Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #256
September 14th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Boarfang Mountain and the Dead Woods of Ceannar – Part 4
Location: Northeast corner of Flattop Hills
Population (approx.): 189 (Woodvault)
Brief: If one were to take a day’s walk (about 14-16 miles) southwest of Boarview, just before crossing a small stream flowing down from the slopes of Boarfang, a well-used trail runs northwest parallel to the stream. About 5 to 6 miles later, the trail ends at a pool fed by a waterfall above. Against the stone wall, next to the falls, many years ago a band of Dwarves expanded a small cave into the entrance to create a mine, hoping to find riches in the depths under Boarfang.
50 yards under the ground they found a great chamber, the ceiling supported by columns being the trunks of petrified trees about the walls and rising from the floor, branches interlocked above. Fearing the wrath of the protector who preceded Norfalen Elderfate (#254), the Dwarves vacated the area and decided to mine elsewhere. The chamber remained vacant until a group of refugees, fleeing Ta’arnan persecution, fled into the deepest parts of the forest and petitioned the protector for shelter. She offered the use of the chamber with a variety of conditions, observed to this day, and the settlement of Woodvault was founded. The cave is now filled with all manner of wooden and stone huts, small plots growing fruits and vegetables in and about the trees with sheep and goats grazing in the hills above.
Boone Fullsnarl, 53, male Human owns the Grains 'n More grocery store. He is short, portly, and loves good food. His brown curly hair frames his face, and his hazel eyes are mischievous. Boone wears brown leggings and a light blue long tunic. He wears an apron at work and carries a pair of daggers. On his back, Boone has a tattoo of one of his former girlfriends, Elle.
Grains 'n More grocery store is part of Woodvault, and Boone has worked hard to make it a popular place to shop. Many people still hunt and gather for food, so his shop is still considered more convenient. Boone has made deals with local farms and bakers to carry their items. The next step for Grains 'n More is to include items from a winery and beer from a brewery.
Boone lives in Woodvault with his wife, Erma, and their son, Titus, 15. Boone would like Titus to run the store when he retires in a few years. Titus has other plans that involve adventuring. Erma works for the Woodvault’s Mayor as an administrative assistant. They all like camping in the nearby forest several times a year.
Geography: Woodvault (location 4 see below) is about halfway between the main trail to Boarview (location 2) and the southern edge of the Silent Grove (location 5) below the summit of Boarfang. The vault itself is about 100 to 120 feet high, about 100 yards across and 150 yards deep. The residents, over the years, have installed a mix of mirrors (to reflect light into the vault from keyholes carved into the chamber walls), lanterns and beds of luminescent fungi and flora. The Woodsbounty stream brings a constant supply of fresh water. Houses are built and fixed with sustainably cut lumber (as directed by Norfalen) and carved stone. The population are mostly people who prefer the underground or a dim environment, but some are descendants of the original families of refugees and are held in great regard. The Knight of the Cave, the “mayor” of Woodvault, is usually a member of one of those three families.
Woodvault features several natural tunnels into the mountain along the north wall of the vault. They are rarely explored due to stories of spelunkers encountering terrible creatures hiding in the darkness beyond as well adventurers hearing strange maddening musical tones that suggest stories of the Silent Grove related by protectors past and present. The tunnels are blocked, warded and guarded.