Knights of the Thorn
Crownguard is a growing town of over 3,000 souls. Baron Echinos and his council rule wisely and well and are popular with the people.
Crownguard: c. 2000 humans
Crownguard is the most northerly town in the Kingdom of Syrak and is the seat of government for its northern regions. It is strategically sited on a narrow peninsula that runs between the lakes of Tuskwater and Candlemere, and guards the land route between the Stolen Lands and Syrak. Crownguard has an impressive castle and city walls to deter attackers and has only been captured once in its 400 year history.
Until very recently the town of Crownguard lay a short way south of the castle and was the biggest settlement north of Syrak comprising about 2,000 people – almost entirely humans.
It was formerly ruled by Telemon Thunderfist, a Knight of the Thorn, who died 15 years ago, in the early years of the war against the Witch King. A horde of undead had laid siege to Crownguard and the beleaguered defenders held out for two weeks hopping for reinforcements. When it became clear that the northern wall could no longer be held, Telemon heroically fought off the undead long enough for his men to fall back in to the keep. His sacrifice was not in vain; two days later the relief army arrived led by Justinian and King Landus. The undead attackers were routed and Justinian himself slew the wraiths that led them.
Telemon was buried in the church of Sol Helios in the town and his magic hammer, Thunderfist, was stored in Crownguard castle. Telemon’s apparent reappearance as a member of Blood Knights has shocked the people of Crownguard. However, the survivors of the attack who are old enough to remember him him all say that he looks just as he did the day he died.
Shipton: c. 1200 humans
Shipton is a small town that lives from fishing, farming and trading across Candlemere. Baron Castus is middle aged man who is an adept merchant and a popular lord.
Woodvale: c. 1000 humans
Woodvale is ruled by Lady Atia of Woodvale, a minor noble whose husband, Marcus Brightblade, perished in defense of Crownguard fifteen years ago. Much of the family’s estates were destroyed in the war and perhaps it was natural that Amelia, the youngest of their three daughters, aspires to become a Knight of the Thorn. Her mother is more than happy for her to join the Knights since finding a third dowry seems almost impossible.
Goldford: c.1000 humans
This frontier town marks the north eastern edge of Syrak’s lands; it was founded about 100 years ago when gold was discovered in the shallows of Tuskwater. Nowadays the gold is virtually gone and the inhabitants make a living from fishing, trapping and some farming.
This largish forest is home to numerous Fey and other magical creatures. Dryads and Pixies certainly live here but locals seldom seek them out; even the most benign Fey can be dangerous to mortals.
At the edge of the forest, just a few miles from Woodvale, lives Old Beldame, a strange old woman said to be a witch.
In the last few days there have also been reports of a Hill Giant in wandering on the edge of the forest.
The Blue Forest is a smaller but than the Narlmarches but has a more sinister reputation. Stories tell of a green dragon that lives there along with other creatures that will devour woodcutters and unwary travellers.