The architects of the Refuge are unknown. The location of the Refuge is unknown. The age, origin, and purpose of the Refuge are unknown. What is known is that beyond the Refuge waits death, danger, and—for the brave—unknown wealth.
A circle of massive moss-covered monoliths, roughly ten miles each apart, protects a thirty-mile wide region of gentle rolling hills and fertile ground. Where the denizens of this tiny sanctuary come from is unknown, but all have a story in common—their ship ran aground, or they wandered into a dark grove, or a mist came upon them at a crossroads—and when they emerged, they found themselves here. Refugees from countless worlds, of myriad races and kinds, all drawn by an unknown power to this unknown land.
A river cuts through the Northern section of the refuge, carving a canyon that winds from the east down towards the west at a gentle southward angle. The closest the land gets to the river at any point is 50’ above it, with a 65 degree slope. The river is very wide, at least 120 feet in most spots.
There’s sufficient forests, mines and farmland here to support a modest populace, but the people of the Refuge are forced to create everything themselves, arriving only with the possessions on their person when they vanished. Some brave souls have ventured beyond the boundaries of the Refuge—and returned, fleeing, with horrific beasts on their tail. It is up to the strongest and most cunning to explore the wilderness, find more resources, and perhaps discover the secrets of the Refuge itself.
A large lake, at least a mile in diameter, at the center of the refuge. When the mists roll in and the winds blow, strangers to the refuge wash up on its shores. They are usually survivors of shipwrecks or lone sailors on tiny vessels. How they got there, they have no idea.
In addition, there’s some pretty good fishin to be done here.
The Lantern Copse
Trees gathered together so closely, no light should escape their ranks—and yet floating lights appear every night. Those who lose their former lives and enter the refuge by land usually emerge from this tiny grove, confused by their new surroundings.
The copse is the source of lumber for the refuge. It is sparing, and this forces woodsfolk to go further afield for more construction materials. Fortunately other trees dot the slopes of the Refuge’s hills.
The Sullen Dragon
An enterprising merchant, having lost his previous wealth, decided to start anew here. The Sullen Dragon is a well built but modest tavern. It features an alehall, roaring fireplace, small kitchen and several cramped rooms upstairs.
A black-haired dwarf with a slight limp works the forge that supplies most of the weapons and armor to Refuge. There are other blacksmiths who can make tools and horseshoes and the like, but Olvin Ironfell’s trade is violence and the prevention thereof. It’s not a huge shop, though, and the supply of raw materials is barely sufficient.
A fledgling alchemist with a modicum of magical talent runs this shop. When not brewing in the small stone hut, he’s out in the wilds of the Refuge gathering herbs. There are enough supplies to maintain a supply of healing potions, oil and other essentials, but not enough to make anything truly spectacular.
Vinthor Maulmin used to be a local justice before the Refuge snatched him from a mistbound forest. Now he pitches in here and there to uphold order in the ramshackle community that is The Refuge. Whenever folks bring in a prisoner from outside, he takes care of them—for a fee, of course.
Miles down the Western road, a series of switchbacks cuts through a deep canyon to a small but elaborate shipping facility. It includes warehouses, multiple docks, sophisticated cranes for lifting cargo from the top to the bottom, and a few offices for managing shipping manifests. Unfortunately, the docks are mostly quiet—there’s almost no travel up and down the river, due to the dangers of the Refuge.