Thursday, September 26, 2013

Campaign Starting Location: Winterfell & the North (Northern Westermark)

Starting Location:  Northern Westermark (Westermark = The West)

Winterfell & Northern Westermark

Northern Factions
  • ·         The Black Watch
  • ·         Winterfell
  • ·         Barbarian Clans
  • ·         Frozen Wastes
  • ·         Northern Barons.
  • ·         Dun Garok (Dwarfs)

Nominal Ruler: The Winter King of Winterfell.

Reality: The Northern Barons rule their own lands with little interference from Winterfell.  On rare occasion the Winter King will demand a levy but no WK has ever sought tribute although he could certainly enforce it if he desired.  While the Barons are bound on paper by the Glacies Carta the ancient artifact treaty between the Dwarfs and the IWK no one is forced to swear an oath.

The Frozen Wastes:  Lawless frontier.  Mostly scattered barbarian tribes but a few nomadic orckin tribes dwell there.  Every hundred years or so a Barbarian King will arise and unite the clans and invade south.  This was always a terrible time until the VIII Winter King along with help from the Southern lands built The Black Keep and established the Black Watch to guard the lone pass from the wastes to the Westermark.  Once a man “puts on the Black” he is bound for life to the Black Keep and being ever vigilant guarding the pass.

The frost tends to make metal stick so most warriors here fight with axes, bows, spears, clubs and maces.  Platemail does exist though it is rarer than in the rest of the West.  The most common armor is leather types, due to its warmth capabilities as compared to plate, chain or ringmail. 

Spring lasts about 3 months followed by a very short summer & fall with typical winter lasting 6 months.   Most available farm land is dedicated to livestock and a hearty wheat grain.  Fish is a main staple especially near the rivers, lakes and the coast.

Largest cities are Winterfell and Candlekeep.  Candlekeep has been ruled by a branch of the Winterfell Stark family for 300 years.  The XX Winter King is the young Robert Stark.  His older cousin Brenden Stark rules Candlekeep as Duke.

Religion:  The Pagan Cult of Ulric, God of Winter, Wolves and Battle is the largest religion.  There are a few animist cults and the Cult of Sigmar has a growing but minor presence.  Every so often a Krasian Cleric can be spotted but they are usually ignored.

Baronial feuds are common but usually don’t spread too far, rarely requiring intervention from Candlekeep or Winterfell.  At any one time there are 150 Northern Barons.  A warlord will arise & claim a new throne or one baron will conquer another.  Sometimes the common folk will simply upstakes and move to a new Lord with a better grasp on reality leaving the old Baron with no income and no militia.  This usually results in a stronger Baron taking over.  Sometimes Baronies change hands through marriage.  One sonless Baron will marry his daughter to the son of another and then their child inherits both lands only to have the lands split again among his own heirs.

The barbarian clans dwell in the far Northern Plains and in Northern caves and crags of the Dragonspine Mountains.  These are very primitive folk but are skilled craftsmen and will often trade with travelers, if they don’t kill them and take what they have.

The Dwarfs of Dun Garok tend to be reclusive.  They do send out trading caravans from time to time, in search of resources and gold.  Occasionally they will send out a punitive expedition to deal with marauding barbarians, orckin and occasionally they will parley with the Winter King if one of his Barons becomes a problem.  You can find Dwarf merchants trading at the Black Keep, some even have shops in Winterfell and as far away as Candlekeep.  It’s not unheard of for a rich Baron to have a Dwarf smith on his payroll.

Into this setting comes Wulfgar, son of a deposed Baron from the Wolf Clans near Winterfell.  Wulfgars father was slain by his jealous half-brother.  Wulfgar had been away on a coming of age trip south when the coup took place.  It wasn't until his return 2.5 years later that he learned of his uncle’s treachery.  Most of his father’s trusted men that survived had fled to other baronies and to Winterfell.  It was to Winterfell that Wulfgar returned with his travelling companions.  The XXWK could not intervene as Cult of Ulric forbids the WK from meddling in the internal affairs of the Barons.  If Wulfgar wanted his Barony returned and avenge his father, he would have to raise a small army to do it and that would cost a lot of money, more than he could acquire in a life time of work.  So it was that Wulfgar and his companions became adventurers seeking fame and fortune.

No comments: