In the dreary village of Fulhurst Moors, most residents spend their days cutting peat from the nearby bogs or tending flocks of rugged sheep on the moor. When night falls, they huddle in their homes or gather inside the solid stone walls of the Bell and Whistles, trading stories of the latest gruesome misfortunes to befall those foolish enough to venture out onto the moor after sunset or unfortunate enough to be caught by sudden fog or rain while working in the bogs.
The local priest has been driven close to madness by his inability to provide solace to his congregation, and the mayor and constable become increasingly concerned as a growing number of villagers drown their fears in moonshine whiskey. The fearful atmosphere is well deserved, for ancient beings of malice and cruelty haunt the mists beyond the village. And they have struck a terrible bargain with someone inside Fulhurst Moors.
The windswept moorland around Fulhurst Moors was once a lush forest. Savage clans lived here and sacrificed captives and slaves in the bogs below the hills, where the waters of the Blackraven Creek cut through the acidic valley soil. The sacrifices attracted strings of will-o’-wisps, who fed eagerly on their dying victims’ fears. As the clansmen cut down trees for timber and firewood, the rain washed the nutrients out of the exposed soil. Desolate moor replaced the forest, the clans migrated elsewhere, and the wisps starved.
Centuries passed, and other humans settled beside Blackraven Creek. They built solid stone houses, raised flocks of rugged sheep on the moor and dug peat from the bog’s brown waterlogged soil. A few years ago, the wizard Kelurn Tinddar settled in Fulhurst Moors. Seeking ancient artefacts buried in the sacrificial sites, he struck a terrible pact with the will-o’-wisps yet haunting the bog: in return for the locations of ancient sacrificial sites, he began arranging deadly accidents and ambushes to both foster an atmosphere of fear in the village and provide the will-o’-wisps with fresh victims.
The effects of this terrible, secret compact are easily apparent to anyone visiting Fulhurst Moors. The anxiety is almost palpable, and only a handful of villagers are bold enough to move about as they please. The rest huddle behind their stone walls and speculate who will be the next to meet their doom upon the moor.
Most of the village comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Brackenridge Mercantile: Aisha Brackenridge and her wife Heather run this well-stocked general store.
- Eliza Reede’s Hut: From her modest hut, Eliza Reede offers a selection of potions and remedies.
- Grefford Hinks’s House: Thirsty villagers know to call on Grefford for a jug of moonshine.
- Mayor Meriweather’s Home: This large stone house is home to Mayor Minerva Meriweather and her husband Darinn.
- Temple: The local temple is often half-empty at services these days, much to the chagrin of chaplain Esmond.
- The Bell and Whistles: Despite the mayor having banned strong alcohol, the tavern is full almost every night.
- Village Hall: The village hall functions as a meeting hall, courthouse and jail. The constable, Devyn Matson, lives here.
- Wizard’s Tower: Home of the wizard Kelurn.
Praise for Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors
“This is VERY distinct from anything you’d expect in a SWAMP. While Jacob Trier’s village works with the tropes, it also subverts them -no degenerate fish-people, no voodoo cults, no looming lizard-men, instead painting a picture of a village of hard-working people that cover the broad experience of humanity and morality, suffering from a climate of fear invoked by some vile individuals. Fulhurst Moors may not be a nice place at first glance, but it can be the town where, once the loyalty of the populace is earned, the evil rooted out, PCs may find haven even if hunted by the king. Remote and believable, with a rich history to develop and hooks galore…”
–Endzeitgeist (five stars + seal of approval)
Released 2 October 2015; Pages 10
Download a Free Sample Fulhurst Moors at a Glance
Released 24 July 2017; Pages 10
Download a Free Sample 5e Fulhurst Moors at a Glance
A System Neutral Edition GM’s Resource by Jacob Trier
Released 24 July 2017; Pages 10
Download a Free Sample SNE Fulhurst Moors at a Glance