Willowood’s Hearth is a small forest community of human farmers and woodsfolk located in between the larger settlements of Belhaim and EmeraldWood. Entirely self-sustaining, the people of Willowood’s Hearth tend to shut themselves off to the rest of the forest. The villagers follow the leadership of the descendents of Elijah Willowood, the founder of the settlement.
The hamlet sees the occasional traveler from Belhaim, but often sends them further along the road to an inn. They have little to offer in the way of trade – a small trading post and brewery are the only points of interest to outsiders. Generally speaking Willowood Hearth residents are distrustful towards the residents of EmeraldWood and representatives of the Taldorian Empire. The prior they begrudgingly separated from 100 years ago, the later only wants to squeeze taxes out of them.
The current town leader, Bromdon Willowood, and his son, Edmund Willowood, rule absolutely, though are not seen as tyrants. As grandson of Elijah, Bromdon is seen as rightful ruler and protector of the hamlet. The residents are protected by a handful of trained militia who watch over the trade road from the lofty Elijah’s Tower, a large wooden watchtower. Elijah’s Tower is the most notable feature of the settlement, and is rumored to have been built by Elijah himself.
Willowood’s Hearth was founded over a hundred and fifty years ago by Elijah Willowood, an allegedly powerful wizard. Leading a small group of separatists from the town of Emerald Wood, Elijah started, protected, and governed the hamlet until his death. According to legend, Elijah warded off many evils, including a witch and a minotaur. It is believed that upon Elijah’s deathbed he declared that as long as a decedent of his blood rules the settlement, no harm will come to its people.
The party arrived at Willowood’s Hearth to discover a number of children had gone missing. After agreeing to find the whereabouts of the lost kids, the party found themselves facing a mysterious plot involving an alliance between an evil witch, malevolent fey creatures, and bandits. Additionally, the party revealed that the hamlet leader, Bromdon Willowood, has been acting complacent with the bandits, allowing them run of the Willowood’s Hearth to the detriment of the villagers.
Teaming up with Bromdon’s son, Edmund, the party ran the witch and sinister fey out of town and saved a number of children held captive in the abandoned Leaping Toad inn and a long ruined town along a southern game trail. The bandits, however, left town without a sound and may have Bromdon with them.