Village Backdrop: Saint Fiacre

Saint Fiacre is a village with a turbulent past and an uncertain future. Having weathered sahuagin raids and economic woes, the village struggles to grow and prosperity eludes its citizens. With its saintly patron now long dead, its economy is in decline and few travel to the village. On the surface, Saint Fiacre seems a relatively peaceful village, but several looming—and as yet unrecognised—threats lurk in the shadows. In short, Saint Fiacre is a village on the brink of disaster.

By Tommi Salama

By Tommi Salama

 

Over 75 years ago, the village now known as Saint Fiacre was the small hamlet of Verton. According to legend, it became Saint Fiacre after the legendary cleric Fiacre the Bulwark single-handily defended the hamlet against a raid by an entire tribe of sahuagin. In thanks, the villagers immediately erected a church to Saint Fiacre’s deity, a god of commerce and trade, and built a statue commemorating him in their village square. When Fiacre passed away, the villagers successfully petitioned his church to grant him sainthood and renamed their village in his honour.

Today, Mayor Pepin Vert constantly seeks new ventures to further expand the village’s economy, but he is forced to contend with the old money aristocrats that make the seaside village their summer home. Generations ago the mayor’s grandfather sold premium property to the nobles to expand the village, but now that land goes to waste. Without it, Pepin has been forced to rely on turnpike tariffs as the primary source of income, but the locals doubt this money can sustain the village’s growing population. True these are hardly concerns worthy of heroes, but Saint Fiacre prides itself on its lack of monsters and supernatural troubles.

Unknown to most folk, trouble is brewing in Saint Fiacre. A years-old rivalry is coming to the boil with the arrival of Jérôme Javert, an inquisitor looking to imprison the caretaker of the village’s orphanage for his criminal past. Meanwhile, something lurks in Fiacre’s Woods, shielded from discovery by the wood’s thick foliage. This monster has taken root within the wood, having devoured and replaced a third of the village’s population with near-perfect replicas. If left unchecked, the monster will consume all of Saint Fiacre, and the world beyond soon after.

Notable Locations

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

  1. The Surf and Salts: Though all are welcome, the Surf and Salts tavern and inn caters primarily to merchants and sailors.
  2. Staffelsee’s Pier: Most of the ships visiting Saint Fiacre dock here. The pier is named for a man who allegedly sat here each day, waiting for his love to return from sea.
  3. Fiacre’s Square: This area is the centre of Saint Fiacre and a natural gathering place.
  4. Saint Fiacre’s Church: Dedicated to the god of trade and commerce, this church is named for the village’s patron saint.
  5. The Groves: Named for their cultivated appearance, most villagers live in this neighbourhood.
  6. Merchant’s Row: Built in the shadow of Saint Fiacre’s Church for good luck, most of Saint Fiacre’s shops stand here.
  7. Seaside Manors: Built generations ago by wealthy aristocrats, these decadent summer homes sit largely unused.
  8. Euphrasie’s Home for Children: This building is Saint Fiacre’s orphanage, and houses a dozen children of varying ages.
  9. Fiacre’s Wood: Fiacre’s Wood features thick, tall trees and dense foliage. A major road cuts through the forest.
  10. Ishild Jr.’s Grove: Close to the edge of Fiacre’s Wood, this clearing was created by a falling star, and is the lair of a terrifying creature from the Great Beyond.

Praise for Village Backdrop: Saint Fiacre

“Alexander Augunas’ village backdrop not only has 2 more pages to shine than most village backdrops, it also sports some definitely superb imagery and flair – from the versatile hooks woven into the frame of this village to the versatile set-ups, this pdf delivers – and yes, I did only barely touch upon the small stories of local color woven into the fluff here that can help to make this place come to life.”

–Endzeitgeist (five stars + seal of approval)


A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Alexander Augunas

Released 7 May 2015; Pages 12

PDF ($2.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23 or sign up to Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign before 4 May and get it for $2!

Download a Free Sample Saint Fiacre At A Glance

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