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Tralvaile

The village of Tralvaile is a forestry and farming community established 40 years ago. The village’s main trading partners are the Dragonborn tribes that live deeper in the Durnwood, and the Halfling river people who travel up the small stream that runs through the village to the Llwerk river, and Bruevaile a growing town on Llwerk Pool about a day away on foot, slightly less by stream and river.

Population

Only 316 people, including those in outlying farms call Tral Vaile home.

Government

Chief Caladar Man’Morth is the authority in Tralvaile and he is supported by a council of advisors and elders, as is typical of the villages in the Durnwood region.

Defense

Travaile is a walled village protected by the Chief and his guards. The chief’s guards consist of 28 well armed men, half of whom are on patrol on the wall at any given time, while the rest lounge in Man’Morth’s house or their own dwellings with a few nominally guarding Man’Morth as well. While the guard are all beholden to Man’Morth it is to Ferus Man’Morth (the chief’s brother by marriage) is their day to day commander and captain.

In times of conflict the citizens are expected to take up arms in defense of the village, and most adults have a spear and or sword and sheild for that purpose.

Key Locations

The Drunken Duck: The village’s inn and tavern it is the social center of the village for most of the year, and place where the village’s few visitors stay. The proprietor is Neanne, who runs it with her brother in law Brothen, and daughter Nym. Neanne’s husband died some years ago to lung rot and since then she has worked hard with Brothen to keep the inn in good condition. The only problem they have now is finding a man who will take the strong willed Nym as a wife and settle into the running of the inn, something that has so far been impossible as Nym has managed to keep the village men away. The one staff member that is not a resident of the inn is a rather shady looking elf by the name of Paelias, whome rumour says fled trouble with the Red Knights (of Bane) in Kalafort before getting “lost” in the kitchen of the Duck.

The Boar’s Hide: The Hide is the only building of note associated with the village that does not sit inside the walls. Run by the dour Deklan, it is the village’s tannery and one of the sources of export to other places. Deklan is also one of the few people that actively employs the youth and other adventerous sorts in the village, along with other more practiced hunters as he seeks hides for tanning from the Durnwood that are more valuable and interesting than the more readilly available sheep and cows of the village.

Birran’s Meats: The only butcher in the town Birran is a jovial dwarf who has stories to tell from the times when he was younger and wilder and adventured in the wilds of the Crystal Mountains, and if he is to be believed even across the seas. Of course Birran has trouble keeping his stories straight, and is old even for a dwarf so perhaps they are not his tales but those of someone else… of course if they are his tales then that begs the question of why a successful adventurer retired to a little human village on the border of the Durnwood 50 years ago when it was founded by the older Man’Morth?

Shaded Path Supplies: This is the general store, carrying all sorts of interesting oddiments that are of use to those who live in a small village but not readily made in the village. It is owned and run by the Trasell Halfling clan, along with similar such establishments in other local communities. The Trasell’s are one of the groups that will hire adventurous souls to help keep the roads, and especially Tral Stream clear of predators (human or monstrous).

Aramil’s Bakery: Aramil is a delicate man, who remains without a wife or children, though he has several apprentices. He is a fine baker, though he does little other than breads and his pies, for which he will buy pheasent from those willing to hunt them and unable to use them otherwise. Though he never directly employs people to do such hunting.

Salinya’s Tower: In a simple farming and forestry village the tower is greatly out of place as its owner Salinya. Salinya arrived in town three days before the birth of a couple of the village children with a number of other Eladrin. They all stayed at the inn while the woman took the time to meet all the mothers and see all the children soon after they were born. Since then she has had her tower constructed by Eladrin craftsmen making its fine craftsmenship and strange materials stand out more than anything else in the village. She then took up residence, teaching the village children to read and write, making potions for the villagers and from time to time disappearing for weaks without explanation. Most believe the Eladrin is a wizard of no small power, and that she is exploring the ruins of elven and eladrin settlements that are found through the Durnwood. All that is known for certain is that she is distant and indifferent to the village, except the three children whose births she arrived in time to witness – in whom she has taken a great interest. (In my campaign the Wizard PC has Auspicous Birth and became her apprentice.)

Temple of the Hunt: The temple is in fact a grove of standing stones just outside the village wall. It is maintained by a few townsfolk, most prominent among whom are Avargen Man’Ryn and Kayaa a half-elven orphan that was adopted by Avargen. The temple is dedicated to Melora and Denat, for it takes a love of wild places and a good dose of luck to survive in the Durnwood.

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I don’t have a map for Tralvaile (or any of my settlements) as such things rarely come up in my games and should they I organise the relevant portions as needed. Tralvaile and all its ilk however are modeled after a mix of Celtic and Norse designs – peasent houses are round, larger buildings like the Man’Morth house, and the Duck are rectangular, with only the Duck and Salinya’s tower being multi-story buildings, and only Salinya’s tower being fully stone. Thatch rooves are otherwise ubiquitous. The land inside the walls is a mix of small vegetable crops, grass and rough paved paths. With the advent of releasing these on the blog I will endeavour to get maps created.

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Categories: Durnwood Region

Durnwood Region

The Durnwood is an ancient forest under whose branches the history of kingdoms and empires has passed largely without notice, and along its northern borders are a number of villages, and even a few towns now grow. Once ruled by the Caedrian Prince Kist from Cyntill it is now just a few scattered settlements.

Durnwood Region Map

Common Knowledge

In the past 30 years there have been a few major events in the region. The first was the destruction of the Tower of Justice, and its attendant Knights of Justice 30 years ago by the Durosh’kan orc tribe. The next was the destruction of the elven village of Taslatia by goblins, orcs, and fell fey 20 years ago. Then ten years ago the Red Knights of Bane moved to the village of Kalafort, at the base of the Crystal Mountains, and transformed it from a sleepy prospector’s village into a thriving trade center. Of course currently the region is relatively peaceful, though the goblins that inhabit Taslatia, and the Durosh’kan make travel into the depths of the Durnwood a risky undertaking. Of course roads are often closed by bandits, marauders such as goblins or gnolls, or hungry monsters such as griffons or fell fey. The simple mission of driving off whomever or whatever is preying on unfortunate travelers is how many young heroes begin their careers, or meet a grisly end.

People

Humans and elves are the most common residents of the communities of Durnwood. Some tribes of shifters and dragonborn roam the forest as well. Dwarves, halflings and tieflings are also encountered relatively often in the settlements. Tieflings are particularly common in Forvan.

Settlements

Bruevaile – Once a simple fishing village, Bruevaile has exploded in the past ten years, changing from sleepy village to bustling town in less than 8 years, and it seems likely that the now misnamed Vaile will continue to grow until it becomes a prosperous city built on the trade flowing down the Llwerk from Kalafort and the lands beyond.

Forvan – Though not on the Llwerk, Forvan is the only city in the region, a solid two weeks by road from Bruevaile. Forvan rests on the shore of the God’s Sea, at the eastern end of the Menai Straits. It is a gateway to the Naranlan kingdom and the distant southern lands for the Dwarves, Eladrin and Elves. Forvan is primarily a merchant city, as such Caedria, Naranlan and Dragonspire would all like to claim it as theirs, making trade prosperous and the city treacherous.

Kalafort – A fortified town at the end of the Gwyth Hills, nestled where the Doov River joins the Llwerk river. Kalafort was once a rugged explorer’s base for the Crystal Mountains, then ten years ago the Red Knights of Bane moved to the village and transformed it from a sleepy prospector’s village into a thriving trade center. As a garrisoned frontier town Kalafort’s primary concerns are military, but it also has a number of farmers, prospectors, and merchants.

Athruvaile – A small fishing and farming community on the Llwerk between Kalafort and Bruevaile.

Tralvaile– A small forestry village near Bruevaile.

Kisk – A small farming and forestry community.

Plint – A small farming and forestry community that has come under the protection of Forvan.

Ruins

Cyntill – Once the capital of the region it was sacked by the Dragonspire armies just over 200 years ago and now is little more than a collection of monster haunted ruins. Though the Knights of Cyntill are an organisation that seeks to cleanse the ruins and rebuild the city into its former glory.

Halls of Justice – Once the home of the Knights of Justice it was destroyed 30 years ago in a great battle with the Durosh’kan orcs, and with its destruction so to fell the Knights of Justice. The ruined tower is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the knights who died fighting the Durosh’kan as they wait for justice to be paid on the orcs, and though rumors of undiscovered treasures within the tower persist few are prepared to risk the wrath of the ghosts, and those few never return.

Taslatia – Once an elven settlement it was destroyed during the wars with Dragonspire 200 years ago, now the only structure still standing is the old temple to Corellon and even then only the lowest level of that building remains and is mostly buried. Goblins make their home in the ruined temple and occasionally pester the local villages.

Tethari – An ancient elven complex inhabited by a few elven monks. It is said that it was once the home of a great elven mage who was defeated by three witches when they brought down a mountain on his home.

Geography

Durnwood Forest – The Durnwood is an ancient forest under whose branches the history of kingdoms and empires has passed largely without notice. It is said that in its heart can be found the ruins of an ancient elven kingdom, yet between the Durosh’kan orcs, fell fey, and other dangers travel so far into the forest is a dangerous undertaking.

Crystal Mountains – It is said that the Crystal Mountains start far to the north, growing from the Porthenask Glacier, and travelling south to the great maelstrom, the Eye of Walek. Scholars then argue if it is the same range that continues south down into the Sea of Sorrow, and the islands that mark all that is left of the Dragon Kingdoms. Regardless it is accepted by all that a spur of the mountains runs through these lands.

Lake Miryl – the Lake of Bloody Tears has a perpetual red tinge not unlike rust. It is believed that when the world was broken, when Calach was banished to the Abyss, Rawali cried until tears of blood flowed from the heavens and stained it’s waters red.

Griffon Pass – Pass across an arm of the Crystal Mountains which marks the easiest route to the elven kingdom of Manoshikae from Kalafort, and as its name implies Griffons often a problem.

Gwyth Hills – Essentially the foothills of the Crystal Mountains that dominate much of the land to the west.

Llwerk River – the silver river, so named because of its shimmering silver colour. The river has its source in the sourthern Crystal Mountains.

Llwerk Pool – the silver pool is a small lake on the Llwerk River.

Isle of Kaz – the isle of the foe, is so named as while the mage Mithain lived he was a great enemy of the ancient Dragon Kings. It is said that Mithain delt with the dark gods, and that he was eventually slain by the hero Jimalik. However Jimalik never returned from slaying Mithain, and now on storm nights a light can be seen high in the air, where it is said was once the top of Mithain’s tower. For this and its rocky shores sailors avoid the island believing it a cursed place.

Blue Bay – Named for the deep blue colour of its waters, even to the shore, its deep waters are the reason Forvan prospers on its north east shore.

The Fang – A large mountain which is the home of the Durosh’kan orcs. It lies at the southern edge of the Crystal Mountains where they turn north to travel back to the Golden Sea.

Categories: Durnwood Region