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Places by the Way Design Blog 4.1: A Preview of Sylvanhome

posted Dec 1, 2017, 11:42 PM by Douglas Sun
For the benefit of my Kickstarter backers and potential Kickstarter backers, I am posting a preview of location #9 from Places by the Way #4: Sylvanhome. It's just a preview, meaning that it's not authoritative, but you may take it as highly suggestive. Heck, I just wrote out the first pass this afternoon. What did you expect?

If you didn't come here from my Kickstarter campaign for Sylvanhome, you should check it out. If you came here from Kickstarter, read on:

9. Aela and Luven Welleaf, Weavers

This spacious house doubles as a workshop and the family home of Aela and Luven Welleaf and their two children. The largest room houses a loom on which Aela spins spider webs into silk. From that silk she makes rope that is both exceptionally light and durable. [describe properties of the rope]

Aela refuses to sell or barter for her rope (so does everyone else in the family, if approached). Instead, she refers all interested parties to her uncle Lio Welleaf (see location #7), the village merchant. Lio’s store is their sole distributor. These Welleafs consider themselves artisans and they have no interest in running a business.

Luven’s job is gathering raw materials for his wife. He focuses on abandoned webs; usually, there is little point in messing with spiders in their lair. But Luven recently found an enormous web that looked to good to pass up — the fibers were exceptionally strong and thick. Unfortunately, the web was still occupied by proportionately large — and aggressive — spiders. Much to his wife’s annoyance, Luven won’t stop talking about what a haul this web would provide, if only those damned spiders weren’t in the way. Much to her alarm, he also talks about bringing their young children with him to help clear them out.

If the party strikes up a conversation with Aela and Luven, Aela perks up when she realizes that they are adventurers:


Aela turns to her husband and says, “Luven, they’re adventurers! They can help you with that spider web you’re always talking about.”

“What, that?” Luven turns to you and explains: “I found this huge web in the forest. Beautiful silk, very strong. Aela would do wonders with it. But the spiders — big spiders. I’d love to harvest that web but, well, you know.…”

“So let’s hire these people to take care of them. If those spiders are so large, they could become a menace unless something is done. What if they attacked someone?”

“I’ll take our young ones with me to help.”

“You’ll do no such thing.”

“I’ll give them knives.” Alea gives him a sharp look. “What? You’re always telling me I should spend more time with the children.”


Aela promises the party a reward if they agree to clear out the spiders. If the party agrees, Luven takes them to a spot out in the forest and shows them a 10’ x 10’ spider web anchored on either side by the trunk of a tree.