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    Default Re: Codename: Swampgas, Like Frostburn, but with Swamps

    Glugg: The City in the Swamp


    The Murk is, of course, a rather inhospitable place, and in many cases adventurers lost in the swampy morass of the environment seem to be hundreds of leagues from the nearest outpost of civilization. In most cases, they would be right. However, in some places humans and other races have managed to eke out a living in the Murk and in the rarest of these cases have actually carved out a bit of land for themselves. Glugg is one of those places. Whether through their own intentions or by the machinations of monsters, nature, or hazards of other sorts, many adventurers to the Murk often come across Glugg and use it as a place to regroup, resupply, and re-plan their adventures into the swamps.

    The history of Glugg is somewhat hazy. The name supposedly comes from what an early human explorer thought the area was called, based on his mishearing of a local Frogfolk chieftain’s description of the place. Regardless, the area, with its less dense tree cover and broad, easily accessible river, was a haven for many groups, indigenous or not. Frogfolk often made their home in the area, but not near the water itself. Lizardfolk of various tribes also made their home in the area around Glugg as their martial bent was more suited to tackling problems that might arise from the river. Humans, Elves (both Swamp Elves and traveling Elves of other sorts), and Mangrove Dwarves, in later years, made the settlement a more permanent location, and to this day the location is mostly inhabited by Humans and a smattering of other Murk races.

    The western edge of Glugg is the only portion of the city with a physical, man-made boundary. Due to the preponderance of attacks from that direction, the villagers erected a wooden palisade along a roughly semicircular border west of the city. The river, which flows east through the city before turning southeast on the far side, also features a man-made impediment – a row of wooden stakes anchored into the bed every foot or so and extending to about five feet below the surface prevent large creatures from entering underwater and undetected. The area inside the city walls near the palisade includes many homes of poorer citizens (especially the few Lizardfolk in the town) and the areas for the drying of fish and preparing of various other items made of swamp goods. Along the palisade to the northwest, and hidden by its own wall and line of trees, is a temple to Toloth, the Twilight God, situated so that the sun never shines directly onto the actual temple or those going about their business on its grounds.

    The central area of Glugg is dominated by the twin great trees that appear to have stood since the area was dry woodland. Into each was built a major building – the town hall on the south side of the river, where the town council meets weekly and where citizens gather during emergencies, and the temple of Maas, a mostly untouched tree where Druids, civilized or not, gather for various rituals to the Lord of Unnoticed Events. Also in the central portions of the town are several large canals, dug by various townsfolk, which provide transportation for citizens and water for the temple of Maas. Also, at the end of one canal, in a smaller (but still gigantic) tree, the Newt and Possum tavern and inn serves travelers of all sort and provides a spot for outsiders and locals alike to meet for a pint.

    The eastern portion of the city, like the extreme north and south reaches of the town, is bordered by thick forest and dangerous swamp. The main road to Glugg ends across the river to the southeast, and the only way into town from that direction is by ferry. The eastern edge of the city is also home to a decrepit, if not humble, home, rumored to be the residence of a Voodoo queen of some power. Locals don’t often venture that way, and many outsiders have never made to town if they first stopped to have a “look around” at the place.


    Introducing Glugg into Your Campaign
    Introducing Glugg to your campaign is rather easy. The city itself and other like it are rare, but in most cases adventurers have some chance to end up there if adventuring in the Murk. If your players become lost, they could end up in Glugg on accident, or could end up there as they’re driven by marauding beasts or other savage threats. If the players are elsewhere, perhaps they hear of a great treasure near a city in the swamp, or a patron of the adventurers (especially if there is a Druid in the party) may need the party to go there for trade or other mundane purposes.


    Glugg at a Glance
    -TAB-Glugg (Village): Conventional; AL NG; 400 gp limit; assets 9000 gp; population 450; integrated (65% human, 15% swamp orc/half-orc, 10% frogfolk, 5% lizardfolk, 5% other (bog gnome, mangrove dwarf, elf, half-elf, halfling, etc.).
    -TAB-Authority Figures: Willem Carrough, town speaker and former adventurer (NG Male Human Marshal 2/Fighter 4/Aristocrat 4).
    -TAB-Other Notable Figures: Ss’ravek Isskarnis, infiltrator and de facto leader of the Lizardfolk in Glugg (N Male Fogbank Lizardfolk Barbarian 1/Ranger 4/Swampscale Paragon 5); Maria De Leveaux, folk magic expert and voodoo queen (NE Female Human Sorcerer 6/Voodoo Practitioner 3); Krosh, high priest of Maas (N Male Swamp Half-Orc Druid 8); Ribinna, tavern performer and merchant (CG Female Frogfolk Wilderness Rogue 4/Savage Bard 2).

    Map of Glugg
    Spoiler
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    Locations in Glugg
    A – Temple of Toloth: Perpetually in shade from the surrounding palisades and trees, the temple to the god of twilight houses two priests and a handful of acolytes.

    B – Boat Shed and Supplies: Most residents of the workers’ district own at least one small boat, and most of these are stored in the boat shed. The owner, Matthias Johannsen (Human Expert 4), is an able riverman and sells various supplies. Occasionally he also builds small rafts, canoes, and collapsible boats and offers them up for sale to travelers.

    C – Workers’ District: This area of town is home to most of the Lizardfolk and Frogfolk in Glugg, as well as many of the humans. Most of the residents of this district support themselves by fishing, either from boats or from the shore, and by gathering herbs and other plants from edges of the swamp.

    D – The Town Hall Tree: Carved into the trunk of a great tree standing since before the area was even covered in swamp, the most defensible and impressive structure in Glugg is the town hall. The tree also contains the homes of several members of the council, though the Speaker lives in a large house behind the tree.

    E – The Temple of Maas: Carved into the trunk of the other giant tree in Glugg, the Temple of Mass is less of a building and more of a tree with some buildings attached. Home to Krosh, the Swamp Half-Orc high priest of Maas, plus a handful of other clerics, druids, and other acolytes, the Temple is a center for healing and meditation.

    F – Druid Grove: Many Druids who choose to worship deities other than Maas often gather in the well-maintained grove of trees just to the east of the Lord of Unnoticed Event’s temple. Rangers, Druids, and less-destructive Barbarians are often welcome to stay in the grove, as many Druid’s realize that not all are comfortable staying inside man-made dwellings while visiting civilization.

    G – Merchant and Artisan District: Home to most of the gnomes and dwarves in Glugg, as well as many of the well-to-do humans, this district produces both art objects as well as weapons and other items necessary for travel in the Murk and elsewhere.

    H – The Newt and Possum: The only true inn and tavern in Glugg, the Newt and Possum provides outsiders with a taste of city life… almost. Adventurers can enter the Newt and Possum at nearly any hour and find food and drink, good conversation with the locals, and probably some form of entertainment (be it a traveling minstrel, an impromptu game of some sort, or a good, old-fashioned bar brawl).

    I – The Mill: With the lack of grain in the Murk, many staple crops have to be imported into Glugg. The mill, rarely used but watched over by the careful eyes of Gresk, an old Half-Orc, sits across from the new dike at what has become the narrowest portion of the river as it flows through the village.

    J – Temple of Kodes: A giant, always-burning bonfire greets visitors who approach Glugg’s Temple of Kodes, the goddess of purification, order, and, in Glugg, civilization. A stone structure, the interior of the temple is full of red tapestries and gold leaf, with recurring themes of order versus savagery. The temple is home to Githa Alodia (female Human Cleric 6), and also serves as the training area for the “militia” of Glugg – the several dozen men of various races who train once a month or so in basic weapons drills and who respond to minor emergencies in the town.

    K – Home of Marie de Laveaux: Threatened by the constant flow of the river, this decrepit home stands dangerously close to the water. Seemingly empty, the building is actually home to the voodoo queen Marie de Laveaux. Outsiders often avoid the house and its mysterious aura, but locals often visit Marie under dark of night for advice or perhaps for folk magic talismans. Marie seldom leaves (or so it appears), but she can sometimes be seen stalking towards the home of Willem Carrough, town speaker, probably to speak about the future condition of her home.

    L – Ferry: The only way into the town of Glugg from the east, the ferry runs throughout the day, but only when necessary. Two boats cross the river, with one remaining at each side, though at dusk both are brought to the city side of river.

    M – Ribinna’s Trade House: One of the most successful citizens in Glugg, Ribanna, a young Frogfolk female, has a veritable fleet of small boats constantly coming and going and trading supplies up and down river, with other swamp locations and those in the world at large.

    N – New Dike: Several years ago, the flooding of the land south of the Newt and Possum because of the bend in the river become enough of a problem that the town council of the time decided to build a dike to stop the erosion and flooding of the area. Accidentally built as a convex curve, the dike has now caused a new problem – the water flowing around dike now flows directly towards the home of Marie de Laveaux. No major flooding has occurred yet, but as both Marie and the current council have recognized, it is only a matter of time before such an event occurs.

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    EDIT (6 July): Updated various things and added some stuff. It's pretty much done, but if anyone can think of anything else it needs, PM me or something.
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2008-07-06 at 11:25 PM.
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

    Homebrew:
    "Themes of Ansalon" - A 4E Dragonlance Supplement
    Homebrew Compendium