Thieves & Kings
Chieftain Darioth Wolfmane
The warrior Darioth Wolfmane is an honored chieftain of the Wolfmane tribe, and is the recognized chieftain of the encampment north of Thornkeep. The Wolfmane tribe fiercely protects “their” portion of the forest from active logging and hunting by Thornkeep’s folk, and Darioth keeps an eye on the community to remind everyone, should they choose to forget the clan’s influence. She and Baron Tervin Blackshield share a unique dynamic, frequently butting heads but still holding civil exchanges when one’s people are being unfairly treated. Darioth is a tall, athletic woman not yet past the prime of her third decade, with a remarkable set of scars from a dire bear she slew in her youth.
Chief Darioth Wolfmane leads the local band, and she can often be found in their camp, trading news with barbarians from other parts of the forest. She decides which merchants the tribe deals with, and which groups of travelers may enter tribal hunting lands. Darioth is a gruff former adventurer herself, having traveled north to the Hordelands and the mighty metropolis of Katarre, before returning to her people. She is very familiar with civilized double-dealing and surprisingly difficult to deceive.
Darioth occasionally extends the friendship of the Wolfmane clan to individuals who earn the trust and respect of the tribe. Known as the “Wolfmark”, it involves a ritual at their camp, and the presentation of a hooded wolf cloak, something all locals can identify. The thugs and outlaws of Thornkeep have long since learned to be careful of insulting or injuring anyone the Wolfmanes have declared their friend, since the barbarians are known to hurt anyone who hurts their allies.
The Wolfmane tribe, is one of numerous forest tribesfolk, who have claimed the Echo Wood as their hunting grounds centuries ago, during the reign of Korob and the Amber Mages. Several small villages of the Wolfmanes are scattered throughout the large forest, and most are nowhere near Thornkeep or the civilized portions of the forest. However, a small number of Wolfmanes have made an encampment north of the town, and such proximity has generated a dynamic relationship between the people of the tribes and the local townsfolk. The barbarians visit the community to frequently trade with the civilized folk, and often hire themselves out as trackers, guides, or mercenaries. Many are actually visitors from other portions of the tribe, coming to Thornkeep to satisfy their curiosity about the town and its people, but increasingly, some stay to begin a lifetime of travel and adventure in the growing encampment.
On a wooded hillside northeast of Thornkeep proper lies the former encampment of the local Wolfmane barbarians – a half-dozen hide tents with cook-fires, skinning racks, smokehouses, and working areas. This is not the home of the entire tribe, of course; there are scores, perhaps more than a hundred of the tribe living elsewhere in the forest, but at any given time, a dozen or so Wolfmanes were located here, trading meat, pelts and carvings for iron tools, blankets, glassware, and other things rare in the forest camps. In addition, young barbarians come to Thornkeep to sample civilized life for a while, often hiring themselves out as mercenaries or guards. Most travelled widely through the lands for a few years, before returning to their tribal lands to settle. Some can still be found today, operating as a guard or guide, charging 2-3 sp per day, plus food, but they are known to take valuable weapons or equipment as barter for their services.
Following the events of the Night of Teeth, Chief Wolfmane and her Wolfmane clansmen have retreated from their camp north of town, and vanished into the depths of their woodland realm. Their ability to bring fresh meat during the winter months was missed, and the local hunters had to pick-up the pace to counter the loss.
It has since been revealed from Lady Ivis Blackshield, that some of the tribe were “pure-blood” lycanthropes, and it has been suggested they retreated with the so-called “Stone Walkers” of Baron Tervin Blackshield when it was revealed he had the disease. It is suggested that he and Darioth were secretly lovers.