Thieves & Kings
An isolated village six miles south of Thornkeep, noted for little beyond its ancient ruined tower keep, and former status as a knight’s holding. The Charcoaler’s and Timberwright’s Guilds establish temporary camps in the nearby woodlands from time to time, and bring much needed coin to the economy. Much of their recent work has been across the Echo Stream to the east.
Daggermark and the Grey Moon Inn
The village is mostly poor, living in simple cottages with thatch on their roofs, and are almost wholly timber buildings with stone foundations and sealed internally with clay from the local Echo Stream. Each tends to have only a single floor, divided into a handful of rooms and used communally. Typically 30’-50’ long, and 15’-20’ wide, they can get over-crowded easily. Most citizens of the village are poor hunters and trappers, with a handful of cottagers serving the local wealthy (by comparison) craftsmen and the single farmer clan, the Firetrees.
The Mothalla : The village hall is a medium-sized stone building, twice as long as it is wide, and broken into three separate chambers, side by side like a medieval church, divided by rows of pillars made from whole trees. There are no windows. Inside, it is hung with the ancient banners of many local noble clans, and two large firepits in the central sections for warmth and for cooking during meetings. The side chambers are filled with benches and tables. At the center, lies an ancient dark oak table and twelve chairs for the village leaders. The council hall has many functions; the village council holds their meetings here to settle disputes of military, civil and criminal natures that arise. Important announcements are made in the hall, and taxes are collected here every autumn.
The town council is the only level of government in town. The council’s leadership is chosen every hand of years; the current leader, Haren, the village Smith has been leader for the last two years. The council leader is responsible for giving aid to the soldiers of Thornkeep, carrying out any orders that come from their nominal lord, and collect his taxes. Other than that, the village is left to govern itself.
Clothier : ### $$$ : Daggermark has two weavers – the seventy year-old Kerian, and her young assistant Nenua. An orphan from a foundling home in Mornhaven, Nenua was given to Kerian as an apprentice when she appealed to the guild for help, and she has actually become good enough to do most of the work in the shop, and is expected to inherit. Nenua is quiet and fiercely intelligent; she is being courted by both Cuithain and Pultar. The shop makes the usual linen chemise (8 sp), jerkin (8 sp), pants (15 sp) and dresses (20 sp), but is best known for its quilted, heavy coats (70 sp). They also do embroidery work of several common patterns for 2-3sp per piece, but can add days to its manufacture.
Hideworker : #### $$$ : Pultar the Cobbler is the village leather worker and tanner, and is very new to town, having immigrated from Antonica about a year ago. He is a very skilled hideworker, producing good quality leather and hides; he and his apprentice, a local boy named Calum, often take orders from Thornkeep hunters, who acknowledge his ability to make a superior product. He is also known for his leather-wrapped scabbards (13 sp), weapon’s belts (8 sp), quivers (8 sp) and backpacks (20 sp), which feature ornamental work in various styles. He is also known to make rough but serviceable hide armor upon request, consisting of a hide helm (20 sp), greaves (20 sp) and breastplate (40 sp).
Grey Moon Inn
Innkeeper (“Grey Moon Inn”) : ## $$$ : Donnochadh is the owner of the Grey Moon Inn, a superb place by local standards, though hopelessly primitive by Mornhaven’s. The large, warm stables are possibly the most comfortable part of its facilities. The large common room is heated by a huge fireplace and a kitchen. The upper story is a single commons dormitory filled with thirty pallets and matching clothes press for paying guests at 2 sp per night.
The inn is well-stocked with ale and wine, mostly because the biggest paying patrons tend to be merchants and adventurers, who pay well for simple things. Both a local beer (5cp per tankard) and an imported one from Mornhaven (8cp per tankard) are available, as is a fine vintage of wine from Winecastle (3 sp per tankard). The food, however, is rather poor, mostly pottage with bread (5 cp per bowl) with an occasional joint or roast bird if a local hunter has brought in anything (add 1 sp). Travel food, primarily a crockery of pottage, a couple loaves of fresh bread and a skin of beer (8 sp per day), are available in small quantities.
Dommochadh and his wife Sibeal are in their forties, and their two sons and their wives work here too, making the place a family affair. The family are businesslike, but not unpleasant. The clan live in a large house next to the inn, and they also own the stables, but usually get one or two local children to look after matters when things get busy. All their time is spent looking after and running the inn.
Metalsmith : #### $$$ : Haren Gorge, the local blacksmith and armorer was originally from Seareach Castle, who chose to settle in this village when the chance at taking-over the franchise became available. His ten years of military work have made him an excellent smith and decent armorer who can repair weapons and armor in need, and even knock-off a passable longsword (150 sp) if requested, but usually just daggers (30 sp), spears (30 sp) and hatchets (50 sp). The vast majority of his work, however, is spent in simple ironmongery and doing the odd job for a passing merchant or bandit.
Young for his position, at thirty-eight, he is well-liked and prosperous, easily the wealthiest man in the village. Diplomatic and tactful, he takes his position as leader of the council very seriously, and often settles matters before they come to the attention of the other members. His forge is large and well-equipped, and he is capable of doing far more than he presently does for a workload. He is married to the prettiest woman Raoniald (22 years old) in town, and has a one-year-old son named Tormod. He also has two young apprentices.
Miller : ## $$ : Ingold Millwright is an old hand at his job, but operates a dual-purpose mill, grinding the grain that comes out of the local Firetree clan farms, and cutting timber for shipment whenever it is available. He has only one older man as an apprentice. Rye flour (300 sp per 30-lbs sack), and wheat flour (600 sp per 30-lbs sack) are the usual fare of the mill. He makes simple rye bread (3 cp) in his ovens for the most part, but sometimes imports wheat to make a popular “White Loaf” (1 sp). Ingold also keeps a few lengths of cut timber, usually pine, ash or oak, selling for 120 sp, 180 sp, or 240 sp per 12’ square-cut beam, respectively.
Woodcrafter : ### $$$ : Hujai and his son Cuithain are the village carpenters. Hujai is a Hepekerian warrior who settled here with his wife Esterave nearly forty years ago. Now in their sixties, the couple’s son Cuithain has recently returned from a stint in the royal army, and is presently brushing-up on his wood working skills learned as a child, and looking for a wife. His father is simply waiting for the right time to turn over the business to his son, and retire. Cuithain had two older brothers who became adventurers, and have never been seen since. They primarily provide woodwork and dowels for the local smith to produce tools or weapons like spears, mallets and axes, but also makes milled wooden shafts for the local Huntsmen, and an occasional piece of furniture or spoked wheel. Hujai is best known his fired ash staves (50 sp) he sells, each carved and painted as a work of art.
Ashbourne Farm : Parailt Ashbourne has a flock of nearly fifty semi-wild hogs that he grazes in the depths of the local woods, staying west of the Echo Stream as much as possible. He lives on a small cottage hold with a simple stone cottage with a smokehouse and a shelter for his hogs, located about a mile away from the village. His hides (5 sp each) and smoked bacon (2 sp per 1-lb slab) are a staple of local leather and meat consumption. Parailt always has a couple of large, well-trained wolfhounds to keep him company, part of the reason most bandits and wolves leave his flocks alone. He has some sway among the Huntsmen, and even knows Huntmaster Jaervon “Longshanks” Mardesal fairly well.
Firetree Farms : Fionn Firetree and four of his sons ( Torcall – 33, Fionn – 30, Varen – 29, and Surtir – 26) are the only farmers in the village. He controls the old manor lands of the former knight, and each of his four older sons run their own farms, given to them through settlement after their stints in the army, amounting to nearly 800 acres of land between them, roughly the same amount of land the Baron himself farms. Fionn wields incredible power locally, has great sway among the local huntsmen, and is known for his numerous good works.
A good farmer, he has converted what most assume is the local manor, into a minor fortified stronghold with its own small stone tower and smithy, and the family raises “forest crops”, like peas, beans and pumpkins, keeps a communal herd of a dozen cattle, and twenty semi-domesticated hogs, and they are looking into expanding the small orchard under their control. They also sell a small quantity of popular, if expensive, form of pipeweed ( “Firetree Flameweed” : 12 sp per lb) that they grow from a stone-walled patch next to their main house, and is reputed to be from a strain of dwarven weed Fionn senior found in a lost ruin during his tour in the army.
He has two more sons ( Aiodh – 21, and Lucais – 18) in the royal army, and three younger daughters ( Frangag – 24, Floraidh – 22, and Fionnaghul – 16), the oldest of whom followed along in the steps of her father and brothers, and is due to return soon. All are doughty warriors. They spend most of their time at the manor, and rarely visit the inn, except to provide provisions.
The Huntsmen : The twelve local woodsmen in the town are of small, insignificant clans, but each holds a cottage, small garden and a few livestock, spending the bulk of their efforts in hunting and scouting for the fire camps. They tend to have either small families, or no family at all, and bow to the wealth and prosperity of the Firetree clan. When Timberwrights visit the village they employ the Huntsmen as scouts and guides, often using them as day labour for the hard task of cutting trees, but the cash is often good enough to get them to assist. Another four huntsmen live outside the village, along Dagger Road heading north to Thornkeep. Their close proximity to Daggermark has them spend most of their time in this village, and pay their “taxes” here. Huntsmen often make and sell spare short bows (60-80 sp) and arrows (1-2 sp each), usually only for hard cash, but are known to barter for hides, furs or particularly fine weapons.
Their nominal leader, Parlan Gaard is a former army scout, who lost his position in the army for brawling and came here to start over. He has since grown to like having a position on the Council, people under his command, and sees himself as the hunters “war leader”, even though that is technically the task of the Council leader, Haren the smith. He is often found holding court in the evenings at the Grey moon Innand boasting of his time in the army. The Firetree clan all know the truth about his origins, but say little to keep the peace. He is well-known to have contacts in Hexwater, and is one of the driving forces behind having the local hunters help the Timberwrights whenever they are looking to establish a new camp.
Daggermark Tower Ruins
The origins of Daggermark’s local knight are obscure. The clan does not appear in The Great Roll, making them younger than TR 367, and it also does not appear in the early records of the Kingdom of Mercia after TR 651. In point of fact, there is no mention of the clan, nor record of the twin dagger crest of the clan that built the tower fort, in any contemporary records. Even the local clans simply refer to it as “… the Daggermark…”, hence the name of the village, and they don’t have any memory of the clan that built it, nor of any knight who claimed it.
When the local clans settled here, according to their oral histories, the tower was already ruined and the twin dagger crest was found etched on the stones and hanging in tatters among the rafters. It never followed a traditional heraldry crest, only found on ancient round shields or as round scraps of faded purple cloth. Even lore-masters seem unable to identify it. There have been several expeditions to uncover more about it, but none have succeeded, and one never even returned.
Today, the village remains a quiet backwater, exporting its surplus north to Thornkeep, where it finds a ready market, and supplying travelers and the occasional woodcutter party with provisions. It is little more than a way-stop on the road to everyone but the locals.