Brechtur » Overlook » Wolfgaard
This deep fjord once sheltered the first Rjurik colonists that are the ancestors of the people of Hjorig. The Wolfhame and Nourne Gap leading to the Hjorig province of Haarlik is a rare passage through the Drachenaur Mountains. To the north lie Gletscher Peaks and to the south the Grevestep Mountains; the next easy passage is the Rulsfeg Gap far to the south. This highly strategic passage was occupied by dwarves for millennia and their ruins dot the landscape. By the time of Rjurik colonization six centuries ago, they had long abandoned it to the gnolls and goblins.
Today the Rjurik still inhabit tiny fishing villages along the coast. However, they have been cut off from the control of the Jarl by the Wolf, a mysterious and dangerous awnshegh who has taken residence in the Wolfgaard Woods of the Nourne Gap.
One small village exists within Wolfgaard, Nourne (pop. 130). Outside of this settlement, the people live in extended family compounds?clanholds?along the two coasts. They survive primarily off fishing, but also engage in some tuber farming, raise small herds of sheep and hunt and trap. Both the village of Nourne and the clanholds are fortified against raids from both human and humanoid. The precipitous cliffs and highlands are inhabited only by hunters, scattered, xenophobic dwarfholds and roving bands of humanoids.
The forested province of Nourne is the least populated. Nourne is covered entirely with the Wolfgaard Wood, a rough, dark pine forest. The few human inhabitants are hunters, trappers or lumbermen who live in isolated family dwellings. A road leads through Wood from the village of Nourne to Haarlik in Hjorig to the east, it is in a state of deep disrepair and is grown over or washed out in many places. This province is truly the home of the beast.
The people here are almost universally of Rjurik ancestry. There has been some trade with Brechts, especially from Grabentod, but those who bear Brecht children or join a Brecht vessel inevitably leave Wolfgaard. These settlements are amongst the oldest in Hjorig. The people here consider themselves to be subjects of the Jarl in Tronso and Wolfgaard part of Hjorig, though they give the rest of the land little thought.
Population numbers are estimates.
Wolfgaard is defined by the Wolfhame, a deep fjord that cuts between the Grevestep Mountains and the Gletscher Peaks. These formidable ranges rise up like walls on either side of the Hame, allowing in precious little sunlight.
The Hame freezes in yearly here, ending the fishing season. The first weeks of winter are a time of socialization: the weather is not bitterly cold, transportation across the ice is easy and there are large quantities of food. As winter winds on, food supplies dwindle, the weather becomes dangerous and hunger forces many to raid other settlements.
Storms from the Great Bay are weakened by the walls of the Hame, but terrible winter weather instead moves over the Nourne Gap from the Leviathan?s Reach and the Ice March.
The southern shore of the Wolfhame is named after its largest settlement, Holde. Roughly 3,200 Rjurik live here. The shadow of the peaks falls heavily on this side of the Hame, making it a poorer agricultural area. The clans here rely even more heavily on the fish from the Hame than their northern cousins. The southerners are also famous for raiding from Nourne all the way to the provinces of Drachenjaw in Grabentod and Zhylenkal in Grevesmuhl to the west.
Khan-Ber (?Grey Tower?)
One of two mighty keeps built by the dwarven citadel of Khan-Hagin to the east to overlook the entrance to the Wolfhame. It was built into the side of the southern cliffs that face the mouth of the fjord, it is nigh impenetrable. Both the castle and its mate were abandoned some time during the collapse of Khan-Hagin as troops were withdrawn to defend the capital. However, the southern castle was resettled during the chaotic period after the fall of the city by refugees. Braving the water, this band colonized the ancient tower-keeps and sealed its connections to the outside world. Today it is Khan-Ber, the largest dwarven hold in the Overlook outside of the control of Daikhar Zhigun.
In the centuries since, the dwaves have burrowed inward, but have yet to forge a land connection to the outside, thus visitors need boats to reach the stronghold. Though small, it is formidable as its only face to the world is a tower built into a cliff on the edge of the sea. The only docks are located within a mighty grated door protected by an impressive collection of siege weapons. Independent of outside control, Khan-Ber trades a bit with the rest of world, but is famous for is xenophobia. It is estimated that 1,000-1,750 dwarves live within the hold and are led by a Council of Elders that is made up of the heads of each of the refugee clans. Outsiders are allowed only into the first level of the fortress and then only under guard. The dwarves seem to have no boats themselves and so never leave their stronghold.
Daikhar-Zhigun has been pushing of late to reintegrate these dwarves within the civilized community, hopefully with a mutual defense treaty. There has been some response from the younger members of Khan-Ber, but not the older and especially not the Council of Elders.
The forested province of Nourne is the home of the Wolf. Perhaps 800 Rjurik live scattered throughout the province. The Jarl is able to extend his rule here through the appointment of Thor Havverson, an aaolfer whose role is to protect and tax trade coming over the Nourne Gap.
The aaolfer is based out of the settlement of Nourne, which serves as a crude trade port. The ?village? is little more than a trading post, a tavern, a bunkhouse for visitors and a few huts clustered behind a palisade. Brecht ships calling here must travel to the shore via small boats and land on the rocky beaches; Rjurik knarrs can be pulled ashore, however. Most trade conducted here is done through barter.
The oldest remnants in Wolfgaard are the ruins of numerous dwarven settlements. The ruins of the ancient city of Khan Hagin, the capital of a dwarven empire some three millennia ago, is rumored to be located in Sorfeet. Destroyed by an enemy from the sea, the remnants of this empire can still be seen dotting Wolfgaard: weather-worn statues, bits of fortress walls half-buried under grass, and the carefully engineered road over the Nourne Gap which the current human track follows closely.
Records in Daikhar Zhigun describe how, in ?271 MR, Khan Hagin?s gates were breached and the dwarves were driven from their holds. Their descendents today either live in Daikhar-Zhigun or inhabit a number of tiny settlements in the highlands of Sorfeet or Holde. Humans have heard of perhaps five of these settlements, but only Khan-Ber at the westernmost point of Holde and a small, recently reclaimed settlement called Slendarr-Farn in Sorfeet trade with the humans.
The gnolls and goblins dominated Wolfgaard even after the coming of the Brechts. The lands that are today Hjorig were largely controlled by the humanoid tribes and the low Nourne Gap made raiding too easy. Thus these provinces were never fully controlled by either Grabentod or Grevesmühl, but were claimed by both. Human settlements were few and far between.
This changed 6 centuries ago when a group of Rjurik fleeing the Taelshore arrived. Finding the region uncontrolled, they settled along the coasts, beginning a war with the humanoids that continues today and would lead to the formation of Hjorig within a century. Wolfgaard has always had a sentimental place for many in Hjorig who see it as their first place of refuge.
The Wolf first arrived some twenty years ago, after fleeing several other hunting grounds. The forests of Nourne were already a wild place, populated by several bandit gangs as well as packs of native wolves. Wolfgaard was considered a part of Hjorig, but it was increasingly isolated from the tumultuous political events occurring in Tronso and the heartland of the nation. Little thought was given to the region until the Wolf consolidated his pack, driving out all rivals?human or canine. Stories of terror spread throughout Hjorig and Grevesmühl and trade all but shut down over the Nourne Gap.
The Jarl put up a bounty for the beast, but eventually it was recognized as an awnshegh and few tried to collect. The first real knowledge of the Wolf emerged some seven years ago when Shaeron the Anuirean and her guide Naple of Grabentod journeyed into Nourne?s Gap and made contact with the creature. Over the course of several months of study, Shaeron?a natural empath?discovered the Wolf to be a highly emotional and intuitive creature, even intelligent. Shaeron became increasingly bound to the creature and today runs with its pack like any other member.
Thor Havverson (MRj; R3; Unblooded; LN) is the Jarl?s representative in Nourne. It is due to his dogged loyalty more than any other circumstance that the Jarl maintains any representation in Wolfgaard. Thor is a reliable, hard-working man, though he suffers from a severe lack of imagination. He survives through customs revenue and is the central figure in the small village of Nourne, the majority of whose inhabitants are members of his extended family and look to him for leadership. He is able to raise perhaps a dozen warriors in case of trouble. In addition to customs and tax revenues, the aaolfer sends bi-yearly reports to Tronso.
Beyond the settlement of Nourne, the inhabitants of Wolfgaard rely upon themselves and their clanleaders. They maintain a traditional form of Rjurik leadership similar to that found in the clans of Kvigmar. All bondi- freemen - are members of a clan. Each married bondi man has a single vote in the clan athing, a decision-making council. The clan elects a speaker called a laghman to represent itself in negotiations and lead athing discussions. The Wolfgaard clans do not have jarls as they are loyal to the Jarl in Tronso. Conflicts between individuals within a clan are brought to negotiation, either before a clan elder respected by both parties (often the laghman) or to a priest of Lirorn.
- Shaeron (FAn; Unblooded; M6; CN) seeks magic to transform herself into a wolf so that she can be fully integrated into the pack. She is willing to trade her remaining human possessions, including her spellbook, for a permanent transformation.
- A group of adventurers entered Wolfgaard a few months ago to hunt the Wolf. They are led by Sweisnechlen (Low Brecht for ?Black Knife?) (MBr; R7; An, minor, 15; NG) who seeks to ?free? Shaeron and destroy the Wolf. Based out of Nourne, they hunt the Wolf in the forests when not looting dwarven ruins or traveling to Trie for supplies.
- The dwaves of Slendarr-Faern have discovered tremendous riches gathered by their ancestors in a nearby ruin. However, they know that this secret is out and fear to make a move to transport it lest they are attacked by Rjurik, goblins, gnolls or agents of the Hag. However, these same groups are searching for the ruin. It?s only a matter of time before something happens.
|Holde (2/5)||-||TE (2)||-||LR (3)|
|Nourne (1/6)||EK (1)||TE (1)||-||KR (5)|
|Sorfeet (2/5)||-||TE (0)||-||LR (2)|
|Abbreviations: EK = Einar Kuppel (Hjorig); TE = Tor of Lirorn (Elke Kuppel); LR = Lianna Rünjoral (Wizard of Hjorig)|
- Law: Jarl Einar Kuppel ruler of Hjorig, controls of the provinces of Wolfgaard, but only from afar. Only one small settlement exists within Wolfgaard, and it may not survive the next winter
- Temples: The Tor of Lirorn bolsters the hearts and souls of many Wolfgaardian woodsmen. The Tor herself was born in Wolfgaard and respects the Wolf?s power.
- Guilds: No guilds exist within Wolfgaard; outlying trading posts supply the scant populace.
- Sources: Young Lianna Rünjoral maintains the ley lines and sources she inherited within Wolfgaard, but seldom makes her presence felt within the realm.
, 06-16-2009 at 01:04 PM|
Last edited by , 10-12-2015 at 06:14 AM
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