Village Backdrop: Gloya's Bridge (System Neutral)
A System Neutral GM's Resource by David N. Ross
Gloya’s Bridge is a village swathed in secrets. Wearing masks and veils in the streets is normal, giving a chance at unparalleled anonymity and the freedom to indulge in a variety of entertainments with minimal restrictions. Those who want a second chance flock here, in no small part because an unconventional order offers a chance for criminals to leave their pasts behind and be recognised as reformed. Yet, not everyone has the will to reform or the patience to prove it, and the work of the Merciful Order is not enough for all the foes dogging some troubled souls. The offer of a new life for anyone is an important promise to many in Gloya’s Bridge, but the richest patriarch has designs on a new, firmer order. And deep below the surface, a conspiracy threatens to dim or even extinguish this beacon of hope as it gathers the hidden secrets of dangerous and troubled people who have come here from across the region.
Most of the village comprises normal homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers.
- Gloya’s Bridge: Gloya’s Bridge—the site after which the village is named—sees steady traffic much of the time. It has a toll, collected by Masked guards. Pick pocketing has recently become a problem on the bridge.
- Telnus Quays: The creek’s banks are mostly used by fishers, halflings and goblins. Iltham Arrakus, the quay master, secretly uses his runners as pawns in the schemes of the Bloody Veils.
- Masquerade Market: The main marketplace is a shadowy place of music, incense and masks. Its master is known only as Smoke and it is watched by the elder’s tax deputy Elgian.
- Merciful Order of the Mask: This building houses criminals willing to work for a chance at redemption. It offers crafts, labourers and trainers to the public. Gentle Grandmaster Clew is ultimately responsible for deciding whether aspirants have earned the right to have their crimes formally forgiven.
- The Broken Chain: The innkeeper Milentia Free welcomes anyone without question and offers customers private underground storage for their precious items.
- The Angry Badger: The tavern is a popular place for merry-making and for merchants to make deals more privately than in the busy Masquerade Market. The proprietor Eilu Clanless feeds valuable intelligence to the Bloody Veils.
- Azacral Hall: The overworked village elder Sidow Hawthorne and her peace-keeper deputy Ursalla are usually here.
- The Waning Moon: The apothecary Wolfsbane is as secretive as anyone in Gloya’s Bridge, but she offers many useful concoctions. She secretly sells poisons to the Bloody Veils.
- Bridgemason Manor: This is the fine home of the village’s richest and best-established family. It is the only place to get steeds. The family’s most prominent members are the meddling patriarch Andelius and his niece Goranna. Goranna is the family’s face in the Masquerade Market and the secret mastermind of the Bloody Veil conspiracy.
- The Warrens: A series of tunnels, root cellars and caves honeycombs the cliffs on the river’s west bank. These hide the hideout of the Bloody Veils, who exploit those seeking to escape their past in the village.
Village Backdrops are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a single village ready to insert into almost any home campaign. Perfect for use as a waystop on the road to adventure, as an adventure site themselves or as a PC’s home, Village Backdrop present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.
For free samples head over to Raging Swan's website.
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