I had asked a co-worker of mine for an idea for a map (as I sometimes do) and she suggested a village with a lookout tower. When I asked her for a name, we agreed on Dalnation Pass.
Dalnation Pass was somewhat inspired by some of the small towns in Skyrim. It features a Meeting Hall where the Jarl (or mayor) lives with a few retainers as part of his household. The meeting hall is well-appointed with brass, gold, and silver fixtures and Jarl Fredry Garthur wears a heavy chain of white gold and black diamonds. The There is a small inn, called The Fat Tuna Inn, with a quaint front porch and run by a man named Hurd Lidspittle, a loud and rotund man, but and happy to feed kind travelers. Across from the inn is a small stable. Next to the inn is a general store called The Riverman’s Net and is run by a gnome woman named Jailene Tangleweed, a shrewd haggler. Next to the Net is a barracks where men-at-arms and militia would stay during times of conflict. During times of peace, it’s manned only by the Thane (or Sheriff) and perhaps half a dozen militiamen who serve on a rotating schedule. Next to the barracks is a small church devoted to the local pantheon and houses an aging cleric and his naive apprentice. The last two buildings, across from the church, are a meat and produce seller (with a pen for animals behind it) and a small brewery (the tanks are behind the building). Lastly, there’s a wooden lookout tower, about 25’ tall, atop a grassy hill and accessed by a ladder that can be dropped down from inside the loft.
Dalnation Pass is located at the base of the Dalnation Foothills, near the Trickling River (though another village, Stiltwood, works the river-ways) and is the last settlement until one crosses through the Horation Mountains. The local rumor, whispered by those who aren’t in the militia, is that the Jarl and the Thane have some sort of secret arrangement with the wildmen that live in the foothills to prevent attacks on the town and have made the Jarl rich.
“As the party approaches Dalnation pass, you can see that the grassy hills the village is nestled in quickly turn into rocky bluffs that fall under the shadow of snow-topped Mount Horation. Except for the little guard tower, none of the buildings are very tall, but are largely flat and squat. The largest of them has a steeply peaked black roof and a half-dome. From the wooden guard tower atop a steep grassy hill comes a loud voice, ‘What brings you to the Pass?’ You consider your answer carefully when you notice a several arrows poking from the windows of the tower. ‘To speak to the Jarl!’ you call back. The arrowheads retreat back inside, ‘Go in peace, traveler.’”