1. Lost to abyss.
2. Village has a nearby natural substance that comes from the ground and burns when lit. They use it only locally and try not to let the secret get out.
3. On the outskirts of a poor looking village is a large mausoleum that is well kept and richly deserted. It has a marble walkway and bricked windows with beautiful ironwork adorning it. For grave robbers the look of the outside tells of untold riches on the inside. The crypt was created by a magician untold years ago to imprison a mighty Lich. If the place is plundered it will release the Lich once again on the world. The villagers only know that it must not be opened and a few that tried have mysteriously died sudden and sometimes violent deaths.
4. The village is actually a little known hideaway for villains of every sort. Kulas the Slayer, a well-known assassin, actually originally came from this town but nobody knows. After a job he usually comes back to this small village and hides. Criminals of some sort or people of low scruples hasve taken up most all of the village. Everybody here is corrupt and it can be very dangerous if they hang around.
5. The village is abandoned. Heavy tracks give the direction that a great many people departed in. The inside of the houses have been ransacked and everything of value stripped from them. The body of a middle aged man is found in a shallow grave behind one of the houses. Slave traders ransacked the village and all the villagers were taken chained to wagons towards the coast where they will be shipped to where they can be bought.
6. A man recently came through the village screaming of demon attacks and murderous insects. He was sweating and the village thought he was delirious and had a disease so quickly they chased him from the village. The party will come across a dead man a few miles outside town. If they go through his belongings they find a large golden necklace with square cut emeralds in it. The necklace is cursed and will draw demon attacks and insect attacks during the night. Eventually these attacks will kill them if they do not get rid of it or return it to its original site. Alternatively it could be some gold coins that carry the curse to make the cause less obvious.
7. Find a hidden cave. If searched with light they will find undecipherable runes drawn about them in a glorious display. Some mages and alchemists would pay a hefty sum of money to be given directions to view the described runes, if the party is smart enough to mention them to the correct people.
8. Nearby the village is a large lake said by the villagers to contain a water god. They tell the party that if they want good luck on their journey they should hire a boat and go to the center of the lake and give a donation to the god. Unscrupulous characters may realize that if people have been giving donations for awhile, there must be a fortune just sitting there under the water. The water may really be inhabited by a god, or perhaps just some dangerous water bound creatures, an elemental perhaps.
9. They come across a large tree with three young men hanging from it. Upon closer inspection they find that they are all naked and unconscious, a slight breathing in each of them can be detected. They are suspended by two ropes that are connected to a bone that is thrust through each of their breasts. Blood trickles from pulling wounds as they gently sway in the breeze. Smoke and some houses can be made out not too far away. If they release the men they will meet no resistance. Once the village find out it turns into a mob scene and they try to capture them. If caught they find out that they will be held until the three men are fit to see them. The men were going through a ritual to become warriors. They will not take kindly to their endurance test being interrupted. Unless the party can think of a good way to redeem the men or escape, the men will most likely take their lives in a substitute ritual to make them warriors.
Additional Ideas (104)
The local open house (not quite an inn or restaurant) is well known for its apple pie, cider, and jack. Strangely enough it is known as the Red Plum.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Thing is, this village is a place of peace and healing and anybody is welcome no matter their background or race. They will help and protect anybody. The clerics and priests are powerful enough to stop almost any type of harm from coming against anybody that seeks their sanctuary.
May only be slightly known to the common folk but those in power have always known about the place and always have it watched. It can also be used as a neutral meeting place for different sides to mediate.
It is not a large village but the buildings in it are awe inspiring in their beauty and craftsmanship. Not huge, just perfect.
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.
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.
Wet Drock is a small, mostly uninteresting village, lying on the banks of the River Thop. It is composed mostly of small, thatch and stick houses without windows. The people there are farmers or fishermen, and are very poor. All of the men go to the Market-Day in the nearby town of Opethion.
Wet Drock's name comes from Whej-Dawharoxash, a name which, in the tongue of the Urwhor, means "Seven Dwellings". A tribe of Urwhor dwelt here before the Men came, and to this day, some of the people have strangely reptilian features.
Across the river, in the marshy forest, there dwells Uxomwhak, the last of Urwhor in the region. Uxomwhak has found a strange artifact in the woods, a blackened skull that speaks to him, and he has taken this as his master. In return, it has sustained his lifespan far longer than an Urwhor's usual 60 years. Uxomwhak has done many deeds at the behest of the skull, including kidnapping a child from nearby Wet Drock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aadaabaanaabaanaa lies in the midst of the (insert name) Forest. It is secret and unknown to outsiders, except for one trader, who periodically enters to provide supplies and trade goods to the inhabitants.
The reason that Aadaabaanaabaanaa is secret is that all of its inhabitants are tiny pygmies. They have reddish-brown skin and no body hair. They all also have great magic power.
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.
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.
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.
The village lies close to the sea (hence its name), and naturally does fishing.
The peculiar thing is the obsession with time of the locals: anything must be done at the right moment, and there is a right moment for everything. From the early morning, the schedule decides what when to do. Visitors are likely to be ignored until the evening, when the work is done, and it is time to speak with guests and be social.
Locals get nervous if anythings disturbs their peaceful and organized existence, and are at pains to change the plans. If desired, there could be a reason beyond mere beliefs to live like this.
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.)
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.
Pakasang is a small village of farmers in the hills beneath the volcanic Mt. Budang. It is surrounded by forests, which frequently encroach on it's rice paddies and maize fields, and there is only one road, which goes from Pakasang to the nearby garrison town of Ta'te.
Pakasang is completely unremarkable but for one thing- in the center of the village, there is a large pit. This pit seems to be bottomless. Nothing ever comes out, and if something drops in or enters, it/they never return. Illumination dropped into the pit falls into darkness, a very long way. The people of Pakasang say that the pit is an entrance to the Underworld. A former sage of the Brotherhood of Wisdoms who lives nearby says that it is merely an entrance to a very deep cave.
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.
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.
This small village huddles at the bottom of the sharp Harga Pass that runs through the Sun's Walk Mountains. The town itself has no name, as such, but everyone calls it and the region Harga Pass.
The village is unremarkable, in most respects, but heroes will find that he people tend to be very reserved and mistrustful, and suspect that outsiders are witches. In the past, they have had trouble with a witch who dwelt in a tower at the top of the Pass (she recently died), and have no desire to have such troubles again.
Buthet is a tiny village consisting of fourteen small huts clustered around a pond. It has six inhabitants (not enough to take up all the houses). They live in constant fear of a huge thing that comes and takes them in the night.
However, if any people in the nearby region are asked about the huge thing, they will be informed that Buthet is used as a disposal area for their mad-folk, and that the insane people are probably just wandering off.
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.
Another of the less friendly villages (will there be an end to this?), locals are suspicious of strangers, and not above asking who they are, what they want, and if they stay for long.
There has been quite a bandit activity in the last few years, the villagers have lost a large part of their crops, the local militia came always too late. Skeptical of adventurers (they had too little money to hire any), they took it in their own hands. Most houses have now small openings serving as arrow-slits, crude crossbows are hidden inside, and the villagers train with their makeshift weapons regularly. You better don't make them mad...
(And by the way, Jerd's Farm was the first settlement here. Having five daughters, most locals are descendants of Jerd. The village is some 150 years old.)
Great Circle is a remote village in a vaguely defined corner of the borderlands. The village is mostly unremarkable- a circle of small, cord-walled huts surrounding a central green. The people are poor, and live on subsistence farming. Crops are grown by the whole village; no one villager has his own field. Great Circlers are not overly suspicious or rude; in fact, they are very glad to see new people, being as remote as they are.
Just on the outskirts of Great Circle is its namesake, however. Surrounded by the fields, there is a small hillock, and on top of this hillock there is a circle of gigantic stones, encircling the top of the hill like a wall. One can walk among the gaps of the stones to the center where there is a curiously-stained altar. The people of Great Circle regard the megaliths with a certain suspicion in that people have sometimes disappeared there, but they generally consider to be just an oddity that belongs to them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Morkam village is on the coast, with twenty-two houses and the local pub, which also serves as the meeting hall and if need be, the local court.The whole village is on stilts out at sea, and people get to and from it by rowing there.Each family has their own boat and their main occupations are fishing and pearl-gathering. They are friendly to strangers but a gallows in the village acts as a warning to lawbreakers. In practice it has not been used for over a century-everyone in the village knows each other well,and strangers who come are rare,and normally cause no trouble when they to arrive.
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.
If you want to read about The Field.
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.
At the foot of The Cyllerean mountain range is the village of Valdenoor, nested between two towering mountains that steal much of the sunlight. Only in the late afternoon can the sun be seen, leaving the rest of the day in perpetual shadows.
The village is unremarkable; a few longhouses and some huts for slaughtered meat. The villagers are primarily hunters and gatherers, with a few sheperds and some dairy production. A stream is trickling through the village and is the main source of cold and fresh mountain water.
The villagers bury their dead in the "ancestral caves" to the north of town, within the mountain known as "Shadowspring" to the villagers and "Mithiel" to others. The "Ancestral Caves" are rumoured to be guarded by the spirits of the deceased village shamans and does indeed seem dark and foreboding to those who come near.
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".
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.
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.
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 packet
This little out of the way village is burgeoning into a town. It is nestled in a nice valley that leads into a great forest, beside a nice strong stream fed by distant melting ice caps. It is here that the country's official paper (crestmarked via watermark) is made. It also makes common lesser grades of paper as well.
Things are only official if they are created upon this special paper. This allows the country to determine forged documents easily, just feel the unique paper texture and look for the watermark (as you can't put a water mark on a paper after it is made).
Besides the huge mill, there is the supporting gingerbread styled homes of the workers and those that support the workers. Hidden a bit behind the mill is a good sized barracks for all the military that guard "official paper".
While the road here is well traveled, most of these caravans are escorted by troops. If someone comes up the road, not in one of these heavily armed caravans, they are met by some fairly friendly troopers. You will then be dissuaded to continued, allowed to stay the night then escorted out the next day, or you will be clanked in irons and held until the captain can figure out to do with you.
Manzech is a small farming village, rather unremarkable. All the people in it are olive-skinned, straight-haired, and pinch-nosed, and all look vaguely related.
The village is a cluster of mud-and-cord huts around a central firepit and altar to Bungreb, the local earth goddess. The people of Manzech make sacrifices of young cattle and birds to Bungreb every fortnight, to maintain the fertility of the fields surrounding the village.
Manzech's people have an odd, highly nasal and whiny-sounding accent. It is otherwise unremarkable.
Founded by Demetri, a leader that left no children, the village is placed between a few small hills, it is certainly not a valley. Wooden houses, farming and logging, it is another boring place to pass through.
The most outstanding feature is hidden between two hills: a mineral spring possessing strong laxative effects. The village has luckily other springs for common use. This one is used mostly for practical jokes, and, as it is known and praised by doctors far and wide, it is also a source of small trade.
Strangers should beware what they drink here, some id...villager will sooner or later repeat the joke everybody knows for ages here.
The road here parallels the river. It is not a mighty river, but it is much more than a creek. The village here is built in the shadow of a cliff. There is a waterfall (and wide pond) a stone's throw from the buildings that make up the village. The village and various out buildings are between the road and the river.
The villagers supplement their income portering boat and goods up and down the cliff, by going around the cliff proper by following a side trail.
The initial buildings of this village are the various outbuildings and remaining parts of the main house, that made up Lord Kellers land. Lord Keller and family died in the house fire. No one else noble has taken up residence in these parts. So the locals sort of moved into the various surviving buildings and have build up a village since then.
Sophan is a middling-sized village of small huts constructed out of the local volcanic stones. Every house has the bones of a small jackrabbit pinned up above the frame; it's a local tradition, but nobody remembers the purpose of it anymore. It is surrounded by copses of ancient trees which the Sophans are loathe to cut down; this too is an ancient tradition whose purpose is unremembered. Finally, the village is centered around a small raised hill, and atop this stands a gallows which has not been used for 200 years; the Sophans believe that the gallows was originally used to make sacrafices to the heathen gods which were worshipped here before the coming of the Kingdom Religion.
Pelder's Cove is actually a fairly good sized cove. The good sized village, which is nearly a town, supports a moderate fishing fleet. The people are fairly normal fisher folks. The only oddity about the town is the salt fishing fleet and those that ply the marshish delta that feeds into the cove. The hunting of game birds in these parts is quite well known. There are a few noble hunting lodges not too far from the village.
Long ago this was a smuggler's cove. They would ply the sea and then hid in their shallow draft boats amongst the reeds and mudflats. However, the smuggling was only so good and the fishing was better. The locals celebrate their "criminal"/ piratical heritage in a summer festival.
In a tiny valley with a small lake, there is a nice village. There are several good roads that lead through the valley (which is a short cut over conventional routes). Besides the standard farming, lake fishing, light logging (as there is no saw mill here) and inns (travelers on the roads), there is a large manor home that is a chartered home for the Guild of Messengers. Here old members retire, new members are trained (riding, running, and swimming in the VERY COLD, blue lake), and regional administrative duties are done. The red caps wear their caps here all the time, so people can tell who is who. The red caps are very conscious of being "on duty" so act appropriate.
Guild of Messengers aka Red Caps
There were four huge villages (nearly towns) that surrounded the Old Capitol. Given recent events (the destruction of said capitol and moving of the throne to a new site), the villages have fared better than the city has... but not a great deal better. Many of the surviving residents have moved elsewhere. This leaves the hub villages strangely quiet, as they appear to be large and prosperous, but few are around.
Sunset (West Hub): The village is bustling, as all the buildings abandoned by the peasants have been filled with shops and warehouses that support the military force that guards the former capitol.
Sunrise (East Hub): This village used to be a support camp for mercenaries and small mercenary guild companies that the throne needed from time to time. They have moved on. This leaves a few farmers and some of the best weaponsmiths in the regions.
Noon (South): The village is along the route to a great shrine, so it is eking out a living to those that are making the pilgrimage.
Star (North): The most abandoned of the villages. The great storehouses and barracks are empty. The few farmers have built homes closer to their plots. Squatters are all that are left.
The land in this area is quite uneven, with rolling highs and lows. The crop around here is rice and produced in submerged fields. The fields are irrigated from the river through natural channels and a few artificial dams, dykes, and water walls (with water gates and Archimedes pumps). The village itself is quite dispersed over the area. Pockets of buildings are built on "high ground", which are connected by dyke paths and dozens upon dozens of bridges. One can have to walk quite a distance to reach a store, the miller, or inn.
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.
This little hamlet is just a stones throw from the city. It appears so quiet and quaint. It was. The City (an important regional hub, if not the capital) is filled with nobles- all with their honor, sharp wits, sweet wine, and dueling culture. The City Prince, in an attempt to slow the bloodshed, forbade the crossing of swords (dueling) in the city bounds. Cambrian Gardens had been filled with picturesque cottages, lovely formal gardens, and a huge number of weekend homes for nobles to escape the squalor of the city and its smell in the summer months. It soon became "the thing to do" to resolve disputes among the peace and beauty of the gardens. In response, the duels became more polite, more ritualized, and often accompanied by poetry readings and picnics to assist the idyllic mood. Many of the land owners here (not all nobles) have made small "out homes" adjacent to two or three dueling gardens. This way people will have a place to rest, prepare, and stage their duel. It has made for an odd main street in the hamlet. Instead of the normal cozy domestic shops and common rooms, there are weapon shops, purveyors of fine leather dueling armor, a mortuary, two churches for last rites, and inns for seconds and survivors. Behind the hamlet proper, there is a small compound for healers and physics who attend these events.
High in the hills of the North Mountains is a village with a noted distinction, the first frost always occurs here. It may or may not be magic ,or spirits, or just odd weather, but the rest of the land follows two to five days later. Some hire riders to wait here at about the right time, to tell of the coming frost (important for some crops to be up and in before the frost, most notably grapes). Though winter comes here first and leaves here late, it is surprisingly mild in this village. The village is known for its Mid Winter Festival, The Frost Festival. There are many winter sports, sled races, and the requisite food contests and market.
Note: There is no "festival" for the first day of frost and its impending winter. There is a tradition that everyone spends a half day drinking on the first day of frost. Some people are thinking about making the unofficial race out of town into an official one.
This village is at the end of the Great Parsan Pass. This is the only pass large enough to march an army through, so it is very strategic. This village has seen more battles than any one place in the world. In fact, the locals maintain a shrine to all the unburied dead who died in battle here, hoping to quiet their unrest. Note this is the only place in the world where Bloodflowers bloom continually.
Bloodflower wounds are the only terrain feature in this pass, so many a wise general has used it to their advantage in combat, as it will slow down or stop cavalry and light to medium infantry.
This is a village on the outskirts of the Great Dark Oak Forest,. Everyone is careful not to waunder there. A bit farther up the road from Brownin, towards the forest, is a The Shrine of Spirit Beasts. The holy men here maintain symbolic stables, pens, and corrals for spirit beasts to "visit". On a solstice or equinox, spirit beasts can be seen living in these places by the uninitiated. The 2/3rds of the Order of the Oaks is "unhappy" with the holy men being here and think the Shrine mere existence is a threat to the safety of The Lands. Unfortunately, it is in the Land of Mowren, where the shrine is of the Popular and Only religion. Nobody of that Land, including 1/3rd members of the Order, would dare act against it. (Someday, one of those spirit beasts will get "uppity" and the Order will have a "problem").
Order of the Oaks and Great Dark Oak Forest
A small, unremarkable village of average folk, the only thing of note is a trail of white stones nearby. Rumor says there is a wise man that can answer any question on its end. Most people that search for him fail, but some actually found him, and received answers. Some of the local drunkards theorize the sage is relocated farther each time he is found, but who knows.
On a further note, there are several daughters in the proper age, and few boys around... decent adventurers should beware of being drugged and married in a quick ceremony! Watch out, the sleepy Hunkertin can be your last station.
There are actually six or seven small villages in this region. There are low rolling hills, covered in grass (eaten by the abundant sheep) or crops. Most properties are marked off by hedgerows. Initially these plots were defined by Imperial grants, but they have been redefined in the Dark Ages.
In this region, perhaps as many as one-fifth of all surviving hedgerows date from Proloran times, a living link with the Dark Ages. Some even date back to Imperial times.
Grethdon Proper is the central village. It is nearly a small town. It has a Proloran Era temple, part keep tower with a hall attached to it.
Pietre is a normal village. However, the white wash/ plaster has a light green tint and all the thatch on the roofings is green as well. If somone built a building without a thatched roof, they would paint the roof green.
Supposedly the green stuff wards off the local bugs.
The buildings in the village look fairly normal, but are all built up by a foot or two of pressed stone. Every building has a steep couple of steps to get into. The land seems fairly flat and even, but it is actually on a flood plain. The flood level, at worst is only two feet, so most of the buildings are built accordingly.
However the soil is so soft, the foundations eventually slip down into the earth, eroding their protection from floods.
In the region around the village there are some deep soft mud holes and a few sink holes.
Bryrmont is a the original name for the village. The new inhabitants kept the old name. They even helped some of the old inhabitants "move out" and reclaim some of their things left behind.
There was an Earthquake, the subducted seacliff fell and land it was supporting slide towards the sea (bottom first). The level of ground shifted, the ocean began to flood towards the lower delta. The sea reclaimed the land.
The seafolk were running from the undersea disaster, moving towards the shallows and coast for shelter. The humans were almost unprepared for the flooding. The Sea Folk rescued some of humans washed into the onrushing sea waves. They helped them on to the various boats and to the new high grounds. In gratitude, the humans gave them their old towns and villages to live in (not like the Humans were going to do anything with them twenty to fifty feet below water(7m to 22m)). Bryrmont was the largest village (nearly a town) in the region.
Brymont looks much like it did. The few thatch roofed buildings have been replaced by the slate roofs the rest of the buildings had. The sea folk live in a manner much closer to the peasants used to. There is actually sea based agriculture adapted from land agriculture. They do this in addition to their normal fish and mussel ranching.
The sea folk and the delta folk have a close working relationship now. The nobles and powers that be on both sides are less than thrilled with this, but the common folk have embraced each other for the time being.
Take a pinch of sun, a sprinkle of rain, cool nights and warm days, a vineyard of well-drained Piedmont soil, and an ancient tradition around the hilltop town of Morressa. Age in oak barrels. Yield: Some of the best red wines in the world.
Morressa is a on top of the largest of the rolling hills found in the area. It is a sea of green dotted with vineyards and the occasional other farm. The village is full of your standard square plaster buildings, topped with red tile roofs. Generations of vintners have come from this town. The world does beat a path to its door.
This village is nothing special. In fact, all the villages around here are pretty average. However, Oren is the central one, so all the little roads in the area lead eventually to Oren. The road from Oren leads to the local city.
The terrain here is more important than the village. This is a low flat farmland not far from a big river. The last two kings have built a large number of canals and levies in this area. They are used to carry farm goods out of and finished good into the plains. It also allows faster movement from the coast and rivers to the mountain borders.
Some untold weather will occur, usually at a dramatic moment. Oren (and other villages) will be at risk when the water rises.
You could be charged with stopping the flood before it starts.
More heroically, imagine a fight scene on a levy or barge as the water rises. You could be in a low area fighting something, and the water spills over the levies, slowly flooding where you are. You could be racing to reach the next levy before you get washed away by the wall of water coming towards you.
This small village (and surrounding area) is known for some of the finest pork in the world. Their pigs are huge and a bit more wild than most domesticated pigs. Between good genetics and the local feed, they produce fine pigs.
The local cooks are quite skilled. Rafute, the Dish comes from this very village. This and other excellent pork dishes are a specialty here.
The village (and all the buildings here abouts) are all painted in various shades of blue and white. The village is good sized and there seems to be some traffic along these roads.
It seems the local mushrooms (which are everywhere after a rain, but in the local woods nearly year round) and soft stones found in the rolling hills in the area produced blue pigments suitable for paint, dyes, and ceramic glazes.
Tyka is a small village at the base of tall, snowy mountains. It's cold here all year round, and the villagers are mostly turnip farmers or suppliers to those who scale the mountains. Though there are several inns to house travellers, there's apparently not much to the town. There's an old storyteller, though, that regales the local children with tales of adventure and magic. Most adults dismiss him as a vagrant and hack poet, but the children love him. As it turns out, the old man is actually a warrior whose glory days are past, but he has a plethora of knowledge that adventurers might find useful if they bothered to ask.
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".
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.
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.
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.
This place is called after a fortress that once stood on the 'mountain', actually just a hill a mile from here, it is deserted since it was burned in some war decades ago.
All village houses, and many less important structures are built of the same type of stone, the very stone taken from the ruin. If asked about it, the locals will spin terrible stories of the many fires that used to destroy their existence before, and that they had no choice. The statues in their village's center are quiet witnesses to their great need.
How this name came to be, nobody knows anymore. The villagers have decided to like it, and will defend their honor with fists, if necessary, against any who would denigrate it.
Few know, that in this region of potatoes and cabbage lives a famous person; a former madam of a bordello in the capitol city. She had to flee after a great scandal involving a rather prominent family, and now hides here. Perhaps she is to spend her last years here, or she waits until the situation improves. The people only know, that she has a mysterious past, but was born here. The little wealth she took with her, and the knowledge of politics has made her the uncontested leader, and she can manipulate anyone should the need arise.
Indeed, many roses, wild and cultivated alike adorn this place, sleepy and peaceful. What an observant mind may notice, is that all houses have more than one floor, even the houses of the poor. This was a necessity due the regular surges in the population of snakes; not especially dangerous, but in the numbers a definite risk. After one particular summer, when the invasion of snakes was followed by a swarm of rats, the people had enough.
All important goods are stockpiled on the second floor (but very tight basements are built as well). Only the summer is dangerous, a mating season of the snakes lasts a few weeks, which the people await in anxiety, always improving their houses against the threat, and then suffering through. Once it is over, a great celebration follows, meshing with the end of the harvest.
Attempts to get rid of the snakes have failed.
This stockaded hamlet is built on small islands of dry land in the midst of a substantial floodplain. When the spring rains come, the surrounding land is flooded for weeks, with narrow raised footpaths the only ways into or out of the village. While it would seem that they should have plenty of water, they keep hundreds of barrels of drinking water stored away in large barns, for the floodwaters often carry a form of typhus. The local water is only potable before the floods come.
The settlement grew around a large inn, a favorite center of many a great hunt. The nobles were always eager to have fun on the side, and the locals here gladly supply whatever is necessary, enjoying a good living. Deep in the woods, they grow a few things for themselves, most of the food is from elsewhere; they do some fletching and create other hunting utensils.
The woods around are teeming with game, but poaching is strictly forbidden. It is a consensus that their main source of income shouldn't be endangered; plus, a few rangers are stationed here. Actually, not far from the village is a small 'farm', where wild animals are raised, to make sure there is something to hunt even for the more incompetent and lazy nobles. If they pay, they deserve it.
The locals tend to be very accommodating and merry around nobles, always ready for service. Others may learn to know them as dour, quiet folk, with disrespect for their likely customers, or anyone armed. A few men here were a part of a rebellion: it was suppressed, they just barely got alive. And rarely, a careless noble will get lost in the woods here, his body mauled by a wild animal. Accident.
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.
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).
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).
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.
By day, this community is eerily quiet. The doors are locked, shutters latched, and aside from the mournful howls of an old dog it seems empty. But the atmosphere changes at night when the fungus farmers prowl the fields for a strange mushroom that grows only by the light of the moons.
Everyone wears hats in this town, and there are lots of hat shops. Either wearing hats is some local custom, or the trend has something to do with a nearby albatross colony and the thick covering of bird droppings on everything here.
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.
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.
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.
The village/small town lies in the mountains. With long winters, agriculture is crucial. For important work - from plowing to harvest - even the small noble ruling it comes with his men to help. The locals have a deal with the rock trolls, to repair the only road through the mountains, once a year. In exchange they get livestock and other supplies, the caravans tend to leave a goat or other small animal at the start of their route. The trolls are obliged to not harm anyone, but it's better to be sure. Be aware: the road deteriorates through the year. It is safe after the repair, but that won't last long.
The name comes from the small exposure to sun the lowest parts of the village have. It is more than once in a year, the villagers complain anyway.
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.
Up in the mountains, in a rather dry flat zone, this little village was founded around a single deep well (there are more wells now). Agriculture is limited, they make their living by gathering the semi-precious stones (and occasional precious stones) and other resources of this miserable place. The inhabitants are unremarkable, save for being hardy and having a nasty biting humor. But they do help those in need, it is a necessity here and a chance to apply some sarcasm.
The most important event of the year is the reopening of the pass under the flats after winter. Then, the caravans pass again through, not many, but enough to keep everyone entertained (and wary). Winter is just boring.
Flattown is a good sized island in the Pymean Delta that empties into the Western Ocean. It is dead center in the flow just after the Northern Cole and the Western Cole merge into the Pymean River. It is a ten minute trip by pole boat to the shorelines. It is about an hour and some to get down to Old Town dock or two hours getting back.
Here the fishing and hunting is good. The lands (mostly) protected by the levies around it are fertile. While Soy for feed is the main crop (shipped up rivers), any number of other crops are planted. The buildings are an odd mix of ramshackle wood and brick. The main business in the town is "stop overs" for river boats going up and down the Delta. There is a small entertainment district which employs most of the population of Flattown, providing things that more respectable ports of call don't provide.
The Island was just called Flat by the boaters. The village here is called a town because most boat owners won't or can't (by charter) stop at the villages along the river... only the towns.
This village is cross posted with the islands Flattown