Village Backdrop: Lanthorn

High up in the mountains, and often besieged by packs of murderous trolls, the village of Lanthorn stands as civilisation’s last glimmering light in an otherwise bleak and barren mountain range. A strange alliance of wizards—the Grand Conclave of Sublime Artificers—and a gaggle of (almost) civilised goblins—the Flaming Skull tribe—dwells in a bizarre atmosphere that is both scholarly and anarchic. Protected by high walls and gigantic magical lanterns imbued with portent fire magic, the wizards craft the mundane and wondrous items for which they are famed. Without the walls brave—or foolhardy—goblin “miners” search the nearby troll-haunted mines for lead and silver—some of which is reputed to have magical properties.

By Maciej Zagorski

By Maciej Zagorski


Notable Locations

Most of Lanthorn comprises homes. A few locations, however, are of particular interest to adventurers:

  1. Refuge: Lanthorn’s gates close at dusk and do not open until dawn. Those caught outside can seek shelter in several buildings standing without the village’s walls.
  2. High Gate: High Gate is impressively fortified. Its southern tower is the highest building in the village.
  3. The Shadow Market: Many goblins scrape a living running small stalls in the market. Here they sell whatever they’ve scavenged from the mines or stolen from unwary travellers.
  4. Caves of the Flaming Skull: The bulk of the tribe dwells in a complex warren of cramped tunnels cut into the mountain.
  5. Hall of the Grand Conclave: This rambling collection of buildings provides the Conclave with the space to carry out its works. Visitors can only enter if accompanied by a member.
  6. The Smouldering Troll: An obviously magical sign depicting a smouldering troll corpse marks this place as Lanthorn’s best inn. Here travellers find a warm welcome, good food and strong drinks all served by the exuberant, if occasionally larcenous, goblin staff.
  7. The Broken Blade: This downmarket inn hosts a popular, and raucous, weekly fight night.
  8. Stables: Lanthorn’s only non-goblin run business, all dogs and horses must be kept here until their owners leave Lanthorn.
  9. Low Gate: Low Gate is even more fortified than High Gate. Beyond lies the mountains and their glimmering treasures and ferocious denizens.

Notable Folk

The folk of Lanthorn fall into two categories: wizards belonging to the Grand Conclave of Sublime Artificers and goblins of the Flaming Skull tribe. A few individuals are of particular interest to adventurers:

  • Ishme-Dagan (location 5; LN old male human wizard [universalist] 13) A brilliant artificer, Ishem-Dagan is obsessed with creation. He ruthlessly destroys any threat (real or perceived) to Lanthorn.
  • Marpa (location 9; NE male goblin wizard [evoker] 4) Tired of the Flaming Skull’s matriarchy, Marpa joined the Grand Conclave to make something of himself. He is its only goblin member to date. He struggles to keep his base nature hidden and hates trolls. He wants to make lots of wands of fireball.
  • Nank (location 3; NE female goblin rogue 2) This conniving “merchant” deals in anything as long as she gets paid. Her favourite sales involve fake treasure maps…leading directly to troll lairs.
  • Oggor “the Thumper” (location 8; NG male half-orc druid 3) Oggor loves the mountains’ stark beauty. He stays in Lanthorn to tend the animals coming through its gates; he knows no one else will.
  • Tuko (location 4; LN female goblin sorcerer [destined] 8) Tuko dreams of one day leading the Flaming Skull tribe. She’s got big plans—mostly involving exploding trolls.
  • Uurki (location 6; N female goblin ranger 4/rogue 1) An accomplished scout, she knows the nearby mines better than most. She’s hard-talking and hard drinking (and phenomenally brave). She drinks (a lot) at the Smouldering Troll.

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

Praise for Village Backdrop: Lanthorn

“Creighton Broadhurst\’s Lanthorn is one absolutely AMAZING settlement. I adore this place. The explanation of the atypical nature of the Flameskulls and the old-school-marketplace-section are certainly appreciated. The place\’s visual representation is glorious and the threat of trolls serious enough to warrant magical laser-lanterns. (At least that\’s how I picture them.) In short – this pdf has it all – Lanthorn is a fantastic village and, for me as a person, one of the coolest in the whole product line.”

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

Sign up for Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign by 10 November and get all three versions of Village Backdrop: Lanthorn for only $2!


lanthorn_front_220A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst

Released 12 December 2016; Pages 10

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

Download a Free Sample Lanthorn At A Glance



lanthorn_cover_220A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst

Released 12 December 2016; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample Lanthorn (5e) At A Glance




front_lanthorn_220A System Neutral GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst

Released 12 December 2016; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample Lanthorn (SNE) At A Glance

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