Their beliefs considered heretical by the Church of the God of the Sun and their presence viewed as a threat to the cruel ruler of their homeland, the Church of the Redemptive Flame fled and founded a new home in remote Hopespyre. The cult now wants nothing more than to live a sin-free life in their new refuge but events conspire against them. The evil elemental lord of fire has set his sights on the cult and schemes to subvert its good intentions. Aging church leader Dagor Thursh edges closer to death with each day, and a struggle is growing for the right to succeed him, its flames fanned by followers of the elemental lord who have infiltrated the village.
The thriving village of Edgewood stands in the very shadow of the Shadetimer Forest. For a century, it has prospered. Wars, droughts and pestilence striking other nearby settlements never seem to affect the village, and yet tragedy mars life in Edgewood. For every year, terror stalks the village and its inhabitants die seemingly random, but horrible and gruesome, deaths. Thus, despite its prosperity, Edgewood remains a small place, and few travellers remain there for long.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloya’s Bridge is a village swathed in secrets. Wearing masks and veils in the streets is normal, giving a chance at unparalleled anonymity and the freedom to indulge in a variety of entertainments with minimal restrictions. Those who want a second chance flock here, in no small part because an unconventional order offers a chance for criminals to leave their pasts behind and be recognised as reformed. Yet, not everyone has the will to reform or the patience to prove it, and the work of the Merciful Order is not enough for all the foes dogging some troubled souls. The offer of a new life for anyone is an important promise to many in Gloya’s Bridge, but the richest patriarch has designs on a new, firmer order. And deep below the surface, a conspiracy threatens to dim or even extinguish this beacon of hope as it gathers the hidden secrets of dangerous and troubled people who have come here from across the region.
Brackendale was once a bustling borderland village beset by savage humanoids lurking in the nearby woods and hills. Then, the village was a busy place and wandering adventurers, sellswords and mercenaries were a common sight on its streets. The arrival of the Six—a band of adventurers charged with securing the village’s environs—changed all that. Their annihilation of the goblin and orc raiders along with the completion of extensive defensives work brought peace and security to Brackendale.
But peace it seems had a price. With nothing to hunt adventurers passed by without stopping at the village; the village traders and merchants sold less and less each year and most now barely scrape a living. Now disgruntled villagers resent the adventurers that once brought peace to their little village.