Shimmering Kingdoms FATE
Woodpass is a quiet manor that lies on the newly build Kingsroad, the bypass of Redtree and the Wyvern Wood leading to the City of Finsdale in the Principality of Finsdale. The bypass links FInsdale and Pelham, the regent seat of the Principality of the Golden Reaches.
Founded less than twenty years ago, the community of Woodpass Manor has grown steadily. The current lord of the manor is 32-year-old Sir Rald Rubywood (bastardy human), a knight with a notorious reputation among the local gentry. He is the great-grandson of Rors Ertanar, the brigand knight, and it is said he has that man’s temper. Sir Rald became clan head when his father, Sir Pamel, died from a stomach disease. Sir Rald’s father and grandfather are buried at Red Grove Abbey near Redtree, the old family home. His senile mother, Lady Elana, is in her final years and now resides with her younger brother at his manor in Sinclair. The successive lords of Woodpass have had close ties with the late Baron Pelham (and now holds a similar relationship with Baron Grant) and have been strong supporters of their liege lords.
Sir Rald is arrogant and knows he is a better man than any of the folk who call him lord. Known among the local nobility for his foul temper and his favorite weapon (the black shortbow), the lord of Woodpass has earned the nickname “Black Rald”. It is said that he once shot a serf in the eye rather than waste his time hanging the man.
Unbeknownst to many, Sir Rald’s foul temper is always under his control. His outbursts are merely a tool that he uses to his advantage to intimidate others.
The lord’s favorite weapon, despite the fact that it is not chivalric, is a heavy black shortbow. When he has grown bored, he can be seen taking aim at any birds overhead. Sir Rald always fletches his own arrows with white goose feathers and spends many an evening either working on them or enjoying the pleasures of the table.
Many of the villagers see another side of their lord. While known for his temper, Woodpass’s lord does mind his peasants and his fief. Sir Rald is a caring father and spends a fair part of the day with his six-year-old son, Pamel, at his side. His wife is relatively well treated dispite her woody illness, and keeps to herself. Rald is now in his thirties, having succeeded his father (who was also named Pamel). He is steadfast and loyal as a dog both to his liege lord and to the Sheriff of Pelham.
Sir Rald’s wife, the sickly and melancholy Lady Aharyn, is the only sister of the lord of Goffin Manor. Although never an attractive woman, the lady still was not pleased with her father’s arrangement for her to wed Woodpass’s lord. In the eight years since, their marriage has only been dutiful. Now approaching her twenty- sixth year, Lady Aharyn has borne her husband four children, two of whom survive. The eldest, Pamel, is her favorite child and receives most of her attention. The next two, Mylera and Eleia, died while still infants. Her youngest, Yarea, is a few months old, having been born this last winter.
Besides her skill at knitting, the lady can read. She is somewhat of a scholar and has become fascinated with the Sirion Scrolls. She has traveled to Finsdale and once as far away as Iron City to purchase books for her collection. Lady Aharyn owns a few books on various subjects and is as fond of them as she is of her children. Due to her delicate health, she will often spend the entire day in her chambers. Her mental afflictions are due to her misery, which in turn affects her physical condition. When Sir Rald is away, she acts as his steward.
Woodpass’s lord cares about the wellbeing of his fief and the serfs who are bound to it. Sir Rald governs the manor with a light hand except during planting and harvesting season, when he has been known to lose his temper. Hallmoots, which are held on the 15th of every month, are usually kept short, as the lord finds them tedious. Lying on the relatively new and prosperous Kingsroad, Woodpass sees a great amount of merchant traffic. Tolls are charged on those passing through the fief, a task Sir Rald has delegated to the Pyratus priest, Immolator Urnin. The amount varies, based on how wealthy the traveler appears to be.
The fiefholder, Sir Rald, owes the service of one heavy horse (himself) and two light footmen, plus scutage, to Baron Grant at Pelham Keep. Baron Grant prefers that his vassals provide feudal service in protection against the barbarian tribes and brute clans. When Sir Rald is away on this service, the Beadle, a veteran yeoman, watches over the fief. In addition, if the manor house itself is attacked, the ostler and woodcrafters can fight as light foot. The militia, which consists of all able-bodied men, trains once a ten-day under the tutelage of the yeomen. As the manor is not too far from the frontier, Woodpass’s militia is better trained than most. Many of the men usually wear some sort of leather or quilt tunic; they are required to bring their own weapon. Members of the militia vie for the twenty or so round shields that Sir Rald provides.
Known Locations in Woodpass
Location 4: Immolator Urnin
Immolator Urnin, a devout priest of Pyratus, until recently was the only permanent member of the clergy in Woodpass. He is the older brother of Norlen, the village Beadle, and the two brothers can’t stand each other. Urnin left Woodpass when he was sixteen and traveled to Tashal in the Principality of the South, where he became a Prospective of Pyratus and served for four years. After taking his Immolatorial vows, Urnin asked and received the position back home in Woodpass, which had been vacant for several years. He has had disturbing dreams of late and has not been sleeping well. Until Gilbar’s arrival, Urnin had been the only person besides the lord and lady who could write. The Immolator lives in a small chapel located next to the road. The chapel itself is a small wattle and daub house, identical to many others in the village. As most services are held on the common, at the dry stream, or in the Lyncyard, the chapel is only used during inclement weather.
The arrival of Father Gilbar and the subsequent raising of the Reavehome (Church of Kwyrth), at first riled the Immolator, but as he and Father Gilbar became acquainted, and the good Father has allowed Urnin use of the newly built Reavehome, the Immolater’s temper has been in check.
Location 7: Corlyn the Reeve
Nearly fifty, with gray hair and the gout, Corlyn is a widower. The Reeve is less than adequate but has a high opinion of his own worth. Although Corlyn thinks otherwise, Woodpass would function just as well without him. In the past year it has become harder for him to remember recent events, and he will sometimes forget that his wife has been dead for ten years. The usually confused Reeve is also the head of the Tyain family, the largest in the village. Corlyn’s son, Jerend, and daughter-in-law, along with their two children, all share a crowded cottage. They fulfill many of Corlyn’s labor duties. Corlyn’s elderly mother and sister also live with him. The two women are skilled weavers and run a small business making clothing.
Location 21: VILLEIN (Kaen of Luras)
Russet of beard and bushy of eyebrow, Kaen is a frail and gentle man universally liked by the villagers. Although he holds no office, Kaen’s opinion is usually asked by the lord. Forty-eight-year-old Kaen and his sickly wife Elina are becoming elderly and will ask the lord for chevage at the next hallmoot. Sir Rald has already quietly approved and knows that they wish to take a pilgrimage to The Golden Hand Nunnery. Elina is the village wisewoman, known for her grasp of local folklore. Kaen once was able to plow the straightest furlong in Woodpass, a feat his eldest son, Ragan, can now claim. Kaen’s younger son is planning to ask the lord for gersum if his brother inherits. Kaen’s two sons are twenty and eighteen and have wives of their own. Kaen’s three daughters, Nerlael, Shesya, and Silia, have all been married off.
Location 27: Woodpass Inn
Location 28: Reavehome (Church of Kwyrth)
Construction is nearly finished on the temporary building which will eventually become the dormitory for future acolytes, as well as the current home of Father Gilbar, the oddly diminutive Noblesse priest who recently petitioned for and was granted leave to build the church. As Father Gilbar has continuing duties as a peripatetic graveman and morton-priest, he has worked out an arrangement with Immolator Urnin to continue the services in Gilbar’s absence.
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Thanks to Daniel Bell, N. Robin Crossby & Columbia Games Inc. and L´ythia.com for this awesome Hârn Manor.