In typical Hârn style, this is a wonderfully-detailed description of a small township. After a beautiful map that shows every building, there's a history that gives a taste of this place's bloody history, it seems just about everybody has tried to conquer it at one time or another. Fortunately, at the present it is enjoying a spot of peace and prosperity under a just lord... with quite a few veterans from the last round of warfare to give him a hand to keep the peace!
It all reads a bit like a cross between a geography text and a tour guide - and hence makes the whole place sound real. Activities at the annual festival, a dark streak of religious intolerance, renowned horse breeding and sheep whose coarse coats make excellent winter garments... this is a real place that just happens to be imaginary, but enter the alternate reality that is Hârn and it does become real indeed.
This general description is followed by a detailed GM map with numbered locations. This gives the lowdown on everyone in town, amd again there's the realistic feeling that no matter whether any adventurers happen by, this is what they will be doing. The Baron - an interesting fellow worth getting to know - is introduced next and, befitting someone who married a herald's daughter, has a properly created and blazoned coat of arms (a refreshing change from the travesties seen in many fantasy works!). Caer Dunir, the keep itself, is then presented as a plan and description. It's a small but bustling place with a good mediaeval feel to it.
After details of the main people in the keep (the Baron, it seems, is quite generous with his favours but at least acknowledges - and frequently employs - his bastards), another place liable to visited by passing adventurers is detailed: the inn. Run by an exotic pair of sisters, it has a dedicated entertainment space that hosts some kind of event most nights: jugglers, acrobats, a prize fight, musicians and so on. The food's good but the alcohol is a bit variable, choose carefully! Finally, there's a bit of intrigue going on which characters may stumble upon or be otherwise caught up in if so desired.
Overall, a beautifully described little township that really springs to life in a few pages. If you like designing your own places, take heed: this is how to do it!
Return to Dunir Keep page.
Reviewed: 7 June 2009