The Coming of the Zioth

The Dutchy of Ostmark

By Ted Hessing, revised by the DM. Last updated 12/19/2012.

The Dutchy of Ostmark stretches along the coast of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
and into the interior, and makes up the entire northeastern border of the kingdom. The capital of Ostmark, Darnien is a seaport to rival Duerstadtplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The City of Duerstadt

Duerstadt has been the capital of Rang since the reign of Diure XXXVIII (729-749). It is a major trading port on the Ice Sea (so called for the occasional iceberg that shows up therein). The Ice Sea separates Rang from the Skendu Islands to the north. Although the harbor of Duerstadt isn't threatened by pack ice in the winter, the various Skendui ports are, and the distance between the north coast of
itself in size and wealth.

History

For a period of eight months, The First Emperor of the Realm, Volupture I, held significant power over the lands which are now Ostmark, but which were then the westernmost extremes of the Eastern Kingdomsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Eastern Kingdoms

Little is known about the Eastern Kingdoms. At one time, there was regular communication with Rang, but the kingdoms have become increasingly quiet over time.

Physically, the Eastern Kingdoms are nearly inaccessible from Rang. Their borders with the Ice Sea are treacherous due to rocks and ice, so there are very few ports. The border with
. Ostmark was lost to Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
influence soon thereafter.

In 956, Aranas, king of Ostmark, singed an agreement with Diure the Negotiator that reduced his rank to Duke, and made him a noble under the Diure crown. It was made clear to Aranas by Diure LXII that he had little choice in the matter, given the far superior military and commercial power of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
. Ostmark and its dukes, however, have had no reason to regret the agreement, as the duchy has maintained much of its independence, and it has thrived commercially. Part of the agreement gave Diure half of what is now the Royal Estates.

The election for the Fourth Emperor of the Realm was arranged by Diure LXIV, and will be held on the first of Aed, 1002. Ostmark briefly held out for a candidate of its own, but it quickly stopped the effort, possibly realizing that Ostmark was not in a position to take on such a great financial burden, and possibly not wanting to oppose Diure, who will almost certainly win.

Effect on Foreign Relations

Some suspect that the Eastern Kingdomsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Eastern Kingdoms

Little is known about the Eastern Kingdoms. At one time, there was regular communication with Rang, but the kingdoms have become increasingly quiet over time.

Physically, the Eastern Kingdoms are nearly inaccessible from Rang. Their borders with the Ice Sea are treacherous due to rocks and ice, so there are very few ports. The border with
maintain their silence because of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
's reputation of becoming friendly with its neighbors, then conquering or absorbing them. There is a good piece of evidence for this theory – what limited trade there was ceased when Ostmark, the dutchy immediately to the west of the mountains, was absorbed into Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
.

Religion

Like most of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, Ostmark is a predominately Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
state. Before Andrithanismplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
was the predominant religion, most worshipped various forms of animism and forces of nature. The transition from nature worship to Andrithanismplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
resulted in holidays, customs and traditions than harken back to the past. Forces of nature have been replaced by Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
saints. Instead of a farmer praying to the weather gods for rain to bless his crop, he might pray to the Patron Saint of Farmers, in addition, of course, to Andrith in all her aspects.

Holidays and Customs

While there are countless Saint's days throughout the year, these are the most widely known. Indeed, travelers from outside of Ostmark often make pilgrimages to partake in them.

Winter Solstice: Celebrated by feasting, and drinking of strong brandies fermented since the summer and meads. Giant logs from monstrous felled oaks burn for a fortnight. It is a time for family and merry making. Evergreen boughs are brought inside to decorate hearth and home. Grievances from the past year are patched up or otherwise settled. Gifts are often exchanged.

Spring Equinox: Each town sets up a pole to which its major industries attack a plaque. Visitors have a single point of reference for all goods and services available. Each spring, entrepreneurs and tradesmen display their wares, discount old inventory, and try to earn business for the coming year by showing their goods. It is also a celebration of life, as many babies are born from marriages consummated over the next two holidays.

Summer Solstice: A celebration of life and liberties. Often a time for contests of skill, wit, strength, and endurance. The Duke has his tourneys and lists. New knights take their vows at this time of year. Marriage proposals and ceremonies are also common.

Autumnal Equinox: The harvest festival. Time to secure goods for the coming winter and feast on the productivity of the harvest. The beer celebration is legendary.

Feudal Order

Most of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
has a long and complex hierarchy of lords, from king to prince to duke, count, marquis and so on. Ostmark retains is more compact system of duke, baron and lord.

Archduke: Before annexation into Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, this man was king of Ostmark. While he is officially a duke in Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, he is sometimes referred to as the Archduke within the dutchy. This new title allowed existing dukes to keep their own titles. Although the title defaults to the nearest male heir upon passing, the Archduke may appoint any of his male heirs as a successor. On occasion, an archduke has named a sibling, cousin, or uncle holding the title of duke. Tradition indicates that those in line for the crown either pass on seeking religious appointments or defer titles and accept them. The Archduke resides in Darnien in the north.

Dukes & Duchesses: Members of the royal family that are appointed to hold a duchy (title) and dukedom (land) by the Archduke. While the Archduke appoints each duke when the previous one passes away, the ceremony is little more than a formality, as the position of duke is almost always inherritted. There have been cases, however, when a duke has been passed over for succession to the crown because of religious ties.

Barons: A hereditary title granted from the days when Ostmark was still its own kingdom. At the time, all great lords were given the title Baron. Under agreement to merge with Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, the Archduke promised that no new barons would be named and the title would be inherited. This cemented barons to the agreement. It also led to many backroom agreements where un-titled persons of influence suddenly gained titles. Most barons are also knights.

Lords: The Archduke did not give away his only means of granting favor to loyal servants. The Duke may grant land and title to those who serve him well. All property reverts to the Archduchy when heirs are exhausted, or titles renounced or stripped he has ample means. Interestingly, Dukes may not make a lord, only the Archduke, even if it is not in his dukedom. Some archdukes have been known to wield this power more artfully than others. Some new lords have found themselves in the enmity of their Dukes simply because the Archduke granted them the title and lands when the duke had someone else in mind. The title passes through normal lines of inheritance.

Knight: A title of status for nobility that shows bravery, fealty, and reverence to Ostmark and the Andrithian church. Like the other dukes of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, Ostmark is required to supply a certain number of knights to the crown in times of war. Fortunately, the tie beetween Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
and Ostmark has not yet been tested in this way.

Commerce

In the middle of the second pile were some rejected purchase requests for an unusual thread from Ostmark, a large dutchy in the northeast. The requests had been made by Master Telendry, presumably the occupant of this office during the day, and denied by someone with the initials G.Z. There were six such requests, made over a period of two months, for varying amounts of thread, and prices of up to three hundred attles. Large orders of expensive thread, to be shipped all the way from Ostmark to a town that had wool production as one if its primary industries was strange, but Ziedonplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Ziedon

Ziedon stands a little under six feet tall and is relatively thin. He has a neatly trimmed black beard and mustache which stand out considerably against his pale skin. His hazel eyes seem to see everything around him. Ziedon's white hair is cut short in the traditional townsman's style. Ziedon's garb is of a well-to-do townsman. He normally wears a thin, off-white shirt with eleven pairs of wooden knobs and strings in the front with a brown and green band of cloth was laid across his sh…
couldn't make anything of it. That was the most interesting thing Ziedonplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Ziedon

Ziedon stands a little under six feet tall and is relatively thin. He has a neatly trimmed black beard and mustache which stand out considerably against his pale skin. His hazel eyes seem to see everything around him. Ziedon's white hair is cut short in the traditional townsman's style. Ziedon's garb is of a well-to-do townsman. He normally wears a thin, off-white shirt with eleven pairs of wooden knobs and strings in the front with a brown and green band of cloth was laid across his sh…
found in either pile. Ziedonplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Ziedon

Ziedon stands a little under six feet tall and is relatively thin. He has a neatly trimmed black beard and mustache which stand out considerably against his pale skin. His hazel eyes seem to see everything around him. Ziedon's white hair is cut short in the traditional townsman's style. Ziedon's garb is of a well-to-do townsman. He normally wears a thin, off-white shirt with eleven pairs of wooden knobs and strings in the front with a brown and green band of cloth was laid across his sh…
folded up the rejected orders and put them in his pocket.127plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 127: Recconoisance

Townsman Silnquost had promised information; Ziedon was hardly surprised when it didn't come. He was a prisoner here, however the townsman had sugar-coated it. But then again, waiting around for a few days couldn't hurt, especially if he really was a hunted man outside this building. He could escape when he needed to.

“He told the guy sitting next to him that a spice merchant from Ostmark had gotten stuck in town when they locked it down, and had all sorts of crazy stuff with him from the Eastern Kingdomsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Eastern Kingdoms

Little is known about the Eastern Kingdoms. At one time, there was regular communication with Rang, but the kingdoms have become increasingly quiet over time.

Physically, the Eastern Kingdoms are nearly inaccessible from Rang. Their borders with the Ice Sea are treacherous due to rocks and ice, so there are very few ports. The border with
. I guess they say that kind of stuff won't last long in a town before it starts making itself known, and strange things have been happening in the merchant's room. It all sounds pretty far-fetched to me.”139plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 139: The Transformation

Ziedon woke once again to a stiff breeze. He had fallen asleep sitting up, but now he was lying on the hard floor, his cloak wrapped tightly around him. He glared at the open window, working life back into his fingers. The sooner they could get to that boarding house, the better. Kreemon could have the room without the fireplace. Let him freeze as much as he wanted.

Ostmark Oaks

The main support of the Huerten Traders Lodge in Huerten Cityplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Huerten City

With ten thousand people and a disproportionately large military, Huerten City is the largest and most powerful population center in Rang. Baron Huerten lives in the center of the city, in his castle, the outer walls of which long ago crumbled to ruin.
comes from an enormous Ostmark Oak rooted fifty feet into the ground, a gift from Diure LVIII. The Lodge was destroyed during the earthquake of 10/8/1001.

The great Ostmark Oak which had supported the roof creaked against the rubble over and over, as its end was lifted and dropped by the lake.90plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 90: The Rift

The rising sun illuminated a new Huerten. Fog burned away to reveal destruction unimagined the night before. What had been gaudily decorated streets were now piles of rubble, where not one house in two still stood. What had been packed fairgrounds were now a chaos of wood and canvas.

“That thing is an Ostmark Oak, a gift from Diure the Fifty-eighth. It's rooted eight feet into the ground. If it's tilting, there won't be anything to put back together soon.”88plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 88: Uyithlyaw's Prophecy

The heavy heat of the morning became more oppressive as the day wore on, then it slacked off, and by evening was replaced by a thickening fog. The Winter Fair and Festival went on. As stands and shops closed, people and their money moved inside, where all manner of entertainment could be found. Sir Jerenil's First Knight and the baron's Trader's Lodge, of course, had the best, and both had hired people to act like patrons of the competitor and then shout out things like,

Money

Attlesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Rang Currency

The Aglar

Rang's economy is based on barter and silver, the later dominating commercial activity in towns and cities. The silver Aglar (ă'glǒr) has been minted since the early days of Rang, primarily out of the capitol, Duerstadt. There are also regional mints in most of the duchies, bearing unique mint marks, and producing, collectively, about four fifths as much as is produced by
minted in Darnien are struck on the reverse with the letter Oudemal, the first letter of “Ostmark” in Sarnamplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Language

Rouch

Rouch is the vernacular, or common tongue, spoken throughout Rang. Because of Rang's influence, it's also a trade language in the surrounding kingdoms.

Sarnam

Sarnam is the “old tongue,” spoken by the priests of Andritha. Most of the nobly-born are familiar with the language.
.

Notable People

Durraman, a member of the Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
Ecclesiarchy is held in high respect by several other members for his wide-ranging knowledge and understanding, and was even asked for council occasionally by Torval himself. He is a fine rethorician, and has represented several of the highest-ranking Andrithansplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
in court. Several times a year, he serves as judge for the most severe or difficult crimes committed in Duerstadtplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The City of Duerstadt

Duerstadt has been the capital of Rang since the reign of Diure XXXVIII (729-749). It is a major trading port on the Ice Sea (so called for the occasional iceberg that shows up therein). The Ice Sea separates Rang from the Skendu Islands to the north. Although the harbor of Duerstadt isn't threatened by pack ice in the winter, the various Skendui ports are, and the distance between the north coast of
. Durraman is from Darnien, the capital of Ostmark.

Player Characters: Ramziplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Ramzi

The first thought that crosses people's minds when they see Ramzi is “that man exudes violence”. He is not an especially large man -- about 6', 190 lbs -- but he has oversized hands, and thick forearms bearing all manner of scars, and all one can think about is how easily those arms could be used to hurt people. He also moves with a grace that belies his size, and there is sense of taut readiness about him, as if he is a coiled serpent, ready to strike. His olive skin has the perpetual t…
is from Ostmark. Vossplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Jahred Voss

Voss has an intensely pale complexion, even for a very light-skinned caucasian, which has earned him the nickname 'The Ghoul.' Lately though, this creamy skin has given away to being pocked with red blotches, the end result of a stubborn epidermis that refuses to tan. The Vhoosch are rarely exposed to the beating sun and it's heat and warmth. Like his ancestors before him, he has a hard time adjusting to more mild and warm climates. He is extremely sensitive to humidity… it is not o…
served under the Archduke for some time, after leaving the Eastern Kingdomsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Eastern Kingdoms

Little is known about the Eastern Kingdoms. At one time, there was regular communication with Rang, but the kingdoms have become increasingly quiet over time.

Physically, the Eastern Kingdoms are nearly inaccessible from Rang. Their borders with the Ice Sea are treacherous due to rocks and ice, so there are very few ports. The border with
.

Lore

An Amulet

Johannesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Master Johannes Eltermann

Johannes Eltermann is very tall, and slightly more slender than average, and has a well-defined, delicate bone structure. His hair and eyes are dark brown. He keeps himself well-groomed and clean-shaven, and tends to dress in plain but well-tailored clothing in dark, formal colors. The lack of ostentation flaunts his taste. He currently wears good-quality traveling clothes with matching boots, a belt, from which a dagger hangs, and a cloak.
learned in Huerten Cityplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Huerten City

With ten thousand people and a disproportionately large military, Huerten City is the largest and most powerful population center in Rang. Baron Huerten lives in the center of the city, in his castle, the outer walls of which long ago crumbled to ruin.
about amulet which was said to have been worn by a princess in ancient Ostmark to ward off the magic of a powerful enchanter.84plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 84: Waiting for the Trial

The next day went without a hitch. Johannes escorted Ardith from Felender's house to the Office of the Corporal of the Central North District, while Sahlman followed at a distance in case there was any trouble. From there, the corporal himself brought Ardith and Johannes to the Offices of the Captain of the Guard, a few hundred feet from the castle gates, and from there they were taken to see the Second Clerk.
Galgeweplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Galgewe

Last updated 2012-10-26

This could afford to be a little longer, for such an important NPC...

Description

A short, stocky man with a balding head of curly, fiery red hair entered the room. His dull blue robes matched his eyes, and the sheath of a short sword hung from his waist.
told Ziedonplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Ziedon

Ziedon stands a little under six feet tall and is relatively thin. He has a neatly trimmed black beard and mustache which stand out considerably against his pale skin. His hazel eyes seem to see everything around him. Ziedon's white hair is cut short in the traditional townsman's style. Ziedon's garb is of a well-to-do townsman. He normally wears a thin, off-white shirt with eleven pairs of wooden knobs and strings in the front with a brown and green band of cloth was laid across his sh…
that he was in possession of a similar amulet.

The Maid and Her Betrothed

By Ted Hessing. Copy-editted by the DM

In the wooded forrest region of Ostmark there is a legend of good female elves who live in the woods. Although they like humans, history has taught them to shy away from the likes of men. When they do appear to human eyes, they do so in the guise of small, old women. Despite their reticence to be seen, when they are discovered, they delight in helping.

Once upon a time, a poor maid was on her way to her future husband - a match fortuitiously arranged on her behalf. She was worried. She was so destitute, and her betrothed, while not rich, had a house, a profession, and ample means to provide for them. What would happen to her if, upon arriving at his door, he rejected her? Desperate, she filled her bags with straw and stones, so it should look that she had also something to bring into the marriage.

The leagues she walked were slow going because the stones made her bag so heavy! Night began to fall and she was only half way to her betrothed when she came upon several old women along the trail. They welcomed her to share a fire and fed her. She never suspected these were the fabled Wood Girls. The eldest amongst them asked her about the heavy bags.

The young maid told her the truth and her problem. The elf said, “Because you have told me the truth, don't worry no longer, all stones will be gold coins.” The young maid thought it was nothing but the plattitudes of an old woman, and fell asleep. When she awoke, the old women were gone.

However, when the maid arrived at the house of her husband, indeed she had no more stones in her bag. They were all gold eagles!

The Water Nymph's Bell

By Ted Hessing. Copy-editted by the DM

In the early days, the Kingdom of Ostmark was beset by a terrible evil. Eventually it became clear to the King that he must leave the safety of his castle and ride out, and quest for a way to deliver his people. His wife being young and afraid, pleaded with him not to go.

“It is the will of Andrithaplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
,” said the king. “She will keep you safe.”

Before leaving, he gave his wife an old silver bell. He claimed that it had passed as an inheritance in his family, and was originally gifted to them by a water nymph as a gift. He told her to keep it well in her room. If he died while questing, the bell would sound and alert her. On the contrary, if she was unfaithful to him, the bell also would sound and he would die at the same moment, wherever he was. This magic the water nymph had crafted into the gift.

One year passed. Then a second. Then a third. Still, no message reached the desparate Lady Queen. She was very sad because the rumours persisted that the King had died upon his quest. But the bell had not sounded, and she kept faith.

In the fourth year, a young knight fell in love with her and began to court ther. He denied the belief of magic. He told her that her husband had invented this story only to keep her in fear. He had heard on very good authority that the King had perished and for the good of the realm she must remarry.

He was persuasive, the young queen relented and believed him in the end. Just as soon as she had agreed to marry him, the silver bell could be heard ringing throughout the castle. The magic was true.

Desparation and tremendous fear overcame the Queen. The bell did not stop ringing. Her grief and sorrow and shame were so immense that she ran all steps to the top of the castle tower and killed herself by jumping in the river upon which the castle was built.

Weeks later, the King's retinue returned his body to the castle to be buried with his forefathers. Indeed it was true, the King in the prime of his age and healthy in spirit died suddenly upon the ringing of the bell.