Town Backdrop: Dulwich

The growing trade town of Dulwich looms over the Great Salt Mire in the Duchy of Ashlar. A veritable torrent of lumber from the nearby forest enriches its citizens’ coffers and emboldens the growing merchant class. Dulwich’s lord, Wido Gall, resists the merchants’ efforts to topple his rule while coveting the nearby village of Longbridge. Both sides seek support from the followers of Conn, hoping to sway the newly appointed and young high priestess. Meanwhile, adventurers flock to the town’s inns and taverns, preparing their own expeditions into the ruins hidden in the nearby Forest of Gray Spires.

By Tommi Salama


Notable Locations

Most of Dulwich comprises peasant homes and businesses of little note. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:

  1. Dulwich Keep: Seat of the Gall family, the squat Dulwich Keep lies at the heart of Wido Gall’s machinations. The town guard are based here and the dungeons below the keep house lawbreakers and those who fall foul of Wido.
  2. The Lawgiver’s Hall: The lofty spire of this elaborate cathedral dominates Dulwich’s skyline. Its new high priestess—Vuokko Laiten—is courted by both sides in the ongoing struggle for power in the town.
  3. Lumberyard and Guild Hall: The lumber guild is particularly wealthy and influential; their holdings reflect their status.
  4. The Dancing Bear: Run by the former half-elven adventurer Nurlon Rekinen this is a popular drinking establishment for adventurers and off-duty guardsmen.
  5. Nalthra’s Jewellery: Nalthra is the most renowned jeweller in Dulwich. She dwells in the top floor of this three-storey building. She might not always offer the best price for gems and jewellery, but she can handle large deals.
  6. The East Gate: This sprawling inn is popular with Dulwich’s wealthy and well-to-do. The Black Cats—a gang of skilled burglars—have infiltrated the place and spy on rich marks.
  7. The Golden Skull: This dingy, forgettable watering hole is secretly the Shadow Spider’s headquarters. A fighting pit and gambling hall lies beneath the tavern in a series of ancient, dingy tunnels.
  8. Eronen’s Safe Travels: This large general store is run by the retired, one-armed adventurer Henni Eronen. He stocks any mundane equipment a prospective adventurer might need for a wilderness trek.
  9. Saini Alanen’s House: Home to Dulwich’s most renowned sage, the ground floor of this building also serves as a public library. The wizardess dwells on the top floor and is available to hire for private research projects.
  10. Dulwich Marketplace: This bustling daily market hosts numerous stalls and booths. Street performers are rife here as are wandering merchants and pick pockets. Anything for sale in Dulwich can be had here. Many of the more affluent merchants maintain shops or businesses elsewhere.
  11. Cemetery and Catacombs: The town graveyard; recently rumours of strange goings-on have begun to cluster about the catacombs and surrounding mausoleums.

Notable Folk

Most of the population are nothing more than hardworking peasants. A few, however, are of interest to adventurers:

  • Almina Mastonen (location 6; CN female halfling rogue 3) Almina runs a crew of burglars calling themselves the Black Cats. She works at the East Gate.
  • Henni Eronen (location 8; CG female human ranger 2) A former adventurer, Henni runs an outfitter’s store and organizes the local guides. She is extremely knowledgeable about the surrounding area.
  • Nalthra Rekunen (location 5; N middle-aged female half-elf expert 2) Nalthra is a renowned jeweller, catering to Dulwich’s wealthy. She frequently seeks precious gems to work into pieces of art, but is renowned for not offering the best prices.
  • Nurlon Rekunen (location 4; LG middle-aged male half-elf fighter 3) A former adventurer and Nalthra’s twin brother, Nurlon runs the Dancing Bear which caters to adventurers and travellers.
  • Orkus Darzak (location 11; CE male dwarf cleric 5) Driven insane while adventuring in Gloamhold, Orkus worships Braal by animating the dead of Dulwich. He lurks in the tunnels and catacombs beneath the cemetery.
  • Ossi Karppanen (location 3; LN male human expert 2) Head of the lumber guild, Ossi seeks to instate a ruling council of merchants. He is one of the richest people in Dulwich, and consequently has much power and influence.
  • Saini Alanen (location 9; NG female human wizard 4) Saini oversees a small, independent library where she conducts research on the local area and assists in political matters.
  • Tuula Tenhunen (location 1; LN female half-orc fighter 3) Nick-named the “Iron Maiden” due to her mask, Tuula leads the town guard and is fiercely loyal to Wido.
  • Voitto Markku (location 7; LE male human rogue 4) Voitto leads the Shadow Spiders—Dulwich’s infamous thieves’ guild. He is an odious, dangerous fellow.
  • Vuokko Laiten (location 2; LN female human cleric 3) Though young, Vuokko is the new high priestess of Conn.
  • Wido Gall (location 1; LN male human wizard 4) A noble and a wizard, Wido rules over Dulwich. He seeks to extend his influence to the nearby village of Longbridge.
  • Zado (location 11; CN male human unknown) This enigmatic, masked street performer plies his trade in Dulwich’s marketplace. However, his real trade is in secrets and information.

(Note, the statistics above are drawn from the Pathfinder edition of this product).


Praise for Town Backdrop: Dulwich

“I actually had FUN reading this supplement and consider Dulwich to be a great place: Its metanarratives can span multiple returns or escalate immediately; there is ample adventuring potential and if you also take the Duchy of Ashlar as a whole into account, you’ll be able to further escalate the potential plots and options this offers.”

–Endzeitgeisr (five stars + seal of approval [SNE version])


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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by John Bennett

Released 20 February 2017; Pages 14

PDF ($3.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23

Print Town Backdrop: Dulwich is available in print with the Collector’s Edition of Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs 


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A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by John Bennett

Released 20 February 2017; Pages 14

PDF ($3.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Virtual Tabletop ($3.99) Fantasy Grounds

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A System Neutral GM’s Resource by John Bennett

Released 20 February 2017; Pages 14

PDF ($3.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample SNE Dulwich At A Glance




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10 thoughts on “Town Backdrop: Dulwich

  1. I purchased the system neutral edition of Dulwich town backdrop because I am short on time and needed a detailed merchant town for my homebrew Zweihander campaign. What you get for $3.45 is way more you can imagine, there are a lot of adventure hooks you can find in this GM resource. Sure I made some changes to better fit with my adventure. I changed the town name to Erlad – I have already come up with that name at the beginning of my adventure planning phase. I also used the nicely detailed map to recreate it in Inkarnate Pro, that time I did not know that Patrons can get untagged versions of all the maps.
    Our next gaming session will take place here.
    Anyway, if you are indeed a “busy GM”, everything you find here is pure gold.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Attila. I’m delighted you’ll be getting so much use out of Dulwich! Good luck, with your game.