A ready to run city for any high-fantasy kingdom, complete with character tokens for pivotal NPCs;
Ovriver (and the upcoming region of Falirus) are designed as self-contained modules that you can drop into the larger world that you might already be planning or playing in.
Hey there folks, Garmbreak1 here. This week’s article is about the city of Ovriver, capital of the province of Falirus, which is occupied by a deliberately vague Empire. I’ve kept details of this Empire to the minimum that I could manage in order to make this city, and the larger province (coming soon!), easier to slot into your world.
Falirus has been occupied for about 20 years at this point, and has recently been dealing with the quandary of citizens suddenly turning into tieflings and then rampaging. As a result of these transformations, which the people call “demonization,” this area will provide some roleplaying hurdles for any tieflings in your party. If you think this would be more trouble than fun, feel free to swap the tieflings out for fire genasi or the like. Enjoy!
Ovriver, Provincial Capital
Population: Roughly 10,000
Major purposes: Administration, Trade
Ovriver is an old city, having existed in some form or another for over 1000 years. It sits on either side of the Kearidden River, connected by three bridges. Until 20 years ago, the city (and the surrounding province) was ruled by the Rothman family, but the Empire installed the Sonder family as the new rulers. Recently, a second family, Summerridge, was granted noble title as well. The city is also home to a halfling enclave known as Shortsbury.
For the last few years, a strange plague has troubled Ovriver: Seemingly at random, people turn into tieflings. The change is rapid and painful, and often drives the victim into a berserk rage. As a result, the town has a severe bias against tieflings.
The Docks are the center of Ovriver, straddling the river. Cargo from the upriver settlements of Klens (a farming town) and Veg Darul (a dwarven mining site) arrive here, along with the occasional visitor from a downriver wetland known as Southsby Fen.
Shortsbury, the halfling enclave on the eastern edge of town.
The Palace, on a hill on the northern edge of town. Opulent, isolated and guarded. Used to be the home of the old ruling family, the Rothmans, but now home to the Sonder newcomers.
The Market, just east of the docks, where you can get your everyday necessities, and also weapons.
The Temple of Izren. Dedicated to the Empire’s holiest god, Izren, this temple sits near the market. Many houses and an ancient church were demolished so it could be built.
The Ovriver Knowledgarium: An expansive library of topics mundane, magical and mythical.
The decadent rulers of Falirus. The nobles have no real idea of the chaos ready to break out in Ovriver. House Sonder owns the opulent palace, which they rarely leave. The spend most of their time drinking and playing elaborate board games.
Isaiah von Sonder, human patriarch. Isaiah is the oldest of the Sonder house and as such is the effective ruler of the area. Isaiah was once a sharp and attentive man, and many of the area’s prominent pieces of infrastructure were built by his decree, but years of alcoholism and isolation in the guilded cage of his estate have left him foolish and disconnected from the rest of the area. He firmly believes everything is going great. He has white hair, but it once was black.
Madeleine “Maddie” von Sonder, human noble. Madeleine is a local that Isaiah married a few decades ago. She has red hair, though its color has dulled through the years. She’s slightly more aware of the problems facing the area, but not by much.
James von Sonder, human noble. The eldest of house Sonder has known nothing but luxury. In the noble tradition, he carries a sword whenever outside of the estate and is trained with it, but is very likely to lose in anything but ritualistic single combat. He has very fluffy black hair.
Anya von Sonder, human noble. The daughter of house Sonder is the black sheep of the family. Mischievous and curious, she often sneaks out of the estate to roam among the common people. Once, this was just for fun, but now she’s found a higher purpose among the Order of the Snake.
A minor noble house with ambition. They see the current rulers as inept and disconnected. They’re right. They hope to unseat them with the aid of infernal powers and, led by Kador, are the secret cause of the “demonization” plague.
Summerridge’s main holding is a small complex near the docks. Their petition for noble status was granted just a few months before the demonization began.
Borz af Summerridge, human noble. Borz is a thin but powerful man with short blonde hair and black eyes. He has a long, thin scar across his right cheek. Borz is a ruthless man, and fully aware of Kador’s plans.
Wenna af Sumerridge, human noble. Wenna is a stocky woman who worked the docks for many years, which is where she and Borz met. She is unaware of the dark plans of the rest of her family.
Movlid af Summerridge, human noble. Movlid is Borz’s eldest son and handles most of the logistics of the family’s warehousing and arbitrage operations. Movlid also procures most of the components for Kador’s rituals.
Kador af Summerridge, human cultist. Kador is the youngest boy in the family, and a talented equestrian. Until recently, he spent much of his time riding in the provincial wilderness, exploring the old ruins of the area. He hasn’t been seen in public much since the family was granted a noble title, however.
House Summerridge, and specifically Kador, is using dark occult secrets he learned in the ruins of a temple to the old god Khavian to turn people in the area into rampaging tieflings. They hope to use this strange chaos to cast doubt on Sonder’s ability to rule, even insinuating that they’re tampering with demonic powers.
The Order of the Snake
The Order of the Snake has figured out how to de-tiefling people, which is great, since every once in a while somebody in town undergoes a painful transformation into one. Parties of the Order can often be found patrolling the streets, carrying gigantic holy symbols and smoke-spewing censers.
They are led by Master Exorcist Louwrens Torny. Louwrens is a devout follower of Ebris, a local deity that represents health and safety. Louwrens has gray eyes and his right arm is covered in an elaborate networks of scars, depicting a snake coiled around his arm, with the head on the back of his right hand.. He speaks with a deep, booming voice and makes direct eye contact with whoever he’s talking to.
This is not widely known, but Louwrens himself was an early victim of demonization. He managed to escape the city before it set in, and by chance ended up at the Lost Temple of Ebris, where the old god spoke to him and, in return for his blood and devotion, taught him the rituals to return himself to human form. Now, he and his followers roam the streets, in search of people to save.
A typical patrol consists of an Exorcist, an Adept and three Initiates. The adept bears a rank tattoo on the back of their right hand, depicting a snake’s head. Exorcists’ tattoos continue the snake, curling it around their arm and onto their back.
Exorcist Elijah Slager: Armed with a censer. Elijah is an outspoken advocate for the cause, having lost a friend to demonization many years ago.
Adept Luka Gaus: Luka has been in the Order for some time. As a true believer with a steady hand, he carries the chalk needed for drawing holy symbols as part of the exorcism ritual. Luka himself was briefly overcome by demonization as a youth, but was restored to humanity by the Order.
Initiate Lars Slager: Younger brother of Elijah, carries a gigantic holy symbol to be planted in the ground if a tiefling is discovered. Lars is a new recruit and has yet to actually participate in an exorcism. He’s not sure if what he’s doing is right, but everybody else seems to be.
Initiate Anya von Sonder: Scion of the Sonder noble house, she participates in the cult without her family’s knowledge, going simply by Anya.
Initiate Matthias “Lucky” Kaa: Matthias comes from a lower-class background. Before joining the Order, he made his living as a small-time criminal. Several near escapes earned him the nickname “Lucky.”
The Dusty Oyster Inn & Tavern
The Dusty Oyster is located just to the east of the docks, along one of the main roads. The front of the building is made of logs. It is much larger on the inside than you’d expect, thanks to decades of expansions, which has led to a labyrinthine network of extra seating and rooms stretching backwards. Up on the second floor are rentable rooms, and this area has been expanded similarly.
At least one of its two owners, the twins Markus & Thorkild Hoyer, can usually be found behind the bar. The locals all say Thorkild is the more handsome of the two. You can’t tell the difference.
Standard: Two decent beds per room, 5 SP per night. There are 20 of these, but about half are unoccupied at any given time.
The Grand Suite: Two very nice beds, plus a table and comfortable chairs. 2 GP per night. Only one of these is available.
Soup of the Day: Beef & Barley, 2 SP.
Cream of Mushroom soup, 2 SP.
Crispy pork with parsley sauce: 4 SP
Baked ham with mustard glaze: 4 SP
House Brew: It certainly tastes like beer. 4 CP per pint.
Stout stout: Made by the halflings in Shortsbury, this dark and strong brew contains distinct citrusy notes that nicely complement the coffee-like flavor. 5 CP per pint.
On the eastern edge of Ovriver, the buildings seem to shrink. The floors are shorter and stairs more numerous. Eclectic art covers the stone walls of this maze-like enclave. In its very center is a stage and a small park.
Logan Thiffault, halfling brewer. Logan is the third-generation owner of Stout Stout Brewery. He takes great pride in his work, but drinks only to test batches. He has straight black hair kept in a braid behind his head.
Alexy Aubin, halfling fiddler. The notes of Alexy’s dramatic songs can often be heard echoing through the district, sometimes interspersed with the oration of his dramatic partner, Marie Ly. He has curly brown hair and green eyes.
Marie Ly, halfling orator. Marie Ly is a blonde halfling with an almost unnatural charm. In her performances with Alexy, she strides across the stage and makes sweeping gestures to punctuate her words. Her personal favourite work to perform is the Ballad of the Wolf. Her left arm is missing below the elbow.
Other Characters of Note
Thak Blazeforge, dwarven blacksmith. Thak arrived in the capital a few years ago and quickly made a reputation as both a shrewd negotiator and a talented blacksmith. She shares her workspace, and many projects, with Kai Key’Nala.
Kai Key’Nala, elven leatherworker. Kai is a young, blond elf with keen eyes and steady hands. He has a strange way of talking, and often punctuates his sentences with dramatic flourishes, even while working. He prefers to make very fancy, artistic clothing and the like, but makes simpler armor to “pay the bills.”
Neezia Red, Imperial Banker, dragonborn. Neezia is a red dragonborn, sent by the empire to manage the local bank. Her eyes have pupils like a cat’s, and when she’s suspicious they narrow into slivers.
Stig Reez, human priest of Izren. Stig Reez was an orphan, and grew up in the loving arms of the Temple of Izren. Now, he preaches from the pulpit once per week about Lord Izren’s virtues of honor, chastity and duty, He spends the rest of his time walking the streets, giving impromptu sermons and so on. Very nice fellow, if a bit, well, preachy.
Kert Qubain, human street musician. Kurt wanders the streets of Ovriver, stopping at seemingly-random establishments and pulling a gigantic brass contraption out of the sack on his back, which the then begins to play. It sounds terrible. He will continue to play it until someone pays him to leave. In truth, he also gets paid to play in certain places… just, never near the person paying him.
Anna Champoux, halfling librarian. Anna is a wild-eyed halfling woman with gray eyes and deep wrinkles. She keeps her gray hair in a loose ponytail. She is the current manager of the Ovriver Knowledgarium, the region’s primary store of information. She has some minor magical ability, and uses spells like Jump and Mage Hand to help her in her work. She can often be found holding a book with Mage Hand and flipping the pages with minor gusts of wind.
Suzie Haugaard, stable and tack shop owner. Suzie is a bubbly woman with brown, braided hair. She has a crooked nose, the result of a particularly bad encounter with Princess. She wheezes a bit as she breathes as a result of this. Most of the tack (horse-riding equipment) was made in whole or in part by Kai Key’Nala.
Military saddle: These saddles are rugged and sturdy, built for long rides on rough ground. 20 GP.
Riding saddle: Suzie’s riding saddles are quite fancy, with complicated elven designs. They will surely make the rider look elegant and cultured. 12 GP
Saddlebags: These saddlebags are decorated with scenes of mountains and rivers. 4 GP.
Starfoot, draft horse. Starfoot is a surly mare with a jet-black coat and mane. 50 GP.
Bailey, draft horse. Baily is a stallion with brown fur and a black mane and tail. 50 GP.
Princess, riding horse. Princess is a stuck-up mare who won’t let anyone she doesn’t like come near her. Her fur is white and her mane and tail are blonde. 50 GP.
Twilight, riding horse. Twilight is a mare with an oddly purple-ish mane and gray fur. On her flank is a red mark shaped like a six-pointed star. 75 GP.
A wandering Order of the Snake patrol. → See above
A halfling and a human shopkeeper are in a heated argument. The shopkeeper appears to be accusing the halfling of stealing something.
A horned tiefling smashes through the wall of a building and begins assaulting random people. Up until about five minutes ago, this was a normal human. He’s got children. Now he’s a rampaging, demonic creature. Can the party save him?
Map and Asset Downloads
Please enjoy a few more battle map & asset recommendations for various locations in Ovriver!
Buildings PackPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Basic Building AssetsPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Carts, Carriages & Wagons$1.00
City Buildings Bundle 1Product on sale
City Buildings Bundle 2Product on sale
Basic Building Assets Pack$5.00
Modular Rooftop Assets Pack$5.00
The Everything PackProduct on sale
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