Monday, June 1, 2009

Freehold of Archen

Archen, Freehold of
The Orchard Realm
Symbol: An apple on a green field
Ruler: Lord Hardel “Applethrone” Archen (hm F3)
Major Settlements: Tulbadin
Population: Human, Halfling
Resources: Agriculture

This small, verdant realm is well-known for its fruits and grapes (and the products made thereof). Tucked beneath the eaves of the Moonwood, Archen is a land of rolling hills and small dells clothed in orchards and vineyards. Its people live in tiny hamlets; Tulbadin, Archen’s largest town, has barely over a thousand residents. Humans and halflings live side-by-side with each other and the land’s significant fey population, including domovii, apple-dryads, brownies, and spirites. Wild fey from the Moonwood sometimes wander into Archen, and there is precedent for a leshii “king” to claim fey dominion over the Orchard Realm (a claim with little effect on human affairs, unless those affairs including wholesale destruction and bloodshed – in which case the mundane forces may find themselves facing things far more wicked than apple-dryads and domovii)!

Archen has strong alliances with the Open Halls and Bellarane, lands with similar values and cultures, and with a few of the more tolerant of the lycanthrope families in the Moonwood. It is considered a backwater province, when it is considered at all, by the elite in Triumport, Blackgate, and Orbor.

Adventures & Encounters:
* Fey encounters in Archen have notably increased in number and danger since the return of Queen Aliana to Shalane several years ago. What connection there could be between the two lands is unknown, but given the fey nature of the time-lost Queen, a link seems likely. The most tenious rumors allege that Aliana, reputedly raised in a pastoral corner of Faerie, may have actually have been hidden in mundane Archen – though how this connects to recent activity none can say.

* Tomior Fullcloak of the Meadow Tower, a minor holding in the Marchlands, is bribing and, if necessary, blackmailing the small hamlets, one by one, in an effort to oust Lord Hardel. His family has longstanding trade contracts with Archen, but Tomior wants to cut out the middleman. His economic war has a chance of eroding at least part of the freehold if played correctly and cautiously, but a few of Tomior’s agents are bored with subtle threats, and are using more aggressive tactics. They are currently passing themselves off as a simple bandits, but the ruse may not last much longer.

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