Noteworthy Individuals in Anderland
Aieleen Silverhawk (female elf, age 74): An elven woman who, despite the odds, rose to become the duke’s huntsman and chief tracker. Aieleen lost her parents during the attack by the Night Dragon, but was adopted into the ducal household after her father died saving Caldric’s life (at the time, Caldric was the Duke’s son, not yet the Duke). She is a preternatural hunter and tracker, with uncanny skills with the longbow. She has superb eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell. Her pet hawk almost seems an extension of her will. She does not care much for crowds, cities, or even towns, and she is happiest when out in the forest. She has close ties to the local druids of the Council and Wardens (one of the wardens helped raise her and train her with the duke’s permission). The Silverhawks are her elite trackers and hunters; they secretly patrol the Duchy to watch for signs of brigands, monster incursions, and threats by Maldar and Paladanthis, as well as raids by Uthnal reavers.
Beryl of Sanctuary (female eladrin, age 228): Beryl is the Elder of the town of Sanctuary, a distant and remote community of the realm. She has guided her community for over two centuries, keeping her people safe even against the ever-present threat of Uthnal Reavers and the dangers of the Shadowmist Forest. Interestingly, she follows in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, both of whom led the community in their time. Although extremely aged, Beryl possesses a formidable spirit and unflagging energy in protecting her people. She is a good friend to Duke Caldric, although in many ways the town of Sanctuary is only ephemerally part of the Duchy.
Cairn Redfang (male shifter, age 19): The eldest son of Varl Graytooth (see below). Cairn is a shifter, and he belongs to the small shifter colony here in the Duchy of Anderland. He is widely regarded by his people, and he has become the voice for the younger, disaffected members of the shifter tribe. He seeks to become tribal elder and to carve out greater domain for his people, even if it means going to war to do so. Although Cairn is a fierce, deadly warrior, it is likely his reach exceeds his grasp – he dislikes diplomacy, has no interest in compromise, and is not a gifted leader in the domain of politics.
Friar Tomas Abernathy (male human, age 44): A traveling itinerant cleric in service to the faith of Gregorio. Friar Tomas (he goes by “Friar Tom,” although some refer to him as “Fat Tom”) is a large, portly, and jovial man with a tremendous love of beer, ale, mead, and just about any sort of food. He travels throughout the duchy to conduct ceremonies and rituals associated with marriage, childbirth, and similar celebrations. He is a frequent guest at the table of Duke Caldric, and as such he is a great fan of Lucas, the palace cook (although Lucas often quails at the appearance of the Friar at the dinner table). Most people underestimate Tom’s intellect and assume he has no other interest beyond his rotund belly. In truth, he is a keen observer and possesses an eidetic memory. He carries with him his trusted mace to deal with “thieves, varlets, Banites, and other curs” when he travels.
Galen of Westford (male half-elf, age 38): A bard from the distant south. He spends much of his time in Anderland, rotating back and forth between the Duchy and Maldar. He has long blond hair, deep blue eyes, and a striking singing voice. Galen is renowned for his storytelling abilities, and he composed the most popular retelling of the Ballad of the Night of Shadows. He tells the most outlandish tales, but few people can say how much is real and how much is poetic license/embellishment. He is especially important because he often brings important news to the Duchy. A number of whispered stories suggest that Galen once insulted the Mad Emperor, and only narrowly escaped with his life, and only by telling the Emperor an original story, without pause, for an entire day.
Great Oakfather: Only a handful of individuals know where this ancient and wise treant lives; indeed, his very existence is known only through folktales and legends to most people. This treant is well over nine centuries old, having sprouted before the fall of the Nerathan Empire. In his time, he has presided over a small and secretive forest grove. Creatures may come to his grove in search of sanctuary and the protection of Oakfather. In sheer magical power, he is the match of an adult dragon. In wisdom, he rivals any living creature, including many of the great elder dragons. For the most part, Oakfather stays neutral in the affairs of mortals, and he rarely communicates with outsiders. He maintains communications with the Wardens and the Council of Druids, and often provides them with information and guidance.
Jarda Stonewarden (female dwarf, age 204): Although Jarda has been in “retirement” for the past thirty years, she briefly came out of retirement to help defeat the Night Dragon during the Night of Shadows. During her lifetime, Jarda has been responsible for training more than three dozen individual Wardens. She served as High Warden for the region for more than four decades. Jarda is one of the most respected individuals alive, and she is widely regarded as a living legend. Not surprisingly, she dislikes public attention, actively avoids fame, and prefers her privacy. She spends most of her time living in her home near the edge of the Anvil Mountains, although she travels to Andersgate from time to time to meet with Duke Caldric. Many times the Wardens have attempted to lure her back to train new recruits (especially with so many slain during the Night of Shadows), but it is an exceptionally unusual recruit that receives any lessons from Jarda.
Kincaid of Greenbriar (male human, age 49): The current commander of the Pathfinders, Kincaid has served in this role for the past 18 years. His predecessor, Quentin Thomas, barely survived the attack of the Night Dragon, and he never fully recovered his courage after that night. For a short time after that horrific night, the Pathfinder organization struggled as Commander Thomas issued increasingly bizarre and unpredictable orders. Before he could cause much harm to the company, however, Kincaid discovered the commander had become insane and fallen under the spell of an evil cult. Unfortunately, Kincaid was forced to kill his boss and mentor to save the Pathfinders. After that, he took control over the organization and has led it since with wisdom and cunning. Kincaid has a strong personality, and he has been known to get into loud disagreements with the Duke. Whether in spite of this or because of it, Kincaid and Duke Caldric remain good friends and hunting partners. For all his good qualities, however, Kincaid is increasingly overwhelmed, as are his Pathfinders. They have their hands full keeping track of the many threats in and around Anderland. Added to these challenges, there have been more and more incursions by the Empire of Maldar into the Duchy of late. Kincaid would like nothing more than to retire before the inevitable conflict breaks.
Lyria Damara (female half-elf, age 37): Lyria barely survived the Night of Shadows; a druidic apprentice at the time, she watched her fellow apprentices and their masters massacred by the Night Dragon. Afterwards, Lyria learned that the Council of Druids had possessed information about the Night Dragon before its attack. She accused the Council Elder, Talbot Ashcroft, of doing nothing with that knowledge. Before the Council could expel her, she formed her own splinter group known as the Followers of the Path. Her and a handful of other druids left the Council and have remained a part of this splinter group ever since. The Followers of the Path have remained a somewhat militant and active, albeit small, druidic organization in the realm. Lyria is a fiery young woman of tremendous passion and determination. She harbors deep resentment towards the Council and its leader, Talbot Ashcroft.
Malvena Vol, High Priestess of Bane (female human, age 21): The current High Priestess of the Church of Bane in the Duchy of Anderland. She arrived in the city of Andersgate only last year, after her predecessor died of a mysterious foodborne illness. Whereas the last High Priestess of Bane in the region was considered a lecherous, craven fool, Malvena Vol has demonstrated the true zeal and determination of a “true believer.” Although it can easily be appreciated that her posting in Anderland is not a prestigious one, Malvena nonetheless wields considerable power and influence in the duchy. She can gain an audience with Duke Caldric whenever she demands, she maintains her own small private bodyguard force, and she benefits from the wealth of the church. The High Priestess is detested, but no dares publicly insult her or challenge her authority. With but a word, she can have virtually any Anderlander (commoner) arrested and imprisoned or flogged. There are rumors that the High Priestess of Bane is quite smitten with Duke Caldric, and is determined to win control over the leader of the realm.
Marta Crowe (female human, age 44): The current wife of merchant Tobias Crowe (see below). In her youth, Marta was known for her tremendous beauty and poise. At an early age, she demonstrated a deep interest in becoming a priestess of Avandra. Before she could fulfill her dream, her parents forced her to marry Tobias Crowe – a demand that made her family quite wealthy. It is said that Marta aged quickly thereafter. She has remained a staunch advocate of the poor and needy in Andersgate, although much of her fiery disposition and passion have long since been taken from her. She seems slightly unhinged at times; perhaps living for so long with Tobias Crowe has left her a rather damaged individual… There are a number of dark and disturbing stories concerning what happened to her youngest daughter just a few years ago.
Nara Blackstaff (female elf, age 117): The second most important member of the Council of Druids, Nara is widely seen as the next leader of the Council. Despite her age, she is a relative newcomer to the region, having only lived in the Duchy for a decade. She is beloved by many of the common folk for her warmth, her obvious compassion, and her willingness to listen. She and the current Grand Druid, Talbot Ashcroft (see below) do not get along, and often take opposing sides on any issue. For all of Nara’s goodwill with the common folk, she is determined to lead the Council of Druids down a more conservative path. She believes the druids should not be involved with the populace, as it damages their neutrality and involves them in issues that should be left to fate. Were it up to Nara Blackstaff, the Council would become far more secret and closed to the people of Anderland.
Obrück the Bold (male human, age 64): The current leader of the Wardens. Obrück became the First Warden seven years ago upon the disappearance of the previous leader, Lena Sarwick. On the plus side, Obrück is capable and cares a great deal about his people. On the downside, he has limited imagination or foresight. When things are going well, he keeps the Wardens running efficiently and he keeps Anderland safe. When things turn chaotic, however, Obrück becomes too focused on details. He is an extremely stubborn man, and not an individual given to flights of fancy. He has no time for nonsense (and he has a fairly broad view of what constitutes “nonsense”).
Remiya Pemberton (female human, age 24): Former pupil of Kyman Andoverge and journeyman wizard. She currently resides in Andersgate where she brews potions, provides readings for individuals, and earns a living as best she can. The common people have come to appreciate and trust Remiya, although they do not always feel comfortable with her “gifts.” In past, all of Kyman’s pupils (and there have not been a great many of those) have left the Duchy to find better work in other lands. Remiya, however, has chosen to remain local. She and Kyman remain on fairly good terms.
Silaura the Gray (female human, age 52): A local priestess of the faith of Avandra. For the most part, Silaura wanders through the Duchy helping people as needed and spreading word of Avandra’s message. For much of her life, Silaura was a fixture in Andersgate and the surrounding area, and she was respected by all people. Unfortunately, her distrust of Banites and her brave words proved unwise. Two years ago, she was named an Enemy of the Empire, and thus is considered a wanted fugitive with a price on her head. By imperial law, Duke Caldric was forced to arrest the priestess and send her to Maldar for trial. Although the duke arrested Silaura, he allowed her to escape rather than condemning her by sending her to the Empire. Since that time, Silaura has been a fugitive. Anyone harboring her, providing her food, or otherwise granting aid is also an Enemy of the Empire. The Duke’s decision to arrest Silaura was easily one of the least popular acts of his tenure, and to this day people consider it a black mark on the ducal family name. Despite the risk, the priestess remains in the Duchy to help people and spread Avandra’s word.
Talbot Ashcroft (male human, age 92): The current leader of the Council of Druids – known as the Grand Druid – in the region is this man, widely considered one of the most cantankerous and ill-mannered in the Duchy. He has served as a druid for the Council for more than seven decades, and he has been their leader for the past decade. Most common folk have never met Ashcroft, but most have heard of him by reputation. For all his bad moods and blistering insults, he genuinely cares for the people under his care. He has always worked to keep the Council of Druids involved in everyday affairs. Although he was not involved in the fight against the Night Dragon, much of his time these past two decades has been dedicated to repairing the aftereffects and rebuilding the Council’s membership. Of late, he has come under increased challenge from a younger druid, Nara Blackstaff, who seeks to lead the Council on a more conservative course.
Tobias Crowe (male human, age 63): Tobias is one of the wealthiest and most influential merchants in the Duchy of Anderland. He resides in the capital city of Andersgate where he controls a mercantile trading coster (Crowe Commerce) that also operates in Paladanthis, Maldar, and throughout the Cadean Marches. He personally owns a small fleet of merchant ships, and his company employs dozens of individuals. Mr. Crowe is well known, but not well liked. He is viewed as greedy, manipulative, ambitious, and unsympathetic to his “social inferiors.” He is one of the most powerful individuals in the region, despite the fact he has no noble title. Indeed, a great many nobles in Maldar and Anderland (and elsewhere) owe him favors and other debts. It is said that he holds secrets and leverage on almost every noble throughout this realm and elsewhere. For all his faults, Mr. Crowe has long supported the ducal family of d’Anderville. At the same time, most people know better than to fully trust Tobias. When business concludes, the only individual Tobias truly cares about is himself. There is frequent speculation that Mr. Crowe’s business interests are far deeper and wide-flung than anyone truly guesses. He is widely known as a collector and purveyor of magic items and relics, and he has a particular fondness for unique items.
Varl Graytooth (male shifter, age 44): Leader of a small but stable colony of shifters living in the Duchy of Anderland. Varl is their tribe elder, and the individual chosen to lead his people. He is an aged shifter, having survived more than six decades of strife and trouble. On the whole, he has been a wise and capable leader. At the same time, his calm and conservative leadership has become increasingly dissatisfying to the younger members of his tribe. He does not seek revolution, but rather works to keep peace between his people and the folk of the Duchy. Varl would like to turn over his position to his elder son, Cairn Redfang (see above), but his son is more interested in combat and violence. Although the shifter population is small relative to the population of humans in the region, they are tough and fearless warriors all. Were they to go on the rampage, they would cause considerable bloodshed before their ultimate annihilation.
Viktor Grimm (male halfling, age 32): An expatriate from the Empire of Maldar, Viktor came to the city of Andersgate looking for work and a place to live. In the span of a decade, he clawed his way to the top of the local thieves’ guild. All along the way, his opponents underestimated him, much to their sorrow. Viktor has demonstrated remarkable tenacity, skill, and supernatural luck. Indeed, numerous stories indicate that a ghost accompanies him everywhere, advising him and protecting him. Viktor is a ruthless criminal who holds the Andersgate thieves’ guild in an iron grip. He is a consummate businessman, and under his leadership the guild has prospered. He maintains an uneasy truce with the Duke’s authority and that of the local constabulary – he knows the limits of what he can get away with, and what actions may provoke a response. He is also adept at misplacing blame and getting out of harm’s way at the right time. Despite the seeming contradiction, there is evidence of friendship (or at least camaraderie) between Viktor and Tobias Crowe (see above).
Baron Vladimir Cadwallis (male human, age 52): This man is a wealthy, if relatively unimportant, noble living in Stormhaven. Originally born in Maldar, he moved to Anderland at the request of the Emperor. Having married a cousin to Duke Caldric, he gained noble titles in the Duchy in addition to those he already held in Maldar. Baron Cadwallis owns several mines in the Anvil Mountains, and he also owns a trading coster based in Stormhaven. He recently gained entry into the famed Knights of Stormhaven, despite his near total lack of martial skill. He has three sons, with the middle child (Barthlome) apprenticed to the court wizard in Andersgate. The Baron is good friends with Baron Calixis, current Knight Marshall of the Knights of Stormhaven.