About this Resource
This resource features the general description of a rice farming town close to the northern kingdoms. A mysterious magical waterfall causes some interesting magical effects. It includes adventure ideas that are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 8) adventuring parties. Challenge Rating (CR) is calculated using a party of four as the model.
The DM is free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first the DM should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew world lore. To modify the challenge rating of the adventure, the DM must first consider the power level of the party. Considering the PCs’ individual levels and the number of players is crucial to presenting a good challenge. Not all parties are the same, different playing styles and command of the system in the party can increase or decrease their effectiveness in encounters. The DM may adjust the encounters slightly by adding or subtracting monsters. Alternatively, controlling monsters with more intelligence and strategy is often the easiest way to raise the difficulty of an encounter. When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the Monster Manual are cited.
There are, surely, plenty of beautiful places in the kingdom. There has never been a lack of locations where the locals have achieved the perfect combination of exquisite architecture, green areas, impressive monuments, good-hearted people, and perhaps good weather. But some places stand out from the rest. They are simply beautiful. They entice your senses and sometimes you do not even know what it is that attracts you to it, but the strength by which it pulls you to it is very real. The Town of Fierallin is one of such places. If you ask around, anyone who has ever visited Fierallin will tell you that it is the most beautiful place in the kingdom, and they will not be lying. But if you ask them why, they will stumble trying to find a way to describe it with words. And no one can.
The Town of Fierallin is a small farming settlement north of the main cities. It is located twenty miles south of the border with the northern kingdoms. The area has been raided by enemy parties on several occasions over the last fifty years, but for some reason, no invading party ever attacked Fierallin. It is not like it has nothing of value; Any farming resources are valuable assets for would-be attackers. People think that this has only been a fortunate coincidence. The town follows the course of the Golden Stream, a narrow river that flows south and connects with a larger stream that eventually reaches the Western Sea. Fierallin is divided by a cliff that runs northeast to southwest. The Golden Stream crosses this cliff in the form of a waterfall. The waterfall is a source of local legends and the supposed explanation of many strange phenomena that occurs in Fierallin.
As described, the peaceful town sounds like many others, with nothing of particular notice. But there is something in the air that makes a person feel at ease. Visitors cannot avoid being impressed by the picturesque town. Fierallin is an idyllic paradise for the mind and the eyes. A place of perfect communion of civilization and nature. It is as if the very essence of life floated around in the air and meandered through the trees in the form of flying leaves and dust.
The soil in the immediate area around Fierallin’s Waterfall is more fertile than experienced farmers would expect it to be. To profit from this, the farmers landscaped the cliff side to create several platforms for rice paddy fields. Fierallin is a small town but its production of rice surpasses that of town five times its size.
The leader of Fierallin is a community-elected Townspeaker. This person is required to pledge allegiance to the crown and represents the town’s interests in the capital. This arrangement is common throughout the undeveloped northern lands. Townspeaker Jane is the woman in charge of Fierallin. She is a strong-willed woman who believes that Fierallin must remain a small community. She prefers the town to remain secluded from outside forces. The people who oppose her want to town to grow in size and accept more people. Townspeaker Jane believes that doing this will go against the idyllic nature of the small town. She cannot explain why or how, but she thinks that changing this delicate balance will ruin the beautiful and profitable things in Fierallin. Townspeaker Jane lives in the manor house by the southeast end of town. It is the largest building in town. The manor house is also used to house two homeless stable boys, as a general storage place/granary, and it also features two spare rooms they rent to travelers and merchants.
Plots and Facts
What follows is a list of interesting things that can happen in the Town of Fierallin while adventurers visit or pass through. Some of these ideas explore the mystical qualities of the waterfall and the water. Not all of these subplots should be used at once but they are a source of ideas for plenty of short adventures. Fierallin is a fantasy town that is true to its nature, the place should feel fantastic.
A sealed crypt behind the waterfall is the resting place of an immortal fey spirit named Slithenna. This snake-shaped fey spirit was imprisoned here thousands of years ago by the Fey Courts for long-forgotten crimes. Slithenna will remain trapped here for another twenty thousand years. The fey spirit cannot directly interact with its environment but its energy passes through material walls and influences the area around the waterfall. It is Slithenna’s essence that makes the soil fertile and the water refreshing.
Every winter solstice, the rays of the rising sun fall upon the waterfall creating a weird luminous and physical phenomenon. A grandiose water door that shines through the fast-falling drops of water. Unfortunately, the ethereal door does not appear to have any physical qualities and cannot be traversed. It is rumored that a key object is needed to be able to cross the threshold. Behind the door is a pocket plane where Slithenna is a prisoner. A large slab of yellow material which appears to be amber holds the remains of a large snake inside. A visitor may converse with Slithenna here but only the Fey Court can free the fey spirit.
Where are the Mice?
An interesting fact about the Town of Fierallin is that there is no sign of mice, rats, or other small-sized rodents around. Storage or containers are never attacked by these common animals either. The magical aura of Slithenna suffuses the water flow of the Golden Stream. The snake-like qualities of Slithenna make the water and all water sources or produce fed by it repulsive to rodents. This strange effect can only be detected by rodents. The water is normal in all other ways.
The Paradigm of Half Sentence
Slithenna is about to reach the middle of its sentence in the material world. Fey Court sentences are among the strongest bonds in the multiverse. The ending of a sentence is a powerful event that releases the arcane energies that bounded the participants in it. Reaching the middle part of a sentence behaves in a similar way but the energy release is not as strong. The way a half sentence is released is not always the same as arcane fluctuations of the Weave of Magic manifests in unexplainable ways. When Slithenna’s sentence reaches its halfway point, a tremor is felt up to a mile away from Fierallin. Then, the fabric of reality bends over itself and causes the Golden Stream to revert its flow for a day. Strangest of all is the waterfall flowing upwards and then uphill. This strange occurrence lasts for a day and will not repeat itself ever.
Farmers in Distress
There is a message board on the façade of the manor house where a big poster depicts a bounty contract for whoever manages to kill a chimera. Asking around reveals that the dangerous monstrosity made its lair a few miles west near a cliff. The chimera does not actively hunt townsfolk but Fierallin is within its hunting grounds. The creature usually targets small-sized livestock like goats and chicken but there have been to human deaths over the past three months. Townspeaker Jane is offering a reward of 200 gp to whoever kills the beast and brings its three heads.
The Watermill Issue
Over the last fifty or plus years, there has been a local quarrel about the rights to the river shore. Past Townspeakers decreed that the river and its shore would not be developed except for the building of bridges or similar transportation aids. It has become common knowledge that the Grinnand family wishes to build a water mill at the top of the cliff, right before the waterfall. Doing so would greatly boost the town’s economic input and would encourage more people to move in. Townspeaker Jane is of the idea that Fierallin should remain secluded from the outside world and, thus, opposes the idea of writing off the land to the Grinnands. A common argument among the conservatives is that developing the river shore and taking advantage of it this way would affect the properties of the soil and the water that make the farms so profitable.
The Hermit and the Voice
There was a homeless hermit who lived a few miles east of the Town of Fierallin, near an abandoned stone quarry. The man meandered around town and scrounged food and stuff from the land. The kind townsfolk of Fierallin tried to invite the hermit to the town and offer him work at the farms. It turned out that the strange man was not mentally sane and could not work. Still, they let the man stay inside the town because winters were harsh and they feared for the man’s life. The hermit now lives in a tree next to the southern bridge and is known as “Grophane”. Not because they know his name, but the hermit always says that word before speaking. The man cannot converse in a normal way. His vocabulary is limited and he only speaks in riddles. The townsfolk agree that nothing he says makes any sense at all, but there is a riddle he repeats often: “Tell me whose tail is it that moves… It shall grant you the calm nature of the immortals…”
If the adventurers ask around, there is a strange rumor about the waterfall. Some people claim that a hissing snake-like voice can be heard at night behind the waterfall. The voice speaks in many languages and repeats a few rhymes. The voice says the same riddle as Grophane. But no one can explain how he learned of it since he knew that riddle since before he was admitted into Fierallin. Other rhymes speak of strange treasures buried in the kingdom, but they warn greedy explorers that each reward comes with a steep price.
The Sage and the River
An old woman named Tara is a known occultist and user of divination magic. Old Tara is so old and frail that her grandson Mikel must help her move around town in her wheelchair. Old Tara reads the hidden parables of the future by tossing ash into the Golden Stream and interpreting the eddies of ash in the moving water. She is physically fragile but her mind is still as sharp as a knife. She is very wise and most people in town believe her readings or at least respect her views.
When an adventurer asks Old Tara to read his or her fortune, the woman smiles and accepts. She enjoys reading the moving ashes for foreign people as she is so familiar with the fates of all the locals. She performs her divination ceremony as normal, but something goes terribly wrong in the end. After tossing the ash into the Golden Stream, the flowing water turns red like blood. It is an omen of horrible implications. Old Tara will ask her grandson to return her home because she needs to consult the stars, a task that may well take a few days. Or perhaps it is all a ruse and Old Tara’s motives are darker than anyone expects.
The Forgotten Heirloom
Adventurers often visit the Town of Fierallin in search of the fabled Rod of the Rattlesnake. This object from legends is supposed to hold great magical power. Rumor has it that this object is either inside the walls or under the home of the Grinnand family. The house is located on top of the paddy fields; a single bridge leads to the house. The current owners are fed up with adventurers trying to break in as they claim there is nothing there. They have successfully driven away unwanted visitors for decades. In reality, an ancestor of the Grinnands who was an original founder of Fierallin five generations ago found something hidden in the land which would become the family house. It was a strange staff with snake ornaments and two emeralds for eyes. Only the current head of the family, Gantz Grinnand, knows of this heirloom and where it is buried. Gantz does not know its purpose. This is the Rod of the Rattlesnake. It is the key to cross the watery door that appears during the winter solstice. It was left here by the fey court enforcer who imprisoned Slithenna.
Young Hino, the son of a rice farmer, has found the place where the rod is buried. He found it by mistake behind the Grinnand’s state while digging for truffles. Young Hino did not dare take the object so he buried it again. He can share this information with the adventurers for a silver coin and the promise that they will take Young Hino to whatever adventure the discovery of the rod produces.
These are the general features of the Town of Fierallin. It is located in twenty miles south of the border with the northern kingdoms. The town’s main economic activity is farming and harvesting rice among other produce.
Terrain. The soil in the immediate area around Fierallin’s Waterfall is more fertile than usual. The farmers know this and have created a set of scaled farms around the waterfall to profit from this strange effect.
Buildings. Most houses in Fierallin are made of wood. The pine trees in the surrounding area provide enough wood for this purpose. The only exception is Townspeaker Jane’s house which features stone walls.
The Waterfall. A sealed crypt behind the waterfall is the resting place of an immortal fey spirit. Only a person wielding the rod of the rattlesnake during the winter solstice can access the crypt. The fey spirit’s aura radiates from the waterfall and produces some magical effects. The locals have varied explanations for these phenomena.
Light. The Town of Fierallin is mostly open space. Lighting conditions depend on the weather and the time of day.