Saturday 11 August 2018

The Ordinary Amid the Miraculous? The Villagers of Chelmsey

Those charged with maintaining the watch over the Chaos Well, whilst arguably the village’s most ‘important’ citizens, are not the only tale that can be told of the village. For most of the villagers, the Chaos Well is a local legend, but in no way part of their everyday lives. They steer clear of the Well’s immediate vicinity and pursue their existence much as do folk everywhere else. Some of the more perspicacious among them might guess that the village is subject to a greater level of outside scrutiny than other places of similar size, and will no doubt ascribe it to the presence of the Well, and most likely be reassured.


NG village
Corruption -1; Crime -3; Economy -2; Law -1; Lore -2; Society +4
Qualities insular, rural
Danger -5
Government council
Population 167 (134 humans, 19 dwarves, 10 halflings, 4 half-elves)
Notable NPCs
Priest of Vlynn Gedner Hallop (NG human cleric 6)
Magistrate Kabus Khay Brone (LG human expert 3)

Base Value 500 gp; Purchase Limit 2500 gp; Spellcasting 3rd
Minor Items 2d4; Medium Items 1d4; Major Items -

Chelmsey is not exactly a hub of trade: most of its primary produce is moved by wagon to Barabbyn, a larger and better-sited village to the south. Only a few pedlars make Chelmsey part of their regular route (and at least one of these has an ulterior motive for doing so), and they seldom come away with much profit. In general, these travellers bring in those few goods that the villagers cannot make or grow for themselves (such as glassware, or spices). There are no stores or traders in the village: those folk who make things or grow food sell them directly to those who wish to buy. The local inn does retain a small stock of items such as rope, boots, candles, oil for lanterns and so forth, but they are somewhat more expensive than is usual.

The village has a smithy. The smith, Jasbur Shay (NG Human Commoner 3) generally works with bronze, but retains sufficient iron to create knives, small agricultural tools and shears (a most valued product in Chelmsey!). Jasbur is a friendly sort, much inclined to gossip. He enjoys fishing in the river when there is not much business. He is more than happy to share his insider’s knowledge of the best fishing spots.

Kibben Shay (LN Human Commoner 2/Cleric 1), Jasbur’s rather errant cousin is an odd sort: after a brief stint in the capital training as a minstrel, he fell afoul of a petty-noble and left under a cloud. He wandered the kingdom for a while as a vagrant before meeting – and being converted by – an Arunaic firebrand. He then returned home where he scratches a living as the village’s charcoal-maker, occasional helper to his brother and labourer in the fields. He also preaches the Arunaic faith from time to time (even as a guest of the very open-minded local Priest of Vlynn), but has made only a couple of converts. He dosses down in back of the smithy in summer and in the woolstore in winter. He can be found every morning at dawn, rain, snow or shine, undertaking the ritual oblations central to Arunaic worship. It should be noted here that Kibben is neither particularly bright nor wise: even though he is now technically an Arunaic Cleric, he is unable to cast spells due to his low Wisdom score (although, if he endures and gains experience, this will surely change). Kibben knows he is a poor vessel for his God, and will certainly contribute to the defence of the village or to operations against Chaos in order to prove his worth. Although he is not very smart, he is hardy and strong-willed.

KIBBEN SHAY  (Pathfinder)                                                                               CR 2

LN HUMAN  Medium Humanoid ( Human)
Commoner 2/Cleric 1
Init 0; Senses Perception -1
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10
HP 19 (2d6/1d8 +6 Con, +3 Feat)
Fort +6, Ref 0, Will +3
Speed 30 ft.
Spear +2 (1d6+1/x2)
Spell-like abilities calming touch (2/day), touch of law (2/day)
Str 13, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 13
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD +12

Feats Toughness, Great Fortitude, Iron Will.
Skills  Craft (charcoalmaker) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Perform (lute) +2, Perform (oratory) +2, Swim +6
Language Common
SQ Domains (Community, Law)

There is one modest inn, but travellers are so rare in Chelmsey that it has only three rooms, and these are seldom occupied. The bulk of the inn’s business is done with locals, many of whom enjoy the convivial atmosphere and homely meals available in the common room. The owner of the inn, Marthea Rayte, (LG Warrior 2/Expert 2) is a retired member of the Kalanakree militia. She inherited the inn from her father ten years ago and left the militia to devote her time to running the inn. 

Her elderly mother, Josietta Rayte is a somewhat waspish and bitter individual – and competent seamstress – who spends much of her days in the heavily curtained room she once shared with her husband, drinking strong tea and repairing clothes for the villagers. On the rare occasions she leaves her room, she descends to grump at the locals for their various failings (not without fondness, it must be said), and to scold her daughter for the dreadful state of the inn (a most unfair criticism, as the inn is both clean and well-maintained). Marthea endures her mother’s grumbling with good-natured humour and an occasionally ill-concealed concern over Josietta’s prolonged and unhealthy grieving.
Josietta sometimes seems to possess an uncanny knowledge of the goings-on in the village – the gossip and tales of the wider world. In fact, she is helped in this by two factors: she possesses a Wand of Clairvoyance/Clairaudience (21 charges remaining), and also is gifted with psychic sensitivity, using it to make predictions and read the auras of others, adding to this a large fund of both common sense and shrewd knowledge of human nature.

JOSIETTA RAYTE  (Pathfinder)                                                                               CR 2

NG HUMAN Old Medium Humanoid ( Human)
Commoner 3
Init -1; Senses Perception +11
AC 9, touch 9, flat-footed 9( -1 Dex)
HP 10 (3d6 - 3)
Fort -1, Ref -1, Will +6
Speed 30 ft.
Dagger -2 (1d4 -3/x3)
Str 5, Dex 9, Con 9, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 9
Base Atk -2; CMB -2; CMD 6
Feats Psychic Sensitivity, Alertness, Iron Will.
Skills Appraise +3, Diplomacy +1, Heal +4, Craft (Seamstress) +7, Lore (Chelmsey) +4, Perception +11, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +8, Use Magic Device +0
Language Common
SQ Faith healing, hypnosis, prognostication, psychometry, read aura
Other Gear wand of clairaudience/clairvoyance (22 charges), artisan’s tools (seamstress), healer’s kit

There are several other individuals in Chelmsey who are unaffiliated with the guardians of the well, but could, in certain instances, play an important role.
One of these is Hett Colgannen (LG Commoner 3/Wrestler 2), an affable shearer who bears the unofficial title of Chemsey’s strongest man. He is a highly competent wrestler, often travelling to neighbouring villages to compete at fairs and competitions. Although he has a gentle nature, he does not hesitate to put his skills to use: he recently dealt with a roughneck bandit who had attempted to impose himself upon one of the local lasses. When mundane troubles strike, he is often the first person to whom the villagers turn to settle matters.

HETT COLGANNEN  (Pathfinder)                                                                            CR 2

LG HUMAN  Medium Humanoid (Human)
Commoner 3/Wrestler 2
Init +3; Senses Perception +5
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge)
HP 33 (2d12/3d6 +5 Con, +5 Toughness)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +3
Speed 30 ft.
Unarmed Strike +7 (1d6+4/x2)
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 12
Base Atk +7; CMB 7; CMD 24
Feats Catch Off-GuardB, Dodge, Improved GrappleB, Improved Unarmed StrikeB, Landing Roll, Mobility, Toughness.
Skills Acrobatics +9, Climb +9, Escape Artist +9, Handle Animal +7, Perception +5, Profession (shearer) +6, Swim +9.
Language Common
SQ crushing grip, uncomfortable strength, grappling technique (ankle lock, wristlock), wrestling path (submissions expert), versatile grip
Other Gear shears

The final individual of particular note in Chelmsey is the local magistrate, Kabus Khay Brone. Brone represents the royal authority in some legal matters, but his personal power is limited to one seat on the small village council. Brone is careful to maintain an advisory role rather than interfere openly in village matters – although this is something he could conceivably do under certain circumstances. Brone is a quiet man, approachable and astute. He is aware of the history of the Chaos Well, but is not privy to the business of the ‘Guardians’ – although he is certain that such a group exists, and, if forced, would be able to guess the individual members with some accuracy.

KABUS KHAY BRONE  (Pathfinder)                                                                          CR 2

LN HUMAN  Medium Humanoid (Human)
Expert 3
Init -3; Senses Perception +9
AC 7, touch 7, flat-footed 7 (-3 Dex)
HP 20 (3d8 +3 Con)
Fort +2, Ref -2, Will +4
Speed 30 ft.
Dagger +1 (1d4 -1/x3)
Str 9, Dex 5, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB -2; CMD 8
Feats Alertness, Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Skill Focus (Knowledge (history)).
Skills Appraise +9, Bluff +6, Diplomacy +8, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nobility) +9, Perception +9, Profession (magistrate) +7, Sense Motive +9.
Language Common
Other gear Scales, Small Library of Legal Tomes, Royal Seal

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Kambyra: The Near Interior

It is hard to adequately describe the sense of relief when one leaves behind the Dustlands. The plains beyond that horrid expanse do not compare with even the lowliest provinces of the homeland, but nonetheless, the presence of so much quiet, hard toil, the tidy, if somewhat primitive villages, the earnest (though mean) state of the roadside accommodations all bespeak the resilience and industry of these goodly folk. If I have one complaint it is the absence of a proper feudal order: this region is lamentably democratic, owing allegiance only to the colonial administration. No great houses have been built here, nor shall they, by edict of the Emperor. Although I should not presume to question the Emperor’s judgement in this matter, the absence of a truly cultured strata of society is a cause of some sorrow, for, though the folk here are decent, they are also occasionally given to airs above their station, that serve only to highlight their unlettered ignorance.
            An excerpt from the Earl of Zastenuto’s “The Empire Abroad: An Exile’s Travels Throughout The Colonies”

Not much to see, and even less to do, unless you like pigs and pig-farming.
            Calvid Rhoak, the Wandering Scrimshander

This region abuts directly on the Dustlands, and is named rather obviously for the fact that it is that part of Kambyra’s interior closest to Kambyra Town. It is a low, dry grassland that is arable only if carefully managed. The main source of income is sheep, goat and pig farming. There are no sizeable settlements – at least since the destruction of Old Vastroy in the south. Only Little Vastroy and Antiso are large enough to qualify as villages, but there are many settlements of hamlet and thorp size scattered across the plains. Most are close to the main colonial highway that runs from Kambyra Town to Dylaro, but settlement is quite evenly distributed, although it becomes more dense the further east one travels.

There is little to be said of this region: it is quite poor, but orderly. Due to the presence of raiders from south and west, it contributes a higher number of soldiers to the colonial militia than most districts. The inhabitants are almost universally human, although Antiso and its immediate hinterland is home to a substantial population of Halflings and the northern coastal fringe has a few small settlements where the population is composed almost exclusively of liberated Anumi slaves from the western plantations (it is worth noting that, although they are technically freed slaves, the Anumi of these settlements are legally bound not to travel more than a days walk from their homes without special dispensation from the colonial administration. This is only ever granted to visit Kambyra Town or Antiso. Freed Anumi are never permitted to travel east of Antiso, into plantation country, lest their presence inspire the many enslaved Anumi there to rebellion).

As one final point: the Near Interior has the legal status of a colonial canton, a rare peculiarity indeed. Simply put, this status means that the aristocracy may not gain estates here. The land has been given to the peasantry, and there is a limit on the size of any holdings. In return for this imperial grant of freedom, the people of the Near Interior are expected to create and pay for the support of two battalions of troops to the colonial administration. The reason for the creation of the Near Interior Colonial Canton provides endless cynical amusement for students of the vagaries of Imperial politics: a former Emperor desired to punish a noble paramour of the Empress. This upstart, Lord Antiso, just happened to have purchased most of the Near Interior. The Emperor confiscated these lands without recompense and exiled Lord Antiso to the village that now bears his name, where he eventually died in poverty, an object of scorn for his former tenants. The Emperor gave the estates to the tenants.

You can find more information on Anumi here.

Wolves of War: The Ulfarga for Blood & Treasure (& RMFRP)

  Ulfarga (Lupine Beastkin) Wild-hearted but honourable wolf-like humanoids, Ulfarga represent one of the largest populations of any Beastki...