How many times did you need an authentic village or little town where you would know how the common folk will react on the adventurer’s deeds and misdeeds, the news of a monster living in the neighborhood, or an unnatural death in their midst? Where you can see who knows whom, and who is close to, or distant to a certain person?
The purpose of this scroll is to create a ‘normal’ community, a sort of neutral background to stories of glory and woe. Here, we need common people with few inclinations for the larger-than-life and epic. I know it is not easy, but I am sure you are up for the challenge. ;)
I have but one condition on you: every villager must be linked to at least one other, meaning, they must have a significant relationship (and the link, too). A scroll entry may contain one character, or several, like a family living in one house.
And now, there are over one hundred people living in this village. A GM/storyteller can simply announce that for every person here, there exists another person of no special significance, whole families that are just not that remarkable, or will behave like others. So make that two hundred or more… AND YOU HAVE A WHOLE VILLAGE!
Framont the carpenter
Erben, the experimenting farmer
Gelman the woodchuck
Mydlin the helper
Torman the headman
Emily, who knows what’s good for you
Thanen the brewer
Morda the midwife
Kieran the apprentice
Irres the cook
Vern “Downwind” Sligo, the “Stinker”
Weleson, the withdrawn farmer
Simkin, “Torman’s Staff”
Borden the Big
Barune the blacksmith
Janvel and Malvina Gryinder, Grasping Millers
Badot the builder
The Saddlemans family
Manerva, the Witch
The Esik family
Hetlund the Barber
The House Werbens
Kovlinna, Matron of Brekkmeres Refugees
Kritler and Family The unpleasant people.
Jorah and his girl
And this here is a little ‘framework’ you can base the characters on, if you want. Just cut&paste:
Appearance (gender, approximate age, mannerisms and the like)
Family and Life (this is the place for background and noteworthy family members)
Special Equipment (things beyond a person with the job would have)
Roleplaying Notes (how can they be interacted with, and how they may be useful)
Additional Ideas (31)
Framont is a calm, some think simple-minded man in his thirties. Making this or that piece of furniture, or helping to build a house, he works in a relaxed way, often humming or whistling to himself. Lately, his belly became a tiny bit larger, but his wife Bellinda - a great cook - doesn't mind at all. By stature he is still in good shape.
Family and Life
He inherited the craft from his father, married his childhood love, had two children, and lives his 'happily ever after' now. That's about it. The only thing annoying is the need to travel regularly around, sometimes with Mydlin, and offer his aid to others, since one village makes not enough business for him. Better than working for Janvel, anyway.
Bellinda is not especially happy about this, but manages, having a good friend in Ida to talk with.
He is the carpenter, so he has the tools. Has also a solid carriage to transport his products, or wood; rope and chain and the like is also of use.
Having a dislike for splinters, and conversely, liking smooth surfaces, you can expect to find him above the last piece, checking it one more time if it is perfectly smooth. Locals know that praising his good work makes him blush and deny, but also makes the price lower.
Long, thin and impatient, Erben is always looking for inventions and new ways to improve the harvest. Forty is the age when he should really calm down, people say.
Family and Life
Ida, his wife, has given up trying to calm him down and cares for the three children, mercifully overlooking the chaos he often produces. She often finds the time for a little talk with Bellinda, Framont's wife, about men and their toys, a benevolent resignation of caring wives.
Others consider him a harmless weird guy, good for a laugh - but some of those things might turn out useful. Despite the occasional accidents, he manages to have a slightly above average harvest. No significant breakthrough happened until now though.
Erben's fascination comes from his youth, when he travelled with his father, a peddler, and the best times were the markets, with sellers of things strange and beautiful, amazing inventions and magical helpers. After his father's sudden death, he ended up working on a farm, and eventually marrying into the family.
Amazing inventions, most of them useless. May have a few cheaper alchemical/magical ingredients.
Interested in new people in town, he likes to have a talk about what is new. Offering him some brand new invention for sale, means to attract his well-meaning wife, who has a good eye on charlatans by now.
A little unkempt in his working dress, the man of forty-something is usually chewing a gum of pitch found on trees. Rarely talking with people he doesn't know, he makes his way through the village as through the forest he is in most of the time.
Family and Life
Well, there's not much to talk about. Some jokers claim that he is really having a heated affair with a dryad, but that's clearly made up. His sometimes dour nature, but respectfulness to women make him a good target for the jokes.
Actually, Gelman can read well (he went to a school in the town!), and is deeply religious. Dryads and other creatures he may have seen, but leaves them in peace as they leave him. He tried to take an apprentice, but it didn't work out, so he better stays alone. And there is Emily, but... no, they are simply not meant for each other.
The wood he produces, becomes either firewood for the villagers, or source for Framont. There is some trouble brewing with the builders of a new sawmill, but that is clearly Janvel's fault.
Nothing special; has a draft horse called Willy which he cares for, and occasionally talks with.
Really not one for long talk or strangers, he knows his part of the woods well. May help those that are somewhat trustworthy in exchange for work; that trust is but hardly earned. Is respectful to women and priests or pious people.
A young man with a lame leg, what is there to say. Barely twenty, his future is before him, looking bleak and lonely.
Family and Life
He tried the wood-cutting business, and it went well, until a tree collapsed right on his leg... it healed, but wrongly. He can move, but never run again, and is now without a craft. Still, he helps with Gelman to make boards and the like, most of them ending in Framont's workshop, who is his main employer.
Since the accident happened, he has really not exchanged with Gelman more than a few words. There is no bad blood there, just something that is hard to speak out.
Living with his old mother, he is in risk of becoming a bachelor now. With precious few girls in the right age, Erben's daughter is growing up, and likes to talk to him even... just a kid, but not for long. It is too soon to make a move yet, but the right time to make a good impression. It is clear to him that he needs a good livelihood. Vern is trying to recruit him, but he is a bit too much annoying, and he has heard some strange stories about his past.
Nothing of real value.
A bit pessimistic, he needs to earn _real_ money. If he is given respect, and his condition is not much dwelled upon, he may be persuaded on some risky endeavor, or tell what others are not willing to.
A large man, he is the "Big Guy in charge"
"You there, Get back to work".
Human/ Male/ 40ish
He is a man with broad shoulders, stocky build, and is developing a bit of a gut. He is as bald as a baby's butt, and just as pink as well... no matter how much sun he gets (when he might turn red if not for a big hat he always wears outside).
Family and Life
He has always been the "one in charge" even when he was a little boy. With his natural intelligence and size, he seemed the natural leader. He also inherited his fathers diligence and "ethic of proper work". Since he was young, he has worked hard to improve his father's holdings. He always wants to work smarter than harder. He has carefully implemented some of Erben's ideas and tools (such as pumps and certain drainage gates). They have improved his holding's yields. If Erben could just focus on what he was doing, he could be making quite a profit on his inventions. Yet since he flitters about, he can not capitalize on it.
Torman is one to capitalize on things. He has taken some of the extra coin he has earned and lent it to other farmers. They have repaid in some extra coin or part of their harvest. With that extra money he has purchased extra plots and hired a few fourth and fifth sons to work them.
While he does have much more than most of the farmers, he is not vastly richer than others. Most of his extra money has be invested back in his lands.
The Village has no actual mayor. However, if there seems to be a group decision to be made, Torman is the one most of the village looks towards for the decision. Torman is a smart man. He does listen to other people, especially those who have skills related, thus me may defer to Gelman when dealing with the forrest.
Note: Bellinda, the wife of Framont is Torman's second sister. His first sister married a travelling craftsman and moved away.
He is married to a lovely woman. They have children now. His son is coming of age and is just like his father. (yes two spots for people to fill)
Stern but fair. He has a friendly demeanor, just because it makes people work more efficiently for him. He has the ability to scold people into doing what they should be doing, like a father scolding a child. It does not matter who the other person is, he has that effect upon people.
He likes everything running smoothly. He wants to organize the world. He keeps on top of things for those in charge. He has a good relationship with the nobles/ administrators that oversee his area.
Every village and neighborhood has one, and this one is a doozie.
Half Human and (insert race, usually elven)/ female/ 28... forever.
If an Elven race is not an option, you can always opt for an ethnic group from far afield.
Emily is a moderately good looking woman. She would look better if she took more than a passing interest in her looks. (Her long wavey dark hair, her nearly purple eyes, and fair skin give her an exotic look). Emily does insist on things being clean, so she is very scrubbed, her clothes are clean and well maintained, and her home is spotless. Her hair, though clean, is a wild mop at most times.
She is also smart as a whip and hits like one too. She actually reads books. Her tongue is sharper than a serpent's tooth and she has comebacks and snide comments like a stand up comedians.
History/ Life/ Explanation
Emily's parents moved in the area before she was born. The locals have gotten used to them and even accept them. Emily is just another native, despite her exotic background. They are the local potters. So while they do have a small plot, most of their income comes from the potters shop in the back of their house. She does much of the work in the shop and the plot these days.
She is also the area's "Bossy Wench". She is often in people's business: telling them what they should do (her advice is good) and why they should. This tends to get on people's nerves. While they roll their eyes as she goes on rampages, they do what she says; partially because she is right and partially because she won't shut up until they do.
Ida and she have been friends since they were young. She actually made the her and her now husband a couple, saying it was the best thing for both of them. While they are no longer the closest of friends, they are still good friends. She, Ida, and Bellinda often share a cup from time to time. (Bellinda is friendly with her, but really does not like her at all. She suffers her for Ida's sake).
She and Torman have a healthy respect for each other. She is always pointing out various problems or issues for the people of the village. Rabblerousing is what some people say. However, her concerns are often genuine. So Torman is supposed to fix everything. He is one of the few people in the village who she will "back down" when confronted. While they do argue, and often it is quite heated on Emily's side (Torman is almost always calm), his quiet logic and gentle demeanor will often win the day.
The same can not be said for Emily and Kovlinna. The two are two of a kind really. That means even if they agree they will fight like Cats and Dogs over the pitaful details.
Gelman and she have a tortured history. He is somewhat "against" people of her kind. (She is a heathen, comes from Heathen stock, or some such. It is like an adamant Christian distrusting a Jew... for the death of The Christ}. These two have been arguing about one thing or another (Emily loudly and Gelman with a stoic silence) since they were children. While he has reconciled some of the teachings of his religion (realizing her kind is not really "evil"), he is often uncomfortable around her. That is a shame though, the two actually have a deep affection for each other. If they could ever get past their long and complicated past, they would make a good couple.
Too Smart for her's or anyone's good
Insults worthy of a stand up comedian.
In many places people would treat her as an outsider and shun her because of her heritage. The local have embraced her and her family. So there are no local problems.
She is on her way to becoming the town spinster. While she wants love and romance, her shrewish behavior has scared away all the locals. She just says "she has high standards" to explain why she is not married.
Appearance Thanen is a large potbellied man in his mid-forties. He's almost constantly smiling and laughing (whether by nature or libations no one is sure). He’s giving and shows concern over the well being of the others. Although intelligence is not his strong point, he makes up for it in wisdom.
Family and Life Finding solace in the quiet and calm life of a brewer Thanen spends most days quietly tending his chores or out with his son, Kieran, collecting herbs for his wife. In the early evening he opens his tavern for business. Meads, wines and a decent fare are served every night with the help of his wife, son, and Irres. He enjoys having his brother-in-law Milden around, finding his stories of his travels fun and entertaining.
He is somewhat tolerant of his cousin Vern moving to town, although he doesn't speak to him often. He is somewhat suspicious of his attentions towards his family, but remains silent about his uncertainty about his intentions.
Special Equipment Nothing notable beyond a few barrels of exceptional brews and a fine bottle or two of wine he might part with.
Roleplaying Notes Quick to offer a drink or a rumor or two, he is polite and friendly. He can provide adequate lodging if asked (either in his home or the brewing house out back). He is a friend to Mydlin, and hires him on occasion to haul barrels of ale and mead to other towns. He pays him well and often offers extra for the more dangerous trips through “hostile” territory.
Appearance Morda is a voluptuous, attractive woman in her late thirties. She is kind-hearted and sincere. She is polite when she notices you, but tends to be a bit forgetful when she is working.
Family and Life Having learned the ways of herbs from her mother, Morda spends countless hours making a variety of poultices and infusions for the locals, as well as being a well known midwife. When not working she spends almost all of her spare time with Thanen and Kieran at the tavern.
Special Equipment Other than a few extra healer’s kits she keeps around (in case of emergency) she has little of value. It is possible to purchase either a healer’s bag or an herbal remedy or poultice at a reasonable price from her.
Roleplaying Notes She’s always busy working. Either a poultice needs mixing, a tincture needs to “sweat” or cataloging herbs needs to be done. In a day she may seem to be everywhere, taking a cure for gout a farmer, checking in on a pregnant local, delivering an herbal infusion to a client or any other chore she has. In the evenings she is at ease, laughing and spending time with friends and family in the tavern.
Appearance He is strong, handsome and energetic. Only in his late teens, he is quite mature and wise beyond his years. Kieran is intelligent and trustworthy to a fault. He tries to live by a “gentleman’s code” and is always lending a hand. Believing no act goes without consequences, he lives in a state of perpetual goodness.
Family and Life Learning both the arts of herbalism and brewing from his parents Thanen and Morda, Kieran is hoping one day to produce a variety of elixirs and offer them for sale. He enjoys spending time with his parents, but secretly is enamored with Irres, the cook at the tavern.
He has recently been enjoying the company of his uncle Vern, although he shows a bit of concern about the relationship between him and his father.
Special Equipment The only thing of value he owns is a small hand bound book of herbal and brewing notations and an iron shod staff.
Roleplaying Notes Kieran is a “noble peasant”, rushing to assist anyone in need. He carries himself with an air of refinement not often seen outside of a royal court.
His knowledge of herbs and some minor ability at combat makes him more than useful in a pinch.
Appearance She is a lovely young girl barely in her twenties. Long chestnut hair and bright green eyes compliment her soft features. She dresses plainly and rarely is seen without an apron on. She smiles often, slight lines apparent at the corners of her mouth and eyes.
Family and Life Irres is an orphan, her family died several years before to a plague of unknown origin. Since then she has lived with Morda and her family at Morda’s insistence. She works in the kitchen at the local tavern for Thanen, Morda’s husband.
Although she recognizes a few men that have interest in her, she secretly waits for Mydlin to muster the courage to approach her. She finds his determination and strength of character very appealing.
Special Equipment A chest of minor personal items recovered from her parents home by Thanen and her dowrey (a carved box filled with jewelry and gold coins, kept hidden by Morda).
Roleplaying Notes Irres is funny and flirtatious. Always smiling, she is quick with a well meaning joke or comment. She does her job well, and enjoys spending time out of the kitchen with the patrons. She turns all advances from men into humorous incidents, all the while looking to see if Mydlin is in sight.
Quote "A fine skin, a fine knife, and a fine woman. I have two of three."
Appearance tall, with a heavy step and slightly stooped shoulders. Dirty flaxen hair, and sallow eyes. Long drooping whiskers.
Family and Life Vern has recently moved to the village, having heard that his cousin Thanen lived here. Somewhat of a loner since his own wife has passed away (which is the reason Vern has decided to move to a new village in the first place), Vern has taken to Thanen’s family as his own. He is highly respectful of Morda and her talents, and is practically doting when it comes to the young Kieran, a proud uncle. Vern will never admit it, but he is quite jealous of his cousin’s “prosperous ways”. Interestingly enough, Vern and Thanen themselves, have a rather “cool” relationship, due to some unfortunate incident stemming from the cousins’ childhood years.
Special Equipment None. He does keep several pot-bellied pigs as pets. They sleep in his ramshackle tannery, oinking loudly whenever “night prowlers” near the humble abode, thus alerting Vern to intruders as dogs might.
Roleplaying Notes Quiet and hard-working, Vern can usually be found tending to his vats of piss and chemicals, “marinating” his leathers and hanging them for drying and display. His nickname is an obvious one. Vern is also often seen chatting up Mydlin, whom the tanner thinks would make a fine apprentice, lame leg and all.
Average tall, average built, clothes as they should be, this man is rarely seen around except when he has business to attend. Even then he talks little.
Family and Life
The calm, withdrawn life wouldn't be complete without his wife Grelda. She is kind of thin for a farmer's wife and the life of work, but she handles it quite well. It is a public secret that they have separate bedrooms in their house (in a place where entire families live in a single room), but they are on occasion seen holding hands, in love like a young pair. There is definitely something unusual about their relation, but they are a private people, and don't tell anyone.
And so they live, a little out of town, for their own affairs, really coming out only during holidays. Smalltalk isn't for them (even their four kids are loners, can you believe it!), they like to be informed of important events. Weleson prefers to speak with Torman directly, and be not stuck in a crowd; for the same reason he had a few fights with Emily, who is about the only person that can bring him to really speak out. With Old Saddleman they have an understanding, they like to sit down to a glass of wine and talk little as well.
Weleson is just that way, but his wife was the daughter of a lesser noble, thrown out for being pregnant. He found her on the run, never asked who the father was, and offered a home and his heart... and she accepted, falling in love with the simple farmer. The remains of noble pride dictate to stay distant from the simple folk, she doesn't count her 'knight' among them. The kids (all four boys) have taken up this behavior as a matter of honor.
His interest in new people and issues quickly passes, and most consider him therefore an *up* person. In truth, he doesn't really need many social contacts, and that is his way to be nice to others, even if he is not deeply interested in them.
quote "We should do what Torman says!"
Appearance bald, Simkin shaves his head emulating his “idol”, Torman. Lithe and narrow-boned, Simkan is sometimes referred to as “Torman’s Staff” in japes by the other villagers. He has deep-set, small black eyes, and a single, bushy brow crowning his face.
Family and Life Every “leader” needs at least one follower, and Simka is Torman’s left hand, never far from the Headman. The fourth son of Weleson, this rambunctious youth is quick to act upon Torman’s orders and directives. According to Weleson’s wife, the boy has inherited a “bit’o’ the ole’ blood”, well with his pugnacious and authorative nature and all, perhaps she is right. Needles to say, Simkin is her favorite of the couple’s four sons. Simkin himself, is actually friendlier with Torman’s sons, than he is with his own brothers. Though not an unpleasant man, Simkin has inherited less of his father's morals than did Weleson's other three sons. Simkin makes for a good 'lieutenant' for the village Headman.
Special Equipment Masterwork longsword, a gift from a passing adventurer, this is Simkin’s greatest, treasured, possession, and he rarely withdraws the weapon from its hiding place, buried deep beneath his father’s plot.
Roleplaying Notes Much to Weleson’s unspoken chagrin, Simkin sees Torman as more of a father figure than he does his own humble, but wise sire. Simkin often resented Weleson growing up, if for no other reason, than his mother’s whispered tales of her own nobility. Upon reaching the proper age, Simkin approached Torman, whom the youth rightfully recognized as the “ village leader”, and latched on to the bald-headed headman. There is some mild friction because of this between Weleson and Torman, though the former keeps his feelings to himself, quietly and selflessly wishing his son “all the best life has to offer.”
Appearance Milder is a tall and gangly fellow, very reminiscent of a scarecrow. His short grey hair stands out in various directions from under his cap. He is usually covered in road dust. He seems to prefer earth-toned colors, mostly because they hide the dust well. He is quiet and reserved when in the company of strangers but loud and full of life when around friends.
Family and Life Milder is the older brother of Morda. Although he spends most of his time on the road, he can often be found in the small room above the tavern that he calls home. He enjoys spending time with his sister and especially likes Thanen’s honey meads. Although not related to him, he is very protective of Irres, who he treats as a daughter. He and Kieran are very close, and can be found strolling through town chatting often. On an occasion he will spend time with Erben, discussing agricultural theory and the like.
Special Equipment Apart from his small, mule-drawn wagon and tools, he keeps a fair assortment of old, odd and interesting items mixed in with his items for sale.
Roleplaying Notes Milder is wary of strangers, having a lot of experience with the “outside world”. He doesn’t trust anyone he doesn’t know well, but will barter over the price of his goods nonetheless. A truly useful item or valuable antique might be found among his wares.
Borden has one stand out trait: He is a head taller and a hand span wider in the shoulder than anyone in the village. That is the only reason he stands out. (He is quite strong, but not superhumanly, but based simply on his increased size).
Other than that, and the fact he pulls his own wagon because his cart animal can not pull him and a full load, he is just another farmer. He is not a gentle giant, nor an aggressive bully. He is not a social man, nor is he a hermit. He is just another farmer around the village.
He is not handsome, nor ugly either... just a face towering over the crowd.
Family and Life
His wife is nothing special either. She is a cousin on their mothers side to Milder and Morda. She is of middle height, a bit on the chunky side, and average brown hair. She has been tapped a bit by the ugly stick, but not thwacked by it.
He has three sons, none blessed with his huge size. Each however will be a non descript farmer in a few years. Each was born one year apart. The gang of them, being in a gap in the local generations (the boys are the only peers their age). They boys basically only played with each other. They are thick as thieves and tend to create a bit of mischief. The boys are currently just becoming young men. Thus they are current fighting over girls, thinking they may have to go to other villages to find them.
Plot Hook from family
Bordens youngest, Baby,... well she is going to be a problem. Not quite a maid yet, and she has been fairy blessed with great beauty. She is a lovely child: fun, loving, and knows she is special. When she blossoms, she will cause all sorts of issues in the village, as only a girl of exceptional beauty can.
Barune is nearly a mirror image of Thanen the brewer, but the mirror was broken.In his mid-forties he is heavy set with a muscular upper body, the outcome of many years of work at the forge. He also has a pot-belly, the outcome of many years at the tavern. His head is covered with greasy black hair and he sports a mid-length beard. Barune is never seen to laugh, except when something unfortunate happens to his fellow villagers.
Family and Life
Barune is a widower and has two teenage sons, Hethic and Turlo. Given his nature, people would suspect that his wife, Silana, met an untimely end at his hands, but it was the Cold Cough that claimed her. Some say it was her passing that made Barune so mean, but those who knew him before know it just made him worse. He is a negligent father at best, showing little interest in his sons. His son's actually prefer his aloofness as neither can stand him.
Barune hates most of the town notables, especially those more successful or influential then himself. This holds especially true for The Headsman. He also has an especially intense hatred for any outspoken women. He is one of Thalen's biggest customers.
Barune is a decent craftsman and fairly hard worker, but he is untrustworthy and is a bully. Women know not to visit his shop without an escort or two, even Emily. Some of the more vulnerable townspeople, such as Mydlin the helper, avoid his shop whenever possible. Since he is the only blacksmith within a day's travel, his behavior is somewhat tolerated.
Barune owns a set of armor and weapons which he keeps hidden. Before settling down as a blacksmith, he travelled with a group of brigands and was not a passive member.
Barune is a competent blacksmith and will do good work if the money is there. If the PC's are obviously strong, he will not mess around with them. If they appear weak or desperate, then he will try and take advantage of the situation. If the PC's are looking to sell metal goods, etc, he will never pay even close to fair market value.
Janvel Grynder, the local miller, is a short, fat man with pronounced acne; an expression of covetous avarice perpetually covers his face. His wife, Malvina, is ten years younger than him, but no less unpleasant. Obviously pregnant, she constantly complains about money to the few people that will listen to her. Despite the fact that her husband buys her whatever she wants, she is never satisfied.
These two are the most hated people in town.
The Miller's Share
As is common in rural villages, the local rulers have made it illegal for anyone to mill flour without license. Since he owns the only mill so blessed, he profits mightily from the monopoly; the local farmers universally resent this.
One other man profits from this arrangement: Janvel Grynder, the local miller. His wife Malvina struts about the village, dressed in elegant clothing far beyond what any of the other villagers can afford. How can he afford this finery? He is authorized to keep one tenth of the flour ground within the mill, but he secretly diverts an additional portion. A hidden sluice within the mill's workings allows him to keep twice what he is owed.
While the local farmers can't prove anything, Janvel has long since been tried and convicted in the court of local gossip. Erben the farmer actually came to blows with Janvel after he measured the flour that he received against the grain he originally supplied. This brawl caused both men a great deal of trouble, and they were ordered to stay away from each other by Headman Torman. The other local farmers also despise the miller, who is reviled for his grasping ways.
Janvel knows that these people hate him, and revels in rubbing their nose in his situation. Instead of trying to mend fences, he aggravates the conflict by boasting of how well he provides for his wife.
As if his problems with the locals weren't enough, he is constantly making problems with the millers in villages up and downstream from the town. He complains that they are tampering with the stream's flow, diverting water or altering the water level. His frequent complaints have made him nearly as unpopular with those that know him from these other villages as he is in his own town.
Plans for the Future
Janvel and his bride have big plans: He hopes to build a sawmill on the river as well. In his mind, this will be an endless source of wealth and will free him from having to work for the local ruler.
He tried to hire Framont the carpenter to help build this new mill, but Framont refuses to work for him, as he can't stand the man's greed. Unable to find locals willing to work for him, Janvel hired Badot and his crew from a neighboring village to frame the new structure, but they are taking much longer than he ever expected to raise the building.
A thick man with a balding head and a black mustache, in another time and place he might have found himself a captain of men, or a trusted lieutenant in the overlord's command. Times as they are, his hands are calloused not from the sword but from the carpenter's hammer.
Currently residing on the property of the Grynders, Badot is a traveling builder with his own small crew of three other men. Janvel hired Badot after Framont refused to help build his sawmill. While not an innately bad person, Badot has found himself in the position of being the local 'villian' since he has accepted work from the Grynders and his supply collection has been stepping on the toes of locals. One of his men is a blacksmith who specializes in making nails and fixing tools, while the other two do double duty as guards and carpenters. Gelman has complained to the Headman a number of times, but Badot and his crew are not actually breaking any locals laws gathering their own lumber.
Janval is displeased with how slow work is progressing on his sawmill, but this is because of a number of things, none of which include Badot and his crew being lazy. Far from it, Janvel only hired the four men after great haggling over their wages, refusing to hire a full crew of eight to ten men, so there is not enough manpower to go around. This is made worse by the fact that the men have to divert time to gathering lumber to build the new mill instead of having local woochucks or apprentice builders cutting and shaping it for them. This leads to alot of frustration on the crew who end up spending what little coin they do get on ale from the Brewer.
Badot feels he has learned a hard lesson working for Janvel. In the future he will be better prepared for negotiating wages for his men and the disposition of supplies for the building. As it is, he only wants to get the mill finished sometime in the next year or so. He is also worried about his crew, as he knows some are ready to leave because of the low pay and one has been getting a bit too close with one of the local daughters.
The most outstanding feature of Sledon is his hair, which he has kept at shoulder-length since his youth. His wife Deliah on the other hand has shorter hair than usual for women of her age. But before that, you would sooner notice their family of which at least one is always present with the pair: seven children (and number eight in the works)!
Family and Life
Well, it's not easy living in such a chaotic household, many people in a small house. The older kids are supposed to take care of the young ones, anything that can walk on its own to help. Irres used to help them before, now they have the manpower, but she is still a honoured guest.
As if it that was not enough, Sledon's father, old Saddleman, lives with them, too. The only real authority for the youngsters, he is dearly loved despite most of his tales revolving around their ancestors, famed soldiers and horsemen (hence their name). Over the years, besides smoking a pipe, he is pretty good at making whistles, mills and other toys; some of which he manages to sell. He's one of the few to strike up a conversation with Weleson, he was good friends with his father and is, loosely, a sort of family friend.
Among the kids, of note is most Little Joey, a veritable Dennis the Menace. Beware five-year-olds that cannot be exhausted, and are fond of asking too many questions and getting into trouble. He has this special love for Janvel, and annoys him to no amount. Curiously, he is rarely punished for anything he does to him.
The parents are of little note. They really wanted this many kids, but right now can barely remember their own names for being on duty all the time. Thankfully there are many holiday when they can let off steam. If there is a dance, they will come and not leave before their feet can't move.
Their might be, if anyone was able to find it in the mess.
What would a village be without the Little Joey? The boy that was everywhere, and has seen and heard everything, and is ready to help adventurers for a few golds. Or at least silvers. Or coppers if it has to be, but don't expect too much then.
Oh and yes, Old Saddleman knows a few stories. Most are invented I'd say.
Being thirty and a mother of three children, there is still something about her. She may not be very smart, but the pretty face, and... well, let's say naivety and the body of a courtesan in one can make men quite unsure. Or grasping for words in most cases. Behind her back though, tongues do not stop for a second.
Family and Life
Her husband, Pherman, was generally a nice guy, but known to get angry after a few drinks. It wasn't such a big issue, until he accidentally killed some outsider in _his_ tavern (well, actually Thanen's, but you surely understand). Spirited away by the justice system, he won't return for at least five more years.
His abandoned wife, had to suffer a cruel winter... and when spring came, she was suddenly pregnant. Many like to point out the obvious, others feel ashamed now for not helping her before. It is wildly speculated as to who the father is, but the child is not similar to any man in the village, at least for now.
Sirtana started to avoid all men as a rule after being socially downgraded, and many of her friends from before turned the gossip against her. Wiping the tears of her pretty face, she is now the insulted beauty of the town. And she won't tell the father's name, not if they babble for a hundred years. Luckily, there is help from the confused boy Simkin, thinking himself a knight (strangely enough, this brought her in contact with the aloof Grelda who for some reason tolerates her). Kieran is eager to help too, but already too much of a man to trust.
For a living, there is sewing and stitching which she's quite adept at.
She fills the role of the naive beauty that was deeply hurt. To admire her is fine, to try starting something with her is a really bad idea - while she talks to few, a surprising number of people would come to her aid, and protect her.
Muttering "Hey, that child looks very much like ..." is a guaranteed way to cause a riot.
Appearance: Manerva is a thin old women bent with age. No one in the village remembers her ever being young and she is believed to be close to, or just over, a century old. Her eyes were once brown but now have an eerie white cast due to cataracts. Her long grey hair is wild and unkempt. She is rarely seen preferring to keep to the solitary confines of her home. She journeys into the main part of the village only when absolutely necessary and is always mumbling to her self.
Family and Life: Manerva was once a well respected herbalist and "healer". 50 Years ago, an epidemic struck the village which she could find no medicine to ease. The old and the young were hardest hit (though no group was spared entirely). She lost her entire family (her husband, daughter and two sons) within a month of each other. In spite of this, her continued health kept the villagers coming to her door. Her sorrow deepened as she watched those that turned to her for help die around her.
She is, in truth, a rather amicable old woman though her long solitude has left her social graces sorely neglected. Her only friend in town is Morda, who makes frequent visits (always being sure to bring a treat such as hot bread and fresh churned butter). Morda's mother was once apprenticed to Manerva, and she fondly remembers Morda and her brother Milder playing on the kitchen floor during their mother's frequent visits. She enjoys Morda's company and conversation and is always eager to hear the tales of the "new medicines" that Morda tells.
Though it would be inappropriate for a woman of her age, and a widow, to consider a gentleman a "friend" she is fond of Morda's brother Milder who is always sure to stop by on his way in, or out, of town to inquire is she is in need of anything.
Special Equipment: Manerva has nothing of value. Her home and belongings are tattered and worn with age. However, she has continued to collect herbs over the years and has a rather impressive collection.
On her infrequent visits to the village Manerva is given a wide berth. If a villager must interact with her they are cordial and brief. More often than not, they cross the road to avoid such interactions.
Though the older, and more logical, members of the village know her to be only an eccentric and sad old women there are rumors among the younger and less wise members of the village that Manerva is a witch. Her constant mumbling has lead to rumors that she is casting spells.
If one were to over here her mumbling she would be heard to say such things as:
"What a pity, that used to be a nice rich field... what does the world need with another shop."
"Irreverent children, they should be taught to respect their elders... it isn't polite to stare so."
Due to her age; she tends to view most now living in the village as "children". She is unaware of the rumors about her and believes the attitude of the villagers towards her to be poor manners. She frets often that people aren't what they used to be. If one were to ask, they would find that she blames this "new" behavior on having a far too easy life.
They look to be nervous, that's their whole claim to fame. Smallish and uncertain, the two are a good match.
Family and Life
Gamlin has three kids with his wife Hynnela, and contrary to their quiet natures, these kids can get _quite_ loud if they become scared or angry, so most folk like to shut them up before they have a chance to begin. They are only silent around their uncle Barune who, thankfully, comes only rarely to visit.
With the family lives also Gamlin's father, Genzesh, whose main occupation is sitting on the bench before the house, and approvingly or disapprovingly nodding at people that occur around, smiling with what few teeth he has. He is eighty, easily one of the oldest people in here.
His is a little secret that became inherited to his son: a little... disability in a certain sensitive part of life. The family secret did not make them who they are, just helped their natural tendencies. (There is a cure, a balm made by old Manerva, who they have a years old agreement with - depositing a few coppers and some food into a niche behind her house, she would put the balm there three days later. The old witch doesn't tell nobody, maybe doesn't even know anymore who was the original customer - or who is the current. Regularly, Gamlin can be met after dark walking around the village; a fact not helping his wife who is afraid of the night. This is a possible red herring if needed.)
Nothing, but they are very thrifty and should have some money hidden; more than usual for peasants of their wealth.
In any gathering, they will stay on the conservative side, advising caution and staying true to tradition if possible.
Gamlin is likely to loose control of his draft animals. Should someone save the day by stopping them, and not talk about it needlessly (it happened to him a few times already, and he would loose face, again), Gamlin will spread the best news about the person, being genuinely grateful.
Appearance; Hetlund is a large man, larger built than most in the village. Even being just over forty years, his body nor features seem to show his true age. He’s fairly intimidating at first glance. He always wears a leather apron over his clothes and carries a satchel of his instruments and a few other items.
Family and Life: Hetlund moved to the village while still in his youth. His family passed long ago to a sickness that came through the city he lived in. Having apprenticed as a barber since a child, he took what he learned from his mentor and struck out on his own.
Finding work with a group of mercenaries, he traveled with them for many years. He was an outstanding solder and medic (although he never brings up his career in conversation).
After a few years of travel he decided to settle down in the village, growing ever tired with the life he was leading.
Hetlund spends a considerable amount of time in and about the village proper. He spends many an evening at the home of Framont, discussing designs for various items he devises to enhance his work.
He also spends considerable time with Erben, seeing him as the most likely villager to understand his ideas.
Occasionally, while on a delivery for Thanen, Hetlund will pay Mydlin a few extra coins to pick up items for him in the towns he passes through.
Special Equipment: Beyond the normal instruments of his profession, he usually has a few “remedies” and “medicines” purchased from Morda out of professional courtesy.
He keeps a set of armor and a sword hidden under his bed from his career as a mercenary. He will only bring them out in an emergency, preferring to leave his past dead and buried.
Roleplaying Notes: Hetlund is a fairly personable fellow. He is cordial to all he speaks with, though a bit short at times. He is always willing to take on a new “client”, although he does refer several folks to Morda if he feels she can be of more help than he can.
He is always interested in new and interesting information about new medical practices, and is even willing to pay for items and documents pertaining to the subject.
Black-haired, serious and stout, these people seem like they can look for themselves.
Family and Life
Timos and Monilla are what remains of the once great clan Werbens, that grew small through the years, and with bad luck and few sons was reduced to a single family. As of the couple's three children is only one a son, and no other seems fortcoming, the matron Olma (mother of Timos) is not very pleased.
Indeed, were it according to old Olma's wishes, they would have at least five sons, and a few daughters to boot. Their family not only meant something, they were basically running the village, and were tied through marriage and business to all the surrounding villages. Actually, House Werbens have made this place, with others settling in after they cleared the spot of wilderness this used to be. So much and more can be regularly heard in the large house, but few mind it now. The only time when she is at ease, is when the young Kieran, the godchild of Timos, will visit them - that is how young men should look!
But even her man, old Gelad, does not mind her much. He was once a hunter, a good shot to it, but some accident long ago has damaged his hand so that is gone. Since then, he has taken to a little drinking, never too much at once, but he is constantly a little... fuzzy. Another permanent guest of Thanen's inn.
The young pair has armed itself with patience, and turns a blind eye and deaf ear on their parents' state, and just they keep the status quo at home. If things get too annoying, he does hard work with Gelman for a while, and she complains to her sister Hynnela.
There might be some ancient heirloom of the clan, something of use or even power, hidden between the clutter of generations.
Old Olma will gladly speak of the town's history, especially of her family's role in its founding and growth. While few would do anything on her urging, should a deep crisis divide the community, she might be able to remind them of the deep ties that connect them all... and that many share the blood in their veins.
Quote: “You have no business going off to war, you barely win the battles in your own household!” (Spoken to her eldest son Giddamir.)
Mid-forties, though appearing older, due to a particularly hard life, Kovlinna was the matron of Brekkmere, a neighboring village which burned down after a particularly devastating and uncommon lightning storm, which ignited more than its necessary share of wood.
Appearance: Her steel-gray hair is pulled tightly into a bun. Kind, deep-set eyes, with that knowing matronly look, Kovlinna is not unattractive, though her beauty is deeper and less obvious. Crowfeet linger around her eyes, and her mouth is usually wound into tight, lipless smile, not unfriendly, but slightly forced. She wears one golden hoop ring, the other lost in the fire, her only nod to vanity.
Family and Life: Kovlinna leads ten souls, her family and a few others, who escaped the consuming flames of their erstwhile village, and followed the capable woman. Kovlinna has now led her wards to this new village, meeting with Torman and Janvel, as well as several other prominent villagers, before settling on a stead, far from the village center.
She is accompanied by her brother, the lame-legged Horn, her lover and companion, Thurys, and their adopted brood, Barrit, Miyall, and Giddamir, her adopted children. Barren, Kovlinna is fond of taking in orphans and unwanted offspring. While Barrit is only four, Miyall is a lively fourteen, and Giddamir twenty years of age and already married himself, to one Tamra, a distant relative, interestingly enough, to one, Manerva the Witch.
Along with her immediate family, her sixteen-year old orphaned nephew, Farrold, as well as two farmers and brothers, Hyde and Jipper, accompanied Kovlinna on her journey to the new village. The latter two are twins and nearly indistinguishable.
Thurys, Kovlinna’s companion, is a skilled farmer by trade, at least she was back in Brekkmere. The quiet, aloof woman is anxious to try her hand in the new soil. Thurys, Hyde, and Jipper were all known back in Brekkmere for growing the finest cucumbers. The trio hopes to recreate their crops here, in their new homes.
Recently, led by Thurys, the three soil-workers have approached The House Werbens for advice and information on any particular local regulations involved in working the land.
Kovlinna’s brother Horn is a layabout, an old soldier with a lame leg, and severe gout. He is a leech on her household, but as she always says with a sigh…”he’s blood.”
Special Equipment: None, beside a small cache of leathers, woven goods, and various other salvaged “treasures” from Brekkmere.
Role-Playing Notes: Kovlinna plans on nothing more or less than ingratiating her “clan” with the other villagers, and ensuring that her folk become useful and industrious, as well as law-abiding additions to this lively place. She has already strategically offered her nephew Farrold’s services as an apprentice to Badot, as well as to Framont, while negotiating with the two men, attempting to enlist them into helping her build a makeshift school, where she would offer to teach the village’s children reading and writing. When not working on something, (or someone) Kovlinna usually is found spending time with Thurys and raising their children...all of them. She takes some pride in being the “leader” of her ten-strong band.
Kritter is a man who was hit too many times with a stick when younger. He is less than an appealing man, who sulks his way through life. He has brown hair, buck teeth, and a nose the size of a turnip. He has a perpetural snear on his face at all times. It is hard to determine if that is his personality (which is part) or just his face.
His property is not that far from the "wilds". It is an illkept affair, but to be fair has an unfair share of rocks, hills, and flood spots. However, he does not do much to keep it up. Thus he is constantly complaining about his yields and how the animals come and eat his products.
His nearest neighbor is Gelman. The two do not get along, as they are polar opposites in so many ways. Though this should not be a suprise, as Kritler gets along badly with everyone in town. He especially hates Manevera the Witch. He claims she cursed him long ago. In fact, if anything bad happens, he will point the finger at her.
His wife is not the prettiest or brightest woman in the village, frequently compared to an Ass or Ox. Unlike her husband, she is happy... mostly because she is too stupid to notice her lot in life. They have three small children at this point. They don't want no schooling, as fancy ideas would just make things wrong. They don't seem to follow any religion, local or otherwise. They just all keep to themselves.
Always smiling, that's what they are. Laughing often, too. These two have not yet seen the bad side of life, not really. Barely twenty, one baby child, it's still all just fun.
Family and Life
Jorah, a cousin of Borden over there, seemed to be the kid that's always laughing and running around since earliest years. Grewing up, he took up to a little wondering, and has seen the surroundings, working here and there, helping with harvest and the like. He might have gone quite a piece from home, if he hadn't met a girl... and was sold immediately. Returning back, it was clear why he has chosen her.
Lessia, his 'little girl' as he is fond of calling her, is also fond of laughter and fun. Being from an even poorer family than he, she has a touch of seriousness that may yet develop, given the right conditions. But she loves him, and all is fine now. From the looks, she is okay, if nothing special, but the smile makes up for that.
With them lives also Jorah's mother, who was always a little... not right in her head. After the father died, she was cared for by Borden's family, until her son came back. This is seen as a debt by the young man, who will try to repay it one day. Strangely, the mother can be the most reasonable person in the house, when she has her clearer moments. Other times she will choose a work that allows a little daydreaming.
Jorah knows Hyde and Jipper from Kovlinna's troupe pretty well, and is their 'contact' when it comes to chatting and meeting other locals. Long term, he may integrate the whole group better than carefully woven plans of their matron.
He has a little collection of trinkets and oddities from his 'travels around the world'. Most of it is worthless.
Always optimists, they can cheer up people. For a while they are amusing, after a while a bit anoying, so have a little talk and go with a smile.
Jorah is canny about the surrounding villages, and likes to talk about them, too. Want to know something, go ask him.
Appearance Rongin is short and balding. His face has the look of old worn leather, dark and creased with age. Calloused hands and a strong body are the measure of his occupation over his long years. Nonetheless, after a full sixty five springs he is still working every day.
Family and Life He has always been a cattle rancher, his father was a cattle rancher, his father’s father was a cattle rancher…
After burying three wives (and several lovers) Rongis decided long ago the bachelor’s life would suit him best. He spends most of his time taking care of the daily goings-on of his sizeable ranch, occasionally traveling to markets and auctions to sell a head or two. He prefers the company of Borden and Ebren most out of all of the villagers. Essen has been a long time friend and employee, and he still enjoys visiting his home and having long talk of "the old days" with Essen's mother Jhaara.
The Helbaud Herd is fairly well known in the area for their size and quality.
Special Equipment None to speak of, although he has amassed a sizeable amount of wealth over the years.
Roleplaying Notes Rongin is a fairly quite and reserved man, having little to do with travelers and passers by. He will readily offer work to those he finds trustworthy temporary work as ranch hands or guards. He will often sell a cow to a traveler, but any one of the one hundred and sixty head comes at a rather steep price.
Every holiday he slaughters two cows and brings them into town for the celebration (feeling a man of wealth has good reason to share his good fortune).
Appearance Warin is a rather slight fellow, looking much like his crook. His long dark hair falls just above his waist, and his green eyes seem to sparkle from through the unkempt and disheveled mop.
Family and Life He has spent most of his life as a shepherd. His father gifted him his first ten sheep on his wedding day, and he has kept at it ever since. The loss of his wife and sons in a storm at sea led him to a quiet and reserved life in a small town. He has few friends, speaking with Kiernan and Mydlin on an occasion. Being of near age he finds these two particularly fascinating conversationalists.
Special Equipment None
Roleplaying Notes He is short of words and shorter on charm. His herd always seems to be blocking a road or in the way in general. He will offer his barn for lodging, and perhaps sell a sheep, to the occasional passer-by. He attends all of the town meetings and celebrations, usually bringing three lambs for the feast.
Appearance Essen is a huge man, standing nearly six feet and as broad across as a steer. His thick arms bear both scars and inked images. His hair is golden in hue, with a touch of grey in places. His eyes are the color of the deepest, storm-swept skies. His smile is sarcastic and kind at the same time.
Family and Life Essen is a fortunate man. His home is buzzing with activity most of the day and part of the night. His wife Aelanne, his mother Jhaara, and his six children (Evina 16, Barthis 14, Sheldie 13, Rodreg 12, Elsbet 11, and Dellinah 8) all fill his home to it’s capacity. All of his years have been spent working hard for Rongis Helbaud, and he has been the closest person to him for many years. Many a night Essen takes his entire clan to the tavern for a meal and son, being sure to catch up on the local news and gossip with Thanen and Morda.
Special Equipment He owns a variety of items collected over the years including a fine bow, three swords, and some jewelry…none of which he will part with easily.
Roleplaying Notes Essen is a kind man, sometimes eerily so. He will offer all that he can (and sometimes more) to help someone in need. His home, although crowded, is often offered to those passing through town…along with a hot meal and a strong drink.
He is very active in the community and takes pride in his work and family. The children can be found wandering the town proper of near the house playing nearly every day, although his eldest daughter Evina seems to be spending more and more time visiting Manerva, the old witch who lives on the outskirts of town.
One glance at him and you can tell Shumal ain't from around here. His skin is a yellowy tan with large almond eyes and an almost blue-black tuft of hair combed straight forward. A long and narrow goatee sprouts from his pointed chin. If not for his strange hairstyles and taste in loud foreign clothes, he might actually be attractive. He is constantly smiling and speaks with an enchanting accent. His grasp of the local language is very solid; his exciting stories always attract the village children, and his poetry makes the women swoon. Shumal's age is difficult to discern: he looks young, but it could be his foreign blood. Though he keeps it a secret to most - just to keep mystery about him - Shumal is actually 47.
Family and Life
Shumal arrived in the village three years ago on camelback, his mount weighted by sacks, chests, bags, crates, and other varities of merchant wares. It was not the first time foreign traders had been to the village, but what really surprised everyone is what Shumal did next: buy a small shop and move in. Shumal will plainly state that his business in the village is business. He opened a small haberdashery dealing in "fine" men's clothes at very "affordable" prices (the clothes aren't particularly fine and the prices are gouged, but at least the style's fresh). Business is decent, and Shumal's styles are found on gentlemen throughout the village, but some say it's not quite enough to keep the shop running. A few accuse him of public theft or witchcraft, but most dismiss these claims.
To fill the economic gap, Shumal leaves for two weeks every other month on his camel, always returning with new sacks of foreign wares and updated styles. He always seems to have something for the Tinker, who ritually locks his door at Shumal's approach, demands he leave, and then eventually reopens the door to barter. Shumal's foreign spices always finds their way into Irres' food and she has become a regular customer for him. The two have forged a friendship, frequently joking and trading flirts. Shumal also frequents Thanen's place for a good brew at the end of the day. The foreigner is enthralled with Thanen's products, often saying they are the best he's ever had in the world. He tries frequently to trade for Thanen's secrets, which is always a bust. On occasion, Thanen will part with one of his better vintages in exchange for an exotic liquor Shumal brings. For the rest of the town, he carries a wide assortment of trinkets and foreign goods, each always having some exotic, romantic story Shumal will tell (and often invent).
A few particular xenophobes in the village still hold him with contempt and suspicion. If he brings in such distant goods, they demand, why does he bring them to tiny Strolehaven? Aren't there larger, more profitable towns to deal in? He must have an alterior motive, they explain. In truth, Shumal's goods are second rate at best, and often third; he would have no chance in a large town with much more quality items. He would much rather be in his homeland, but a feud with his politically powerful father caused him to be exiled forever. Shumal settled in Strolehaven hoping to make a new home for himself. Other accuse him of being a relative of Emily, whom he frequently visits. Their relationship, however, is strictly one-sided: Shumal is enchanted by her exotic beauty, and she gives him only passing (usually negative) thought.
Shumal always has something interesting to trade. They are usually only kitshy souveniers from other lands, but he occasionally has a real prize find. He is also the proud owner of the village's only camel, an old female beast he calls Warisha.
Shumal can often be found in the tavern sharing drinks, stories, and shills with the village folk. He is outgoing and friendly to all; insults, which come not infrequently by some of the locals, have no real effect on him. You might find something suiting at his haberdashery, or he may have some more unique trinkets behind the counter. If cajoled enough - and offered the right price - he may even have some smuggled illegal goods. Don't expect anything major, though; at most, a few exotic narcotics, weapons, or religious goods. One never knows, though: Shumal might have more than meets the eye.