The following blog post is Part 2 of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition campaign, Dreadstorms Lost. These blogs are intended for other game masters who might want to use this campaign setting and the scenarios to inspire their own role playing games. (Free for noncommercial reuse.)
This next installment of my D&D 5th Edition homebrew campaign settiing is the town where this adventure begins. I find a lot of the details of the city (and the rest of the world) were in my head and only really cemented when a player asks for clarification.
If there is some detail about the campaign setting that you would like to know, please leave a comment below.
The Town of Berlstrum
Map with buildings identified on the second page [PDF]: Berlstrum_with_index
Berlstrum perches atop briarstone cliffs along the eastern coast of Briarstone. The cliffs under Berlstrum are riddled with hard-to-reach caves. Those who have try to explore the caves haven’t returned.
On the sides not protected by sheer cliffs, the town has a thick wall guarding it from predators. The wall is 20 feet thick and 25 feet high, topped with crenelation for patrolling guards. By land, the North and South Gates are the only way in and out of Berlstrum.
The raging Thornbreaker River drops thousands of feet from the cliffs into Forlorn Bay. A large land bridge arches over the waterfall, connecting Berlstrum to the southern part of the country. The Free Road travels over the land bridge and is vital for the country’s North-South trading route.
Due to the many brutally sharp briarstone protrusions littering the Forlorn Bay, a harbor guide is vital to ensure a ship’s safe passage to and from the Obsidian Sea. Roaming sea monsters add to the difficulty of navigating the harbor entrance.
Boats are elevated to the docks with clever gnomish machinery. Captains willing to brave the harbor find it an excellent location for hull maintenance. Teams of workers use specially designed rigging repair and clean the underside of ships.
Small channels of water run throughout Berlstrum. Small foot bridges are common.
Berlstrum is relatively isolated from national politics and enjoys relative autonomy due to the distance to capitol, Greater Breen. Most of their official news comes the Sovereign’s Free Road patrols.
The town has a reputation for being accepting of different races shunned by the more “civilized” town. Tieflings, Orcs, Dopplegangers, Drow, Dragonborn are common sights within the city walls.
It is rumored that in years long past, a dragon once lived in the caves below Berlstrum. Most think it’s just a story to scare the kids.
Berlstrum is run by a mayor and 7 council members. They deal with local governing, decide punishments for mischief, and adjudicate disputes. Exile is a severe punishment for crimes within the town. The town’s champions provide protection and coordinate with the mayor & council on possible threats. The Champions of Berlstrum have a well-known reputation that keeps most sentient beings at bay.
Mayor: Cobblekeep Lightdiggerson (Halfling)
- Mostrad Ust (Human, Owner Katrin’s Cafe)
- Wabae Txatin (Human, Cleric at Medical Aid Emporium)
- Gwantomo “Tomo” Prok (Elf, Farmer)
- Grant Tan (Orc, Owner Survival Gears Store)
- Agosta Amagoste (Dragonborn, Farmer, Fighter Trainer)
- Xendric Hornblower (Dwarf, Owner Xendric’s)
- R’dsche Albreckt (Elf, Head of one of the Churches in Berlstrum, Cleric Trainer)
- Stand-in Hammond Seedrikson (Human, Farmer)
Next up: Who are the Champions? And why do they matter to our story?