Monday, May 9, 2011

Use This Setting: Sifnab

The world is a large place and home to many people and places.  One of the regions renown for its lucrative endeavours is the kingdom of Balstair.  Balstair is located at the west of the known world and includes access to ports of call as well as a its land bound capital of Lorethane.  Sifnab is a little town, a midpoint to the other parts of the kingdom.  It is a waypoint to the shoreline human town of Meat Cove, a mangy place of double dealings and double crossings.  It is also the only way to Lockport, the lucrative agricultural and trading center of Balstair. The small town of Sifnab is relatively small but can cater to any need for caravaneers to and from Lockport or Lorethane.

The kingdom of Balstair lives in relative peace with its westerly neighbours, prospering in heavy trade with neighbouring kingdoms and treatese of peace with all the races in the kingdom.  However, as with all nations, many plots and schemes threaten to destabilize this balance.

Sifnab is a quiet little town of approximately 1100 people.  This waystation provides many services for the caravans passing through the town.  The population is relatively stable and is laden with many transients from all over the kingdom, transporting goods, foodstuffs, materials to all over the area.  Since the land surrounding the area is quite wild, it has been very difficult for roads to be built and maintained.  The mountains make it near impossible to navigate through.

Areas of Interest

Sifnab has many shops and services available to caravaneers who pass through the town.  Here are some of the most commonly used and the owners or operators of the establishments.


There are 4 inns that service the travellers.  The first two are of sound quality and a little more expensive.  The third one is pretty average and the last one is seedy.
  1. The Reliable Nixie:  Freydis, a Human fighter (retired) owns this inviting abode.  This two level building has 18 rooms available all ranging from suites to shared accomodations.  Freydis lives on the premises and loves nothing but to chat about adventures past with adventurers who are taking a room for th night.  Always present, she is vigilant yet pleasant. She is available at all times of the day and night.  Her rates are reasonable for the comfort level of the rooms and the quality of the food served to her clientele. She is a good source of information for any services they may need while staying in the town.
  2. Gundlid's Inn:  This building is made completely made of stone and the quality of the work seems to be impeccable.  It is run by a taciturn dwarf named Gundlid Stonethistle.  Come down from the dwarven city of Sicklesweet, Gundlid has come to make his fortune.  Although taciturn in nature, his bardic background sees him often singing and telling stories in the common room in the evening.  He is very courteous but not as helpful as Freydis.  He does know more of the goings on around the area and with a little diplomacy, the character can possibly ween this information out of him.  He has the most expensive accomodations, but the price for what you get is well worth it.
  3. The Gambler Grove:  Ianros Silvershaper, an elvish rogue, owns the most popular place in town.  This comfortable inn provides adequate accomodations and tasty food.  The Grove boasts the largest and the most lucrative gambling facility in all of Belnair.  This Inn boasts top notch security and only the wealthy-ish are allowed, adventurers included.  Ale and wine flow freely in this establishment, helping to add to the profit of the place. 
  4. The Jade Ogre:  The name says it all.  A dingy place of filth and misery. Rooms come cheap and black eyes come even cheaper. The owner, a massive half-orc by the name of 'Smashmouth' oversees the day to day operations of the place.  You can see why the inn is named The Jade Ogre.  He is an 8 foot tall orc who lost his hand in some battle long ago.  His hand was replaced with a large jade hand and fused to the end of the stump. Cheap room, cheap women (and men) and even cheaper ale draws a seedy crowd of miscreants every night.  It is a great place to gather some information...if you can avoid a fight.

  1. The Roasted Hand:  funny name for a place of Worship but it is appropriate.  Brother Thorjborg is a half-dwarf who was badly burned for his half-breed nature by malicious dwarves.  They caught him unawares and doused him in oil and used a torch to light him up.  He jumped into the river, managed to douse the flames, but so burned as he was, did not have the energy to get out of the water.  A hand reached out and saved him.  He was brought back to health by a group of clerics, clerics dedicated to helping the world in no gods name. He is scarred from head to toe. He is grateful and is here in Sifnab, to provide healing, faith and compassion to those in need. 
  1. The Shy Magician: This storefront says Apothecary, but is really a store in magical dealings.  Porter Dragoman, is a cunning wizard and a fantastic illusionist.  He moved here recently from Lorethane, he has set up shop as a medicine man, with a basement full of magical goodies.  His shop is an illusion, created every morning before the store opens, to give the place a sense of apothecarial validity.
Other Services
  1. Blacksmith: The Spiteful Imp and Angandara's both provide competitive prices for everything to do with barding and blacksmithing. 
  2. Trading Posts: Torinal's and The Cheerful Abyss provide have the ability to supply the party with most of the goods they would need.
  3. Locksmith: The Disorganized Wife
  4. Bakery: The Little Uncle

The Ridels

This sad story begins with a man and his dream.  Therid Ridel, was a soldier for the army of Lorethane.  A talented individual who quickly became a lieutenant in the army.  During his climb into power he met and married Anna, a poor girl whom he rescued from a goblin raid in Sifnab many year ago.  Not wanting to live any longer in Lorethane, he transferred to the militia of Sifnab and built a house on the outskirts of town.  The Ridels had three children; Belinda, Amanda, and Timmy.

One night while the family was sleeping, the house was lit afire by one of the goblin survivors of the battle in where Therid routed the attacking tribe of goblins. The whole Ridel family perished in that fire.  This was only three years ago.  Rumours have it that Therid and his family still haunt the burned out place that was once their home.  No one has visited the house since the funeral.

The Drow Invasion

Living so close to the mountain proved to be disastrous for the town of Sifnab some fifty years ago.  No one knew that there was an entrance to the underworld situated mere miles out of the town.  Suddenly beseiged, Sifnab became the battleground to one of the biggest invasions from the underworld.  Fortunately, Lorethane and Sicklesweet combined their forces to push back the invasion, and the entrance to the underworld was sealed up.  Constant patrols mann the area in case of another raid from the much hated Drow.

Sifnab is a small little town that can be used in any of your campaigns.  It can be a way station for an adventuring party, or even a base of operations for many adventures in the surrounding regions of the kingdom of Balstair.  Stay tuned for the next installment from the kingdom of Balstair.