Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Rosebriar is something of an enigma to the other folk of Carmathan. A settlement of primarily forest gnomes with some rock gnome families, this village borders the Earthwood to the south. The forest gnomes enjoy a good relationship with the elven clans of the Earthwood, while the rock gnomes find the nearby Earthspurs to provide easy mining.
Soon after Feldrin Bloodfeathers founded Ravensburg, inquisitive forest gnomes of the Earthwood, living in the shadows of the elven clans, chose to leave the forest and make contact with the human settlers. As elves and gnomes measure time, this wasn’t too far after the glacial ice receded from Damara.
In the few centuries since its founding, Rosebriar has grown. The two forest gnome families who established the settlement attracted other forest gnomes, and the southeast portion of the village consists of the tree homes of the forest gnomes and is still considered the center of “their” village.
Rosebriar also attracted clans of rock gnomes, most of whom settled on the western bank of the river, and began mining in the nearby Earthspur Mountains (which is technically part of the Duchy of Arcata).
The rock gnome miners eventually met a small band of Svirfneblin while mining. The svirfneblin returned to their clans in Corundruby and eventually founded the village of Ringing Rock below the Rosebriar Mines. Now the Svirfneblin contribute to the welfare of Rosebriar by trading ores, minerals and gems that the rock gnomes likely never would have reached. In exchange, the deep gnomes gain access to many above-ground resources considered luxuries in Nar Voth (the Upperdark).
Close to one hundred years after its founding, the Duke of Carmathan at the time, a descendant of Feldrin Bloodfeathers’ brother in law, decided that the gnomes “needed” human protection. He tasked Sir Actia, one of his knights to construct a castle overlooking the gnome village for their protection. Castle Actia was completed a decade later, and during construction, a small human population settled down in the village.
Much to Lord Actia’s surprise however, the gnomes didn’t really need a human lord, and continued to follow the dictates of the forest gnome families who started the settlements. The human lord was completely ignored. Even the human settlers eventually realized that the gnomes were the true leaders of the village.
Lord Actia passed away, leaving a wife and two sons, none of which wished to remain in this isolated village. The gnome families pooled their resources and purchased the human castle from the Actia’s, allowing the noble family to return to Heliogabalus.
Five years ago, a rock gnome adventurer named Woodamine Sporf settled down in the village. Woodamine got his start adventuring with Angus Silverblade and the Mistmaster of Vaasa before setting off on his own. Woodamine was appointed sheriff by the rock gnomes of the village, and he used the coin he earned as an adventurer to purchase Castle Actia. While the forest gnome families may be in charge, Woodamine has become the face of Rosebriar.
The gnomes act as envoys between the Carmathans and the Earthwood elves, and are considered a valuable part of the duchy. Helmont treats the gnomes with respect, taxes them lightly and allows them to govern themselves as long as they accept the authority of Carmathan rule.
While some of the gnomes have bought into the Duke’s propaganda network and view Gareth Dragonsbane as a dangerous usurper, many of the citizens of Rosebriar see through the veiled half-truths and innuendo.
Halflings make up the largest minority of non-gnomes in Rosebriar, and there are a handful of elven, dwarven and human families. The “big folk” are all located in the north end of town on either side of the river. Once past the north end, the houses and businesses seem to shrink in size. The rock gnomes mostly inhabit the west end of the village, while the forest gnomes occupy the southeast portion of the village. Among the forest gnome tree-homes, one can find many hin burrows.
Most businesses have outdoor tables to trade with the big folk, but the shops and homes tend to be cramped and claustrophobic to non-gnomes (or halflings).
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