Monday, March 20, 2017

The Village of Devsay-Hough

Haven't done a village for a while....

The Village of Devsay-Hough stands at an almost-literal end of the road, overlooking the River Igleri gorge. The bridge crossing the gorge collapsed nearly five years ago, and the powers that be can't be bothered to engineer a replacement. Prior to the collapse, Devsay-Hopugh was a moderately successful border village overlooking a river crossing to West Lien. With the bridge loss, traffic moved to a ford to the north, and an intact bridge to the south.

The village was originally home to nearly 500 citizens, but is slowly dwindling, as travel through the area has dried up.  Approximately 200 people remain in the core area of the settlement, with houses and farms in the surrounding area abandoned and left to be reclaimed by the woods.  With the loss of the bridge and its associated administration, more questionable souls, who are fine with being off the beaten path, have arrived.

The village has struggled to remain self-sufficient in its impoverished state.  However, it still maintains a several trades-folk and professions to serve both citizens and those few travelers who pass by on the Marginal Road.

Three wells are scattered around the village for public and traveler use - the North Well, South Well and Traveler's Well (situated behind the temple).

Industrious locals have engineered a minor river crossing via a rope tram at the former bridge.  While the hand-powered tram can transport individuals and some light cargo, no large animals may cross.  The tram does good business in contraband transport, and those avoiding border tolls.  Travelers with no expectation of return may sell their animals (at deeply discounted prices) to the innkeeper, and hopefully arrange for a ride or purchase of new mounts at a crossroads a few miles west of the bridge.

The Lazy Pilgrim Inn sits north of the old trade road, overlooking the broken bridge.  The inn is a replacement of the original structure, built on the salvaged stone walls of the former building.  It is a sprawling single story wooden building, with low ceilings.  Accommodations for travelers are spare, consisting of woolen blankets near the hearth. The innkeeper is a thin, severe woman named Bilia Tinhat (0lvl, 5HP, AC9/10).  She is the widow of the original innkeeper, who perished in the fire, and keeps the inn in his memory.  She is a shrewd negotiator, honed in the lean years since the closing of the bridge, and supplements the inn's income by buying and reselling the mounts of desperate or clandestine travelers who must cross the bridge without plans for immediate return.  There will be 1d6 horses and 1d3 mules available for sale at the inn's stable at any time.  Prices will be 100-130% of book prices. [49gp, 75sp, 10cp, Painted glass statuette of a hart (Gift from husband, 90 gp)]

Currently slumming it at the Lazy Pilgrim as a couple of recently-discharged caravan guards (Werric: 0lvl, HP5, AC6/13, Leather & Shield, Longsword, Dagger; and Nargos: 0lvl, HP6, AC7/12, Leather, Hand Axe, Dagger, 4gp, 31sp (shared between them)). The guards are open to opportunities for knocking some skulls.   Nardar (MU2, HP6, Dagger, Charm, Shield, Scroll: Protection from Good, Knock,  87gp, 41sp, black pearl and silver cloakpin (70gp)) and his bodyguard/partner Rhodessa (Ftr1, HP5, AC6/13, Leather & Shield, Club, Dagger, 30gp, tourmaline necklace (80gp)) have also recently arrived across the hand-tram.  Nardar is spying for West Lien, and looking to find the Amulet of Tiaonys, a minor artifact, for unnamed dark masters.  He may try to coerce a party into assisting him, claiming that the Amulet is a sigil necessary for Rhodessa to regain her lost crown to a distant kingdom (She's just a former caravan dancer who had the fortune to pick up some finishing lessons).

West Tower - Abandoned by the Duchy's revenuer-guards after the demise of the bridge, the hexagonal blockhouse has been recently occupied by a somewhat daft majicker-artificer named Noog Tenkinney. No one is quite sure where he came from, or his story. The locals keep a safe distance, as plenty of odd sounds, smoke and odors emanate from the tower, but the fellow seems otherwise mostly harmless.  Noog specializes in unique one-shot magical items. He will have 1d8+1 items available, unfortunately, there is a 30% chance that he has forgotten what any individual item does. [167gp, 207sp]

East Tower - The round two-story watchtower is empty but for Sergeant Osim (Ftr3, HP15, AC5/14), a former guard, who resigned his post to remain at the village when the Duchy abandoned the area and reduced its presence to little more than patrols.  He supports himself as an old-clothes, and will take trips to larger provincial towns to meet with clothes-pickers and trade for fabric and clothing.  From the East Tower, he watches the comings and goings on the formerly busy road.  He's been trying to teach the local crows to talk, but mostly they just beg and bring him an occasional shiny trinket.  Interestingly enough, one piece was a very expensive brooch (325gp value).  He's considering upping his bribes to the crows.  Osim keeps his chain mail, long sword and short bow in good condition. [7gp, 222sp, brooch]

Iaia Naylor is a pretty good baker, but an even better smuggler (Thf3, 10HP, AC8/11).  He arranges for the 'baker's boys' to move people and materials across on the hand-tram, as well as sending carrier pigeons to contacts in the West to arrange for transport or fences.  He charges crossing fees on a sliding scale based on his impression of the desperation of the individuals and the potential value of their contraband. [light crossbow, dagger, 105gp, 41sp, bag of gems worth 220gp, Potion of Animal Control, deed to a ruined tower]

The village's barber, Irena Oasu (Cl1, HP7, AC9/10), provides tonsorial and light medical assistance to villagers and travelers. In the absence of divine healing, any bandaging or ministrations that she performs will add +1 HP/day to natural restful healing. She is a defrocked cleric, but still quietly maintains her vows of assistance (for some small coin).  [club, 22gp, 94sp, ironwood holy symbol (10gp)]

The village's carpenter Irv Arden (0lvl, 6HP, AC9/10), recently helped rebuild the inn, and cares for the village's burial ground on the southwest corner of town.  He supports himself and his family through leaner times with a healthy orchard.  The burial ground pathways are formed in the shape of a world-tree and the grounds are well-tended.  The dead here rest peacefully.  So much so, that surrounding settlements will bring their deceased loved ones for burial, as the burial ground is know to resist periodic regional reanimations of the dead, and ghouls avoid the hallowed grounds. [hand axe, 18gp, 6sp]

Sister Burga (Cl5, HP23, AC3/16) ministers at the hexagonal Temple of Ves'elde near the crossroad. Dismayed at the descent into lawlessness of the area, she preaches ever more fiery sermons to a smaller congregation.  However per her vows, she will welcome and aid any passers-through, albeit with a look of slight distaste. Burga has a pet white rabbit named Wynna. In her chambers she has stored her plate mail and quarterstaff +1, artifacts of her own adventuring days.  [Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Bless, Silence, 15' radius, Divine scrolls (Detect Evil, Protection from Evil, Speak with Animals), 308 gp 63 sp, carved agate holy symbol (50 gp)]

A former adventurer and street tough, Bram Thoard (Ftr3, HP23, AC4/15), keeps the village's stonework in good repair, as well as fixing occasional 'side-effects' of Tenkinney's experiments at the tower. He also carves headstones for the burial ground for a reasonable fee.  Thoard considered investigating the feasibility of repairing the bridge, but knows that the restoration of traffic will bring the return on the Duke's forces and revenuers, and he would really rather keep the eyes of the authorities elsewhere.  After all, there has been an increase in highway robbery on the Marginal Road lately... [Chain, shield, heavy crossbow, hand axe, disguise kit, 192gp, 71sp, gems and jewelry worth 13, 25, 40, 50, 100gp, ornate dress rapier (315gp)]

'Old Orn' (0lvl, 4HP, AC9/10) was born here, grew up here, and supposes this is as good of a place to stay as any.  He really enjoys Sister Burga's weekly tirades. He is the village shoemaker, and will make footwear to fit in one day (125% book value).  He also repairs worn footwear and light leather goods (packs, some tack) for fees up to 50% of original. [30gp, 60sp, ivory drinking horn (100gp)]

Ira Ghor, the town's tailor (0lvl, 4HP, AC9/10), partners with Sergeant Osim to mend and craft clothing for the locals, as well as makes repairs to worn clothing for citizens and travelers. In her eyes, nothing is past repair until it consists of more patches than original fabric. [60gp, 41sp, 35cp, silk wedding gown (90gp - was never picked up by a bride to be)].

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