The Tragic Tale of the Free Peoples
(As told by the elders of Road’s End)

Untold centuries ago, how long has been lost in the dust and ash of our forebears, the land thrived with life and laughter. The good folk of the land explored, learned, traveled and traded in safety. Their strength grew and the evils of the world knew fear from them. Magic, beyond our understanding, did they wield, with the powers of light on their side. Strong was the steel they used to defend the innocent and true. Their understanding of nature and the elements was so vast and complete that they could call down lightening and fire from the heavens, cause waves of immeasurable height to crash upon the shores and crack the land to release the fiery blood of the earth. The powers of the good folk became so strong that in their pride they challenged their gods. In response, the gods and spirits of the land caused those prideful people to lose the connection with the primal forces that gave them their powers. The evil in the world saw in this a great opportunity and struck as quickly as the stirge attacks its prey. For an unknown age did this battle wage and the destruction was vast. Whole cities and villages were wiped from existence. Mighty wizards and priests, good and evil, summoned the most horrible and frighteningly pure entities from the other worlds to do battle on their behalf.

Being weakened, they could not control these creatures and, once summoned, they rained destruction on all those that did not ally with them or submit to their will.
After untold bloodshed and death, evil gained the upper hand and its forces flooded the lands with foul demons, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, ogres, giants and trolls as well as other indescribable creatures. Towns and villages burned in their wake. Whole clans were slaughtered and devoured or taken. It seemed that the free peoples of the land were doomed to become slaves or to fade from the world all together.
As all hope was fading a great, shining light was seen coming from the west in the night sky. Its brilliance was so bright that it caused those evil beings sensitive to the light to flee or burst into flame. This shining sign preceded the end of the evil terrors and one by one the most powerful of the summoned perished in heavenly flame, were engulfed in a great darkness or simply faded from existence. With their masters gone, their minions turned upon each other, giving the free people the chance to escape and begin again.
Since then our people have been wandering and surviving by our wits and strength, by our ability to cooperate and sacrifice. Our essential allies, the Dwarfs, Elves, Gnomes, and Halflings, are as bound to us as we to them. The free people must not just survive, but thrive and return the power of good to the land.
Remember now children, once past the thorn wall and mists, the lands are a dangerous and mysterious place. We must, however, take our rightful place as the dominant force in the world and rid our lands of these destructive creatures.

I am using the 2nd ed. books for the most part. maybe one or two things that i
have taken from other sources.
It the spirit of true disclosure I will say that I am adapting a good amount of
source material that is out there but out of print.
There is a set opening that must be adhered to, but how you wish to develop the
character is up to you. They will all start out knowing each other from a very
young age, relatively speaking. No 11 year old elves.
I would like to sit down and hash out the characters one on one so you can get a
solid feel and understanding about the beginning.
All the kits should be workable, unless they need a lot of travel to train. gypsy
bards wont work.
Paladin yes, cavalier no.
no pirates, but think I can do the swashbuckler.
druids, clerics, witches are all good. nature farming and fertility are the main
foci.
no specialist mages. most rogues should work.
psionics is ok too.
culture is Celtic and/or Norse in flavor.
all normal races are available and I might consider one outside the usual if
given enough background on how and why they would be with the loser humans. lol

I have a ton of books for 2ed. no cavaliers due to lack of horses. no pirates due
to lack of ships. you will access to armor up to scale in the beginning.
resources are valuable so the village elders have input on who can have what.
this is a socialist village to a point. there are also certain duties and/or
concerns for species survival that will be in play.
I will send you the whole opening script when I am done tweeking it. It will
make sense when seen in historical context.
yes psionics, but I have restrictions to it. none of that body altering
bullshit.
there is a strong Darwin element to this world concerning you village.
The village itself is a good size and holds about 250 humans, 30 dwarfs, 46
halflings, 12gnomes, and 28 elves with 14 half-elf children. 70 percent female, 30
male. Most elves stay in the tree top village, about 4 miles away.
one duty of all able bodied people is to find “refugees, or escaped slaves” for
the gene pool.
There some contact with other people, a trade agreement is in place with the
seafaring northmen, as well as a policy of marriage exchange, but they haven’t
been seen in over a year. no overland trade has happened in 5 years.
You all know that the humanoids are somewhat organized and numerous.
your village is very defensible and has almost everything you need to start.
there are no 0 level villagers. everyone gets a bonus weapon slot and have the
additional skill of scavenging. You will all have goblin as an additional
language.
Ask as many questions as you want. this helps me a great deal.

There is the occasional loner but they are usually crazy or very powerful and
want to be left alone.
I know it sounds very harsh but things are not so bleak in the village. Bards
are very important to the people. The elves and villagers interact often.
Since the village is so well hidden/defended it is not under constant threat.
The climate is like that of northern England.
You have never seen an Orc. Maybe two or three humans have. Many of the elves
have and so have the Dwarves.
There are some horses but not enough to take out into danger. Most are for
plowing.
All books and written items found are to be turned over to the elders to copy.
They will be returned to those that have found them. Knowledge is very valuable.
Women hold all land and livestock property rights. Since men tend to get
themselves killed more often it is easier.
Women, being so valuable, are at the top of the social scale.

I said that there are Goblins all over. You have heard of Orcs but never seen
one, same with Hobgoblins and Bugbears.
Men have to support two or three women at a time. Not including mothers and
sisters.

Women also defend the village. Everyone can read and write.
The characters and other villagers don’t know to much about the big bad world.
Another name for rogues would be scouts. Everyone will have to develop a new
paradigm as concerns the classic roles that the classes play.
Superstition stems from not understanding. Everyone here knows their place and
has faith in their leaders so no need for superstitions. A healthy dose of fear
is there for the unknown, but that is just good sense.
The main faith of the town is to Meiliki.
You should know that there is no church in the village. Most have personal home altars
and there is a worship circle outside the thorn wall.

All dead are cremated. The elders choose the first marriage partners, but it is not as binding since one male can have multiple wives and men have been known to disappear while outside the wall. In the event of a spouses death then the surviving partner is free to choose a new mate. Multiple children is highly encouraged.

Import thing to understand about the characters access to historical knowledge.
You have VERY limited sources on knowledge about the world. Only eight parchment
manuscripts have been collected that are intact and usable. 22 magic scrolls
have been uncovered but not everything on them is decipherable. You have
references to cooking, minting, wood working, metal working, clay working,
agriculture, astrology and one diary from what seems to be a young girl
describing her life in a large city. She seems to have come from a wealthy
family, as she mostly writes about parties, dresses and her very own carriage.

Main NPCs of Road’s End and Tree-Top

Meave – Head Druid, Mielikki (always on the lookout for new recruits)

Meanyea – Cleric, Dagda (tends to be long winded but is kind and generous)

Orla – Witch, (bit of a mother hen, constantly in people’s business)

Talmus – Mage (Relatively young for his position but capable. Works with elements for most
spells.

Dermot – Ranger, (trains Rangers, tends to wander for days)

Gerrit – Warrior, (runs tavern, very gruff but competent, accomplished hunter)

Ularey – Warrior, (former slave, works silk farm with skills learned as a slave of humanoids, 20
years ago)

Ranald – Warrior, (Combat Instructor)

Rena – Rogue, (Gerrit’s sister, leary of returning to ruins since her last foray. Strangely
quiet ever since)

Ellen – (Dermont’s wife and a good healer)

Debora – (Head seamstress)

Braed – (Quartermaster, very unattractive)

Vogg – (Cattleman, Braed’s brother, also unattractive)

Toma – (Miner)

Felona – (Herbalist)

Maggi – (Bee Keeper)

Ragnar Gunnerson – Warrior, (Father of Yngvi. Norse caravan guard)

Fiona Gunnerson – (Mother of Yngvi. Silk spinner)

Danu – (Yngvi’s wife)

Dwarves - Stormheart Clan (Various refugee dwarves that have come together over 150 years)

Ovar – (Chief)

Elain – (Head Priestess)

Bargan – (Weapons maker)

Erack – (Armorer)

Brack – (Miner, metals)

Ajyr – (Miner, minerals)

Reidin – (Warrior)

Dweft – (Warrior)

Elves of Tree-Top

Aefdene – (Ranger)

Eldan – (Druid)

Kallen – (Ranger)

Alston – (Mage)

Xantho – (Mage-Warrior)

Caladwen – (Cleric-Warrior)

Vanya – (Mage)

Maerwen – (Warrior)

Thenidiel – (Ranger)

Nostariel – (Ranger)

OTHERS

Berenfoodle – (Gnome Mage and inventor)

Fuin – (Halfling Rogue and storyteller)

LAWS

It is illegal to override an animal, force a weakened ox to do excessive work or threaten an animal with angry vehemence which breaks bones.

At the seasonal feasts of the clan, the elders and chief bard shall be served a thigh of the roast. The youngest child served a leg.

If a person you refuses to pay his debt you may sit at his doorstep until he submits to arbitration. If you die before he submits he shall be blamed for your death and shall suffer lifelong disgrace.

A clansman exercises not falsehood nor force nor oppressive might. He/she is honorable towards all his/her people, both weak and strong.

Three things that cause the overthrow of a the elders; injustice, extortion, and kin-slaying.

For digging in hallowed ground to steal from it, for making a dam in a stream to take an excess of fish, or for stealing a hunter’s property, their property will be taken in payment, depending on the circumstances.

If a clansman breaks another clansman’s leg he must pay a fine and supply themselves for the victim’s use.

All members of the tribe are required to offer hospitality to goodly strangers. The only exceptions are , madmen, and the diseased.

The selfish man, who thinks only of his animals and his fields, and not of his fellow human beings, may be insulted without risking a blush fine.

The satirist who satirizes a guiltless person will grow blisters on his own face. And then he will die.

Every month paths must be cleared of brambles, brush, weeds, and water to make ready for assembly, feast or fair.

The creditor who holds your property as security for your pledge must return them back to you to wear at the great assembly/feast and prevent embarrassment.

If a woman makes an assignation with a man to come to her bed or behind a bush the man is not guilty of rape even if she screams. If she has not agreed to the meeting, however, he is guilty as soon as she screams.

The wife retains rights to property, goods and possessions in the joining.

If a pregnant women craves a morsel of food and her husband withholds it through stinginess, meanness or neglect he must pay a fine.

A fine of 10 lashes for breaking a clansman’s two front teeth; 20 for maiming a man: for causing a preventable death to a clansman, 3 years of servitude; for killing a fellow clansman unjustly, lifelong servitude.

It is illegal to give someone food in which a dead animal has been found."

If your neighbor does not repay the debt he owes you, you may prevent him from going about his daily business. A withe-tie goes around the blacksmith anvil, carpenter’s axe or tree fellers hatchet. He is on his honor to do no work until the debt is settled or wrong righted. The creditor may fast in front of the debtor’s house to humiliate him until the debt is paid.

If a rational adult brings a simpleton into an ale house for amusement and the simpleton injures a patron the adult who brought him must make compensation.

The blacksmith must rouse all sleeping customers before he puts the iron in the fire to guard against injury from sparks. Those who fall asleep again will receive no compensation.

When an elder or judge deviates from the truth, a blotch will appear on his cheek.

The husband who, through listlessness, does not go to his wife in her bed must pay a fine.

These are just some of the laws. I will think of other as needed.

Road's End, A New Beginning

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