A ready-to-run province designed to supplement a high-fantasy kingdom, complete with NPC tokens and system-neutral encounters.
Falirus – and all its individual pieces – are designed as “modular addons” for your campaigns or worldbuilding projects. You can use it in its entirety, pick and choose certain elements, or you might just keep a single NPC that you like. Our hope is to inspire you and provide a few building blocks for your worldbuilding collection. Please enjoy!
Falirus is a province whose north and western borders are marked by a crescent-shaped mountain range. The largest river in the region, the Kearidden, runs more or less from north to south, going through the town of Klens and the provincial capital, Ovriver, and later widening into a swamp which is home to a tribe of elves.
Just over 20 years ago, this was an independent (if poor) kingdom, but now it is under the control of a larger power, which has forbidden the traditional religion of the land.
The populace is primarily human, but in addition to the elf-settled swamp, there is a small dwarven settlement near the source of the Kearidden that has so far remained beyond the reach of the Empire’s control. Other peoples are rare in the area. As well, a small group of bug people live in the mountains, where their spaceship crashed a few years ago.
Veg Darul, Dwarven Mine
Smoke billows from the a smeltery complex in the town at the base of the mountain. Behind it, two sets of rails snake their way up the slope, with carts occasionally going up and down them. Trails of steam twist up into the air at apparently-random points on the mountain. Somewhere in town, two cats fight on a roof.
Near the source of Kearidden River is a dwarven mining town. It sits at the base of a mountain, where the runoff and the melted snow collects. Rising up from this town is a two sets of iron rails, crawling steeply up the mountain. Each set of tracks is made up of three rails: two on the outside and one with notches cut into it in the center.
This is what’s called a “rack railway” in our world. The notched rail links up with a gear on the bottom of the rail car— in this case a minecart— so the gear can push the cart up the tracks.
The people of Veg Darul mine gold, silver and iron from the mountain. The gold and iron has been brought up from the depths by hot springs running through the mountain. These springs are incredibly hot, more deadly than pleasant. There are plenty of places where the springs have broken into the mine or the mine has broken into the springs, but the hardy dwarves simply build over it, trusting their engineering and some sturdy wood to keep them from falling in.
Veg Darul is divided into several burrows, each of which belongs to a clan, along with the mines and a town at the base of the mountain…
Clan Blazeforge is responsible for equipment creation and maintenance. The minecart lines also technically fall under their domain but in practice everybody pitches in to take care of them… until Blazeforge starts wheeling some bizarre gadget down them. The dwarves of Blazeforge are typically red-haired.
Skarruk, Mad Engineer. Skarruk is a one-eyed, twitchy dwarf. She is one of the dwarves responsible for the rack railway that goes up and down the mountain, using some kind of “internal combustion engine.” Recently, she cut half her hair off when it caught fire.
Hafeth, swordsmith. Hafeth is a dwarf’s dwarf, through and through. His hair and beard are copper-coloured, and both are braided elaborately. He uses the mine’s iron to make exquisite weapons of many sorts, though swords are his specialty. Though Hafeth has no magical ability of his own, he has spent many nights studying the runes, and can use this knowledge to fix magical items.
Scott, miner. Scott is abnormally skinny for a dwarf and, though he has Blazeforge’s red hair, his eyes are a shining blue. His small stature makes him uniquely suited for some mining work, like clay-kicking. When he’s not working, he practices sleight of hand tricks with runestones. A light brown, spotted cat seems to follow Scott around.
Clan Rosecheek was the first to settle this area, and their burrow is the most extensive. Their name comes from the cold-induced rosiness in their cheeks when they greeted the second wave of settlers.
Tordain, guard. Tordain is a burly, black-haired dwarf who carries a large warhammer. He suspects any non-dwarf of being an Imperial agent, here to look for weaknesses in the town’s defenses. As such, he will be quite standoffish with any non-dwarven party members.
Tydir, clerk. Tydir is a simple dwarf who is very good at counting things. He’s not very good at talking to people, and stammers when he does, but he has a great head for math. He keeps his black hair unusually short for a dwarf. A black cat likes to lay on his shoulder while he counts things.
Miggsy, miner. Miggsy is a foreman in the mines, and can usually be found wandering up and down the lines, encouraging the workers. He’s very perceptive when it comes to his crew and their problems, but his analyses of non-dwarves can be a bit… off.
Valdemar, apothecary. Valdemar is a black-haired dwarf who can be found anywhere plants or mushrooms grow, searching for strange herbs and fungi with which to make esoteric potions. She is particularly proud of her most recent discovery, the “Potion of Longing,” which makes anything it’s poured on longer. It is jet black, and he’ll sell it for 34 GP. Exactly how the potion determines “long” as opposed to “tall” or “wide” is not clear to anyone but Valdemar.
Other potions the party can buy from Valdemar:
- Potion of Stopping. This is a light brown potion that, when poured into the neck of a bottle, instantly hardens into a cork. 2 GP, 10 uses.
- Potion of Comparing. This unusual potion has two components in separate compartments, each stoppered by a strangely-shaped cork. Once both components have been poured on different objects, the liquid will turn blue if they are, on a conceptual level, the same object, or red if they are not. 36.5 GP, single use.
- Potion of Transformation. This potion, when poured on an object, causes it to rotate 45 degrees clockwise. It is red and fizzy, and seems to perpetually swirl in the bottle. 45 GP, single use.
- Potion of Connection. This potion is a thick, white liquid that, when poured on an object, will cause it to adhere to the next thing that that surface touches. You may know this potion as “glue.” 7 GP, single use.
- Potion of Not Being Able To See For Roughly 15 Minutes. This thin, brown potion causes the drinker to be unable to see for roughly 15 minutes. 13 GP, single use.
Clan Beastback, famously strong workers. They handle most of the moving of ore. The fine folks of Beastback know every nook and cranny of the mines.
Grandrak, cartdwarf. Grandrak is an incredibly strong and incredibly loud. Grandrak spends his days pushing carts to and fro in the mines, and his nights drinking and singing. Despite his love of bawdy songs and his earth-shaking voice, he’s quite clever, and is partially responsible for the rack railways the mine uses.
Rotnir, barge pilot. Rotnir is a stout dwarf with a very nice hat he bought off a traveller in Ovriver. He owns two donkeys, which he uses to tow the barge back to Veg Darul. Cats occasionally hitch rides one way or the other on the barge.
Balgrun, animal breeder. Balgrun is an outlier in Clan Beastback, living out in the woods instead of in the Beastback burrow. On his little ranch, he raises “ironwolves,” strange insectoid creatures that seem to be able to sense metallic deposits in rock.
Hjaldus, miner. Hjaldus doesn’t talk to anybody and generally looks very grim-faced, but he can sometimes be seen affectionately petting a gray cat.
- Skarruk has invented a new device: An automated tunnel boring and ore refining machine! Unfortunately, it’s very loud when it’s operating, and he wants you to defend it from various beasts. This is the classic “wave defense” kind of scenario.
- One of the mines has been breached by the hot springs! Can the party save the miners trapped on the other side from the scalding, corrosive water?
Mining TownPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Thermal Mines Pt.1PWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Thermal Mines Pt.2PWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Mining Town Pack$5.00
Thermal Mines Pt.1 Pack$5.00
Thermal Mines Pt.2 Pack$5.00
Klens, Farming Town
The wind rustles the barley in the fields. A preacher’s passionate sermon echoes through the streets. The steady flow of the river pushes the waterwheel of the mill.
Klens at a glance:
Main purpose: Farming
Klens is a sleepy little town with a wonderful view of the mountains. It is surrounded by farms and ranches, and much of its output gets sent down to Ovriver for taxation and sale. The buildings are mostly wood but some, like the mill, are made out of stone brought downriver from Veg Darul.
Fred Fischer, human mayor. Fred Fischer is a brown-haired man in his mid-40s, Mayor Fischer used to be a rancher, but an enraged bull kicked him in the leg, shattering his thigh. That leg is now missing, and he uses a crutch when he walks any significant distance. He’s not terribly fond of outsiders. He has a fondness for alcohol that has, more than once, resulted in townsfolk finding him asleep in a ditch.
Marc Miller, human miller. Marc runs the local watermill. He’s an essential part of the farming community, and he can often be found fixing things around Klens. Marc has a bit more money than most of the community, and is willing to pay well for books about engineering.
Mads Vester, human barge pilot. Mads spends his days pushing his barge up and down the river, ferrying cargo and occasionally people from Ovriver to Klens and back. A trip to Ovriver will cost you a silver per person. Generally, he won’t transport anybody at night, but he’ll do it for a gold per person.
Jasper Oakland, half-elf priest of Izren. Jasper comes from deeper in the Empire, sent here to solidify the hold of the faith of Izren. He’s kind and wise but has no tolerance for heathen ways, or talk of the gods once worshipped here. His sermons are loud and passionate enough to be heard throughout the whole town.
Elena Hawkdane, human farmer. Elena owns a farm just outside of town. She’s loud and charismatic, and often works the field right alongside whatever farmhands she hires, leading them in song as they work. She has a reputation as a tough but fair employer. She used to be married, but her husband went missing a few years ago. He’s assumed to be dead, because his severed hand was found stuck to the farmhouse’s door with a knife.
- Mads Vester, the barge pilot, took a late-night trip down the river to Ovriver, but hasn’t returned. Can the party find him and get him out of whatever trouble he’s in?
- An Imperial official has been putting pressure on Elena Hawkdane to sell her farm. She has steadfastly refused so far, but now the “offers” have escalated to threats, and she can’t find hands to work the farm for the harvest. Can the party save the farm?
- Strange creatures like giant insects have been seen wandering near Klens. Are these demons? Predators? Possible future livestock? (They’re the Bug People, coming up below…)
Alligators sun themselves under breaks in the canopy. A female elf pushes a boat between the trees. Strange tentacles wave ominously in the breeze.
Southsby Fen at a glance:
Main purpose: Elven enclave.
A few dozen kilometers past Ovriver, the Kearidden River widens out into a lush wetland. In the center of it a small group of elves make their home. Many of the plants near that settlement have been lovingly cultivated and altered over the generations, producing bountiful fruit and handy herbs. They also have a small congregation of alligators that they raise as livestock.
The unsettled parts of the swamp are populated by alligators, snakes, the occasional gray ooze, and heat-sensing tentacle plants that will administer a potent mix of contact poison and psionic messaging that debilitates the victim so they can be drawn into the depths of the fen and incorporated into the bulk of the ancient, forgotten god which is slowly awakening.
Va’al-Yun, Treeshaper. Va’al-Yun is a practitioner of ancient elven arts. Many of the homes and structures in the treeline of the swamp were made by him, through a combination of magic and botany. As the oldest elf in the swamp, he is the de facto leader. He is the father of Kae-Bryn
Io, hunter. Io is a brown-skinned male elf with braided dark green hair. He is a crack shot with a bow, and he provides most of the meat for the elven tribe. Io is very unfriendly towards outsiders, but will not start a fight without provocation.
Kae-Bryn, swamp shaman. Kae-Bryn is a wiry, brown-skinned female elf. Thanks to an old injury, she can’t smile properly, and constantly looks like she’s smirking. Kae-Bryn has learned much from her father, Va’al-Yun, and spends her days hanging charms and wards around the swamp.
Yse’Lira, cultist of the horrible eldritch monster that lurks under the swamp. Yse’Lira is the only elf around who isn’t from the tribe. Her skin is pale and her hair is jet black. Long ago, she was sent by another elven kingdom to make contact with a rumored elven tribe. Unfortunately for her, the swamp turned out to be far too dangerous for her, and she got bit by some local poisonous wildlife. Kae-Bryn found her and saved her life, but unfortunately Yse’Lira lost most of her memories. When she woke, she spoke only of the Beast Beneath, a monster that allegedly sleeps under the swamp. To this day, she is obsessed with finding a way to awaken it.
The Beast Beneath: Yse’Lira is more or less right about what’s beneath the swamp. The body of an ancient god sleeps under the swamp, and its tentacles protrude upwards, searching for victims to drag below for sustenance. They paralyze their prey with an odd combination of poison and touch-based psionic messaging.
Bug People Colony
Bug People Colony at a glance:
Population: Roughly 300
Main purpose: Refuel spaceship and leave.
The “Bug People,” as they’re known to the locals, are a strange group of greenish insectoids living high up in the western mountains. Contact was sporadic for most of the last 30 years, but recently they have worked out a trade arrangement with people from Ovriver. Once a month, both parties meet and exchange a large quantity of potatoes for a significant quantity of ore. Neither group really understands the other, but they’ve managed to work out this trade arrangement.
The bugs come in two major breeds: Crawlers and Fliers. Crawlers crawl, fliers fly. Crawlers are brute laborers, fliers hunt and scout. Unknown to the locals, there is also a queen in their crashed spaceship.
The bug people come from space. Actual space. Beyond the sky. Their spaceship crashed here after an engine malfunction.
The bug people are more or less indistinguishable, save for Scar-Eye, who regularly accompanies shipments of ore. Incidentally, the scar covers a smelling organ, not an eye.
Important note: The bugs cannot be understood. Comprehend Languages does not work because they communicate with a combination of dances and pheromones. If a character has some kind of advantage on smell-based checks, a roll of 20 or higher can pick up the general mood being displayed by the target.
The bug people’s home is a spaceship embedded in the side of a mountain. In their time here, they have built wooden bracing structures to stabilize it. The ship is surrounded by bugs, day and night, as they work to restore it.
The Temple of Ebris
Once, the Temple of Ebris was the center of a major community, until the area was absorbed into the domain of its current kingdom, roughly 20 years ago. In the conflicts that ensued, the town was burnt to the ground and the area declared forbidden.
A few parts of the old temple remain, covered in plant life. Most notable among these is the old altar, covered in dedications to Ebris. It is conspicuously free of plant life compared to everything else in the area, though several overlapping blood stains are obvious on its surface. Both of these are the results of the semi-regular visits by Louwrens Torny.
Ebris’ main symbol is a coiled snake.
The Lost Temple of Khavian.
Khavian, god of bargains. Grants power for a price. Khavian’s temple is located by an old market at what was once an important crossroads. That area is now considered forbidden by the ruling government.
In the temple, there is a large granite statue of Khavian: A robed, elven man holding a pumpkin in one hand and a sword in the other. Once, the statue looked carefully at these objects, examining them. Now, its head lays on the ground, severed during the desecration. It faces the main door, and looks almost like it’s scrutinizing anyone who enters.
Khavian’s main symbol is a measuring scale.
The majority of bandits are people with no other choice— outcasts, the impoverished, and so on. Most of this region’s bandits want little more than money to buy food, but three organizations have higher goals:
The Red Eagles, led by a man who claims to be the last survivor of the former ruling family, the Rothmans. They want to push the Empire back out of Falirus, but don’t have the numbers to do it. They attack carts and steal from merchants, and if a few people get hurt along the way… well, it’s all for the greater good, right?
The Order of the Snake, a wandering group of adherents to the old faith. While they are not generally violent, they are often desperate for money, and have little tolerance for imperial priests. The Order of the Snake operate primarily in The City of Ovriver, since the demonization plague is centered there.
The Bulls predate the invasion, but their operations have become much more ambitious in the last few years. They have no particular ideology beyond “What’s yours is mine.”
Ruins of a temple. The party stumbles off the main roads and comes into a clearing, where two sets of stone benches face a central dais. On one side of the dais is a locked box that contains elaborate writings on the rituals of Vaborh, Goddess of Love, patron of weddings. The incredibly florid language makes it hard to decipher for anybody not in Vaborh’s priesthood, but general gist is “here’s how to wed people.” The ritual appears to involve hot wax, a fire, and the burning of clothing.
Ruins of a town. To one side of the road, the party sees a collection of dilapidated buildings. On one prominent building, the words “PLAGUE: KEEP OUT.” There is no treasure here for the party. Only death, and decay.
Bandits! As the party rounds a bend in the forest, five men jump out of the trees, surrounding them. They’re dirty, with sunken eyes and gaunt faces. They want the party’s money and food. If the encounter escalates to a fight, the bandits’ weapons do half damage due to poor maintenance.
Wolves! Make the players roll a DC 20 Perception check, with advantage if they’re trained in Nature. If they succeed, they see a wolf staring at them behind the treeline.
Bug People. On the road ahead, the players see some of the teal and gray bug people on the road. They appear to be injured, but carry on ceaselessly forward.
Ambushed! The party runs across a small group of Imperial soldiers examining a wrecked cart. The driver and an Imperial guard are dead and laying in the ditch. If the players try to investigate, the guards will initially tell them to move on, but they can be persuaded to let the PCs help. A DC 15 Perception check will reveal footprints in the grass. Following them will eventually lead the party to a group of starving men and women hiding in a cave. Most of the food from the cart has already been eaten.
Map and Asset Downloads
Below are a selection of maps that might fit the many places and encounters described above.
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Thanks for this, I have a hard time making people. I look forward to stealing these. This is very similar to a setting I made with these same assets, give or take no spaceship.
Ever play Wicked Ones? One of the things it does it give each faction 2 goals they are trying to accomplish. For example, the mine might want to increase mine safety and create a steam engine using the hot springs. This gives the setting somewhere to go, a goal for the people that live there, and hooks for adventures/raids.
Also side note, you say orange bugs but then have green bug tokens. Then it says system free but you call our a perception DC 20 and DC 15 which implies a system. Then I am not sure if a bottle of glue should cost that much. I modest lifestyle in 5e is 1 gp a day. I'm betting these people qualify at a lower tier as they are miners. Still I doubt glue would have much of a market at 7 days of comfortable living per bottle. Considering glue can be made with vegetable starches. Maybe they make it from a horse which would be like selling 10 bottles to get material costs back on the horse…
Hey there! Glad you’re liking the NPCs.
Sorry about the color mix-up on the bug tokens, description’s fixed now. I got nothing on the unreasonable expensiveness of glue, maybe a savvy player could haggle him down to something more reasonable.
Great little province that’s chock full of adventure hooks, thanks! Just one question – who is Louwrens Torny? It’s implied they’re conducting blood sacrifices in the temple but there’s no other information about them.
Heya! My bad, Louwrens is talked about in a little more depth over here: https://2minutetabletop.com/city-of-ovriver/#snake. He’s the guy leading the Order of the Snake, but that connection was lost when I split this into two articles. This one has been edited with a link on his name to that section. Hope that helps!