THE VILLAGE OF PERTH HILL
Totally cool 'OSR', setting agnostic, imagination igniters for refs and players.
Who can describe the approach to this village as first glimpsed off the main road from over the ridge or around the bend (or through the greater gate)?
The village has an ancient stone wall surrounding it.
1 – The Front Gate. The front gate is tended by Old Man Bruner. He is very good at his job and locks the gates before sundown with very little mercy. The gate opens to Main Street and it has the following shops....
2 - The Piper and Rose. Just inside the gate is a holdover from when the village was un-walled and barely more than a wide spot in the road with a few building around it, an inn named "The Piper and Rose". Weather-worn and tiny, the place almost escapes notice. The owner Tess is a widow who, rumors say, was once a chirurgist but who now wiles away her remaining days providing a home for the travel-weary. Her son (Kest) and daughter-in-law (Treece) help her run the place. The food and ale is good but not great, but food servings are generous (you're too thin, eat!). Tess does make her own mead which is widely regarded as one of the finer examples of that art. The inn has but two rooms, up a rickety stair, both rooms are always spotless and well aired. The common room can comfortably sit 8-10 persons, at most. Travelers seeking quieter surroundings prefer this inn over the larger one(s) down the street. Tess is a mothering sort and adventurers making this village a base of operations will finds themselves fussed over and looked after.
3 - Purio the Perfectly Sane Hatter. Behind his unmarked door Purio the Perfectly Sane Hatter runs a haberdashery whose business relies almost entirely upon an annual village event, The Night of the Tall Hats. The populace takes this mid-summer festival very seriously, which ostensibly honors a petty saint devoted in life to outlandish headgear. In practice, the holy day has degenerated into an opportunity to display wealth, consume the spring-brewed burrberry wine in otherwise unseemly quantities, and accumulate the envy of the neighbors. Business is good and Purio lacks serious rivals in the village. At any given time, Purio will have 3d6 x 100 gold kroogs and a few silver droogs secreted in a lock box beneath the floor boards in his rather grand work room. Purio uses minor magics to reinforce his tallest, most expensive hats, cantrips peculiar to his trade that provide lift and add grandeur by animating feathers, ribbons, and other decorative elements. When working, Purio wears his specially ensorcelled Jaunty Cap of Acuity, which bumps both intelligence and dexterity. He is currently desperate to aquire feathers from the male swordbeak, a rare flightless predatory bird seen occasionally in a nearby forest, which are currently all the rage. Purio will pay up to 25 gold kroogs for every feather over six inches in length (if Purio has insufficient cash on hand to cover a purchase, loyal customers will come to his aid with ready capital). These wickedly-beaked creatures are reported to be around 4 feet tall, close to 100 pounds and in general unwilling to surrender their feathers without a fight.
4 – Mamp the Fantastic (retiree). Finding the aging gnome is not so hard. A simple move through to the other side of the central village market hub yet still kitty corner to the gate and then first street off to the right and two houses down on the left locates the unmarked, dilapidated hovel of old Mamp the Fantastic. Mamp is a retired soldier/guard from a large estate situated many days to the north. Old and hunched now, and huddled in a grey cloak, this gnome sports a lively red cap (from Purio's) and is yet strangely brimming with energy. 'I feel fantastic!', he'll announce to the party as they arrive. Mamp's dwelling is dominated by a simple table on which three books lay open. The first work serves as cipher to the other two. The gnome has struggled for over 10 years at breaking the code. The innkeeper, widow Tess, knows of this effort (but not the results), and perhaps via grapevine, so does to the same extent, the strangely popular Madame Vieral. The second book is strange, eerie and alien. Its forlorn leather cover is carved lewdly in the bizarre image of a madly pert satyr. But Mamp has translated much of the third text. Is the party up to its task? If so coin shark Mamp will relay that the work reveals three ruins: a rusting wizard's tower, a rotting mausoleum, and a mysterious glittering cave complex under a chasm crossing bridge. For a down payment and a piece of the final haul, Mamp is willing to part with the location of these sites, one at a time. Negotiations can then begin in earnest. Sweating profusely at this point, Fantastic Mamp will start them off... (DM's note: Mamp's is a dungeon mother lode; each site is legit and was a former store for Gragzerht the Decapitator’s other treasures. Each is also home to traps and various denizens, old and new)
5 – Dark Pleasures. Madam Vieral arrived only a few years past. She purchased a small undesirable building just a few paces beyond the main gate, and set up a shop selling simple hand-made jewelry – small trinkets, baubles, and fetishes of a macabre nature. The shop is suitably called "Dark Pleasures". She is of a polite and civil demeanor; however, some are put off by her skeletal frame, pallid complexion, and of course the nature of her wares. Despite this, she has found significant favor amongst some of the more influential womenfolk of the village who enjoy showcasing and bragging about their latest acquisitions from Madam Vieral. What all of the villagers are unaware of is that Vieral has achieved her true objective of uncovering an ancient well in her cellar...
6 – Thieves Guild. A dingy block stone bunk house is the on-going domicile of the village cosmopolitan, young, quip expert, Lloydo the labourer and thief. It can be found yonder back up against the village far wall directly removed from the gate. There the 1/2 dark elf Lloydo shares digs with the current round of transient workers who muscle up the seasonal village produce detail. This group, grim men one and all, came into town last week for contracted stocking of the village warehouse. Having earned their trust and easily, tonight Lloydo lays down law super glib over a cask of ale and a house rules game of craps. 'Today’s wages are tonight’s play', Lloydo quipped the first day they arrived. They didn’t need coaxing. Of course the dice are loaded. Men from the surrounding countryside know who to see in the village for action. Everyone knows Lloydo pimps the village's three hookers (that is, when they're not shopping at Madame Vieral’s). Everyone knows Lloydo can find the good stuff. Not everyone knows the warehouse proprietor is Lloydo's uncle, who is the true head of the Thieves Guild - This rarely seen shadowy elf has a cruel angle on Old Man Bruner from way back, and he extorts it now carefully to a quiet and cold understanding. Thus Sherriff Dias Bruner (Old Man Bruner's son) chooses to remain callously uninformed of the guild's work. Hard arse, he won't even take a kickback. And Lloydo has a nose for profitable expansion. Of suitable intelligence he has connections to support a patient move. To commerce the better had contraband, Lloydo's personal fence in a larger town to the south will underwrite this call. In case of trouble, within a day’s ride, Lloydo can reach bandits capable of heavier work. Some locals who may have vocalized concern have disappeared, but so far each has been a lout or lacked some other civil quality so as to be reviled in the village. Nonetheless, few others speak much at all on the topic.
7 – Temple of the Garbage Collector. Near the back end of the village just to the right of a direct line from the front gate and abutted to the village wall itself is a strange low stone dwelling. There can be no mistaking this structure, a sign over the door, announces in common, here is the hut of Nogollftin the Fetid, a mountain dwarf and disabled Friar. This middle aged powerfully built dwarf arrived in town a decade ago covered in ensorcelled stirge wounds - the worst. He talked to everyone looking for a cure. Told them he'd been to the great healers at the famed City State. Said he'd seen the druids in their fancy groves. To no avail, only suffering found him. Recently, Nogollftin discovered release from his suffering in processing the village's sewage. Today, only after daily punctual garbage detail does the dwarf prepare small jade vials of sacred healing balm and paste from the bubbling crud. Such is his holy ritual. The reek of Nogollftin's brew is well known in the village and accepted for utility. For his part, Nogollftin is well respected for his sewage service. And the dwarf's bleeding stops after he applies the salve, which his cooking creates. It's good stuff. Locals know of it as well, and Nogollftin stocks for their use a supply of the limited cure wounds treatments at about 2 gold kroogs/packet. For inquiring outsiders of decent appearance, the dwarf might also part with more potent balm treatments but at twice the price. These are in short supply though and price must be negotiated. If gold isn't forthcoming from poorer adventurers just starting out, slightly depraved Nogollftin enjoys also hot and wet full body massages and will accept as payment same, if these are performed to instructions with deep effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement over his salve covered sores. 'Backscrubber to the whole garrrison? What's wrong with that', the dwarf will chide anyone unlucky enough to do this work as the work is performed? 'That's how I got my start', he'll continue, purring it on! Grim as it is, the session lasts only about an hour - no saving throw for leaky wound contact required.
The Wilderlands are a savage place, a savage business. So are Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and your homebrew. All around people chant of error. Others say, they're the ones living in sin. Nestled here on a spring fed, wooded rise is the Village of Perth Hill, which is also known locally as Tokeville (or by the Derro followers of Uriah as Dung Heep). Or, was it the walled bullion quarter of some upstart City State deep in the Southern Reaches? Or, located and well tended to deep in your own depraved campaign? In any case, even stretched or just tired, the circumscribed community bustles all the same. Village dynamics are complicated. If as some say the current village is lawful, which it is, but still not too evil just not too good, which it isn't, then, as other say, the village should be sort of cold, most everywhere. Is this just old Hommlet, compressed and turned upon itself? That's probably not the ticket. Grim, Perth Hill is just too small for 'layer after layer of unprecedented depravity.' Instead, from an actual 'fine hat on head standpoint', it opens with less restrained (see Purio's below) and hedges to not affected and so actual accents (see everybody else). This spirit can be called oldstone. In fact, 'the oldstone' is a sentient and cruel, hidden artefact, which focuses the entire town's ill doings. It remains secreted, guarded, and secured, and known only to and enslaving thus whom? Queerly, the current and self-proclaimed hereditary magistrate/mayor of Perth Hill is a cunning murderous Halfling, named Mighty Oldstone. 'Alas', some Perth Hill residents wonder now in hushed circles - 'In the end will even our own brave Kirsty Cotton fail us all'? Others in secret take a more pragmattic proactive attitude. A great hammer will soon crush the scum of Perth Hill, they say.
A. Town Militia
The sons of Old Man Bruner, these boys are built like fucking Neanderthals. Old Man Bruner cut his teeth in the Cairn of Oron campaign before coming back Perth Hill. A brutal man in his younger years, he routinely beat the tar out of his eldest son, who passed the love down, until Pinhead found shit bottom of the pecking order. There is a bitter rivalry between the Bruners and the more recent Yaho clan. Old Man Bruner has five sons who serve as village deputies. The oldest one, Dias Bruner, now the Sheriff (and a werewolf), is madly in love with the necromancer's daughter (see potter). He's a hard man with little pity. 'It's a disheartening situation', is his world view, and the evidence backs him up. The youngest, lecherous Pinhead Bruner is particularly cruel. AT any given time, there are also between 2-5 volunteer junior deputies.
B. Recent Arrivals
B1. The feral Cult of Shet (shadowy figures). This cult owns new trading compound/warehouse in competition with Lloydo's uncle (see above). The current hierarchy follows:
1) Chorro is the head Priest and leader. He functions sort of like a franchise owner. He keeps a low profile, but cult influence is growing in the village as he is obligated to fill Shet's quota as the basement blood sacrifices are called. So far these horrid blood drenched affairs have not involved locales (see Side Note below), but Shet's rage and appetites are well known even to naysayers and proponents of other mansion dwellers.
2) Urni is junior Priest/scribe is the most depraved of all currently in the cult. He nightly ransacks the Acolytes - 'Down with your bed cloths, up with your night shirt, fiddle all about, fiddle all about', eh?
3) Hatesit the Acolyte will tell anyone to avoid reading and thinking, 'it can be hard on your mind'
4) Lofesit the Acolyte is a regular saint in town. 'Stop picking on young people', he chides adults to some approval, but always he fingers a piece of candy hidden in his pocket and feels the weight of the cloth sack with drawstrings ready for anyone young enough to stuff in it, just in case no adults are looking.
5) Tunk the Enforcer is always accompanied by a mad dog. Tunk is immune to rabies. The current unfortunate pet is Bike. Tunk unleashes Bike periodically on the urchins (described below) who chide the thing with hollered chants of 'More Meat! Raw Meat I Eat Raw Meat', even as laughing wildly, they hurl forth for cover! Also of note: Tunk tends to Iscar, a rapacious and savage fire snake always hungry for flesh. It is Iscar who in the cellar's cellar gorges on the sacrificial corpses after their blood and organs have been removed.
B1A. Side Note. The Cult of Shet has also recently leased the village grave yard detail from former undertaker, now retired, much to no one's particular liking, which includes access to that previous man's special cart. It was a custom job from the previous wainwright, a hawk of a man named Tahn (and a strange bird he really was, in the end he fucking just hauled off and flew away). This cart carries only the dead and some in the know call to it in secret (they think) as it passes - Ride the Dashkar, they whisper... The cart's current driver killed for the job, joining the Cult of Shet as an afterthought to support the burning urges, which must be fed. Furtive rumours of fell deeds in nearby villages confirm what everyone suspects - This cart and its driver get around at night, and always like clockwork in the breaking dawn of next day the smoke from the Cult of Shet's inner kiln rises through its great brick chimney to blacken against the sky. No one knows the cart serves only the current master of the oldstone.
B2. Wildrin the Courier. Wildrin is the ranger spy tracking the Cult of Shet. He reports escalation in local activity to superiors via carrier pigeons, which he keeps in small cages in his motely flat on the table next to the decorative but never used cops pipe & a litter of wine empties, which yet follow protocal to strict fast and feast. On short notice the ranger can summon powerful allies to his aid. Finally, Wildrin is an old associate of Mamp the Fantastic. If asked, he can vouch for the old gnome's claims regards the wilderness locations.
C. Established Artisans
1) Blacksmith & sons. This is the clan Yaho. It is bitter rival to the sons of Bruner. Fairly recent arrivals, these half civilized, day Derro imports and followers of the God Uriah aren't shy about demonstrating their unique family fighting form (punishing strikes, bruising blocks, and coiling ground game). Also suited to war implements, with the techniques, Dorn Yaho, an incredible compact fireplug, once bested 30 men in a hammer toss contest. They were tossing the sledges at each other. Likewise, his last scrape with roaring sheriff, Dias Bruner, is the stuff of legend throughout the nearby region. Larnk Yaho, the middle son, also known as 'Limp Boner', is one of the village's two natural born liars. He is also insane with jealousy for the new Priestess of Carnali. He wants to study under her tutelage, but Lishari (see below) tells everyone to riotous gaffaws at the Plowhorn where she is now a regular, that Limp Boner just doesn't have the right stuff, not even as a toy or 'prop.' The whole Yaho family is aghast. Finally, Grandfather Yaho is an actual ghast, however, and this makes for interesting conversation with the Dartho the potter merchant. He knows about a secret crypt south of town - It's his. For a level or two he might part with other valuable information.
2) Wyahn the Wainwright. Current craftsman is Tyahn, the former apprentice to the previous wainwrights (and masterwork craftsman). Wyahn keeps a low profile. When not fulfilling commissions he can be found at the Plowhorn Inn, wetting his beak in the seat that has always been reserved there for the wainwrights. 'Don't lose your job', he'll mutter if bothered, 'lest ye be so cut down like chaff.'
3) Shusho the Cobbler - in his basement, Shusho is cultivating what he hopes to be the world's largest ascomoid. When it exceeds the capacity of his home, he will reveal to this entire great fungus god. Then they will pay their tribute and suffer his great stridence and rocket-like fanfare.
4) Gidleth the Tanner & daughters. While Gidleth is a competent hide worker, his daughters are notorious vixens one and all. The entire family fanatical adheres to the way of the Stella the Goddess of Righteous Recrimination as are eight other families in the village. Woe is to anyone with moral shortcomings who crosses their paths. They have no shortage of topics or marks in Perth Hill. Though they are in general not liked, their work contributes high quality to necessary commerce, leatherwork or otherwise, and current village powers encourage the connection.
5) Pithard the Bowyer. This elf makes superior arrows. He along with two other elven families subscribe loosely and unknown to others to form the secretive Federation of Cull. Though not of pure blood Lloydo, for example, is a junior member as well (i.e., his uncle, the head of the Thieves Guild and fully human is not). This group seeks to reap the benefits of an intensely felt racial superiority due to longevity over all humans.
6) Parsral the Horse master. Good with horses, Parsral is hard on this son and wife, he also writes the town favourite poetry, where the drive by men fart potatoes out their asses and the women back them up. Parsral is also the village's current chiropractor, replacing the former trained doctor who died a few decades back. Hence, the saying in Perth Hill, 'that'll be when the new doc arrives!'
7) Ellyar the Barber/Dentist. Ellyar is the man for tooth pain or a haircut or both at the same time. His motto, 'if you can't stop it, can you position it'? People take his words seriously. All remember a fews years back, when this good man got a knife in the back in public.
8) Joy 'Curln' Kurn the Hairdresser & midwife. Curln covers other women's health concerns and is de facto village matchmaker. She is troubled by her wayward daughter, the Hustler, who steals the liquor for her tinctures to binge with her low down man. Most women in the village are aware of the problem and sympathetic to her plight. Recently, Curln and many others have been turning to newly arrived Madam Vieral for council (and to add some of the nudge nudge). Joy Kurn's husband works with the Blacksmith and his sons.
9) Purio the Perfectly Sane Hatter - see above.
10) Madam Vieral's Fetish & Apothecary - see above.
11) Lloydo's Work House (and Thieves Guild) - see above.
D. (Urchins) The Rascali Gang
Every kid in the village under the age of 12 is a Rascal. Most of the kids are local residence, which means eventually they go home to be thrashed by their parents. Of the boys half are cops, the other half are robbers. Most of the little girls are both but a few are just delightful (talk your ear right off) while picking your pocket. A few of the kids are pretty good jugglers. One can blow fire out of his mouth. Another out of his ass. The old undertaker used to toss these lads the shoes from the dead, but the Cult of Shet charges for same. Now, a constant strife and tension exists between these now grim adversaries - pissed off kids versus the evil cult. Several of these kids, a culture club called the Bad Apples, will good cop bad cop new arrivals with success for coin. For further coin in general any kid can provide a rumour or two (or if offended make one up), and snicker quietly after another successful transaction. Sooner or later, and this is understood, these kids either find a trade, move on, or if lucky Lloydo makes them an offer, or worse.
These parasites work for Llyodo and wisely split their venues to avoid market overlap (more cops & robbers). Cops is half southern elf and waif; she sells cheap weeds, apothecary downers & hallunicids. Drug effect: mind is warped continuously - For example, people talk to others as if referring to an invisible third person who keeps score of the conversation. She gets her supplies and some recent (since Madam Vieral's arrival) lesbian backdoor with Curln the Midwife. Robbers is a stocky half breed orc; he sells only cheaper uppers & more uppers. These are single crystal meth like blotters called racks, which is short colloquial for rack-shasha, or jasons, or also sometimes him-will-lay (which speaks in turn for some of strange glistening gatherings and a terrible pounding pulse). Robbers perfected the formula as junior apprentice to the last racks dealer. His very obsessed with quality though, and is always muttering to himself, '...will Jason earn his keep?' - That's his motto... There exists fierce antipathy between Cops and Robbers, but individually they do brisk business. Half the town is for cops, and the pace is groovin'. The other is for robbers, and the race is brisk. The other half just shakes their heads - Fucking varmits!
F. Beggars Guild
Grrathal l the beggar gnome is this loss confederacy's head honcho. Of tiniest stature even for his race, he lives in a small bag, which rolls like tumbleweed around and across the village with the wind. Grrathal is blessed with non-lethal gangrene, he'd say. Though most know it's not contagious, the gnome still gets paid; folks just want to avoid his evil eye, which is actually capable of bestowing a solid curse. Current beggars follow next:
1) Stirgil, the village's premier sot speaks only of shadow rats and sometimes scratches eerie glyphs and room layouts in the dirt,
2) Binpuk, another lush, works between binges as a short order cook at the Rose and Piper. When the mood hits, he and his girl, a large woman called the Hustler, circuit Perth Hill's drinking establishments like chariot champions before vomiting its byways,
3) Udah Tuo is a gnome cops addict. He knows the secret of the Water Tower. Of love not war, he mumbles all the time,
4) Okieh the Indigent is a keen student of depraved human psychology. Also a fair checkers player, when not playing for money and so to small crowds, he will sardonic unconventional wisdom at another's expense just for black humour laughs and perhaps some coin (in tribute; the burlesque is that good), and then sell any info so acquired to Lloydo for more coin,
5) Ivalene the Invalid is a sorceress on the down and one time mistress of former undertaker. People steer clear of this one as sometimes she just goes off blazing spells at passer byes and for no cause or good reason,
6) Bronk; he had his spine snapped in a domestic dispute. All know this is euphemism. Just an unlucky visitor, he in fact flew shrieking out of Ma Procrust's Bed and Breakfast late one night to land hard smack on the black paver stones below,
7) Skulds suffers from mush brain due to head trauma from a war blow. So struck the villain's mace, and the spike holes still pock mark Skulds' upper skull.
8) Little Bobbie Depak; he had both his arms torn out as he explored beneath the town's water tower. He will gladly provide more info regards for drinks at the Plowhorn Inn. He has his own straw,
9) Finally, self-proclaimed Fanpel or just Shinbone as anyone in the village would know, but no one knows what's wrong with this quiet young man with the severely receding hairline. His secret, a vampire he competes with the elder son of Old Man Bruner for the necromancer daughter's affections, which she offers not. Instead, she dogs him mercilessly, even making him suck his own blood in front of and to front her other man's passion whereupon as part of that wolf man’s consummation, the balding youth is beaten savagely.... Only then as swinger, feaster, and blue as indigo can Shinebone feed (he tells himself smugly). Such is the domination of tease Kirtsy Cotton, the necromancer's daughter, and Shinbone feeds only at her command then only on rats. 'Fucking bitch', Fanpel often thinks, 'She doesn’t even know my true name is dread Lord Talliart or that I now have an army of rats, which having been bled to darkness are transformed into enslaved scurrying shadows. Prick of a wolf man. His days are numbered. Then hot Kersten of the Stewart clan will learn true iron under my thumb, eh’, so says Lepnaf Talliart into the pallid emptiness of his necrotic recidivisticism . A true ancient, dread Lord Talliart hasn't had this much fun since he single handily devoured the whole populace of the City State of Kator. The aftermath of that hellish month kept the great clerics and vampire hunters, father to son, busy for a generation!
G. Loan shark
Lagal the Healer. Here's another fat Halfling and one of Llyodo's other lieutenants. Lagal is a fixture on the north end of the market square where he does business. He always requires notarized documents so that there are no complaints by others should collection come passed due. If that happens, this Halfling muscles effectively and to some local fame with poison spiked ankle and calf attacks. Late payers wake up to waterboarding back at Lloydo's.
H. Street musician
Mouthharp Macwil blows a homemade mouth harp down on the corner. Despised by some, this muse stricken Paladin is the only force that keeps the younger Rascalis from winding up on someone's dinner plate. All know it. So does he. And he bellows same forth with wrenching ballads riveted by awkward, foot stuck rhythms and soloing that everyone has heard many time. Mouthharp is on good terms with the followers of Stella. But even so, sometimes on the sly even his opposition has been known to leave a nickel at the feet of this follower of the street saint, Sister Prudence. None are aware that Mouthharp Macwil's music show is pure ruse. Son of a legendary undead slayer, this wiry man in tattered robe is wrought of cold iron. His Holy Avenger is available within an easy day's walk. Mouthharp Macwill gleaned instantly upon Dark Ursula's arrival that she was a Mistress of Shet and thus the cold High Priestess of the new Cult. When the timing is right, he and proud Wildred the courier with the help of old friends, a suddenly able Nogollftin the Fetid and the aged but pluck Mamp the Fantastic and their awe inspiring commander will smash the latest accursed outlet to Shet into a fucking bloody pulp. This team of cult assault veterans all in hallowed service to Saint Cuthbert has shat on Shet before, many times and in many places. The current sting has taken the over two years to set up. It's patient work, but the nigh ageless, incredibly gun ho, team leader has a knack for subterfuge. Mouthharp Macwill smiles to himself as he pours warm milk into another clay bowl for his great and forthright mentor. Then he wails out another tune.
Perth Hill currently sport 2 1/2 hookers as follows:
1) Pora, has small pet fire crabs, which she always parts with given a price, eh,
2) Carefree Cando is a coal black forlarren (tome of horrors) who covers her act and hoofs w/boots and horns w/a great hat as the nightly singer in the Bloody Nipple Tavern. Wearing the current most fashionable hat in town (an on-going freebie from Purio the Perfectly Sane Hatter), she also hosts the weekly competitions there,
2 1/2) finally, Kirsty Cotton, self-described, Kersten of the clan Stewart, and the debutante pride of Perth Hill, she just plays at hint of hooker. The necromancer's youngest daughter, this one doesn't fuck professionally, but the oldest son of Old Man Bruner, Dias, will kill (and has killed) for her at the drop of dime. She has access to much that goes on in Perth Hill.
Note: Lloydo pimps both Pora and Cando, all three young women serve Lishari (see below)
J. Water tower
Beneath water tower is a hidden passage, some say, and half way from there is the lair of a boggart. Then there are cave leeches, some say...
K. Inns & Taverns
In strange apparent (approximate) harmony, perhaps suited to a small walled village (though many great City States agree), there is one drinking establishment open to the public for every religious institution so opened (there are also private clubs as there are private shrines). Today there are four as follows:
1) The Piper and Rose (see above),
2) Plowhorn Inn - evening's only, under soot smoke lantern light, service is liquor for locals only. To go in otherwise is to declare, no kidding, I'm ready to fight (or drink very hard) but likely both. The bartender's name is a thick muscled, scarred old hobgoblin called Drunk Buzzard. He has a photographic memory for action and can recall the winners of every horse race, fist fight, and poker match, which took place over the last four decades throughout the larger Perth Hill region. If drunk, and fed coin, he might recall the names too of the better adventurers to tramps through the village and the stories of their exploits hauls.
3) The Bloody Nippy Tavern. A favourite of locals and region alike, this venue holds a well-established and well-reviewed weekly performance contest that draws acts from far and wide. The current owner, another half dark elf named, Metalde, never fails to tell new guests of how he won the inn in another town as a settlement over breach of contract due to his incompetence. 'I was crazy and they had me sign off on delivery anyway, judge'! The presiding judge, Old Stone, agreed. Previous owner, a dwarf of some standing, was drawn and quartered and Metalde, also a nephew of Lloydo's uncle got the Tavern. Strangely, the trial took place a few months after the beautiful and ebon veiled Dark Ursula, arrived at the mayor's side,
4) Ma Procrust's Bed & Breakfast . Ma Procrust, an overbearing former actress, she opened shop strangely only days after the arrival of the Cult of Shet and next door to their warehouse. Locales speculate as to the connection and most avoid the inn. It's a dower place across also from the jail. Rarely visitors have been heard splitting the deep night with hellish screams. One of the urchins eye witnessed a man fly shrieking right out of the second floor window, the one overlooking the new Cult of Shet warehouse. Like the others, he landed hard with accompanying bone break and near death. All unfortunates are cleaned of valuables before any help can arrive. The sole survivor is now a village beggar and he don't say much at all, except, 'there are tunnels in the basement and secrets in the walls, and that's where the shadows come in, that's where the shadows find you...'
L. Magistrate, scribe, historian, sage, banker, mayor
All important governmental titles belong to the Ayatollah of the Nugget, a wizened Halfling Fighter of average talent but a strange cunning, known as Mighty Oldstone. Though none comprehend as to why, this one's enemies don't get a second chance and are sometimes slain before they have revealed themselves even to themselves. His wife's is tall dark elf near twice his height, a veiled raven haired beauty and also the town seamstress. Her name is Dark Ursula. She is never seen without an ebon veil and the oldstone as her necklace. Villagers joke in some awe at her 'eyes without a face', and some add with some truth that her legs are so long, if she lay on the kitchen floor, her feet would go out the door... Rumours run far and wide also of the Vault, a ruthlessly secured haul of fantastic wealth that only Mighty Oldstone knows to find, which is yet located somewhere within the village walls. Rarer, it is observed that groups of unsavoury adventures seek out Mighty Oldstone for strange council and to plan fell purpose. Some underestimate, Mighty Oldstone and Dark Ursula, and this is a mistake. The mayor and his artefact eaten wife serve only the oldstone. This show goes on.
Scals the Town Crier. Scals is a reformed bog beast and current racks addict. She's hooked on the stuff from dealer number 2. Though not clean today she is mostly cleanly shaven. She earns a copper from Old Stone to relay any news or gossip suited to dissemination. It’s a near daily ritual for other villagers to try to pail empty on her head as she passes belting out the morning events. Though as part of making his rounds Nogollftin the Fetid always has a kind word, after finishing, Scals can usually found sobbing at a corner table at the Plowhorn Inn.
N. General workers and agricultural hands
Eight families fall into this indentured category. Ranked only above slaves they eke out existence performing tasks for better established villager or more likely, working the farms and fields beyond the stone wall that support its sustenance.
O. Center Market stalls
The village square is home to several stalls. Some are fixtures, other seasonal, others by market. They are as follows:
1) Bakk Ma the fortune teller is a strangely tempting but tired female troglodyte, works mostly runes, some cards, no tricks - this last is mentioned, because when she first arrived in town a few years back, it was under the will of her tribe's shaman to fornicate with every 3rd male she met and empowered with charm to do so, which she did then do and with great grunting. Her charm is now only beginning to fade.
2) Dartho the Pottery merchant is the town necromancer, knows of a crypt complex w/good urns and other things. a man of secret wealth (looted from crypt exploring), his adopted daughter is the half dark elf, village debutante -hooker, Kirtsey Cotton, the pride of Perth Hill
3) Sandreth sells beef n buns. This heavy set proprietress and former baggage handler speaks only in iambic pentameter - some of it is quite filling; she also sells competent adventure rations. She'll advise adventures, 'remember to secure the loot!'
4) Robor sells charms & amulets. He will also do a portrait, which can hold a desired low level spell (spell not provided). He too says 'of love not war'.
5) Puggo sells pork on a stick - Pignet the proprietor is best looking man in the village and gaily celibate; his heart belongs to just the memory of a concert he heard once, where the singer sang of a woman whose never ever been born; he too sells good adventure rations
6) Hodji is a preacher and a cult of one, he rants of days to come when a gentle race, the Shaoles, will lose its mending, and of too the Deeper Benefits of patient evacuation. Quite mad, after the death of best friend, Jonn, to this rising shrill stream, he'll add, and suddenly in a baritone as deep and serious as a heart attack - How does the inferior man get paid?
7) Duros is the Head of the Slaver's Guild and an avid philosopher. As priest of Huraint, he has three followers and each of these is a cult of one, though all are tended by several stalled slaves. The visiting slaver below seeks their favour as do many in the town. In addition to the verisimilitude of on-going trade, villagers whether local or itinerant, who can't pay a loan’s hark also end up here, and several are in his stalls today. The bitter is a two way street. To mitigate harm to future resale, Lloydo (for a small slice of take) doesn’t let his heavies hurt their teeth, for example. Members of the followers of Stella who stray have been known to end up here as well, and to the constant scorn of their former brethren. Market stall debate and din is lively. Today is no different: 'Every person's home is a mountain shrine!' or at least that what the ranting man at market stall 6 keeps howling!!! But the one at market stall 7 keeps shouting him down - 'Shub Niggarath? He's not in here' (as he points to his hapless shackled slaves)!!!
8) Lishari [true head of the Courtesan's Guild] is a recent arrival, priestess of Carnali. She sells lewd for a few coppers, telling then of g-spot techniques et al like talking of the weather. Since she arrived the hookers have gotten carried away, some say. 'Of love not war', that's one of Carnali's mantras. There is a strange difference between Lishari’s paid woman adulation and Madam Vieral’s more general fetish games. The village hookers radly gear up with either and/or both (though Cando is uncomfortable in Madam Vieral's presence, and will say so). For their part, the followers of Stella don’t make any such distinction and hate both and especially Lishari (and Carnali). When not at her stall, Lishari can be found at either the Plowhorn Inn or the Bloody Nipple Tavern.
9) Pigpan is a small cage maker. Former leader of the Rascalis, and the village's other natural born liar, this young boy has deft hands and can speak directly to pigeons. His overbearing barren wife, who he won in a game of marbles, is two decades his elder. She is a bitter one armed fat woman who insists on pushing the cart each day to new location. The comely boy enraged suffers through it, taking the good counsel of Mouthharp Macwil to heart. More than once his towering wife has staved off with thwocking bread roller the unwanted advances of sick, lurid Pinhead Bruner. Pigpan is greatful for that but little else. 'Business would be better if the cart stayed in one place', he knows that for sure.
Nogollftin the Fetid, Friar, Temple of the Garbage Collector - detailed previously in thread
Q. Drifters & Visitors
Aside from locals, Perth Hill receives more than its share of traffic. At this time, one or more either traffic to the village or are just passing through its front gate (1d4):
1) A slaver w/cage train,
2) a feather merchant,
3) A metals merchant with bodyguards,
4) and a courier seeking Wildrin.
Presently intown (at inns or doing business) are additionally the following people (1d10):
1) A dandy and bard both seeking fine hats from Purio's,
2) A mercenary inquiring about feather hunting,
3) Several missionaries bent on railing against Shet,
4) Six dishevelled peasant families seeking shelter from bad harvest news,
5) One undercover dragon of golden countenance and elder power, keeping tabs on an ancient well. He gleaned its location from another campaign's Orichalan sorcerer named, Son of Noltec, and then picked his teeth with that wayward demon summoner's spinal column. This mighty dragon knows of Dread Lord Talliart (but the other does not know of him) and many other things. Currently in the form of a fat grey tom, at night he grins celestially at obsid-abyssal when devouring shadow rats. But in the morning, he takes warm milk from clay bowls set aside by a few of the villagers, and likes then to be scratched.
6) A visiting bandits looking to spend money,
7) A country druid with 3 korreds in tow for entertainment at the Piper and Rose; the owner is the druid's brother,
8) An adventuring party of ill looking types led by a tall dark mage, one Erol of Otus,
9) A pack of stray dogs; there leader is a mangy hound name Phucker, a
10) Various rats, bats, assorted cats, and other rodents and marsupials.
Below follow some flavour visuals suited to the village:
1) Kirsten Stewart as Perth Hill's own Kirtsy Cotton, half dark elf village debutante, hint of hooker, local sheriff's girl extraordinaire, the Pride of Perth Hill (and the necromancer's daughter)
2) As visiting adventure party, Unsavoury Erol of Otus and his wrecking crew pose for beggar gnome's sketch before a purported meeting with Mighty Oldstone. (note: the billowing smoke in the sketch background is real and was the warlock's doing for effect)
3) Old Man Bruner's eldest son (and village sheriff), Dias, fresh after a night's tupping of the hard loving necromancer's daughter
4) Ashley Lawrence as the original Kirtsy Cotton (of Hellraiser fame) - here she is some unfortunate (likely a visitor from out of town) just having a bad night in the village (perhaps at Ma Procrust's Bed & Breakfast)
5) Dias's Nemesis, Dorn Yaho, eldest son of Papi Yaho of the 1/2 civilized Derro blacksmith clan Yaho
6) The old doc in a scorching picture
7) Another round performance night at the Bloody Nipple Tavern
8) The ascomoid of Shusho the Cobbler (current size)
A map? Other encounter tables? Military capacity of village? Other projects? Question, Perth Hill mint, who runs it? How is the metal acquired and processed? Is there also a deep mine under the village? If so, what strength protects this asset? Also what individual or cabal hears the secret demonic lucidity of Ursula’s sinister (physical) oldstone? What powers does it grant? What fatalism does it demand in return? Other open items include at least the following:
1) a map
2) personage sketches (and/or name change suggestions)
3) cover art
4) street scene art
5) dungeons to cover the ones mentioned in the write ups so far. These include
- the three short hauls, which Mamp the Fantastic, which knows about ,
- the sprawling complex under strange Lady Vieral's shop,
- the pernicious set of lairs under the water tower,
- a skeletal sewer complex, connecting the Thieves guild warehouse to several locations,
- the Yaho family crypt, for the ghast Grandfather Yaho
- the small laboratory complex of the tanner/necromancer
- the basement floor of the Cult of Shet and newly dug connection to the sewers and the village's former grave yard
- and the small vault/single shaft mine underwriting Old Stone's rule of Perth Hill.
Final Thought. For a given campaign talent such as just described might not gravitate toward a small walled village without cause. If it is an extraordinary small walled village then more detail, schedules, events are needed here. As example, just as Autralia's actual Perth mint draws commerce from around the globe, so too might the Perth Hill mint attract interest far and wide. Another idea is to have Perth Hill as some warped Salisbury Hill (we mustn't flatter ourselves, eh), and so as a colourful compressed, grim quarter in a possibly quite large jack city. If so, may all so find the appropriate save the inn bread, as did General George S Patton, believing as he did, with Mr Berhard Shaw!
About the authors
The Village of Perth Hill is an OSR adult fantasy creation (and under Todd Roe's auspices, a Knockspell submission). It was seeded at Mythmere's Swords & Wizardry Forums by Eldrad. Contributors: Cameron DuBeers, Jason Sholtis, and Todd Roe. Editor fanatic: Chris Knoepfle. If it is to go to Knockspell, the latest version can functions as sole page at dmguide.com.