Grimhome Settlement in Braythe: Shattered Realities | World Anvil



  Hunger amidst abundance: In Grimhome, the young generations suffer for the sins of their ancestors. And some have found eternal life, just not in the way they wanted.   The story of Grimhome is a tale of greed, impertinence and punishment. Seven hundred years ago, the city was called Goldenhome. It flourished and grew, the residents were happy, and even cold winters couldn't deplete the vast resources in the city's storages. But some of the locals still weren't content. Six men and three women, who already were among the wealthiest people in town, decided they wanted more. Riches, luxuries, but most importantly: Eternal life.   The Damned Nine, as they are called today, came up with a plan: Using an ancient ritual, they would kill a demigod, consume his essence and become eternal beings themselves. They were led by Murion the Dwarf, an arms merchant who had made a fortune by selling masterwork weapons and armor to the highest bidder. Some even say he might have incited one or two wars himself to create a demand for his goods.   Murion owned a relic, a book so old he needed magic to translate the words within. The dwarf found a variety of dark secrets in the tome, but it was the promise of eternal life and supernatural power that really caught his attention. He gathered allies, people he believed wouldn't be restricted by moral concepts, and who would see this as a unique opportunity.   And the matching demigod was readily available: Hyurthan, the Meadow Hunter, son of Nadrical and a Chazrac warrior from Shamrua. His lower body that of a snake, and the upper body that of a Chazrac, Hyurthan roamed the world for wisdom and adventure. He had come to Delvaroth a decade ago, and ever since then, harvests in Grimhome had been better than ever, and attacks from dangerous beasts had been almost unheard of.   Understanding that killing a benign demigod could be frowned upon by the public, Murion devised a scheme to make him seem like a villain. Supported by his allies, he kidnapped and killed several young girls from the city, making it look like a sacrifice to Hyurthan. The Damned Nine spread lies, and soon almost the entire city believed that the demigod only helped the city in return for cruel sacrifices. Supported by the citizens, and celebrated as heroes, Murion and his allies - and several dozen powerful mercenaries - went on a hunt for Hyurthan.   It didn't take long until they found him. A bloody battle ensued, and almost all of the mercenaries were slain. But they gave the Damned Nine the time to complete their ritual. And when they were done, the wounded Hyurthan was struck by a dark energy, and ripped apart by it.   Murion's plan was fulfilled... or so it seemed. In his last seconds, as the dark ritual sucked the divine energy out of his body, the demigod cursed his own essence, and the city of Goldenhome. Nobody born in the city should ever be able to leave it, and food within the city would wither and lose its nutrients, so it would barely nourish anyone.   The Damned Nine became immortal, but Hyurthan's curse struck them hard: They became monsters, ugly and vile, and as hungry for mortal flesh as they were insatiable for wealth and power during their mortal lives. After their transformation, they attacked the few surviving mercenaries, consuming them until nothing was left of their bodies.   They returned to the city, hiding in their luxurious homes, repelled and disgusted by what they had become. At least once a month, they would have to hunt for mortal flesh, or suffer unbearable pain. But the demigod's curse was not the only punishment they received.   After finishing the ritual, a dark voice came from the ancient tome. They all heard it in their minds, but it didn't speak. All it did was laugh. And it hasn't stopped laughing since.   The city of Grimhome, as it is called today, rarely gets visitors from the outside. The people that live here are the descendants of those who turned against Hyurthan. No wizard or sorcerer was able to lift the curse, and the divine powers have no interest in helping those who killed one of them. To the gods, Grimhome makes an example of what happens when you turn on them.   Crops growing here are small and quickly dry out, livestock never gets fat, and even food brought into town withers. Grimhome is a place of fear and misery, malnourishment and death, all caused by greed, lies and hatred. And most of those who live here despise their ancestors for their sins.  


  Probably the most important thing about the residents of Grimhome is that almost none of them want to live here. They are prisoners of a curse that’s got nothing to do with them, a result of the sins of their forefathers. And there are once-mortal monsters within that prison, hunting them, who are the original reason of why the city is damned.   With all that in mind, the people of Grimhome are malnourished, sick, afraid and angry - but most of all, hopeless. Their life isn’t about ambitions, it’s about the struggle of getting from one day to the next. Nobody leaves their home after dusk, and even during daylight, they have to watch out for the Damned Nine. Life here is calm, but it’s the quiet that comes when prey hides from its predator.   The few visitors that ever find their way here almost always come for a reason. They might bring some relief, or cause additional trouble. How the locals treat outsiders depends on what they believe they have to expect from them. They tend to be very wary at the beginning, and they don’t expect anyone to be able to lift the curse. But as long as they don’t think someone will cause more problems than they already have, the townsfolk will tolerate visitors.  

The Damned Nine

  Once wealthy and powerful mortals, the Damned Nine have become hideous monsters. Witnesses that survived encounters with them spoke of black skin, burning red eyes and sharp, long claws. Their fangs are long and dripping with acid, and they have large, leathery wings. The descriptions of how they look haven’t changed over the centuries, and they could very well be demons or devils. But these entities haven’t crawled out of hell, they were mortals who created a hell of their own.   But even if they are at the top of the food chain in Grimhome, the Damned Nine are just as much prisoners as everyone else in the city - or maybe even more so. They remember who they were, and despise what they have become. The hunger for the flesh of sentient beings becomes overwhelming when they haven’t eaten for a while. But once they have, and the ravenous appetite is satiated for the moment, they realize what they did.   The Damned Nine live a life of self-loathing and self-abhorrence, as well as overwhelming desires that are never truly satisfied. When they aren’t on the hunt, they hide in their homes, avoiding each other and everyone else in the city. All that happened to them, including the constant maniacal laughter that they hear in their minds since centuries, has driven them mad.   Their residences, once luxurious and splendorous, have fallen to decay. The locals avoid these neighborhoods, so the abandoned houses in the vicinity are just as battered and worn.  

Important characters

  Murion, the greedy dwarf who initiated everything that led to the city’s demise, might still be the most sane of the Damned Nine. He keeps looking for a way to lift the curse, but his resources are limited. At his most hungry days, he’s a ravenous monster like his former allies. On other days - or more likely, nights - he might approach visitors from outside, trying to convince them to find an item, book or spell for him. Over the last few hundred years, he has given away much of his wealth, leaving him with little to trade. But he still has the ancient tome, and some of the secrets within are worth more than gold and magic items.   Fayral the Witness, as the locals call her, is an old elven woman with little time left on this world. She is so old that she was alive when Murion killed the demigod Hyurthan. Only twenty years of age, she was one of the few people in the city who opposed Murion’s plans. When the Damned Nine returned, Fayral’s family was among the first victims that were killed by them. Her parents were well-known wizards, and became wealthy by creating magic items for their clients. The young woman barricaded herself in her home, and used the magic of her family to keep intruders out. Step by step, she learned how to defend herself against the Damned Nine, and later even began to hunt them. While she couldn’t kill any of them yet, she inflicted some permanent wounds on the monsters. Sometimes, Fayral roams the streets at night, defending others against the monstrous beasts.   Gaelan is a Spellvessel Dragonborn who came here as a refugee. The apocalypse destroyed his former draconic master’s home, and most of his servants and slaves were killed, as well. Now, Izimiryaz roams the world looking for those who escaped him. As far as Gaelan knows, the dragon has a very specific purpose for them in mind. The dragonborn came here hoping the dragon wouldn’t expect him to hide in such a miserable and cursed place. So far, he was right - but the locals still aren’t happy about his presence, fearing that a dragon attack might make their lives even more miserable.  

Important sites


The Golden District

  When the city was still called Goldenhome, the Golden District was the city’s quarter for the wealthy and powerful. All of the Damned Nine have their homes here, and the Dynasty Palace could be found here, too. The palace was home to the city’s ruling family, simply called the Dynasts - but none of them survived the last few centuries. Today, the palace is abandoned, but still home to many dangers and secrets.  

The Dynasty Palace

  White marble, golden ornaments and shining gems: The Dynasty Palace was a place of beauty and luxury. But rumours always talked about an underground dungeon, filled with monsters and vile magic. The Dynasts always said this was nothing but gossip. But they did have a dark side, with a few family members known to deal with demons and devils. The Damned Nine themselves avoid the palace, which might be a hint that there was more to the gossip than the family ever admitted.  

Temple of Brishnar

  At the edge of Grimhome, a large wooden cabin stands in the middle of a stone circle. Embedded into the ground, the stones form the shape of a protective divine rune. The otherwise inconspicuous place is a temple to the Human goddess Brishnar, and possibly the only site in Grimhome that the Damned Nine can’t enter. Unfortunately for the locals, the goddess wasn’t exactly happy about the events, and created a force field that cannot be entered by most residents. Only the descendants of those who opposed killing the demigod are allowed to enter. The few remaining clerics that live here all descend from such individuals. And while they are still imprisoned in the city, there are some prospering, healthy plants growing in the temple garden. Thanks to these, the clerics are the only ones in Grimhome that are well-nourished. But they are well aware that the plants are a gift of their goddess, and they are not allowed to share it with the other residents of the city.  


  Purchasing goods isn't easy in Grimhome. People barely have enough for their own needs, and they're rarely willing to share. They are willing to work for others, but prefer helpful items to gold for payment.   Anyone willing to make deals with Murion of the Damned Nine might be able to acquire unique and powerful items. It's dangerous to meet him during his hungry days, though.   A few spellcasters live in the settlement. They have developed a few unique spells to protect the townspeople. As few visitors ever come here, there might be no other place to access this knowledge.  

Local rumours and news

  • Two years ago, Kalina, one of the clerics of Brishnar, had a dream vision of a specific herb growing healthily in the city. She believes this might be the first sign of forgiveness for Grimhome. She asked the few visitors that came here in the last two years to deliver letters to a variety of locations in Delvaroth, asking for help to search for the herb. So far, nobody could (or was willing to) help her, but Kalina is not giving up.
  • A group of members of The Arcanists was seen talking to Murion at night. A young man was hiding in a nearby ruin, and overheard them talking. It seems Murion was looking for an artifact, filled with dark and ancient powers. In return, he offered the Arcanists knowledge about The Arcanist Vault. When Fayral the Witness heard about it, she became extremely nervous, and now hopes the next visitors in town will be willing to stop Murion’s new allies.
  • A few weeks ago, a loud roar was heard from the Dynasty Palace in the middle of the night. The ground in the entire city shaked for a few seconds. Minutes later, a glowing red light emanated from the palace. The locals are worried, but too scared to explore the place. Fayral tried to talk the clerics of Brishnar into organizing an expedition, but the divine servants refused to go there. The old Elf now looks for braver allies to take care of whatever goes on in the abandoned palace.
  • A man called Farithan came into town a month ago. Strangely, he legally acquired a home in the city, and renovated it completely. He seems to be perfectly happy with living here, and doesn’t seem to be affected by the malnourishment - so far, at least. Nobody knows what he wants here, but people observe him and expect the worst.


Population distribution:
  • Humans: 50%
  • Halflings: 20%
  • Elves: 10%
  • Dwarves: 5%
  • Gnomes: 5%
  • Other races: 10%


When the old government fell, no real new leadership was established. There are people with influence, like Fayral, but mostly, the city is self-organized.


Once a prosperous trading city, Goldenhome was known for its wealth. People here loved to make deals - not just with other mortals, but also with supernatural entities. This also led to a lot of conflict, and over time, many infamous villains originated from the city. All that changed, of course, when Murion killed the demigod and brought the curse over the city.   Since then, the city - now known as Grimhome - didn’t have much of a place in history anymore. People lived from day to day, hoping not to get eaten or die from starvation. When the invaders from Va’Laeth came here, something kept them from entering the city. Most probably, they feared to be affected by the curse, and decided to simply avoid the place. This was, at least, one misfortune that the residents of Grimhome avoided.
Alternative Name(s)
Goldenhome (outdated)
Inhabitant Demonym


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