Thieves & Kings
Coinneach "Old Man" Shadow
Farmer and Thief
A fairly successful farmer who owned a large farm, Green Dagger Farm located some miles east of Thornkeep, Coinneach Shadow is something of an enigma. Few in the town knew much about him, and he had a reputation of shooting with his crossbow before talking to visitors to his farm. He would bring his produce into town every market day, but otherwise kept to his work.
Known by most as “Old Man Shadow” he was of an undetermined age, but seemed both spry and healthy as long as anyone knew him. He was a gray-bearded man of weathered visage, gruff tone, alert, dancing eyes, nondescript attire, and a hawk-like nose. He was almost always smoking a meerschaum pipe that was spouting vile-smelling blue or green smoke.
A natural storyteller, normally a witty, clever, and very charming man, he was, however, imperious, grave, and terrible when his fury was raised. Furthermore, he was a consummate actor; he rarely revealed the full extent of his true nature to anyone, even those closest to him.
Coinneach Shadow came to Thornkeep in TR 1027, under mysterious circumstances. He paid for a large plot of land to the Baron of Thornkeep in gold flake nuggets, hinting that he had been a successful prospector of some sort.
Keeping much to himself over the years, he was known to take on orphans as help on his farm, keeping them around for a few years before sending them off to be apprentices in various trades. He also had a few friends come by the farm, from time to time, to help with the animals and crops, before they too would leave for other parts unknown, sometimes to return, but often not.
In early-1049, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. One of his friends reported the farm abandoned, its stock taken and the fields neglected, hinting at his disappearance being sometime before the snows had melted. The furnishings and tools on the farm were seized by the baron’s clerks to pay for taxes, and an heir was sought to replace its ownership. It is assumed he and his stock were taken by creatures from deeper in the woods.
A few months later, notice was sent by a litigant in Mornhaven, since identified as Carlios “the Scrivner”, that the “heirs” of the land would be arriving to claim their birthright before the end of the year, thus preparing the barony’s clerks for the day someone would either claim the lands for themselves, or admit to a disinterest in taking up the land, seeking a settlement instead.
In recent events, a pattern has emerged, wherein “Old Man Shadow” has been seen to have built a working relationship with the nearby denizens of Echo Wood, including his neighboring farmers and select small farmers in the community of Thornkeep. He seems to have especially helped Tiressia and her dryads, as well as worked closely with the Sootscale kobold tribe. In a recent discussion with Lady Ivis Blackshield, it was revealed that she and “Old Man Shadow” were “Friends”, and the two were often engaged in fairly deep philosophical discussions regarding the nature of the gods, though he was never particular to a specific faith or belief. She has suggested to have been the last person to see him alive.
After several scrying efforts using the Stone Cauldron of Scrying, the adventurers have determined he is being kept in the shape of a raven or crow, in a crude wooden cage along with many other birds, each in their own cages, in a crude wooden hut of some kind. Using Mistress Idara as a medium, they have determined that he speaks only crow, and seems to have been reduced to that beast’s own intelligence (Int 2).
It is increasingly obvious, he was more than a simple farmer.