Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #345
December 12th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive of Subjects of Interest: Warriors of the Wastelands – Part 2
Location: The Wastelands
Population (approx.): 47 (The High Parliament of the Order of the Loyal Owl)
Brief: In the new regional order of the four City-States, the Church –State of Earth and Water trades mostly with the ports of Taodeas along the Arvach Ocean and across the Matui River. But there are needs at times for travelers to take the old inland roads between the Afale Maug and Lanu Maug hills toward the central plains of the Wastelands and then turn northeast to make haste toward the areas protected by the Border Wardens of Taodeas. Recently though stories have reached both the villages of the Church-State and southern Taodeas that if one stumbles into trouble but is pure of heart and purpose, they have been rescued by swift owl-like humanoids striking from the nearby trees with the speed of a diving hawk. The rescues are authentic, but the descriptions are deliberately inaccurate as the monks of the Order of the Loyal Owl are disguised when they strike with blinding speed and accuracy.
Malna Greatfinger, 137, female Halfling, is the Grandmistress of the Order of the Loyal Owl. She is pint-sized and limber. Her hair is sandy brown, and her blue-green eyes are expressive. Malna wears practical clothing consisting of her gi and a belt that holds several small daggers. The gi has a sizable snowy owl on the back. She is a quiet and peaceful individual. Her knowledge of martial arts is extensive, but she only believes in using it for defense.
Malna has been part of the Order of the Owl for seventy-five years. She discovered the Order during a difficult time in her life. Her husband left her for another woman, a Human of all things. Her search brought her to the Order, and her life began anew. Now she is a teacher for six months of the year. During the other months, Malna walks through the region, protects the locals and looks for recruits.
Malna lives in a plain room in the monastery. She loves to cook and fix meals for everyone several times a week. Her best friend is a fellow monk, Freda Dreamdrifter, 45, female Human. The two of them talk about food and katas frequently. After her first marriage dissolved, Malna swore off romantic attachments and prefers to devote herself to her martial arts studies.
Malna’s warriors are preternaturally agile, being able to run along the thinnest of branches and silently leap from tree to tree. Their ancient teachings instill great wisdom so that the quiet and stealthy observers, like their namesake Owls, can watch distant travelers and determine their fate as required.
Geography: The southernmost end of the Lanu Maug is covered in forest stretching into the gaps between the hills, becoming sparse as the woods near the prairie home of the Rolling Green (#101). An old road threads across the land (northern part of area (A)) connecting the Church-State (#29) to the border of Taodeas (#18 and #89) with spurs headed south avoiding either side of the dangerous grasslands (central and southern parts of area (A)). The monastery of the Order can be found at the top of a sheer stone spire surrounded by dense climax forest. There are no stairs to the top as recruits, if worthy, must reach the top either by climbing wood or scaling stone. The monks do have a basket they can lower by cable for supplies or to assist the injured. At the top is a circular cluster of buildings, armored shutters facing outwards and levels of balconies facing inwards, enclosing an open central park with a natural spring. The monks maintain gardens on the balconies, roofs and underground, foraging and hunting the forest as needed.