Village Backdrop: Don Galir (P1)
A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM's Resource by Steve Hood
Last known hold of the dwarves in Ashlar, shadow-cloaked Don Galir lies hard against Lake Thraren dark, cold waters in a massive cavern buried directly beneath the human village of Wellswood. Dozens of wells, illuminating the lake’s dark, unknowable deep waters with faint shafts of light and link the lake below with the village above. Strange fungi and mushrooms grow around the lake’s shore and stranger fish dwell in its lightless watery depths. Humans and dwarves fish the lake and harvest these unique plants in an increasingly uneasy peace. Now the jealous attentions of the greedy lord of the village above fall on Don Galir and taxes slowly increase. The reclusive, secretive dwarves of the Erdikr clan work hard to fortify their hold and to attract more of their brethren to Don Galir while some secretly plot to regain their fallen dragon-infested holds lying far to the south.
Don Galir stands in (or rather under) the human realm of Ashlar, but is easily compatible with virtually any fantasy setting.
Most of Don Galir’s upper level comprises the dwarves’ work- and public spaces. A few locations are of interest to adventurers:
- The High Grottoes: Stone walkways and small walled gardens filled with edible moss and fungi line the edges of the path leading to Lake Thraren. Docks and jetties jut out into the lake; here moor the dwarves’ boats. Dwarves comes here to fish, swap stories about the lake and its fish and to remember their clan’s proud history.
- The Dark Tavern: Once a lofty guard tower, this impressive building now serves as a tavern and guest house for the dwarves’ infrequent non-dwarven guests. Its owner—Gadran Araral—is a keen fisherman and also sells bait, tackle and other fishing accoutrements to his guests.
- Mauno's Folly: This rough stone tower of human design is where the strange human wizard Mauno lives and conducts his research on the lake and its denizens. A staircase, Mauno’s Stair, ascends from the large pool behind the tower to Wellswood above.
- Borik’s Forge: Borin, oldest of the Don Galir dwarves, lives and works in this large forge slightly removed from Don Galir proper. Borin keeps many secrets in the hidden chambers behind his home and works tirelessly to advance the agenda of the Wardens of Vongyth.
- The Gates & Guardians: Two huge statues yet under construction flank the gateway to Don Galir proper. The statues depict Duregal and Valra, the father of the dwarven race and his wife. Lake Thraren’s dark waters glimmer below their ever-watchful gaze. A pair of Shieldwardens—heavily armed warriors specialised in fighting with heavy dwarven axes, thunderaxes and tower shields—are always on guard here.
- Hall of the Family: Don Galir’s industrious heart, the Halls of the Family is the busiest part of the hold. Here, work benches, furnaces and forges are busy with dwarves working for the betterment of the hold. The stair here leads down to Don Galir’s deeper living level.
- Halls of the Gods: The Hall of the Gods is Don Galir’s religious heart. Here, prays High priest Vanatar Jarbek. The hall is typically dwarven in design; beautiful murals on the walls tell the story of clan Erdikr and their gods.
- Hall of the Great Store: Here, the dwarves store their accumulated finished trade goods ready for trade.
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.
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