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Dungeons
Mountains
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3.5
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Rating: 3.5
Condition: Normal
ID: 6906

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August 14, 2012, 3:00 pm

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A Village in Turmoil

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Something is killing and eating the people of Th'gil. This monster displays cleverness, strength, and a thirst for blood. The PCs have stumbled into this town. Will they leave by walking or by dieing?

The Setting:

Th'gil: Usually a normal farming community, most of the townsfolk grow wheat on the nearby plains. This they trade, once a year (the journey is long and difficult, forcing the townsfolk to be mostly self-reliant), to the city of Thrumshold (or whichever city you want). Th'gil's lands are capped by a mountain range to the north, from which a river flows south from. The town itself is on that river, about a half mile from the mountains. It's farmlands extend for about 10 miles south, the half mile north, and 3 miles east and west, forming a sort of triangle.

Notable Places:

Town Hall: The town hall is the most impressive building in town because of its size. The Town Hall is two stories tall. It is also the only building made of stone, except for the blacksmith and church. The Town Hall contains a great hall, the mayor's office, and the kitchen on the first floor, with the mayor's (and his families') private areas on the second.

Blacksmith: The only other building made of stone (besides the Town Hall and church), the blacksmith is where people gossip in the fall and winter, when it starts getting cold (the blacksmith's fire's never go out, except when the smith wants to sleep, and even then there's embers left). This is where the farmer's get all there iron tools repaired, or where the people buy their metal things.

General Store: Where else would one buy the odds and ends you need to keep yourself nice and safe throughout the year? The General store seals all the non-metal things that the owner buys from the city or makes himself, such as oil, packs, torches, etc.

The Pig's Head: The local pub, its where the local farmers get drunk after a long day of various farm work. It has several spare rooms in the back, but these rooms generally consist of bug-ridden bed, a chamber pot, and a dusty dresser. The main pub is much better off in the way of looks, with a clean bar stocked with various beers, a floor covered in sawdust, and a couple of tables.

Church: The local church for the area's common religion. Its presided over by an eccentric priest. Everyone in town believes in the religion. It is also made of stone, and has the priest's rooms attached to the main complex.

The Cottages: Out on the mountainside lives three witches, each in their own cottage. The cottages are at the end of a hard hike up the mountainside. The journey is usually worth it, however, because the witches who live up there can heal anything. Or its said can heal anything.

Old Hyerwakatha Burial Ground: Located in the foothills of the mountains, far from the village itself, this is where the native tribe which was killed by the invading people (the ancestors of the townsfolk). It is said that the place is haunted and cursed, and indeed a strange howling like noise can be heard on calm, still nights. No townsfolk will go here (except for the witches).

Notable People:

Grandma Larson: The oldest person in Th'gil, Grandma Larson (called Grandma by all the people) owns a house in town. She's consulted everyone who needs advice on things, and is given a part of every harvest. Grandma Larson knows about everything that goes on, and knows everyone's secrets (because people ususally consult her about them, or simply need someone to talk to). She will never reveal another person's secrets without their permission. She is considered the person in charge of Th'gil, but generally leaves the day-to-day details to be attended to by the mayor. If someone is asked to do something by Grandma, they do it.

Miss Judy Tak: A quiet woman, she has never been married. She generally lives at home, and is loved by the community. This love takes the form of the physical by gifts of food. Miss Tak doesn't usually leave home, except for very important affairs. Most townsfolk think she's a couple eggs short of a farmer's dozen, but like her anyway.

Mayor Turner: Though the mayor of the town, the Mayor will be the first to say that he isn't the actual ruler of the town, and will point to Grandma Larson. He'd call himself more of her 'secretary', or simply the guy who does the boring, menial tasks accosiated with the running of town. He is quite happy with the state of affairs, though, and will not seek a change.

Mr. Joe Yip: The bartender of the Pig's Head, Mr. Yip is a sensible man. He knows how to keep serving drinks, he knows when to get paid (sometimes its better to approach the drunk after they sober up about money), and he knows how to break up fights with Peace- an iron-bound club he keeps below the bar.

Priest Urthart: The only newcomer in living history, Urthhart came under the High Priest's orders to be the priest of Th'gil. Apparently the High Priest disapproves of Urthart's methods (such as believing in their god with every bone in his body), and sent Urthart to the out of the way Th'gil. If Urthart knows about the High Priest's reasons, he doesn't show it, and converted the people of Th'gil in record time (its almost possible to see the bonfire of his belief shining in his eyes, and the people lacked the willpower to resist him). If the PCs worship a different god, than Urthart will repeatedly approach them and try to convert them to the better god (his). Though he won't resort to the oldest trick in the book ("My mace is a very big mace. Wanna see what happens when my mace hits your head?"), he will doggedly attempt to convert the PCs. 

Smith Jones: Jones is a serious, strong, and somewhat slow (you don't have to be quick-thinking to hit a sheet of iron) character. Some people say that it is he who shoes Death's horse, but Jones will neither deny or agree to these rumors. It is true that Jones can shoe anything, and some still talk about the time he shod an eagle (he still has the eagle at his house. It can't fly anymore, but Jones keeps it well fed. He is the voice of reason for this town, and can wield a war hammer (he keeps one at his house).

Mrs. Goss Yip: Miss Yip is the town gossip. She generally hangs out in her free time either by the Great Hall spreading rumours, or by the blacksmith gossiping.

The Witches: The witches, though knowing a great assortment of spells, and knowing how to mix potions, rarely resort to them. They find that using regular old non-magical healing methods works perfectly. They tend to use magic only rarely, in emergency situations, such as hacked off limbs. The witches know about everything that goes on in the hills and mountains, and surrounding terrain. They know about the general goings-on in town, but not to the extent Grandma Larson does.

Accounts of the Beast:

Mayor Turner: "All I now about the Beast is that it preys on people who walk outside the town, in them wheat fields. We generally find the heads, and a couple of scraps, in the town square in the morning. No one, as far as I know, has actually seen the Beast drop off the heads, though a fair amount of folk have told stories about it. I've heard everything from flame demons to dogs with tentecles. No two stories are alike. I have no idea what it is, but I want it gone. This town will shrivel up and die if the farmer's can't bring the harvest in. No harvest, no food for the winter, and the Beast will have killed a town in one fell swoop. I need help. I need this beast killed and its head on a platter, so that I can show the farmer's that the thing's dead, and they can go harvest the wheat. We've tried to kill it before, but all we got was 10 heads in the square instead of one. We've even posted guards, to catch it when it deposits a head in the square, and they have never seen a thing. Or, more mysterious, been touched"

Mrs. Goss Yip: "I was up late one night patchin' up a sock my husband had worn out at the toe. All of a sudden I heard this sort o' shufflin' sound, and a deep breathin'. So's I laid down the sock, right, and went to the window, and peeked out. And I saw the Beast. The mere sight of it chilled me to the bone." she takes a deep breathe and a dramatic pause, as only such an experienced story teller knows how. "The thing looked like, oh what did Miss Goody Thumbers tell me they were called, Jaguar! That's it. It looked like one of them Jaguars, from down south, only this one had two heads, with two sets of glowing red eyes. And it had two tails, too, and each tail was tipped with fire. Each paw had three claws issuing from it. Each claw looked like a knife, and I'd saw were about three, four inches? Probably longer. Oh, that Beast was a terrifyin'  monster. . ."

Priest Urthart: "My god has given onto these eyes the true vision of the Beast. And I thus know the truth. I was reading from my god's holy book late last night, when I heard footsteps down the road. I looked out, and I saw the true Beast. It was a shadow, a deeper shadow than them all, as dark as a windowless cellar. It stalked through the streets, staying in shadows, slipping past windows (such as that liar Mrs. Yip's window, who wouldn't know the Beast if it picked her up and dragged her her to its lair), and when it reached the square, it tossed a poor farmer's head out of the shadows. I could hear a sickening splat sound, even from her, when the head hit the dirt. And then the Beast was gone. Now, let's get out of this grisly subject and talk gods. Are you sure you don't want to convert? My god gets a much better package. Only..."

Grandma Larson: "Hell, I've never seen that Beast with these 'ere eyes. Whether its a twenty foot tall flaming giant or some sort of snake slitherin' and spittin'  poison ai could not tell you. Who might know are them witches, who live up in the mountains. They know every blade of grass, every tree, every pebble of this 'ere town. They just don't know about our lives. Now, off with you."

The Witches: "If we knew what that Beast is, and, more importantly, where it lives, it'd be dead by know. We'd have thrown some magic it's way, or got the townsfolk together to hit it with sticks. We hate the Beast just as much as the townsfolk do. We're running out of healing supplies. We're all ready out of spleenswort and bay leaves, and we can't go gather some with this Beast running around, in case it got the drop on us. Now who might know is that Grandma Larson, down in the village. She knows every lover's tale, every sob story, every shred of information of the townsfolk's lives. If anyone knows, its Grandma Larson. Though she'll only tell you if its okay with the person who told her."

Miss Judy Tak: "The Beast? Oh, I know nothing about that. Now, my dears, would any of you like some fresh apple pie? I've got one cooking. It should be ready in a couple of minutes."

Smith Jones: "Ah, the Beast. Its all anyone talks about 'round here. If anyone should have seen it, is me. After all, my forge is always glowing, and there are no walls between it and the street. I suppose it either comes another way, or it can fly and simply drops the heads. But if it can fly, then why would nobody have seen it? Its victim's would simply have to look up, and then hide in the wheat. A person could hide for years in the wheat."

Mr. Joe Yip: "If you talk to my wife, Goss Yip, she'll tell you all about how she saw the Beast." A brief pause, as he checks if the are is clear, and then he continues in a whisper. "But I don't believe it. Flaming tails would just make it easier to see. As would glowing eyes. A guard would see in on his rounds. As would its victims, and at least one of them would have yelled something about it, and we could've found out what it is, or tracked it back to its lair." He continues in a normal voice. "And I've heard all the other stories about it, too. And I have to say, Urthart's makes some sense. A shadow, well, a shadow would be impossible to see among the darkness in the wheat. And there's plenty of shadows at night. Though of course a flaming jaguar makes loads of sense," He concludes as his wife enters the room.

The Story of the Beast:

It was a cold, fall night when the young, teenage Judy Tak sneaked through the streets of Th'gil. She reached her destination without being caught, and was about to knock on Grandma Larson's door when she, Grandma Larson, opened it wide, and waved her in. Larson closed the door silently behind them. Larson motioned the young Judy through the hall and into the living room. Judy sat down on the couch, the place where countless other's had sat to confide in Grandma, and Grandma Larson sat in her favorite armchair, which was close to the fire. Silence reigned for the moment, until Grandma Larson broke it.

"How far along has the baby come?" Larson asked.

"You know about that?" Judy replied.

"Certainly."

"Two months."

Grandma Larson nodded her head. The answer agree with her information. All was quiet for a moment or two, before Grandma Larson asked another question, the question that needed to be said.

"What are you going to do about it?"

"John is willing to accompany me to the witches to abort it, but..."

"But?"

"I think I want to have it. But my parent, and his, don't agree with, you know, pregnancy before marriage. And we, well, me and John aren't ready for marriage."

"I see. I know of a place where the child could be raised in secret."

"Where?"

"Have you heard the story of the Hyerwakatha? Of how hard they were too beat? Of how they could seemingly melt away and vanish whenever their battle was lost, how they would ambush and go without trace? The answer to that is caves. The ground is littered with 'em. The Hyerwakatha burial grounds used to be their village, and their is an entrance to a small set of caves their. You could raise the child in those caves."

"Oh, thank you, thank you, Grandma."

Seven months later, the child was born. It was a boy. He was left in the caves, and lived on his own, dependent on the frequent trips Judy Tak gave to it. The child grew in the subterranean environment, and grew skilled enough to catch and eat the animals that lived in the caves with him. He would explore the caves, and found how they all connected. He learned those caves like the back of his hand. Judy did raised him the best she could, but as she grew older, she could not make the trip to the burial grounds as often as she could when she was young. The trips to visit the child went from daily to weekly, to monthly, until the dissappeared completely. Of course, If Miss Tak had learned of the connection between the cellar of the Town Hall and the caves, the visits would increase in number, but Miss Tak never asked her son about them, and so her son never told her. Eventually, her son, trying to find his mother, found a way out, at the old burial grounds. The sun was much to bright, the colors were much to vibrant, the land was much to open. He sank back underground, and remerged at night, when things were more like home. That night he stumbled open a farmer, who had fallen asleep on his land, after a hard day's work. The child, not knowing murder was wrong, not knowing cannibalism was wrong, killed and ate him. He found the head to be hard to eat, and eye's and tongues disgusting, and left the head where it was. When people discovered the head in the morning, they brought it back to town. The child followed, and found them leaving the head in the town square. So now, every night, the child finds travelers, kills and eats them, and returns the heads to the town square, as the other people did.



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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

caesar193
August 14, 2012, 15:00
0xp
Update: Finally, out of my 'In work' folder.
Voted Kassy
August 15, 2012, 5:00
Only voted
Voted Cheka Man
August 15, 2012, 15:09
Only voted
Voted knowman
February 8, 2013, 11:32
0xp
I wasn't terribly impressed until the end - don't get me wrong, it was a solid idea, just not overly remarkable. And then I read the last paragraph and was completely creeped out. It really transforms the whole story and takes the adventure to a much higher, much darker level.
Voted valadaar
September 11, 2014, 9:55
0xp
I think some explanation as to how the child is so terribly effective at murder? Just not knowing it was evil is not enough, and it seems to be able to eat prestigious amounts of flesh to need to go out every night.

A simple feral kid/adult does not cut it. Its a great setup, with details (though the noteworthy locations contains most non-noteworthy locations). But the meat of the plot needs work.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: CaptainPenguin

Rakda-
These goatlike animals, who have shaggy coats and layers of scales, are good retainers of water. They are close relatives of Suppoki. Their meat is considered a delicacy in many countries.
No desert tribesman leaves his settlement without a Rakda.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | May 7, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp


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