Haunted Village at Vernon Settlement in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Haunted Village at Vernon

Vernon is a part of Frankia that borders the Seine. It has a problem at present, the main fishing village at the edge of the Seine has recently became haunted. Exactly why none of the locals can fathom.


The majority of inhabitants are humans of about 761 people. The rest are Gnomes, and Halflings. Nearly all are fishing families, and some farming. There is a speaker for the village that acts as a go-between the Burgomaster of Vernon and the village. The village is generally not hat wealthy, though they are well fed and has protection from a small band of militia, and patrols regularly pass through.   Most humans are between the ages of 18 and 45, with a minority over the age of 45, and some children & teenagers making up about 20% of the population.


There is a speaker for the people, that reports to the Vernon Burgomaster. The speaker is a Halfling named Lion'el Burgat. He administers the basic laws in the village, and arbitrates any local violations & dissent. He is also charged with collecting any taxes, & dispensing any fines incurred.   There are roughly 10 militia that live in the village, acting as a defence force and the face of the local Burgomaster, dispensing laws as when appropriate. They act closely with Lion'el Burgat to maintain law & order. Sometimes other militia units pass through the region to maintain a presence, collect taxes & other goods for transport to the nobility. They also deliver goods (especially expensive goods) to the village as well as edicts from the nobility & ruling classes.


The villagers will fight for themselves but not that well, Ten militia help defend the village, along with regular boat crews passing in & out. Also, the militia have regular contact with higher ranking individuals & other militia groups in the region allowing for larger bands of troops to show up quickly. They are likely to use defences or surprise attacks using the Seine in some capacity such as bypassing land based attacker, to assault them from a different angle.

Industry & Trade

The locality of the Seine helps the village to export a certain amount of foodstuffs up & down stream, as well as fruits & vegetables, furs, wine, and timber to other settlements. They regularly import metal ores & ingots that the village lacks.


Most of the village society are based round fishing on the Seine, and farming (roughly 50/50 livestock & agriculture including a single small vinyard). Most locals are skilled at building basic structures. Not the most pretty these buildings are functional though. A small port that can hold 1 large boat / small ship, and at least 3 smaller fishing boats (or more if no larger vessels are present) push out from the bank of the Seine. Waterways have also been dug from the Seine as well, and used as drainage for agriculture.   The village is generally self-reliant, with the speaker, and the village having a vote on any general topics. A local priest is usually there to act on behalf of the church & congregation, as well as helping to administer justice involving petty crimes. Any petty crimes are dealt with locally, usually involving fines depending on the crime. Any major crimes are referred to the militia to deal with and took up the line to the nobles & Burgomaster as appropriate.   A number of farms surround the village to the north, west, and south. These have drainage ponds & ditches dug around them to help draw water from the Seine to irrigate the fields, and built in such a way to remove effluence as well. The small port that sits to the east on the Seine is attached to the bank by the village, allowing for access by boat up and down the Seine. Fishermen will use it regularly, and sometimes goods are sent up & down as well to other settlements.   Basic flood defences are built around the village and on the bank too, though it does not stop the worst heavy floods taking it's toll here. Most of the buildings have minor alterations to help deal with flooding, usually being slightly raised up of the ground when built. Many are two storey so the villagers can move upstairs if the worst comes, and the lower level floor is usually packed dirt with drainage holes built in with basic coverings to stop vermin getting up in.


There are two basic districts to the village.   To the west is the houses of the farming end of the village, with storage barns for livestock, vegetables & tools. A small winery is here too that produces a few bottles of locally produced red wine. A carpenter has a workshop here too, and maintains the buildings & material needed for the farmers.   To the east is the fishing side of the village. The fishermen, and a handful of traders are based here with a small trade depot. A carpenter is also based here too, who maintains the boats, the port and buildings when needed. There is a small number of shops too that act as a barrier to the two sides, selling common goods, food stuffs, grain, and with the trade depot, allows for fish, livestock & other goods to be bought & sold to both locals, and other nearby settlements.   A blacksmith is found beside the small central market area that is attached to the shops. He builds & maintains the general metal-based wares for use locally by the other villagers.


The village has rich soil for growing plants, such as cabbage, onions, garlic, wheat, and domesticated livestock in pigs, oxen, and sheep.   They also have access to a relatively calm part of the Seine, so can easily fish, & travel a good length of it. Woodland is also nearby so can use it to get timber / lumber for use in the surrounding region. There is wild boar & goats, along with bears & wolves regularly in the region too.


This unnamed village has been in existence for over 250 years. It was set up to take advantage of the rich soil and the Seine, allowing for a good harvest every year. Part of the Barony of Vernon, it has supplied a part of it's harvest every year to the local Burgomaster & Count, allowing for their protection. They also oversee the river too to make sure it is kept free of any bother.   Sadly about 10 years ago, a seven year old girl called Jacinth du Puoa disappeared. So far no record of her has been found. It is as if she never existed, and the locals refuse to talk about her.

Points of interest

The village has a small port that can be used for boats to travel up and down.  The blacksmith is one of the only smiths in a good number of miles around. Also, there is a small trading depot that has a number of supplies. On top of it all, the the local vinyard, and adjoining winery. Bottles can be picked up quite cheaply around town.   The Seine is quite calm in this part of it, more so than normal. Yet, when a storm comes in, it seems to be stronger than the surrounding areas. Some whisper that it is the spirit of Jacinth du Puoa coming back to spite the village, and that her body lies at the bottom of the Seine, a sacrifice to the gods to keep the river calm, and a bountiful harvest. Indeed, sometimes during these times, a ghostly child appears during All Hallows Eve, along with other strange occurrences happen during the week leading up to this holy day.


The village is made up of two storey buildings with a mix of small stones, wattle & daub, and wooden walls. The roofs of them are thatched made from reeds from the Seine. Each can hold a family, its possessions and any livestock though slightly cramped. The upper part is primarily for storage but if the village were ever to flood they can make use of it to get away from the waters.   Some of the larger buildings have businesses in them where the downstairs is primarily given over for that.


The region is quite flat with slightly higher banks at the edge of the Seine. Fields surround the western part of the village, and copses of trees, and overgrowth, are found around the edges eventually giving away to forest. A road leads out along the Seine heading north & south, and another large road leads out west through the farmland.   Everywhere is the sign of rich plant & animal life.

Natural Resources

Timber, wheat, barley, fish, oxen, sheep, wild boar & goats, bears, wolves.
"I seen 'er I tells ya! Down by ta river, after runnin' through the village! A strange sound too, like a cross betwixt a laugh an' cryin'. The up ta bank an' a splash. Could hear plain as day that. Checked ta river, no sight, though ta storm was a strong 'un. Even then, no marks on ta ground either, and the animals, not a sound.   Some of ta younger ones went ta look fer her afterwards. Never found a thingy. All said the same though, looked like yer girl Jacinth. That quickly stopped any search, that and the week of strange happenin's till All Hallows. Chills me that she might be back. Year later an' still no sign, an' it startin' again."   'Ol' Dirty' Benwa, porter at the depot, remembering strange happenings in the village roughly ten years ago.
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