Silverstone Lake is located near the south-west edge of the kingdom of Lazrarian. The lake is bordered on all side by the Forest of Falswah, making it remote but not unreachable. The lake is within the holding a minor Lazrarian duke. But it’s been close to a hundred years since anyone tried to enforce that claim. The name comes from the vast deposits of silver in the lake bed. Once word got out about the underwater prospectors came from all over the kingdom to try and extract it. Dozens of small villages sprang up as miners quickly staked their claims and divided the lake among themselves. Once the miners brokered a deal with nearby dwarf clan the operations took off. The dwarves would buy ore from the miners and transport it by river barge to their mountain home for processing. All this activity on the lake has not gone unnoticed by its original inhabitants. A tribe of werecrocodiles has been living in and around Silverstone Lake for centuries. They have fought back against the rapid industrialization of the area. Generations spent living in the silver-infused lake has altered the werecrocodiles into silverblood lycanthropes, making them much harder to drive off.
The miners living in the small villages along the banks of Silverstone Lake are a varied bunch. Nearly all races are represented but the majority of them are humans, followed close by and half-elves. The miners are a tough and hardworking bunch, performing a hazardous job all for the hope of striking it rich. New miners often start out with the relatively safe job of panning along the shoreline. More experienced miners often venture into the shallows of the lake with a pickaxe and basket. The most daring miners are the ones who put on diving suits and walk along the lake bed while tethered to the surface with an air hose. They have to deal with limited mobility while having to defend themselves against lake creatures. Despite all their hardships, most miners are optimistic that the next batch of ore they find will be enough for them to retire on.
Like the miners, the dwarves of the Notched Axe Clan are hardy workers. The trade agreements with the miners have made the entire clan very wealthy. The dwarves show off their wealth through elaborate tattoos. The ink if infused with gold leaf giving the tattoos a metallic sheen. Notched Axe river barges move throughout the kingdom of Lazrarian. They bring worked silver to towns and return with trade goods for the miners. The clan is ruled by an assembly of retired merchants. They elect a leader from among themselves to serve as head of the assembly. Even with an assembly head, the clan is slow to change direction once they’ve agreed to something. It took five years to hammer out a pricing agreement with the miners for transporting the silver ore. If they ever tried to adjust it, agreeing on the changes would take just as long.
The werecrocodiles of the Kebos Tribe are unhappy with the current situation in Silverstone Lake. They are incapable of dealing with the modernization around the lake and wish to return it better times. The Kebos Tribe used to be the top predators in the lake. They would prey on fish, crocodiles and the occasional river travelers. The druids who lead the tribe have even gone so far as to declare the mining operations as an anathema to nature. The tribe knows they could never win an all-out war with the miners and dwarves. To that end, they have been using their shape changing for guerrilla tactics. They will lure miners or dwarves away in their humanoid forms before transforming and ambushing them.
Bodies have been washing up on the shores near the mining communities in large numbers. They lack the claw and bit marks of an attack by the Kebos tribe, leading most to conclude drowning. Accidents do happen, but the rising number of deaths have the miners worried. Whispers have also spread about a mysterious woman spotted in the area. Authorities have tried questioning the woman, but she has always fled. Several Bounty hunters have claimed they would bring the woman in for questioning. None have succeeded, and they are always the next body found washed up on the shore.
Silver mining has been immensely profitable for the villages around Silverstone Lake. Some have been claiming the coast in both money and lives is unacceptably high for the profits brought in. Plans have been circulating between the villages for damming the river that feeds Silverstone Lake. Draining the lake would expose the remaining silver deposits for more mining. The plans also suggest this could have the ancillary benefit of driving off the Kebos Tribe. Not everyone who could be affected is onboard with this plan, however. The Notched Axe Clan is fiercely opposed to the plan. They claim a dam would be too disruptive to their river trade routes. Some of the miners are also concerned about where the water would be diverted to. The current plan calls for flooding the Forest of Falswah.
A shrroth has been spotted within Silverstone Lake. Rather than attacking anyone the demon has been offering tools and items, which it claims are magical. The greedy or the gullible accept these gifts only to find their true cost once they return home. The shrroth is actually offering cursed items to spread chaos among the lake denizens. Miners are still accepting these items, despite stern warnings from the authorities. Members of the Kebos Tribe have fallen for the demon’s promises as well. In a rare act of cooperation, they have agreed to help the miners hunt it down.
Drag & Drop Encounter (CR 7)
As your boat drifts across the surface of Silverstone Lake, the rower slows down to point out some of the natural spender. “If the sun catches the water just right you can see the silver sparkling at the bottom.” They row farther out into the lake before stopping again. “Well would you look at that, we’ve got a welcoming committee.” The rower gestures with their oar to four crocodiles floating lazily nearby. Seeing your boat approach, the four crocodiles swim closer almost expectantly. “My they look hungry,” the rower stands up in the boat their skin rippling.“I suppose I’ll feed them you!” The rippling ceases and the rower stands in the boat revealed as a hybrid werecrocodile.