Scales of War
Demographics: Mostly human, 1 halfling
Governent: Lotho Elberesk (de facto leader)
Dunesend was built on the ruins of the dwarven supply depot that once served Clan Ironfell’s hidden mining operations in the desert. All that remains of the original dwarven enclave are scattered foundations and a single watchtower. However, the dwarves’ carefully constructed system of spring-fed wells and cisterns still functions, allowing those who dwell here to farm the scrubland and eke out an existence in the harsh landscape.
In years past, trade caravans made Dunesend a waypoint along an east-west road. Today, the road is sand and the caravans have all but vanished. The handful of families remaining in Dunesend do so because they have nowhere else to go.
The Dunesend villagers were living a miserable existence, scratching out a subsistence from their irrigated fields, and tithing much of their monthly production to the Warden when the demonic Gnoll would arrive and demand tribute.
- Serpent Wall
This weathered stone wall is formed of ancient basalt blocks and carved in the form of a serpentine creature with a crest running down its back. It stretches for miles in either direction, marking the end of the rolling desert sands and the beginning of the Thornwaste. A wooden stockade gate of recent construction features great serpentheaded gate posts. The serpent wall was here long before the dwarven supply depot was established. It dates back thousands of years to an ancient serpent kingdom that once ruled this region.
- Public Well
This bucket-drawn stone well features a wooden roof set on stanchions. This can be lowered during high winds to keep blown sand out of the village’s water supply. The well is part of the ancient dwarven waterworks, and holds an inexhaustible supply of fresh water even during the driest months.
An aged human named Darkus Comahni works the forge here, repairing tools and household implements for the villagers. Though he has little call for it, he can repair weapons and armor as well.
- Dunesend Caravansary
Built on the foundations of an older dwarven hostel, the caravansary once served the traders that regularly passed through this farf lung outpost. A low wall of mud bricks surrounds a courtyard that encloses another well, an outbuilding, and a small herd of goats. On those rare occasions when travelers stop in Dunesend, an adjacent paddock is opened up for their animals. Lotho Elberesk is the proprietor here. He lives within the main building, where he runs a poorly stocked trading post. Twice a week, the caravansary courtyard becomes a barter market where the locals trade crops, goat, lamb, and wild boar hunted in the Thornwaste.
- Bede’s Bakery
A wizened halfling from distant eastern lands runs a bakery whose half-dozen tables provide the village’s only communal gathering place. Old Bede can usually be found by the fire pit, smoking an exotic pipe as he strokes his long gray mustache. He is an excellent source of information regarding the village, though his accent is heavy. Bede keeps accounts for the villagers who spend their evenings here, trading his goods for labor.
- Dwarf Tower
This stout watchtower is built of great blocks of granite imported from the Wyvernswatch mountains. The only surviving part of the dwarven supply depot, it serves as Dunesend’s defensive redoubt as well as a shrine to Melora, the village’s matron deity. It is attended by the aging priestess Fawma Bruth, a cleric who retired to the wilderness long ago.
- Villagers’ Huts
Each of these simple structures of mud bricks and scavenged wood holds a single family of eight villagers and their animals.
- Irrigated Fields
These are just two of a dozen fields of crops bordering the Thornwaste along the wall to the east and west of the village. Each has a crude wooden pump house containing still-functioning dwarven pumps that bring water from underground cisterns to the surface.