The town of Larenyss is the hub of several villages in the area. It is an isolated temperate region at the edge of civilization, set about a four or five day ride from the next settled area. The Blackbottom River runs through the middle of the villages and borders the town. Two wooden bridges and one stone bridge span the river. The stone bridge provides the entrance into and exit out of the town.
Humans are the most populous race in Larenyss, but all the races of light are welcome and live in Larenyss or the surrounding area, which includes the Halfling Farmlands. Including the surrounding villages and farms, the area of Larenyss has a population a little over 2,000.
Larenyss is a self-sufficient town. Farmers can grow more than enough food and craftsmen, who pass their craft from generation to generation, make the goods people need. These craftsmen include accomplished weapon and armor smiths, as Larenyss has a strong tradition of defending itself.
For as long as any can remember, adults have taught the youth in the arts of combat, whether they be with a weapon or by spell. The young adults of Larenyss patrol the area to keep monsters and bandits away, as well as keep an eye out for anything suspicious. It is custom and the way of life in Larenyss and the surrounding villages. All races share in this custom and do it together.
Other than the occasional merchants, only a handful of travelers stay at Larenyss. There are several holidays and days of observance. The largest celebration is the Husk Drifting Festival at the end of October.
1. Cemetery Shedhrig provides upkeep of the place and burial’s overseen by Brother Rothsby at the temple (#11).
2. Town Square A market day is usually held here each won weekends, where the farmers, local artisans, and any visiting merchants may sell or barter for goods and services.
3. Mill A waterwheel set into the river is the power source for this gristmill, where Nelbrum the miller, a man in his forties with salt and pepper hair, plies his trade.
4. Potter This small shop on the square is the home and workplace of Sarah the Potter, and David, her 20-year-old son. Sarah is a gaunt, aging woman of some 50 years. The trials of life have worn her beyond her years, however, and her long, white hair and wrinkled face make her appear much older. She originally practiced her trade with her late husband. David is a strapping youth who is a lieutenant with the standing guard. He has his father’s adventurous blood in him, and would readily take up with an adventuring party in spite of his mother’s protests. David is betrothed to Carla, a barmaid at the Golden Bough (#16), and takes a dim view of flirtatious fellows that take an interest in her. All villagers know how possessive David is, and will warn any hero who seems to be attracted to Carla.
5. Grocer Nearly half of this structure is an open lean-to, with a makeshift counter that runs roughly down the middle. Various barrels and crates are stacked throughout the area. On the weekly market day, the counter is filled with fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, and roots as the season permits.
6. Trading Post The double doors in front of this long, low building are always open during daylight hours. Once inside, visitors behold piles of items that it took trader Remie years to accumulate. Remie is a short, stout, hairy middle-aged man who could be confused for a dwarf at more than twenty paces. He is personable and he loves to haggle and throw in useless items to make a better bargain with a character.
7. Home of Immeral Ladrisyl Immeral is an aged half-elf who has lived in the town longer than any human. He has by far the largest library in Larenyss in his personal study, and he is one of the four pillars of the town.
8. Blacksmith The smithy is set at the edge of the village. The structure serves as home for blacksmith, his wife, Silda, and fifteen-year-old son, Martin. Kelich is a giant of a man, well over six feet in height. His hair is a thick, black mane, tied back from his face. He has a thick short-cropped beard. Kelich is a deeply religious man. He has superior strength, and commands one of the skirmish units in the militia, wielding a two-handed maul in melee. Martin is also a member of the skirmishers, and is already a first-level fighter at the age of 16. Though not yet fully grown, Martin already has a level of strength uncommon in grown men, and he will doubtless grow stronger still in the next few years. He is betrothed to Myra, the carpenter’s daughter, although no date has been set. Father and son spend their evenings (it is too warm in the smithy to work during daylight hours) producing horseshoes, barrel hoops, nails, hinges, shovels, hooks, and iron spikes. Martin typically trades the items he forges in exchange for goods and services for his family, but he will certainly accept a cash commission from adventurers if they require his services.
Kelich is one of the four pillars of Larenyss.
9. Chanti’s house This run-down thatched roof house is where Chanti the bard lives.
10. Watchtower This 50-foot tall structure was designed by Yacob the Woodworker. It is constructed from heavy logs, with a ladder-like steps fixed along the side closest to the barracks. A platform fashioned from wooden planks rests at the top of the structure; it is roofed with thatch, and a waistheight wall made from planks has been built around the perimeter of the platform, with a gate where the platform meets the ladder. The wall gives the two watchmen who are normally in the tower 50 percent cover from attacks. The platform is sparsely furnished, having only a pair of stools, two light crossbows, a small chest containing 30 light quarrels, and a bell hanging from the peak of the roof. The bell is rung only during an attack on the town; ringing the bell when there is no emergency earns the offender a day in the stocks in the village square.
11. Temple This stone temple is dedicated to Bahamut, but it’s interior shares space with Moradin and Pelor. It is mastered by Brother Rothsby, a monk. Rothsby is, perhaps, the most gaunt person this side of the river; he looks like a scarecrow in his billowing vestments with his sunken eyes and cheeks, his tonsured brow. In spite of his appearance, he is patient and goodhearted. Talbert the stonemason also resides in the church, although he divides his time between repairing all three stone buildings in the town and making grave markers. Brother Rothsby acts as an advisor and spiritual guide to the Pillars of Larenyss and the town.
12. Weaver/Tailor This modest building is the home and workplace of Stilton the Weaver. Stilton is a lightly built man, with beady brown eyes, a prominent nose, and a mop of greasy, brown hair that drifts to either side of his face. His voice is rather high-pitched, and he is strikingly terse when dealing with others, even his customers. Stilton’s shop is a jumble of items, most of which are for sale. His stock includes blankets, cloaks, tunics, hoods and sashes, as well as bolts of cloth which merchants sometimes purchase for their own use. Silas seems a man with a secret.
13. Barracks of the Standing Guard Surrounded by a stout palisade of heavy logs, the barracks is constructed of large, undressed blocks of gray stone, with a tile roof. It is only one story in height, with the only openings being crossletted arrow slits spaced at regular intervals in each wall and a stout oaken door, reinforced with iron bands and studs. The building serves as a barracks for the twenty-four town watchmen and their commanders, as an office for the captain of the guard, Derrick the Reeve, and as a temporary prison for holding miscreants until they are publicly flogged, put in stocks, or otherwise punished. Characters entering into the barracks will find themselves in a guardroom with 12 sets of 2 bunks; two doors are set into wooden, interior walls to the left and right. The doors on the left give access to the watch captain’s quarters and the reeve’s office, and those on the right open into the lieutenant’s quarters and the cell. The walls of the cell are brick, and border against the exterior walls and the wooden walls indoors. The door is identical to the entry door, but has a key lock and two oaken bars that can be put in place on the barracks side. The cell is capable of holding five prisoners, or twice that number if they are to be held only for a short time.
Derrick is a veteran of the Goblin War. He is a trim, well-built man with brown hair, a finely trimmed beard and blue eyes. The reeve’s military demeanor is obvious to anyone within 100 yards. He is always seeking for ways to improve the defenses of the village, and is now toying with developing offensive capabilities as well: for example, he is working with the sergeant in training the militia to execute a counter-strike on humanoids or bandits after a raid on the village.
14. Dairy Olaf the Dairyman, his wife Janna, and eight children live in this wide, wattle-and-daub structure. Most of the building is residential space, with a small storefront of sorts where Janna sells cow and goat milk, curds, cheeses and butter. Olaf was an pikeman during the Goblin War, although he’s now advanced in age. He is nearly bald, with wisps of white hair now indicating where his locks once were. His face is a veritable road map of pinched wrinkles, and characters will find talking to him not unlike being stared down by a raisin. Although still quite spry, the old fellow has developed the absent-mindedness that sometimes accompanies advanced age, and one of his sons is always nearby to look after him. Janna is a rotund woman, with white curls slipping out from under her bonnet, framing her usually laughing face. Typically, she and her three daughters are making cheeses or working the butter churns in the shop, while the men tend to the livestock in a large barn across the path. Three of Olaf’s sons serve in the village militia as pikemen. The other two, Roland and Sebastian, are both men-at-arms in the standing guard.
15. Stables No sign indicates the purpose of this structure, nor is one necessary—the scent alone identifies it as a stable. The stableman goes by the name of Rolf. He is unmarried, in his early thirties, and has some trouble maintaining basic personal hygiene. ‘Poor old Rolf,’ as he calls himself, will house, groom, and feed any type of horse for four silver coins per day, or two gold coins per week. At any given time, a few horses or draft animals belonging to merchants can be found in residence, and the reeve trusts his black charger to Rolf’s tender care.
16. The Golden Bough Inn & Tavern This two-story frame building is inviting to weary travelers; first, because of the covered porch with rocking chairs that extends across the front of the inn, and also because the grove of oak trees surrounding the place assures that patrons are in the shade at any time of day. The Innkeeper is a woman in her late twenties by the name of Sognia; she is tall and slender woman with red hair and green eyes. Her personality is forceful, her manner direct, and her business is efficiently run.
The Golden Bough is a tidy establishment, containing a bar, stage, some trestle tables set up in the center of the common area, and a dozen booths along the walls. Each booth has an archway for an entry. The stage is used on market days by a musicians’ troupe, and is otherwise the home stage of Gerald Chanteur (or Chanti). It is rumored that Chanti and Sognia have a relationship that entails more than just business. The serving wenches are Carla (the cooper’s daughter), Evie, and Delilah.
The bill of fare varies seasonally, although breads, vegetable stews, and roast beef are always available. Generally, patrons are charged per meal rather than per item, the cost for a typical lunch and supper being 5sp and 7sp, respectively, not including drinks. You can get both meals in a day for 1 gp. Beverages include wine, ale (brewed by Shanson, the barkeep), mead, and goat’s milk.
The inn is well-supplied, having a varied bill of fare even in wintertime: Redhead Ale (brewed on premises) 2 sp Bread, slice 1 cp Brandy 5 sp Cabbage, braised 3 sp Mead 1 gp Cheese, wedge 1 cp Milk, goat’s 1 sp Herring pie 3sp Tea, herbal 1 sp Roast Fowl 5 sp Wine (local) 3 sp Roast joint (beef) 1 gp Wine (port) 1 gp Stew, bowl 1 sp
Shanson and Sognia live in quarters on the ground floor, and they rent out chambers upstairs. There are four double rooms for rent at 1 gp per night, or 5 gp per week. Four single rooms are also for rent at 6 sp per night, or 3 gold coins per week. The rooms are Spartan in appearance, having the appropriate number of beds and chairs, a night-stand with candle, a lantern hanging from the ceiling, a chest for storing personal belongings, and a fireplace, and a shuttered window. Still, patrons will find the rooms and linens to be clean, and the beds comfortable.
Sognia is one of the Pillars of Larenyss.
17. Cobbler/Woodcutter Nestled in the oaks near a crossing of paths is the shop of Calvin the Cobbler. He is a sinewy man, nearly six feet tall with brown hair, brown eyes, and a ruddy complexion. He has no family. Calvin’s first love is shoe- and boot-making, although the population of Larenyss doesn’t generate sufficient demand for him to engage in the work full-time. The cobbler supplements his income by being a woodcutter for those in the town who lack either the time or strength to cut their own. Generally, he cuts wood in fair weather and makes shoes in foul weather, so whether or not the shop is open depends upon the disposition of the clouds. Calvin has collaborated with Kelich, the Blacksmith, on the fabrication of iron-shod boots for the village watchmen.
18. Woodworker Visitors can judge from the appearance and maintenance of this building that its owner is skilled in the art of woodcraft. Yacob the Woodworker, his son Lenk, and his red-haired daughter Myra call this frame house home; Jacob’s wife passed from plague two winters ago. Although most of his efforts are directed towards fashioning doors, tables, and stools, Jacob is also capable of making storage chests and wagons if the characters should need them. Lenk is a tall, lean, sandy-haired fellow, and serves as one of the village archers. Myra is betrothed to Martin, son of the blacksmith. Yacob created the dragon head sculptures that seem to be emerging from the grounds on either side of the path in this area.
19. Cooper/Wheelwright This wattle-and-daub structure is situated across the path from the woodworker’s shop. Lantin the Cooper, his wife Etta, and their four children live here. Lantin is a lean man of medium build, with black hair and beard. His hair line is receding at the scalp, but he wears the rest of his hair tied back in a pony tail that reaches the center of his back. He has business relationships with the woodworker, both of the village taverns, the inn, and the grocer. Lantin and Etta have four teenage children: Marcus (19), Paul (17), Carla (16), and Stephen (14). All three boys serve as militia pikemen, and Carla is a serving wench at the Golden Bough.
20. Weaponsmith This building is found close to the fort, for obvious reasons. It is the home and workplace of Lars the Weaponsmith, his wife, Haffa, and two small children. Lars is a veteran of the Goblin War, still somewhat in practice and a unit leader in the militia. He spends much of his time completing repairs and putting new edges on weapons. He does a steady trade in weapons, both those he has forged and those he has taken in trade; he deals primarily with the watch, militia, and caravan guards. His tales of his part in the Goblin Wars extends beyond the believable at times, depending on his mood. He is a shade of what he was in his younger years, though by his tales you would not guess it; it is his potbelly and bald head that make it apparent.
21. Armorer The smithy is the other structure set deliberately close to the manor, so that the contents of the shop can be quickly brought within the walls in the event of an attack. Otherwise, the structure serves as home for the armorer, Druga Flamebeard. Druga is a stout, serious dwarf with considerable strength. He has long, brown hair and an equally long beard, both of which are braided so that they might not interfere with his work. The dwarf does a surprisingly brisk business in this borderland town, both by repairing armor for the watch, militia, the squire’s house guards, and passing caravan guards, and by selling armor of his own manufacture. Druga is quite capable of manufacturing any armor. He can also provide the armor updates characters want because of his knowledge of forge rituals that allow for the crafting of and enchantment transference involving these special materials. He may, however, ask the party members to get these materials for him at the larger city centers or in other locations involving a quest. Druga keeps several suits of armor in stock, ranging from leather armor to plate mail, and will take lightly used armor in trade for half the cost listed in the Player’s Handbook. Druga has an avaricious streak, and drives a hard bargain. His minimum prices are those listed in the Player’s Handbook, but he will certainly charge more if he thinks he is able.
Druga is one of the Pillars of Larenyss.
22. Fort Larenyss This stone structure is built similarly to the barracks. It houses 45 permanent guards, whose job it is to regularly patrol the surrounding villages. There is a watchtower on top the same as area #10.
Other Areas of Interest
The Bone Forest
The western border of Larenyss is The Bone Forest. It is a haunted wood or so they say. Elves and others refuse to venture very far into it. Many dangers lie in these woods, the least of which are the dire boar and wolves. The woods themselves, in the deeper parts, are said to come alive and devour any wayward trespassers.
Most of the farmsteads lie a good distance from the forest’s edge, as bestial and unnatural things are known to emerge from the dark forest at night to terrorize the local population. This is the focus of the militias patrol, though they have patrols that encircle the collective villages as is necessary in these times. The tree growth in the forest is dense, leaving the forest floor fairly clean of underbrush, and it is quite dark in the wood at all times of the day. It gets rather humid, especially as one ventures further into it, and there much of the ground, and even the trunks of trees, are covered with a bright green moss. Most folk are uneasy about entering The Bone Forest, but still some do to hunt deer and collect herbs.
Rumors exist about an ancient elven city that lies half buried deep within the forest, that it is a graveyard for elves that died in the War of the Three Forests and that those that died still live there. It is also said that it is a place of vast wealth unclaimed and a place where unpredictable magics can accomplish all sorts of harm to one’s person without warning. Of course, most of these rumors originate in the tall tales spun by Wynne Daluth, Larenyss’ local legend, crackpot (depending on your point of view), and explorer extraordinaire, so…
The Halflings live very close to Larenyss, not more than a fifteen minute walk outside of the main village area. They like being part of the main town, so they live close, but the size of the buildings that humans need is sometimes a bother, so most Halflings cluster down river.