Brigand Five: An Unflankable Story
Briar's Knee is Seraphina's hometown near one of the "knees" of the Sphinxwood. It's a mixture of rural Ireland and East Coast suburbia. Temperate, very green, well-irrigated crops due to the persistent rain and river nearby. Sheep tend to wander into shops and schools.
Trade, Farming. Its inns are regarded for their nuts, berries, and cheeses. Its merchants and craftsmen are known for fabrics, clothes, and tailoring. Adventurers aren't common. At most, they're "seasonal" visitors who stop by on their way deeper into the Sphinxwood to hunt nereids during the wet seasons (Fall and Spring) or dryads during the dry seasons (Winter and Summer). Adventurers are considered foolhardy but their gold's just fine.
It's quite middle-class, so most citizens are expected to settle down, raise kids, and take over the family farm or business. More ambitious Briarken join the Lionwalker traders, go to one of the cities to join a guild or specialize in a trade, or join the Fensprall Guard.
Rather secular although it has an established Church district that dates back to the beginning of the town. Most people practice the traditions and the holidays but don't take the faith or the dogma seriously. However, there are a few families and neighborhoods that take their faith very seriously and believe that worship is inherent to the town's cultural identity. The more devout citizens insist that the name of the town is actually "Friar's Knee" but it got corrupted due to bad handwriting. Seraphina thinks that the town zealots are really why Pa and Da insisted on her wearing a headwrap or cloak: to avoid becoming a religious prop.
Chauntea (NG), goddess of agriculture. Popular with farmers.
Cond (N), god of craft. Popular with artisans.
Waukeen (N), goddess of trade. Popular with merchants.
Milil (NG), god of poetry and song. Popular with bards.
Torm (LG), god of courage and self-sacrifice.
Ilmater (LG), god of endurance.
Torm and Ilmater are the two deities that were worshipped by different mob families and fought against each other in the past. Ilmater devotees are usually farmers who emphasize family values, stability and simplicity. Torm devotees are usually merchants who like to take risks and get involved in other people's lives. Stereotypical Ilmaters are slothful and illiterate. Stereotypical Torms are superficial and bossy.
Mostly halfling with a significant human population. Dwarves and elves are less common. Gnomes are recent arrivals. Tieflings are exotic, Aasimar are urban legends, and Orcs are vague, far-away threats.
Crime and Punishment
Briar's Knee is a pretty stable town because of its distance from, well, anything. Most trials are about theft or property disputes. The town militia spends most of its time protecting the trade routes and stopping drunken brawls. Briar's Knee used to have a mob presence connected with the Church district and merchant families, but it was broken about forty years ago after the Torm and Ilmater clans went to war against each other and the town got sacked while they weren't looking.
Most gossip is about which businesses are going under, whose goods are the best, and romantic drama. Bar fights are common but legit assault is rare since citizens are encouraged to drink, sing, or fight their feelings out in public so they don't fester. Gambling, recreational drug use and sex work are technically illegal but are only enforced if there's a bigger problem behind it. Rape and murder are very rare and are the main topic of gossip for months, even years. Terrorism and war are stories reserved to the Knee's past, although rumors assert that the Mob is coming back.
Magic-users are in the minority. Clerics and bards are most common. Druids and wizards are very rare which is why citizens turn to Seraphina's Pa and Da for divination and nature magic. Seraphina is the only sorcerer in Briar's Knee and doesn't advertise it.