Griffon’s Hamlet:
General Information

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General Info
Economic System
Defenses
Personalities
Renown Statistic

Preamble

      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!

 

Introduction

      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 River, 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 after all.

      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 Empire.

      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 Kale. An increasing number of merchants carrying goods from the Free Cities 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…

 

Environment

      The 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.

      As such, 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.

      During 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.

 

      During 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.

      To help 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.

      Most 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.

 

      Into the 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.

      During 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.

 

      In winter, Lake and the 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.

      The 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.

      Winter 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.

 

Community

Interview with Bob, A Local Farmer

      “Mind 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 all.

      “You 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 stepped aside.

      “When 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.

      “As 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.

      “So 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 in peace.

      “Now, 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.

      “Now 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 powerful fighter…

      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.

      For some 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 town.

      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, foreign folk.

 

Government

      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 prostitutes.

      “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 Griffon’s Hamlet.”

 

Religion

      The 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 townspeople.

      About seven years ago, Mother 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.

      Wimish 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.

      Rodenis, 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.

      The 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.

      The 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.

      Any new 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.

      The 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:

 

Reading

- The Discworld series of books by Terry Pratchett because the small gods are everywhere.

- Good Omens, because religion deserves a kick in the butt too.

- Why They Kill by Richard Rhodes; sometimes it takes a criminologist to keep you from crime

- “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare to learn about angst, fear and vengeance

- The original Godfather book by Mario Puzo, the others suck

- Doctor Seuss Oh, The Places You’ll Go

 

Viewing

- Anything with Clint Eastwood except for “Bridges Of Madison County.” Why, Clint, why?

- “Blazing Saddles” especially the scene with the Old Lady and the Sheriff. She was the inspiration for everyone in Griffon’s Hamlet.

- “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

- “Monty Python’s: The Life of Brian”

- Spam, spam, spam

- “The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension” because a bad movie is a joy forever

- “Ice Pirates” because you can never be safe in the bathroom

- All the Godfather movies

- “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.

 

 

Final Note

If you 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.

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