lethevale_mods: (Default)
Lethevale Mods ([personal profile] lethevale_mods) wrote2016-08-24 01:09 am

Setting Information

The game takes place in a remote corner of Central Europe, in 1870. Time in the game runs at the same rate as in real life: i.e., an OOC date of October 31, 2017 would translate to an IC date of October 31, 1870. (Backdating posts, however, is entirely fine)

Characters can leave the town of Lethevale: however, if they attempt to leave the area shown in the map below, fate will intervene (in the form of events decided upon by mod/player consultation)


The following areas are easily recognisable (this list may expand as characters discover more areas):

The Town

1:   The Rose & Thorn Public House
2:   St. Cyprian’s Anglican church & graveyard
3:   Apothecary
4:   Old Town Well
5:   St. Michael’s Lutherian church & graveyard
6:   Barber-Surgeon
7:   Schoolhouse
8:   Tailor
9:   Haberdashery
10: Smithy
11:  Butcher
12:  Baker
13:  Mailhouse/Post office
14:  Grocer
15:  Undertaker’s & funeral parlour
16:  Blacksmith
17:  The Black Swan Inn & stables
18:  General store
19:  Bakery/café
20:  The King’s Head Inn
21:  Offices of the Lethevale Echo
22:  Bookshop
23:  Carpenter
24:  Cabinet-maker
25:  Chandler
26:  Butcher
27:  Teashop
28:  Photographer
29:  Monumental Mason
30:  St. Giles’ Catholic church & graveyard
31:  St. Emilani's Orphanage
32:  St. Dymphna’s Methodist chapel &    

Lethevale is a small country town, built in the 16th century and filled with very old houses and very suspicious people. Progress has largely passed this town by - most of the houses are lit with candles, and arc lighting hasn’t yet replaced gaslamps in lighting the streets. There is no train and no telegram line, but the mail coach comes in sometimes, carrying letters, parcels, and occasionally people from outside the town.

The main street is narrow and winding, running west to the farmland just outside town. In the middle of town, the cobbled street widens out to make space for the green, where the old men sit and reminisce about all that’s gone before. The green also houses the town market, which takes place every Wednesday. Of course, there are other businesses serving the community the rest of the time - the tailor, the baker, the general store, the dark-windowed apothecary...

Accommodation can be found at any one of the three public houses: the King’s Head, on the green (supposedly haunted, as Mr Johanssen, the landlord, will tell you); the Rose & Thorn, on the northern edge of town; or the Black Swan, which lies by the banks of the River Lethe. Alternatively, you could try to rent a room from one of the citizens of the town. Many of them have spare rooms for lodgers, although perhaps it’s not particularly kind to ask why.

There are four churches in the town, each with its own graveyard. However, all four are empty and silent, in various states of disrepair. There may be a priest, somewhere, but the vicarages are overgrown with weeds and cracking at the rafters. Only the sexton and gravediggers can be seen in the churchyards, quietly going about their work. Once in a while, the bells toll. It isn’t on the hour, but there must be some significance, surely?

The Mountains
To the north of the town, the mountains rise up - high, barren, and snow-capped. In summer, perhaps, they may be just about passable, but in the winter they make for a great wall of rock and ice, and only a fool would try to cross them. Sounds sometimes echo down from the peaks, like the cries of damned souls. It’s only the wind, of course. Just cross yourself, and remind yourself it’s only the wind.

The River Lethe runs down from the nearest of these mountains, where it is born in a deep, black lake most of a mile above the town. It runs past the granite quarries, past the entryways of the lead mines, and finally, before plummeting off the cliffside in a great torrent, it runs past Lethe Hall.
Lethe Hall
Lethe Hall looms on the cliffside like a sentinel, casting its shadow over the town. Built in the 17th century, it is a vast manor, four storeys high, with a large and well-tended garden carved out of the rock of the mountain. The house can be accessed by a long, winding path up the cliffside - treacherous in winter, when the ice starts to form, and exposed in summer.

The last Lord Lethevale, Vladimir Schedoni, has not been seen for over thirty years. Instead, the house is run by his cousin, Friedrich Melmoth, who despite the long period since Schedoni’s disappearance, refuses to take the title which is his birthright. This has led to some speculation that Schedoni is still alive, despite the lack of evidence. The townsfolk regard Lethe Hall with a certain suspicious awe.

For all its gothic splendour and old-fashioned décor, Lethe Hall is perhaps the most modern place in Lethevale. Every room has gas lighting, and there are even indoor bathrooms with running water. Friedrich Melmoth often hires new staff from outside town, as many of the townsfolk will not work at the Hall. He is also renowned for his excellent wine cellar.

Along with the Melmoth family - Friedrich, his wife Clara, and their young children Edgar and Ann - the longest-term resident of the Hall is the steward, Louis Montau. Ancient and almost blind, he is sharp-tongued and secretive - but best to stay on his good side if you’re working at the Hall, as he also handles all the wages.

Floor plans of the Hall can be found here, and will update if and when more areas are discovered.

The Forest
Below Lethe Hall, the woods take over. Deep, dark forest encircles all of Lethevale, the kind of woodland that looks like it might have been old when the Romans came. There are animals in the forest, of course - wolves, bears, and maybe worse - but there are also people. Deep in the forest, you may find the camps of woodsmen, hunters, or trappers. There’s the mad old woman who lives in a shack a half-hour’s walk from town.

And then there’s the old hunting lodge. The Lodge was built around a hundred years ago, and was clearly once in significant use - the sheer number of trophies, as well as the size of the banquet table in the main hall, indicate that. Now, though, rats and mice nest in the plush leather chairs, and the fireplaces are damp and filled with rot, and the moths have eaten away at the taxidermied heads. The gamekeeper still visits occasionally, but is rarely seen. For the most part, the Lodge has been forgotten, left to the elements and the creatures of the woods.

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