Germelshausen is a mysterious Highlands village that appears in Eden for only one day each decade. It was named, by Earthling refugees from the First Iteration of Reality, after an 1860 story by Friedrich Gerstäcker.
The villagers considered naming their town after the eponymous village from a 1947 American musical, but feared being devoured by a wild pack of copyright lawyers—a quite menacing force in these typically peaceful lands.
Germelshausen is notable for being, thanks to the nature of its appearances and disappearances, one of the only ways in which non-halflings can remain in the purgatorial paradise of Eden after reality reboots. This loophole, the work of the goddess of chaos, is a major source of irritation for that goddess’ sister (River, herself the goddess of order).
Throughout the First Interregnum, Germelshausen was just a typical highland village. Their quaint settlement on the hill could be seen for miles around. Folks worked in the mines or on the farm, they drank in the pub or on their front porches, and they prayed in the church or at the town’s wishing well.
It was only as The Seven Voices prepared to sing the next iteration of reality into existence that the people of Germelshausen made the bargain which would change everything. Realizing that only halflings would be allowed to remain in Eden after the reboot (thanks to that species’ deal with the Sister Goddesses), the villagers of Germelshausen prayed to the goddess of fire and chaos—the Eden for whom the land was named—and asked her for a miracle. They didn’t want to go back to their lives in the so-called “real world.” They wanted to stay in paradise.
Eden, eager to stick it to her sister River—and also, as always, to cause a bit of trouble—happily acquiesced to the villagers’ request. She wrapped the town in a protective cocoon of magic, made a show of “burning” the place to the ground, and then rejoined her sister in the The Desert at the Edge of Existence to watch The Seven Voices do their thing and recreate the world.
It wasn’t until a decade later, when Germelshausen reappeared out of nowhere in a flash of flame—when humans and dwarves stepped back into this land where they weren’t meant to be—that Eden turned to River and said, “Oh, by the way…”
Thanks to DaniAdventures for suggesting that a group of wild lawyers be called a “heard” on Siobhan the Writer’s Twitch stream on Monday, July 18, 2022. And if you’re wondering where that even comes up, after you’ve read this whole article, it was in a Tooltip in the first paragraph.