Monday, January 30, 2012

The Village of Sham

Sham could fit into this space.
Sham is a small village on the north side of the Shimrod Forest, east of the Imperial territories of Partholon. With a population of about 200, the village takes up less than seven acres. Most houses are clustered inside the wooden stockade that protects against Kruthar raiders and marauding wolves.

Sham supports itself mainly by fishing and woodcutting, with some farming and other trades rounding out the village life. A volunteer militia protects the village. At any time a handful of lookouts patrol the stockade and when the warning bell rings, dozens of villagers race to arm themselves and defend their home. Most of the militia are "normal men," 0-level NPCs, but a few have seen enough action, either here or in service to the Baron, to count as 1st level fighters.

Desmond is lost in thought.
The village falls under the rule of Baron Blackhart, whose castle lies two days' journey south, on the coast. He requires little of the village save their taxes, and they ask little of him in return. The village elder, Desmond, is the nominal local authority, but little governance is actually required on a regular basis. Town meetings are usually sufficient to deal with any special concerns that may arise. This is probably fortunate, as Desmond is very knowledgeable about a variety of topics, but is quite senile and possibly a bit mad. His granddaughter, Rosalyn, takes care of him and supports the household primarily by accepting bribes from those who would consult with the absent-minded sage. She typically greets visitors by informing them that "The Elder is quite busy," and will follow it up with, "His time is very valuable," if they don't seem to get the hint.

Weyland the Smith is something of a craftsman-polymath, being the village blacksmith, bladesmith, whitesmith and brightsmith. Upkeep of the militia's armory is his chief responsibility, while his several apprentices usually see to most of the standard tasks of the forge. This is the man to see for ordering new weapons and armor, as well as to have jewelry appraised. He recently fell ill, and his daughter Nylian has taken a break from her treasure-hunting to take over his responsibilities.

Mr Barliman appreciates your custom
The Blue Boar Tavern is the social center of the village - the place where locals relax after a hard day's work, socializing, recreating, and gossiping. Harlan "the Boar" Barliman offers a selection of food and drink as well as a roof over the heads of rare travelers. Private rooms, for lodging or for parties, are available for a silver coin a night.

Adventure opportunities abound, for those willing to look around a bit. Just a few miles west of town are mysterious ruins, where the Company of the Burning Fist have been delving for months. The dungeon they've been exploring has been identified as an underground temple of Zhothaqquah, and evidence suggests the ruins were once an Agha-yin city.

A half-day's journey to the south is "Snake Den," the cave where a pair of giant adders had nested, before the company slew them and destroyed their eggs. In the nest was a caern of stones spattered with black wax, before an immeasurably deep pit that intimidated even the normally-fearless Nylian. Plans to explore this pit have been delayed by logistics and by the more tempting opportunities in the ruins.

And somewhere in the northern hills are the Kruthar barbarians, savages that are more animal than man. They've been raiding more frequently of late, and much of the militia has been stricken with plague.

No comments:

Post a Comment