Thursday, August 10, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #221

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #221 

August 10th, 2023 

  • Number: 221 

  • Name:  Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Along the Trave-Inari Highway - Part 4 

  • Location: Across the plains of Ceannar connecting the towns of Reston and Southport 

  • Population (approx.): None (several dozen in nearby farms and the mill) 

  • Brief: The Trave-Inari Highway passes through a variety of Hundreds and Viscounties as it traverses the two Counties. One of these is Pembroke Hundred which sits most east of the highway north of the Inari border. In the north of Pembroke Hundred, where the fields of the Wilmonts, Waterburys and Gentians meet, there sits a rather large outcropping of three brown-gray rocks. Rumored to be slightly magical, they defied all attempts to remove them when the area was first settled. 

  • Years ago, some wag put a scarecrow, clad in old leather armor and holding a rusty scythe, on top of the largest rock. Several years later a small horde of Dire Wolves threatened the farmers. One night the scarecrow vanished. By morning the Wolves had fled, leaving many dead scattered about the mill where the farmers hid. A fortnight later the scarecrow reappeared, the scythe now a dark blood red. 

  • The wise women declared this “reaper” to be a protector of the area and took to leaving offerings, prayers and tithes at the base of the rock. Later a Waterbury carpenter placed benches in a semi-circle about the rock to ease the aching backs and knees of the crones. Ever since creatures or persons of evil intent have given Pembrokeshire a wide berth. 

  • Gil Waterbury, 25, male Human owns the Mill in Pembroke Hundred. He is short but strong and heavily muscled. He has hair the color of cornmeal and jade-green eyes. Gil wears brown trousers and a sky-blue tunic. He knows how to wield a cudgel if necessary. 

  • Gil's family has owned the mill and surrounding farmland for over a century. His grandmother is one of the wise women who declared the reaper to be a protector of the area. Strange things still happen to the crops every few years, and there have been eerie sightings of shadows that disappear when you look for them. Gil suspects that this is all the reaper’s doing and accepts it as usual. 

  • Gill is married to Cady, 23, female Human. They have no children yet, despite being married for six years. Cady blames the reaper and thinks there is a curse involving the reaper and her inability to get pregnant. Cady has issued Gil an ultimatum, either they get pregnant in the next year, or she is leaving him. 

  • Geography: East of the highway a road runs a touch north of east through Pembroke Hundred. Just off the road is a cluster of three large boulders in a row. The armored statue with the bloodied scythe stands upon the largest of the three stones. Offerings are piled about the base of the rock by locals in the hope that the reaper will continue to protect the surrounding land. Four benches, arranged in a semi-circle facing the stones, provide a place for the local elderly to sit and rest. 

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