Dragon Age: Ascension
The freemen of Sothmere have a hard life. Their ground is less fertile than in other parts of Ferelden, their growing season is short, and their craftsmen are few in number. In addition, Sothmere’s proximity to the Korcari Wilds makes it a dangerous place to live. There are certainly easier lands to till, even for hardy South Fereldens. So why live here?
The answer is bread. The farmers of Sothmere cultivate fields of ryott, a protein-rich grain that is highly valued throughout Ferelden. Ryott is notoriously difficult to grow and the valley where Sothmere is located is one of the few areas in South Ferelden where ryott thrives. Sothmere is nestled in a gentle valley between high hills, taking advantage of a creek that flows through it and peters out into a marsh to the southwest. (The creek extends all the way to the Sudrand River during the rainy summer season.) A temporary wooden fort built atop a high hill to the south watches over Sothmere. This wooden fort, dubbed “Fort Sothmere,” is manned by a dozen soldiers and led by Ser Vilem, a brash young knight.
Sothmere has recently been affected by the planned construction of a stone fort to replace the wooden Fort Sothmere. Recently, Arl Voychek Neruda has been receiving reports that Chasind stalker raids have been increasing. Realizing that surrendering the ryott fields to the Chasind would deprive him of a valuable resource, the arl has decided to improve this military outpost. New buildings are now being constructed to house the laborers that will be needed to complete this task, and within a few months the quiet village will likely be a thriving town.
During the Groundbreaking Festival to celebrate this construction, the village fell under attack by ravenous Chasind stalkers. They carried weapons coated in a poison that had been tainted by the Darkspawn corruption, and mutated the concoction. The ‘Ragers’ then went mad and began attacking with abandon. Old Stoyanka then sent the party on a quest to retrieve the Shadowmoss, a key ingredient to brewing a cure for the Amber Rage, now that many of the villagers of Sothmere are infected.