Baslwief was a village dreamed up during the Chelaxian glory days more than a century before when all had been fine with the world. Korvosa had been a new city, spreading its fingers out into the hinterlands in search of raw materials to fuel its rise to glory. At that time Baslwief was only a few sturdy buildings along the banks of the Sarwin, a place where miners could load their smelted ores onto barges to find more lucrative markets downstream.
Then the god Aroden had died or vanished and Cheliax had crumbled into civil war and anarchy for decades. Left without a strong backer and a well-paid army, Korvosa had scaled back its influence, leaving its constellation of smaller towns and villages to fend for themselves.
Baslwief had gone through similar upheavals at the beginning of the Ages of Lost Omens, but since folk here were used to surviving on their own, little changed. Families of halflings fleeing the turmoil elsewhere had arrived soon after and quickly integrated themselves into the various service industries. Within a generation no one could believe that the diminutive folk had not been here forever. Then more and more arrived looking for a quiet spot to live their lives and before anyone knew it, they had become the majority.
Now every other building in Baslwief is half-sized, and only a single standard tavern is still in business, run by halflings, of course. It is here in the Crooked Timber that your group has sequestered itself, waiting out the heavy Desnus rains. The food is quite decent, and the local brewers have come up with a tasty barleywine which packs quite a punch.
You arrived in the village three days ago and the storms swept in close behind you, trapping you here temporarily. Only recently had you picked up information that Bargle had taken up residence in an abandoned keep not too far from the village. After trekking around half of lower Varisia you can hardly believe that you may soon avenge your friend Aleena's death. Now if only the rains would stop!