Hopespyre at a Glance
by Guest Designer
October 05, 2019
Their beliefs considered heretical by the Church of the God of the Sun and their presence viewed as a threat to the cruel ruler of their homeland, the members of the Church of the Redemptive Flame fled and founded a new home in remote Hopespyre. The cult now wants nothing more than to live a sin-free life in their new refuge but events conspire against them. The evil elemental lord of fire has set his sights on the cult and schemes to subvert its good intentions. Ageing church leader Dagor Thursh edges closer to death each day, and a struggle is growing for the right to succeed him, its flames fanned by followers of the elemental lord who have infiltrated the village.
Ruler: Dagor Thursh
Population: 156 (70 humans, 38 half-orcs, 22 half-elves, 10 dwarves, 8 elves, 8 halflings)
Alignments: NG, LN
Languages: Common, Ignan
Resources & Industry: Farming, magical goods
Founded 40 years ago by Dagor Thursh, the secluded village of Hopespyre is his Church of the Redemptive Flame's refuge from the sinful world. Members of the church live a simple life, celebrating their faith and supporting one another with almost no need for anything beyond the boundaries of the village. Hidden deep in the wilderness, Hopespyre offers not just a sanctuary from spiritual threats but also physical ones: the church of Darlen, which views the Church of the Redemptive Flame as a heretical cult, and the tyrant in whose bloody service Thursh laboured for too many years would like nothing more than to discover the village's location and do away with it forever.
Hopespyre stands around the constantly burning Font of Redemption, a bonfire emblematic of the village's faith. Several nearby longhouses dominate the other buildings. They house the single men and women of the community, who support each other in a faithful life as they wait to find a marital match and establish a home of their own.
Well-armed guards, constantly vigilant for threats from monsters and secular and religious authorities, stand watch at the village's borders. Despite that, those judged safe find a warm welcome in Hopespyre, with invitations to services and the communal meals that follow. While the reception is sincere, should visitors cause Thursh to fear they are agents of the church's enemies, they won't leave the village alive.
What no church members realise is that a great threat is already in their midst—the servants of a sinister elemental lord who seeks to subvert the village to his own sinister purposes.
Most of the village comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Font of Redemption: This ever-burning pyre at the centre of the village is Hopespyre’s spiritual heart.
- Dagor Thursh's Home: Other than two guards, little distinguishes the cult leader's home from other residences.
- Brothers' House: The village's unmarried men live in this wooden longhouse.
- Sisters' House: This wooden longhouse shelters Hopespyre’s single women.
- Visitors’ House: Half-hostel and half-prison, visitors stay here for free, treated as guests but watched with a wary eye.
- Communal Kitchens: The village's communal meals are prepared here and served on long, bench-lined tables.
- Makers’ Hall: Craftsmen use this site, originally several houses that were later connected, to make magic items.
- Secret Shrine: Secret followers of the elemental lord of fire meet at this home owned by Katin Shiss' supposed sister.
- Watch Tower: Two guards occupy these towers at all times, keeping an eye out for threats within and without.
Design by Jacob W. Michaels; Cartography by Tommi Salama
This article is an extract from Village Backdrop: Hopespyre 2.0. Hopespyre is available in 5e, Pathfinder 1, Pathfinder 2 and System Neutral editions.