Village Backdrop: Feigrvidr
This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement
If the name of this village does sound like quasi-Norse, there is a reason for that “feigr” refers to “nar death” and has connotations with Odin’s trances; “viðr” means wood – and indeed, this village would make a perfect addition to a mountainous region: Nestled in the headlands of the forbidding Titan Peaks, Svingal Halfbeard and his renegade band of (mostly) dwarven outcasts have tracked the flow of gold nuggets to this remote locale, ever since driving their mines into the depths of the mountains. What started as little more than an outcast’s encampment in search for the big haul has since turned into a refuge for the persecuted.
Prosperous and notorious, Feigrvidr; populace may seem rough and tumble, but there is both gold and glory to be found in this remote place. The thane’s search for gold and giant artifacts continues and those that cross him tend to vanish. Whispers and rumors, a total of 6 of them, to be precise, have been included: A maze of shanties, decadent Sin’s roost, halfling town and middens containing the refuse and slack of the numerous mines – the village manages to properly convey its unique take on a mining town, with 6 sample events to kick off adventures/action. As always, nomenclature and local clothing customs are mentioned.
Speaking of middens – here, a cool bit of quasi-realism blends with the fantastic, for the folk of Feigrvidr have bred CR 2 pygmy-otyughs (fully statted) to deal with refuse…but they tend to breed fast and true and swarms of them can be found there and the locals whisper that they also are the reason bodies of the thane’s enemies tend to never be found…
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP’s patreon. The map deserves special mention this time around, being particularly nice. The pdf sports a nice b/w-artwork of a tentacle-studded pit, probably hiding the pygmy-otyughs. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
Stephen Radney-MacFarland’s Feigrvidr is one glorious village that can stand with the best in the series; equal parts ethnic settlement, frontier/mining town and rough and tumble refugee camp, it oscillates between various themes and blends them in a concise and fun whole. The village is inspired, cool and breathes a sense of the fantastic without becoming too “unrealistic.” Much like the best of the village backdrops, this immediately inspires and makes for a great “throw the adventurers in and wait what happens”-experience. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval – certainly my favorite mining-themed town by Raging Swan Press so far.
You can get this cool village here on OBS!
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