Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #227
August 16th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Among the Taodean Hills and Dales – Part 3
Location: In the Tuton Maug along the border with Noldrune
Population (approx.): varies currently 5 and a dog
Brief: The nature of the Tuton Maug allows for isolation, whether by accident, personal choice, curse or governmental punishment. The hills host a variety of small settlements, single huts or hovels and small or large underground complexes, both natural and Kin-made. Thus ordinary peasants might rub elbows with bandits on the run or exiled notables from the flatlands of Taodeas. In the Greatwood (#21) to the east, one might be subject to “the long walk,” where they are banished from the forests and must walk and walk until the trees “call no more.”
Keydove (Key) Whispersinger, 170, Elf, is a historian, once of the Greatwood, specializing in the Ta’arnan Empire. He is short and lithe with pointy ears that have an unnatural twist. He has long silver hair in a ponytail and violet eyes that capture everything. Key wears leather pants and a comfortable tunic but, most notably, a good pair of hiking boots. He carries a set of daggers but is also skilled with a long sword.
Key lives in a group of caves. He was exiled here, by “the long walk,” when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman in the Greatwood. He has several rooms filled with scrolls, and many jars of various colors of ink line the main room. Key also keeps homing pigeons and uses them to communicate with people in different cities. He works for several different libraries and always has several projects going.
Key has made friends with the other people who live in nearby mountainside hovels and plus those who share his caves in past and present. He also has a dog, Adi, five years old. The two of them wander the mountains and live off the land. Key makes two or three yearly trips to local villages of the Tuton Maug, being careful to keep the required distance from the Greatwood. He uses these trips to replenish his writing material and meet with a sadly diminishing number of friends and family.
Geography: Key’s home is a chain of four mostly natural caves within a north-facing ridge. The caves are connected by horizontal tunnels or two vertical chutes, each containing ladders which can be pulled up to delay intruders. Three of the chambers serve as bedrooms/personal spaces while the fourth, which comes complete with 3 “windows” looking out onto the vale below, serves as a common space. Key, being the oldest “tenant,” uses the largest bedcave for his bed, a desk and his collection of books. His pigeons live in cages concealed atop the ridge above. Key, Adi and his companions cook at a firepit outside a short distance from their cave entrance. They hunt and forage through the meadows and about a nearby stream.