Highfolk: Return of the Wyverns

Winter in the Vale

May the sword be sharp as the man who wields it;
May the night be short as the gods may will it;
May the line be true as the souls who hold it;
May the road make straight as my boots can tread it.
A Soldier’s Prayer, Source Unknown

I. Wyvern Hall.

• Word gets out that Wyvern Hall is looking a new steward. Micah, the innkeep at the Three Lions, sends word to your hall about a replacement. He recommends his young cousin, Sandor, as a master of domestic affairs. Young Sandor has served as ostler in Micah’s stead on occasion when the good innkeep has been ill or unavailable. Micah vouches for his competence and reliability; moreover, the young man has knowledge on how to keep a large house running, with its attendant mundane details.
• Jorg Haider, the town elder, pays a visit to the hall to recommend his brother by law, Kordis. Similarly, he speaks to Kordis’ abilities, as he is a respected leader in his farmstead.
• For the winter, Keane retreats to Highfolk, where he keeps a modest dwelling. Proclaiming the tower “dreadfully drafty in this deep winter,” he departs in last the first week of Ready’reat, the eleventh month. He leaves Benjamin, his henchman, behind to see to matters at Wyvern Hall, and gives him a proxy vote in any matters requiring a group decision.

II. Redbridge
• It felt like a fortnight, but the festivities for really only went on for four days. Still, for a mere freeman in a small village, the funereal festivities for Radek Cerny (Radek the Quiet to his friends) carried on for an impressive spell.
Villagers embraced the wild, drunken Hellish, who raised the rafters at the Three Lions. (Especially since he parted with some coin.) Keane parts with some gold as well for a proper feast to commemorate your loyal steward.
• Micah the Innkeep has been doing brisk trade with a new food he calls a “Bromwych.” It is an interesting offering: two thick slices of bread, with sliced meat and cheese in the middle. With a smear of “Lion Mustard” for good measure, it is offered either cold or roasted. (Taking Blaze aside, he says, “I hope you don’t mind that I took your idea and dressed it up a bit!” As compensation, he occasionally offers up extras to Wyvern Hall inhabitants if he has unsold offerings at day’s end.)

Fall CY572

Fall CY572 in the Lower Vale

“The independent folk of this region were beset by all manner of incursions for decades on end. With remarkable resiliency, these freeholders, yeomen, and lordlings withstood great violences, showing an imperdurable stoutness….”

Histories of Highfolk and the Vesve,
Sevvord the Younger, Abbot of Mitrik
Temple of Pelor

I. Wyvern Hall.

• Radek. After taking his leave, Radek sets out to the east to meet up with his companions, stating that he should return in two months’ time. That time passes, and a fortnight as well.
Three riders approach the hall late one afternoon; they have an extra horse in tow. They hail themselves as companions of Radek. Their company of “good folk” travelled east to look into matters in their old locale. Radek was slain in a fight with bandits near the southern edge of the Vesve.
As was his wish, he was laid to rest with the Temple of Fharlanghn in a nearby town. The men bring some gold—Radek’s share of the treasure they had taken—to give to the servants at Wyvern Hall. They hand it over to you to give forth as you see fit. It was Radek’s wish, they explain. These men of company accept whatever hospitality you extend, and then ride east again, back to their homes in northern Furyondy.

• Families. In the past summers, two families tilling the fields in the shadow of Wyvern Hall have named their sons Hellish and Gregor, respectively.
The families farmsteading the land around Wyvern Hall are riven by the death of Radek, especially the children.

• In the intervening weeks since Radek’s departure, Mary— the matronly maid who presides over the domestic staff— has handled some of Radek’s portfolio of duties. She has performed well, but she knows little about matters outside the kitchen. With those issues, you have all managed to act competently in Radek’s stead, but such affairs are tedious at best. Mary has asked whether there shall be a replacement for Radek in the offing.

II. Redbridge.

• Radek was well known in Redbridge as well, and the people of the village are deeply saddened by his death.
In the days that follow the arrival of this news, there are drunken commemorations in his honor. Jorg Haider, the village alderman, leads many a toast. Micah, the innkeeper at the Three Lions Inn, gives emotional tribute. Not willing to speak at length publicly, Tarmalion the elvish herbalist retreats quietly to his residence in Ottman Wood. It has been said that he has been hit especially hard by these ill tidings.
As Radek was seen as your vassal, a number of you are asked to speak to his service as steward of Wyvern Hall.

• Villagers in Redbridge did not warm to you so easily when you first took up residence in Wyvern Hall. You heard, from roundabout sources, that they spoke of you as “Everton’s lackeys” or “whores to the blue tower” (a reference to the blue tower in Everton’s livery). After a couple of winters dispatching petty goblin raids and clearing out small bandit camps, though, they refer to you as “sire” in the village streets. Occasionally, some slip into “lordship” or “m’lord.” Eventually, they seem to settle into referring to you as “our lordlings,” seemingly reflections of your renown, relative youth, and not-quite-noble status.

• Each year, during Brewfest, the people of Redbridge have a contest of strength, endurance, and swiftness. Called the Pol-Tora, it is a race in which contestants run a course with a rock strapped to their back or chest. You may recall that the traditional course starts in the village square in Redbridge, runs about the northern circumference of Ottman Wood, and ends at Wyvern Hall.
Years ago, you participated. As local lordlings, do you participate still?

• Several years ago, when you first competed in the Pol-Tora (villagers recall that Hellish barely beat Sarian that year), there was a young man who ran a strong race. If memory serves, he ran a close fourth behind Keane in that contest.
His name eluded you then. When you returned from your brief wars in the Upper Vale, you heard his name again: Edin Djeko. A simple woodworker’s son and apprentice to that trade, his parents told you to let the young man have two more summers before entreating him to take up a warrior’s life.
Early this winter, you have a visitor: Lord Ethelion. He accepts what hospitality you offer. After a brief catching up on events, he tells you that he intends to accept Edin into the select brotherhood of rangers. Over a two day period, Ethelion visits with Edin and his family, who are tradesfolk of decent means. Another day later, Ethelion and Edin ride southward, but not before Ethelion stops by to say his farewells.

III. Everton and Highfolk.

• The war to the south years ago left Lord Everton crippled. As a result, his lordship’s oldest son (Kial) is the new Lord Everton. Wilmot Proviso, Everton’s steward and your acquaintance from many a visit to their keep, has assumed the role of regent to the boy, who is in his teens.
• In Highfolk, the years after the Short War are marked with the building of fortresses in the southernmost reaches of the Yatils. Referred to at the Spine of Stone, these keeps buttress the land’s southernmost provinces. Dozens of leagues to the south of your freehold, you know little else about these keeps but that they exist in some form.

IV. The Big Picture.

• Elsewhere in the lands of good folk, some rumors are cast about that Furyondy and Veluna may consider war against Iuz and the Horned Society—a war that would undoubtedly involve and embroil the people of Highfolk and the Vesve. Those rumors, now several years old, lie moldering in the back of people’s attentions.
• One other rumor—a rumor both insidious and impossible to confirm—is that Iuz has been freed.
Iuz, the namesake of a land of unspeakable evils; Iuz, equal parts god, man, demon; Iuz, the wellspring of malevolance; Iuz, the Deceiver; Iuz the Old, of fearbabe talk…. that Iuz has been released from imprisonment. Wild rumors abound about the specifics, but there is little in the way of countervailing rumors to the contrary.

The Story This Far...
Dagger or Longsword?

The Story This Far

“The dagger knows not the longsword’s business.”
— Perrender proverb
[use: when some kid is dealing in grown men’s business,
or patronizingly to anyone out of his depth]

I. Where we are ”now.”
Two years have passed since the “diseased treant” episode and what followed. Here is an overview of matters, both large and small, that have transpired in the interim…

II. Individual events.
• Sarian. Some months after your most recent outing, Sarian informs you that he has been called to serve as Captain of the Guard for a High Priest of the Pelorian faith in Furyondy. Having but a fortnight to settle his affairs, he stays at Wyvern Hall for three days before heading to Highfolk to help his replacement bed in at the small church they have there.
• Keane. Shortly after the treant incident, Keane’s builders are done with his Archer’s Tower on the northwest corner of the stockade at Wyvern Hall. A full ten feet higher than Blaze’s tower, Keane simply explains, “some towers are bigger than others.”
Mostly, Keane splits his time between Highfolk and Wyvern Hall, occasionally hiring out as a caravan guard captain when funds grow depleted. (The farms surrounding the Hall are a far cry from sustaining the party, let alone the attendant servants required to maintain the premises.)

III. Wyvern Hall.
• With most of you home, Radek hires a local carpenter; the two of them build a corral just north of the compound.
• Over the years, numerous other families have settled on your land to till the earth in the relative safety of the shadow of Wyvern Hall.
• Shortly after Sarian’s departure to the east, Radek asks you for leave to meet up with companions of his, whom he describes as “good company of folk.” He would be away from Wyvern Hall for a couple of months. Do any of you object to his taking leave?

IV. Vesve Vale.
• Rumors continue to abound that there are attempts to find a pass through the Clatspurs to Perrenland. No word yet about any successes. There is much talk in the meantime, though, as the location of such a pass would make for “winners” and “losers,” depending on its location.
• With your connections in the Upper Vale, you get a steady supply of gossip. According to Matthias (your mage friend in Aalen), Papi and the Silver Gauntlets (your allies from the giant and undead incursions from years past) will decamp from the town if the pass is much south of there.

V. Everton.
• The war to the south years ago left Lord Everton crippled. As a result, Everton’s oldest son is the new Lord Everton. Wilmot Proviso, Everton’s steward and your acquaintance from many a visit to their keep, has assumed the role of regent to the boy, who is in his teens.

VI. Big Picture.
• The intervening years have been quiet. After a while, they are rather boring. Around the hearth fire, you all discuss the matters at hand (or lack thereof). Between your talks and your occasional talks or missives with friends and allies elsewhere, you reach a seemingly sound conclusion: You and your friends slew most anything within a fortnight’s ride for the balance of three or four years.
It’s not that there are no enemies left anywhere—rather, that the most menacing ones dwelling close by have been put to the sword. Near and far, you and your comrades in arms hacked, clubbed, magic missiled, shot through and back stabbed all manner of heinous creatures, large and small.
• The winter before this one, the sky clouded slightly for the better part of the season. Ash—rather fine, but noticeable nonetheless— lightly coats the land. Since it is not growing season, it affects things very little in the lower Vale.
As weeks pass, you come to understand that, west of Perrenland, a great mountain gave birth to fires made of ash and rock. From reports you get from the road, folk in those parts have been thrown into chaos.
Having occurred deep in the Yatils, there was little effect in populated lands. Supposedly, in the Bakluni lands to the south and west (the direction of prevailing winds north of the Vesve), there has been greater destruction and disorder. Few reports about such farflung lands are reliable, though.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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