7 Very Unusual Towns and Villages of The Stolen World
This is to be my model sub going forward here. Please take a little extra time in your comments. I especially want to hear the negatives.
The countryside of the Stolen World is littered with very unusual urban dwellings, here are 7.(fixed typo in summary, lol , bad start)
For many reasons the urban dwellings of the Stolen World are rather quirky. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that much of the world lives in isolation and without an influx of 'normal' individuals, these areas 50% of the them, manifest strange personal habits These quirks often overlap with the law, morality and religion. The social standard that exceptions are based on is more or less late Medieval /very early Renaissance Europe.
WHY NOT JUST LEAVE THESE WEIRD PLACES?
The low population density, lack of upward mobility and pure strangeness of some of these place make it nearly impossible for the inhabitants to leave. There are always exceptions to this, but in general the populace of these places tend to be very stable.
1 THE TOWN OF PLENTY
Plenty is located on the edge of a huge ancient city and in fact straddles it.2/3 of the town is outside what is left of the city walls and the other third is built in the upper-class quarter of the ruins. The main export is very high quality boots and loot from the ruins.
This section (outside the ruins) Is a collection of very nice rural dwellings , in what would be a standard construction straight out of late medieval Europe.On the edge of Low Town are a collection of farms and ranches, that with the very pleasant weather provide an easy living for the farmers and grow more than sufficient food for the whole town. A sort of 'down town ' exists on the ruinside of Plenty with a small collection of inns, general goods store and 2 adventurer catering business' that serve the 'heroes' who make a living exploring the ruins.
The vast majority of High Town are homes that have been refurbished from the remains of the palaces of the Old City. About 20 of the palaces and luxury homes have been rebuilt partially from the wealth that is generated by the delving in the rest of Old City. These structures are all still a mix of ruin and middle to upper class habitation.At the edge of this section is a well maintained wooden palisade. that is carefully guarded, for the Old City still has many dangers. Located on the deeper side of this section are a couple of no frills brothels and gambling dens.
As the ruins are so vast, many opportunities for adventure and loot await .Many of the tombs and vaults of the former inhabitants are loot filled and are ripe for the picking. About 10 dwellings are maintained by adventures and those town citizens that want large amounts of privacy. The Old City is ripe with danger too. Undead mummys and groups of animated skeletons wander about. The occasional Other (demon) can be found. But the true danger of Old City is poisonous snakes and scorpions, especially scorpions.These scorpions are mostly normal sized to about the size of a small dog. A very few grow to monstrous sized.
What Sets This Town Apart From The Average
The Main Quirk Of The Inhabitants
Because of the scorpion problem, the locals run and run and run everywhere. Even if they are standing still, at the very least they will pace rapidly or shift their legs up and down. Never mind that the cats(see below) have 95% fixed the scorpion problem in Low Town. The town and countryside is simply filled with people running and running.A normal conversation for thes people is rapidly moving in as large a circle as space will permit. Heavy reinforced boots are worn by all and the locals will go out of there way to buy 'blingy' fancy boots, as much as they can afford Even the poorest of peasants will have the boots of a Duke. Spontaneous and organized foot races are quite common.
Coming in a huge variety of sizes ,colors and severity of poison, several cottage industries have sprung up. First, they are surprisingly tasty and a wide variety of dishes are available, the claws of the giant ones are particularly yummy. They are pitted against cats in something akin to a cock fight, while this is technically against the law, it takes place in the gambling dens outside the town proper and is turned a blind eye to. Lastly several different recreational drugs can be made from the venom, this is HIGHLY against the law and very popular. The most common drug is 'pretty' which has an effect similar to opium.
Also because of the scorpions, there are a very, very large number of feral and semi trained, large house cats. Most everyone has at least 10 cats and about 5 trainers, are paid by the town to set them about the task of killing scorpions. It is highly against the law to bother, molest or harm these cats.In some cases they will hang you for repeated violations of cat molesting or killing. At the very least expect 24 hours in the stocks. These cats are being bred for savagery and hunting, and will take every opportunity to claw and hiss at everyone. More than a few villagers make a decent living , following around the roaming cats and collecting Plenty's starting bounty of one gold piece per scorpion.
This town is very much in the vein of a gold boom village and as such expect to pay anywhere from 5 to 10 times the price of anything.
2 THE SLEEPY VILLAGE OF ARWENI
This quiet little fishing village is mostly cut off from the rest of the world. Living a nearly stone age existence, the villagers have an easy life style of fishing the teaming ocean water off the village and foraging the huge variety of berries and root vegetables to be found in the heavily forested interior. Simple huts are the only buildings. This seeming idealistic life style is subject to 2 very significant quirks
DAY TIME QUIRK
Every person , dog, cat, fish or forest fauna is called 'Arweni' In fact in normal conversations any noun is randomly replaced by 'Arweni' This came about centuries ago. A wise man and seer named Arweni came to the village and cured a relatively mild plague of open sores. He told the villagers to never forget him and his good deed and to repay him by not falling to the temptation that would soon follow. Well they sure remembered his name.......
NIGHT TIME QUIRK
About 75 years ago the sea currant changed. It took the food away from their ability to fish, with the very simple tools and boats at their disposal. All they had to do was forage a little deeper in the forest and learn to hunt the plentiful game. But they were too used to the easy living afforded by the formerly ample fishing. Then the Deep Ones came. Promising a return to the easy life style they had enjoyed, the Deep Ones would ensure the return of that life style in exchange for a baby, virgin or lone wayfarer. Far too easily the sloth full inhabitants gave in. Now the night belongs to the cult, any objectors sacrificed long ago.
3 THE MOUNTAINOUS VILLAGE OF MUUR
Located 3 days outside of a relatively quirk free city. MUUR is the source of nearly all of the cities pork. They also make an average quality corn whiskey. As the village is so close to a medium sized city it is almost shop free with only a single well stocked general store.The village is on a picturesque low flat hill at the end of The World's Teats Mountain range. The village is surrounded by corn fields and pig pens..The village is only 65 years old, after one of the numerous barbarian tribes moved further up range. This spot had been for generation after generation, a barbarian burial ground, very holy ground.
The Villagers Hear Voices
Only when the villagers are speaking , ghosts of the barbarians whisper to them. This causes several things. The first is that they are seldom to be found talking to each other. When they do talk , them put their chin's to their chest and whisper, this alternates with them looking to their right shoulder and yelling at the ghosts in their individual languages. Visitors to the village start hearing the voices after sleeping 3 -5 nights in the village proper. Villagers removed from the area will become irritable and despondent from not hearing the whispers and rarely leave for more than a week, you see they are quite mad at this point. Any sort of see invisible spell or contact dead will reveal the presence of these ghosts as the inhabitants will not speak of them.
A Note About The World's Teats
This mountain range is in fact a series of mountain shaped and sized pits, with the bottom third filled with water. It would make a great tourist attraction other than the fact that the only civilization is filled with ghosts.
4 THE TOWN WITH A HUNDRED NAMES
Located 3 days travel by foot from the capital city of Kaiim, 100(as it is simply most often called) is a standard stop on the way into the capital. The town does a booming business with it's many inns(of widely differing quality and price) and is a minor tourist spot because of it's very major quirk and storytellers.
SIMPLY PUT, NO ONE CAN TELL THE TRUTH
A long time ago something or someone put a curse on 100. The storytellers have as many tales of this curse as their are leaves on a tree. Some say it was a dragon (no one living has ever seen one) some say it was one of the Stolen World's many chimerea( no one has ever seen one cast magic),maybe it was a witch (none this powerful have ever been met). No doubt one of the stories are true, but to this day no one born in 100 can EVER tell the truth. A resident would introduce himself by saying 'My name is not Robert'. They say 'not' a lot. The curse has also created in the town many storytellers that make a very good living there and by travelling the countryside. Guess why it's called 100 yet?
5 EFTOR, A TOWN LIVING UNDER A DIFFERENT SORT OF 'CURSE'
The oddness of this simple agrarian town quickly becomes apparent. About 66% of the towns residents wander around with ALL of their worldly possessions on their backs, with sacks and backpacks covering they're body. Another 33% are nude. The remaining towns folk are relatively normal. About 20% of the populace is missing feet, legs and left hands. The townsfolk are paranoid, hostile and very wary of strangers., except for the seemingly normal ones.Fist fights of the towns people are common as are loud verbal arguments. About 1/2 the houses in town are empty.
The town has attracted the attention of Sinister https://strolen.com/viewing/Sinister_Lord_of_Left_... He has been tormenting the village for about 50 years. He causes all sorts of malicious disappearances: Items, body parts and sometimes people. The 'normal inhabitants of the town are involved in his cult and help contribute to the mayhem. The town is finally starting to lose it's population, in 10 years it will be a ghost town.
6 SOLO, A TOWN THAT IS THE PRODUCT OF GENETICS
This town is a collection of extremity tiny houses. On the north side of town the tiny houses are basically just enough room for a bed or two. Separated by a wide section of farm fields, are a large collection of tiny kitchens.The Kitchens are in terrible shape with food and dishes and cook wear strewn about . More farmland and grazing pastures surround the entire village.The villagers are thin, gaunt covered in bruises and will mostly keep to themselves. There is extremely little interaction between the villagers. At approximately 3 PM the villagers will stop what they are doing, strip naked and head toward the kitchens. A little more than a half hour later, the villagers will begin to straggle in to the very center of town. The entire populace will begin a general melee of fists, screaming and some sexual activity in the open. They will all then fall to the ground exhausted for about another hour.
In Their Gene's
The periodic barbarian plague that infects the Stolen World https://strolen.com/viewing/The_Stolen_World has left a mark in the genetic's of this town. Upon eating, those carrying the 'plague' become highly agitated, violent and sexually aroused, a throw back to the original 'plague'.There are no familial bonds or relationships beyond mother and child. As this is in their genetic code , those who leave the town will have no choice but to return as nowhere else will they fit in.
7 LASTLY, OXHEAD. FINALLY. A NICE TOWN IF YOU CAN STAND THE SMELL
The first thing you notice about the ranching town of Oxhead is the tremendous foul odor. The stench of the rotting buckets of milk mixes poorly with the rival smells of ox poop,in the streets and smeared on the people, and cheap perfume.Oxen with distended utters fill the streets and wander about. The people are well adjusted , friendly and far too fanatical about their religion. There are about 7 churches in this small town, all dedicated to MMWWW.. Oh and let's not forget all the flies!
The Patron God of Oxhead.
MMWWW ,https://strolen.com/viewing/MMWWW_Goddess_of_Milk , has found fertile ground here. As the god is semi intelligent the inhabitants have a thousand different versions of a religion that has no sacred texts or writings. The only things common to the people are a good moral ethic and an over reverence for their oxen.This town frequently gives birth to adventuring and proselytizing clerics and paladins( in fact, fully 50% of the Stolen World's few paladins come from this small place). It's really hard to spread the word of MMWWW when she is only as smart as an exceptional dog.
A Little Ways Out Of Town
...just far enough away to be upwind of the smell, an enterprising down on his luck nobleman has built a quaint little inn as a tourist attraction. All of the flies have attracted a large variety of exotic birds https://strolen.com/viewing/30_Exotic_Birds and he is building up a very successful biusness, his only problem is that all his help is being lured into the town by it's pleasant villagers.
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? Responses (6)
Enjoyable read, some of these villages are very delightfully peculiar and would make great side detours in an epic campaign.
I have to say I didn't love this. As the #1 fan of 'unusual' and 'odd' locations in the whole world (thatsme), these didn't particularly resonate with me. They're weird yes, but they don't strike an ummnm, 'verisimilitude concordance' with me. Ok so there are lots of scorpions (pretty cool). Why does everyone 'run around'? Scorpions aren't that fast. Not sure how some of these mesh together. I find myself liking Oxhead best, for its mundane-ness.
Well, I did specifically ask to hear the negative, lol, sorry you didn't like this so much, I've been really putting an effort into 'upping' my game here, Back to the drawing board..........
No need to be sorry. If you're players enjoyed these locations, that's all that matters! On second read, the town of pathological liars can certainly lead to fun hijinks. :)
I have to second Muro on this. Specific issues I have:
1. Like Muro, I also don't see how the scorpion problem leads everyone in Plenty to running around all day. But overall, I think I like Plenty the most just because of the greatest length devoted to it on the 3 sections that it is made up of.
2. Minor quibble but I can't really see that there is such a clear cut day time versus night time quirk in Arweni. Okay, maybe they only do sacrifices at night but that doesn't mean that outsiders are in danger of being kidnapped in day time so this day time versus night time quirk seems to me an unnecessary and arbitrary thing.
The rest are okay but they don't stand out to me except for 100 which I like.