Thieves & Kings
Fey Border w/ Humans. Treaty?
Excerpts from conversation with Flitter Fernwise
Meanwhile, Kahli visited the Green Forest Inn,… she seemed to be contemplative, and Kahli recognized the truth, Flitter Fernwise was faking her drunkenness, and was pumping Kahli and everyone she came in contact with for information. Flitter was likely a spy for the fey, sensing what was going on in the community for their own purposes. During their discussion, she dropped the guise of being drunk, and confided that the politics of the Feywild were very complicated, and that there were essentially two sides; the Court of Light and the Court of Shadows. Within both courts, individuals vied for power and attention. When asked about a Fey War, she said there wasn’t a war, not yet anyways, but that you needed to understand that the two factions looked at things and mortals a little differently. To most fey, mortals were either seen as interesting toys, a source of power or even as food. She hinted that both sides didn’t know what to make of the adventurers at this time. She then excused herself and under the guise of getting something to eat, “flittered” off into the kitchens.
The group… visited the Green Forest Inn, hoping to get some more information from Flitter Fernwise. Plying her with offers of wine, the group sat down and engaged in a conversation. She hinted to be familiar with the group’s recent trip into the Marta’Tauri, and reminded them that they weren’t welcome across the border, due primarily to their efforts in burning the bugbear war camp to the ground. She told them to resolve their problems on their own side before trying to interfere in other’s concerns. When challenged on allowing the camp and Blackmaw the Night Hag herself to dwell in the Faewoods and plan for war against the humans, she seemed rather indignant and “pouty” about the “…silly mortals…” telling her and her kind how to act on their own lands. Eventually, she slipped away in a huff. “Shiv” left a fair sum of gold behind to give Flitter free wine over the next ten-day, and the group left after finishing their meals.
Excerpts in conversation with Tiressia.
Regarding likely places that fulfilled the poem, she… knew, however, of a place almost due east of here, known among her people as the Hollow Thicket. It was located east of Silvershadow Lake in the lands of the most ancient fey, known as the Marta’Tauri in Sylvan, or the “Faewoods”. The fey held close ties to these lands and viewed any who entered them as enemies unless bidden to cross. The borders were Silvershadow Lake and the Mythwater, the stream that passed both north and south through the middle of the Echo Wood. Lands to the west were known as the “Map’Ndor”, or the “Stolen Lands” in her people’s tongue. Some sort of ancient treaty seemed to keep the most ancient of the Fey on the eastern side of the border. To cross into that area required their permission.
Some months ago, a band of raiders had entered an abandoned wood elven tree fort, known as Narad, that occupied a position along the border, but lay just inside the Marta’Tauri. These bandits had taken the fort in disregard to this ancient treaty, rebuilt it using their skills as former timberwrights and charcoalers, and occupied their stronghold from which they raided the mortal lands with impunity. Perhaps, she suggested, removing the threat of this band of raiders might display the adventurer’s intent to good will towards the fey, and that they might thus use it as a bargaining chip to gain access to these lands to visit Hollow Thicket and end the threat…
Excerpts from discussions with Lord Pepprick, the Butterfly Lord
During Ricochet’s watch, a now-familiar humanoid shape of a swarm of butterflies appeared at the edge of the camp, watching them. He approached and tried to speak elvish with it, which it seemed to understand. A sibilant conversation started, as the figure identified itself as Lord Pepprick, the Butterfly Lord, and it had come to warn the adventurers to leave the Marta’Tauri. Their fires at the bugbear camp had been noticed and their welcome exceeded. It seemed unconcerned about the fate of either the hag or her bugbears, and warned that future actions such as that would be met with strong force. It then told Ricochet to “…bid Rushes-and-Shades well in her duties…”, and vanished once more in a puff of butterflies that swiftly drifted away into the frosty tree tops.
Barony able to stay independent from the Warduke?
Excerpt from the Mercenaries and their Companies article :
Adventuring companies can claim no authority over territory in the crown’s name, nor can they occupy anything (such as trying to claim exclusive rights over a ruin or dungeon site for themselves) without such a charter. Under charter, adventurers can, however, exclusively loot the wealth of a noted “ruin”, but are expected to provide “taxes” back to the Crown for the opportunity; usually taken as coin or any particularly and politically artifacts, like swords of renown or crown jewels from fallen realms or lordships.
Realm blades can prove to be an exception, as ancient laws in Shem grant the holder of such an artifact exclusive rights to the land associated to the blade under the The Great Roll. The Westlaws, for example, are anciently owned by the holder of the blade Angian, presently in the hands of Regent-Thane Charisma Pike, though she has only claimed temporary rulership of the realm. The appearance of these artifacts is rare, but subject even to laws of the Warduke clan.
Excerpt from the “History of Mornhaven” :
After a decade of rising tensions, a force of clansmen rose in the Westlaws March, raiding the garrison near Berryshore. Acting quickly, High Lord Mannus gathered his troops and swarmed into the region to subdue the raiders with overwhelming force. His forces were camped at a border fort (the site of present-day Sentinel ), when they found themselves surrounded by a vast forest fire. The survivors found that the highland and lowland Ninnellen tribes of the region had banded together and placed themselves under the rule of a single war leader, Overthane Parlan of the Hood. Mannus and his forces were destroyed, and flush with the success of “The Battle of the Great Burn”, Parlan moved to secure the town of Blackhaven and its outer forts. Defenseless, the Tulwyni governors surrendered and faced expulsion, and a new “Ninn Culture” was established. The following decade was spent fortifying Parlan’s position and organizing local defenses. Parlan ushered in an age of unparalleled peace and prosperity unmatched until the arrival of the Warduke clan.
Parlan brought trade, built the growing city walls that surround Blackhaven, and established roads and the trade forts that protected them across the realm, uniting the realm like no other ruler before him. He kept the loyalty of the Lowland Ninn clans and established “The Great Roll” which listed all the clans of the Battle of the Great Burn, and is used to this day as a means of declaring clan ownership of lands and villages across the Forest Kingdom.
In TR 367, Parlan led a force of clans north into Grimstone to help fight against the large force of orcs that were raiding into the region. They never returned. Korob the Great, leading a collected force of orcs, goblins, dark elves and Realm of the Stag creatures (golems and worse), laid waste to the region, and destroyed Parlan’s army. The elves, assisted by fey creatures, elementals and various allied loyal Highland Ninn clans, struck back the next year, eradicating The Realm and then moving on into Korob’s own valley fortress. The resulting disaster created the land now known as Dreadwaters March, and caused immense chaos across all of the Grandwood. The general confusion also led to the loss of many records and histories of the region, and the break-up of Parlan’s hard-built kingdom.
Excerpt from the article on Thornkeep : Note, this is considered the general view of the region from a typical citizen, not necessarily the whole truth
Traditionally, a Baron in the Forest Kingdom is an independent nobleman who rules an entire province for the Crown, consisting of numerous lords and an army of knights with their own village, manors and soldiers. In Shem, there are only four (4) recognized barons; Archenshield, Freehold, Tauria, and Winecastle. Tauria is still claimed by the crown, but has since declared itself independent of Warduke rule. Other lands could be declared a barony in time, such as the Greensward, Elmshire or the Fellreeves, requiring a ruler with the drive and ability to develop the population base and economic clout to ensure independence.
In the case of the Barony of Thornkeep, it is an unrecognized title that has persisted for generations, mostly because of the barony’s location in an unsettled portion of the lands, under constant threat of monster and bandits. The rulers of Thornkeep have thus been able to maintain a position above traditional feudal laws, simply because the Crown doesn’t want to push its luck in these wilderness regions, and isn’t able to directly support expansion. Should it ever become subject to lawful rule and economic stability, it might fall under the control of the Crown. its geographic location makes it a Crown Lordship of Seaholme, and the rulers would likely lose the title of Baron.
Today, the Barony of Thornkeep is a relatively undefined border region in the north-eastern stretch of the Smoke Glens region of the province of the Barony of Seaholme. Its depths on the edge of the Echo Wood ensures it stays out of the political and economic attentions of most activity in the region, and so it pays no taxes to anyone beyond the local nobles and politically important guildsmen. The region does, however, have numerous resources that have value and are not properly exploited by the Barons because of an inability to enforce the Crown’s full economic and legal clout. Its proximity to the triangle border between the Hinterlands of the Barony of Ambarin, the fields of Seaholme, and the Mist Woods of the Barony of Winewater, have ensured it is far enough away from everyone to remain relatively beneath notice.
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