Mysterious Places10/23/2007

Mysterious Places

Pelgaryn on the Wild Coast
Area Map.

Pelgaryn (village):Conventional (military rule); AL LN; 200 gp limit; Assets 7,500 gp; Population 750; isolated (human 96%, halfling 2%, half-orc 1%, other 1%).

Authority Figure(s): Captain Bellen Peltander, male human fighter 6, officer of the Greyhawk Militia and military ruler; Sir Kuiper Stranlich, male human expert 5, representative of the Merchants’ and Traders’ Union; Artavazd Gellner, male human cleric 3 (Pholtus); Talamar Thraydin, male human paladin 3 (St. Cuthbert); Jayna Silverfox female human favored soul 3 (Trithereon) [Complete Divine 6]; Kuria Zeltrin, female human dread necromancer 5 [Heroes of Horror 84].

Located a day’s travel north of Safeton on the North Bay Road, Pelgaryn was justly famed for the black-hearted, immoral folk dwelling there. While a few made a honest living farming or fishing the vast majority were bandits, preying on individuals and small groups; the stretch of road between the town and Darmal’s Spill being a particularly dangerous area through which to travel. Sitting as it does where the North Route from Narwell joins the North Bay Road, it was ideally located for such operations.

Pelgaryn was a nest of villainy that repeatedly rebuffed Greyhawk’s overtures of peace and alliance. While Safeton and Narwell stood as bulwarks against the Pomarj, Pelgaryn was not strategically important and was not considered by the Directing Oligarchy as worth the effort pacifying. This attitude, however, emboldened the populace who repeatedly struck at the merchants and craftsmen aiding in the rebuilding of Narwell. The problem got so bad that almost no trade was reaching Narwell from Safeton. This, along with rumors that Pelgaryn’s robber baron, Kurias Zeltrim, was allied with the slavelords, forced Greyhawk to act.

In short order, Pelgaryn’s defences were overthrown, the bandits unable to stand up to the disciplined assault of Safeton’s militia and the Hardby Marines who struck the town in a north/south pincer movement. During the final battle for the town, a surprising number of orcs and half-orcs fought against Greyhawk’s forces, issuing from a number of cellars and concealed sea caves dotted about the area, lending further credence to the idea of Pelgaryn alliance with the notorious Slavelords.

Kurias Zeltrim was apprehended trying to flee south on his favourite steed and was quickly brought to justice. His corpse stills hangs from a gibbet set on the northern approaches to town as a warning to surviving bandits contemplating a return to the old ways.

The Village

Pelgaryn itself suffered comparatively little damage during Greyhawk’s assault; most of the fighting taking place among the gallimaufry of fields and meadows comprising the landward approaches to the town. Kurias’ tower-keep has been extensivesly modified and its defences upgraded to deal with any sudden uprising by the towns sullen, but cowed populace. Thus far, with the exception of a few minor assaults upon lone militiamen, no real threat has arisen to challenge Greyhawk’s hold over the place.

Captain Bellen Peltander of the Greyhawk Militia now rules Pelgaryn. A true scion of the famous Peltander family of Carnakh, Captain Bellen is well suited to the task. Just and upright, he keeps his troops under control, avoiding unnecessary conflicts with the still resentful local population.

Making his task more difficult is Sir Kuiper Stranlich. Sir Kuiper used his influence to gain a concession in Pelgaryn as compensation for the losses he suffered from the orcish invasion. Sir Kuiper owns the village of Tricaster in the Gnarley Forest, where he had reduced most of the population to peonage, and he plans to do the same here. He has begun claiming abandoned property, and making usurious loans to the local farmers, fully expecting them to default. He has also begun setting up another business he had going in Tricaster, removing the competition. He has taken on a number of the oldest and most vicious orphans, officially as apprentice teamsters, but actually as apprentice bandits. Given their heritage, they are doing quite well, and unless Captain Bellen finds a way to stop Sir Kuiper, Pelgaryn will soon be back to its old business.

Unfortunately for Sir Kuiper, he has competition. Kuria Zeltrin is the illegitimate daughter of the former ruler. She escaped notice when the village fell, and has stayed underground ever since. Kuria is even more vile than her father was, but also significantly more intelligent. She has encouraged the more aggressive survivors to make futile attacks on the garrison, knowing they would die, and making them unable to betray her presence. Meanwhile she organizes the more reliable villagers, while working to increase her own power so she can raise an undead army to slaughter all the outsiders who have invaded her village. She is also smart enough to realize the village would never survive after such a rising, and she plans to flee the area after taking her vengeance.

Although the town suffered little damage, over half of the adult population died during the attack. There are now more than two hundred orphans in the village. While relatives have taken some in, and Sir Kuiper or Kuria have recruited others, most were slowly starving in the streets. Sir Kuiper wanted to sell all of them to workhouses in the city of Greyhawk, but a new alliance of faiths in Greyhawk had other plans. They sent representatives to open orphanages in the village, teach the children useful trades, and raise them to be decent citizens. The leaders of the faiths chose representatives of three of the most important families in Greyhawk to lead the efforts. Artavazd Gellner is a nephew of Tigran Gellner, Captain-General of the Watch of Greyhawk. A devout follower of Pholtus, he has embraced his newest assignment with enthusiasm. Talamar Thraydin is the oldest son of the famous Talasek Thraydin. Despite his youth he has shown himself to be quite capable, and his superiors believe it will help in appealing to the orphans. Jayna Silverfox is the granddaughter of the current Lady Silverfox. Why she took up the faith of Trithereon is a mystery to all. She is followed everywhere by two of the family’s silverhounds. Rumors abound that Trithereon has touched these dogs, and that they are infallible judges of character. Of course, few people in the village like Sir Kuiper, but none dare growl at him the way those two hounds do.

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