Arcmoor at a Glance
by Guest Designer
November 25, 2019
For much of its life, the village of Arcmoor was a sleepy place, far removed from the doings of heroes, kings and warlords. All that changed, however, when an orcish horde was destroyed near the village by the hero Therald Arcmoor. Therald died at the moment of his greatest triumph, and his death—strangely—heralded great change in the village. A shrine raised in his honour has grown increasingly popular of late and Arcmoor is slowly being transformed from a sleepy backwater into a popular destination for pilgrims, visiting warriors and the like.
Recent sightings of two dragons, and their depredations, have cast a pall over the village. The fearsome pair apparently dwell somewhere in the nearby Tuskwood, and the villagers fear the dragons will bring economic (or actual) ruin down upon the village. Villagers fear adventurers flocking to the village could make the situation worse; thus far, the dragons have stayed away from Arcmoor proper but if the heroes fail to slay the scaly beasts the pair could destroy the village in retaliation. Thus, Arcmoor’s future hangs in the balance.
- Ruler: Mayor Celiri Bold (on behalf of the local lord, Liofa Othen)
- Government: Autocracy
- Population: 142 (85 halflings, 53 humans, 3 half-elves, 1 dwarf)
- Notable Folk: Celiri Bold (mayor and owner of the Ark, location 4) and Dagmara Tuseilis (location 1 and location 6, bailiff and priest)
- Alignments: NG, CG, N, LN, CN
- Languages: Common, Halfling
- Resources & Industry: Agriculture (rye, wheat and flax), logging (beech, fir and pine), tourism (Arcmoor shrine)
Arcmoor is a small village situated at the border of the Tuskwood; it lies at the end of a muddy road about 300 ft. south of the wood’s eastern fringe. The village stands near an ancient battlefield upon which long ago a horde of orcs was destroyed by the hero Therald Arcmoor and his loyal soldiers and retainers.
For much of its existence, Arcmoor has been a sleepy place far removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the realm. In recent months, however, two dragon-like creatures have beset the surrounding area. From their lair somewhere in the Tuskwood, the scaly beasts have flown forth to attack travellers, shepherds and even remote farmsteads. The pair are far beyond the capabilities of normal folk to deal with and their depredations have begun to worry Mayor Celiri Bold who worries the dragons will bring economic (or actual) ruin down upon the village.
Arcmoor is a rambling, spread out affair. The villagers value their privacy and leave a lot of space between their houses. All the buildings except the shrine are of timber framework on stone foundations topped by thatched roofs. Halfling homes are more suitable for small folk, of course.
The muddy track leading to the village ends at the village square with its communal well, where both the Ark (location 4, the village’s only inn) and Zich’s General Goods (location 5, the general shop) are located. The shrine stands on a low hill on the eastern side of the village; a wide, beaten path leads there.
Most of the village comprises peasant homes made for small folk. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Arcmoor Shrine: This small temple on a hill outside Arcmoor features a somewhat weathered stone statue of Therald Arcmoor (depicted as a human) in front of the building. A mural depicting the hero’s deeds dominates the interior. The shrine serves as the village’s main place of worship.
- Graveyard: Arcmoor’s graveyard lies in the shrine’s shadow and looks well tended. It comprises simple graves with headstones and the gravedigger’s home. Currently, the black-hearted Nojus Makalis serves as the village’s gravedigger, but the Braal worshipper has a deeper purpose at the village.
- Old Battlefield: The site where the orc horde was vanquished many years ago lies in the hills east of the village. People still find remnants of rusted weapons, other rotting, broken gear and skeletal remains scattered about the area. Strange mists and fogs often cloak the battlefield and persistent rumours describe the place as haunted.
- The Ark: Arcmoor’s inn is one of the few two-storied buildings in Arcmoor. As a result of Celiri Bold’s attempts to profit from the pilgrims, room prices are 50% higher than standard. The Ark is the centre of the village’s social scene and often busy in the evenings.
- Zich’s General Goods: The village shop sells typical fare for a rural shop and may have a few unusual items lying around—some plucked from the old battlefield and some pulled from the various cairns lurking under the Tuskwood’s boughs.
Other Nearby Dwellings
The Arcmoor village map only shows a dozen or so buildings. Most of the populace live outside the village’s bounds. No homes stand too close to the Old Battlefield; Arcmoor’s villagers are superstitious folk and none want to awaken or anger the spirits slumbering therein.
Therald Arcmoor and the Severed Ear
Centuries ago, a warlike and fecund orcs tribe (the Severed Ear) claimed a great swath of the Tuskwood. Advanced for orcs, they had discovered the rudiments of civilisation and even developed the habit of burying their glorious dead in crude cairns.
Therald Arcmoor, a hero of old, defeated the host of the Severed Ear in a bloody, hard-fought battle. Therald was slain at the moment of his great victory, but such was the love his soldiers bore for him that some of them elected to settle in the area and erect a shrine in his honour.
In the past four years, several locals and visitors have had visions allegedly sent by Therald, and the shrine is becoming an increasingly popular destination for pilgrims who look to meditate and receive wisdom—or perhaps a quest—from the hero’s spirit.
Village Backdrop: Arcmoor by Fabian Fehrs is available in 5e, Pathfinder 1 and System Neutral editions here at the Raging Swan Press store. Additionally, the village appears in the adventure Dwellers Amid Bones available in 5e and Pathfinder 2 editions.