Haverford

Haverford used to be little more than a roadhouse situated at the main crossing over the Coldrun River before Alistair Creed and Carraway Blackshield turned it into a destination spot for adventuring in the Welkinwood. In its heyday, Haverford was home to over 1,000 souls, which is when the bridge over the Coldrun was built. 

Since then, Haverford’s population has slowly dwindled to just over 600, and life in the village has been relatively quiet—up until the recent attacks. Now, in the course of a single month, Haverford’s population has nearly doubled as hunters, loggers, and homesteaders from across the Welkinwood have flooded into town, seeking the refuge of its hastily erected walls. The influx of people has overwhelmed the town’s capacity, and refugees have started squatting in common rooms, warehouses and cellars, or simply erecting makeshift hovels that spill out into the street. 

It’s almost impossible to walk through town without being jostled by refugees, sniped at by residents, and assaulted by the stench of refuse. Between the overcrowded conditions and the perpetual fear of another attack by the Terror, tensions in Haverford are running high.

 

General Features

Haverford currently has a population of 1,200, almost half of whom are refugees from other settlements in the Welkinwood. Most of the population is human, along with some halflings and a few elves. 


Defenders: Haverford has a village watch comprised of 10-15 guards, who report to the sheriff.

Walls: The town is encircled by a 15-foot tall wooden palisade. Platforms large enough for a single archer are located every 100 feet along the wall’s length. A 20-foot tall watchtower flanks the single gate that allows entrance on the town’s south side.

Light: Torches on the archer platforms keep the wall brightly lit throughout the night, except at the midpoints between platforms where the light fades to dim. Inside the walls, the village is brightly lit during the day and dimly lit at night from fire and candlelight filtering out the windows of buildings. Beyond the range of the torchlight from the wall, the surrounding woods are brightly lit during the day and dark at night.

The River: The broad, shallow bed of the Coldrun River runs along the north side of town. During most of the year the water here runs 2 to 3 feet deep, but now, in late autumn, the Coldrun is little more than rock and mud. The river bed counts as difficult terrain for anyone walking across it.

The Warrens: The earth beneath Haverford is honeycombed with a series of small chambers connected by 4-foot wide tunnels, which were once home to a clan of gnomes, long since abandoned by the time of the village’s founding. Haverford’s settlers only discovered these tunnels later, as they began to dig cellars and wells for their growing village, and referred to them as “the Warrens.” Due to the gnomes’ original design and the eventual collapsing of tunnels, some parts of the Warrens are cut off from others, and many sections have never been fully explored by the villagers who now live above them.


Sites of Interest


Civic Buildings
 

Great Hall: The largest building in town other than the Sleeping Squire Inn, the great hall is also one of the only stone structures in Haverford, though its peaked second story is constructed of wood and roofed with thatch. Its ground level is a single, spacious hall that serves as a venue for village meetings and festivities, as well as being a place of refuge during times of trouble. The upper story is partitioned into a spacious office where Mayor Creed keeps his ledgers and receives visitors, and a large storeroom that holds surplus  goods.

Armory/Stockade: Built from the same stone as the great hall, though only a single story, the armory is kept under lock and key by Sheriff Blackshield. A stone stairwell descends into the stockade—a basement with iron-barred cells that serves as the town’s jail. Usually empty save for the occasional hothead who needs to sleep off the night’s drinking, the stockades have seen more use of late as the influx of refugees has led to a spate of drunken brawls and petty crime.

The Commons: The small patch of turf surrounding the village well is a favorite meeting place for conversation, trade, dancing, and trysting. However, as refugees have poured into Haverford, the wide open area has become crowded with bodies, and several refugees have erected makeshift shelters around the edge of the Commons, infuriating local residents.


Inns and Taverns


Sleeping Squire Inn: The oldest building in Haverford, the Sleeping Squire is lovingly tended by a middle-aged human named Valise Bourenne, who finances its upkeep with the money sent to her on occasion by her adventuring husband, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Valise genuinely enjoys seeing to Haverford’s travelers. The inn’s accommodations are simple, but the food is hearty—roast venison, glazed roots, and mushroom soup are staples in its kitchen—and visitors to the Sleeping Squire invariably leave feeling well taken care of.

Broken Wheel Taproom: The cartwright who originally set up shop here used to pour his customers a pint of ale to enjoy while he fixed their wagons. As the village grew, people started coming here just to share a drink and hear the latest news. Nowadays, the Broken Wheel is Haverford’s principal tavern, although it still offers repairs to travelers, who can park their wagons inside the gated lot for a copper a night. Inside, the taproom is cozy and quiet, with locals bent over their pints conversing in low murmurs. Dray Carterson, the human proprietor, takes obvious pride in his family’s establishment, and knows more about Haverford’s history than anyone. However, he has no patience for the refugees who come begging at the tavern’s door, and has quietly been organizing some of the locals to put pressure on the mayor to turn the refugees out.

Bashful Ogre Pub: Founded after Haverford became a destination for adventurers and catering to that clientele, the Bashful Ogre is an inviting and often raucous tavern, its walls hung with hunting trophies and souvenirs of its patrons’ exploits. Ilse Cormer is the pub’s sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued proprietor—the aging widow astutely takes the measure of every newcomer to her bar, and then lets them know exactly what she thinks of them (to the general amusement of the regulars). Anyone who thinks to bully the slight woman quickly finds that Ilse has a cadre of loyal customers who don’t take kindly to anyone speaking rudely to “Ma,” as they affectionately call her.


Merchants


Estavan’s Smithy: Haverford’s nails and horseshoes are supplied by Estavan Herrero, an aging smith who lost his sight years ago. Despite his blindness, Estavan’s craft is keen—he says the metal sings to him as he strikes it, letting him know where his next blow should land.

Yellen’s Fine Wares: The shelves of Yellen Dapplerose’s store are mostly stocked with sundries, but the halfling trader makes her biggest profits dealing in imported goods, luxury items, and the esoteric. Yellen’s only regular client is Mayor Creed, who has a penchant for silks and brandy, but she keeps an eye out for anyone new in town, especially adventurers, whom she invites to come by and browse her “special collection” of trinkets.


Services


Aribeth’s House: Aribeth W’haevinn is Haverford’s healer, a half-elf skilled in herb lore and the brewing of simple potions. Aribeth can cast spells as an acolyte, and happily does so for free for anyone in need (the villagers give her gifts of food and clothes in return, though she gives away whatever she can’t use). The half-elf despises anyone she sees as greedy or self-serving, and for that reason has no love for either Mayor Creed or Preacher Farnum. At any given time, Aribeth maintains a stock of potions of healing that she is willing to sell to the heroes.

Stables: The village stables have stalls for a dozen horses, where travelers can put up their mounts at 1 sp for the night. Typically, all but a few stalls stand empty, but the stables are currently full thanks to the many refugees who have arrived with animals in tow. Many more draft horses and mules now shelter in the streets, alongside the hovels of refugees who either couldn’t afford the stables or arrived too late to secure a stall. The stable hand, a quiet, sandy-haired lad named Jan, can point characters interested in purchasing an animal to a likely seller, though there are only a few ponies worth riding.

Shrine of the Wayfarer: This venerable wayside shrine has grown to become a local temple of sorts, catering to the spiritual needs of Haverford’s growing population. The shrine is run by Preacher Farnum, a zealous pastor who overtook care of the shrine when its previous, and much-beloved, keeper passed away a few years ago. Farnum’s fiery rhetoric has done little to earn him the love of Haverford’s citizens, but the coming of the Terror has given him a newfound following amongst the scared and desperate refugees, as well as some of the more impressionable townsfolk. The preacher does have an assortment of spell scrolls acquired by the shrine’s previous keeper, which he will sell at exorbitant prices, though only to persons of good character (as determined by him).

Haverford

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