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    The Sud Graufult: Fief of Olvanfurt
    Posted on Wed, August 08, 2001 by Toran
    Taras writes "Situated between the northern sections of the Hollow Highlands and the Rieuwood, this fief provides a refuge for some remnants of a once great noble house from Aerdy. Presented here is a gazetteer of the sites and settlements of the fief.

    Author: Taras Guarhoth


    Fief of Olvanfurt

    by Taras Guarhoth (montand@canonfire.com)
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    Note: Small villages and hamlets dot the Sud Graufult. Many of these are quite small (40 people or less), and thus won't recieve any detail unless there's something significant there. Only those settlements with over 100 people, or some kind of fortification or adventuring area will be detailed. Also, unless otherwise noted, each of the following towns and villages (providing they're not a ruin) are assumed to have at least chapel dedicated to Pholtus, most being of the Orthodox Church of the South.

    Olvanfurt

    Located on the northern banks of the Halmach River, the town of Olvanfurt is the last major town within the Sud Graufult as one heads west along the road to Idee. Roughly 1500 people live within the town, which is ruled by Waldgraf Tormiach Rax. The existing town grew up around the Keep of Olvanfurt, which was constructed by the Aerdi after their destruction of the Harashim town of Nashalach, the ruins of which have been built over by the current residents of Olvanfurt.

    The town serves as the main center for trade with Idee, for the fief of Hoehle Bergland has no centers of population with in it’s borders (and was, in fact, once part of the fief of Olvanfurt, prior to the rise of the Aerdi in the area). As such, the markets of the town are often busy with merchants dealing in goods either destined for Idee, or coming from Idee. To accomidate this, there are a number of inns and taverns of varying quality to be found within the town’s walls, as well as a number of shops carrying a wide variety of goods.

    The Harashim Quarter of this town, housing roughly 100 people, sits at the western end of the town. Within it’s confines can be found a single temple dedicated to the gods of the Harashim. To the south of the Harashim Quarter is the Low Quarter, where 250 gnomes, halflings, and the occasional dwarf live, although no temples exist here, most conducting their worship in small shrines within their homes. Just across the Halmach River, linked by a stone bridge to the rest of the town, sits the Elvish Quarter, where 75 elves and half-elves dwell, and are often looked upon with distrust by their neighbors to the north.

    Occasionally, workers constructing the basements and cellars for new buildings, as well as those repairing older buildings, have broken into the old Harashim ruins beneath the town. These entrances are quickly sealed up, for it is known that a tribe of xvarts (and possibly some kobolds, as well) live in the warrens of old cellars, forgotten sewers, abandoned catacombs, and other subterranean chambers. They have proven themselves to be more of a minor nuisance than anything else, and rarely leave their underground homes (although those who enter their tunnels are sure to find them more than just a minor nuisance).

    Kieinrinderfeld

    Located near the margins of the Rieuwood, this village is protected by a small keep with 50 soldiers, under the command of Lansgraf Christoph Rax. No inns can be found within the village, although two taverns are here. There is a small shop carrying very basic goods, and little else can be found here, although weapons and armor can be repaired (and very small items crafted, such as arrows or daggers) by the keep’s armorer.

    Such a small and remote settlement would hardly warrant such a (relatively) large keep, but the elves of the western end of the Rieuwood have traditionally been less than friendly with their human neighbors than the elves of the eastern end have been. In the past, the elves have raided villages along the margins of the forests, seeking the keep the humans away from “their” lands.

    Lorissanai

    This small village, ruled by Lansgraf Alerrean Elishean, is protected by a fortified tower and 25 soldiers. The elves mainly leave the village alone, for the majority of it’s inhabitants can boast of some elvish blood (although few have enough to even qualify as half-elven). The village mainly survives by selling products of the Rieuwood, such as a small amount of timber and nuts and fruits gathered from the surrounding forest, in the markets of Olvanfurt.

    No inns or stores can be found here, although there is a tavern, which will rent out it’s common room at night to weary travelers. No stores exist within the village, as most travel to Kieinrinderfeld to get any goods they require.

    Marktbreit

    This village is located near the margins of the Rieuwood, and is protected by a small keep housing 40 soldiers led by Lansgraf Calder Rax. The village also boasts an unusual set of defenders...three tribes of hobgoblins who have decided that siding with the humans against the elves will give them a longer life. The tribes, of roughly 100 to 150 individuals each, live in the woods to the west of the village, and have come to the aid of the villagers on a number of occasions against the increasingly infrequent elven raids.

    A single inn, and three taverns, can be found within the village, as well as two shops carrying mostly basic goods. Although the village itself is too small to support so many establishments, a handful of hobgoblins can often be found visiting the village, and they provide the bulk of the income for them. The hobgoblins are generally very well behaved while in the village (since they’re grossly outnumbered by the guards, as more than 20 aren’t present at any one time).

    Gossmannsdorf

    Situated at the junction of the Halmach and Shalvash Rivers, this village serves to further trade along the road leading to Idee. Two stone bridges can be found here, one crossing each of the rivers. Roads link the village to Olvanfurt, Marktbreit, Zeubairiad, and Herchsbrunn. A small fortified tower guards the village, with 20 soldiers under the command of Lansgraf Martel Rax. A single inn and tavern can be found within the village, but no shops exist, with most goods purchased in Olvanfurt or Marktbreit.

    A single family of halflings live within the village, running a small brewery which is famed throughout the Fief of Olvanfurt. The halflings jealously guard their recipes, and tend to take unkindly to people poking around near their brewery. Despite this, they get along well with their human neighbors, as the family has lived within the village for generations.

    Zeubairiad

    Located on the north bank of the Halmach River, this village links Gossmannsdorf to Erlach. A single inn can be found here, as can a small shop selling basic necessities to the villagers. A fortified tower, with 20 soldiers under the command of Lansgraf Tannen Dailem (a halfling), guards this village.

    The inhabitants of this village are predominantly halfling, so the only temple is dedicated to the halfling gods, although a small shrine to Pholtus does exist for the humans. In addition, about once a month, the priest from Gossmannsdorf travels to the village and looks after the handful of faithful here, performing any necessary ceremonies (i.e.: weddings, funerals) while he’s here.

    Local legend has it that some renegades from House Nashalla stopped in the village, on their way to the Aerdi (or at least to Harashim who had sided with the Aerdi), and were fleeing with some important records and valuables. Bounty hunters caught up with them here, and killed them, although the items that they were supposed to be transporting to the Aerdi were never found, although no one has a clue where they could be hidden if they were still within the village.

    Kirchheim

    This village lies off the main roads, but does boast a small keep, housing 45 soldiers led by Abbot Gunther Bauer, a militant priest of the Orthodox Church of the South. The keep was originally founded during the first years of the Aerdi domination of Olvanfurt, and was designed to keep the north western parts of the fief under control. Over the years, the need for this control has lessened dramatically as the peasantry came to accept the rule of the Aerdi, but the keep remains. Now it serves primarily to train elite clerical troops for the Sud Graufult (although there are still very few throughout the region, and they aren’t clerics, just warriors who fight for the church rather than a noble).

    A single inn and two taverns grace the village, and serve those traveling from the mining communities to the north, as well as those headed to the village in the hopes of being trained here. While not many of those who make the journey are accepted, local merchants have learned that if one is in need of guards for a caravan, Kirchheim is the place to look first, as would-be soldiers, guards, and heroes can be found here often. In addition, a single store can be found, carrying basic goods, although some weaponry is available, mostly used and unneeded equipment sold by the Abbot’s men or excess made by his armorer.

    A number of items were seized from Harashim shrines and petty nobles during the Aerdi conquest of the region, and are presumably still within the possession of the Abbot, although there have been reports of thieves helping to relieve the Abbot’s men of the burden of caring for at least some of them. No one can confirm this, of course, and the Abbot hotly denies that anything which should be there isn’t there.

    Several miles to the west of the village lie the remains of a small keep, formerly belonging to an infameously eccentric noble of House Nashalla. Although the keep was looted by the first Abbot of Kirchheim, rumors of missed treasure still circulate (as they always do). In addition, it has been confirmed that orcs have been seen within the vicinity of the ruined keep, although the Abbot’s soldiers haven’t been needed to drive them from the area...yet.

    Lindalbach

    Connected by a rough road south to Kirchheim, this village survives mainly by supporting the mines a few miles to the north. A number of mines that have been exhausted of their mineral wealth dot the area, and unless new mineral wealth is found soon, the last of the mines in the area will be completely played out within a generation or two.

    The only smithy (besides the one in Herchsbrunn) in the area can be found here, and refines the raw copper ore into more useful metal before shipping it south for sale in Olvanfurt. In addition, a store selling basic goods and an inn can be found here, mainly catering to miners from the surrounding hamlets.

    Xvarts and kobolds dwell among a number of the abandoned mines in the area, and prove to be a real problem for some of the smaller hamlets, although they don’t get close to Lindalbach, with it’s fortified tower, stockade wall, and 35 soldiers, all under the command of Lansgraf Wilhem Cranden-Guarhoth. Of course, there are the obligatory rumors about great wealth hoarded by the humanoids, although only the gullible believe they have much.

    Herchsbrunn

    This predominantly gnomish village lies near the headwaters of the Shalvash River, and is mostly located within the confines of three hills, each housing a single small clan of gnomes. The handful of human inhabitants dwell in the area between the three hills, and stick mostly to growing grapes in the surrounding vineyards. As such, there is no fortification within the village, as the humans would just retreat to the gnome warrens when necessary.

    No inns can be found within the village, but the occasional traveler can usually find lodging within the (cramped even by Harashim standards) warrens of the gnomes. A store exists, selling basic goods, as well as some of the finished goods made by the gnomes (usually just metal implements, plain jewelry, and the like, as more expensive stuff is either custom made, or is made strictly for trade). However, given time, materials, and money, the gnomes of the village are capable of creating most hand-held weapons and more expensive jewelry.

    Lansgraf Engershottel Zweibandar rules the village, and commands the 20 soldiers (all gnomes), as well as the militia of villagers, when they’re needed to fend off the tribes of xvarts or kobolds in the area. The pesky humanoids tend to dwell in old mines which dot the surrounding countryside, and generally tend to raid the smaller hamlets (of humans or halflings) rather than the warrens of the gnomes, although the occasional tribe has failed to note that Herchsbrunn isn’t just a human hamlet.

    Copper from nearby mines that still contain ore is smelted and worked within the village, and the metal and finished goods are then typically sent to Olvanfurt and sold to the merchants there. A handful of low value gems can be extracted from the hills, and the only gemcutter outside of the big towns to be found within the Sud Graufult can be found here.

    Sahulah Convent

    Once a minor stronghold of Pholtine nuns, this convent was destroyed during the strife that characterized the Turmoil Between Crowns. The superstitious locals fear the ruins, and refuse to come near it, instead spreading wild tales of what horrors lurk inside.


    Overview of the Sud Graufult

    Note: Aerdy, Ahlissa, Sud Graufult, Sunndi"
     
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