The town of Refuge is a small, rustic town reminiscent of the Old West, or at least the kind of Old West you see in movies. It is located in the Woven Gulch and encased entirely in a supposedly impregnable bubble made up (possibly) of pure time. You know, like in the movies.
The buildings are “rustic chic,” made largely of wood with some metal panels here and there. It is a little bit “shambley,” but not in disrepair. More like people worked very hard and did a lot of intricate work to make it as livable as possible with few resources at their disposal. It’s charmingly (adorably?) cobbled together. The paint scheme is brown.
Refuge has a population of about a hundred people. This includes:
- Roswell, the Sheriff’s Deputy
- Cassidy, a miner and accused criminal
- Sheriff Isaak, the mayor, Elder, and general shadowy figure
- Ren, the proprietor of The Davey Lamp
- Paloma, the Town Witch
- Brogden, a middle aged dwarf woman and bank teller
- Ash, the elven gambler
- The Goliath (Name Unknown)
- The Liberation Brigade (a.k.a. Purple Kerchiefs: approx. 5 members, at least one magical elf and one human woman)
- Two bank guards (Jerry and Greg)
- (Not the goddess Istus, who has a temple in Refuge but does not live there.)
Natural Resources Edit
Originally, Refuge’s main industry was mining for diamonds. What was once a quiet (well, loud, due to the mining) town became “not the best” as the diamond seam dried up.
Refuge operates on a strictly diamond-based economy. Ten diamonds is the standard amount for a high-value bet or price of a desirable good (like a big prophecy from Paloma). One diamond is the standard amount for a small good (such as a small prophecy from Paloma). Prior to the bubble going up, 1 diamond was worth about 300 gold pieces.
Refuge celebrates Hug Day.
Civic Institutions Edit
Refuge has a couple of law-beings: Roswell, the deputy, and Sheriff Isaak. They’ve been able to keep the peace really well up until the Adventure Zone boys show up to town.
An important governmental function is served by the town Elder. Originally, before The Visitor brought Jack and June, the Elder ran the mines. After the mines dried up, The Visitor brought Jack, who became the town Elder. After Jack’s sacrifice was made, Sheriff Isaak became the town Elder.
Sheriff Isaak is also Town Mayor, but it is unclear if this is a new position for Isaak, a position he held while Jack was Town Elder, or if there has always been a dual role of Mayor/Elder.
Notable locations Edit
Here’s a map:
At the entrance of town stands a large gate. The inscription “By Their Sacrifice, Our Home is Made Safe” is burned into the wood atop the gate. When not otherwise occupied, it appears Roswell stands guard under the gate. They are under the gate at 11:00am.
There is a large water well right inside the gate.
Main Street Edit
General store with not a lot of things for sale. It’s a closed system!
- Ep. 42: Roswell is helping clean up in Helpingtons.
The Davy Lamp Edit
Across the street from Helpingtons is a saloon with saloon doors. The name of the establishment is ornately carved into a sign hanging above the door. The saloon has a piano, where an entertainer plays (at least during the 11am hour). There’s a shuffleboard table, but one of the legs is shorter than the others so it’s not fun to play at all.
Ren is the bartender and proprietor of The Davy Lamp, and she works hard to create a fun, flirty atmosphere.
The saloon also has rooms for rent.
- Ep. 42: The Davy Lamp is the first site of infractions with purple kerchiefed ruffians. Magnus sees a man in a purple handkerchief is lying in the street. Another man in purple goes flying into the street out the saloon doors. Roswell moves to chase the two men, but they run away. Roswell tells the boys that it was just a bar fight, nothing more.
- Ep. 43: There’s a scuffle with the ruffians at 11:10 (same as last time). As they’re running away, Magnus shoots one in the calf.
The bank is the nicest building in town and more solidly built than the other buildings, featuring bars over the windows, and a vault that is protected by a nigh impenetrable vault door made of a black iron door 9 feet in diameter and five feet deep. There's a huge combination lock dial on the door, flanked on three sides with small metal hatches.
There's a glass dome on the ceiling that's not a light fixture. Perhaps a skylight? (It's a security system that shoots darts, whoops!)
Inside, the bank is the nicest building in Refuge. It's very well kept. There are potted plants and a long wooden counter with a glass partition that protects Brogden, the bank teller. The bank has two armed guards.
- Ep. 42. At 11:45 the bank explodes. Most occupants of the bank die, except one dwarf woman who is alive but injured. Three purple kerchief ruffians survive the blast to fight Roswell. The vault was charred but still closed — if their plan was robbery it did not work.
- Ep. 43 Once again, the bank explodes. Magnus collects diamonds from the non-vault areas of the bank.
- Ep. 46 THB join with Redmond and the Liberation Brigade to rob the bank
The Clock Tower Edit
There is a Clock Tower, which marks time in Refuge. We’ll get to that bit later.
- Ep. 42: The fire in the bank spreads to the clock tower, which strikes twelve and then cracks in half.
- Ep. 43: Ibid.
Jail/Sheriff’s office Edit
To the right of the clock tower is the sheriff’s office with attached jail. The town is small enough that it only needs a small jail with a couple of cells. The jail is made of clay and stone. The cells are unoccupied, save for the one on the end. In that one sits Cassidy, a big, burly half-orc woman.
The Sheriff’s office contains a couple smaller chairs Roswell has broken, and Sheriff Isaak’s big desk with a big, big, sturdy chair behind it. The desk has a locked, alarmed drawer, containing a set of keys.
- Ep. 42: The adventure boys are temporarily detained in the jail. Taako breaks into the desk drawer, setting off the alarm. Cassidy is also in a jail cell. When the jail is damaged in the explosion, Cassidy waltzes right out and Taako casts Knock to just leave.
Witch’s Cottage Edit
Located in the forest, the Witch’s Cottage is home to Paloma, who is indeed a witch.
The cottage smells straight up amazing: like the Heiner’s factory on the West End of Huntington (which smells like amazing sweet bread such that you float along on the scent lines like a cartoon cat smelling a pie). It’s not, however, made of gingerbread.
Inside, hanging from the ceiling is a galaxy of crystal teardrops. Each teardrop holds a prophecy. The room is cozy and cramped, filled as it is with the tear drop prophesies and also cakes, pies, and cupcakes in glass-covered serving dishes. There’s a table (behind which Paloma is sitting when we first meet her), and a large, round oven.
- Ep. 43: The adventure boys go to visit Paloma.
Manor / Elder's Mansion Edit
At the end of the road is a big, two story manor -- one of the only two story buildings in town. Cassidy tells the boys that Sheriff Isaak, who is also Mayor and Town Elder, lives there.
The Manor is surrounded by barbed wire and a locked gate. The Manor has a big heavy door that's the only entrance into the building, and it is heavily padlocked with several locks. There are some windows on the second floor.
- Ep. 42: In the noon earthquake, the clock tower cracks in half and falls on the Manor house.
- Ep. 43: Ibid. Presumably in Ep. 44 as well.
- Ep. 45: Merle and Magnus go to investigate. Nobody has been inside for a long time, and there are multiple padlocks on the door.
Directly in front of the manor is an 8-foot tall statue cast from some kind of brown metal. The statue depicts three figures: a small human girl, about seven years old, wearing a knee-length dress with her hair done up in a bob. She is holding hands with a large, broad, bearded human man wearing a miner’s helmet with a torch on it, and a big flannel shirt and big bulky pants. He’s clearly dressed as a miner. They are both smiling, and the statue looks pretty well-made: they can make out the facial features of this statue. Standing behind them, with a hand on each of their shoulders, is a figure cloaked in a red robe. He is smaller than the man, but has pretty broad shoulders as well: he’s tall and muscular, which can be seen even under the figure’s robe. The figure’s robe is obscuring their face.
Roswell indicates that the statue depicts a very important event in the town’s history: “the time that the visitor came and brought the father and daughter to our town. And by their sacrifice our town was made safe!”
Ren tells Taako that the subjects of the statue were the last Elder, named Jack, and the girl June. They died in the quarry, and, “by their sacrifice our town was made safe!”
Other geographical features: Edit
Behind the manor lies a thick forest of pine trees. Paloma's cottage is in the forest.
To the west of town, there’s a plateau overlooking the street and spiraling off of the buildings.
There is a cave atop the plateau, sort of in a second plateau on the first plateau. In this cave lives Luca.
Fallen Temple Edit
Located on the plateau is the fallen temple of Istus, goddess of fate and destiny.
It looks like an old California Mission-style church with terra cotta walls that comprised a single large sanctuary space with massive double doors that overlooked the town. When the temple is fallen, the door frame is the only feature left standing. The temple featured a steeple that had a clock face, which, when the temple has fallen, is collapsed into the sanctuary and is laying on the ground. The numbers on the clock face have mostly worn off, but the clock's hands are beautiful, intricate, and sharp.
It has very impressive joists.
Stone Fruit Farm Edit
Located on the plateau and right on the border of the bubble is Stone Fruit Farm. The farm has two wide plots of orchards, lined with tall, well-kept trees, and each of the trees has dozens of plump stone fruits. Stone fruits are as common as apples in this world, and the trees thrive in harsh environments like the Woven Gulch. These look particularly delicious: marbled purple rinds, perfectly plump, and the size of regulation bocce balls.
The farm has a very inviting-looking homestead. It's cozy inside, with a banner of Istus, a nice stew going, and an office with plots for the orchard laid out.
It was vivisected by the bubble: both the fields and a small portion of the house have been cut off by the bubble walls. The fields were once vast, but the bubble cut them down to a fraction of their former size.
The farm also serves as the home-base of the Purple Kerchief'd Ruffians.
Tall wooden fence Edit
It runs along the eastern perimeter of the town.
Encircling the entire town with a fluctuating power of pure time (probably). Time is definitely strange inside the bubble: most people believe it was put up between a year and a year and a half before the events of The Eleventh Hour take place, but actual evidence points to it having been active for at least five years.
Nobody has been outside the bubble since it popped up, to the best of Ren’s knowledge.
The Bubble keeps the town safe from the dangers outside, but it can be confining. Before the bubble, things weren’t so great, according to Ren, but after the bubble manifested, people seem to be nicer to each other.
The Bubble actually bisects some things in town (and under the town), including Stone Fruit Farm and a nest of Purple Worms.
The Bubble is sort of halfway between opaque and translucent. If you concentrate, you can see through it, but it's a little shimmery.
The Quarry Edit
The road out of town dead-ends into a gate that accesses the quarry. It has a large metal padlock on it.
Once through the gate, there’s a ramp made up of many switchbacks that weaves back and forth, leading down about 80 vertical feet into the quarry. The entrance to the quarry is sealed with rocks and must be opened with force or a portable hole.
Once inside the quarry, there's first a break room, and then an elevator down into the mines themselves. Key features of the mines include an elevator, a mine cart track, adorable but hungry fuzz bugs, and a cavern in which is a Purple Worm. The Purple Worm is held in place by a bubble-like forcefield, which is breached at noon every day.
- Ep. 43 Merle follows Cassidy down into the quarry, and Paloma tells the boys they must know what's in the quarry, even though they are not ready to face it yet.
- Ep. 44 takes place entirely in the Quarry. For an hourlong dive in, listen!
The Actual Eleventh Hour Edit
Certain things happen during the 11:00 hour in the town of Refuge that, without intervention, repeat each loop. The most obvious, of course, is the arrival of the Adventure Zone team at (presumably) the top of the hour.
- 11:00: The team arrives
- 11:10: The Davy Lamp is the first site of infractions w/ purple kerchiefs
- 11:30: Minor earthquake
- 11:45: Explosion at the bank
- 12:00: Catastrophe!