Vintiver is in the southeastern part of Ferelden, in the Southron Hills, where the rolling hillocks and elevation of the land are well suited to the village’s primary crop: grapes. The
village itself is nestled in a shallow vale between the hills, affording some protection from the weather and an ample water supply.
Vintiver itself is made up of about two dozen homesteads, each with its own garden plot, where the locals grow their own food. The vineyards extend further up the hillsides, outside of the village proper, and there are a number of outlying farms considered part of Vintiver, but located a mile or more away from the center of the village itself.
1. Chantry Temple
A small Chantry temple is set up in Vintiver to tend to the people’s spiritual needs. It is a long building with tall, thin windows equipped with shutters, which are usually open in fair weather to allow light and air to fill the inside. Rows of benches are set for services before the altar at the far end of the main room of the temple, with the priest’s quarters in the rooms at the back. Vintiver’s temple is not especially rich, although it does have fine altar cloths, and the parishioners are humble and devout, much like the Priestess, Sister Arda.
2. The Winery
Vintiver’s prime export is wine made from the grapes of its vineyards. The whole village works together to crush the grapes in large wooden vats, straining and storing the juice to ferment into wine, which is then casked and bottled and aged before being sold to wine merchants who take it all across Ferelden and beyond. The village winery is most active during harvest season, of course, when the villagers gather for the year’s wine preparations. For the rest of the year, it is tended by the most skilled winemakers, who oversee the aging of the casks, and by their young apprentices, who handle most of the cleaning and maintenance. The main area of the winery can be used for village functions when the
Temple or common room at the inn will not suffice, and gatherings are sometimes held there.
3. The Arbor Inn
Vintiver has a small inn, primarily to attend to the needs of visiting merchants and traders, and to provide the locals with a common taproom. The two-story wood beam and plaster structure has heavy, dark wood shutters and window boxes kept full of brightly colored flowers in the spring and summertime. A carved and painted wooden sign bearing a dark purple bunch of grapes surrounded by curling leaves and vines and the name “The Arbor Inn” hangs above the front door, while a small bell hangs just inside, ringing when the door is opened, so the inn-keeper knows when guests arrive and depart. Haran and Kesla Mullin own and run the Arbor Inn. Kesla’s father Ulten started it, and she inherited, being the oldest child. Kesla’s mother Torra still cooks in the Inn’s kitchen, vital and vivacious in her 60s, and still fully involved in her daughter’s business (in all ways). Haran and Kesla’s four younger children Finella (16), Dagmar (14), Amina (12), and Elfrida (10) all work at the inn in various capacities, while their oldest son, Dorn, age 18, is apprenticed to Coalan, the smith.
4. The Smithy
Master Coalan’s smithy is located near the village stables, where he does most of his work shoeing horses and fixing various farm implements for the villagers. The smithy itself contains Coalan’s forge, anvil, and various tools of his trade, along with small supplies of scrap metal, crucibles and molds, and so forth. The forge fire is kept burning whenever the smith is working, tended by his apprentice, Dorn Mullin.
5. The Stables
The village stables provide shelter for draft and farm horses apart from the villagers’ own properties, and particularly for the mounts and pack animals of visiting
merchants and other travelers staying at the inn. The stables also store bales of hay in their large barn along with various items of tack and harness.