The town before you looks somehow strange, as if it had been grown out of the earth rather than built. None of the buildings seem to be made from stone. Green plant growth covers them up to a height of several feet. All the plants look larger than usual, as if there were some special richness to the soil here. It is uncannily quiet. There is a smell of flowers and herbs; meadowsweet, oak, and apple blossom.

People from other settlements speak of Churney as ‘a bit odd. You know, not like the rest of us.’ Then they smile and tap their heads knowingly. Some say ‘Nice place, but I wouldn’t want to live there.’ This is because Churney-on-the-Green is quite unlike the other settlements of Chillhame. It is closer to a ‘hippy commune’ than a medieval town.

This town has an unusual power structure. It is supervised by the local druid, Jass Cromlin, an elven woman – one of the few nonhumans on Chillhame. The reason for this is the unusual number of sacred trees close to the settlement, many of which have dryads dwelling in them. The humans of Churney are allowed to live and work here and even to take some of the woodland resources, so long as they live in close harmony with nature.


Food is brought in by foraging trips into the wood, not from organised agriculture. The people of Churney have baskets of mushrooms, berries and nuts outside their houses. There is no market, since nobody needs to buy or sell anything. Everyone seems to live in a peaceful, almost stagnant state.


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