The village cradled within the Druthian swamps living under the shadow of a Black Dragon
The VillageBuilt centuries ago for the swamp and woodlands it is nestled within, Shairdsmire's humble wood and daub buildings are built raised a few inches above the often wet and sometimes flooded dirt paths beneath, thus keeping the denizens homes as safe as can be from the wet weather that often descends from the mountains in the form of rain, occasionally bringing the floods with them. Though ramshackle, Shairdsmire is not without its amenities. The Gilded Toad tavern offers basic and affordable beds for travellers (or those who may need a bed away from home after a night of too many ales), as well as local foods and drinks grown and made right within the village. Innkeeper Danil may not seem the most welcoming man but he makes up for it with his reasonable prices and the hard work he puts into his pub and the livestock patch he keeps for his goats. The Chapel of the Seven sticks out like a sore thumb being the only building here built entirely of stone. Cared for by Adela, the village's resident priest, the chapel is a hospitable place to offer prayers, offerings, and reverence for the Common Man's Pantheon featured in the simple limestone carving upon the dais, though not many do these days. It can also be a nice space to take a break by the blazing fire in the centre of the room from time to time. The winding staircase close to the door leads to the cellar, which features a vault for potential valuables, stone slabs to hold the dead while preparing for funerary rites, manacles in case of criminal activity, and storage space.
The SwampGenerally speaking, the Shairdsmire villagers stay out of the swamp because they know it to be a dangerous place, particularly at night. The Swamp Snare alone could kill you with its terrifying spines, if not have you starve to death as you remain caught in its grapple, not to mention the frightening fauna that calls it home. That said, the wildlife and plant life is vibrant here, featuring much flora used in medicine, and it is little wonder the founders of Shairdsmire built their village where they did. It features a convenient wooden path atop its shallow waters, heading west towards a mountain path leading up.
LeadershipVeliko Kulak is Shairdsmire's reeve. Though he may live in the largest home in the village, the reeve's manor, and wear fine cloaks, he is known to get his hands dirty and help the other villagers at the barn, not one to tout his station. He lives with his husband, Aelfric, and is well-loved by his people.
The Black DragonAround 40 years ago, Ivnieth moved into the western mountains and descended to intimidate the citizens, telling them that if they did not bring to her their greatest treasures at the turning of each season they would be her next meal. Many tried their luck with escape, soon discovering the black Dragonborn and Kobold soldiers she kept in her company were skilled archers and were keeping a watchful eye on the people's movements. Other folk attempted to raise arms against Ivnieth, pulling together an uprising with volunteers from Helzand, a close-by village though they did not to return. The Shairdsmire citizens soon realised that this was to be their lot in life and word got out to the surrounding area to avoid Shairdsmire for the danger was not worth it. Several weeks into the Autumn of 3421 FE and there had been no sign of either the dragon nor her soldiers who usually entered the village to collect the routine offering. The reeve sent out requests for skilled peoples to offer their help in investigating, whether they can finally begin rebuilding their lives after decades of servitude or expect Ivnieth's return, and a group of four fresh-faced adventurers was formed. They discovered that Ivnieth had been brought low by an ominous group with ties to necromancy and taken away, leaving Shairdsmire free to rebuild.
- The Gilded Toad: The village's tavern is a large L-shaped building with decking and small livestock area attached outside. Inside is humble, usually smells of brewing hops for the ale being made, run by Danil with help from Sokol. Offers basic foods and beds for potential travellers.
- Chapel of the Seven: The village's chapel to the Seven, a small stone church run by priest Adela featuring a massive brazier in the centre of the room, a large limestone carving depicting the Common Man's Pantheon, and a winding staircase to the cellar where they store their dead.
- The Reeve's Manor: Large home behind the tavern where the Reeve lives with his husband.
- Barn: Huge barn used for storage and equipment, housing the village's chickens.
- Liliana's House: Home of the little girl with the mischievous "imaginary friend".
- Slumbrous Swamp: Area South-West of Shairdsmire, known to be dangerous, especially at night. The path through the swamp leads to the trail leading up the mountain.
- Woods: The woodland north of Shairdsmire offers a great place for hunting and potential lumber.
- Dragon's Lair: Known to be roughly 4-5 hours up the mountain path, where the black dragon kept her lair.
- Felsen Highlands: The mountains west of Shairdsmire beyond the swamp.
- Danil: Innkeeper of The Gilded Toad. Big bear of a man with a scowl. Plays cards.
- Sokol: Little raven person who works with Danil in the tavern and with the goats outside.
- Veliko Kulak: Reeve of Shairdsmire. Human man, bearded, black hair, dark eyes. Lives and works from his manor, though often mucks in with the locals.
- Aelfric Kulak: Veliko's half-elven husband.
- Liliana: Little girl found crying in the mud about her "imaginary" friend, Razaz. Brown hair.
- Adela: Priest of the Seven, oversees Shairdsmire's chapel. She wears common white vestments, relies on a cane for walking, and has a tic that causes one eye to blink more than the other.
- Relga: Half-orc woman seen having lunch with Veliko.
- Wendel: Halfling man seen having lunch with Veliko.
- Kriv & Sora: Two Kobold followers of Ivnieth left behind after running from the battle.
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