An idea I had for a starting area for a campaign setting awhile back. Thinking of adding it to my new homebrew setting. This was inspired by the "Small Gods" article in Dragon Magazine #293 as well as Noisms Crayfish God.
Appleton is a small hamlet of around 20 families living in a remote set of foothills in the borderlands. The primary crop being Apples(hence the name of the settlement). The community rarely receives any visitors, except the one trading caravan at the end of every fall, when a single train of merchants comes to trade for the apple-wine, applejack, and cider that the area produces. The most unusual aspect for the area is that it has no churches or even shrines to the major gods of the dominant nations in the region. Instead, the village worships the towering old apple tree that sits atop a small cave at the very back of a small draw about an hour's walk from the settlement.
The apple tree itself is at least 400 years old, but still strong and healthy. N0body is exactly sure WHEN the tree gained sentience or quasi-deity status, but it had it when the first of its human priestesses first discovered it.
The priestesses, called "Apple-maidens" are all descended from that initial priestess, the mother passing the title on to the daughter when she grows to old to continue her duties. There is never more than one Apple maiden at any time.
The Apple-maidens are rarely granted spells by the tree, and for the most part, that doesn't bother them. The apples that grow upon their deity are said to have mystical abilities themselves, although what the abilities are at any given time, it's hard to say.
The Apple tree was the first of it's kind in the area, and all the other apple trees in the area are its progeny. The other trees have not shown any indication of being anything more than normal apple trees, though the products made from their produce could command high prices if the area wasn't so remote.
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