Village Backdrop: Ashford (5e)
A 5e Compatible GM's Resource by Creighton Broadhurst
Once a prosperous village, Ashford now stands as a decayed shadow of its former self. A year ago, it was a busy place; its streets and gardens echoing with the sounds of life, love and commerce. Then the stranger came and death followed upon his heels. Plague had come to Ashford. In his wake, he left the hacking coughs and pain-filled moans of the dying and the wails of the survivors mourning their dead. Over half the population died, and many of the survivors packed and fled.
A few folk yet dwell in Ashford among the abandoned, deserted homes of their friends and neighbours, but it is now a quiet, mournful place. Weeds choke its abandoned gardens and untilled fields. Wolves, foxes and other less natural predators gnaw at the weathered bones filling the village’s open plague pit. The surviving villagers are distrustful of strangers, shunning them whenever possible, and few find welcome, cheer or solace in Ashford.
Most of Ashford comprises peasant homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Ashford Manor: Abandoned by its lord, Ashford Manor is thought unoccupied by the villagers. Unbeknownst to them, three plague survivors lurk within.
- Mill: Although the mill’s wheel still turns, Praen Alston spends most of his time looking after, and protecting, his young daughter.
- The Wailing Hall: The village church is rarely visited now, except by a few fanatical worshippers who are led in their devotions by Waldere Elvery.
- The Jolly Farmer: Little cheer is to be found at the village’s inn. Guests are served in their rooms and almost no villagers now drink there.
- The Burning Tower: Home to the enchantress Janaela Fisfelond, the tower stands amid the shattered ruins of a castle thrown down after its lord rebelled against his liege.
- Plague Pits: While the plague savaged Ashford, the villagers dug two plague pits and dumped the dead within. Feral dogs, woodland predators and Dunn Frewin have uncovered these grizzly reminders of Ashford’s fate.
This village is part of the Gloamhold campaign setting but can be easily adapted to virtually any campaign.
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.
Format & Delivery
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