderings of the nomads of the region.
The village has a rather grandiose name for it's small size; "Cataramnon", in the Ballian dialect of Mysian, means "The Bull of the South". The village is named after the titanic cube of mud-brick which squats above it in the hills, erected during the conflicts with the Dragonfighters during those warlike folks' brief raiding period. Now abandoned and ungarissoned, the Bull, as the people of Cataramnon call the fortress, is slowly crumbling into ruin.
About half of the people of Cataramnon are descended from the old steward families of the Bull; the other half are nomadics or Red Mysians in equal proportion. Go to Comment
Pocna is a remote village composed of members of the Flinthill Clan which rules the Highlands.
It is a small cluster of leather-and-cord-walled permanent yurts with frames of tusks built around a central village hearth.
The Pocnans, like all of the Flinthill Clan, are beefy, with grey-brown skin and flat, monkey-like noses, giving them a vaguely apelike look (though this is not unusual for the Plains).
The only other interesting thing about Pocna is that its men carry on the unusual practice of marrying their daughters. Go to Comment
The local villagers are tight lipped and secretive. The local Prince is quite the tyrant, who pushes everyone to make more of what they do and obey every law. The local inn is the hideout for "The Scarecrow" and the "Straw Men". They function as the local "Robin Hoods" for the locals (taking a bit more operating expense from non local travellers). Go to Comment
Known for its springtime festival. There are three roads that meet the main road at and near the village. While the village is quite small most of the year, only a wide spot on the road for merchants and travelers, it swells to a huge tent city in the spring. The village boasts six inns (and no real farmers). Go to Comment
a bland, boring, forgettable village without an inn. The farmers don't like strangers and strictly followers of the local religion. Unless you are a follower, you won't even get a barn stall to sleep in and there is nothing to buy here. Go to Comment
The village looks like all the others, except around these parts, everyone has a slightly different accent than everyone else. This area of the world, in my campaign, has a US South accent. This area has a deeper more southern accent and slang, almost to the point to unintelligible. Go to Comment
The village has a different genetic group. They almost all have blond, big blue eyes, fair skin, and thin of build. It is a sharp contrast to the other villages in the area filled with brown and black heads, with green eyes. Go to Comment
Appleton is nestled between rolling hills along a less inhabited stretch of The Great Road. The North Gap pass is not too far up the road, on the way to the Elven lands. It is a prosperous farming community, known for its orchards and apples. The Harvest festival is worth timing any travel along The Great Road to let you be in Appleton during the Autumn Moon.
The Inn, The Appleton Inn, is good sized and can handle two moderate sized caravans at once. It is well staffed, well maintained, and has reasonable prices. It is also the last real inn along the road until you reach the Elven Lands. (There are two way stations along the way that people can stop at). Go to Comment
Old Mangyhousen is another boring bland village, where the people grow potatoes, and no entertainment is to be found. Boredom thrives here. It is actually cursed, when you try to leave, you end up back on the other side. The only way to escape is to help locals with something boring. Describe the feeling of boredom eating on their brains... Go to Comment
This little village is perched on the side of a mountain, just at the level where clouds float by. There is a good road leading up to this village, the kind one would expect for a major caravan route. Yet the road ends with Skyway. The locals live in the rarified air and cold making a living escorting others through the mountain passes and herding.
Long ago, when magic was much more plentiful, Skyway was an gatepoint for mystic trods to the SummerLands. It was the last mortal stop on the way to the Great Fey City of Avalon. Many of the older buildings have fey marks on them. Family heirlooms in these parts are all fey treasures handed down from the ages. Fey blood still runs strong in these people, so when they wield magic, they do so with power. Go to Comment
The Flat City of ClearWater
The ClearWaters are a delta area at the mouth of a mighty river and a calm, nearly tropical sea. The fishing here is good, as the nutrients from the river feed the creatures of the sea. In fact, most people here make a living from the waterways, either fishing, moving cargo, or crewing ocean vessels.
There are two (and a half) moderate sized cities at the mouth of the River. Red Cliffe, SwarrrenRoe (from the Lyrans who used to live here), and Pointe Fort (an abandoned Lyran fortification that has expanded into a life of its own). While there are poor in the cities, living there is expensive as there is less land than people who want to live there need.
The Poor River Folk and those that find themselves less than welcome in the various cities, live on the ClearWaters on rafts and boats. Many of these rafts and boats have been lashed together in one of the shallow eddies of the ClearWaters (where active boat traffic seldom passes). This has become the "flat city", the raft city of ClearWater. Many of these rafts and craft have been docked together for decades. Some have been built up or even replaced in situ.
It is an odd place to live, and an odder place to visit. Your neighbors are also your walkway to the next boat over. The boats and rafts have been built up in places, being two or even three levels of pathways and rooms. There are now dozens of bars and restaurants here, some frequented by the more daring of the city folk. Go to Comment
Northmen settled the isolated black sand coast a few centuries ago, but the first geographical document describing the northern seas was written by a monk named Darius, two centuries ago
The Northmen came to the lands because of internal struggles in their homeland. The Mad King drove his enemies and the former rulers of their lands all the way to the these shores. Keeping a low profile to protect certain bloodlines, they founded Vit.
About 300 people live in Vit, and about 200 live in the surrounding countryside. All though the history of this place goes back a few centuries, it wasn't until the last 75 years that that the first merchant settled to sell products such as flour, salt, sugar and vegetables. Eventually there were five stores in Vit and two slaughterhouses. The little village with a handful of people grew larger as time went by. It became a meeting place for farmers and a place where locals met to hear the latest news.
The Temple in Vit was built about fifty years ago at a time when people needed something to believe in. War had destroyed all their trading partners and the town fell upon hard times. It may explain why they decided to build the temple on the highest hill. Everyone could look up to the temple with its beautiful view.
The Temple is white against grey and brown hills, with a red tile roof that seems so out of place in this barren area. It's most notable feature is its tall tower, which houses the priest and his family and offers the best view of the coastside anywhere. The Temple here is known for the good fortune it brings upon those that worship here. Thus many people travel great distances to worship here. People come back to Vit to get married in the church that they once visited.
People also come to see the black volcanic beach with its cliffs that reach out into the sea. Unfortunately, the shoreline is decreasing every month. The ocean is slowly eating its way ashore, and sooner or later, something will have to be done. They are talking about building a dam to protect the village, but for now it stands on its own with the green mountains surrounding it on one side, and the ocean on the other. Go to Comment
The large and powerful river narrows a bit in these parts. Here they have built a bridge to cross it, to assist in cross country trade. Before the bridge there were two tiny villages at the narrowing, one on each side. Travel was done by a ferry, pulled across by ropes and horses. But the river was so rough and swift that frequently the ferry was swamped and trade goods were lost. Since the bridge has come, the tiny villages at the narrowing have become small villages on their way to becoming small towns. They have renamed the villages Bridgekin.
Technically they have built three bridges to cross it, two rocky outcroppings in the middle of the river are anchor ends for the bridges. The bridges are made of wood, with side rails and covered roofs. It is a miracle that these bridges survive here. Previous attempts at bridges here have all failed. But this set of bridges survives.
The secret here is the people in the villages here. They have made a blood deal to feed a set of bridge trolls, and their descendants (up to 12 at one time, the villagers thought ahead to avoid the trolls setting up a town under there) who inhabit the underside. They protect the bridge and make sure it survives the water here. For their efforts, they get one livestock per troll per moon. Someday, there won't be enough and someone will want to substitute a traveller or criminal. Go to Comment
It seems like a normal village with an inn. The villagers grow local peppers that are hotter than any others. The local cuisine is pretty darn spicy.
It does not seem like much but it is. If one is not used to that sort of thing, it can be pretty debilitating a day or so down the road. Sometimes travelers stay an extra day, tended by the healer. Go to Comment
In the middle of nowhere
1) Most of the fields around here grow plants that are used to make fabric (or feed the critters that make fabric). There is often a cloth festival here once a year, so the locals can show off their wares and traders can pick them up.
1b) The town seems pretty deserted: windows are shuttered, people are peaking out of cracks, people hustle quickly and hide when you approach. It seems two packs of rogues are vying to "run the town". (Used to be one big boss, then when he was going to give the territory to his son, his number one man split off to take what he thought was his). They hang out at inns at the opposite end of town. There are enough thugs on both sides to give the adventurers pause (and a few top dogs in both packs that are just good enough to be dangerous to the adventurers). The peasants and merchants in the town are living in fear of the violence between the two gangs. The only person happy about it is the cooper, who is making a killing on caskets.
Note: the town is so far out of the way, that there are no civil forces to appeal to).
1c) The local official who administers this area for the crown/ local noble is very well dressed, fairly cultured, and has the finest things including a carriage. As you might guess, he is a bit more corrupt than you would normally expect. As long as he gets his cut from the rogues, he does not alert the outside world to their presence here. He also takes bribes to lessen tax burdens on the businesses and traders. Even the peasants get into the bribery act. Go to Comment
The Villages Three: GreenePark, MorePark, and ParkMore.
The GreenePark was once a Noble/ Royal preserve. It was a vast green hunting area which had excellent game. That was a generation or three ago. It is now regular land. The village of GreenPark is based around the great hall, which was once the Royal Lodge. The village has been there as long as the Lodge, as it was the people who supported the Lodge. The Great Hall is now a public house/ inn, called The ParkPlace.
There used to be only one road to GreenePark. It led from The City to GreenPark. Now expanded, it is now called the GreeneWay. It extends from The City to the Towers of Wall, spanning the entire GreenePark forest.
Long ago, when GreenePark was still a preserve, the GreeneWay was extended a bit deeper into the park. There a small set of cottages were set up as a special place for those of the Prince's favor. The Prince deemed the place "MorePark". The cottages have blossomed into a village since then. Once the road went through, it became a required stop on the way through the GreenePark forest.
Since the GreenePark forest is no longer a royal preserve, another village has sprung up between GreenePark village and The City. In a spat of humor, the village was dubbed ParkMore (which makes no sense until you travel down the GreeneWay and reach MorePark). While GreenePark is a good day's ride from The City, ParkMore is a solid half days ride or a casual full day's ride. Go to Comment
In a village called Astanton, a quaint little place in the middle of noplace (south of nowhere) on the coast, every male is called Jaz. It is not a nickname, all their first names in the ledgers are Jaz. Jaz BlueBoat, Jaz BreadSmith, Jaz NetCrafter, and so on. Nobody knows why this is, it has been happening for so long.
Oh the people here are a secretive and cautious lot. They talk oddly, heavily in a fishing oriented slang. Most importantly, they don't like Outers on their decks or in their nets (outsiders in their business).
Players will see this with modern eyes on some legal document and think back to Buckeroo Bonzai or the Xfiles. They will be paranoid. They will be looking for the illegal, immoral, alien, or paranormal. When in reality, it is just an odd little fishing village.
Of course, if your players have probably read this post, change it up and have it really be a world threatening invasion from beyond the pale. Go to Comment
The village is unremarkable except for one white rock. The village green is still in the center of town. In the center of that grassy area is a huge white rock. It is half a man's height tall and wide, and a man's height long. It is traditional for a Headman to stand on the rock when doing anything official. The local priests have taken to the same habit.
Most people avoid standing on the rock, even children avoid playing on and around it. The only time regular folk stand or sit on the rock is when public oaths are sworn.
So of course a wary traveller will sit on the rock for a moment clearing the muck off their soles. It will cause quite the outrage. Go to Comment
It seems like a perfectly normal village. The local priest used to be a powerful manipulator of events in the Church. He was outmaneuvered and sent out to Sticks as the country temple priest. He has lost some of his power and prestige in the church, so he is not currently a "big player" there. (Though he is slowly manipulating things to get back into favor). His skills have allowed him to take over the local area and the bumpkins inhabiting it. Now he has a powerbase beyond the clerical. Perhaps he will make himself a noble.
The players might encounter some mighty or powerful temple players on the road to and from the Sticks. Go to Comment