Village Backdrop: Oakhurst

The village of Oakhurst squats deep in the gnarled boughs of the Tangled Woods. The Lonely Coast’s smallest and most isolated village, only the most daring or the most desperate call it home, surrounded as it is on all sides by monstrous denizens and half-goblin tribes. Its dilapidated buildings sink into the squalor of the streets, presenting a loathsome and unwelcoming appearance. Oakhurst’s villagers are no better. Mostly trappers and hunters, the grim folk of Oakhurst distrust outsiders and keep to strange ways and customs. Visitors are strongly discouraged from overstaying their welcome.

Yet, Oakhurst’s darkest secret lies in a cave situated in a nearby cliff. On full moons, the villagers lock their doors and shutter their windows, pretending they do not hear the incessant flapping of wings in the sky overhead. Oakhurst’s oldest family, the Wearnes, long ago made a pact with a fell god, gaining the power of lycanthropy. Years of inbreeding to keep the line pure have driven the family of werebats to the brink of madness. High in the cave, the Wearnes participate in vile rites to their dark god, offering worship to one of its hideous servants. As the family slips further into insanity and their devotions more heinous, Oakhurst has become more dangerous for the unwary than it ever has before.

Village Backdrop: Hosford

The quaint village of Hosford rests along the Cliffway of the Lonely Coast. The industrious folk of Hosford diligently work the area’s largest mine, digging deep into the cliffs for ores and gems. However, decades ago, a large section of the mine suddenly collapsed into the sea, taking a chunk of the cliffs with it along with a handful of small homes. Out of this tragedy was born opportunity as the collapse created a sheltered cove and natural harbour for small fishing boats. Thus, in addition to their mine, the citizens of Hosford ply the coastline, narrowly avoiding the sharp rocks just below the water that would doom a larger ship.

Yet, terror now grips Hosford. Folk have recently gone missing, including the former village reeve. A sea drake secretly stalks the coastline, fed on fresh human sacrifices by a senile old druid who believes the creature to be some sort of god. The fortress of Caer Syllan has dispatched a new reeve, an ambitious, inquisitive young man to look into the disappearances but so far all he has uncovered are old grudges as neighbour accuses neighbour of these recent crimes.

Village Backdrop: Bossin

Nestled in a deep dell behind the cliffs guarding the Lonely Coast, Bossin is a troubled village. The rich bounty of the nearby mines and the excellent farmland should provide the villagers with a comfortable life, even though the lower part of the village periodically floods, but instead the populace now labours under the tyranny of Jacca Lander and his hired thugs. Extortion, disappearances and “accidents” are a daily feature of life in Bossin and the villagers are desperate for salvation, but they dare not speak of their woes for fear of ending up in the Pit.

Places of Power: Tibol-Korrin

The Strait of Tibol-Korrin provides seafaring merchants a relatively safe and easy way to reach the otherwise hard-to-reach, landlocked rival baronies of Tibol and Korrin. A decade ago, the strategically important strait became the focal point of a war between the two rival baronies when a dispute over equitable distribution of tariffs dramatically escalated when a Tibolian ship mysteriously sank (allegedly through the actions of Korrin saboteurs). The war brought shipping through the strait to a halt, as no captains dared to venture into range of the many siege weapons covering the strait and its approaches. A recent truce borne of economic necessity, and a blossoming romance between opposing, high-ranking commanders, allows ships to once again safely traverse the strait. However, unbeknownst to almost all, the fighting dislodged ancient and dark relics, portending the return of things best left forgotten.

Village Backdrop: Echo Harbour

Under the protection of the dragon turtle, Bonesong, Echo Harbour has flourished. The port teems with people: sailors dock their ships at the harbour and load them with supplies and trade goods, merchants haggle with merfolk on the foreshore and men in market stalls, workers toil in the busy shipyards and travellers crowd the taverns, making boasts and bets as they play games to pass the time. Over the bustle and chatter sound the shouts and songs of the orcs as they direct ships and caravans to their proper places.

Places of Power: Dead Man’s Run

The glint of gold coin and flash of pale bone peek out from the dark timbers of sunken buildings as a sad ferryman slowly pulls his boat across the clear water. This is Dead Man’s Run, the only safe passage across the wild Brimbrook; for miles in either direction river races over rocky rapids and steep waterfalls, carving an otherwise impassable chasm through the forested hills.

Places of Power: Forgotten Athenaeum

Centuries ago, the librarians of the Athenaeum of Tirinos saved thousands of precious tomes and scrolls from the book-burning legions of an invading army. Casting a powerful ritual, they whisked the entire library and its grounds away to safety on another plane of existence. Today, the Forgotten Athenaeum remains on the Astral Plane, collecting and preserving blasphemous texts, uncomfortable truths and dangerous lore. Using a hidden network of portals, visitors travel to the library from across the multiverse to browse its shelves and uncover its many secrets. This great wealth of knowledge attracts both innocent scholars and academics as well as unscrupulous spies and rogues.

GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrop II (5e & SNE)

Village Backdrops are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a single village ready to insert into almost any home campaign. Perfect for use as a waystop on the road to adventure, as an adventure site themselves or as a PC’s home, Village Backdrop present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.

Farrav’n by Tommi Salama

This GM’s Miscellany collects together twelve Village Backdrops together in one place.

GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops II is the work of many talented designers and features the following villages:

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A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Jeff Gomez, Steve Hood, Greg Marks, Jacob Trier, Amber Underwood and Mike Welham

Released 23 October 2017; Pages 92

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A System Neutral GM’s Resource by John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Jeff Gomez, Steve Hood, Greg Marks, Jacob Trier, Amber Underwood and Mike Welham

Released 23 October 2017; Pages 92

PDF ($11.99) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Print ($13.99/£11.99) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Print/PDF Bundle ($15.99) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

 


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