Village Backdrop: Aubade 2.0 (System Neutral)
A System Neutral Compatible GM's Resource by Jacob W. Michaels
Laid low by a witch's curse, life in the once-prosperous village of Aubade is lived in reverse. At dawn, the streets empty, residents remaining hidden inside during the daylight hours avoiding the sun’s caress. At night, lamps lining the village's cobblestone streets blaze to life, and the residents emerge to tend their fields and cast their nets into the lake as best they can.
While the village was once a centre of piety that drew the faithful from miles around to hear the beautiful dawn descants of the children's choir, now no one comes to Aubade. Whispers of vampires swirl around the remote region and dissuade frighten travellers from stopping at the village, where residents equally dread visitors will discover their shameful secret.
Most of the village comprises normal homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers.
- Palisade: Shortly after Mirja's curse struck, the villagers erected a barrier of rough-hewn logs. Made by villagers still unaccustomed to working at night, the wall contains gaps big enough smaller creatures can easily pass through or larger ones can use to see what's happening on the other side.
- Beach: The lifeblood of the village, the sandy waterfront serves as a small harbour for many fishing vessels. This is a hive of activity shortly after dusk and before dawn as fishermen push out onto Lake Archon and return with their catches.
- The Dawn to Dusk: Aubade's main shop claimed to have "everything under the sun," and was a popular spot for pilgrims and guards in Aubade's glory days. Now a sign hanging from the locked door indicates the shop is closed, and its shutters are securely fastened to safeguard the remaining valuables inside.
- Cathedral of the Sun: The ornate house of worship for the sun god was the centrepiece of the village, a cathedral to match any large city's. Like the village, it's fallen on hard times: dust shrouds much of the interior, and weeds grow in the garden and along its walls.
- Sun-Song Hall: Attached to the cathedral, the Sun-Song Hall is a grand auditorium, featuring rows of benches for people to sit and listen to the renowned children's choir perform. Like the cathedral, it too has fallen into a state of neglect.
- The Warm Welcome: Unlike many of the other businesses catering to visitors, the local tavern and inn remains open. A sign on the door invites visitors to enter, the only sign during the day—when door and shutters remain closed—business proceeds as normal there.
- The Lamplighter: Halfling craftswoman Brielle Seyrliant used to prepare sacred and scented oils, as well as ornamental lamps, to send home with pilgrims. Now her shop churns out lamps to light the village each night and fish oil to keep them blazing.
- Mirja's Home: The village wise woman Mirja Sianio lived in this modest home, slightly apart from the village where she grew up but whose faith she abandoned. After Mirja was blamed and executed for the village's misfortunes, the mob descended upon the home and burned it too. Nothing but charred debris remains, home only to Mirja's angry spirit
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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