Saturday, December 30, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #360

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #360 

December 30th, 2023 

  • Number: 360 

  • Name:  Deep Dive of Four Places of Interest: Starting Points – Part 4 

  • Location:  Thicket, City-State of Carasta 

  • Population (approx.): 365 (Thicket) 

  • Brief: The protection offered by the City-State of Carasta extends about a day or two travel inland from Staplefish Bay, further along the border with Noldrune and Taodeas but corresponding less as one follows the coastal highway into the north toward Amthor. Carasta’s influence extends somewhat further but peters out beyond the middle of the Narrows. Independent settlements, most freed by the collapse of the Ta’arnan Empire, are scattered across the landscape finding different ways to maintain their viability in potentially unfavorable regions. For example, the Elves of Feystone Woods are generally not supportive of villages on their borders, except, in the case of Thicket, where the most prominent inhabitants are Firbolg, their closely allied Kin. 

  • Adzona Ravensense, 313, female Firbolg is an herbalist and alchemist who lives in the Thicket near Feystone Woods. She is quite tall, well over 8 feet, and has long golden-brown hair that she wears loosely around her shoulders. Her eyes are a deep blue and very kind. Adzona wears long dresses made of linen and dyed with plant substances. She wears a tool belt with many tools for tending a garden and mixing potions. 

  • Adzona has spent her entire life near the City-State of Carasta, away from Tenmala. As a child, she learned how to tend a garden. She learned alchemy in her early adult years and journeyed around the Narrows, hunting for unique herbs and plants. When she was 100, she settled down and had a family. Now, she is known as the "giant old lady in the woods." She has taught several generations of Firbolg her craft, but no one seems to equal her ability. 

  • Adzona lives with her husband, Sarkas, 330, male Firbolg. The two of them live in a large hollowed-out tree. Sarkas built a workshop that is attached to the tree. Anyone interested in her wares comes to see her. One of her great-grandchildren, Bryna Greenrest, 101, is her current apprentice and lives in a small tree nearby. Adzona loves to write letters and exchange recipes. She currently is a pen pal with Coco Zeldred, 45, female Human in Carasta. 

  • Threads: Thicket sits on the border of dense and strange Fae woods. The ever-present dangers of the wilderness bring opportunities for young adventurers including but not limited to: 

  • Locals or visitors seek an escort east back towards the relative safety of the coast. 

  • Dark Fae or young Night Elves are harassing outlying residents or local hunters. 

  • The winds whisper that something is wandering north from the Ashen Expanse that must be found and dealt with. 

  • A messenger brings word that the Sleeping Woods are sinking! Adzona seeks an escort to see if she can help her Kin. 

  • Sarkas has fallen ill and Adzona fears his Doom is upon him. She asks for volunteers to hike to the Gold Mountains to find a particular rare herb. 

  • A sharp-eyed Elven Scout reports seeing a distant object fall from the skies to land in the woods to the east. Volunteers are sought to investigate. 

  • Geography: Thicket can be found in the dense forests to the southeast of Feystone Approach (#24), west northwest of the Sleeping Woods (#62) and directly north of the Ashen Expanse (#25). To the untrained eye the differences between the Feywood and the neighboring forest are imperceptible. Fortunately, Thicket was founded by those who could see the difference and is set well away from the Elven realm. It consists of mix of tree houses, trees in houses and ordinary log and stone cabins. Most buildings are residences with small shops on the ground floor. One large longhouse serves as an Inn as well as a village hall/meeting space. A narrow trail leads east.  

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