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Bell’s End is a system-neutral city street setting built to be dropped into your campaign at a moment’s notice, complete with characters, backstories, and your choice of adventure tangents!

Wind whistles through empty alleys, rattling loose tiles and tugging at worn tavern signs. Crumbling stone whimpers a past grandeur, now cloaked in a shroud of black smog and lingering despair. The stench of stale ale and neglect hangs in the air, punctuated by the cawing of crows perched on the frosted rooftops. Even the sun seems hesitant to linger, casting long shadows that bleed through the abandoned streets. But wait, a sound, unexpected and out of place, drawing your attention from the dreary scene, was it… laughter? From somewhere within the tangled streets, a melody spills out, bright and defiant. Various jingles intertwine with cries of joy and song, chased by the rhythmic clatter of hammers on metal, and horse-drawn carts on cobble. The smell of stale beer and industrial smog is slowly replaced by fresh-baked pies and the rich perfume of freshly plucked flowers. Intrigued, you descend, eyes adjusting to the sudden bright lights and colors of your destination. The air shimmers with a strange warmth, the metallic tang of fresh-forged blades mingling with the sweet scent of freshly baked bread and blooming honeysuckle. Houses, though weathered, bear splashes of vibrant paint, adorned with hanging baskets overflowing with herbs and crimson roses. A well-maintained sign hangs in front of you, welcoming you to your destination, welcoming you to the city district known as Bell’s End.

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Bell’s End

The cobbled heart of Bell’s End used to beat with a vibrant pulse. Music and laughter spilled from taverns like spilled ale, and the cling clang of the workshops chimed a merry symphony. But time, that relentless tyrant, took its toll. Workshops fell silent, the streets fell empty, and laughter became a faded memory. Bells, once a symphonic reflection to the joy, hung mute in their steeples, as there was seldom a need to celebrate in Bell’s End anymore.

Four years ago, however, a curious cog shifted in the wheels of fate. Alistair Cogswhistle arrived in Bell’s End, a man whose eyes twinkled like comets and a smile that caused the frowns in the room to miraculously vaporize. His rickety cart, overflowing with contraptions both wondrous and absurd, settled under the shadow of the silent bells. As if touched by Alistair’s magic, Bell’s End began to wake. Doors reopened, paint buckets breathed life back into the shopfronts and stalls, and children, noses pressed against Alistair’s window, rekindled the once-forgotten spark of laughter. The heart of the city, once silent, hummed with a new rhythm, driven by the whimsical dreams of Alistair Cogswhistle. Time, it seemed, had been rewound, not with gears, but with a sprinkle of cheer and a heart full of wonder.

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Key Occupants

Alistair Cogswhistle

Toy Shop Owner, Toy Maker, Male Human

Adult, bearded, with thick dark hair and rich brown eyes. 5ft. 8″, strong build

Upon opening the toy shop door the bell above the door tinkles a playful tune as you’re immediately bombarded by an explosion of color and sound. Spinning wooden tops zip across tabletops and floor, a cascade of miniature hot air balloons hovering playfully above you, and the room overwhelmed with the sounds of whistles, pops, bangs, and laughter. But before you can take it all in, in the center of it all, a man materializes like a burst of magic. Dressed head to toe in a brightly colored and exotic garb that would look out of place anywhere else but here, a riot of mismatched patterns adorn his waistcoat, each button sporting a unique spinning toy. His beard, as wild as the toys that danced around him, matching the piercing twinkle in his eyes. A mischievous grin stretches across his face as he takes you in, head to toe, with a gaze that appears to be looking straight through you and into the dreams tucked away in your heart.

Behind the whimsy of “Whims, Wares, and Wind-up Wonders” stands Alistair, not just a shopkeeper, but a virtuoso when it comes to the weaving of enchantments. Carving each creation from a medley of exotic materials, he breathes life into wood and metal, imbuing them with enchantments that far surpass the works of his toymaking kin. It was 4 years ago that Alistair first arrived in Bell’s End, sitting atop a brightly painted horse-drawn cart brimming to bursting with fantastical creations.

His effect on the tired and run-down city street was immediate. Grumpy faces etched with the lines of a resigned bitterness, found themselves softening as laughter chirped from windows and bounced across the cobblestones. Bell’s End, a street too long stagnating in the echoes of forgotten dreams, finally found its rhythm again. All thanks to a whimsical toymaker who materialized just when the street needed a sprinkle of magic most.


Stan Crumpet

Baker, Male Human

Middle-aged, warm brown eyes. 6ft. 3″, rotund build with a friendly rounded face

The warm scent of yeast tickles your nose as you enter the room. In the center stands a man, his back turned, his broad hands cradling a donut like a precious gem. Placing it tenderly on a tower of its brethren before suddenly noticing your presence and straightening up with a jolt, his startled movements dusting the air with flour as he whips around to greet you. His belly, a pillowy mound straining against his flour-sack apron, jiggling with each chuckle that rumbled from his depths. His arms, thick as baguettes, his grin, wide as a pie plate, and his presence giving off a strong feeling that his heart must be light and airy as a cloud of spun sugar.

Stan Crumpet, a towering man with a belly as big as his smile. You might, at first sight, be intimidated by his size if not for the sincere kindness that appears permanently baked across his features. Rosy cheeks and a figure built like a well-proofed loaf tell you that Stan enjoys his creations as much as everyone else in the district. And so he should!

The locals will happily announce that Stan is the Michelangelo of muffins, the Picasso of pies, the Shakespeare of sourdough! Or in other words, one of, if not the best, baker in the whole city. Stan bakes love into every crusty roll, every buttery croissant, every sugar-dusted donut. And that, they say, is the secret ingredient that makes Crumpet’s Bakery a place where the air is always sweet and the welcome always warm.


Matilda Shankbone

Butcher, Female Human

Young adult, light blonde tied-back and emerald green eyes. 5ft. 7″, strong and muscular build

The icy sting of winter still clinging to your coats, you enter the butcher’s shop first noticing an air that radiated with the warming tang of salt and spice, a comforting counterpoint to the snowflakes still clinging to your garb. A thump from the back draws your attention as a young woman materializes from the doorway, approaching you with a noticeable thump in her stride. Her emerald eyes, a stark contrast to the room full of bright red butchery, meet yours for a flicker before a wide smile splits her freckled face. She wears an apron still dripping with crimson. With an apologetic glance, she tosses the apron onto a nearby hook, revealing a pair of strong arms that bore the splattered remnants of her latest conquest. With palms flat on the counter, she leans forward, a silent question in her gaze.

Matilda Shankbone’s blood beat to the rhythm of the cleaver. Her grandfather, a master butcher whose name still hung above the shop door in worn Gothic script, taught her the secrets of the trade; the violence of the blade against bone, the delicate dance of seasoning, the quiet respect owed to every creature that graced the chopping block. After her grandfather passed away, Matilda continued in his stead, determined to have him live on through her craft. Her hands, weathered and strong, honed slabs of meat with the precision of a surgeon, and her smile continues to welcome weary travelers and carnivorous locals alike.


Percival Pinstripe

Tailor, Male Elf

Late Middle-aged, clean-shaven, with neat grey slicked-back hair and piercing blue-grey eyes. 6ft. 4″, wirey slender build with perfect posture

Upon entering the Tailor’s den, you squint through the fabric avalanche that constituted the “shop.” The clothes seem to drape over every surface like a streamer bomb had just exploded. A voice, as smooth as silk and dripping with indifference, slithered from behind a monstrous loom. “Be with you in a moment…” it sighs, sounding as enthusiastic as damp wool. A spindly elf eventually unfolded from the loom’s shadow, hands clasped behind his back like a praying mantis. He loomed over you like a willow branch, eyes narrowing as if you were a particularly strange-looking bug. “Well?” he drawled, voice flat as starched linen.

Born into the service of Elven royalty and son of a tailoring savant, Percival Pinstripe wasn’t destined for dusty needles and threadbare scraps. Yet, despite his lineage and passion, his early attempts often sputtered like frayed thread, mere wisps of talent struggling to ignite. The whispers, once filled with admiration, began to echo with doubt. Disowned by his kin out of shame for the harm he caused to their reputation, shunned away before even hitting adulthood.

So he wandered, the needle his solace, and deciding the human realm to be his canvas. In Bell’s End, amidst soot and desperation, his chaotic shop became a cocoon, where discarded scraps held forgotten beauty. There, his touch, once mocked, blossomed into legend. Percival Pinstripe, the Bell’s End Dandy, weaving forgotten rags into masterpieces, each stitch a tapestry of resilience and hope.


Clementine Appleseed

Grocer, Female Dwarf

Elder, grey hair tied back into a tight bun, dark green eyes. 4ft. 1″, well-fed build, hunched and fragile

Sunlight spills through the fruit stand, igniting rows of apples, pears, and oranges. Crisp greens stand tall, basking in the spotlight. The air, a sweet tango of citrus and vegetation. But from within this vibrant garden, something stirs. A gentle, “Hello darlings,” rings out, soft and sweet. From behind a towering pumpkin pile, a tiny dwarven woman, hunched like a particularly overripe banana, shuffles slowly towards the counter.

Back in the early days of Bell’s End, Clementine and George, her husband with a weathered face and smile as rich as compost, arrived with a cart overflowing with the earth’s vibrant blooms. Clementine, eyes brimming with the seeds of wanderlust, saw Bell’s End as a parched plot yearning for life. Wealth held little sway for the Appleseeds. They instead sought the joy of spreading the earth’s gifts, charging only enough to keep their wheels turning and new exotic produce coming in.

Then the shadows crept in. Bell’s End dimmed, appetites shrank, and the winter cough snatched George away, leaving Clementine alone in her little pantry. But she stood tall (Figuratively…), a sturdy oak in a woolen shawl, her basket a cornucopia of resilience. Every turnip offered, every shared smile, a sprout of hope pushing through the soil. For years, she weathered the storm, a beacon of grit in a fallow field.

Finally, 4 years ago, the darkness melted away, and Bell’s End once again blossomed into life. Clementine, the spry sprout who’d outlasted the shadows, had proven herself the heartbeat of the town. Her story woven into every cobblestone, every shared meal. And when the sun finally bathed Bell’s End in its golden glow, it shone a little brighter on Clementine, the woman who’d brought them a taste of paradise, even in the darkest of days.


Teddy Tongs

Blacksmith, Male Halfling

Middle-aged, clean-shaven with thick brown hair and sideburns, gentle light brown eyes. 3ft. 2″, average build and large hands

A rhythmic clang, clang, CLANG echoes through the frosted streets of Bell’s End, each blow punctuated by the pulsing huff of bellows. Smoke curls and dances above the workshop, painting the frost-kissed sky with streaks of charcoal. Silhouetted against the fiery forge within, a figure stands dwarfed by an anvil. His oversized hands wrestling with a hammer nearly his height, sparks cascading like shooting stars with each CLANG of the anvil. His scorched arms raise upwards, bracing for another large swing as you approach. The man notices you and slowly lowers the monstrous hammer, grinning at you and revealing a gap-toothed smile that splits his soot-streaked face. “Welcome!” His voice, though high and sharp as anvil song, spreads a warmth rivaling that of a forge. “What brings you to my humble forge today?”

One blustery morning, a rickety wagon bearing anvils and tools rumbled into the cobbled heart Bell’s End. Teddy, barely visible beneath a mountain of hammers and coal, surveyed the grim faces, the chimneys coughing smoke into the leaden sky, and saw opportunity – not in gold, but in the cold iron waiting to be coaxed into life. With a grin that could charm the rust off a blade, he set up his forge, filling the air with the rhythmic beat of hammer on anvil. And so, Teddy Tongs, the smallest smith with the biggest laugh, became another spark in the darkness, forging not just tools, but hope, one clang at a time.


Father Barty Quill

Church Priest, Male Human

Young adult, clean-shaven, neat short brown hair and blue eyes. 5ft. 11″, slender weedy build

As you approach the weathered oak doors of the church, a melody escapes, not a triumphant fanfare, but a lament that seems to bore its way into your very soul. Inside, shadows stretch like ancient prayers across the abandoned pews. At the far end, bathed in the golden light of a single lantern, a solitary figure sits bathed in its glow. His fingers danced across the ivory keys, coaxing the lament from its wooden heart.

Bell’s End, a district where its citizens were forged in the furnace of toil, chuckled when a priest arrived looking like a cherub who’d wandered out of a stained-glass window. Barty Quill, with his peaches-and-cream complexion and voice barely a feather on the wind, continued to be ignored as a serious addition to the community. Yet, beneath the youthful facade hummed an unwavering spirit, ready to prove that even the gentlest breeze could push aside the heaviest mountain.


Jasper Steelyard

Policeman, Male Human

Middle-aged, bristly mutton chops, with black windswept hair and dark brown eyes. 6ft. 1″, strong solid build softened slightly by age

The outside light carves a strip of light into the dim room, illuminating the dust motes swirling amongst the gloom. A creak whispers from the corner, drawing your gaze to a lone figure sprawled back in his chair, legs slung indifferently across a desk drowning in paper. A policeman, more mutton-chop than man, turns ever so slightly in your direction. With eyes dark and daring as coal pits, he rakes you over, slow and deliberate, wanting you to know you’re in his kingdom, and that you’re being watched.

The shadows of Bell’s End once danced with danger, each corner a potential threat, each report a puzzle to solve. Back then, Officer Steelyard hadn’t seen the bottom of his desk in weeks, nights blurred by adrenaline and mystery. For the past 4 years, however, the dust seemed to pile up faster than interesting case files, the unrelenting cheer a mocking reminder of the vanished grit and challenge he once faced. The peace, though ultimately the end goal of all law enforcement, felt like a heavy shroud, smothering his spark. His mutton chops drooped, reflecting a deflated stillness where his vigilance now felt like a rusty relic of a long-forgotten era. His eyes, though, still held embers of the fire. Maybe they’d reignite, maybe trouble would return to Bell’s End. Maybe.


Penelope Plum

Bartender, Female Human

Adult, with firey red hair and hazel brown eyes. 5ft. 5″, soft build with strong arms and shoulders

The tavern roars with unruly fervor, beer mugs clinking amongst drunken toasts, chairs groaning under the elation of well-lubricated patrons, and laughter spilling like overflowing tankards. Cutting through the uproar, a voice rises, clear and melodious as dawn birds, trailing a song – a ballad woven with celebration and mischief. The song originated from behind the bar, where a whirlwind of a woman spins and twirls, her fiery red hair echoing the rhythm of the song. With each flourish, she conjures a drink, pouring, catching, and slamming mugs with the practiced expertise of a circus acrobat, her song weaving a mesmerizing spell as if beckoning moths to a flame.

Penelope Plum was born within the four walls of The Pickled Plum, the rhythmic clinking of tankards her lullaby. Her first steps were waltzes between tables, her first words lilting melodies picked up from tavern bards. Penelope grew, her voice ripening like sweet cider, her movements as fluid as the flowing ale. She sang of heroes and harpies, of love and loss, her stories weaving through the cheers and laughter like wisps of enchanted mist. She wasn’t just serving ale, she was brewing emotion, with each song a shared adventure, with each drink a new memory. Years passed and her father, Silas Plum, his hair now dusted with silver, grew beyond the ability to run The Pickled Plum by himself and happily passed it on to his more-than-capable daughter Penelope. And so, Penelope Plum continues to sing, her voice, now laced with the wisdom of life’s melody. Holding onto the promise that within The Pickled Plum, magic still blooms, stories still swirl, and every heart has a song waiting to be unleashed.


Additional Citizens

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Rumors

Alistair’s Unruly Toys. There have been whispers that Alistair controls an army of lifesized Nutcracker Dolls hidden away, the gossip is usually quickly snuffed out in disbelief that the savior of Bell’s End would never raise an army for nefarious purposes. (True; Alistair has been developing a range of animated Nutcracker Dolls that he keeps hidden under his toy store. However, the reason he keeps them hidden is so no one accidentally triggers them, and he created them to defend the town if it ever came under attack.) Click here for our collection of Nutcracker Doll tokens.

Stan’s Unruly Baked Goods. By some confusing coincidence, there have been whispers that some of the baked goods in Crumpet’s Bakery are alive. (True; Alistair trusts the good-natured heart of Stan Crumpet, and after noticing the near-magic-like talent Stan has for breathing love into his baked goods, taught him a few of his tricks for animating the inanimate. Stan proceeded to practice on some of his baked goods which to his delight, worked, and to his panic, escaped. Alistair comforted him with the knowledge that the magic would likely fade before any harm was caused.) Click here for our collection of Gingerbread tokens.

The Gronch. Rumors that seem to surface every winter tell of a furry green monster that lives on the mountain peak nearby, the theory is that the monster is upset by the lights and cheer that come with the winter holidays and will come down to eradicate anything cheerful. (Surprisingly True; There is a creature up in the mountains that feels great discomfort from the flashing lights reflecting off the surface of the ice and snow, and will occasionally come down at night to snuff them out. It is unknown whether the monster truly has a pet dog or not.)

Feel free to get creative with the use of our Snowman Tokens too!

Building Names

I’m sure that you can find a use for this winter-themed city street in your game, we hope you’ll share your story in the comments below. 🙂

Downloads

You can use the button above to download the Bell’s End map, and I have listed many of the map asset packs used below. You can also find many more on our Map Gallery.


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About the author

James

I help Ross with a chunk of the background work so he has more time for the part he loves, the artwork! When I'm not doing that, I'm working on my own maps & articles to assist you in your worldbuilding. :)

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