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
In a somewhat sheltered little bay upon the coast is the small village of Baycrest. It is a pretty place, where the pines and evergreens of the nearby mountains practically reach the warm sandy beaches. The water is cold, but not icy like most of the water along the coast. There is a little fishing here, as well as a little farming. There is a monastery here, with a library of some note. It is a place where regional high clerics come to retreat, meditate, and plan. In short, a very quiet place.
Someday, when society becomes more sophisticated and "fun on the beach" becomes a summer time drive, this little town will burgeon into a resort town. But for now, it is a pretty and sleepy place. Go to Comment
Stish is a village in a wetlands adjacent to a wide river. All the various huts are on stilts, so they are a cubit (2-3 feet) above the highest tide they have experienced. The villagers get around on boats and on floating "paths" (linked reed and plank floating upon barrels/ air bladders). The village smells odd. It is a local incense used to keep the bugs away. (It also covers up the fact they use dung and peat as fuel).
Why would anyone live here, when there was good land not that far away? The locals practice "wet" agriculture for rice. Their crop yields here are two to five times that of the dry farmers. This way they are close to their crops. (And the hunting and fishing isn't bad either.) Go to Comment
ClearBreeze is a small village where the locals build around the trees instead of clearing the land. Their cottages of stone and wood (and waxed paper windows) are built at odd angles and are never perfectly square or rectangular. The local common house is actually build around a large tree. It was like the Humans here took a page from the Elventi on how to build homes
note: The fields a little ways outside the village are cleared of trees. Go to Comment
The country in these parts are green and filled with rolling hills. In addition, the ground around these parts is filled with stones. Every field being plowed brings up more and more stones. The boundaries of every field and each person's properties is surrounded by a piled stone fence. Many of the cottages have stone foundations, or stones building up half their walls. Go to Comment
A bit off the beaten path the travellers will see a road leading off to the left. If that road is followed, it will lead to a village. You can see it in the distance, the village is good sized, good for about 75-100 people. As you get closer, the village is obviously in serious disrepair. It has been abandoned a number of years ago, (if not ten to twenty). There is no indication as to why, but what ever it was happened quickly (you can find a table set, a prayer blanket laid out. However, there are things strewn about clothing and such, but that could be the work of animals.
Oh and what ever happened has made the local squirrels omnivores. Go to Comment
The entire village is built upon the Boulder Hill, an huge tapered rock, some 50 strides tall (3 feet) and 250 across at its widest point (which is roughly an oval).
At the very top is a square white building, that is nearly a perfect cube. This is a temple to a local deity. (Insert holy place for a given religion). Something miraculous was said to have happened at this place.
Every other building in Ios is built in a similar style, it is blindingly white, square with square windows, with one to three rooms per level. Most of the village buildings are two story tall. The path between these buildings is narrow, but wide enough for two people to walk side by side.
The Boulder Hill is an island in the sea of grain fields around Ios. Go to Comment
BlueCliff is a village that covers most of the small island it is on. This island is just off the coast. The island has the only natural harbor on this stretch of coast. So the locals, who make their living off their boats, took to living on the island. Now there are no villages on the coast, as everyone has moved to BlueCliffs. It gets its name from the fact that most of the island shore has small whitish cliffs (about the height of the man) that look blue given the sea and the sun if viewed from a distance. Go to Comment
Skywater is actually a region of four villages, all of which call themselves Skywater. The natives will always keep calling their village Skywater, though if pressed they might be called North, Sunnyside, Nightside (west), and Lakeside Skywater. Why anyone cares is that Skywater produces some the most magnificent pears. It is not the seeds of said pears or the type grown here, it is something in the very soil here that makes the pears better here than anywhere else in the world. Go to Comment
Erlick is the village that exists in the large craggy ravine north of Portspointe called Erline. It is a farming community, where terraced fields have been tended by Erlick Folk since forever. There is no village as most people would call it. The village is distributed between the various ledges and terraces in the Erline Ravine. These various buildings (and small grouping of buildings) and fields are linked by a complex set of rope bridges and stone carved stairs. The entire ravine looks like a huge mass of spider webs from a distance, as lines of all sorts link the various spots on the side of the ravine.
Why do people go to such extremes to farm around here? Portspointe is the only natural port between the two great trading states. While there is a great deal of traffic here, the people of Portspointe do not wish to be dependent upon food being brought in. While exploring the area, they discovered the ruins of the terraced farms (and their water reservoir and irrigation lines) in the Erline. Taking their cue from the now lost neighbors, a few workers began to farm here. The use of ropes from the ships makes travel here so much easier. Go to Comment
Corbite is a village on the edge of a desert, not too far from a mining town. Most of the houses are half houses. A half house has the front half of the house or just the front wall attached to a rocky hill, the rest of the house is dug out from the hill. This makes for cooler houses in the heavy heat.
There are about 20 households in the village. They use the limited water to do some farming. Most of the plots are protected from the sun by a gauze roof held up by posts. This shades the plants from the direct sun, saving water. Go to Comment
The Village of Scarebeasts
The Village (called Kepleris) is a bit off the beaten track, a wide spot on the road through the deep forest. The village, with its inn, farm houses, and surrounding fields, seems unremarkable taken by themselves. However, spread throughout the village are dozens of scarebeasts (scarecrows). There rag stuffed denizens are posed like they are doing work, or standing over fences chatting, doing daily things, and a few set up a variety of tableus (some being married, some spinning, etc). Some Scarebeasts are in old prayer day best, others in raggy workclothes, some in fine clothing, with cloth painted faces. The locals take pride in their cloth residents, some of them see it as an art, others see it as just a form of fun.
The Scarebeasts are just that, to make the beasts of the forest think the people are out and around the village to prevent them coming into the village and fields. Go to Comment
The Village is slowly becoming a town, mostly because they have build a Field for The Game. It is a scaled down version of a mound field found in nearby Cities.
Mound fields are U shaped hills, built upon rocks and soil from nearby fields. The Mound Field here is two stories tall, and they are beginning to lay in logs to mark seating rows. There is single level shed closing the U, which acts as the "field house". There is a firepit to roast meat in this shed. The Meat is sold to pay for the field. A brewer carts in their barrels for game days.
The Village is trying to get small tournaments and contests here. The teams around the village are getting better and might go on to take on town teams.
In the worst of The Marches, there is a small ravine. Upon the occasional rain, it makes a trickle of a stream that ends in a pond. On the edges of that pond, there is a small village. It has nothing else going for it except its well and the pond that appears once every year or so. So compared to the territory around it, it is paradise.
The "trail" one would be stretching to call this section of the path a "road" is becoming more and more travelled by traders. It is the only reason Paradise exists. Go to Comment
Your players went through it so fast on their way to somewhere else that they did not stop. The only thing they remember are the two heartachingly beatiful girls that you saw as you passed through town and the over sized graveyard by the road on the way out of town. Other than those two things, the village was unremarkable. The village will forever be "that place with the two girls and the graveyard". Go to Comment
The players pass through a prosperous town, which has all the inclinations of becoming a city. As they travel on, a half day away... down a side road...into a valley... they encounter Sodby. Sodby is a little village, just short of a town. It is busy with smiths and carters, as there is very close to two mines... one with coal and one with iron. But because it is off the beaten path by a bit, all its products must pass through the town on the main road. The towns folk are getting rich off the work of Sodby. Go to Comment
Calcher is a fairly normally appearing village near some hills. Through a quirk of geography and meteorology, it is very warm here in the summer months, very cold in the winter, and odd in the between times. Those hills have some deep caves that the locals use for curing cheese, growing mushrooms, and storing ice. The last is the notable one for travelers. The locals make an ice cream and shaved ice for summer solstice festival and other events. They serve drinks cold, with ice, in the warm times.
The caves are natural, there is no indication of Dwarven or Goblin manufacture. They are well defined, so there will be no monsters from the depths. The locals have expanded and re-enforced the caves and tunnels to the best of their abilities to make them safer. In fact, most of the caves have doors on them. Go to Comment
Cheedem is a small, quaint little hamlet just off a main road, but down a regionally important secondary one. Nothing seems out of place, except that in town square there is a small standing stone with a plaque.
Here, in this village Cheedem, was born [Insert person] on [insert date] and goes on to list the person's historical accomplishments.
This person may or may not be dead yet.
This is a great tool for GMs. It allows you to give information about the history of the area without resorting to forcing players actually read the world packetGo to Comment