Markovad’s Neat Little Town

Welcome to the first entry in Aizendore’s Periodical of Possibilities! This is where you can get a sneak peek inside Aizendore’s Vault in the run-up to our exciting upcoming Kickstarter. Aizendore’s Vault of Tragic Treasures contains lore and mechanics for nearly 300 magic items (yes, that with two zeros!) and in each installment we will feature a different treasure from the vault and discuss some ways that you can use it in your campaign to delight (and possibly dismay) your players! Today, feast your eyes upon the wonders of…

Markovad’s Neat Little Town

[Insert Neat Little Town info/image]

The most obvious use for this spherical slice of heaven is as a headquarters for your party; a safe haven to which they can retreat to recover between adventures and spend their downtime. But the possibilities are practically endless!

It makes for a great adventure hook. The PCs find it gathering dust on a shelf, and after reading the engraved plaque, are unwittingly transported to the demiplane inside. Context and circumstance can change to create countless permutations. For example:

The question of who built the automaton inhabitants, and why they might seek refuge from them, is an intriguing one. Perhaps the player characters entering the snowglobe sets off a magical ping; a homing signal that alerts the automaton’s creator to the location of his runaway inventions. Their “master” seeks to enslave them once more and has sent his forces to capture them. Now the player characters must prepare for the invasion and defend the peaceful town, a la Seven Samurai.

Markovad’s Neat Little Town, despite its quaint appearance, presents a great opportunity for a gothic horror adventure, in my opinion. Imagine placing the snowglobe in a creepy antique or toy shop—like Blinsky’s in Curse of Strahd, for instance—and tricking the party into being trapped inside. In this version, the town retains its idyllic air and aesthetic but takes on an eerie edge. The automatons protest that they are happy and that everything in the town is perfect but their lifeless eyes unsettle the player characters and they react with hostility to any questioning of the status quo. The party soon discovers that the town’s leader (the shop owner in disguise, perhaps?) intends to capture the characters and turn them into mechanical slaves like the other inhabitants, expanding his collection.

Let us know what ideas Markovad’s Neat Little Town inspires at your table! You can share your ideas with us on Facebook, Discord, Reddit, Twitch and Youtube. Stay tuned for the next entry! Aizendore’s Vault of Tragic Treasures launches on April 8th on Kickstar