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Gorbash Kazdar
2005-07-03, 12:30 AM
GARRITH'S REST

There's absolutely no reason this village should be here. Yet, there it is, cut right out of the heart of the forest, a week's hard travel from any other sort of civilization - unless you count goblin tribes and bands of ogres. Even more surprising, there's not a single wall or visible defense, save for a large sign welcoming you to Garrith's Rest.

A number of houses, well-built ones roofed with colored tiles, are built right up on the road. These are the sorts of houses you'd expect to see in a prosperous town, not some backwoods hamlet. The citizens are even more surprising - everyone appears armed and armored, save those clad in wizardly robes. In fact, the whole place seems stuffed to the gills with adventurers.

In the center of the town, right in front of the largest inn you've ever seen - four stories tall with two outbuildings just as high, and even a pair of two-story stables! - is a granite statue of a gallant knight mounted on a rearing horse, armed with lance and shield. A carving at its base proclaims that this is Garrith himself.

Garrith's Rest
Hamlet
Population: 68 permanent (halflings 26%, humans 18%, elves 15%, dwarves 12%, half-elves 10%, gnomes 7%, half-orcs 7%, others 4%), ~100-200 temporary at any one time
Government: Council of prominent citizens
Alignment: Neutral Good
Religion: Farlaghn (all others)
Gold Piece Limit: 3,000 gp

Garrith's Rest is a very unusual hamlet on several counts, but all of them come from one root cause - the entire village is geared towards serving the needs of adventurers. About twenty-two years ago, an adventuring group came across a statue of a knight, in the middle of the forest. There was nothing else around it. This was unusual, even in the experience of those who found the statue. Within a few years the story of the statue, and its general location, had spread throughout the adventuring community via tavern-room tales and drunken boasts. The area was nearby numerous ruins of ancient civilizations, the home territories of a dozen major tribes of savage humanoids, several entrances to the Underdark, and mountains filled with the lairs of deadly monsters - places adventurers had a fair bit of interest in visiting. So, many groups started to use the strange statue as a meeting point, which was called Garrith's Rest, after the name carved into the statue.

One such adventurer, a halfling named Wellby Thornleaf, came up with a brilliant plan. Wellby had left home to be an adventurer, but he'd discovered he didn't really enjoy it, nor was he very good at it. However, he had managed to get his hands on a decent amount of gold. Wellby decided to retire, and used the money to build a tiny inn next to the statue. The wisdom of this idea proved itself almost immediately. Many of the adventurers who passed through had already been on the road for a week or more, and longed for the chance to get one last night in a real bed. Wellby was able to charge as much as 10gp a night. Within a short time, Wellby had expanded the inn to a two-story building with a tavern.

As Thornleaf in grew, others decided to set up shop near it. Soon, a smithy, a small shrine to Farlaghn, and an actual bakery had been built on the same spot. After that, the town basically exploded over the past twelve years. Now, at any one time a hundred or more adventurers can be found in the town, looking for groups, preparing for expeditions, recovering from expeditions, and selling off their loot.

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Physical Description: Garrith's Rest is cut out of the middle of a large, nameless forest (though some have taken to calling it Garrith Wood), near a small stream called Taren Brook. The center of the town is a crossing of two roads, one extended to reach Garrith's Rest and into the mountains, the other built specifically to access the town. At the center of the crossing is Garrith's statue itself. The climate in the area is mild, though it can get quite cold in the winter. Most of the houses are built of the good, strong wood of the forest, though the roofs are all of heavy, colored tiles. The bridge over the Taren Brook is even made of darkwood harvested from the forest.
http://plaza.ufl.edu/redwolf/maps.gif

Garrith (the monument): At the center of the town is an exquisitely carved granite statue of a heroic knight, mounted on a rearing stallion. The style of his kit is unknown in these regions, but appears quite functional. The only clue to the origin of the statue is the name, Garrith, carved into its base.

Thornleaf Inn: Wellby Thornleaf's inn has grown to incredible proportions. The main building is now four stories tall, with a huge common room and tavern on the ground floor, as well as an impressive kitchen. The cellar has storage as well as rooms for dwarven or gnomish patrons who prefer to stay underground. A pair of three story outbuildings has increased the capacity of the inn to nearly a sixty rooms, ranging from 1gp to 30gp a night. Wellby's family has moved in to help him run the increasingly large inn, which is the largest employer in town.

Ulren's Outfitters & Exchange: An adventurer's general store and pawn shop, Ulren's is owned by the half-orc who lent it his name. When shopping in Ulren's pawn shop, the gold piece limit is up to 20,000 gp, but the actual inventory is constantly in flux, so the chance of any single item worth more than 3000 gp actually being available there is 20%, minus the value of the item divided by 1000 (minimum 1% chance). So, Ulren's has a 5% chance to have a 15,000 gp item available at any one time. Ulren gives 75% of the value of items if you trade it directly for another, and 50% of value if you require gold in exchange. The pawn shop got its start as an informal exchange that took place in the common room of Thornleaf Inn, until Ulren built his shop.

Rattoc's Smithy: The large smith in Garrith's Rest is owned by the dwarvish Stonesplitter clan. Rattoc is the head of clan in Garrith's Rest, and is a master armor and weapon smith. Rattoc's brother Dargoc is a potter who supplied the tiles for the town's buildings, while his wife Jan is a skilled stone carver. The Stonesplitters make their home underneath their shops.

Leagallow Bakery: Owned by a distant cousin of Wellby, the Leagallow Bakery has a well-earned reputation for making fantastic pastries and breads that stand up to the rigors of hard travel. Many adventurers spend surprising amounts to "take a taste of home with them," as Anira Leagallow says.

The Green: A impressively misnamed patch of dirt, the Green is an open space where merchants and smaller trades folk in the town set up booths to sell their wares.

Apothecarium: Owned by the eccentric gnome Levia Kalrush Orian Gemhammer, the Apothecarium is also a supplier of alchemical substances, in addition to being a research facility open to anyone else interested in the art - with Levia's permission, of course.

Scrolls, Potions, & Magical Curios: This walled compound is maintained by a wizardís guild for members passing through town. Members in good standing receive either free housing there or funds to help rent a house or room. The cost of the housing and upkeep of the compound is covered by the sales from a small shop run out of the compound. Those who use its services must supply a scroll, potion, or other item in exchange, or supply a spell to make such an item. The shop and compound are nameless, though most call it by its description.

Jebeddo's: Owned by the master gnomish craftsman and adventurer, Jebeddo Garrick Zook Blackbrush, this small shop specializes in the crafting of instruments and unusual weapons, particularly ranged ones. Every piece Jebeddo does is a work of art, and quite expensive, though nonmagical.

The Grove: Another particularly unusual feature of Garrith's Rest is the Grove, a formal, expensive restaurant and cafť catering to wealthier adventurers who have a taste for the finer things. The Grove serves elven cuisine and other exotic dishes, as well as hosting elaborate parties on occasion. Gillia, an elven woman who showed up one day with a great deal of money to establish her restaurant, is owner and operator of the Grove. No one is really quite sure where she came from.

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Economics: Garrith's Rest is far richer than almost any other town of such a small size, thanks to the business of adventurers. However, the hamlet is entirely devoted to services, and thus nearly all the food has to be shipped in. The town also imports raw materials for weapon and armor smithing, as well as other crafts - except, of course, for woodworking. Perhaps the only real exports of Garrith's Rest are finished wood products and the instruments made by one of the residents of the town, Jebeddo. Because of this, prices for goods and equipment are 10% higher than normal.

Most of the houses in the village are not in fact owned by the permanent residents, but are instead available for rent to adventurer's who expect to spend a significant amount of time in or near Garrith's Rest.

Finding work in Garrith's Rest is quite a bit more difficult for adventurers than it is in other towns. With so many around, there is quite a bit of competition for the usual money-making schemes adventurers employ during their down-time. For example, bards used to playing for their room and supper find that they have to give extraordinary performances for the same result that an average one would get them anywhere else. All Profession and Perform checks made to earn money suffer a -5 penalty when made in Garrith's Rest.

Religion: Wellby Thornleaf funded the building of a shrine to his patron deity, Farlaghn, which remains the largest shrine in the town to a single god. Most of the other neutral or good gods are honored at the Temple, though the Stonesplitter clan honors the dwarven gods with a shrine in their workshop. For adventurer's who honor evil gods, one can usually find a fellow worshipper who has rented a house to hold ceremonies in (Gather Information DC 15).

Government: A council of the most prominent citizens of Garrith's Rest attends to matters of governing. The council includes Wellby, Rattoc and Jan Stonesplitter, Jebeddo, Gillia, and Ulren. Wellby is without doubt the leader of the group, and handles most of the day to day business with the advice of the others.

Crime: With so many adventurers, crime is actually fairly rare in Garrith's Rest - you never when the person you're pick-pocketing will turn out to be a mighty wizard or a master swordsman, after all. Moreover, no one really wants to mess with a good thing, and the local dangers, even dragons, have learned not to go near the town (those that didn't figure it out didn't survive the learning process). However, for those too dense to figure it out on their own, Wellby finances the Blue Shirts, an ad hoc militia/guard made up of lawfully aligned adventurers who are in town for a month or more. Wellby provides food and board, plus 10gp a day, for Blue Shirt volunteers. The local cleric of St. Cuthbert vets the volunteers for Wellby, and the volunteers must be of at least 10th level. There are usually a dozen or so Blue Shirts at any one time.

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Power Struggles: Itís in the interest of everyone to keep conflict at a minimum in Garrith's Rest, given all the powerful adventurers around, but there are a few simmering below the surface. In the town itself, Jebeddo and the Stonesplitters have a longstanding rivalry that borders on feud. In addition to accusing each other of stealing business, they simply do not get along. Both had attempted to discredit the other on numerous occasions. Wellby has several times brought them back into line by reminding the Stonesplitters that he's their best customer even now, and Jebeddo that he still owes Wellby money.

Several in the town, including Wellby, also dislike Gemhammer, especially since her shop issues forth disturbing noises and smells at all hours, and has exploded before - three times. However, Gemhammer has some sort of hold over Ulren and Wellby, and she' Jebeddo's lover (when the two are on speaking terms) so she has managed not to get run out of town so far.

The town itself represents a danger to several nearby kingdoms, since many rulers fear Wellby - or some other charismatic individual - forging an army out of the adventurers and carving out an empire of his own. On several occasions armies have been one moment away from marching on the town and burning it to the ground, before Wellby managed to secure the town's safety with a bribe or blackmail. Additionally, six years ago a red dragon attempted to raid Garrith's Rest. However, she misjudged the danger of the adventurers, and was slain with surprising ease, the final blow being landed by Ulren's great axe. Her mate, Ghranaxalys, has been plotting revenge on the town, and Ulren in particular, ever since that day.

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Adventure Hooks:
- In order to keep an army from showing up on their doorsteps, Wellby and the other prominent citizens of Garrith's Rest send out various "tributes" to nearby kingdoms on a regular basis. However, the journey is a long one, and the money sent a magnet for bandits. Wellby is currently looking to hire some reputable adventures to supplement his usual crew in delivering the latest "tribute."

- No one has ever been able to figure out where the statue of Garrith came from, but strange things have been seen in connection with it, and it has always given off a strange magical aura. The mages' guild and Gemcutter have a substantial standing reward for anyone who does solve the mystery.

- Ulren is tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop, and for Ghranaxalys to make his move. To head it off, he's recruiting some adventurers to help him slay the red dragon, in exchange for a share of the hoard, or equivalent items (at cost) from his shop and personal stash.

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Using Garrith's Rest in Your Game
Garrith's Rest can fit into any woodsy area that is near a mountain range and a few areas that would draw in adventurers. Since the hamlet has no official ties to any nation, and since no one in the town really has much ambition besides earning a living, itís fairly easy to fit Garrith's Rest into the power structure of a campaign world.

However, on a smaller scale, Garrith's Rest can be more problematic. It functions well as a starting point for adventures, and as a base of operations for a group of just about any level. Itís a particularly poor place to run adventures in, since the number of high level NPCs in the town makes it difficult to create a credible threat (or run a battle in the town). Additionally, the presence of the Blue Shirts makes it downright deadly for low level parties to try and mess around in town. Making these facts clear to your party at the outset cuts down on potential troubles. Lastly, you need to provide a large number of potential challenges to account for the ability of the area to support a large number of adventurers (even assuming a fairly high attrition rate).

Garrith's Rest also provides an excellent place to bring in a rival party of adventurers for your group, and some other interesting plots, such as rescuing other groups that have run into trouble, or finding that the dungeon they party is in has already been cleaned out of its treasure by a previous group operating out of Garrith's Rest.

If your campaign does not have the room for the full import of the town and its adventuring population, it is entirely feasible to use an earlier version of the town (just the statue of Garrith, or the early days of Thornleaf Inn).

Mick_the_Rogue
2005-07-03, 11:48 AM
Very nice comrade Gorby.

I'd say you and Glyph probably have the best chances of winning this competition, which is a rather premature statement since Glyyph has yet to actually create his town, o well. Either way I probably don't stand much chance. C'est la vie.

Good luck to you.

Martinus
2005-07-03, 12:17 PM
It looks good, better than mine, I guess :-/


How did you make that map, by the way?

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-07-03, 12:22 PM
I used Adobe Illustrator :) And thanks for the compliments!

Martinus
2005-07-03, 12:34 PM
Ah, Adobe Illustrator. It is supposed to be lying around here somewhere, I'll try to make a map of my city as well. Thanks for the info :)

Cantankerous
2005-07-03, 06:40 PM
Goodness, I think this entry will win on account of the map alone. Well done.

zeorge
2005-07-04, 09:05 PM
Yup, this is winning material. I'll try and study it, maybe pick up some tips... ;D

Everyman
2005-07-04, 11:41 PM
Wow, GK. Nice work.

I like the idea of an "adventurer's town". Very nice. I'll have to include this in my next campaign. ;)

One question about Jebeddo: Is the name a play on Gepetto? It seems so close. I could see a possible link, seeing how both would be woodworkers.

Anywho, nice work and good luck.

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-07-05, 01:07 AM
Its actually one of the standard gnome names out of the PHB, but I did choose it because it sounded like "Gepetto" ;)

Abelard
2005-07-17, 11:02 PM
So I figure that since I'll have some free time on my hands for the next day or two, I'll see what the latest contest is. As soon as I saw it, I had a neat idea. I hastily jotted down some notes and was feeling pretty good when I hit upon this entry, which is so eerily similar to what I was coming up with that it's spooky.

And it's so well done, dammit. In fact, I like it better than mine. Notes; what notes? Just ignore that crumpling and chewing sound.

Well done, Gorbash. Your attention to detail is great - I like that you even went down to the Bard's Perform check being modified.