The Village of Fowl Devotees is the main setting for book the seventh, The Vile Village. The town is located just outside the city in an area known as The Hinterlands. It is often called "V.F.D." instead of its full name, when written or spoken. The Baudelaires mistook this V.F.D. for the organization, V.F.D., and decided to pick this village, resting in the middle of a wide expanse of flat, dry land, to adopt them.
The Village of Fowl Devotees was founded 306 years ago by a group of explorers who were fascinated by the migratory patterns of the crows, and formed a settlement in the area in order to admire them. The sight of the crows migrating is a magnificent sight, but visitors to V.F.D. must be wary of the village's strict and numerous rules.
The city is called "Village of Fowl Devotees" because the entire village is devoted to crows. There are crows all over the town, which roost downtown in the morning, uptown in the afternoon, and then all fly to a gigantic tree, known as Nevermore Tree, on the outskirts of town at night.
Features of the uptown include the Town Hall and the nearby Fowl Fountain which was built by Count Olaf to trap the Quagmires. Unknown to many, the fountain has a hidden mechanism in its eye, allowing the beak to open so at least two human-sized objects can be placed inside. Another feature is the Uptown Jail where The Deluxe Cell is the filthiest cell out of many smaller ones.
Council of Elders
The Council of Elders are a group of elderly people who govern the Village. Each member of the council wears a hat with a wobbly crow on the top. The youngest member was The Woman Who Was About Eighty-One.
The council has made thousands of rules, which are described as "insane" throughout the book, and many of which are "contradictory" according to Klaus Baudelaire, who stays up all night studying them.
While some of the rules seem honorable such as "No murdering", "No villains allowed in the city" and "no harming crows", a lot of others are just plain strange and questionable, such as "no mechanical devices allowed", while others are pure insanity such as "Anyone who breaks a rule is burned at the stake". Because of this, someone may be burned to death for accidentally putting too many nuts on a sundae.
The council and its residents are overly pedantic about following these rules. It is implied that many of the residents don't care so much that someone breaks a rule, but rather, are trying to find every excuse imaginable to burn people to death at the stake, as it provides psychopathic entertainment.
Known numbered rules:
- 1: No harming crows.
- 2: Anyone who breaks a rule is burned at the stake.
- 19: The only pens that are acceptable within the city limits are ones made from the feathers of crows. (contradicts rule 39)
- 39: It is illegal to make anything out of crow feathers. (contradicts rule 19)
- 67: No citizen is allowed to build or use any mechanical devices.
- 108: The V.F.D. library cannot contain any books that break any of the other rules. If someone in a book uses a mechanical device, for instance, that book is not allowed in the library. Hector notes that this means the library has little books and most of them are boring. The Littlest Elf got through the censorship.
- 141: All prisoners receive bread and water.
- 201: No murdering.
- 492: The Council of Elders will only discuss things that are on the platform.
- 920: No one may talk while on the platform unless you are a police officer.
- 961: The Council of Elders' hot fudge sundaes cannot have more than fifteen pieces of nuts each.
- 1,742: No one is allowed to escape from jail.
- 2,493: Any person who is going to be burned at the stake has the opportunity to make a speech right before the fire is lit.
- 4,561: Citizens are not allowed to use their mouths for recreation.
- 19,833: No villains are allowed within the city limits.
- Buses carrying passengers heading to the town must let them off several miles away from the town.
- Its name is likely a dual reference to "foul", as "fowl" and "foul" are spoken the same. It could be thought of as the "Village of Foul Devotees".