Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Blood River Valley

Started by Glendower, March 28, 2007, 04:45:12 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


When I designed Blood River Valley, I first asked my three players what they really hated about society and the people in it.  I wanted to find out what would fire people up. The responses were cruelty to animals, racist attitudes harming others, and not acting to help a person in need.

I used these to create Blood River Valley, which suffered from one huge problem.  There is way too much going on, and it became a confusing criss cross of problems that they almost needed a flow chart to figure out.  Anyhow, I will present the town in it's entirety, and then my comments at the end on what I think I should have done.

Blood River Valley

The Faithful of Blood River Valley (given the name because of it's appearance at sunset) have settled down and intermarried with a group of Mountain People.  This has led to some tensions and stratification down the line, as the Faithful tend to have ownership, and the mountain people tend to work for them. 

This is especially true of the Iron Mine, built upon the rich alluvial buildup along the rivers.  This mine employs a combination of Faithful Overseers and Mountain people miners.  They also use horses to pull out the ore.  For a while, things at the mine were fine, but Brother Thomas got greedy.

  • Brother Abel Patience - Steward
  • Sister Caroline Patience – Wife of Steward
  • Brother David Patience – Son of Steward, works at the mine.
  • Brother Thomas Widmore – Owner of Blood River Mine
  • Sister Emma Widmore – Wife, Deceased (Sickness)
  • Sister Malvina Widmore - Daughter of Thomas
  • Brother Micah Israel – Storekeeper of Blood River, supplies Miners
  • Sister Pamela Israel – Wife of Storekeeper
  • Sister Thelsa Israel – Daughter of Micah
  • Brother Adam Morning Brook – Mountain Person Convert, Owner of Horse Ranch
  • Sister Elanor Morning Brook – Faithful Married to Mountain Person
  • Brother Steven Morning Brook – Mountain Person Convert, Brother of Adam, works at mine, Mine leader. 
  • Brother Joseph Morning Brook – Mountain Person Convert, Brother of Adam, Works at mine, Deceased.


  • Thomas desires Elanor and believes that the "no good savage" is defiling her.
  • Thomas believes that men work harder with a strap to them, just like the horses.
  • Micah wants money and believes he deserves it, so much so he's buying 5th rate materials to sell to the miners, believing that's all they deserve.
  • Abel believes that Malvina would make an excellent second wife, and knows that Thomas needs someone to keep his dirty little secret.  He doesn't think her opinion matters.
  • Thelsa, a girl David's courting, has romantic feelings for another girl, Malvina. Its because of this that Thelsa turned down his engagement.


  • Malvina is preparing for a marriage she doesn't want to Abel.
  • Elanor is being propositioned by Thomas for a better deal on horses.
  • The men of the mine and the horses are suffering from the whips of Thomas and his men.
  • Micah's goods are broken, spoiled or dangerous, increasing the misery of the miners.
  • David's heartbroken.


Worldliness - David's turned to heavy drinking.
Violence – Enraged at the horrible treatment of the horses, Adam attacked Thomas, striking him several times, before being dragged away and jailed. 
Violence – A bruised Thomas broke both of Adam's arms while he was in chains. 
Sex – To stop Thomas from killing Adam, Elanor consented to sleeping with Thomas.  Elanor is now staying at Thomas' house, and is being treated like an animal (complete with collar).
Sex – Malvina and Thelsa have engaged in a great deal of sex.
Deceit – Micah is selling the goods for far higher than they are worth.
Disunity – Micah and Thomas have agreed to ensure all miners stay in debt to the storekeeper, to keep them working harder at the mine.  This results in more broken tools, which results in more debt. 
Faithlessness – The miners aren't coming to church as often, as they are exhausted after a hard day's work.

Demonic Attack:

  • David's legs have been weakened by Demons, and now he needs crutches.
  • A recent cave in at the mine has resulted in several horses trapped underground.  They are still alive, but slowly starving and dying of thirst.   Thomas has forbidden the miners from doing anything about it.  This has caused some open unrest among the miners, particularly Morning Brook's brothers.

False Doctrine:


Corrupt Worship:

  • David's taken to killing and mutilating the horses that Thomas uses in the mine.
  • Every day, Thomas beats his remaining horses, and has his overseers beat the Miners if they are below quota, which due to poor equipment they almost always are.

False Priesthood:

Thomas, Micah and Abel are all in cahoots over the mine's practices.  All three are getting what they want.


Thomas is in charge.  He wants more money, and will not let anyone stop him.  His desire for wealth led him to sell his own daughter to a marriage to hide his sins, and he believes he deserves all this.  Thomas has a 3D10 Relationship to Greed (I get what I want), and a 1D10 Relationship to Violence (no one can stop me) he can use in any challenge.

Hate and Murder: 

Joseph confronted Thomas for his treatment of the mine workers, Adam, the horses, and Elanor.  Joseph was unarmed. Thomas shot him in cold blood, and later convinced Brother Abel to plant a weapon on Joseph to claim he drew first.  No one was arrested.

What they want from the dogs:

Steward Abel Patience – Find out who is killing all of Thomas' horses.  Perhaps find out why Malvina is so sad about the marriage, and get her on track.  And to marry him and Mavina, that would be a great honor.
Sister Caroline Patience – She wants the marriage to Malvina to stop, but not because of her, privately she feels that Malvina doesn't want the marriage, so she should be able to say no without anyone putting pressure on her.
Brother David Patience – Wants the dogs to embrace the ritual, to save the horses from the horrible plight (death is better than servitude).
Brother Thomas Widmore – He wants the dogs to find the person killing his horses and bring to him, so he can exact justice.  He also wants them to Knock some sense into the Steven Morning Brook, who has been speaking poorly of him.  He'd also like the Dogs to marry him and Elanor, but there's the problem that Adam is technically alive.  Since he has been comatose for days, wants the Dogs to end Adam's life so that he and Elanor can then marry.
Sister Emma Widmore – Were she alive, she'd want Thomas stopped.  He was abusive to her and wants the best for her daughter.
Sister Malvina Widmore - Wants The Dogs to help her in getting David away from Thelsa.  She also wants out of her marriage to Abel.  She also wants them to marry her to Thelsa, or at get their blessing to continue seeing each other.
Brother Micah Israel – Micah wants the dogs to convince his daughter to marry the Steward's son. He's like Steven Morning Brook silenced for his lies about his "perfectly good" equipment. 
Sister Pamela Israel – Pamela wants Thelsa to marry David, and she wants to get the dogs to find out why his courting was spurned, and convince her otherwise.
Sister Thelsa Israel – Wants the Dogs to bring hope back to David, and to keep her and his dirty secrets so David isn't hurt more and the townspeople don't shun them both.  She also wants to stop Malvina's marriage to Abel, and maybe to get Mavina to marry her instead.
Brother Adam Morning Brook – Were he able to talk or healed, he'd want them to make Thomas pay for harming himself and the horses.
Sister Elanor Morning Brook – She wants them to kill Thomas for making her a whore and prisoner and turning her husband to a vegetable.  She wants them to forgive her for what she had to do to keep her husband alive.  She wants her husband healed.
Brother Steven Morning Brook – Wants the Dogs to help him save the trapped horses.  He also wants vengeance on Thomas for his brother Joseph's death, and Elanor becoming a sex slave, and Adam's current condition.
Brother Joseph Morning Brook – Is dead, but would want the poor treatment of the horses and the workers to stop, and Micah to be put out of business.  And vengeance for being killed in cold blood by his former employer.

Demons: For David to be arrested, and then lose all faith whatsoever. For the marriage between Malvina and Abel to happen.  For the Marriage between Abel and Elanor to happen.  For the horses to waste away and die. For the miners to revolt.

If the Dogs didn't come:

David is discovered and arrested and forsakes the King completely, Thelsa finds another man to pretend to court while continuing the relationship with Malvina.
Thomas kills Adam, and seals Steven up in a mineshaft to die. Elanor kills herself.  Malvina is married to Abel, and Malvina kills Abel in his bed, which leads to David breaking out and killing Malvina.  Thomas kills David, Thelsa tries to kill Thomas but is killed by Thomas, leading Micah and Thomas to kill each other.  Caroline and Pamela kill each other in vengeance of their dead husbands and children.


The Malvina-David-Thelsa triangle is another town I quite liked (the name of which I don't remember) but one that didn't quite have the punch I needed.  I layered things together far too thickly, any one or two of these situations would, on their own, make a great town.  I did way too much with the town, and it was an unfortunate but useful mistake.

Gut reactions to the town and any other advice would be welcome!  I'll have an AP of this beast up in the next few days, which harp on my way too many layers of problems in the town turning things confusing. 
Hi, my name is Jon.


I'd try to cut down the number of NPCs, possibly without interrupting any of the themes. For example, take out David and have the Steward himself court Malvina, make Micah a widower (to increase the pressure on his wish to marry off his daughter to get the hungry brat off his back) and thus bind things more closely together.
Animal cruelty could come directly from the working conditions. The demons have turned the hearts away from  the horses' plight, excepting Adam to further the theme of disunity.