Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Villages of the Lowlands



Typically scattered and chaotic as I am, I am constantly revising and re-imagining my approach, postponing and aborting and editing ideas. But I am continuing to develop the setting (and its atmosphere) despite my lack of posts.

At this point I envisage a kind of formulaic adventure randomly generated from a series of tables and proceeding with a kind of predictable randomness

The Lowlands (previously the Northern Marches) are rustic and uncouth outlands at the edge of the wilds. Its inhabitants speak in a guttural bastardised version of the Imperial Speech known as the Meagre Tongue. There is little contact with the Seventh Empire from whence all civilisation and holiness springs.

It is to this far-flung realm on the margin of the world that the player characters arrive on their way to the blasphemous northern horizon

Each town has a series of special items that can be purchased
and hirelings that can be recruited. It should be noted that an inventory of basic items are available from every village - the special items and thehirelings are in addition to those in the basic inventory, the prices and crunch for which will be dealt with in a later post (if there is ever another post).

All prices will be in groats as per the new copper standard I would like to implement.

Roll 1d8 to see where the PCs arrive

1. Muttonwocky
2. Gnathous Bremley
3. Auld Skerrick
4. Scrope
5. Crowfork
6. Throckbottle Copse
7. Flockenwhistle Abbey
8. Foote


1. Muttonwocky: A dreary and hopeless grey little cluster of Mud huts and animal pens where clandestine and taciturn shepherds clad in soggy sheepskins mutter superstitiously at outsiders. The drizzle is without respite and the stink is potent.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- A Miraculous Tricorn Goat that banishes evil
- A rude ginger-pated knave - “Horsemonger” - and seven smelly and uncouth shepherds without flocks who speak only in monosyllabic grunts
- An ancestral black shillelagh with miraculous powers
- A firkin of muddy ale blessed by St. Aethelbrid; reputed to give fortitude to the unwilling
- Dried mutton and turnip gruel
- Sundry sickles, cudgels, spades and shortbows
- Apotropaic ram-skulls inscribed with sacred glyphs

2. Gnathous Bremley: A sombre hamlet in a hard land of barren and frosty fields where starveling ropy swains break ploughs toiling to stave off perpetual famine. Venerable owls hoot by day from dead pine trees. Hovels of stone shelter gaunt and fearful cottars. None speak here but Grandmother Morag.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- The ironmongery of Silas Groote, a hamstrung blacksmith of some renown
- A pack of desperate urchins with pleading eyes and groping fingers
- A cache of rusty war-flails and Jeddart axes from the Bartholemite uprising a century ago
- A pair of pavises from same, their heretical insignia has been but poorly effaced
- A Sacred Canon bound in mooncalf-skin
- No Food but boiled bark and beetle-grubs

3. Auld Skerrick : Abandoned imperial Bastion on a mossy hillock in an empty land. Aged Lost Crusaders and Heretics-in-exile hide out among dark hills in this palisaded ruin. Archaic imperial cuirasses are still stored here as are scrolls with charms of barring-the-way and come-hither-thrall. Croaking ravens perched on the battlements sing ancient battle-hymns of the glorious past.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- Valdemar, a scholar of the Inferno, constantly drunk and fearful
- Three vermin-infested squire-turned bandits, deserters from the 22nd crusade, with kettle hats and tattered gambesons and rusty eel-spears
- Crotchety old follower of the Panurgic heresy named Spetchley
- Various brandistocks, corseques and military forks of imperial manufacture
- Two Coats-of-plates and seven linen jacks, all of which were once embroidered in bright heraldic insignia but are now much faded and greasy and rust-stained
- Rye bread of dubious wholesomeness

4. Scrope; on a sluggish tributary with six dilapidated toll-bridges is a crannog-village on stilts - an enclave of villainous and watchful watermen and a stork that can speak and a water mill that is choked with weed.Here there are also many wooden racks of smoked fish and a venomous fear that permeates everything.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- Six gaunt and savage lurchers of exceptional fleetness
- A pair of snaggle-toothed villeins in mouldy leathern jacks with bucklers and baselards
- Several plumbata of archaic origin
- A number of wicked-looking war-flails and morning-stars laid-by for banditry and seven nail-studded targes for same
- Various lockpicks, probes and skeleton keys
- Two knightly sallets wrested as tolls from lost crusaders
- Saltfish and barley gruel


5. Crowfork; Fierce and oppressive village of vigilant and superstitious crofters nigh unto the crossroads. Here there are whippings and hangings and heads on spikes, bloodthirsty militia-men and flagellants and pallid and fitful sunlight. There are bonfires on the ridges and dule trees and sullenly accusing goodwives. Fanatical priestlings stride hither and yon imprecating against imminent skyfall.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- an Alectryomantic spatchcock in a wicker cage
- A variety of bloodied whips and scourges
- Six zealous brutes seeking pilgrimage and restitution
- An archaic imperial executioner’s sword, much notched from use
- A variety of reliquaries containing the mortal remains of various of the Quailbiter heretics
- Dubious saltpork

6. Throckbottle Copse: Here in a darkling grove with dirty snow on the ground are bodies stacked like cordwood and heresies afoot in wooden shanties. An ill wind blows and grindstones are always spinning, sharpening axes. Folk do not speak aloud here but whisper in corners and murder without conscience.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- Several copies of the Apocrypha of Nidde, hidden in sleeping pallets and under floorboards
- Axes, saws, adzes and chisels of exquisite sharpness
- A couple of arbalests with cranequins and a hundred quarrels accumulated in some long ago treaty of assize
- Ten battered siege-caps from same
- Two Green Recusants with sharp axes and sooty smocks seeking respite from the poisonous fear

7. Flockenwhistle Abbey: Smoke hangs low in the valley of the Abbey and it seems always to be dusk. The brethren observe the canonical hours diligently within the mouldering hulk of stone. Fugitives and foundlings serve and are exploited by or parasitise the monastical inhabitants. The Abbess is a blind saint and her thurifers burn loathsome incense.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- Seven Brass reliquaries containing the fingerbones, locks of hair and bits of preserved skin from St. Udo the Footpad, St. Boldo the Seven-crowned and St. Mormo the Leech
- Two antiquated croziers, one of bronze and one of silver
- Four tonsured and foolish pilgrims in hairshirts
- Medicus Blont, drunken Imperial leech with a variety of sharp blades
- Cock-eyed apothecary in the service of the order
- Three scabrous urchins with fleas and ballock daggers
- Smelly green holy water from the font of St. Tristram the Cenobite


8. Foote: Sinking village lit by guttering torches in a foul haze at the end of long causeways above turnip fields drowning in the flood,. Filthy serfs are hauling sticks and stones to repair the crumbling causeways or crowd around battered cauldrons of nameless gruel under the muddy sky. Everything is rotting and sodden and mouldy.

Things that may be purchased here include;

- A trio of Heathens from the Ashen Heights armed with dirk and targe and spangenhelm
- Wrapped in a greasy tabard and hidden in a well- the green flambard of St. Stephanovicus
- Three katzbalgers with red scabbards, taken from retreating Fensknechts after the battle of Cradlemark
- A dreadfully wasted soldier of fortune with an Arquebus and a tattered purple arming doublet
- Faded dun brigandine with basinet belonging to an imperial archer.

10 comments:

  1. Fantastic. Glad to see that Middenmurk still lives.

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  2. YESSSSSssss voices from Middenmurk!!!!!! LOVE IT

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  3. Excellent! I'm working on a marshy lowland region for my own campaign right now, so I'll be prying suitable bits off of this. Thanks!

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  4. Good to have you reporting from Middenmurk again, Tom. I love your naming of these places, it's wonderfully evocative.

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  5. @Trey

    Thank you sir. I'd love to claim full credit but I do tend to lean on the Pseudo-Elizabethan Place Name generator

    http://www.inkalicious.com/elizabethan.html

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  6. These villages give a very clear picture of the world you've created. Not just technology, or society, but also history and theology.

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  7. Very good! Sadly, we can't know how is it going if you don't post anymore. :(

    ___
    call Sri Lanka

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