Into that Darkness Peering: A Tale of the Lonely Coast
Named for the vast flocks of swallows found here by the first settlers, Swallowfeld is an isolated place, perched upon the very edge of civilization. Pressed closely on three sides by the near‐trackless expanse of the Tangled Wood and bounded to the south by the turbulent Azure Sea, the village is far removed from the decadent courts and thronged cities of its parent kingdom.
Much of the surrounding territory is little more than wilderness. In places humanity has hacked out small enclaves from the thick, brooding forests shrouding the multitude of rocky valleys running down to the Lonely Coast’s towering, spray‐drenched granitic cliffs. A swath of farmland, studded by occasional homesteads, radiates outwards for several miles from the village on a network of tracks and pathways that links Swallowfeld to the neighboring villages of Oakhurst and Hosford. Few folk brave the trackless expanse and steep valleys of the interior leaving the village dependent on passing merchantmen and the trickle of trade flowing between villages for news.
Swallowfeld is a frontier settlement; life is not comfortable or easy for those living there. Although the village of around 500 souls is primarily a human settlement, members of all the major races dwell within. Its folk are resilient and independent, well used to the hardships of borderland life.
Occasionally, small groups of pilgrims trudge through the village on the way to the Priory of Cymer, a small temple dedicated to Darlen (God of Law, Order, Justice and the Sun). Darlen’s faith has long since fallen from prominence and an aura of faded glory and neglect hangs over Cymer.
Despite its isolation, Swallowfeld is an important place in its parent kingdom’s affairs.Lord Locher, first cousin to the king, has his seat at Caer Syllan and the nearby slate mines cut into the cliffs provide high quality stone for the rooftops of the kingdom’s wealthy and influential folk.
Swallowfeld’s militia train regularly and Lord Locher’s troops aggressively patrol the surrounding area keeping raiding goblins in check. The threat of marauders, pirates and slavers is ever‐present, though, and there is always a need for those skilled with sword and spell in Swallowfeld. In fact, it is the duty of all able bodied Swallowfeld citizens to participate in town defense. To keep the towns people ready, each must serve some time each year supplementing the garrison run by Sir Talek Annear, Commander of Kerensa’s Hold, the small castle which protects Swallowfeld.