Edgewood at a Glance
by Guest Designer
November 11, 2019
The thriving village of Edgewood stands in the very shadow of the Shadetimer Forest. For a century, it has prospered. Wars, droughts and pestilence striking other nearby settlements never seem to affect the village, and yet tragedy mars life in Edgewood. For every year, terror stalks the village and its inhabitants die seemingly random, but horrible and gruesome, deaths. Thus, despite its prosperity, Edgewood remains a small place, and few travellers remain there for long.
Ruler: Mayor Velendra Arrisse
Population: 154 (57 humans, 8 elves, 16 gnomes, 28 half-elves, 12 half-orcs, 33 halflings)
Alignments: NG, CG, N, CN
Languages: Common, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Sylvan
Resources & Industry: Farm goods, honey, hospitality
Edgewood rests on the east side of the vast Shadetimber Forest. A wide stream flows from the forest, marking Edgewood’s northern border. The forest and stream provide plenty of game and fish for the villagers, who make their living growing fruits and vegetables and harvesting honey from hives standing a quarter-mile south of the village proper. Edgewood trades most of its goods to visiting traders and merchants and has prospered since it was founded nearly 100 years ago. The village seems immune to major upheavals affecting the region and has thrived through droughts, wars and monstrous incursions. Many nearby settlements have not been so lucky and Edgewood remains the only settlement of note in the immediately locality.
Despite its prosperity, Edgewood has not grown much in terms of population beyond the ninety original settlers (although some survivors from other nearby villages have settled in the village). Edgewood's prosperity comes at a bizarre price: every year, during a so-called Night of Terror, one to three villagers succumb to a random, brutal attack by a group of creatures from the forest.
At first the attacks occurred during one of the solstices and involved brazen attacks by wild animals, which ignored other villagers as they sought their prey. Once the inhabitants discovered the pattern and attempted to circumvent the attacks, the timing became utterly random. Those who openly discuss settling down in Edgewood hear ominous warnings from the villagers of their possible grizzly fate.
Simply moving away from Edgewood is not enough to avoid the village’s curse. A resident who flees may be safe for a couple of years, but weird circumstances bring the former villager back to Edgewood—normally just before the annual Night of Terror. Sometimes the returning villager is part of the Culling, while some return to witness a friend or loved one being culled. Often the returning villager is unharmed—a reminder any villager, past or present, is not exempt from the Culling, but that neither is the villager’s doom a certainty.
Most of the Edgewood comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Edgewood Inn: Sitting on the only road leading through the village, Edgewood Inn is a charming, cosy destination for travellers. The inn is renowned for the wonderful dishes cooked by its owner, the half-orc Quinna Poul, and is usually busy; it is the last place for travellers to rest their heads before daring the Shadetimber forest.
- Eternal Lovers: A pair of centuries-old oaks has entwined starting twelve feet from the ground, creating a massive home for birds and squirrels. Weddings are held in the trees’ shade.
- Sacrifice Square: The fallen paladin Cleauregard spends most of his time here at this shameful reminder of a time when the villagers thought they could control what (or whom) was culled each year.
- Storage Houses: Warehouses, protected from the heat and humidity, hold harvested goods ready for trade and sale. With the village’s incredible bounty, the storage houses are normally full to bursting.
- Honey Haven: This gnome-run tavern and brewery caters to visitors to the village and offers a fine selection of mead. Honey Haven offers no food or accommodation; locals also frequent the tavern and it is frequently busy.
- Bailiff’s Office: Ostensibly the village bailiff, Barth Poul, works here but this office is usually unoccupied. He is rarely troubled by crime—those who commit crimes in the village invariably suffer the consequence of their actions when they leave Edgewood. He is responsible, though, for cleaning up and burying the attacks remains so travellers are not put off visiting the village.
- Mayor’s Hall: Velendra Arrisse has her offices here, but she usually wanders about the village and along the forest’s bounds. The half-elf does not enjoy being confined inside and so is rarely here.
- Festival Grounds: Here, brightly decorated stalls stand around a small tournament ground. A previous mayor decided to celebrate Edgewood’s prosperity and commissioned the building of this area, which hosts major festivals after harvests which see the population of the village increase as travellers arrive to buy the village’s bountiful wares. Otherwise, the festival grounds remain empty.
- Beehives: Pasmarie Clee oversees her druidic beekeepers as they tend a dozen hives; the druids render the bees relatively docile before collecting their honey. The bees have been thriving of late, and Pasmarie plans to soon establish a 13th hive.