Village Backdrop: Bleakflat

Lost to the north of nowhere, far beyond the reach of trade routes and prying eyes, a rocky bluff rises from barren soil. Here, deep amidst the frozen tundra, a ruined castle has been refitted into a tiny village. Ten hovels, whose rural architecture suggests structures five centuries old, surround a refurbished tower, and in this tower lives the mayor of Bleakflat. Wise and capable, he tends to his villagers as a shepherd to his sheep.

By Maciej Zagorski

 

The very presence of such a remote village is enough to arouse suspicion. There are no ore mines here, no nearby dungeons, no ley lines or trade routes. The people seem simple enough, but they are somehow able to fend off the wolf packs roaming the land, and are unperturbed by the massive bats which attack the rare unannounced visitor. How? The people of Bleakflat are under the protection of a vampire, the mayor of the village and the only citizen with rosy cheeks and warm smile. The villagers trade their blood for his protection and care, and in turn he tends his flock well.

Notable Locations

Most of the village comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:

  1. Kraegor’s Keep: This ancient ruin is the home of Aldrich and Gaela Hellbrooke. It has been refitted, but still looks ancient.
  2. The Blood Bath: Fed by hot mineral springs, the blood bath lies beneath the keep; here Aldrich relaxes with his guests.
  3. The Dining Hall: The keep’s underground dining hall, decorated sparsely in crimson banners, seats up to 20 visitors.
  4. The Goodabby Home: This hovel is the ancestral home of the Goodabby family, long seen as Aldrich’s favourite humans.
  5. The Girain Home: Unlike the rest of the village, the Girain family worships Aldrich as an occult vampire lord. Their basement contains dozens of unusual artefacts.
  6. Haegar’s Stables: Haegar keeps several dozen horses in the stables as feed for the giant bats roaming the countryside.
  7. Abandoned Farmland: Once Bleakflat’s lifeblood, the farmland has fallen into disarray since Aldrich became mayor.
  8. Bleakwood: This silent, muted wood is home to the elk and boar which comprise the wolf pack’s primary prey. Aldrich and his guests sometimes roam the wood, at night.

Notable Folk

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

  • Aegar Goodabby (location 4; LE male human expert 2) Aegar is an exemplary villager, eager to listen to his master’s musings but wise enough to keep his advice to a minimum.
  • Aldrich Hellbrooke (location 1; LE male human vampire cleric 4) Aldrich Hellbrooke is the mayor of Bleakflat, though he prefers the term shepherd. A vampire, Aldrich sees his flock as his responsibility. He warmly cares for them, ensures they are happy and well-fed, even jokes with them, but does not mistake them for his equals.
  • Gaela Hellbrooke (location 1; CE female dhampir antipaladin 2) In a moment of weakness and loneliness, Aldrich took a human to bed. Gaela is the result, a half-human, half-vampire child of 14 with the temperament of a beast. Gaela shares none of her father’s patience with humans, but must defer to his judgement. After Gaela has passed through puberty, Aldrich will turn her.
  • Mardread Burke (location 6; LG female human paladin 2) At 16 years old, Mardread is filled with ideals and righteous fury. The gods have granted her divine power, and she secretly wishes to overthrow her undead dictator. Aldrich hopes this is just a phase. If not, Mardread will find herself on the dinner table shortly.

(Note, the statistics above are drawn from the Pathfinder edition of this product; check out the free samples below for edition specific statistics).


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Praise for Village Backdrop: Bleakflat

Jeff Gomez\’ Bleakflat is interesting in that its theme of decrepitude is supplemented by a leitmotif of conflict between generations and a bit of social commentary, if you\’re inclined to read that into the supplement: The population needs their master to survive, but at the same time is slowly destroyed by him. Sounds pretty much like dominant employers in remote communities everywhere to me. Anyways, the settlement is nice, has some thematically consistent angles and can go in several ways, depending on the morality of the PCs and how the GM elects to depict the situation – from full-blown horror to shades of grey \”lesser of evils\”-gameplay, there is a lot of potential here.

–Endzeitgeist (five stars)


A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Jeff Gomez

Released 13 February 2017; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23

Download a Free Sample Bleakflat At A Glance

 

A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by Jeff Gomez

Released 13 February 2017; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample 5e Bleakflat At A Glance

 

 

A System Neutral GM’s Resource by Jeff Gomez

Released 13 February 2017; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample SNE Bleakflat At A Glance

Free Download

Download Bleakfast’s Maps Bleakflat Maps

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