Friday, August 12, 2016

The Village of Hommlet Introduction

The Village of Hommlet — Hommlet as it is commonly called — is situated on the western most continent of the Realms, that portion of the eastern realms which is known and settled mostly by humans towards the southern region of the continent. The village

"actually hamlet—sized", though the region itself distinguishes it with the term "village" is located roughly two days travel southeast of the town of Gateway, on the fringe of the territory controlled by its noble lord, the Viscount of Gateway.

It is at a crossroads — To the north is the mighty Velverdyva river, along whose southern bank runs the Lowroad. Many leagues southwest, on the southern shores of The Cove lies the great City of Eastport. The villiage of Seastone Heights lies on the shore many miles south of Hommlet. To the far north, north of Gateway lies the fabled Darkenwood which is home to the High Elves.

West, across the mountains, little is known due to this region being relatively uncharted. All that is known is the vast Swamp of No Hope lies west across the Dragonspine Mountain range. The entire continent is largely uncharted and unsettled. Hommlet grew from a farm or two, a rest house, and a smithy. The roads brought a sufficient number of travelers and merchant wagons to attract tradesmen and artisans to serve those passing through. The rest house became a thriving Inn, a wheel and wainwright settled in the hamlet, and more farmers and herdsmen followed, for grain was needed for the passing animals, and meat was in demand for the Innfolk.

Prosperity was great, for the lord of the district was mild and taxed but little. Trade was good, and the land was untroubled by war and outlaws or ravaging beasts. The area was too free, too beautiful, too bountiful, at least in the eyes of some. Whether the evil came north from Gateway as is claimed by one faction, or crept up out of the swamp to the east as others assert, came it did. At first it was only a few thieves and an odd group of bandits molesting the merchant caravans. Then came small bands of humanoids — Kobolds or Goblins — raiding the flocks and herds. Local militia and foresters apparently checked but not stopped, the spread of outlawry and evil.

A collection of hovels and their slovenly inhabitants formed the nucleus for the troubles which were to increase. A wicked Cleric established a small chapel at this point. The folk of Hommlet tended to ignore The Nulb, even thought it was but under two days distant. The out of the way position was ideal for the fell purposes planned for this settlement, as was its position on a small river flowing into the Velverdyva. The thickets and marshes around the Nulb became the lair and hiding place for bandits, brigands, and all sorts of evil men and monsters alike. The chapel grew into a stone Temple as its faithful brought in their Ill-gotten tithes. Good folk were robbed, pillaged, enslaved and worse.
In but three short years a grim and foreboding fortress surrounded the evil place, and swarms of creatures worshipped and worked there wickedness there. The servants of the Temple of Elemental Evil made Hommlet and the lands for leagues a mockery of freedom and beauty. Commerce ceased, crops withered, pestilence was abroad. But the leaders of this cancer were full of arrogance, and in their overweaning pride sought to overthrow the good realms to the west who were coming to the rescue of the land being crushed under the tyranny wrought by the evil temple. A great battle was fought, and when villagers saw streams of ochre-robed men and humanoids fleeing their was great rejoicing, for they knew that the murderous oppressors hold had been defeated and driven from the field in a panic and rout.
So great was the slaughter, so complete the victory of good, that the walled stronghold of the Temple of Elemental Evil fell within a fortnight, despite the aid of a terrible demon. The place was ruined and sealed against a further return of such abominations by powerful blessings and magic. Life quickly returned to a semblance of what it had been before the rise of the temple, and in the decade since, the village of Hommlet and surrounding countryside have in fact been more rich and prosperous than ever before. A monstrous Troll which plagued the area for a time was hunted down by a body of passing adventurers. With its ashes, these fellows returned a goodly fortune as well, leaving a portion with the villagers to repay them for their losses before going elsewhere to seek their fortunes. Other adventurers, knowing of the evil that had once resided in the area, came to seek out similar fame and fortunes, and not a few did locate remote lairs and find wealth — just as many never returned at all. After some five years later, adventurers stopped coming to the area, as it seemed that no monsters were left to slay, no evil existed here to be stamped out. For four years thereafter, this seemed true, but then again bandits began to ride the roads again, not frequently but to some effect.
This seemed all too familiar somehow from the events from many years ago to the good folk of Hommlet, so they sent word to the Viscount of Gateway that wicked forces had begun to roam once again. This information has been spread throughout the countryside and the news has attracted outsiders to the village once again. Who and what these men are, no one can be quite sure, although all claim to be bent on slaying monsters and bring peace and security back to Hommlet, for deeds speak louder than words, and lies cloak true purposes of the malevolent.

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