Sat in the foothills of the Raven's Peaks mountain range, Lower Peak gets her name from the small hill in the centre of the village upon which sits the Temple of Iae. Set in the idylic Surgate River valley, amidst rolling hills, lush farmland and surrounded by dense woodland, Lower Peak is the very picture of rustic country life. Whilst very rural, Lower Peak contains most of the conveniences that are more usually found in a larger town. It contains a large Temple of Iae, a small Ochal Legion Garrison, as well as being home to the Dream Spire, home to the reclusive Arch-Wizard Jildor. Lower Peak has been ruled for 12 years by Mayor Alariel, during which time it has grown rapidly into an aggriculture hub for Vedras City, a burgening stopover for travellers and merchants, as well as those seeking adventure and fortune in the sandy wastes of the Lost Barony to the North. The village sits within the domain of Baron Vedras, the northernmost remaining Barony of the Ochal Confederacy.
Based on the recent census, the total population of the village is 1059. This has increased from a 706 over the last decade. 53.9% of the populaton is female. 78.5% of the population was born within the Ochal Confederacy. 99.6% of the population were born in this Mortal Sphere. The ethnic breakdown of Lower Peak is in line with the remainder of the Ochal Confederacy, with 86% of the population relatively even split between Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings. The remainder of the population is made up of an eclectic mix of Teiflings, Half-Orcs, Tabaxi, Firbolgs, and a multitude of other species. Having a large transient population of travellers and merchants means it is not unusual to see any other race either passing through, or residing in the village for a time.
Lower Peak is governed by the Town Circle (or simply, The Circle), an elected group of 8 individuals who represent the town's interests. The head of the Town Council is the Mayor, currently Mayor Alariel. Membership on the Town Circle is for a period of 4 years, and there are no limits on the number of times an individual may be elected by their peers. During Town Circle elections, every citizen may cast a vote for 2 members of the town to be elected to the council. The ballots are cast in secret, with the Temple of Iae ensuring honesty and integrity throughout the proceedings through magical means. The 8 villagers with the most votes are elected to the council, and the person with the most votes becomes the Mayor. The Chief Templar of Iae may veto a vote in the case of a tied ballot. Mayor Alariel has been voted to the council in 4 consecutive elections, and as Major in 3 of those. Eligibility to vote in elections is based on two criteria, and both must be met. The voter must have resided in the village for a period of 3 months prior to the declaration of the election, and the voter must be declared of consenting age by either their parents, or the Chief Templar of Iae. A Mayor or Town Circle member may be dismissed from their duties by unanimous vote of the remainder of the Town Circle. The remaining 7 members of the Town Circle will perform the duties of the dismissed member until the next election.
Lower Peak is defended by a town wall that was constructed following an invasion by goblins. The wall was built with the magical assistance of Arch-Mage Jildor and his golem servants, and was completed in under a week. At first glance, the wall appears to be a simple grey stone structure, but upon closer inspection, mystical flecks can be seen throughout the material, indicating its arcane nature. The town wall is the primary line of defense for Lower Peak, and it is manned by a small garrison of Ochal Legion soldiers. The soldiers are responsible for maintaining the wall, conducting patrols around the village, and responding to any threats that may arise. The garrison is also equipped with a small arsenal of weapons and armor to defend against any attacks. In addition to the town wall and garrison, Lower Peak also has a network of watchtowers positioned at strategic points around the village. These watchtowers are manned by volunteer villagers who keep watch for any signs of danger and alert the garrison if necessary. The watchtowers are particularly important for detecting threats from the dense woodland surrounding Lower Peak, where ambushes and raids are common. The village also has a contingency plan in case of a large-scale attack. In the event of an invasion by a larger force, the villagers are instructed to retreat to the Temple of Iae, which is considered to be the most defensible structure in the village. The temple is situated on a hill in the center of the village, providing a commanding view of the surrounding area. It is also fortified with thick walls and a system of traps and defensive measures, making it nearly impregnable. Overall, while Lower Peak may not have the same level of defenses as larger cities or fortresses, it has a well-organized and effective system in place to defend against any threats that may arise. The combination of the town wall, garrison, watchtowers, and contingency plan make Lower Peak a formidable opponent to any would-be attackers.
Industry & Trade
Historically, the primary industry in Lower Peak has been agriculture. The village's fertile land is well-suited for growing crops, and Lower Peak is known for its production of barley, wheat, corn, flowers, and vegetables. Under the leadership of Mayor Alariel, the village's agriculture industry has seen significant growth and is now an important hub for the surrounding region. In addition to agriculture, Lower Peak has also seen the growth of several other industries in recent years. One of the most notable is alchemy, with several alchemists setting up shop in the village to take advantage of the abundant natural resources and magical artifacts found in the surrounding area. These alchemists produce a wide range of potions, elixirs, and magical items that are highly sought after by adventurers and magic-users. Another burgeoning industry in Lower Peak is weaponsmithing. With the threat of attacks from goblins and other monstrous races, the demand for weapons and armor has increased significantly. Lower Peak has several skilled weaponsmiths who produce high-quality weapons and armor that are sold to adventurers, mercenaries, and the Ochal Legion garrison. Lower Peak is also home to the Dream Spire, the primary residence of Arch-Mage Jildor. The Dream Spire is known to contain many powerful magical artifacts, and Jildor occasionally trades these artifacts with adventurers and magic-users in exchange for rare ingredients and other valuable items. This trade in magical artifacts is small but steady and draws many adventurers and wizards to the village. Lower Peak's location on the trade routes between Vedras City and the Lost Barony to the north has also contributed to the growth of its economy. Many traveling merchants and traders pass through the village, and Lower Peak has become a popular stopover for those looking to rest and resupply on their journeys. Overall, Lower Peak's economy has diversified in recent years, with the growth of industries such as alchemy and weaponsmithing, in addition to the traditional agriculture industry. The trade in magical artifacts from the Dream Spire and Lower Peak's location on the trade routes have also contributed to the village's growing prosperity.
The town gets her water supply from the Surgate River, which runs North to South through the village. There are a number of prominent structures in and around the town. In the centre of the village is the Temple of Iae. The Temple is situated on a hill in the middle of the village, and was once the main gathering point for the village. The new beating heart of the village is the Sanguine Dawn Inn, which has fuelled much of the growth in the town, as merchants and travelling adventurers are often not the most devoid souls. In the last 4 years, a Garrison of the Ochal Legion has been constructed, although with the war to the south the Garrison is almost entire deployed, with only those mentally or physically unable to fight remaining behind. Finally, The Dream Spire sits just to the east of the town. It is speculated that the Dream Spire was the original structure built in the region many generations ago, and the rest of the village sprung up to service the Spire, and to reap the rewards of service to such a powerful Arch-Wizard.
The oldest building in Lower Peak is the Dream Spire, dating from The Hazrad Imperium. This Spire was claimed by Arch-Mage Jildor around 500 AP, and has been his primary residence since. In the first centuries that followed Jildor was very active in world affairs, and Lower Peak developed to support the eccentic wizard. Over time, Jildor withdrew from the public eye, and the resources he required from Lower Peak dwindled, causing the town to shrink. With the advent of the Grey Plague, Lower Peak became the farthest frontier town in the Ochal Confederacy, and saw an influx of refugees, adventurers, and those seeking opportunity and fortune on the edges of civilisation. For the next 300 years, Lower Peak remained constant in size, until Mayor Alariel used her political briliance to build closer ties with Vedras City and cause a rapid increase in the town's aggriculture industry. Lower Peak and Mayor Alariel are at the forefront of the Ochal Confederacy's efforts to resists the advance of the monstrous races through the Fallen Barony to the north.
Recent GrowthLower Peak has experienced significant growth in recent years under the leadership of Mayor Alariel. According to the census, the village's population has increased from 706 to 1059 in the last decade. This growth has been attributed to Mayor Alariel's political brilliance and her efforts to build closer ties with Vedras City, a neighboring town. One of the ways Mayor Alariel accomplished this growth was by focusing on the village's agriculture industry. Lower Peak has a long history of agriculture, and Mayor Alariel recognized the potential for growth in this sector. She implemented policies to support local farmers, such as providing tax breaks for crop diversification and investing in irrigation infrastructure to improve crop yields. In addition to agriculture, Mayor Alariel also focused on attracting travelers and merchants to the village. She worked to improve the village's infrastructure, such as building new inns and taverns to accommodate visitors. She also encouraged the development of new industries, such as alchemy and weaponsmithing, to provide more employment opportunities for villagers. Mayor Alariel's efforts have been successful, with Lower Peak becoming an important agricultural hub for Vedras City and a popular stopover for travelers and merchants. However, some have criticized her policies for prioritizing economic growth over other issues, such as social welfare and environmental conservation. Despite these criticisms, Mayor Alariel has been consistently reelected to the Town Circle, with many villagers crediting her leadership for the village's recent success.
Mayor AlarielGoverned for 12 years, and is a key driver for change in the region. She is a softly spoken human in her middle years, known for her charisma and wisdom, and the ability to cut through a problem to a pragmatic solution.
Alariel is a power wizard who studied under Jildor before switching to politics. She is the first person in generations to be trained by the Arch-Wizard, and the first in longer still to drawn him back into public life.
Arch-Wizard JildorIn the Ochal Confederacy, Jildor is somewhat of a legend. He has been a fixture of regional politics and magical experimentation since before the fall of the Hazrad Imperium, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Vedras Barony.
Jildor resides in the Dream Spire, a slender tower overlooking the town. Centuries ago he withdrew from public life, though he has recently begun to take a more active interest again.
Blacksmith LokkonA member of the Town Circle, and a prominent leader in the town. Lokkon operates the main forge and sells metalworks, arms and armour.
He lives with his son, Ben, who was recently rescued after being kidnapped by Goblins. Ben subsequently underwent a transformation and draconic heritage presented itself.
Old AddaAdda lives in a secluded cottage on the outskirts of Lower Peak. Though she is reclusive, the townspeople have come to rely on her for her ability to predict their futures using clay runes from her far-off home of Ula.
As a Jötnar, Adda bears some visual similarities with the more common Goliaths, though she is 'only' 6 foot tall, and is not hairless.
Rhed RhanaeRhed is vital to the agriculture in the region, and therefore to the economic prosperity of Lower Peak as a whole. As a Faun in his twilight years, Rhed has made Lower Peak his home, and intends to remain until his spirit returns to the home beyond the grave.
Often understandably mistaken for a druid, Rhed is a Green Witch and has a innate connection with flora and fauna enabling him to encourage rapid growth and health in the crops and farm animals of the local farms.