Kingmaker - As the Ravens Gather

Desnus 4711

Olegton flourished and was again busy with spring swarms of caravans and biting insects. Olegton was filled with traders and guards making deals and enjoying the tents filled with makeshift taverns. Outdoor firepits roasted a variety of meats and onions and potatoes left over from the winter cellars. By the end of the month wagons from the south rolled in with spring crops and livestock ready for market. Along the main street of the town wagons, oxen, horses and livestock slurped through the mud while people walked along wide planks laid out along the sides of the street for people. Women wearing very flimsy dresses hung out of The Elf’s Bedroom smiling, laughing, calling down to or trading provocative innuendo with men who passed along the street.

Hawkers, tinkers, town guard, Numerian tribesmen, Rostlanders, mercenaries, Issians, pickpockets; the streets were filled with color and noise and smells that threatened to overwhelm the visitor but the winner of that contest was the smell of horses that drifted from the stables to the north. Oleg himself could be seen riding the corrals looking over the stock and making deals with merchants regarding shoeing and feeding. The Grand Magister Topper Red sitting amongst a large group of partiers weaving tales of his fellow lords and their exploits in the Greenbelt or presenting his apprentice, a young pretty man with a fiddle that could slip a contractual loophole past Asmodeus.

Let us race down the Zebulon Pike. Farms scattered near to the road and small local taverns slipped by. Hamlets with names like Spider Hollow, Rickety Bridge and Kressel’s Crossing whisked by with numerous farms, ranches and small businesses. Travelers can be seen at many points along the road going about their business or enjoying warm days after a very hard winter. Meereover guards, skittish kobolds pulling carts, the odd tinker with his noisy wagon, local human farmers moving from farm to farm, halfling settlers in hoods from more remote farms, perhaps a group of gnomish explorers headed to more remote locations or, if one was lucky, a dwarf or elf from who knows where seeking lost places from their races’ histories.

If one takes the path from Rickety Bridge into the Narlmarch Forest the brave and prepared will find their hours of travel coming upon the Skunk River that leads them to a small town at a crossing in the usually deep river. Stands of felled trees and the sight of a mill pond greet you as you come upon tents and a lumber mill. The mill is new with a river stone foundation and fresh wood timbers. Its waterwheel creaks slightly louder than the saws inside cutting seasoned wood into planks. Men move all about at work lining proposed roads with stones, hitching oxen teams to drag logs, rolling lumber from wagons from the forest, some talking with an energetic man at a rough table issuing orders, laughing, and often pitching to help with the work. Loy Resbin seems to be a man respected and liked by everyone in the village. His wife, Latricia, can be seen being just as much a leader and a surrogate mother to boot. Scolding the men, baking and preparing a lunch, listening to their stories, writing letters for the many who cannot read or write; she brings heart to this forest village. Together the couple was creating a village in the depths of the woods. Why earlier in the month a group of Gozran worshippers approached the group and offered to join their very small hamlet with Tatzlford in order to guide the lumberjacks in more acceptable forestry. Loy felt sure that this was going to be a successful partnership with Baron Ravenwing.

But enough of Tatzlford, let us again work our way out of the forest to Meereover, the capitol of the Nameless Kingdom, as many called it. The city was growing slowly but with the Tuskwater now ice free the locals were out in their carrocks and small boats catching crabs and fish to eat. Gulls circled the water’s edge but avoided the city given the large numbers of ravens that had arrived with the spring. The baron had sought to buy ravens to free within the city but with the spring the black birds and their calls and guano arrived on their own and settled in. The most gathered about the Tower of Ravens on Castle Stag on its nooks and crannies and perches rendering the tower rarely quiet. In the city could be heard the criers and minstrels proclaiming the laws and good news of the Nameless Kingdom promoting positive regard among the smallfolk. Especially well regarded was the news that a festival would be given and the gossip was furious as excited nobles and commoners alike wondered what it would be. It was truly spring in more than just in the season but also in the hearts of the people and it seemed as though the Nameless Kingdom and Baron Yorick Ravenwing was destined for greatness.

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