D'arbres is a small village in northern Newcourt. Is is very secluded and off the beaten track situated 20 miles from it's closest neighbour Merrivale up a high valley.
D'arbres was originally founded as a settlement to support a mining community further up the mountains. However the miners suffered a greater than normal number of accidents (many of them fatal) and mining was eventually stopped in 543WK.
Shortly after the mining stopped an agreement was formed between the local fae courts and the villagers at the time, in exchange for virtually no mining, fishing and foresting the fae would cease the war on the humans and ensure that they did not need to fish, forest and mine within the boundaries of the Fae courts.
The modern D'arbres is a small village of around 130 people. The weather is always clement and the food and produce is of the highest calibre due to protections placed on the village by the local fae.
- Reeve Cohat
The Village Reeve is a good solid chap who is a well respected figure in the community. His official duties consist only of recording the produce for the taxes and taking them to Merrivale. One of the few villagers who speaks common.
- Father Aubrey
Formerly Priest of the village, he now languishes in prison after being discovered to be a servant of Zepar.
- The Widow
A pleasant old lady who used to be the wife of the previous woodsman. She is a well ranked (6) herbalist.
- Widow's Cats
Grey, Ginger and Tortoiseshell appear as three cats, very friendly and typically cattish. However they are three Brownies who keep an eye on the Widow and the village in general. They are summoned by saying "Here Puss Puss Puss"
- Robert the forester
Woodsman of the village of D'arbres and one of the few people capable of speaking common in the village. He is friendly and much more knowledgeable about the world than other villagers. Originally from Brastor, where he worked in the Fastness of Girwyllan.
D'Arbres is surround by several courts of Fae. They have a treaty that involves looking after the village and its inhabitants but often war with each other over the surrounding territory.
There are five main Fae Courts in the area
- Reposo do livre - Seelie Court to the East of the Village.
- Campo dos sonhos - Seelie Court to the North East of the Village.
- Córrego da dor - Unseelie Court to the North of the Village.
- Madeiras elevadas - Seelie Court to the North West of the Village.
- Coração da escuridão - Unseelie Court to the South West of the Village.
Magics and Protections
The fae protections are tied to a pact with the villagers. These protections ensure that the weather is always clement, the crops always good and forestry accidents are minimised. The effects extend 5 miles out from the centre of the village.
These protections mirror the area covered by the fae protection and were placed upon the area some 30,000 years ago by an Elven Lord by the name of Foras. This older protection affects all summoning magics such that anything summoned will arrive at the edge of the area and from there the creature will walk to the summoner.
The is nestled at the northern tip of a fertile river valley. To the north lies the high foothills of the mountains seperating Newcourt from Elfenburg. East and west of the village lie thick forests. to the east the forest extends 8 miles and is two miles north/south. This is the D'arbres forest and few people return if they venture within it's boundaries. The Passaquine forest lies to the west and stretches some 25 miles west to the foothills and 30 miles north south.
South of the village is thich fertile lands and which narrow to a narrow gorge a few miles south of the village. The only road is a barely used rutted track just navigable by cart that runs alongside the river.
The river itself is sourced by the Eldermere high in the mountains and is clean and fresh (at least until it passes by the village). It is small enough to be unnavigable by river traffic until it wends it's way down to Merrivale when it it wide and deep enough for small barges.
Places of Interest
- Key Stone
20 miles west of the village is a high mana zone which is an Earth Place of Power. Until recently there was a huge stone in the shape of a head that was the bound and hibernated Dragon Roche. Below the stone lies the entrance to the tomb complex under the village of D'arbres. This Tunnel has now mostly collapsed and nothing else remains in the area other than the mana effects.
- Ley Lines
Several Mana Ley Lines pass through this area, maintaining contact with them provides high mana.
- Mill Pond
- Stone Wall
The low stone wall bordering the fields north-east of the village is inhabited by a Rock Troll who guards the border to the Fae Court. Currently under a treaty negotiated by Sir Christopher - if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. The locals know to stay away from the wall, they don't know why.
- The Hunting Lodge
This ruined building is the last remnant of a lodge built in 783WK for Baron Hugh D'Amberville by a Knight wishing to get into good favour. Now dilapidated the lodge was only used once by the Baron and the trip was a disaster. The buildings appear to have aged over 200 years and a large tree is growing through the middle of the main common room. The six sleeping chambers are open to the elements and the Kitchens and stables at the back of the building are strewn with broken crockery, hand tools and rusty iron. The Stones missing from the hearthstone in the kitchen but the Well water isn't brackish. The road to it still has slight ruts, but is overgrown with thick brambles, gorse, etc all prickly plants.
- Heart Clearing
12 "Yew trees" stand around a 70' diameter clearing with grasses, daisies etc. Centre of this clearing is an "oak tree". DA's have revealed these to be mana constructs: tree golems. The yews are activated by damage to the forest. They don't respond to enchanted language. In fact they don't respond.
- The Haunted Manor
Several miles south of the village, at the edge of the forest, is the site of the new manor house of the local Knight (Sir Christopher). As of winter 807WK, it includes a diverted stream, a stone-lined pond, a long low stone shed for drying wooden beams, and several miniature stone houses, churches, and ships of different designs, each 4-6 feet high and situated around the clearing. Piles of stone blocks in different cuts and materials can be found scattered around. Also, there is a 6 foot wide stone "egg-cup" on a plinth, with a rod through it and runic engravings in the bowl. Paved paths wend between each work-in-progress. The moss and lichen indicate this site hasn't been worked on since the previous summer.
The woods are alive with the sound of larks & nightingales, who can be seen flitting through the surrounding treetops. A fox, vixen and 3 (unseasonal) cubs frolic in the long grass & snow, and some elegant palfreys graze the pasture, guarded by a magnificent stallion. All appear completely unafraid of humans, and will approach if curious or hungry. They are all lesser creatures of mana. Despite the idyllic scene, people will usually try to leave within minutes of arriving - it all just feels wrong, and the sense of forboding will grow steadily if they pause to examine the clearing.
- Ruined Tower
25 miles to the west of the village where the forest gives way to foothills there is a ruined tower. The tower is three stories tall and is 40ft in diameter. The inside is a burned out shell and half the top story has been destroyed. Beneath the tower is a small complex, three rooms in an L shape. Directly below the tower is a room 100 ft long by 40ft wide comprising of a 5 ft corridor and 3 large iron cells. At the end of the corridor is a door leading into two rooms, a large workshop area and off to the right a bedroom. The workshop is in a state of disrepair and there is nothing of value remaining, the bedroom contains only a low cot. For those who can tell there is the site of a death in the workshop, the binder who worked here, and a few hundred deaths in the Cell closest to workshop. The deaths in the cell are a range of odd and unusual creatures from the void.
Events and History
- Spring 802wk - Investigation of D'arbres
The village of D'arbres is rediscovered after the Reeve asks the Baron of Newcourt for aid. People are disappearing from the village. The request for aid eventually ends up at the guild and a party investigates the area discovering information about a Fae Pact the villages have long since forgotten. A hell hound is found to be stirring up trouble and the village priest has turned to Zephar. The priest was removed, the hell hound destroyed and the Pact with the fae renegotiated.
- Summer 803wk - Tails you Lose
A Guild party is hired by someone who turns out to be the Demon Ipos, who uses the party to remove a Golem built from a wyvern which was being used by Zephar for purposes unknown. The binder responsible for the Golem was also removed from the area.
- Winter 803wk - Church Nights
The church finally looked to replace the previously removed priest. In a fit of zeal construction began on a huge church far larger than the village required. A Urielite Priest went missing and the Church began mustering troops for a crusade against the fae forests. The Villagers complained to the Baron and the problem was once again handed to the Guild who arrived to find a number of church workers massacred at the local stone mine. The Guild members located the source of the kidnapping and massacre and tracked the culprits to Sanctuary where they were discovered to be Zephar worshippers. The crusade was called off.
- Summer 804wk - When You Wish Upon A Leprechaun
A Guild part once again heads up to the area to assist a Leprechaun recover his gold coin. While tracking down this artifact a complex of bound earth rooms is discovered under the village and a mage is found trying to break in.
- Summer 805wk - A Timely Ghost
A ghost sighting in D'Arbres that is upsetting the locals. Baron Newcourt requests a guild party to investigate this latest incident and to deal with whatever is causing all these problems once and for all.
Braegon, Kin, Mortimer, Pent, Roke, and Serendipity arrive in the early afternoon of the First of Meadow, talk to a few villagers, then head off in to the forest to the west. They return late the following morning and announce the problem has been resolved.
What is kept from the villagers is that the Dragon, Hero, and Elven volunteers have been released from their tomb. After a couple of weeks to recuperate the hero and his stone-elf army through the forest and mountains via Borovia to Alfheim to launch their assault on the dark circle from there.
- 32,000 Years Ago (Pre-War of Tears)
The Seer Astronia has a vision of a time of darkness in the future when a great hero will be needed. His Lord (Foras) organises a great magical undertaking that involves a dragon (Roche), 10,000 volunteers and one of the foremost shapers of the time (Hora). The goal is to preserve a great hero of the time until he is needed 32,000 years hence.
Several sabotage attempts are thwarted by a group of 6 inquisitors with odd magical abilities and knowledge of distant future events.
Roche is bound into a "key stone" to guard the entrance. The elven volunteers are sacrificed to bind the stone walls of the tunnel. And the hero is sealed into the main chamber with his horse and 4 of the inquisitors who wish to avoid the war and go forward in time with him.