If there was ever a location in Carrdia that summoned shadows of the American Wild West it’s the town of Sprawn in the Wilder Hills. Mostly it’s a place where people go to either hide or die. Sometimes both.
If my reference to the Wild West summons images of dusty towns in the southwest, think again.
Geography & Climate
Sprawn is located between Baris to the south and Wilds to the north, but doesn’t lie on the main road running between the two parallel to the Wizard’s Well River. Instead, it’s on a narrow, twisting lane about forty leagues farther west. The land is choked with flora, but poking out of it is jagged, jet black boulders and outcroppings of ancient volcanic rock.
The climate? Wet. No other word better describes Sprawn. Dry days are few and most vary between drizzle and downpours. The occasional violent storm races across the Baris Plains to the south, but the milder storms slip northeast over the Interior Forest on their collision course with the Colossus Range.
Sprawn’s birth dates back farther than recorded records, but for most of its history it was an ora’ean settlement. The Interior Forest dominates the Wilder Hills and the forest possessed a special, magical bond with the ora’ean, who are related to the elves, meaning the ora’ean inflicted no scars and the forest protected.
Ora’ean settlements, or fronds, consist of gigantic platforms suspended from Logouve trees, which dwarf all others. The trees provided the ora’ean with much of what they required and in exchange the ora’ean cared for the trees and patrolled the forest.
When tensions between the Empire and Forstava, the ora’ean homeland, escalated during the Empire’s decline the Interior Forest ora’ean abandoned their fronds and returned to Forstava. Though the forest’s powers remained, and in some locations were nurtured by witches, over the centuries it frayed around the edges.
Sprawn was at the edge.
For centuries the frond was abandoned after the ora’ean departed, forest’s resistance to evil weakening at its borders. After the government overthrow in Carrdia, rebels hiding from the government found refuge in the isolated location that was Sprawn, and that was a nightmare to access.
In quick order the town attracted refugees, criminals, and those seeking to profit from them. It became a town welcoming all and possessing minimal legal enforcement. The enterprising climbed the trees, dismantled the platforms they could reach, and improvised a wall around the town. The end result was a muddy settlement protected by a moss-laden wall, the buildings within made from the black rock and decaying wood, though most lived in tents on (usually) the high ground.
Sprawn isn’t for the faint-hearted or unarmed, for it holds criminals, rebels, refugees, government spies, unscrupulous business owners, and those possessing magic. For all its dangers, Sprawn is a town where you can find that which you can’t find elsewhere, but it might cost you your life.