Almost 200 years ago when the land that was to become Nirmathas was still a vassal of the empire of Cheliax, the northern reaches of the Fangwood were a wild and untamed place. The crusades that laid low the Whispering Tyrant to the north were a distant memory, and those who remained were intent upon keeping the orcs of Belkzen and the remaining undead from Ustalav in check. As a result, the great forest was full of danger, from marauding orcs to deadly predators, making it unsafe for merchants hoping to trade with the growing community of Skelt in the foothills of the Mindspin Mountains to the west.
The following are some of the more important buildings in Kassen. The numbers match to the map of Kassen here. If your character grew up in this town they should have a home, located somewhere near the town’s edge.
1. Seven Silvers:
Most visitors to Kassen end up at this comfortable two-story inn and tavern. Run by Trelvar Silvers, this inn features modest prices (4 sp/night), decent food (3 sp/day), and a lively taproom. Trelvar is assisted by his daughter, Asina, and the overly friendly Jimes “Short Change” Iggins, who is known for giving himself generous tips.
Typically used for meetings, weddings, and other celebrations, the Greathall is a tall, three-story wooden structure near the center of town. Inside is one grand space with a number of smaller rooms on each floor. The celebration for the successful heroes occurs here upon their return.
3. Woodcutter’s Guildhall:
Kassen’s primary export is lumber taken from the surrounding Fangwood. While many of these logs are taken right down the Tourondel River to Lake Encarthan, the woodcutters require that all logs bear the stamp of the guildhall, which of course requires a small fee. As a result, the woodcutter’s guild is one of the more powerful groups in town, under the firm hand of the ever-opportunistic Colbin Vetnar.
4. Temple of Erastil:
The only stone building in town is home to Kassen’s only temple. While the church is officially dedicated to Erastil, there are a number of faiths practiced here, including Gozreh, Gorum, Shelyn, and Torag. Father Prasst is the only priest, but most in town refer to him as the “High Priest.”
5. Town Watch Headquarters:
Guard Captain Wisslo spends most of his time in this building or patrolling the streets of Kassen. While the guardsmen are mostly relaxed in their duties, they become an effective force if there is trouble in town.
6. Renet’s Steel:
While Renet’s shop services much of the town’s needs when it comes to metalworks, his quality is nowhere near that of Braggar’s. Most metal items can be found here for the standard prices, but there are no masterwork items to be found at Renet’s Steel.
7. Arnama’s Home:
This is the home of Arnama Lastrid, one of the few rangers who lives in Kassen. Mayor Uptal, who trusts the ranger’s instincts implicitly, frequently calls Arnama to the town council to report and advise.
8. Sir Dramott’s Home:
This is the home of Sir Dramott, a knight from Lastwall who keeps watch on the town.
9. Braggar’s Shop:
This is the workshop and home of Braggar Ironhame, a dwarven blacksmith. Braggar’s works exceed those of Renet’s Steel, but he works much slower and charges a higher price. Braggar can forge nearly any masterwork metal tool, weapon, or armor.
10. Vargidan Estate:
This is the home of the eccentric Vargidan family, and has a bit of a spooky reputation in town.
11. Holgast’s Tower:
Holgast’s slightly crooked tower stands at the edge of town.
12. Mayor Uptal’s Home:
This modest building along the water is the home of Mayor Uptal, who can frequently be found in the Greathall holding meetings or on his small boat in the river, fishing.
13. Ilimara’s Home:
This is the home of Ilimara Oniri, the mysterious woman from Qadira.
Major NPCs Around Town
These folk are all known to the PCs (and anyone who has spent much time in Kassen).
The folk of Kassen are naturally wary of outsiders, and Cygar does nothing to allay their fears. He dresses in dark colors and keeps to himself, having rented a room in the Seven Silvers for the past 4 months. He can sometimes be seen wandering around town, watching the townsfolk, but otherwise he keeps mostly to his room and the taproom at the Silvers. In reality, Cygar is a Pathfinder, one of a vast group of international treasure hunters and adventurers. He is here in town because the Pathfinder Society is looking to set up a post in northern Nirmathas that they can use to organize expeditions into Belkzen. Cygar is keeping a lookout for anyone in town who he might get to join his cause, but they need to prove themselves competent first.
Sir Dramott (LG male human paladin 3, paladin mentor):
The people of Lastwall, the militaristic nation to the north, take it as their responsibility to keep the orcs of Belkzen in check. Unfortunately, their forces are spread thin, so they rely on a number of scouts close to the border of Belkzen to keep watch. Sir Dramott is one such scout. Although he has no authority here in town, he regularly reports to his commanders in Lastwall, informing them of any orc activity. Mayor Uptal is grateful for Sir Dramott’s assistance whenever trouble is brewing, but he is concerned about a military officer from a foreign land stationed in his town. The people of Kassen respect Sir Dramott, but they would rather he go home and leave them to their own devices. As a mentor, Sir Dramott is capable and wise, if a bit harsh. Unfortunately, all of his lessons deal with service to Lastwall, and his pupils are taught to think of such service as a high honor.
Jocyn Elmaran (CG male half-elf bard 5, bard mentor):
Jocyn is the only real entertainer in the town, having settled here 4 years ago after a fight with orcs up near the Belkzen border left him with a crippled leg. Despite his injury, Jocyn is a capable performer, working with a variety of instruments and performance styles. He lives in one of the rooms above the Seven Silvers Tavern, where he performs nightly. Jocyn is a perfect mentor for bard characters. His loose style and relatively carefree nature make him a rather lax teacher, however, and his occasional drunken ramblings hint of a terror in his past that he refuses to speak of any other time.
Grimscar (NE male half-orc expert 1/warrior 3):
The forestry guild employs a wide variety of workers to help fell trees in the surrounding woods; some of them are far from polite and caring toward the people of Kassen. Grimscar is one such worker. This half-orc would have been fired long ago if he was not so skilled at tree cutting. When he is in town, the locals keep their distance and the militia keeps a patrol nearby. Grimscar is known for picking fights, getting drunk, and pawing at barmaids. Fortunately, he has an allergic reaction to a local vintage of whiskey (which causes him to pass out shortly after drinking it), a weakness that is often exploited by the local tavern owners.
Holgast (N male human wizard 6, wizard mentor):
On the eastern edge of town is a single tower, leaning slightly to the south, made of bricks and timber. This is the home of Holgast, the town’s local sage and mystic. Although Holgast is very knowledgeable, he is old and quite forgetful, meaning that the townsfolk (the mayor in particular) only consult him if the need is truly great. Holgast spends most of his days wandering about his tower, reading books, smoking his pipe, and taking naps. Once a week, he wanders into town to purchase supplies and provisions with his seemingly inexhaustible reserve of perfect golden coins, which he claims came from an immense hoard some years ago. Holgast makes for a frustrating mentor. His lessons are erratic and old fashioned. His apprentices are required to do all manner of chores for the privilege of learning from him, while he sleeps the day away and teaches very little. Those who have learned anything from him have done so by sneaking into the wizard’s spellbooks while he is napping.
Those who frequent the Seven Silvers tavern know to count their coins before they leave the table, especially if they have been served by “Short Change,” the halfling waiter who has a propensity for giving less change than is due (although he insists the name is due to his short stature). Although Jimes is genuinely kind and helpful to all the locals, he just can’t help but end up with some of their possessions at the end of the night, be it a few coins or a loose dagger. Most of the townsfolk are quite aware of this and do not take too much offense if something goes missing. After all, they know where the missing goods went. Anyone who works with Jimes at the Seven Silvers is sure to get a host of tips and tricks from this good-natured thief, who thinks that a little petty theft is all in good fun.
Braggar Ironhame (CN male dwarf expert 3/barbarian 2, barbarian mentor):
Braggar is one of the two blacksmiths that service Kassen. This dour dwarf runs a small business on the south side of town. Although he is outpaced by his competitor (Renet’s Steel, near the town square), Braggar’s goods are of higher quality. Braggar is a surly mentor, capable of incredible fits of anger if one of his pieces is not turning out as planned. As such, he often has to spend time repairing his workshop, which only further slows down his work. Braggar’s teaching style focuses on craft and artifice, but he can also teach pupils about controlling
their anger and unleashing it when the time is right.
Guardsman Golfond Kir (LG male human warrior 2):
Although a bit simple, Golfond Kir is a dedicated guardsman, manning the town’s only watchtower every day. When he is not on duty, he can often be found running errands around town for his elderly mother, or playing with the local children. When Kir was young, a horse kicked him in the head and knocked the sense out of him. Since then, he has been the victim of cruel pranks and japes, all of which he takes with a smile and a simple laugh. Kir can be counted on to tell the truth, regardless of whether or not doing so might land him in trouble. Kir respects Captain Wisslo to a fault and (unlike the other guards) refuses to make fun of him. The captain, in return, treats Kir like any other soldier, despite his many mistakes.
Arnama Lastrid (NG female human ranger 4, ranger mentor):
Nirmathas is known for its rangers, valiant woodsmen who have spent years carving out a nation and protecting it from foreign and domestic threats. Arnama is one such ranger. She is tough, quiet, and more than willing to risk her life to protect the people of Kassen and the country she has grown to love. Arnama was orphaned during the early wars with Molthune, growing up in a band of adopted parents. These rangers taught her everything she knows. When Arnama came of age, she left the band to find out where her parents came from. That trek led her to Kassen, where she has remained ever since, living in their old house just outside town. Arnama is a skilled ranger but not the best teacher. Those who have tried to learn from her find her impatient and without discipline. She does, however, excel at teaching by example, leading her charges on far-ranging patrols and hunts.
Ilimara Oniri (LN female human monk 2, monk mentor):
While most of the people in Kassen were born and raised within 10 miles of town, Ilimara was born in Qadira in a town with a name most of the humble folk of Kassen could not even pronounce. Not surprisingly, this beautiful and exotic woman keeps to herself. She has lived on the outskirts of town for almost 8 years now, claiming that she is trying to find peace in her heart. Ilimara has had a number of acolytes over the years, each hoping to learn the secrets of Irori that Ilimara claims to practice, but so far, all have abandoned her tutelage for a simpler road. Anyone who learns from her, however, quickly uncovers that there is a darkness hiding in Ilimara, and only those with an iron will can bear to be around it.
Father Rantal Prasst (NG male human cleric 2 of Erastil, cleric mentor):
The small town of Kassen has only one temple and it is devoted primarily to Erastil, but Father Prasst allows those who worship other friendly gods to pray at the temple as well. While Father Prasst does not offer services in the names of these deities, there are small shrines to other gods set up in some of the alcoves, including Gozreh, Gorum, Shelyn, and Torag. Father Prasst is a kind and understanding man, but he is hard when it comes to the defense of the community. He is quite young, only 24, and many in the community do not put too much faith in his council, except in spiritual matters. He was trained as a soldier in Tamran, but he left after his first battle to become a priest, and refuses to say why.
Asina Silvers (CG female human commoner 1):
Asina looks almost identical to her beautiful mother, a fact that causes her father Trelvar some pain since his wife’s unfortunate passing a year ago. This young girl helps her father run the Seven Silvers inn and tavern near the center of town. Asina is only 13 years old, but she is already known as the preeminent town gossip, collecting all sorts of rumors and tales to spread to those who stop by the inn for a pint. Asina works hard and has a pleasant smile, but she is secretly worried for her father. She wants to make him proud by taking over the inn, but this gets in the way of her true dream to move to the city (Tamran) and make a life for herself there.
Trelvar Silvers (NG male human commoner 3):
Trelvar, along with his daughter, Asina, run the only tavern and inn located in Kassen, the Seven Silvers. Trelvar is middle- aged and inherited the bar from his father over 10 years ago. Although Trelvar is a good man and honest with his customers (even if Jimes is not), he has fallen into a deep depression over the past year. His wife died giving birth to his only son, and the son did not last the winter. As a result, Trelvar is left without a wife or heir. While Asina has tried to brighten his mood and insists that she will take over the bar, Trelvar is unsure and would be just as likely to give the place over to a respectable employee after seeing to it that Asina was properly married. It seems like the only time Trelvar seems to cheer up is when a wealthy or affluent stranger rolls into town.
Olmira Treesong (N female human druid 2, druid mentor):
Druids are not an uncommon sight in Nirmathas, but Olmira draws stares even in the streets of Kassen. This middle-aged woman only wears clothing made from natural materials (such as bark, leaves, and grass) and is always accompanied by a host of small woodland creatures. She talks to herself and her retinue constantly, having full conversations despite the fact that no one seems to answer her. Over the years, Olmira has had a number of apprentices who have gone on to become successful druids. Those who learn from her are sent on all manner of esoteric missions, such as listening to the wind for a week, planting new seeds throughout town, and mimicking local animals.
Every 4 years the town of Kassen holds an election to decide the next mayor, a position that Uptal has held for over 11 years. With another election coming up in just a few months, Uptal wants to ensure that this year’s Quest for the Everflame happens without a problem. Mayor Uptal is a fair man when it comes to his office, settling land disputes and other quibbles among the townsfolk on a regular basis. When it comes to outsiders, he is a bit more cautious, siding with the locals unless faced with irrefutable evidence.
Moltus Vargidan (sorcerer mentor):
If you ask a dozen folk in Kassen who the strangest family in town is, you would get the same answer 12 times: the Vargidans. This old family has a touch of magic in its blood, with each one of the children showing some sorcerous talent. Where this magic comes from is a mystery, and the family refuses to speak of such things in mixed company. Lording over the family is the wealthy and eccentric patriarch, Moltus Vargidan. This aging man has white hair that trails down to his knees, and he can often be found wandering the halls of the estate, muttering to himself. Living with him are almost a dozen children (each from a different wife) and a pair of lifelong servants. Sorcerers who come from this house have been forced to learn things for themselves, because the old man shares few of his secrets, and many of the children are starting to believe that his grip on reality is slowly slipping.
Colbin Vetnar (LN male human expert 3/rogue 2):
As the guildmaster for the woodcutter’s guild, Colbin Vetnar holds a fair amount of power in the city of Kassen, second only to Mayor Uptal. Unfortunately, where the mayor uses his power to help the people of Kassen, Colbin is only interested in lining his own pockets. Colbin makes it a habit to follow the rules to the letter, but where there is any uncertainty, Colbin makes sure that the interpretation favors himself and the woodcutter’s guild. When the weapon makers in town protested about the guild making wooden weapons, Colbin relented, but only if the weapon makers agreed to purchase any wooden components from the guild (leading many in the town to make jokes about the quality of “Colbin’s arrows” and “Colbin’s staves”).
Guard Captain Gregor Wisslo (LG male human fighter 4, fighter mentor):
The town of Kassen has never truly known the horrors of the war with Molthune, but occasional raiding parties from Belkzen do sometimes pose a threat. As such, the town has been watched over for many years by Wisslo, who serves as guard captain. Gregor is a staunch man who believes in schedules and regiment over ingenuity and spontaneity, much to the chagrin of the town’s residents. As an aging fighter, Gregor is a qualified teacher, but his lessons are rigid and his discipline harsh. The guards he has trained are quite skilled, but they secretly detest the old man, calling him names behind his back (Captain Is-Slow is the current favorite).