Tears of the Willow
This bustling settlement stands at the point where the valley of the Velverdyva narrows sharply as it cuts through the meeting of the Yatils and Clatspurs. The tumbling waters of the great river are difficult to negotiate even for skilled rivermen, and many travelers prefer to use the narrow trail running alongside the river through the dangerous mountain valley.
The town takes its name from a high peak just to the north, which is considered by some to resemble the head of a verbeeg. Indeed, verbeeg are among the hazards in this area as are prowling mountain lions, bears and eagles. Rarely, a monster such as a manticore may be encountered, although it is thirty years since a red dragon slew over 200 townsfolk at Verbeeg Hill.
The 1,100 folk who live here conduct their trade of fishing and trapping in more peaceful times. The spear fishers of this town work from small and highly maneuverable boats, resembling canoes. Their boating skills are a wonder to behold.
The salted eels in herb jelly made here are renowned throughout the Highfolk, although their preparation is fairly repellent. Eels are boiled alive in vinegary water. As the mixture sets they are chopped into chunks and herbs are added to the congealing pot. On a good day (or a bad one, depending on how one looks at it), this can be smelled a couple of miles away.
The townsmen also make a good living off of the passing river traffic. They build and repair river boats, and hire out to transport goods through the mountain valley.
Verbeegers are fine hillmen and trackers and if anyone wishes the service of a scout in the mountains, this is perhaps the best place to find one. Of course, locals can always sell the hopeful adventurer a genuine, guaranteed-to-be-accurate treasure map or two.
Verbeeg Hill is a cheerful place, untouched by battle. Some folk here fought in the wars, especially in the Badlands, and they are glad to be back home after the horrors they saw there.
Dock of the Rushing Waves
The Dock of the Rushing Waves is a temple devoted to Xerbo, the Suloise god of sailors, seafaring, and waterborne commerce. It is located at the docks in Verbeeg Hill, right up against the Velverdyva River. The temple has approximately 100 or so lay worshippers (mostly sailors and fishermen from the area), and 10 clergy members. The high priest of the temple is Sacred Harbormaster Johim Balmree (human male). The temple’s goals include improving commerce in Verbeeg Hill, and keeping the Velverdyva safe from pirating and other hazards.
Smiling Halls of Good Fortune
The Smiling Halls of Good Fortune is a temple and gambling complex devoted to Norebo. It is located in the heart of Verbeeg Hill. The temple has a large number of lay worshipers (the exact numbers are unknown, since all who gamble and “donate” here are considered worshippers), and a dozen or so clergy. The high priest of the temple (and the owner) is the High Roller, Malson Minfrid (human male). The temple’s goals are simple — make as much money as possible.
There are three shrines located in Verbeeg Hill. They are dedicated to Zilchus, Ehlonna, and Ulaa. The one to Zilchus is rather large.
(excerpted from TSR9398 The Marklands, p.53)