The Havens

Havens are underground communities of the living free from Vecna’s control. When the Surface was blighted most of the people who survived did so by hiding underground. As the environment became increasingly hostile vegetation whithered, animals died, and open water became poisonous. The only sustenance to be found was underground, so that’s where the people went. Havens are governed however their members choose, but most are too small to have anything more complicated than a leader or small council, usually chosen from the oldest and wisest but sometimes ruled by the strongest.
Most inhabitants of havens are farmers. The only plants that grow outside of Vecna’s conservatories are the moss and fungi found in caves. Haven-dwellers have domesticated a few varieties which they grow in fields carved out near underground springs. Havens near large, natural cave systems also have some trappers. They go in search of the small animals — fish, frogs, lizards, and bats — that still survive in their contained ecosystems. All havens need diggers who build tunnels to expand havens or as escape routes in case of attack, look for fresh-water springs, and carve the tools they use in day-to-day life. Most have a healer, who has little in the way of medicine but can set bones and bind wounds. The most dangerous job in a haven is a scout. They spend most of the time above ground, alone or in pairs. They patrol a circle around the haven, keeping watch for signs of Vecna’s troops. Most times it is only by the efforts of these stalwart men and women that the people living in a haven have time to escape if they are found out. There are no spiritual leaders in the havens. Religion has nearly died, and only the desperate or insane build altars and whisper prayers.
A very few people choose to be walkers; ones who eschew the safety and community of the havens and live on the move above ground. These hardy explorers carry news and materials from one haven to another. Most havens welcome them with open arms, excited to see what news they bring and what wares they have to trade. Some more cautious, or distrustful, send them away, or even kill the walkers who discover the location of their haven. Their xenophobia is not without cause; Vecna’s reach is long, and there are rumors that some walkers are actually his dogs on the hunt for new slaves or soldiers.
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The Havens

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