Hommlet has long sat upon the crossroads of history. Things rise and fall all around the sleepy village, armies come and temples go. Hommlet has seen it all, had it's more than ample share of trouble, but these past years have seen a calm and peace resting upon her bountiful fields. Rumors of returning bandits and fouler creatures creeping in the surrounding woods allude to an end to this quiet interlude. Is it but the dying gasp of old fears, or merely a prelude to horrors not yet realized?
It was midday as your small caravan came upon the telltale evidence of a past battle littering the roadway. Cracked and broken clay mounds along the rutted road gave way to brush swept dusty, dirty tracks, dried splatters of blood, and a jagged length of fractured yoke. A strip of worn leather, a handful of armoring rivets, and tufts of waddling cloth remained where combat had once wavered, where bodies had stood, fallen, and later been dragged away. The raiders caravan master Erdonnel had feared for days now appear to have struck the clergy train which had been spotted marking a good pace ahead of his own wagons.
A careful examination of the rutted trail and surrounding brush told a story that someone had made an effort to hide. A large band of bandits had struck the train hard from all sides, likely unawares or in such numbers that the group failed to flee more than a few feet before meeting their ends. Wise scout Merlimoot pointed out to anyone interested how it appeared the wagons stopped unexpectedly nearly centered over the small clearing, giving all advantage to the villains hiding among the tall trees and camouflaged trails leading to the roadway.
They covered themselves with prepared blinds of bushes and hedge trimmings. Spotters were likely perched among the higher branches, launching steel bolts upon the drivers while these others rushed the outriders. Must have been over in a matter of minutes...
A quick search of the area found little else. The wagons had been led away from the road, along a makeshift path going deeper into the forest. The bodies had been gathered and taken as well, indicating most likely the raiders had beasts with them. The master and scout argued whether it was buchveer or kells, rumors having indicated either could be growing in strength with the past few seasons.
While they argued, others fanned out, taking the moment's stop to rest and take an ease before the push to reach Hommlet by nightfall. The master would certainly not want to wait another night under the stars when a safer haven was but a hard stretch of road onward.
It was only when everyone began to regroup and mount up once more that the soft groaning was heard, a faint sound on the shifting winds. A storm was coming, and with it the calls of dying survivor...
Hidden off the track, curled up and bloody beneath a large holly bush a yeoman of the blades had escaped the battle, though his body showed well enough the toll he'd taken in the mayhem. His side had been torn from armpit to navel, a deep and jagged gash barely held together by the tabard he'd pulled close around him, tucked into the leather of his empty baldric. A thin wooden sliver hung around his neck, a tiny crafted cudgel. Weakly his eyes focused on you, a moment's strength returning. He reached out, seeking assistance. They came from everywhere. They took the girls sire. They have them now. I failed milord. Saint forgive me...
Languages In Use:
Common Human Languages
Baklunish is one of the ancestors of the Common tongue, spoken by the nomads of the Plains of the Paynims.
Cold Tongue, also known as Fruz, is the language of the Frost Barbarians, Ice Barbarians, and Snow Barbarians.
Common, the trade tongue of the Flanaess, is a hybrid language.
Druidic is the secret tongue of the Old Faith.
Keolandish is a dialect of Old High Oeridian with local influences, spoken in the Kingdom of Keoland and other nations of the Sheldomar Valley.
Low Baklunish are the contemporary, colloquial Baklunish dialects.
Nyrondese is a High Oeridian dialect of Common, spoken primarily by peasants and commonfolk in the Kingdom of Nyrond.
Old Oeridian was free of outside influences. Many texts of the Aerdi were written in Old Oeridian, and it is still widely known in the lands of the former Great Kingdom.
Rhopan is the secret cant of the Rhennee. Descended from some non-Oerthly tongue, it has incorporated terms from the criminal argot of many peoples.
Velondi is an Old Oeridian tribal language spoken mostly by the peasantry of Furyondy and Veluna. Those who speak only Common find it incomprehensible.
Uncommon or Dead Human Languages
Amedi is spoken by the savage Suel of the Amedio Jungle.
Etlani is a hybrid of Olman and Touv, a result of the Kundali Touv occupying the Olman state of Cuhuetla.
Feral was originally an Oeridian tribal language, but it is now a secret known only by the officials of the Iron League. Feral is otherwise dead.
Flan, the aboriginal human language in the Flanaess, is still spoken in Tenh. The Rovers of the Barrens speak their own odd Flan dialect.
Lendorian is an obscure Suloise dialect spoken in the Lendore Isles.
Leraran Suloise is a corrupt form of ancient Suloise with many words borrowed from the drow. It is spoken exclusively by the Lerara.
Olman is the language of the Olman people, written with thousands of complex pictographs.
Ordai is the language of the Wolf Nomads and Tiger Nomads, most similar to the Baklunish spoken by the nomads of the Plains of the Paynims.
Ralat is a simple trade language derived from Touv, Olman, and Rasol. It is all but useless outside of the trading sphere.
Rasol is a Suel-derived tongue with many Olman loan-words, mostly describing flora and fauna. Rasol is simpler and cruder than classical Suel. It is spoken in Zar, Lerga, Sharba, and Sharbakal.
Suloise, the language of the ancient Suel Imperium, is a nearly dead tongue, spoken only by a minority of sages in order to read ancient books and scrolls, and by the Scarlet Brotherhood.
Touv is a name given to a variety of tribal tongues of the Touv people, all of them mutually comprehensible due to the Touv propensity for trade. The Touv language is rich in synonyms, easy to learn but difficult to master. It has its own phonetic alphabet.
Ulagha is a debased form of Baklunish spoken by the people of Ull.
Xolasa is a hybrid of Olman and Rasol, spoken by the people of Xolapeqa. Speakers of Rasol are likely to understand only 10% of it, while speakers of Suel may only find some of the sounds familiar. Xolasa uses a pictographic language similar to Olman.
Abyssal is the language of the Abyss, spoken by beings of chaotic evil. It uses the Infernal alphabet.
Aquan is the language of water elementals, nereids, tritons, and other water-based creatures. It uses the flowing alphabet of the elves.
Auran is the language of air elementals, sylphs, and other air-based creatures. It uses the Draconic alphabet today, but it originally used a script called Vaati, the ancient alphabet of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa.
Celestial is the common language of the Upper Planes, spoken by devas, guardinals, archons, and other creatures of incarnate Good. It uses the Celestial alphabet.
Dakon is the language of the apelike dakon. It is largely based on hoots, grunts, finger and hand gestures, and body postures.
Derrosh is a combination of Dwarven and Suloise, spoken by the derro.
Draconic is the ancient tongue of dragons, spoken in various dialects by other reptilian creatures such as kobolds, troglodytes, and lizardfolk. It is often used by wizards as the language of magic. It uses the Draconic alphabet.
Dwarven is the language of the dwarves. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Elven is the language of the elves. It uses the Elven alphabet.
Giant, or Jotun, is the language of ettins, ogres, and giants. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Gnoll is the language of the gnolls. When written, it uses the Common alphabet.
Gnome is the language of the gnomes. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Goblin is the language of the goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, norkers, and xvarts. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Halfling is the language of the halflings. It uses the Common alphabet.
Ignan is the language of fire elementals, salamanders, azers and other fire-based creatures. It uses the Draconic alphabet.
Infernal is the language of the Nine Hells, spoken by beings of lawful evil. It uses the Infernal alphabet.
Kech is the language of the kech, who use many Olman and Amedi loan-words. It is a primitive tongue with no written form.
Lendorian Elven is a new language spoken only by the high elves and aquatic elves of the Lendore Isles.
Orc is the language of orcs, descended from older human and elven languages. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Sylvan is the language of the fey races, including dryads, brownies, and leprechauns. It uses the Elven alphabet.
Terran is the language of earth elementals, xorn, pech, and other earth-based creatures. It uses the Dwarven alphabet.
Tlaman is the language of the yuan-ti of Hepmonaland.
Undercommon is the trade language of the Underdark, used by drow, illithids, svirfneblin, the true ghouls of the White Kingdom. It uses the Elven alphabet.
Colonial Vassal of Verbobonc
Base Value: 2,500 gold (inflated due to trade routes)
Purchase Limit: 5,000 gold
Max Arcane Spellcasting: 5th level
Max Divine Spellcasting: 4th level
Magical Item Slots: 5 Minor, 3 Medium
Lord Burne Devarn, His Most Worshipful Mage of Hommlet (human male)
Sir Rufus Steele, Knight of the Hart of Veluna (human male)
Graf Councilor Kenter Nevets, village elder and elected leader (human male)
Councilor Ostler Gundigoot, owner of the Inn of the Welcome Wench (human male)
Councilor Nira Melubb, moneylender and town banker (gnome male)
Councilor Renton Odell, town militia marshall (human male)
Councilor Viktor Pils, braumeister (human male)
Councilor Tarim Tallboughs, wood cutter (half-elf male)
Councilor Mytch Woadson, miller (human male) DECEASED
Jaroo Ashstaff, Old Faith Druid of the Grove (human male) DECEASED
Acting Canon Terjon Hanweir, priest of Saint Cuthbert (human male)
The moat house was once an outlying guard post and way-station for the Temple of Elemental Evil. It and it's watch tower served as an advanced base for caravan raids, village looting, and wanton destruction. From within it's walls servants of the Temple were attempting to bring the village of Hommlet and all the surrounding lands under subjection. The oppressed peoples were then to be used as slaves to dig deeper pits below the temple, and to aid in constructing two other fortresses further west and south of Veluna, as the evil powers of the Temple endeavored to spread in ever-growing rings and encompass all the lands under their banner.
The moat house was ignored during the destruction of the Temple and it's armies, for the good folk which came against the wicked hordes were so strong as to be nonplussed to the pin-prickling attacks from the garrison of the place. Only after the battles of Emridy Meadows and the closing of the Temple of Elemental Evil's quadripartite gates was attention turned to the moat house. A detachment of horse and foot with a small train of siege machines encircled the marshlands about the fortress, intending to lay it low.
The common folk for miles about came to help fight the Temple, dwarves of the Lortmils, gnomes of the Kron Hills, and the elves of Celene joined together with the Knights of the Hart, brave militiamen of Dyvers, several marshals of Veluna, all warded by priests of Verbobonc and lead by warriors of Furyondy, including the lost hero Prince Thrommel to end the menace. Smaller numbers of those same bands marched on the moat house at the end, with only the small hamlet of Nulb refusing to participate in the final assault. The small fortress was surrounded, cut off, and battered into extinction. The upper floors fell to flame and shot, the outer walls breached, the great hall assaulted and filled with the last dying gasps of those who had sought whatever foul powers the Temple had promised. All encountered fought to the bitter end, refusing surrender, seeking death over capture, the last few ending their own lives with bitter curses spilling from their dying lips.
The place is now shunned by most hereabouts, both for the former evils of what it represented, and the terrors inflicted by the horrific black lord of the place, a vile cleric of damnation who worshiped an unnamed god, and sacrificed an untold number of innocents below that wicked place in unholy rites only whispered over in well lit places. The few survivors to have escaped the cells beneath those walls are forever haunted by the memories of them.