Village Backdrop: Farrav'n (SNE)
A System Neutral Edition GM's Resource by Mike Welham
Farrav’n and its oasis of crystal-clear water provides a haven of rest and relaxation in the cruel Luminous Desert. To the surprise of visitors, a tribe of gnolls, usually known as savage raiders and slavers, hospitably oversees the oasis. Acting under the auspices of the little-known nature goddess Rrav through her head priestess, the gnolls have given up their cruel heritage. They accommodate their guests without extorting money or enslaving them, unlike the gnolls controlling the only other nearby waystation, the Shadescar Oasis. The gnoll leader of the Shadescar tribe is displeased business has dried up, and rumours of a kinder, gentler location has begun to reach him. It is only a matter of time before the two tribes come into conflict.
Most of the village comprises the gnolls’ tent-homes. A few locations, however, are of interest to adventurers:
- Sand’s Edge: A patrol watches the edge of the depression leading down into the village proper. The gnolls standing guard aren’t here entirely for protection, because the sand itself acts as a trap for the unwary. Just inside the border, violet light shines from Rrav’s Blessings—staves preventing sandstorms from harming the village.
- Desert Wanderers: Led by Balt Rrav, the Desert Wanderers act as guides and trackers for those who can afford their services. The highly trained gnolls guard the village when they aren’t otherwise engaged.
- The Tan Worm: The Rrav tribe killed this variant purple worm shortly after arriving. The worm’s hollowed out, and reinforced, outer shell serves as barracks for the villagers and lodging for those who don’t like sleeping in a tent.
- The Date Frond: Contained within the only other permanent building besides the Wellspring Temple, this tavern offers a spiced date wine. Gerda Fulp, an affable halfling, and her sister manage the Date Frond.
- Visitors’ Tents: Within view of the Desert Wanderers, these accommodations of varying quality house travellers.
- Open Air Market: As Farrav’n has grown, the village has become a trade hub where visitors can buy goods and supplies or trade desert artefacts. Quent Sorren, the first non-gnoll to settle in the village, oversees the market and appraises esoteric trade items.
- Oasis Public Access: The gnolls opened a generous portion of the oasis for public use, but they regulate the amount of water individuals can take each day.
- Beasts of Burden: Camels and other desert dwelling animals shelter between the public access and the temple.
- Wellspring Temple: This temple to Rrav welcomes all visitors and provides healing to those suffering from the effects of their desert travels. The tribe’s spiritual leader, Janndra, spends most of her time here. The temple’s inner sanctum is only accessible to gnolls who worship Rrav.
- Scorpion Circus: Garritt Rrav discovered an affinity for scorpions and trains them to protect the tribe and act as entertainment for visitors to 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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