The Nature of Things
Farwatch is a fairly small (though growing) village located near the Farflow River from which it derives its name. It is populated almost entirely by humans, though members of other races do occasionally pass through and so may stop by in the local tavern, the Shining Moon (known colloquially as “The Moon”, and so its owner is often referred to as “The Man in the Moon”).
Farwatch doesn’t have much that might interest the enterprising wanderer. It has a blacksmith and a tailor, and as mentioned it also has a tavern. There is a large building located at the heart of the village (where the well can also be found) which serves as a home to the village’s current leader (a human of reasonable nature by the name of Ulrik Himsfarth) and also as a venue for village meetings and such-like.
The people of Farwatch don’t generally adhere to any particular religion – some choose to follow various deities, others choose none. There is one road, known locally as the “Divine Path”, which contains shrines dedicated to several of the most well-known gods, though only those considered to have a “neutral” or “good” alignment. Passers-by can visit a shrine at any time to pay their respects, and all shrines are tended by a caretaker who lives in a house at the end of that road.
Farwatch hosts an agrarian society with an interesting means of operation – rather than individual households owning their own land, instead each large field is divided up (by means of simple wooden fences) into smaller segments – each household is consiered responsible for their allocated segment, and each segment is “given” to a different household after each year’s harvest has been completed. This means that no household becomes too possessive over “their” land and also encourages friendly rivalries between those who try to grow more on a specific area of land than another household may have done in a previous year.
Families also keep various types of livestock, such as pigs and goats, and grow fruit trees. Some villagers also visit the nearby streams, or the Farflow itself, in order to catch fish to eat or sell. Market days are regularly held in the village centre, to which people come to sell their produce. It is also possible, if a villager is willing, to visit someone and buy things straight off them rather than wait till market day.
In recent years, the existence of the village has finally reached the awareness of the Circle, the collectin of individuals governing Embrachal, and whose main headquarters are in the great city of Domarin. Though Farwatch kept a minor military force prior to this, it amounted to little more than a few villagers serving as guardsmen, taking turns with others over the course of a year so that those who guarded also had a chance to farm, and vice-versa. Though little trouble has befallen the village, the fates of other, similar villages over the years is what has led the Circle to increase the military strength of such locations – Komtor Sarumi has ensured that an official military outpost has been built within the village, and also commanded the construction of guardposts beside the road at each end of the village.
Though some villagers were willing to assist with Sarumi’s work and have since become members of his militia, most of the new soldiers are those recruited by the Circle from various locations and stationed in Farwatch – these soldiers usually spend their time training, for their duties in Farwatch have so far been light. A troop of soldiers will serve in Farwatch for some time (perhaps a year, or several months), and then be sent elsewhere and replaced with different recruits. Generally, the only things they have had to watch for in recent times have been the occasional rumour of bandit attacks.
About the only other point of note within the village of Farwatch is the two-storey building at its northern edge. This building is surrounded by a fairly low stone wall and is home to the Dwarven mage Kargak, a practitioner in numerous magical arts and well-known to the villagers, though he doesn’t often leave his home – instead, he normally sends his homunculus, Sid, with a note if he requires something. The villagers are used to seeing Sid around and know that neither he nor Kargak mean them any ill will. When Komtor Sarumi first arrived and the villagers allowed him to begin construction of his military outpost, Kargak chose to assist him by using both his arcane and dwarven skills to help build the walls. The dwarf also does other things to help out around the town, and though the villagers seldom see him, a visitor would be hard-pressed to find anyone with anything bad to say about him.
The village of Farwatch is, in general, a rather peaceful place, and its villagers are generally tolerant of all those who pass through (provided said visitors don’t try to cause trouble). The biggest problem it has had in recent years has been the occasional bandit attack on those travelling to and from the village – Sarumi’s arrival, however, has caused this to start happening considerably less often, something the villagers have noticed and are grateful for.
The only other possible threat lies in whatever it was that destroyed the village of Downdale, several miles away, reportedly killing all its inhabitants. Though this happened ten years ago and there has been no hint that a similar fate will befall any other villages in the area, the residents haven’t forgotten what happened and still occasionally wonder exactly what it was that happened in the village that was so like theirs.