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.
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.
Ruled over for centuries by the scheming, ambitious Lorsch family, Woodridge is little more than a backwater village standing on the eastern bounds of the Duchy of Ashlar. Standing astride an ancient, now little-used trade route the village is a poor, but seemingly peaceful place. Its folk tend their small fields, pay their lord his due and are content to be left in peace. But all is not as it seems. Spies lurk among the populace, and dark forces gather which would see Woodridge’s lord, Hilduin Lorsch, converted to their faith or dead.
Endzeitgeist likes Village Backdrop: Suurin! Here’s the conclusion of his five-star review!
Jeff Gomez takes us on a trip to an utopia broken by greed, to a pastoral idyll firmly in the grip of the horror of industrialized drug production. The stark contrast between the \”good old days\” and the tainted reality is intriguing and the fact that even enforcers and the mastermind can be considered to be victims adds another layer of complexity to it. The inclusion of proper rules-representations of the drugs is just a nice icing on the cake.