Village Backdrop: Arcmoor

For much of its life, the village of Arcmoor was a sleepy place, far removed from the doings of heroes, kings and warlords. All that changed, however, when an orcish horde was destroyed near the village by the hero Therald Arcmoor. Therald died at the moment of his greatest triumph, and his death—strangely—heralded great change in the village. A shrine raised in his honour has grown increasingly popular of late and Arcmoor is slowly being transformed from a sleepy backwater into a popular destination for pilgrims, visiting warriors and the like. 

 

Village Backdrop: Carillon

Ringing day and night, the many bells of Carillon echo through the village, a nearly constant tolling that serves as both protection from, and reminder of, the danger lurking beyond the village’s borders. Deep in the otherwise idyllic Elysian Valley that is otherwise an endless bounty for the so-called village of bells, something sinister—the Hush—lurks and plots harm to the hunters who inhabit and visit Carillon. Fortunately, the noise of the bells—from the village’s central bell tower, hanging on every home’s doors, even sewn onto clothes or worn as jewellery—keeps the Hush away; thus the villagers trade peace for safety.

Dungeon Backdrop: The Crumbled Tower

Hidden deep in the forest stands the Crumbled Tower. Pressed close by hoary, gnarled trees and wreathed in moss and lichens the tower is a forlorn remnant of an earlier time. Once a wizard lived here, but now the tower is nothing more than a brooding ruin standing amid the forest’s gloom. Sometimes bandits lair within or adventurers wandering the surrounds use the ruin as a base. However, unknown to all, a hidden crypt yet lurks under the tower undisturbed these long ages past.

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Village Backdrop: Poxmire

Poxmire’s disease-ravaged residents choose lingering death over execution. The secluded island village is the destination for those who have incurable, contagious ailments, and those who cannot (or refuse to) pay for curative magic. As is the nature of such places of exile, Poxmire serves as a convenient place to also send fallen political rivals and the like. A sizeable donation to the appropriate temple is enough for a declaration that a foe’s malady cannot be treated. 

Dungeon Backdrop: The Shadow Fane

Evil is everywhere and humanity must be ever vigilant against its slow encroachment into all that is great and good. Small cults—dedicated to ancient, blasphemous powers—lurk throughout the world ready to carry out their dark patron’s bidding. One such small cult dedicated to Braal, god of hate, malice and revenge, dwells in the Shadow Fane below Languard’s High City. The cultists kidnap and murder in their dark god’s name, but recently they made a mistake that threatens their very existence. Instead of kidnapping a beggar the cultists accidentally kidnapped the daughter of a wealthy merchant and he is offering a handsome reward for his daughter’s safe return.

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Dungeon Backdrop: Deszraul’s Hold

Hidden deep in the hills, Deszraul’s Hold has a sinister reputation. The medusa Dezraul claims the caves and evidence of her fell powers—a bewildering array of uncannily lifelike stone statues—stand about her gloomy domain. All that remains of adventurers daring to face the cave’s snake-headed mistress, the statues are a salutary warning on the dangers of facing a medusa in her lair. But does Deszraul still lair within? Has a band of savage, merciless bandits fallen under her sway? Only you can decide.

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Dungeon Backdrop: Delthur’s Folly

Hidden in the wild uplands beyond the Selka River, the sinkhole-mine of Delthur’s Folly is a byword among the locals for a fool’s errand doomed to fail. The only survivor of the fated expedition—driven mad by his ordeal and raving of “the water’s sibilant whispers”—died shortly after staggering into Dunstone a year or more after Delthur and his miners disappeared into the wilderness. And yet, every year adventurers cross the Selka in search of the mine—gold and silver are said to lie within. Some return empty-handed and some do not return at all. Local legend has it that something terrible dwells in the mine.

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Village Backdrop: Aubade 2.0

Laid low by a witch’s curse, life in the once-prosperous village of Aubade is lived in reverse. At dawn, the streets empty, residents remaining hidden inside during the daylight hours and avoiding the sun’s caress. At night, lamps lining the village’s cobblestone streets blaze to life, and the residents emerge to tend their fields and work their nets on the lake as best they can.

Aubade by Tommi Salama

Aubade by Tommi Salama