This off the main path village is quite humdrum except for the Hold. This town is built around a "hold" a small fortified tower that the locals can cower in if trouble invades. There the locals hide until the nobility can drive the troubles off. Holds have not been built in a century or three.
Craden Hold was built by the Craden Clan oh so long ago. The Clan Craden has divided into two clans now, Snowden (valley folk and lands south) and Sunden (northern and mountain part of the county). The Hold is used for "clan business" and the Magister's court. Unlike most Holds, the locals still stock this one with foodstuffs and water casks for "troubles". Go to Comment
The clifflike barren mountain sides in the distance seem amber brown most times of day and they are topped with foam... errrr snow. This little out of the way village is named for odd trick of light and rock. It is your average village, trying to be a town, off the Queen's Road.
In truth, the locals think they brew great beer, but it is actually fairly average. Go to Comment
Widespot is a wide spot in both the river that comes down the hills/ mountains and the pass with its road. Here timber from upstream on the hills/ mountain are milled into boards and such. From the mills they are mostly transfered to wagons to be carried inland. A few wood products are moved by flat rafts down the river too.
The woodworking and ornamentation on the buildings here is impressive.
Of note, they use Dustwood for fires here.
These logs are quite handy, but nobody has thought to export them. Go to Comment
This is a picturesk village in the Western Part of the Villages. To the North and East is a rocky clifflike outcropping called The Rock Wall by the natives. On the Rock Wall comes a large and beautiful waterfall that always seems to generate a rainbow on a sunny day or full moon night. The shimmer wall that seems along the ridge of the RockWall is perfectly opaque and mirror like, enhancing the effect. The biome to the North and East is dry and rocky, so the water magically comes from the cliffside.
There is an Imperial Gate in this village, as it is a popular destination for Elventi to watch the falls. It is however, off the Imperial Road by a great deal. There are even a few small HomeTrees here for Elventi to properly rest in. Go to Comment
Duley is a market town not far from the major city of Duport. Duley is a very pretty town. The buildings, all tall as not to be buried in the deep winter snows, are made of the local yellow stone. It is known as one of the Flower Villages of the region. It is festooned with seasonal flowers throughout the warmer months of the years. What is most striking about Duley is the craft of "concrete trees" painted to appear as real trees. (The trees are not made of completely of concrete but of plaster and a few other things). The Concrete Trees allow for arboreal beauty all year long (as long as they are not buried in the snow). The concrete trees that Duport is known for all come from here. Go to Comment
This sleepy seaside hamlet is along a forbidding and rocky coast. Most of the buildings here are all a bit awkward in shape and size, as they were constructed using timbers salvaged from ships stranded on the straights shallow waters. All the buildings have odd roofs of green moundings. The locals have taken to using seaweed, thickly piled, to thatch their roofs after most of the area's trees and reeds were harvested and burned by age old salt industry (used to salt the fish the locals catch). Go to Comment
This little hamlet is nestled in a hollow at the foot of the mountains. Here the mountains are a deep green with rich evergreens. The sun always sets behind the mountains creating the "blue green effect" the area is named after. Though the inland side of the mountain valley is warm, this hollow has both mountain shade and a gentle breeze most days, so it is always pleasant. What is note worthy is that the trail across the mountains ends here just at the top of the hollow. It is a gentle road that lead into town.
The hamlet has a carriage house (with inn) and a stage center, as well as a few other stores to support both the travelers and the local farmers.
The Wealthy and Powerful in the area often keep homes in the Blue Hills area. They are either weekend/ summer homes (as they live in either of the two nearby cities), or as a place to stay while travelling between the cities (at a comfortable pace, you will stop here to avoid traveling the mountain at night). Go to Comment
Sanz Arben has a long history. It began as a religious outpost, a place where an order of contemplative monks went to serve the spirits in the wildness. However, the line of civilization moved beyond it. The monastery changed over time, working on converting the (then) wild tribes of the Greater Sherlen Woods and tending to the spiritual needs to the community (refugees, those who moved in for the farmland, and tamed Wildfolk) that sprung up in the area. The road went in, connecting to places further east. The Villages continue to thrive.
The Villages is one nearly town sized village by anyone other than the locals' reckoning. It is bisected by the path that has become the King's Road. One "village" is the Holy Side, the monastery and its "tamed" wild folk. The other "village" is Orchard Side (so named from the orchard that had once stood on that side before being lost to a blight nearly 60 years ago. In fact, the King's Magistrate tried to declare Sanz Arben a town, but the locals said no, we are two villages.
Holy Side still has the ecumenical buildings which are often used as common buildings for The Villages. The TameFolk (Converted Wild Folks) work at the monastery and church buildings and also tend the fields and orchards on their side of the road. While The Church technically owns that side of the village and all the related lands, they are "leased" to the Tame Folk for a pittance every hundred years.
The Orchard Side look pretty much like any other village in the area. The locals tend to be more devout and serious in their worship than most people. They are good solid folks all around. Go to Comment
This small village is a step away from a town. It has two water wheels (one right and left) along the broad creek. The right is the Mill, the left is a lumber shop where they prep wood and do some finishing. The place was built just above the fall.
Legend says there used to be a pear shaped rock under The Falls. It disappeared a long time ago. Go to Comment
Nestled in the green rolling plains and quaint woodlands is the quiet, placid community of Shrubton. Home to about 200 or so farmers and loggers, Snakedale is wholly unremarkable except for one unique feature in the woods just a half-mile out of town :
A talking statue.
Every ten years, on a night during High Summer, the rain-worn statue sings a woeful song of longing and loneliness. The locals just think it's haunted (probably by the maiden whom it depicts) and leave it at that. They are a practical people.
Note: There are no snakes in Snakedale. It refers to the wiggly shape of the dale the village is nestled in. Go to Comment
The area in and around Darnin is fairly fertile, suitable for orchards and some farming. The rolling hills range as far as the eye can see. The feral chickens (that can fly) are an odd bit around the village. Yet, the cross breed between wild and tame makes for a good sized bird that is good eating, so the hens are often let out in an open pen so the wild toms can make a run at them.
Darin is the last village on the road from the Crown's Road to Darvenshire up to The Mount. The locals call it the Mount. It is actually the Temple Complex of Avadon, six temples to the Old Gods on top of a butte of breenish brown stone that rises up a good height from the ground. There are trails all round The Mount, bringing those interested in the Old Gods, up to the top. Here is one of the few places that priests of the Old Gods can be found (well that and the one in Darnin), though their numbers are fading. Go to Comment
Village is, to no matter who comes to it (except locals), totally foreign. This could be random (travelers tell tales of "a strange nomad village" a few miles to the North... but wasn't that where you found that odd Amazon village?), or set for the party. They could additionally have strange meals or customs to eat- although this could just be to see what a foreigner will eat, before breaking out the sausages-and-mash (yes, that is sto- borrowed from the game "Let-us-see-what-the-infidel-will-eat" in Jingo). Go to Comment
The small farming village has no warriors or mages, you can't buy anything of any serious value. But once upon a time, a great mage grew up here, and he taught all the villagers of his day some cantrips he made up specifically for them. They have passed them on. (if you do 3e, that's a spellcraft check dc 30 for a unique magical effect)
These cantrips are largely harmless, used to make their steel stronger when the blacksmith is working, or to make their plats grow ever so slightly faster.
But some of their cantrips can be chanted in groups, and these are quite frightening. When they burn someone at the stake, there are no remains. When there are enemies approaching the town, they can create a wall of dust which blinds and does minor damage to the attackers, but dulls their weapons and puts out their fires. They have other spells, which none have lived to see.
The funny thing is, they don't know they're working magic. They just have these rituals that they've always done. Go to Comment
Built on top of geothermal hotsprings, Solfatara is a popular resort community. Well known for its heated baths and therapeutic springs, the wealthy and powerful come here often. The entire community was chartered by a well known and respected fire mage who is now the First of Solfatara, a position analogous to a mayor, or a lord. Solfatara is located in the desert, and it is a hot place to live. Many lords have winter homes here. Go to Comment
Chartered in a small bay, Flamingo is best known for its pseudo-Mexican atmosphere, and the large flocks of pink flamingos who wander the shallows of the bay. It is a chartered community similar to Solfatara, but is Firsted by a hydromancer/swordsman who is actually an associate of the First of Solfatara. There is a very laid back, anything goes attitude to H. Flamingo. Go to Comment
Originally an army siege camp, but the siege lasted so long, that the camp became permanent, and once the siege and war was over, real houses and buildings were raised in place of tents and makeshift homes. Now Sedon is an outlying community of a larger city. Go to Comment
The seven halls of Umthane
At the edge of the Karru mountain range lies the lake of Um, its clear and smooth surface interrupted only by six waterfalls, for the lake is a cascaded one: the uppermost one is called the Lake of Welcome, as it is the first to reflect the rays of the rising sun. The next lake is called the Sounding lake, for one of the structures built there is a tall bell tower that signals the start of the working day for all inhabitants, the clear sound of the heavy bell echoing far and wide. The third is the Lake of Rebirth, where the ceremonies including ritual cleansing of the body and spirit are held.
The fourth is the People's Lake, for most of the inhabitants dwell in buildings on an island in its centre. The fifth is the Noonstar Lake, for the sun in its magnificent glory and full might is reflected both on its surface and crystals in the deep. The sixth is the Stained Lake, for strangers and warriors, stained by the blood of fallen enemies, dwell there. The seventh lake is the Market Lake, or Lake of Farewells - each time traders come to Umthane, they offer their wares from their ships, as the falls prevent them from venturing upstream. This is the lake most venturing off depart from, and the last one graced by the rays of the setting sun.
According to social standing, the people are separated in the city: the ruler dwells in a hall supported by pillars in the midst of the uppermost lake, while the nobles and the clergy dwell on the second lake, connected to the ruler's hall by but a single bridge two steps wide.
The third lake holds the public buildings, so that both citizens and nobles have easy access. The fourth lake holds the main portion of the town, while the fifth is not inhabited except by holy men and women who have been granted the ability to live underwater by the gods. The only structure there is the bridge and stairs connecting the fourth and sixth lake, and a sole temple. The sixth lake also holds residential structures on pillars, in the cliffs or on tiny islands, while the seventh holds no permanent structures at all except for the docks. The dispossessed dwell on its shores in makeshift huts and holes in the earth. Go to Comment