Summer Spring, much as its other two neighboring villages, is older than anyone cares to remember. One of the oldest settlements in all of Dvulvash. A very small town hidden amongst the tall trees of the surrounding woods, it would normally go unnoticed were it not for the well traveled road that cut straight through it. Most popular for its natural hot springs, Summer Spring is also well known for farming and livestock. Along with Wellspring and its rival town of Winterfall, they supply most of eastern Dvulvash's produce and meats. Summer Spring style barbeque has also earned notoriety across the land and, in some instances, more so than the famous hot springs.
Many centuries past, as the people of Winterfall began to move further east and expanding their farmland they stumbled across a series of hot springs. The spring season had still clung onto winter's chill and the springs were very appealing to the farmers. As they investigated the extent of the springs, they ran into a pair of beautiful dryads. The dryads claimed this land belonged to them, but, recently had been imposed upon by nomadic orcs. Finding the humans more appealing and peaceable than orcs, they offered to share in their sanctuary in exchange for protection against the brutality of the invaders. The farmers agreed and, true to their word, gathered men from Winterfall and fought off the orcs. They celebrated their victory with the dryads with song, food, and ale on coincidentally the first day of summer. Finding this paradise so attractive, the farmers that fought decided to never leave. Acting as guardians and mates to the native dryads, they’ve since protected the lush wilderness and surrounding farmland to what had been proclaimed as Summer Spring.
The namesake of the town of Summer Springs are the various natural hot springs that can be found in and near the settlement. It is common for an inn in Summer Springs to offer an outdoor bath, though a few temples, standalone spas, and private manors have their own hot springs as well. In addition to the normal hygienic benefits of bathing, Summer Springs hot springs are claimed to have numerous other effects, from relaxation, beautification, and healing. Drinking the mineral, effervescent water is also said to carry similar effects. Summer spring water also acts as an alchemical ingredient and material in some spells and potions.
Summer Spring is host to creatures many don't see, but know that they are there. Choosing Summer Spring over most areas, naiads, dryads, and other nymphs choose the small city to be "home." The sligh forest that grows close to Summer Springs is guarded by the dryads who are quick to reprimand those who take too much from the forest. The same can be said of the river that flows nearby and the naiads. Many have disappeared. Those who were cruel to the natural places surrounding Summer Springs were found as lifeless corpses. Those who were just beautiful, well. Nothing has been found of them.
Local legend holds that there are springs, hidden in grottoes, in abandoned shrines, or down forgotten trails deep in the woods, that are cursed. One such spring talked of is that of the Drowned Fool. It is said anyone who falls into it will be cursed with the form of what is most inconvenient for them, changing them into animals, other races, or even other genders. The curse activates when one is drenched in cold water and deactivates in hot. The curse is powerful. Short of wish, the only way to remove the curse is to bath in the springs opposite, though good luck finding that. It is just an urban legend though...right?
As one can imagine the woman's bath's around Summer Springs are often the target of...observation. Temptation runs high and drastic counter measures are regularly employed. Especially considering the variety of strange powers and magics the people of Etape have. Whole schools of scrying magic and counterspells have been invented in Summer Springs. It is said that the quest for privacy (or a little look) is an adventure itself.
Most historians believe the animosity between Summer Spring and Winterfall started when the first farmers migrated west to the fertile lands. The tranquil hot springs were very appealing, yes. However, no one really knows why the farmers abandoned their lives, their homes and farmlands, in some cases even their families to live amongst the woods and springs. Some believe the men had become enchanted by the local dryads and nymphs. Ensorcelled against their will. Some took it more as a betrayal and thus beginning the conflict between the two towns. Then, there are some who believe it started simply as a disagreement on how best to prepare pork ribs for grilling. Regardless of which theory one may buy into, the hostility between Summer Spring and Winterfall has always existed and seems to have no end in sight.
Some legends speak of two brothers, the farmer and the rancher. The farmer could grew every plant on Etape, his fields overflowed with every fruit and vegetable imaginable. The rancher could tame any animal of Etape, and breed everything that could swim, fly, crawl, or walk. At a great festival, the brothers presented their best crops and finest animals to the kings and queens from around the world. They marveled at the brothers. The farmer was proud. They rancher was humbled. To the surprise of all in attendance, the goddess Vita appeared before them. She praised the rancher, admiring his flock. The goddess gifted the brother and ascended back to Eden. But the farmer went unnoticed. "Brother! Brother! Come to my home. Show me what the Mother of The World has gifted you." The brothers both entered the house of the farmer, but only the farmer exited. His hands stank of blood. It is said that this animosity, farmer against rancher, brother against brother, is born in the hearts of all men to this day. When allowed, jealousy make us ugly.
The people of Summer SpringEdit
Hidden amongst the springs and spruces of Summer Spring, there lies a temple to a forgotten god, the Siren's Song, Atiana. Many who study scripture's know of a fallen goddess who once held an iron grip over the seas, and caused them to rise till all but a single peak on Etape was covered. Of those who survived the mass flooding, 4 paladins remained. Each prayed to their own god, and managed to get the gods intervention. Atiana was beaten down, but not without a fight. 2 entire weeks, a storm covered the entire continent. Lightning flashed with each blow the gods did themselves. Waves crashed over the solitary mountain with every strike of Atiana's holy weapon, the Trident of the Sea. The paladins protected the other survivors as best they could. Once the 2 weeks passed, the waters receded, the gods returned to their realms wounded, and Atiana was nowhere to be found. This temple tells the story of Atiana, and if one looks closely enough, can find the hidden compartment that holds her Trident. On a sign chained to the front door to lock it, there lies a warning "Abandon all humanity, Ye who enters here. Locked within the Sea's Rage, The Siren's Song longs to appear. Turn back now, and forget this place. For if you do not, we will all pass without a trace."
Perhaps you are a devoted follower of the fallen goddess, Atiana, sent off on a holy mission to retrieve the Trident of the Sea and return it to its rightful owner. Or, maybe a treasure seeker who heard this tragic tale and is in pursuit of a potential profit.