Hard Bay’s fate has ever been tied to the sea. Although blessed with a natural, protected harbour and plentiful fishing, foul weather and a dangerous, unwholesome reputation have conspired to keep the village nothing more than a dreary, isolated place. A vein of smuggling and thievery ran deep through the village until the Sharkrazor pirates were crushed four decades ago. Now administered by three minor noble families, a darker horror than mere piracy lurks within the place. Rumours speak of strange fires set amid a circle of ancient, weathered stones atop a nearby shunned hill when the moon is new and of strange, abhorrent fishmen lurking in the abandoned, half-drowned smuggler tunnels beneath the ramshackle village.
Quey’s Glade is rarely ever the in same place on the map twice, but it is always nestled in deep woods. Whenever a child is lost, alone and scared in the woods, she often finds her way to this village. Just as a terrifying monster bears down on its victim, the victim stumbles into Quey’s Glade with nary a sign of the pursuing beast. The way to this village is through intense negative emotion, but the inhabitants cheerily greet new arrivals to instantly dispel their fears and other troubles. As the world becomes more interconnected and the forests fall to woodcutters’ axes, Quey’s Glade slowly runs out of secluded locations to position itself. Also, the more intelligent monsters losing their meals to the village have begun to learn its secret and lurk in the forest beyond, decreasing the halo of safety around the village.
Places of Power are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a flavoursome locale such as a remote temple, borderland fort or reclusive wizard’s demesne. Ready to be plugged into almost any home campaign, each installment can be used as a waystop on the road to adventure, the home of a powerful NPC or even as a mini-adventure site in its own right.
When a flight of harpies, beset by a relentless demonic menace from beneath the dark seas, used their captivating song to lure a ship to ruin, they sought allies instead of food. Thus, was born Fraywrack, a war camp created by the strange alliance of man and monster against a far greater threat. Now, hidden by the broken remains of their ship, the wreck’s survivors and their later recruits train endlessly for a fight they fear they have little hope of winning. Still, they persevere, welcoming adventurers who may wish to learn some lessons of their own or, just maybe, lend their own might to the struggle.
Endzeitgeist has given Village Backdrop: Lanthorn (SNE) five stars + his seal of approval! I like this bit of the review most:
Creighton Broadhurst\’s Lanthorn is one absolutely AMAZING settlement. I adore this place. The explanation of the atypical nature of the Flameskulls and the old-school-marketplace-section are certainly appreciated. The place\’s visual representation is glorious and the threat of trolls serious enough to warrant magical laser-lanterns. (At least that\’s how I picture them.) In short – this pdf has it all – Lanthorn is a fantastic village and, for me as a person, one of the coolest in the whole product line.
At the edge of the Barainwood lies the woodcutter’s village of Byrnfort. Under threat from massive, vicious beasts and shadowy horrors emerging from the forest, the villagers put their faith in the Green Men, a druidic cult promising protection from the forest’s dangers. Now valuable goods flow from Byrnfort and attacks have lessened, but the village’s future remains uncertain. The cult and the local militia, the Brands, are increasingly at odds, and while prospects seem bright, there are costs to Byrnfort’s prosperity. The villagers strive to protect their secrets and their way of life from prying eyes, but this grows ever more difficult as the village’s prosperity increases.
Endzeitgeist has just released his review of GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrop IV and he’s given the book five stars! Here’s my favourite bit of his review:
John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Jeff Gomez, Richard Green, Steve Hood, Greg Marks, Jacob W. Michaels, Stephen Radney-MacFarland and Mike Welham have crafted a glorious compilation that contains some of my favorites in the whole product lines, some villages that shine like stars even in this series.