Graythorn & Greenbriar is a forested system-neutral region filled with woodland animals and charming townsfolk. Does your world feature terrain like this? This article is designed to help you flesh it out.
Along a trade route sits the town of Graythorn, beside it the Sedgehill Woods and, within that, the hamlet of Greenbriar.
The wood-walled town of Graythorn sits just to the south of Sedgehill Woods A well-trodden road runs through the center of the town, extending more or less to the west and east. There are gates at the north, east and west edges of town. Graythorn used to be the seat of authority for this region, but that changed after the Imperial takeover. As a result, much of its population left, leaving many empty buildings.
The Market Square
At the center of Graythorn is the Market Square, a large square of dirt where merchants gather weekly to sell their wares. More permanent shops ring the outside of the Square.
On the edge of the market square is a two-storey wooden building with a sign in both dwarven and common. Inside is a large collection of tobacco products and gambling supplies, sold by a cheery dwarf with a cherry-red birthmark on his right forearm.
There’s a small set of stairs beside the counter that lead up to the raised platform where the proprietor’s chair is, and more stairs behind the counter lead up to the top floor. Being made for a dwarf, however, these stairs would be difficult for a human of average height to ascend with any real speed.
Nötdrath Rubybrand, dwarf tobacconist: Nötdrath is a stocky, black-haired dwarf with a twin-braided beard. He sells tobacco and some other wares out of a shop in Graythorn. He tends to end sentences with “my boy.”
- Pouch of Tobacco: 1/2 pound, 50 GP.
- Pouch of High-Quality Tobacco: 1/2 pound, 75 GP.
- Set of dice: 1 SP
- Five-suited playing card deck: 6 SP
- Hammerblow set: A set of 16 hexagonal stone tiles, split into slate, granite, marble and limestone, with runes carved into them. The tiles are used to play a classical dwarven game of some sort. 1 GP.
The Mayor’s Office
Overlooking the Market Square is a stone temple with many skylights. Once, it was dedicated to Zuntar, God of Light, but now it serves as the mayor’s office for Graythorn. Here, citizens pay taxes, purchase land, and appeal for dispute resolution.
The temple’s interior has been split up into several rooms, including something like a waiting area at the front. The mayor’s actual office is at the very back, built on top of a desecrated altar. All the rooms save for the mayor’s office are ceilingless, allowing the ample light of the temple into them.
Mayor Andrei Ryzhikov, human mayor: Ryzhikov is the scion of a minor Imperial noble family, who has been shunted off to this nowhere posting. He resents it and, while he is on the straight and narrow for now, it would only take a small push to corrupt him.
Irene Probst, human secretary: Irene has some elf deep in her family tree, a fact hinted at by her gray eyes and unusual age, being some 10 years older than anyone else in town. She’s generally pleasant, though her voice has gone gravelly in her old age.
Houses for Sale
The Grand House
A former noble’s house sits at the north side of town, slowly decaying. For a mere 5,000 gold paid to the mayor’s office, it can be yours.
The house is two stories tall, with over a dozen rooms in total.. Roughly 1000 GP of materials and labor is needed to fix it up completely.
Below the house is a cellar, and in that cellar is a wine cask which has been cleverly rigged to easily swing out from the wall when pulled, thus revealing a secret chamber. The chamber has been dug out from the surrounding dirt, and has a rough appearance. Occult symbols are drawn around the area, and there are candles strewn around.
Near the center of the room are three desiccated hands, severed halfway up the forearm. One appears to be from a human, another from an orc and the last is from an elf. At least one finger on each has scorch marks at the end.
Some of the noble’s former possessions are still laying around, though much of the furniture has been damaged and anything of real value has been looted by the locals.
A small, free-standing house used by somebody who no longer needs it. There are three rooms, and basic furniture is included (one bed and a table with two chairs).
It’s cold in the winter but it’s fine in the summer. Great place to raise a family, or store strange things from foreign lands.
Most of the previous owner’s possessions have been cleared out, but there’s a dead human body under the floorboards.
On the north side of town. A two-storey stone building with living quarters up top and a large, open area below. Perfect for working a trade or doing dangerous magical research. Includes a bed, a table, two chairs and some sturdy workbenches.
The work area smells like sawdust and the workbenches have deep gouges from missed hammer blows.
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Lily Menager, human pickpocket. Lily is a brown-haired woman, about 5’3″. She makes a living by stealing, and then fleeing town when people start suspecting her. Right now she’s laying low in Graythorn, until the heat dies down elsewhere.
Lia Linshian, human guard: Lia is a tall, imposing guard. She’s 23, and plans to make a career in the town guard. She has memorized many Imperial regulations and hierarchies, and spends much of her off-time either maintaining her equipment or practicing techniques.
Lachlan Hunt, human guard: Lachlan is a sickly, pale guard who is occasionally wracked by coughing fits. Lachlan has a somewhat grim sense of humor and, while he does his best at his job, the constant hacking fits mean he’s not very good at it.
Nina Kutter, human traveller. Just passing through with her horse and a satchel. She often has a mixture of herbs stuffed into her cheek, which she chews on to relax, periodically spitting out some of it.
Onus Suntalon, elven lookout: Onus is an agile elf with long, dexterous figures. His movements are quick, but precise, with no energy wasted. He can often be found sitting on top of the watch tower instead of inside of it.
Ferdinand and Ernest Schneider, human trappers: These two blond brothers make a living by trapping wild game in the forest. They’re jovial enough, generally, and fond of the drink, but messing with their traps would upset them greatly.
Shaykub and Mirte Garduno, retired soldiers. Shaykub and Mirte were soldiers on opposite sides of a war many day’s travel away. They got lost in a forest one side had lit on fire, and worked together to get out. Once they were safe, they decided to just not go back to their camps. Their old armor and weapons now sit in boxes buried near their house.
The Sedgehill Woods is primarily filled with birch trees and, at its widest point, takes about two days to cross. Streams wind their way through it, crossed here and there by ramshackle bridges. Sedgehill is filled with thorns and other injurious plants, which is where Graythorn and Greenbriar get their names.
Abandoned Apiary: This ruin consists of four log buildings whose roofs have not quite fully collapsed. Inside are dozens of bee hives. Abnormally, they are all inhabited— these bees appear to use the same hive year after year, and they have built connections between them, forming some kind of mega-hive.
Troubled Trappers: The party runs into Ferdinand and Ernest Schneider of Graythorn, who immediately accuse these strangers of vandalizing their traps. Can the party talk them down, or will it come to blows?
A pack of seven wolves, two adults, two adolescents and three cubs. Their den is under the roots of a very old tree, and a child’s lost toy sits in the center of it, sometimes with a cub sleeping beside it.
The adult male has a noticable dent in the right side of his head and the eye on that side is missing. His fur is a light gray.
The female carries herself proudly, and has sharp, blue eyes. Her fur is grayish-brown, and gets lighter the closer it gets to her stomach.
The adolescents are both females, with similar coloration to their mother, though one of the two has brown eyes.
The cubs are very young still, and are little more than balls of fluff. Two are gray and one is brown.
Grizzlies prowl the area, and mostly keep to themselves. Food is plentiful enough that they don’t need to take on humanoids. There are, however, two exceptions to this:
Ol’ Burnside, an unusually large grizzly with a large burn scar on his left side. He is very aggressive and perfectly willing to attack four or more humanoids.
Barry, a smart but lazy grizzly. He walks with a confident, slow gait, and will often walk right up to travelers and make sad, hungry sounds until somebody throws him food. If he doesn’t get food, he’ll eventually walk away.
The Hamlet of Greenbriar
Nestled deep in the forest is a small community, a half-dozen or so buildings on the main path. This sleepy hamlet may not be the bustling streets of the coastal cities, but it has its own charms.
The largest building in town is the inn, which has no proper name. It consists of a tavern with five rentable rooms above. Most townsfolk stop in for at least one meal a day.
Thea Owen, inn owner: Thea is a blonde woman with brown eyes. She moves briskly but carefully and is far stronger than she looks. She’s got a lovely smile and tends to fidget with her hair when she’s bored.
- 1 sp/day.
Each room at the inn consists of a single two-person bed and rack for clothing. It’s not exactly palatial, but it’s a warm bed and a safe room.
Food and drink
- Elven wine: 20 GP/bottle.
This bottle’s label is written in Elvish, with no Common translation. The label indicates that it was made at the Yinwarin Vineyard, in the year 2533 Since Dawn, which, when converted to the local calendar, is just over 100 years ago. Thea isn’t quite sure why there’s an entire crate of the stuff in the back, but hey, it’s still good.
- Ale: 3 CP/mug.
This ale comes from a keg in the kitchen, and exactly what the ale is varies month to month, depending on what Thea can get cheapest at the Graythorn Market. Currently, it’s a foamy brew with a strange, minty aftertaste.
- Cheese and Bread: 2 SP.
Cheese from the Graythorn Market and bread baked here in the inn. Nothing to write home about, but it fills the belly.
- Meat: 3 SP “per chunk.”
A roughly quarter-pound of whatever meat’s handy. Sometimes it’s deer, sometimes it’s cow, sometimes it’s crow. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Can be served either alone or with the Cheese and Bread.
Kirsty Andrews, the Messenger: Kirsty is a brunette woman with a slight problem: She believes she’s the prophet of a newly-born deity. This deity is nameless, but she believes it demands intricate cleaning rituals to placate it. She works at the inn, which is also where she lives.
Alceste Rouzet, human logger. Alceste is a simple man who lives out in the forest in a small log cabin. He often wears a yellow and black plaid shirt, a relic of his distant homeland. He has a donkey named Arsene, which he uses to haul logs out of the forest to trade for other goods. Nobody in the area knows this, but before leaving his homeland, he killed a friend in a jealous rage. Now he just stays away from people.
Leo Plesner, human itinerant worker. Leo is a general handyman, currently living out of the inn. He owns a nice set of carpenter’s tools. He’s starting to develop feelings for Thea, but has no intention of telling her about it.
Gontzal Loyate, human blacksmith. Gontzal is a strong, black-haired man carrying on his family’s blacksmithing tradition. Though he enjoys his work, he dreams of the world beyond Greenbriar and Graythorn.
Cameron Reid, human goat herder. Cameron is a man with a small herd of goats. At night he keeps them penned up near his house, but he spends most of his days wandering around the forest with them. He sells goat milk and wool. His knowledge of the forest is very extensive, thanks to his years wandering around it. He’s generally quite pleasant to strangers, and always looking for books from far-off lands.
The abandoned log house behind the inn is split into two rooms, with a fireplace on the central wall. It’s not much right now, but there’s plenty of room to expand the dwelling.
Map & Asset Downloads
This concludes the written portion of the adventure guide, but here are a few maps & assets that might also help you prepare…
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Forest Fungi Map Assets Pack$5.00
Basic Building Assets Pack$5.00
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