Player Home: Tolva’s Hearth
Home is where the hearth is. Be it cozy cottage, grand keep, or meager roadside fire, kindness and magnanimity will always stand against the cold and lonely dark.
Setup: With their current adventure coming to a close, the harvest brought in, and snow looming on the horizon, it’s time for the party to start thinking about where they’re going to hunker down for winter. No sense trying to delve ruins high up in the mountains and risk getting buried under an avalanche, the treasure and monsters will be there come the spring thaw.
Why not let them get used to their new home base during a restful bout of cabining, letting them warm their feet, prepare for future festivities in the village, maybe get involved in a snowball fight or two? For whatever their need, Tolva’s hearth is there to provide, built with sturdy walls to keep out the drafts and deep cellars to ensure they’re well provisioned through the darkest months.
Why was such a quaint little cottage left abandoned for the players to buy/inherit/be rewarded with? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the valley that the home and it’s associated buildings occupies happens to be within the territory of a particularly vicious dragon by the name of Ryngale, who scared off the previous inhabitants after devouring most of their livestock. Like most adolescent dragons, Ryngale spends whole months or years hibernating, awakening to raid and gorge itself for weeks on end. Just after the players have settled into their home, Ryngale ends up being awoken by a group of local hunters and terrorizes the surrounding forest and settlements desperate to find something to feed on in the lean winter months.
There’s a door in Tolva’s hearth that just won’t stay closed, as each morning the party finds that no matter how securely they barred it, it’s always furled open, letting snow, bone-chilling wind, and once a very daring wolverine into their home. The culprit of this constant disruption is a housefey by the name of Skelter, who took up residence in the hearth after it was abandoned. Skelter is mousey and shy, and is so conflict adverse that he’d rather try and drive the party out by being a nuisance then actually introduce himself to his new housemates.
While moving themselves in to their mostly furnished new domicile, the party finds an old, weathered table in one of the basements. Long enough for an entire family to sit at, it appears to have been carved with what can only be a treasure map leading up into the mountains. Surely they can wait for the passes to clear and the soul-stealing blizards to die down before they set off in search of buried riches, right?......Right?
If you’d like to use Tolva’s Hearth as a break between major campaign arcs, consider running a small number of oneshots framed around the idea of the party and their winter visitors telling stories around the hearth, allowing you to dial in on different aspects of worldbuilding. These stories can be anything form personal flashbacks to fantastical fables to local legends, perhaps even allowing other players to run for short adventures of their own.
Features & Upgrades:
Players who explore the grounds around Tolva’s hearth will find a number of charms and bells hung between the trees, providing an already festive charm to their new home. These trinkets are however part of a now deteriorated ward that covers the entire property. If the fallen sections of trinkets are salvaged from the dirt under the snow, or replaced, the whole property becomes affected by the Hallow spell, granting resistance to cold, immunity to fear, and lessening inclement weather that falls upon the area.
The valley around Tolva’s hearth is famed for it’s hunting, providing bountiful meat and furs throughout the year. Or At least, it’s supposed to. Unsurprisingly having a dragon use the area as it’s personal buffet every other year has affected the local wildlife. Slaying Ryngale will have the area flourishing in no time, and may even lead the party into some more fantastical hunts later on
Investigating a derelict (seemingly haunted) building deep in the woods reveals a generations old attempt to set up a sugarshack, a processing house for making delicious sugar and syrup from the numerous maple trees that fill the valley. Fetching the right materials and hiring workers could take some time, but it could lead the party into a lucrative side gig and a lifetime supply of pancake toppers.
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Homesteading survival knowledge
The basics of Growing Food
Seed Starting Plan
Grow transplants for free
Amending the Soil
How to Collect Seeds
Growing dry beans
Plants going to Seed Explained
Climate change and Food Security
Plant Lemon Trees from Seed
Storing the Food from your Garden
Living in nature and food conservation
Making a Meal from foraged and Garden Food in Winter
Sun-drying Cherry Tomatoes
Salsa (tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic)
Đuveđ (mixed vegetables preserve)
Ajvar (preserved peppers)
Preserved sugar Cherries
Edible Mushrooms that grow on trees
Edible Wild Plants to Forage for in Spring
Make Honey out of Dandelions
How to cook with Nettle
Incredible value of Pine Needles
On herbal infusions and poison tea
Herbs to Collect for Tea
How to safely make Elderberry Syrup
Yarrow and Lemon Balm
How to grow trees
Where are the Tree Roots?
What is Root Flare
Tree Pruning Mistakes
Types of Pruning cuts
How to Prune Correctly
Building a Cob House
How to make Earthen Floors
Cooking with minimal use of heat
Processing Forest Clay
How to hand-work clay
How to make laundry detergent out of conkers
Creating baskets out of Newspapers
How to keep your space cool during heat waves
How trees create a living atmosphere
How to get rid of ants
What garden plants can be used as poison
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