This section is a work in progress. We will keep updating and adding more
information as we develop it. Please do not think you have the final copy
because it will never be finished!
Welcome to the town of Griffon’s
Hamlet. This town is truly unique in all of Paxoria. This small settlement was
founded by refugees. The entire town is built up on stone foundations that
elevate the floor of the homes above the earth.
Located at the headwaters of the
Griffon’s Hamlet serves as the main outpost of the northern river trade. Anyone
wishing to transport merchandise south to Kale typically brings their goods
to Griffon’s Hamlet, where those goods can be loaded on barges and floated
downriver to the capitol city.
The adults in the town love living there
because it is a prosperous and peaceful township. The youth of Griffon’s Hamlet
tend to deride the town as boring and uneventful. As such, Griffon’s Hamlet
produces more than its fair share of adventurers. Many young residents of
Griffon’s Hamlet are tempted into adventuring as a way to see the places all
the glorious imports come from. Incidentally, many such youthful adventurers return
to Griffon’s Hamlet upon retirement. Apparently boredom is not such a bad thing
The people of Griffon’s Hamlet are
notorious for their ingrained love for haggling. They are fair traders with
excellent negotiation skills. They rarely cheat foreign merchants because they
do not want to lose their lucrative trade. Nevertheless, a Griffon’s Hamlet
trader can negotiate with the best big city merchant and generally get the
upper hand. Even the notorious dwarves hold a grudging respect for the residents
of Griffon’s Hamlet.
A Brief History of Griffon’s Hamlet
Griffon’s Hamlet was founded by
peasants that disagreed with the timing of the declaration of Uttatai independence.
These humble folks believed it was dishonorable to abandon the Kalen Empire
during their war with Grogarian Dwarves.
The leader of this expedition was Harol Jonae. As the small band of refugees camped on the banks of
Lake Pralia, Harol
saw a griffon fly down from the mountains to capture one of their sheep.
Believing that the beauty and grace of the beast was a vision from the goddess
Ghel, Harol called a meeting of the refugees. In a rousing speech that
touched their hearts, he told them about the griffon and how Ghel was giving
this land as a gift to the refugees. He argued that the goddess was showing
them her favor because they alone were true to the oaths sworn to the Kalen
That same night the refugees began to
build the town of Griffon’s
Hamlet. The town of small farmsteads grew rather quickly in the first few
months. At first none of the refugees was aware of the great wealth that trade
would bring to their small town.
During the spring of the following year,
the ice caps on the Spine
Mountains began to
melt. The entire town of Griffon’s Hamlet
was swamped with icy water. The people escaped the loss of their homes by
living on the roofs of their dwellings. Once the water subsided, Harol called
all the villagers together and explained to them that Ghel had told him that
they must build their homes up off the earth. The goddess also told him that
they must plant their seeds after the flood waters recede; this was part of her
bounty, for the land would be replenished every year by the waters from the
mountains. So the people of Griffon’s Hamlet rebuilt their homes, as per the
instructions of the goddess.
After several years, merchants began to
stop in Griffon’s Hamlet during the long trek between the Saurian Hegemony and
increasing number of merchants carrying goods from the Free
used Griffon’s Hamlet as a way station during their journey. In 829, Selaris Griff, an enterprising resident of Griffon’s
Hamlet, abandoned farming and began a small shipping business with one river barge.
Selaris would transport goods for merchants to Kale for a small fee. Within a
year, Selaris became the richest man in Griffon’s Hamlet. Since then most the
residents of Griffon’s Hamlet are involved with the shipping trade.
Griffon’s Hamlet has supported the Kalen
Empire throughout its 218 year history. Many brave young men have fought in the
legions of the empire. Only during the Uttatai-Kalen Conflict last year did
Griffon’s Hamlet fail to send a majority of its young men to battle.
The rest is history…
location of Griffon’s Hamlet has led to the creation of a very interesting
town. Because of the annual spring thaw, the environs near the town flood
completely. The entire rolling plain upon which Griffon’s Hamlet is set flood
to the depth of about 2-3 feet.
all of the structures in Griffon’s Hamlet are built up on stone piling
foundations. Also, there can be no
basements in the town. During the two months of the floods, all the townspeople
travel around in row boats of various designs.
the floods, the local farmers build walls around their fields to contain the
water. Once enough water has pooled, they begin to plant rice. This is the
primary staple and cash crop. Griffon’s Hamlet rice is highly sought after in
some areas of Paxoria because the pure mountain snow melt adds a wonderful flavor
to the grains.
the summer months, the water has receded back down to normal levels and people
can put away their row boats. However, there is still enough moisture coming
off the mountains to turn the entire flood plain into a muddy bog. The mud in
most areas is about 4-7 inches deep.
themselves stay clean during these muddy periods, the people have developed two
main techniques. The first is the wearing of high platform over shoes. This
method is most common amongst the locals that have lived in the area all their
lives. More often than not, the first attempt at wearing these wooden shoes is
an ungracious fall into the mud.
visitors to the Hamlet prefer to wear a variation of snow shoes. These
oversized shoes are generally made of wicker and can be attached to most
existing foot wear. The wearer then walks normally on the mud. The danger is
that they must keep moving. If they stop in place for too long, they will begin
to sink into the mud.
fall, the weather turns cooler and the mud dries up. Everyone universally
agrees that this is the best time to visit Griffon’s Hamlet. The mud is gone
and the floods are still months away. This is the time that a majority of the
yearly trade occurs in town.
the fall is also when the townspeople hold their annual Harvest Festival. This
event lasts a week and includes dances, feasts, tournaments and games of skill
and chance. The local folk talk all year long about the next Harvest Festival.
River freeze completely. However the people of Griffon’s
Hamlet do not believe in allowing weather to deter trade. Therefore, they
continue to ferry goods downriver to Kale using horse-drawn sleds.
majority of trade during the winter is dedicated to the export of items
purchased from the Free Cities. During the entire year, the
trade agents of the town have been buying all the finished goods they can
afford from the dwarves. The local government of Griffon’s Hamlet holds all
these items until the winter months. These goods fuel the voracious economic
appetites of Griffon’s Hamlet during the otherwise quiet winter months.
is also a time for the people of Griffon’s Hamlet to get together and enjoy
each other’s company. Since most of the remaining trade is handled directly by
the local government, most people are idle during this time of year. The town
sponsors many events in the center of town for the citizens to get together.
Most marriage proposals come during this season.
Interview with Bob, A
you, sir, it isn’t that we believe ourselves to be better than you outsiders,
it’s just that we care for our own is all. We’re not much interested in
bringing you into our fold as most likely you have foreign attitudes. That’s
see, I was born in this town. My father was killed during the Heretic Cow Wars
about 30 years past now. My Mum was a good lady but she just couldn’t cope
once Dad died. Within a few months time, we’d lost the family farm. I don’t
blame the town…if you can’t pull your load you’ll have to just step aside. We
I came of age, I decided to try to better my family position. Not just for me
but for me Mum also. I remember how she cried when I set out to find our
fortune. Mind you, I’m no hero from a story book. All I wanted was enough
gold to buy a farmstead and marry a fat goodwife and raise some fish.
luck would have it, I ran into this party of mad men that was
actually wanting to become Grand High Lords and such! I suppose the
world needs mad folks like this but old Bob has managed to keep his wits
about him. I figured that these folk
needed a nice man servant to watch after their belongings and such. Also, I
figured that should some raging monstrous thing want a snack, it would very
well like a Lord better than poor old Bob.
we saw some adventure and old Bob even stood before the Emperor himself!
While the party was granted all types of titles of High Lordly Muckety Muck, old Bob was wiser than these Lords. I asked
the Emperor that I be given just a small farmstead so I could raise my fish
I been here ever since. But, what you have to
understand is I am a resident that just took a kind of leave of absence. When
I came home, the whole town came together and gave me a feast. The Mayor made
a speech about how I was a favorite son of Griffon’s Hamlet. I’ve never been
happier in my life.
you ask how could it be possible that I was happiest at the feast with the
Mayor than with the Emperor? Because the Emperor
might be a great King in Kale, but in Griffon’s Hamlet he isn’t just plain
folk. That’s what I approve of and like…plain folk, like me.”
The People of Griffon’s Hamlet
The people of this town are very proud.
They are fiercely independent but at the same time they are loyal to the
Empire. They are a strong and hearty people that have survived countless
incursions of enemies, disease and disaster. Through all of these difficulties,
the people of Griffon’s Hamlet have come out stronger in their allegiance to
the empire and the goddess Ghel.
These are not your run of the mill
peasants that are easily intimidated. Adventurers in Griffon’s Hamlet will find
that the people are courteous but not very friendly. They are not overly
interested in outsiders, especially adventurers; they reserve their friendship
for each other. They dislike adventurers because they generally bring trouble
and trouble is bad for business.
Furthermore, it should be remembered that
Griffon’s Hamlet is the home of many retired adventurers. Most of the young
people that fled the boredom of life in Griffon’s Hamlet have returned to raise
families of their own. Therefore, the kindly old carpenter may very well be a
Griffon’s Hamlet is strange for one major
reason: there is almost no violent crime! There is very little thievery within
the city and there hasn’t been a murder in decades. Mind you, this only applies
to the actual permanent residents of Griffon’s Hamlet. In the Warehouse
District murder and theft is as common as in most major cities. However, the
perpetrators of these crimes are almost always transient visitors.
reason, Griffon’s Hamlet produces more than its fair share of heroes and
adventurers. Many young people that have lived their entire lives in the Hamlet
have been exposed to a small amount of just about every culture in Paxoria.
However, the small town mentality of the residents is enough to make most
youngsters crazy. Griffon’s Hamlet is so small there is absolutely no privacy! It is impossible to keep a secret in this
There is a strange blend in town of
cosmopolitan information with colloquial attitudes. While many residents of
Griffon’s Hamlet are well versed in the goings on in the major cities of Paxoria,
they are completely unsympathetic to their problems. In the opinion of the
typical resident these people get what they deserve for living among such odd,
Griffon’s Hamlet is governed by a Town
Council consisting of ten people elected for two years. Elections are held in
winter at the Speaker’s Square. There are no term limits. Each citizen over the
age of fifteen is entitled to one vote.
The Council then elects one of the Councilmen to serve as Mayor. The
people are capable of impeaching a Councilman, including the Mayor. The Mayor
is responsible for receiving complaints, managing meetings, setting the meeting
agendas and for reporting to the Provincial Governor. As with all things about
Griffon’s Hamlet, elections are usually purchased. Every person in town is
proud of the fact that they sell their votes to the highest bidder.
The Provincial Governor is appointed by
the Emperor in Kale. This individual is rarely in town as he is forced to
travel throughout his territory. However, the people of Griffon’s Hamlet have
provided him with an office in the Town Hall in the hopes that he will visit
more often. Invariably, the Governor travels with a large staff and the
townspeople love to overcharge these particular visitors.
The most important issue to keep in mind
is that the Town Council is ultimately unimportant. True power is held by a
small group of the most powerful merchants who call themselves the Town Elders.
While the Town Council governs the Griffon’s Talon, this small group controls
the Highwaymen. Everyone in town knows who the true players are and when they
need something taken care of they always turn to the Elders.
In this past election, Pulin
Zirkon was elected Mayor. For the first time in the
history of Griffon’s Hamlet, the Mayor is also a member of the Elder council.
Some townspeople have hypothesized that this can only help matters since now
both the Griffon’s Talon and the Highwaymen will work towards the same goals.
The true government structure of Griffon’s
Hamlet is one of the best-kept, open secrets. Every resident knows about the
disparity but they will never discuss it with an outsider. As such, PC’s will
have a terrible time trying to get anything done through the actual town
government. Since all the local bureaucrats are aware that they are unimportant
to town business they tend to be unwilling to make a decision about anything.
Interview with Captain Jeric Rall, Commander of the Griffon’s Talon
“So, you think you’re tough enough to be
a Talon? I think you’re wrong. To me you’re nothing but an overgrown boy that
wants to play with the men but will go running home crying the minute your
nose gets smashed in with a mace!
“Wha? Oh, you
just want an interview? Some kind of tourist thing, huh? Well, I don’t got
much time. Do you have any idea how busy I am?
“Look between the merchants crying about
brigands on the roadways, the warehouse clerks short-changing everyone, the merchant
guards knife fighting in the streets, the riotous parties in the tent village
and those stupid drunks at the tavern, I have my hands pretty much full. So
far, the only ones in this town that have never given me a problem are the
“I’ve got the Town Council breathing
down my neck because three drunken teamsters knocked down a fence. Seriously,
now, who cares? It’s a fence! They offered to pay for the damages but because
it happened to be the Widow Tichmark’s fence it
suddenly becomes a major problem for the Talon.
“So, if you’re not here to help me then
leave me the (expletive deleted) alone! Oh, and have a pleasant visit here in
local church is sanctified to the Mother Church of Kale. Inside the church
building can be found altars to each of the gods in the Pantheon. The church
building was founded and built by Rodenis, a cleric of Balin. He used his own funds to build the church in the
center of Griffon’s Hamlet. Needless to say, Rodenis was well loved by the
Church sent Rodenis an assistant. The Church believed
that the people of Griffon’s Hamlet needed a spiritual leader while Rodenis was
off adventuring. They chose Wimish Putima, an adept. While
Wimish is well learned in church lore and is a capable spiritual guide, they
couldn’t possibly have made a worse decision.
is disliked in town for three major reasons. First, the townspeople blame him
for the death of Rodenis. Apparently, Wimish convinced Rodenis that the church
in Griffon’s Hamlet needed a special musical instrument called a carillon. A carillon
is a piano-like instrument that uses wooden keys connected to huge bells. When
the keys are struck the bells are rung. Wimish convinced Rodenis by telling him
that he was an excellent carillon player.
in turn, convinced the Town Council to finance the purchase of this expensive
musical instrument. It was decided to install this device in the tallest tower
of the church building so that on holy days they could play the carillon and
the whole town could hear the music. However, during the installation Rodenis
was accidentally killed by a fall from the tower. Of course, the people of
Griffon’s Hamlet blame Wimish for the death of Rodenis.
second reason the townspeople dislike Wimish is that after all the trouble
caused by the carillon, he actually can’t play as well as he claimed he could!
During holy days the townspeople can usually be found in the local taverns
discussing how they plan on breaking Wimish’s limbs so he can’t play anymore.
third (and most important) reason why the people of Griffon’s Hamlet hate
Wimish is because he lobbied for a law to make it illegal to sell alcohol on holy
days. Needless to say, everyone was opposed to this law and it was beaten
handily. Since then, Wimish has unwisely used his pulpit to attack all the
vices that the people of Griffon’s Hamlet dearly love. There is a rumor that
the Town Council will send a representative to Kale requesting that Wimish be
replaced but no one wants to pay for the trip.
PC’s visiting Griffon’s Hamlet will probably end up meeting Wimish almost immediately
after getting to town. He is so desperate for people to be nice to him that he
will bend over backwards to help the party. However, if the townspeople see the
PC’s spending too much time with Wimish they risk having some of the negative
feelings towards him rub off on them.
local people are willing to pay lip service to religion but they do not take it
very seriously. They generally attend the church on holy days and for various
celebrations. However, during the trade season, the church is almost always
empty. A popular saying in Griffon’s Hamlet expounds that the gods love worship
but they prefer the donations. If you talk directly to a resident, they will be
the first to tell you that they are truly religious people. They genuinely
believe that the gods love them better than most other towns because Griffon’s
Hamlet is the only town that has true faith.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
As with all creative endeavors this one
has been inspired from various sources. If you have enjoyed this sourcebook,
then we recommend the following:
- The Discworld series of books by Terry Pratchett
because the small gods are everywhere.
Omens, because religion deserves a kick in the butt too.
They Kill by Richard Rhodes; sometimes it takes a criminologist to keep you
by William Shakespeare to learn about angst, fear and vengeance
original Godfather book by Mario Puzo, the
Seuss Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Anything with Clint Eastwood except for “Bridges Of
“Blazing Saddles” especially the scene with the Old Lady and the Sheriff. She
was the inspiration for everyone in Griffon’s Hamlet.
Python and the Holy Grail”
Python’s: The Life of Brian”
Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth
Dimension” because a bad movie is a joy forever
Pirates” because you can never be safe in the bathroom
- All the
- “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” because Oompa Loompas are the Minions of
Satan, that’s why they are crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.
did not enjoy this book then we highly recommend that you read Buck Alice
and the Actor Robot by Walter Koenig while watching “Battlefield Earth” because
you have no taste or class.