Village Backdrop: Idyll

Idyll seems like the perfect place to live, but subtle signs something is not right are scattered throughout the village. Why are the residents reluctant to leave the village’s precincts? Why are there so few children in such a prosperous place? How has the village stayed unspoiled with the wasteland surrounding it? Why is the seemingly empty Wardens’ Lodge that once served as the centre of law for Idyll so ominous? Those who investigate too deeply into Idyll’s mystery may discover plane-shattering implications. Whether the curious can share these secrets is yet another question.

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Notable Locations

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

  1. The Monoliths: Idyll’s most notable feature, the monoliths stand at cardinal points marking a circular border around the village. Each monolith features inscriptions in a multitude of planar languages.
  2. Cobb’s: Villagers direct visitors to this tavern. For astonishingly low prices, diners receive savoury drinks and meals.
  3. Grandmother Oak: This impossibly large oak stands at Idyll’s heart, providing ample shade.
  4. Opalescent Pools: Nine pools, arranged in a square three-by-three pattern, glow softly during moonlit nights.
  5. Wardens’ Lodge: Sealed shut, this building ostensibly serves as Idyll’s law office; when questioned, villagers maintain the building is unnecessary as there is no need for law enforcement.
  6. Council Hall: In contrast to the peacefulness of Idyll’s inhabitants, where everyone gets along, the council hall is home to intense arguments.
  7. Aid Station: A cleric and a druid reside here and provide aid to inhabitants, villagers and animals alike.
  8. Storage Silos: Ample supplies of grain, grapes and other materials, kept fresh using magic, fill these silos.
  9. Pinion River: This deep, clear river winds southward into the village on its meandering route; it provides great fishing.
  10. Fields of Battle: Just outside Idyll, dedicated archaeologists can find ancient instruments of war, rejected by the ground.

Idyll: Behind the Scenes

Inevitables act as agents of law in the planes, usually by destroying chaotic creatures or acting as a bulwark against incursions by such creatures.

Over two centuries ago, a bralani azata (a chaotic good outsider) fleeing the wrath of an archdevil sought protection at an inevitable outpost. The inevitables initially granted the request, but it became increasingly clear hosting a fugitive would bring trouble to their door. They turned their attention to other locations they could hide the azata. Eventually, they found a perfect location: an old battlefield on a Material Plane world protected by powerful towering monoliths. The protections offered by the monoliths withstood the passage of time and offered the perfect place to hide fleeing outsiders. The inevitables made a deal with the fugitive azata, promising the creature safety in return for its agreement to remain in the village of Idyll the inevitables would build to house it and other fugitives.

As an additional concession, the azata agreed to have its powers stripped and its memories partially removed. The process, used now for all Idyll’s residents, preserves their essences, but renders them mundane and better able to fit in with the other residents. Every creature transferred to the village is aware of their situation and knows they can leave at any time, but doing so forfeits the village’s protections.


Praise for Village Backdrop: Idyll

“Idyll is an inspired, intriguing settlement that begins with a mystery and offers a great answer to it, one that makes sense on multiple levels…”

–Endzeitgeist (five stars + seal of approval)


A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Mike Welham

Released 1 October 2015; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23 or sign up to Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign before 29 September and get it for $2!

Download a Free Sample Idyll At a Glance

Download Idyll’s Maps Idyll_Maps

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3 thoughts on “Village Backdrop: Idyll

  1. i’m having a lot of fun tinkering with this village to fit it into my own homebrew game. big thumbs-up to Mike for his ingenuity in developing this location. tons of great ideas for a Prime Material waystation in a Planescape campaign.