Tales From Janus Valley
Travellers on the Tavis Road that runs the breadth of Janus Valley will undoubtedly pass Southfarthing Farms. Located about a day’s ride out from Maynard’s Crossing, and just a few hours outside of Hala Xel, the bustling plantation is a welcome sanctuary from the rigors of the road. Southfarthing Farms is one of the largest single providers of fruits and vegetables to the Janus Valley region. Run by the unassuming Hawklight family, Southfarthing Farms is home to expansive apple orchards, vast fields of corn and wheat, and a respectable poultry operation. Breika Hawklight’s family has maintained the farm for nigh-on two centuries, and in that time, the once-modest plantation has grown to become a home to several other farmers.
The Ankarvs are a pair of green-skinned dragonborn who settled into the Janus valley a few years ago. They have sublet a small plot of land to graze a modest herd of goats, and utilize their considerable strength as the de facto security force for the property. Jescaryn Ankarv is currently expecting her first clutch of eggs to hatch. Zannan, her husband, is thrilled, but at the same time is embroiled in a conflict with a stubborn nest of kruthik that are raiding the farm. The late nights have done little for his mood.
Nathan O’Brambles is a lazy, corner-cutting halfling, who nevertheless manages to pay rent on his tiny plot in the south fields, which he uses to grow pipe tobacco. Despite the lucrative nature of his product, Nathan is often penniless, thanks to his love of gambling and ales.
Breika and her husband Richard have their hands full running the expansive plantation and managing their four children. Shem, the youngest, in particular has a predilection for wandering off. He especially likes to go for walks in the apple orchard, where he says the trees talk to him.
Assisting the family with their day-to-day tasks are a group of itenerant workers numbering about one dozen at any given time. Made up of humans, elves, halflings, and others, the workers are overseen by Khom Vakrak, a churlish half-orc who drives himself and his charges especially hard. He isn’t well-liked, but his results have brought productivity up considerably. Turnover among the labororers remains high.
Other residents of Southfarthing Farms include the local handyman, a pale human named Bennet. He keeps to himself and does most of his work at night, but keeps the buildings and equipment in good repair. In contrast, the resident merchant for the farm is Icinin, a personable and good-natured kalashtar. She runs a small store for the workers, and makes trips to population centers to sell produce and trade for needed supplies. Icinin is a consummate saleswoman, and warmly greets new faces.
Visitors to the ranch are usually welcome. There are generally several open bunks in the laborers’ quarters, and guests are always well-fed and cared for. All that is asked in exchange is that guests assist with some type of chore or task or labor the following day. These tend to be physically strenuous or otherwise unpleasant, but for a budget-conscious traveller, a safe bed and bread in the morning can’t be overlooked.