Faroth: Origins of the South Faroth Sea Elves

The Marine Elves in the Sing’jar channel traded and fished for generations as a determined and resilient community after tragedy struck their ancestors. Hundreds of years ago, on the eve of the destruction of Faroth, forest elves in the foothills east of Sing’jar were forced from their homes by wildfires set by the fire giant trespassed on his way through their hills en route to attacking the island of Faroth. Minotars, long established in the Sing’jar channel as reclusive deep sea longliners of the the Hosh’uu islands, sailed out to rescue the displaced elves. wp-image-1339419873jpg.jpg

The Hosh’uu minotaurs took the elves under their tutelage as fisher folk in return for being students of wood working. Minotar culture, for all the sailing they did, was uncomfortably dependent on human carpenters to keep them afloat. Our former forest dwellers gladly taught the minotaurs their skills with forestry and carpentry. As the elves took to the sea, they became one of the few races to truly not be dismissed or distrusted by the channel minotaurs.

As thanks to the minotaurs and to celebrate the new friendship between their races, the first new generation of sea elves crafted masterwork magical nose-rings and horn-tips for the Hosh’uu: brilliant hammered brass and polished nickel, known as Burning Brass. When angry, the Burning Brass ornaments appear shimmering hot.

When the Hosh’uu arrived at Darthil and greater Faroth islands, the Forge Dwarves were furious to see such fine metallurgy done by anyone not themselves. The Minotaurs, never intimidated by dwarves, openly laughed! “Ha! You are so obsessed with your weapons, you have forgotten all art, dwarves!”

And yet no dwarven art has appeared on Faroth since it was sacked.

Faroth: Island Actors

We would not have a sea-faring economy without any local color. Faroth is unique of the local seas for the amount of dwarves near shore. While the local sea elves were stewarded by the minotaurs, the Forge Dwarves were stewarded by the ancient stone giant. With the defeat of the stone giant and the sacking of the main island, the forge dwarves mostly scattered back to the continent, but were not warmly greeted at Sing’jar, being belittled as water-loving hammer splashers. Eventually, a good number of the scattered forge dwarves settled on Darthil island, since they could make the mostly barren island home by burrowing into the the old pointed peaks of that granite island. They founded Nor’Darthil and Wor’Darthil after burring under Smopek peak and building Smopek casle between the Smopek and Worpek peaks. These are our Southern Forge Dwarves. They build in a variety of the trace metals found beneath the peaks, mining slowly, and mostly providing high quality sailing mechanicals for the islands.

Just off the north east limb of Darthil island, a rare cold water coral ring, Mao’Un’Il atol, is home to an ornery community of sea elves that refuse to align themselves with the minotaurs or the Faroth Trade Charter. Trade on the island is banned to Charter members as they are labeled heretics and black clerics of Vecna on the main island. The South Faroth Forge Dwarves pay them no mind, however, and leave them in peace, knowing the worth of being left alone.

wp-image-1532783422jpg.jpg

To the east an hour’s sailing in fair weather, we have Dracofang: island of the tallest granite peaks of the south Faroth chain of islands. There is one lonely pier on the island, but no houses, boats, huts or smoke. Large creatures can be seen flying about the Fang and Nail peaks of the island. People just leave it alone.

Northeast is Clayton island, as small as Dracofang, but much larger a port of call for honest seafolk. With more vegetation, the shortest peak, this island supports a community of sheepherds and potters that get along well with the fishing captains of Clayton port. Evota Lintara, Lady Mayor of Clayton, is a sage wood elf that appears to hold piracy of the other islands at bay.

  • Captina Yvennoi, Human, female, member FTC, LG
  • Capt Mimletti, Elven, female, member FTC, LG
  • Capt Dimpt’mu, Half Orc, CN
  • Capt Mon’Eu-Lon, Half Sea Elf, CG
  • Capt Jilloa, retired, Elf, LG, is also Sherrif of the island

An easy sail north east is Willow island, home of tough fishing captains and tougher crime bosses. Nelson Bay is a rough marina to walk about in: half orcs by the dozens wield sharp fishing knives cross the pier from their boats, gutting fish and dumping the offal directly into the marina. Chained goblins haul carts of fish and scarred sea elves with short swords prod prisoners into market carrying cargo on their backs.

  • Capt Coudohn, Reefnetter, Human, CN,
  • Capt Kolin, longliner and trawler, Sea Elf, female, LN, member FTC
  • Capt Tincut, Deep sea fisher, Minotaur, CN
  • Capt Oppinok, longliner, humna, LG, member FTC
  • Boss Mamj’ik, stolen tool trader and pawn shop owner, CE
  • Boss Limpleg runs a protection racket, LE
  • Boss Mierra, trader suspected pirate, CE
  • Boss Asomi, magical and cursed items, LE

The mayor of Nelson Bay is Bard Slomtip, Human, NE. Slomtip seems to know people before they even dock. He paces atop his balcony in the mornings with field glasses and calls for regular trade reports. He pays in gold for trade advice and while no one witnesses it, gambles behind closed doors at each of the bars in the bay, a different bar each night. A room is reserved just for him at each establishment.

In sight of all the islands is proud Shadow Peak of South Faroth island. Large enough to foster three towns, the long ridge Shadow Peak divides the northern Perval Bay from the southern Bibbon Bay. Hidden just south of Bibbon Bay is Shadow Cove, sporting a single pier and a huts of a transient pirate community no one keeps track of, but is ruled by Boss Junton Grimjaw, LE.

Perval Bay is a troubled place: the mayor of north Perval, Crown Gobjaw, a thickly muscled half orc male, NE, is no friend to Lady Mayor Mighlia, a NE drow elf wizard that protects her pier with many spells. Haughtier than both is the very rich mayor of South Perval, Lord Lindon, LE, member FTC.

Bibbon Bay is a much simpler, nicer place, yet strict out of necessity. Mayor Priest Moyan, LG, member FTC, sets strict curfew and overnighters must attend morning service or be jailed in South Bibbon. To the north, Bibbon proper, Lady Mayor Cinnitta, member FTC, is a tall, thin elf and friend of gnomes, preferring to sell their clever wares to the mainland. Her warehouses are built into cliffs at the toes of Shadow Peak and protected by a grove of enchanted trees. No dwarven wares, or beer, is legal to sell in Bibbon, only elven and sea-elven food is legal to sell. Clever people trade many illegal things in Bibbon proper as a rogue’s challenge, and hanging prison cages line the back streets as punishment for such offenders.

Clearly, there is absolutely nothing to do in the south Faroth islands!wp-image-349014857jpg.jpg

Faroth: The Mansion

The town of Faroth climbs up the foothills between Dowarblad and the Wur Peaks. If you follow the road from the pier you climb a brief slope and curve along the remains of wrecked boat hulls coated with barnacles. Old anchors and over-sized net stones line the edge of the road. As the rounded stones of the rocky shore give way to bald granite slopes, the buildings of the town curve up the road as it begins a switchback path up a near cliff to the steppe where the town’s market square is set before the mansion. To the northwest, the few green fields in sight are the fenced acres of Drafter’s ranch. The tallest trees for miles encircle the market square and a giant mansion that overlooks the bay to the south.oxfordhb-9780199336005-graphic216-full

Faroth’s town council lives in the mansion. Once, it was mostly a large one-story building with tall windows and doors that the stone giant would have helped build for himself. The lowest 12 feet of the building are enormous foundation blocks only a giant would have had the strength to set. The first generation of Forge Dwarves drilled holes in them as wide as they were tall and twice their height for timbers made of whole fir trees.

When our refugees arrive, hundreds of years after the fire giant sacked the original city of Faroth, they saw a different mansion built opon the same granite stones. Among the charcoal colored fir posts of the mansion that framed huge arching windows,. the brittle tips of the timbers have been hacked to an even height and angular peaks framed brick and small granite walls holding windows much too small for a giant but adequate for Elves and Humans. Two floors and roof dormers are clearly visible. Instead of crimson bark half-redwood planks as a roof, gray slate tiles form a shallower roof.

Instead of the large above-ground parlor with a reflecting pool and imported mammoth bone chair that supported the giant, many thinner walls divide the space into offices and hallways. Thick, splintery timbers, gray and barnacled were used as the posts and joists from ancient freighters left after the giant’s battle. Every piece of wood that could be reshaped, re-joined, or re-purposed was made into the plainly functional furniture of the town mansion. In fact, so precious is wood on this island, that candles are discouraged and torches forbidden in the mansion. Sconces and lamps with magical glowing cave fungus or enchanted seaweed are mostly used to light the building.

Up a flight of polished granite stairs to the second floor, the quality of the wood is more of a relief to the eyes: oils and waxes have been been worked into the trim and the floor and the walls are stuccoed with mortar of ground seashells and pink feldspar picked from the granite fields. Door handles are made from crab claws ornately wound with green copper wire to iron latches. Maps stretched on wooden frames are placed regularly along the walls. Entering the council chambers, lightly veined gray limestone tiles lead to the preserved rudderless transom of a once-proud galleon, painted in slowly splitting black stain, with ornaments along the taffrail painted in gold and with brass tacked along the top. Upon it sits the mayor’s chair, besides half of an amber shellacked steering wheel. Just a foot over the standing height of a man, the bowsprit of the boat faces backwards, reaching out along the underside of the ridge beam of the roof: a wooden horse in front and a merman’s tail behind. A bell held from the wooden teeth is connected by a thin rope to a cleat on the brass taffrail.

On the chamber floor, which gets light from four windows on the walls, are seats for the town council. Even though there is a mayor’s seat above in the transom, the steep rungs of a ladder are not inviting to the series of aging mayors, who have sat for years at the floor for daily duties. Were you presented with the council today, you would meet:

  • Lord Lane Archanar, Mayor of Faroth, a thin human with short gray hair, who wares a deep red vest over a white billowy shirt but always clutches a gray cloak around his shoulders,
  • Dane Aurumfist, Treasurer, a constantly frowning dwarf with a curly brown beard streaked with sliver in contrast to his bald pate, who always has a rattling set of gem scopes around his neck that bounce of a dragonscale breast plate over a gray tunic,
  • Binova Lotrimur, Captain of the Guard, a thick chinned blond man starting to gray at the temples and growing worry lines around his dour lips,
  • Saichel Fenwood, Town Surgeon, a clear faced, sharp eyed forest elf in a plain green linen jacket with a velvet sash, who is quite pleasant in contrast to
  • Ranora Waveguide, Harbor-master of Faroth, a tanned, and wrinkled sea elf with a clipped ear and scar at the left rear of his chin, who has a glossy black mane tied back in a long braid that brushes his hips, swinging near to a pair differently sized daggers in cracked leather sheathes on a cracked wide-leather belt tooled with patterns of stars, holding in a paint stained shirt underneath a pale leather vest pinned with hooks, pliers pockets and a small brass telescope.

They look like they would never agree on anything, and they discussions they have are always strained, but never break out in shouting or threats. In town, they are only seen walking the street to the pier, or the Snooty Royal for drinks after session. Locals have seen them as a fixture of modest economic success for almost 20 years, yet no town events have ever been held: no celebrations of Elhonna or harvest festivals. The only real change in 20 years has been the slowly growing number of gnomes that visit near midnight and the growing smoke and bustle from the iron mines just southeast. Sloth Breakerbar has been the only openly happy member of this town, in fact.

 

Faroth: Repelling Bugbears

Jan 28 write-up by Liam. His characater is Lotheric, who appeared the episode following the courageous death of his first conflicted character that took on a bugbear in the Coliseum.

The session began with the introduction of  Liam’s new character, Lothric Emberwind, a young- ish soldier who had, before fleeing on the boat, been getting people on the boat, forcing them away from the monsters, and their homes. After he came to the ruins, he had a bit of an introduction to the party, but then Hilde’s character noticed, while climbing around, that a group of bugbears were heading straight for the town. Lothric, being the fastest runner of the party, ran off back to the village, to tell the guard. He and two of the guard rushed to where the bugbears were coming from, an old, abandoned creek bed, running alongside an ancient, giant statuary (group of statues). However, being that they were ancient, and a fire giant had come through here, the statues were but rubble on the ground, all that remained were there huge pedestals. Jesse’s character, and Brendan’s character crept behind the bugbears, and while the guard were distracting them, they hopped from pedestal to pedestal, before eventually casting mage hand and toppling a pile of boulders onto the bugbears. And that was the session.

Faroth: Chasing into the Deep

We began this session with Brenden, Jesse P, Sorin, and Liam. Our party wanted to find, and eliminate the one final bugbear, and so to begin, they headed down the one tunnel they hadn’t explored of the bugbear warren. It was dark, and after a while, it began to round, and felt oddly slimy, as though it had been carved out by something round. The further they went, the stranger the tunnel got, with smaller rounded holes branching out from the main one, twisting this way and that, ’till they had no idea where they were. As they trekked, they began to hear the sound of metal scraping on stone, and a very faint clanging sound. The tunnel began to widen out, and in front of them, they found a huge, gray worm, covered in a hard scaly exoskeleton, and with huge mandibles peering down at them.

They had stumbled upon an ancient skeleton, seemingly undisturbed by anything, except the faint light shining down on them form some holes in the ceiling. However, the scraping sound persisted, and being the smart adventurers they were, they hid behind the skeleton, and waited. For nearly a minute, the cavern was silent, but our adventurers grew tired of waiting, and Halt (Sorin’s ranger) went out to investigate. He slowly inched himself out from behind the worm, and across the dimly lit floor, and heard a “swooshing” sound, as if something had fallen.

Carefully turning behind, he found himself face to face with a grinning, scarred bugbear. Halt, being no coward, pulled out his longsword, barely missing the beast, whose morning star sailed right across Halt’s left shoulder. Lamanon (Brenden’s Bard) peeked his head out, sensing commotion, and began to pelt the beast with stones from his sling. Now, fully alerted, Lothric (Liam’s fighter), and Thorfin (Jesse’s Cleric), rushed out to save Halt. The bugbears last strike had missed, cracking off the body of the worm. Together with the combined strength of their blades, magic, and slings, they finished the last known bugbear. 

After some healing, they continued down the tunnel, eventually reaching a melted, Worm-shaped hole and a dwarven brick wall. Through that hole, they came to what appeared to be a dwarven hallway, with a wood plank floor. They carefully checked to make sure it would hold their weight, then began to walk across it. Lothric went first to check it out, and after rounding the curved walkway, and being out of sight of the rest of the party, he began to yell!

Lamanon, leading the others on, ran to check on him, only to find the beyond the curve, the wall disappeared, only to be replaced with an empty space, leading to a seemingly bottomless pit. Lothric was pressed against the wall, trying to stay far away from the edge, and rightfully so, as Thorfin dropped a rock, and they never heard it hit the ground.

Across the crevasse, we could see other small walkways, ladders, and staircases snaking around the walls, and a faint light pouring in from the ceiling. Not wanting to find the bottom any time soon, our heroes continued on, and breathed a sigh of relief when the reached a fully enclosed portion of the tunnel. Thorfin, being a literate man, began to study the dwarvish runes on the walls, which warned the readers to not “Go down,” but giving little more information as to what they meant.

At the end of the hall, they could hear a loud clanging sound, not dissimilar to that of a hammer on an anvil. This area seemed to be where all other walkways converged, as they could now travel onto many wooden paths, but stayed in this large hall, with large, stone stairs, that seemed overly large for any dwarf…even big for any human! They found themselves before a large anvil, with two huge gears powering two large “hammers,” still trying to shape metal that was not there.

After wondering at the contraption, Thorfin took an arcana check, and determined the gears were kept in perpetual motion by magic, which seemed somewhat obvious. Venturing forward, there was an armory, full of rack upon rack of old, rusted, bent weapons and armor, with many sets missing. Feeling curious, Thorfin took one of the dwarven helms, and brought it onto the anvil. Seconds later, it was the width of a thin book, shattered and squished into more of a plate than a piece of armour.

After the armory, there was a large throne room. Towering statues on each side of the wall, each a different dwarf lord, all holding large, stone torches. Staring in marvel, the party hardly noticed as a groaning, undead abomination, with most of it’s left half singed and melted, armor stuck to it’s decrepit body. It wielded a gold embossed, heavy morning star that had not appeared to have aged a day.

They unleashed their fury on it, blow after blow it received, but it never faltered. However, when Thorfin cast a shield of faith on Lothric, the abombination became enraged, and ran him down, colliding with the statue behind Thorfin. Thorfin retreated, and the statue came crashing down upon the creature!

Lamanon and Halt discovered levers that ignited the torches carried by the statues, brightening up the room. At the end of this hall, our party discovered three stone thrones, the middle of which was big enough for a giant and was flanked by two more dwarven-sized thrones. The throne on the right was empty, while the throne on the left had a suit of armor, melted onto the throne itself, worn by the down mostly decomposed skeleton of a dwarf. On the center throne there was a crown the size of a wagon wheel, if not bigger, made of some dark, gold embossed metal, that had been cleaved in two.

Through the doorway at the end of the throne room was a huge, giant-sized door, leading into an abandoned armory, filled with mostly empty racks carrying armor and weapons, all missing or rusted. Beyond, a large, giant sized staircase led up, and our characters rested on the wide stone stairs to regain their strength, and then continued up them until they reached a cave in, and were forced to venture up the branching staircases. The first lead to another cave in, while the second led to a wall, that seemed rather out of place, and the party puzzled over it for several minutes, before Thorfin attempted to hit it with his mace. Upon contact however, the wall shattered, with the sound of breaking glass, and the rubble disappeared, leading them into a small bedchamber, containing the corpses of two dwarfish guards, and a large bed, upon which lay the corpse of a dwarf, wearing on its head a crown, and beside it, a chest, that was quickly smashed by a Thorfin’s mace. Inside, was a shield with the dwarfish symbol of fire on it. They left the room, and on the final staircase, they managed to squeeze their way out of a hole in a broken wall, and rushed back to the camp to take a well deserved nap.

Faroth: updated map

Showing the Cartesian springs, grazing areas where the rangers patrol, and the rusty landscape of the iron mine. The Earpen bog is a ruddy pool where mine tailings fall. The bog is filled by the Barpen canyon creek and Nor’faroth canyon creeks, and drains out via Rudbay creek,  where barges dock to trade ore,  minerals,  and iron stock from the forge  dwarves. 

Minotaurs and South Faroth Sea Elves

The south Faroth sea elves were refugees from east of Sing’jar, displaced by the fire giant as it was headed to attack Faroth. The Minotaurs took them in. As tribute, eventually the new generation of now-sea-elves crafted nose-rings and horn tips from Burning Brass. They appear to catch flame when the wearer becomes angry.  

Faroth: the small islands 

Dracofang, Clayton,  Willow, and South Faroth Islands. Like larger Faroth, these islands have rocky beaches, cliffs and towering peaks. Pirates and fisherman are in constant tension here, and part of the control is the Faroth Trade Charter.  Criminals or fisherman not paying membership are taxed higher for anything they sell on the islands, and cannot sell to Charter members. Charter members get protection, decreased taxes, but cannot sell outside Charter sponsored ports or Charter sponsored members.  All the fishermen on greater Faroth are charter members, as are the licensed business owners on the island.