Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #257
September 15th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Boarfang Mountain and the Dead Woods of Ceannar – Part 5
Location: Northeast corner of Flattop Hills
Population (approx.): 317 (Northwoods)
Brief: Centuries ago, Norfalen Elderfate learned what those who came before him had learned as well, one being cannot protect 100 square miles by him or herself. The Druid carefully and quietly observed the inhabitants of his realm and as needed, approached one or two to see if they would be willing to support his endeavor, being part of the protectorate of Dead and living Woods. A few agreed and thus over the course of the years, Norfalen has trained and leads a group of anywhere from a dozen to a score of animists, rangers, druids and scouts. They are scattered throughout the lands between the Dead Wood and the main north-south trail, each assigned to an area of woods. Once a year they all gather at Norfalen’s home (location 3) to celebrate the successes of the past year, mull over the failures and plan for the year to come.
Sheril Forestbraids, 23, female Centaur, is the Ranger who roams and protects the areas around Boarfang Mountain and the Dead Wood. She is tall and has chestnut hair with large white patches on her body. The hair on her head is a deeper chestnut and worn long but tied up to keep it out of the way. Her eyes are a deep aqua-blue, and she has a scar on her right haunch. When in town, she wears a leather vest so as not to embarrass anyone. Sheril loves to use a bow and arrow and is quite a marksman. She also trains with a long sword, though she only has a little skill right now.
Sheril was born in the central plains of Ceannar, but her family migrated to Boarfang when she was only three years old. She grew up wandering the woods around Boarfang and became fast friends with Norfalen. With her love of nature and everything related to animals, Norfalen encouraged her to become a Ranger. He helped train her when he had time but sent her to various experts and other members of the Druid’s protectorate to teach her different lessons. In addition, the local Knight-Mayor of Northwoods pays her to help with the wild horses that make their home nearby.
Sheril lives in a large hut near the northern part of Boarfang Mountain. Her parents, Jelk Forestbraid, 43, male Centaur, and Fiflan, 41, female Centaur live nearby. She has Sunday dinner with them every week. She is friendly with Resrila, 24, female Half-Elf, who owns the Happy Giant Cafe in Northwood, a place to relax and have pastries shaped amusingly like Nor.
Geography: Northwoods (location 6 see below) is the northernmost settlement considered to be part of the Druid’s protectorate. It sits on the main trail about 13 miles north of Boarview (location 2). The trail continues north another 10 miles or so until it reaches the coast on Staplefish Bay (a spur departs eastward from Northwoods reaching the waters after 6 miles). A herd of stocky shaggy wild horses calls the area, between the village and the coast, their home. Sheril, the Ranger-Centaur, keeps watch on the herd, preventing any unfortunate interactions between the locals or strangers and the steeds.
Northwoods, found in an area where the forest sparse and the trees widely separated, consists of a cluster of stone and wood buildings along the trail surrounded by a palisade. The largest structure is the Quiet Respite, a 2 story Inn and Tavern, Sir Rostanbull, the Knight-Mayor, being a permanent resident. Resrila’s café can be found just across the street. Fishing folk from small settlements on the bay and infrequent traders visit to barter with local farmers and hunters in the market square next to the Inn. The annual spring “frying of the fish” is a time for celebration and may include a rare visit from Norfalen to bless the event, attendees and food.