BRIARVALE (Recommended: Level 1–24) — A low-intensity village in an enchanted meadow has gone into a cost-of-living crisis since vacant properties started being purchased by late-game mobs, according to angry locals attached to the zone’s history.
“Hoo-hoo! Me grandpa’s lived here since he were a gnome-sprout and I don’t even recognize me hometown anymore,” said Jingelvalt, a hostile-yet-wimpy gnome who patrols Briarvale’s infested pumpkin patch. “Time was, folks would kill us with their starting swords, get a tip from Elder Remus that the great stone’s been spotted in the Old Capital, and never come back. Now we got yuppie arseholes from the Sickening Wastes and Cannibals’ Tombs movin’ down-level, snatchin’ up houses for three times their old value. Makes me hat stand on end, hoo!”
On top of making housing less affordable, the influx of mosquito-men, lesser demons, and other such high-level guys has changed the character of the town’s schools and workplaces.
“The Channelstone Magic School used to be a reliable entry-level work option for local kids looking to get their start,” complained Giraldus, a corrupted mage who has prowled the Hall of Scrolls full-time for 35 years. “Then they tell me that some rotten kid from the Droughtlands is starting next week, making my salary plus half, and for what? Just because she’s some college-girl viper priestess? If this is the new standard, they’re never going to give a job to a wisp or rabid dog around here ever again.”
Despite the accusations of being gentrifiers, many of the new arrivals defend the changes brought about by their move, seeing them as improving the lives of everyone, irrespective of level.
“I’ve always loved ‘rustic life,’ you know? And when I heard through the grapevine that you could get a place here for less gold than I make in a month, I couldn’t not check it out, right?” said a flaming, preposterously buff-looking skeleton who works remotely for a company in the Crypt Without End. “Look on the bright side, man. The small-town simple folk around here can sell their taverns and grottos for beaucoup bucks, and move to… I don’t know, somewhere. If it was easy for me to move then it’s got to be easy for them, right?”
At press time, defensive newcomers called the complainers hypocrites, and said they ought to be just as upset about the goat-demon buying up all the property in Lower Undead Burg.
Depiction of flameskull by Conceptopolis from Monster Manual, 5th Edition