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Sola & Bramble

"The kind hearted are a hidden stream on a hot day, the last bedtime story of a quick childhood – that is to say, easy to miss and impossible to forget.”

Sprig Valley is not known as a reservoir of any natural resource. It doesn’t have deep mines of gold or rich wells of oil, but what it lacks in these things it makes up for in a resource immeasurably more valuable, wholesome people such as Sola and Bramble. These elderly halflings carry joy in the folds of their old hands and spread it wide like seeds that feed the spirit of their community. Known by all and loved by just as many, Sola and Bramble represent the cultural pillars that preserve the peaceful and comforting atmosphere that defines the valley.

Not one day passes without this aged duo walking through the valley’s various trails and sidewalks. It is a tradition from long ago when the pair’s wrinkled skin was taught with youth and they traveled the valley as clerics of The New Dawn visiting homes to heal and comfort those afflicted by disease. Even visitors to the valley are greeted with the kind of welcome often reserved for children and grandchildren. Today, the valley’s citizenry is greeted every morning, fed lunch at the banquet hall in which the pair often prepares and serves community meals every midday, and sent off to rest every evening by the gnomes that have come to be known as ‘The Valley’s Grandparents’. So precise and consistent is this habit, that the people can keep track the time of day even when the shade of clouds makes a sundial inoperable. 

Despite their heartwarming title, the couple is not a romantic one. Though some stories from those who knew them years ago suggest the two were once deep in love, their relationship now is an organic lemonade, a refreshment that need no other ingredient, a libation of camaraderie, companionship, and a shared passion for a healthy community that is cool and sweet by its own virtue. Sometimes, they advice to the youngsters they know, love is just being there with no expectations or labels.

Sola Stonesteep

Care is the guiding philosophy that motivates Sola. She was drawn to the practice of healing others as a young maiden when she was gifted a spark of magic during the long pilgrimage her people took to Sprig Valley. She was one of few – another being young Bramble – who came together to form a group called The New Dawn who served as clerics of the new community that was grateful to have found it. To the New Dawn, their power comes not from the devotion to a deity, but to their people, to prosperity. After years doing her good work, Sola founded Sprig Valley’s first and largest hospital Sunrise Sanctuary where she still serves to operate the hospital’s functions and help get care and treatment to as many people as quickly as possible. 

Sola is a bird of many brilliant colors and, in addition to her work at her hospital, she is a professor at Starmetal Yard where she instructs young minds in medicine and religion – the latter being a spiritual faith in home and family, more a philosophy on being good and ethical. She holds her courses in the early evening that she may offer her student’s a motherly meal as the class meets. When she is not working, walking, or teaching Sola enjoys tending to her garden – which serves also as the community garden – and erecting bee hives in the quiet nooks of Sprig Valley.

Ol’ Man Bramble

Grumpy and cranky are words so far removed from Ol’ Bramble that he owns dictionaries in which they do not even appear. He has earned the title as the valley’s grandfather and is proud to live up to the name. Like Sola, he was a cleric of The New Dawn. He was a visiting healer and the first of his order to do so when once a child and family were too ill to make the hike across the valley for their care. His passion for the craft was as true as any other cleric, but he was met with a vastly different fate. 

One day, a curse was rampant in Sprig Valley – a arcanochemical attack by a would be invading army of greedy goblins. Bramble healed all he could, but components for the magic ran quickly thin like the blood in his patients veins. He was loss for what to do. How could have such profound magic, he complained, and still be so powerless? How could he have magic in his veins and his kin have sickness? But no sooner did he have this thought than he knew what he needed to do. In an act of sacrifice that could change the world if even one more person did it every generation, Bramble cast a ritual spell he called Divine Transfusion where the divine spark that gave him his magic would heal others and protect them from curses! The consequence of this; however, was that Bramble would be without his magic again, a consequence he was prepared to take on. Because of his actions that day, natives of Sprig Valley who descend from that cohort of Spriggians possess a communal trait, Well Been: Creatures with this trait have advantage on rolls that prevent the onset of a curse and on any checks and saves that are called for by a curse. They also gain one (1) minor benefit to cursed items they possess in addition to any outlined in the item description.

Today, Bramble enjoys his simple life as the town’s old man. He helps when he can in the form of favors and aid – things like home repairs and child care. When he has time to rest, Bramble can be spotted carving beautiful trinkets that he gifts to children and travelers passing through.

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