Saturday 6 January 2018

Black Stump Village and the Spiral Path

So this is where my village stuff intersects will my hell stuff. Will do some murder hobo shanty towns and stockades to plant near any dungeons too, possibly in stages of evolution so one can be built outside a dungeon while you are inside and get bigger every visit. Has been on my to do list a few years. My copying google maps in various settings has been good.

Black Stump Village
This is not really just some innocent village you stumble across. It is a village of the damned planted by hell to trap the unwary and the road connecting it to the common path will just appear one day. Of course travellers wont realise nobody has seen the road before. A mile away you can see a hill with some buildings and some smoke with some copses of trees in front of it. Their seems to be winding trail around the hill to the top.

The Winding Path is a trail to hell. Once you cross the trees you cannot head back. You are trapped in hell already it just looks nice for the moment. If you head back the road simply seems to go on forever towards the way you came. When you head back to the hill even after hours of marching you instantly pass the threshold of the village. The winding path is in fact the road through all the seven hells. The only way to get off it is to go through all the hells and escape from the final layer after passing the challenges of each gate in hell between layers.  Like snakes and ladders sometimes hell sends you back to the start and you might find Blackstump slightly more tainted than last visit. Eventually the village will be a diabolic parody of village life full of fornicating devils, witches and cultists.

Local Area
Impwood - So called because Imps really do live here, The squirrels, rabbits, toads, ravens, fox, tiny deer or goats - all imps. The wood is oddly quiet and devoid of normal life. Occasionally you find some human remains of someone who gave up trying to escape. Or the ritually murdered remains of a animal dissected and ritual nailed to a tree. The villagers think a witch is here.
Gloomwood - this forest has a melancholic mood. People come here to be alone, cry or commit suicide or just get firewood. Occasionally you can catch some game here.
The Devils Bog - a foul smelling bog villagers come to collect peat from. All too often they find some ancient human remains and nobody goes there at night.
Hangman's Pond - apparently the village hangman drowned himself here years ago. People don.t like to fish here and say you can hear the hangman sobbing.
Eel pond - a popular place to fish and get water. Occasionally a huge eel attacks someone or a bunch of eels kill a sheep trying to pass through the shallows

Up The Path
The watcher is a creepy scarred monolith that seems to watch the road and travellers. Some sensitive souls feel a sense of dread up close and occasionally someone will feint near it
the Sheriff - Sheriff Barnes lives here with his wife Jenny and two sons Fred and Philip. He usually glares at newcomers to let them know he is watching. He doesn't have much to say to newcomers
Farmer Grimsby - a grumpy suspicious old farmer who doesn't like his family talking to strangers and will confront any who dare even look at them
Sentinel Rock - a huge monolith overlooking the graveyard, church and road. There are hoof marks in the stone on the bottom. The rock is ancient and and a silent inscrutable witness to things from long ago
Ruined Church - long disused the roof has collapsed and some large bats live in the remaining roof cavity. In the rubble there are giant rats and a hidden trapdoor to the cellar. The remains of a corrupted old priest are his with his diary. It took him years to realise he was damned, longer again to regret his sins before drinking himself to death. Also here are hundreds of clay bottle, a flagellant whip and bloody choirboy smocks in a trunk
Graveyard - dozens of old headstones with carved skulls and tridents on them are here. Some of the epitaphs are mean but all true:"here lies Bob Sanders, he was a horrible drunk who's family hated him". A tiny crumbling brick wall surrounds it. By night ghouls skip and frolic here.
Turf Cottage - dug into the hillside with grass on the roof. A youngish family, the gordons live here. They seem pleasant but don't have much to say to strangers
Reluctant Cottage - is a good size farm house with twelve inhabitants, under the matrich Mamma Sour. She is horrible and abusive but gives strange men lusty looks. Her family of inbred degenerates are from age four to 24 wear ill kept clothing. Pappy's skull is on the family table watching them all still. They fight, get drunk and friendly. They invite strangers for dinner som Mamma can drug them, abuse them then eat them
Scar Cottage - Shamus lives here quietly. His wife vanished years ago and children died. He looks after sheep and likes to go fishing in the pond. Not much of a talker after years of loneliness
Glib Cottage - Nathanial and Godvinia Glib live here. They are well dressed and live simply. They are kind of smug, self important and look down on everybody
Old Tom - he spends his time gathering and chopping wood. he murdered his family years ago for talking too much. He seems friendly and always willing to have a drink with strangers. He constantly mentions his "missing" family as if this helps cover up his crimes. Over drinks he will mentions some of the stories about the village and once visitors know something is wrong he will explain how nobody can leave
Thorn Cottage - Lavinia and Donald clark live here with their young children and are paranoid everyone want to sacrifice their children. The children flee to mother when they see strangers and father gets out his crossbow
Widow Clanky - will pretend to be friendly and ignorant about the village secrets but really she is a witch. At night she goes to the woods naked to fornicate with imps. She might explain eventually how to escape the spiral path and go through hell
Fool's Shack - a succession of village idiots have lived here. They seem to come and go lots. Some are former adventurers who became trapped here and went mad. possibly you might have met the idiot before but they were normal then
Lament Cottage - the family of eight here are all crying all the time and not interested in talking much. Apparently the youngest just died or something. Seems to be a different relative every time you ask. They are attractive red heads and most people feel bad seeing them cry so much
Vacant - the hangman lived here with his family years ago. Now trapped visitors stay here. The hangman's family corpses are under the floorboards
Grim Rock - this brooding sinister rock makes everyone feel like they are being watched. Old Tom especially hates it and feels it is always judging him. Some have nightmares about it
Old Barn - a battered shed where goats and sheep and pigs and a few cows and horses live. Some child or the local fool will complain the animals are talking and plotting. The animals would like to escape and some have tried. They were reborn here as animals after being killed passing through hell
Guest House - Moira KcKraken runs this place and is always cheery and puts on good food. She is a witch and loves to watch people being tormented by realisation they are doomed here. A few murder hobos and travellers stay here but most spend their days in the Inn drinking
Dr Gruber - a scholar and surgeon. He has many blasphemous books, relics and objects from hell which he studies. He welcomes visitors but prefers not to break the news about visitors being damned. He can offer advice on dealing with devils however
Brazen Strumpet - a brothel that seems very out of place. A dozen mostly women live here under madame Flaubert. Quite a few guests stay here too. Some of the trapped visitors earn their drinking money here. Devils from hell in disguise come to stay too. A succubi/incubus lives here too changing gender as required
Mayor's House - Errol Vanderpump welcomes personally any visitors. He prefers not to tell them the bad news until they figure it out for himself. He encourages people to visit the Inn or the brothel. He is jolly and wears fine velvet and gold more like a big city Mayor. He is an employee of hell and not human. He lives with his servants and often invites visitors to dinner. The servants are shy and sad. Once visitors know the score he recommends they settle down and live forever here
Squire Hobbs - a well off farmer who is arrogant and rude. He threatens strangers and is always with his hunting poodle Eric, actually a hell hound. He will offer to buy treasure though. He lives with his miserable elderly servants
Village Hall - very ornate hall for meetings, dances and other events. There is a ornate hidden ritual meeting room in the basement with idols to the lords of hell and a map of the hells and many artworks dedicated to evil
General Store - Mrs Barongna lives here with her idiot son. They sell typical village supplies that seem to come from somewhere and there are many witch charms and devil hexes and luck charms for sale. Som adventuring equipment and silver daggers and crossbow bolts are on display and even some holy water
Devils Stones - these ancient stones also known as the devils fingers cause nightmares of ancient rites to any who sleep here
Inn of Lost Souls - The inn is quite busy for a small village and many wandering mercenaries, travelling clergy, merchants, criminals and other visitors spend most of the day drinking. They gloomily welcome newcomers and gleefully inform them they are all damned. Bailey the inkkeeper and Susan his wife are welcoming and will show the hellmouth in the basement, the only escape. A big black hellcat lives in the Inn and will talk to people when alone. Regulars all fear him. He reports every complaint to the lords of hell so they can be quoted when jells torturers get to work on them later. Som run out of money and go through the gate eventually. Some work in the brothel servicing visiting devils. Some commit suicide and are reborn in hell as some lesser evil. The gate is a huge giant devil head who opens his mouth on request

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