Built upon the ruins of a pirate fleet doomed by a savage storm, the floating village of Kerwyn’s Pride now serves as a base from which to thwart piratical activity in the surrounding waters, a shipyard for damaged vessels and as the home of “reformed” pirate captain Vayla Hollan and her crew. The surrounding waters see much trade—three baronies have competing claims for the area—and Vayla acts as a neutral arbiter and toll collector for the competing nobles. Of course, contraband still flows through the village—Vayla hasn’t completely given up on her old lifestyle—but Kerwyn’s Pride is a relatively safe place for a weary crew to drop anchor…if it wasn’t for the anarchic villagers, swarms of deadly insects infesting a nearby island, a strange buzzing sound coming from the surrounding forest and the rumours of a terrible insectile demon taking an unwholesome interest in the village…
Ravens’ Cradle, a prosperous farming community governed by superstition and folklore, lies far off the beaten track. Mysteriously guarded by hundreds of pitch-black ravens, an ancient power haunting the surrounding forest watches over the village. Vicious bandits are found pecked to death in the nearby forests, greedy merchants trying to fleece the villagers are pursued from the village by a flock of hateful birds and sometimes travellers just disappear.
Come visit dismal Coldwater, plague-riddled Ashford or any of Ashlar’s other villages—Hard Bay, Kingsfell, Longbridge, Underdell, Thornhill, Wellswood, White Moon Cove and Woodridge—with Villages of Ashlar. Villages of Ashlar brings together for the first time every Ashlarian village published by Raging Swan Press. Featuring new cartography by mapping supremo Tommi Salama the book is an essential reference for any GM setting a campaign in the Duchy of Ashlar.
High up in the mountains, and often besieged by packs of murderous trolls, the village of Lanthorn stands as civilisation’s last glimmering light in an otherwise bleak and barren mountain range. A strange alliance of wizards—the Grand Conclave of Sublime Artificers—and a gaggle of (almost) civilised goblins—the Flaming Skull tribe—dwells in a bizarre atmosphere that is both scholarly and anarchic. Protected by high walls and gigantic magical lanterns imbued with potent fire magic, the wizards craft the mundane and wondrous items for which they are famed. Without the walls brave—or foolhardy—goblin “miners” search the nearby troll-haunted mines for lead and silver—some of which is reputed to have magical properties.
The journey to Blackhill Gaol was once only one-way, a stream of first debtors, then hardened criminals, then political prisoners brought to the remote labour camp to spend the rest of their lives in backbreaking work. Eventually, unwilling to accept their fates, the prisoners revolted. Though they earned some measure of freedom in the Uprising, life improved only a little. Now no warden watches their every move, but that means the most powerful among them—political masterminds, poison-wielding criminals and cult leaders—vie for control through guile and force. Worse, with guards outside the prison walls ready to mete out harsh reprisals should any flee, these leaders serve as de facto jailers.
Victory Elm, the glorious tree giving its name to the surrounding village, is dying, and its affliction has spread to the villagers. The once welcoming village takes its name from the sole tree to withstand an invading giantish army. The Victory Elm served as a rallying point for the beleaguered humans fighting the giants who broke the enemies amid heavy fighting around the tree. After the battle, many of the survivors remained at Victory Elm and founded the village of the same name in memory of their victory and fallen companions.
The once quiet and quaint halfling community of Underdell rests along the Old Road near the Salt Mire. Steeped in tradition and idleness, the Underdellians found themselves unprepared to deal with the horrors of the plague outbreak in nearby Ashford. Terror gripped Underdell, tearing apart the strong bonds of family and friendship. Fear and paranoia took root in the halflings’ hearts as they tried to escape sickness and death. As Underdell falls apart, a vile halfling bandit has used the chaos to take control of Underdell, enforcing a strict martial law. As neighbour turns on neighbour, a group of bandits terrorize merchant caravans traveling through Ashlar, raiding with impunity and aided by a rich noble. The Underdellians, their smiles and laughter turned to tears and hopelessness, live in fear of another plague outbreak and the harsh punishment of the bandits who insist they are protecting and enriching the village.
Memory walks the streets of Gulls’ Roost, a constant presence in a village that was all but forgotten before it was born. Envisioned as a summer retreat from crowded city life for the kingdom’s elites, Gulls’ Roost looks the part, a glittering jewel nestled in unspeakable beauty. But dismayed by tales of dangers during the village’s costly construction, the nobles never came, and Gulls’ Roost instead became a permanent home to the labourers who built it.