Friday, January 2, 2015

Citizens of Ashbourne, Part 1

I plan on writing a short series of posts about Ashbourne, a small hamlet established by a pair of wealth adventurers.  All these posts will be first drafts.  I just write and not worry about edits or content.  When I free write I usually come up with ideas that give the piece flavor.  At least I hope that is the result. 

Each entry has an overview that covers what the person or people are like and usually some of their habits and profession.  Along with this I add valuables and plot hooks.  So when the players arrive in Ashbourne I can use a plot hook from this house or another to make it feel alive.  That events are moving whether the players are present or not.

And lastly, I sometimes add unique touches to the area or people to give them a distinct feel. 

1. Warren & Gorman (horse trainer)
Warren moved to Ashbourne to get away from the normal political bullshit that cluttered a working man's life.  Ashbourne, settled by adventurers, promised those who came could live their life free of such nonsense.  The only requirements are to work hard and be respectful to the others.  Warren has trained horses for thirty-two years.  Now he trains them for his own profit and not for others.  He goes to market once every six months to sell off the latest group.  And now living next  to the Golden Grasslands, he has two expert wranglers that capture the wild horses.

Gorman is Warren's little brother.  Gorman talks to himself, sings a lot, but is always polite except when the 'demons' are attacking him.  During these times he remains silent.  He doesn't work with the horses.  They scare him.  He hangs around by the road and waves at people and smokes a pipe continuously.

Valuables: Warren has a small coffer in a locked room that holds 100sp for everyday business expenses.  Hidden in the pantry, within a small cask are 364sp.  He has 200sp worth of saddles, feed, ect. to run his business.

Plot Hooks: Gorman's demons are very real.  They crawl out of the ground and follow certain people.  Those people usually end up getting sick or some misfortune happens.  Gorman knows if the demons discover he knows he can see them, they'll kill him.  Warren is being followed by a demon, blue-black in color, a death demon.  He's terrified to say anything, but wants to save his brother.

Warren has been accused to stealing a nobleman's horse.  The penalty for this is hanging.  Warren claims he is innocent.  The leader of the village, Maximus, is standing by Warren, but needs a group to infiltrate Sir Urick's manor and find evidence that would exonerate Warren.  Maximus can only delay the trial by two days.

2. Ingrid (herbalist, 3rd lvl fighter)
Ingrid is a tall statuesque woman with long auburn hair.  She lives alone in he shop.  The others show her great respect due to her expansive knowledge of herbs and she has proven to be very hand with an axe.  She is friendly, but keeps her private life private.  She travels into town once a month for supplies.  She hires one or two random people to go with her.  Many of the single (and married) men seek her attention.  She has never shown interest in any of their advances and knocked out a drunken Rud (11.) because he became too amorous. In her shop you can buy a variety of non-magical ointments, salves and unguents. 

Valuables: Ingrid has amassed a small fortune that she keeps hidden beneath a floorboard.  She has 13 small pouches with 100sp in each.  In a unlocked box in her private living area she has 54sp.  Most of the other in Ashbourne pay in coin, but if they are unable she will barter labor or for food.  She collects jade figurines, she has eight of them, all valued between 10sp to 40sp each.

Plot Hooks: Ingrid is visited by another woman, Taylee.  Her usual calm and distant demeanor is now unsettled and she is visibly shaken.  She will slip a note to one of the players (maybe one that has been kind to her).  The note reads: doppelganger. 

Ingrid is always looking for ingredients.  She hears the party is traveling to a place that grows Unter Wildwells.  These are large flowers that grow in dark wet places.  She will pay well (20sp) for every flower the party returns with.  She will provide them the containers they will need to go into.

During her trip to town, Ingrid is taken by a group of bandits known as the Crack Maws.  Ronald (18.) was able to escape.  He reports she put up a fight and the bandits leader kept shouting "We need to take her alive".

3. Nicola (miner)
This small, stone cottage is well-kept.  Hanging outside the front door is a small plaque with a crossed pick-axe and shovel, symbol of the Miner's Guild.  He lives here with his wife, Rochel.  Both are young and energetic.  Nicola works in the iron ore mine.  He's one of the newbies.  Both are well-liked.  Although some want to puke when they get all kissy kissy.

Valuables: Not to speak of.  They have some loose coins.  Rochel received a small chest with a set of blankets, dishes and a painting to start her new life.  While all these objects mean a great deal to her their market value is negligible. 

Plot Hook: Rochel is sick.  Ingrid has given provided what care she can with her medicines, but the fever is not letting up.  It all started when she saw a shadow man (see Local Legend) in the field.  She believes she is cursed to die now.  She must give a gift to the shadow man or she will die, but she doesn't know where he lives.  The party will ask to find the shadow man's home and give him her painting.

 Local Legends
Shadow Men
Shadow men are dark fey.  Legend is that if someone sees a shadow man they will die unless the shadow man is given a gift.  This tale is passed down through the generations to scare children, but there is a truth to it.  Spotting a dark fey means the person was already sick, that death spirits have already taken notice.  This is why one person may spot the shadow man while the rest see nothing.  The shadow men do not deliver the fatal blow, but they do have a relationship with the death entities.  If a gift is given, the shadow man will protect that person from the death spirit, but cannot do anything about the debilitating effects of the disease or accident.