The Village of Idyll at a Glance
by Creighton Broadhurst
December 09, 2019
Idyll seems like the perfect place to live, but subtle signs something is not right are scattered throughout the village. Why are the residents reluctant to leave the village’s precincts? Why are there so few children in such a prosperous place? How has the village stayed unspoiled with the wasteland surrounding it? Why is the seemingly empty Wardens’ Lodge that once served as the centre of law for Idyll so ominous? Those who investigate Idyll’s mystery too deeply may discover plane-shattering secrets. Whether the curious can capitalise on these secrets is yet another question.
- Ruler: Tetrad Council
- Government: Council
- Population: 127 (64 humans, 4 dwarves, 2 elves, 1 gnome, 16 half-elves, 32 half-orcs, 8 halflings)
- Alignments: LG, NG, CG, LN, LE, NE, CE
- Languages: Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Celestial, Infernal, Sylvan
- Resources & Industry: Farming, winery, artefact trade
Situated in rolling hills and resting alongside a gently flowing river, Idyll lives up to its name. Though its immediate surrounds are blasted ruins, the village is a pleasant place to visit or live. In stark contrast to the land outside its bounds, within Idyll the river’s water is pure and the soil deep and fertile.
The villagers welcome all visitors and treat them to flavourful, filling meals. Fine wines from Idyll’s vineyards complement exquisitely flavoured meats butchered from the villagers’ cattle and sheep. If any complaints arise from guests, they usually centre on the village’s bland dullness.
However, there are hints not everything is at it seems, in the village. The foremost of these are the weathered monoliths standing at the cardinal points on the village’s borders. Weatherworn sigils in numerous planar languages decorate the monoliths; none of the villagers profess to be able to translate them but remark that nothing odd has occurred because of the monoliths. The residents also show a strong reluctance to leave the village rarely straying beyond a few feet outside the bounds demarcated by the monoliths.
While many villagers dote on cats, dogs and other domestic animals, Idyll curiously lacks children. The villagers brush off the subject if a visitor brings it up. Additionally, strange artefacts littered all around, but well outside, Idyll’s borders indicate the area was a focal point of countless ancient skirmishes and battles. Finally, rumours abound of strange metal people in the village apprehending lawbreakers (who subsequently disappear without a trace).
Whatever the truth of the matter, the village of Idyll is a place of secrets and contrasts.
Notable Locations at a Glance
Most of the village comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- The Monoliths: Idyll’s most notable feature, the monoliths stand at cardinal points marking a circular border around the village. Each monolith features inscriptions in a multitude of planar languages.
- Cobb’s: Villagers direct visitors to this tavern. For astonishingly low prices, diners receive tasty (and filling) drinks and meals. Cheap, comfortable lodgings are also available here.
- Grandmother Oak: This impossibly large oak stands at Idyll’s heart, providing ample shade. The tree is an extraplanar entrance to Idyll for fey nobles who wish to escape deadly court intrigues.
- Opalescent Pools: These nine pools, arranged in a square three-by-three pattern, glow softly during moonlit nights. The pools are one-way planar portals that operate in a similar fashion to the gate spell.
- Wardens’ Lodge: Sealed shut, this building ostensibly serves as Idyll’s law office; when questioned, villagers maintain the building is unnecessary as there is no need for law enforcement. The building is virtually impregnable.
- Council Hall: In contrast to the peacefulness of Idyll’s inhabitants, where everyone gets along, the Council Hall is the scene of intense arguments.
- Aid Station: Evangeline, an elven druid, and Melody Joon, a human cleric, reside here and provide aid both magical and mundane to visitors, villagers and animals alike.
- Storage Silos: Ample supplies of grain, grapes and other food stuffs, kept fresh using magic, fill these silos.
- Pinion River: This deep, clear river winds into the village on its meandering route; it provides great fishing. Within the village’s borders the river’s waters are clean and refreshing; beyond the village’s borders they are polluted and disease-ridden.
- Fields of Battle: Just outside Idyll, dedicated archaeologists and treasure-seeking adventurers can find ancient objects of war, rejected by the ground. Such individuals must first gain permission from the Tetrad Council.
Want More?Village Backdrop: Arcmoor by Mike Welham is available in 5e, Pathfinder 1, Pathfinder 2 and OSR editions here at the Raging Swan Press store.