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Willowside

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This article contains spoilers for the following products: Siege of the Dinosaurs
Willowside
(City)
Nation Absalom
Region Isle of Kortos
Size Small town
Population 1,831
Demographics 77% human, 7% halfling, 5% half-elf, 11% other
Government Elected leader
Alignment Lawful neutral
Ruler Estessa Vandy

Source: Siege of the Dinosaurs, pg(s). 63

Willowside is an old, reclusive town on the northwestern coast of the Isle of Kortos, which has suffered greatly from a strange phenomenon known as the Welt in recent years.[1]

Geography

Willowside is named after the willow trees that separate the Dunmire from the forest which once surrounded the town before the emergence of the Welt. It is unusually stormy compared to other towns in the Starstone Isles, but its residents have adapted to the rain and construct their buildings to keep them warm and dry.[2]

Government

Willowside is ruled by an elected mayor who serves until death or resignation, currently Estessa Vandy.[2]

History

When Aroden raised the Isle of Kortos, he also disturbed the water, drawing the attention of Bokrug, who visited the island under the cover of night. His followers then began to congregate on the northern coast, where he allegedly touched the land, and founded the town of Willowside. As the town grew, Bokrug's cultists kept their religion secret from others, and met in the treacherous sea caves accessible via a hidden door near the docks.[2][3]

When Lyrt Cozurn, the owner of Willowside's general store, became leader of the cult, he carved a new entrance from the basement of his store, allowing the cultists to abduct drifters and merchants to sacrifice to Bokrug. However, after a few years, this also drew the attention of the town sheriff, who gathered several townspeople, followed the cultists into the caves, then killed all of them when they tried to attack. The sheriff then instructed her men to never say anything about that night; then, she sealed the caverns, saying that a terrible cave-in killed many people. Despite this, everyone became plagued with nightmares and died within two years. No one wholly trusted the sheriff's story, and rumours of a supernatural disaster spread, instilling a residual paranoia among the people. Nevertheless, her descendants continue to protect Willowside to this day.[3]

In 4709 AR, the Circle of Stones took residence in the nearby Aeon Tower and removed the aeon orb. This theft accelerated the growth of the Welt, which now grows for more than a mile every year, and stretches from the western edge of the Dunmire to encompass Willowside.[1][4][5]

People

Willowside's people, mostly fishermen and farmers, are simple and peaceful. They trade with nearby Pier's End and Escadar, sometimes going all the way to Absalom. Many old retired sailors, tired of Absalom's bustle, have moved to Willowside.[2]

Since the Welt destroyed farmlands and forests alike, food has been rare in Willowside. Due to the dangers in the Welt, the town has been increasingly dependent on sea trade to obtain essential goods. People barely get on by foraging, fishing, and what little farming that is still possible. The staple food is fish accompanied by dried imported foods and spices, and residents often have to skip meals. Only a few people continue to keep livestock, and only do so for milk. Several industries have dried up, leaving many businesses bankrupt, and unemployment is high. With each ship that comes, more and more people are leaving.[2]

Despite their hardships, Willowside's residents are honest and friendly, and enjoy music, gossip, and gambling, but they are also insular and slow to accept visitors. Immigrants are few in number and often dream of storms, drowning, or immense reptiles due to Bokrug's influence; but permanent residents never report these nightmares.[1][2]

References