Gazetteer · GURPS · Worked Example

Gazetteer: Eldritch Eldervale!

(For those who came in late: these “Gazetteer” entries are a tourist’s guide to a fantasy world I created in a previous series of posts, using this procedural system.   You might want to check out the complete world map, or the other gazetteer posts.  Enjoy!)

Eldervale

A steep-sided river-valley, cradled by rugged mountains.  The mountainsides are dotted with ancient ruins.  People who come from here are considered a little fey. 

World Creation 9 - Eldervale and the Eastern Riverlands
In game terms, Eldervale is considered Semi-Civilized.
The Realm

Eldervale is a deep-steep-sided valley carved into the mountains by the Cairnflood river.  The names “Eldervale” and “Cairnflood” are both references to the ruins that can be found throughout the valley – as you travel up the river, you glimpse all sorts of ancient ruined towers, crumbling castles, and so on perched high up above you amongst the crags.

Dimlight Range 1
Ruins perched above Eldervale.

In ancient times this valley was part of old Valiroth, but nowadays it is inhabited by a relatively small community of simple farmers who live and work down by the riverbank.  Very few of them go up into the mountains, and all avoid the ruins – the good farmland is all down by the Cairnflood, in any case.

There are three very old towns along the Cairnflood – Dunmoss, Witherbourne, and [name as yet undetermined!], but they’re just the faded remnants of what they once were: their old stonework is crumbling and faded now, and their city walls were obviously once mighty, but have long since fallen into disrepair.  In short, it’s a perfect landscape for adventure!

Eldervale iaotia_spires_tower_over_farmlands__peripeteia__by_stephengarrett1019-d7zkl53

Some of the topography in Eldervale is quite… odd.

The People
Castle of Heirloom Peak - Mist
The Mists above Eldervale

The folk of Eldervale are a fairly superstitious lot – and perhaps with good reason, since the ruins they live in the shadow of really do contain all manner of strangeness.  In Rasitanian theatre, the Eldervalean characters are recognizable because they mutter old charms, make strange signs to ward off evil, and so on – and though this is a theatrical exaggeration, the stereotype has at least some truth to it; there really is something a little witchy about them.  As a result, people from other realms often consider the folk of Eldervale a bit odd, even a bit fey – though they’re often welcoming enough once you get to know them.

The Eldervalean Template

Characters who grew up in Eldervale should add the following skills to the skill options  listed on the 5-pt “Ordinary Person” template: Exorcism (H) Will-2 [1]; Fortune-Telling (A) IQ-1 [1]; Boating (Unpowered or Sailboat) (A) DX-1 [1]; Occultism (A) IQ-1 [1]; and Swimming (E) HT [1].

All Eldervalean characters also acquire a special Perk, offset by a special Quirk, as follows:

Eldervalean Perk: Brotherhood (Minor spirits) [1]

For whatever reason, minor ghosts, spirits, and the like do not seem to bother people who grew up in the Eldervale unless the Eldervalean bothers them first. Why? It’s anyone’s guess: some sages say that living among the ruins makes the Eldervaleans just a little bit spectral themselves; others point out that many spirits feed on fear, anxiety, and so on – and that they don’t bother Eldervaleans because are just used to living with odd spectral forces, and so don’t give off the necessary auras. Whatever the reason, if an Armarian is trying to sell genuinely haunted real estate, he goes to his Eldervalean clients first….

Eldervalean Quirk: Social Stigma: Eldervalean [-1]

This is a quirk-level Social Stigma.  Some people in civilized realms mistrust Eldervaleans, since they’re considered odd, a bit fey, and not quite ok.  This is worth a -1 on reactions when it applies – but it only applies quite rarely.

Notable Sites in Eldervale

Dunmoss – A medium-sized town on the Cairnflood river, built atop the ruins of a mysterious ancient city.  For details, see the full Dunmoss Gazetteer entry.

The Witch’s Isle – This small, rocky island lies in the middle of the Cairnflood river, just south of the town of Dunmoss.  The whole island is thickly overgrown with brambles, except for a rocky mound at the center of the island.  That rocky mound is one of the only places in the mortal realm where the Witch of Dunmoss is known sometimes to appear.  (See The Adventures of Temian Fell – in particular, Episode 2: The Witch of Dunmoss, and Episode 6: Treachery in Eldervale.)

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The Castle of Heirloom Peak

The Castle of Heirloom Peak –  This castle, located high up in the southern mountains of Eldervale, was once the high seat of a proud local Baron – but today it lies in ruins.  (The hidden truth: the Baron meddled with dark powers.  Eventually, he paid the price for this, and his castle was overrun by the infernal minions of the Demon-Prince Narnuilakh, the Lord of the Starless Night.  See The Adventures of Temian Fell – in particular, Episode 4: The Castle of Heirloom Peak and Episode 5: The Book of the Corrupted Seal.)

Region Stats: Eldervale

For an explanation of all these terms, see the Worlds system.  If you want to see how Eldervale was created, see here (for the geography) and here (for the culture).

Size: Large
Climate: Alpine
Terrain Type: River

Level of Civilization: Semi-Civilized
Settlements: Three towns
Population Type: Human
Theme: Historical

Monster Ecology
Primary Monster Type: Troll-wights
Secondary Monster Type: ?
Tertiary Monster Type: ?

 For the world map and more gazetteer posts, head here.

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