Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The shape of things

Light green: circle of Torenwœl (travel speed 1d4 hexes per day)
Dark green: penumbra (1 hex per day dc10 survival or take on a level of exhaustion)
Grey: umbra (one hex per day dc15 survival or take on a level of exhaustion)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The fire-nut festival

Throughout the summer there are many festivals and gatherings. These usually follow a full moon and celebrate a successful moon-berry harvest. The fire nut festival on the other hand is held four days before the first full moon of autumn, in anticipation of the harvest of the bright red "fire nuts". In contrast to the other summer festivals this one is celebrated jointly by all the forest denizens together. Each year it is hosted by a different group. The festivities include a nut hunt by the children, feats of strength, speeches by community leaders reflecting on the past year, and a friendship dance expressing goodwill between variant groups. This is when a dwarven delegate makes a symbolic assertion of Delver dominance over the region by announcing any new laws or variant rulings made in Vali. The dwarven  presence at the festival tends to be somewhat aloof and is usually limited to a couple from the lumber camp, a delegate from the city, and a representative from the shrine of Bogomaš. The general feeling that pervades the event is that of a last hurrah of summer before the long isolation of the winter months.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vows in the forest

A holdover from the elder Oamnoi is the peculiar blood oath practice found among all three main societies in Torenwœl. The vow is made upon the head of a sacrificial creature who's lifespan corresponds to the term of the oath. For example, a betrothal is a one year oath made on the head of a goose. A vengeance vow is a five year term made on either a boar or a hunting dog. Longer vows may have a ten to twenty year terms and have sacrificial beasts of greater prestige such as the golden sturgeon or the splendour stag. 

The sacrificial beasts are allowed to live until the vow is fulfilled when they are slaughtered, a festive meal is eaten of the the meat, and the blood is poured on a witness pillar. When the vow is first made the animal is marked with some item of gold, usually a ring in either the ear or nose, or a collar in the case of birds.
The witness pillars are of unknown age and are found on the banks of the river in a couple locations. It is postulated that vows were originally tied to the river god  but most information about the cult of the river has been lost. There is a clue to this tie in the  name of the piscine predator sagar-jalaipon or the "oath-blood drinker-fish", a fish large enough to have been known to pull under deer who are drinking at the water's edge.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Flavours of the forest

Congealed  goose fat with boiled buckwheat berries and quarted goose eggs suspended in it. It is set in long loaf forms and sliced cold, being served on the mornings and afternoons of the summer festivals in Torenwœl.

Beggar Hats
A pastry made of wild parsnip and nut paste marinated in honey and bergamot. This is considered a festive but not fancy treat.

Ugly babies
Curds and rehydrated poultry wrapped in  a bitter leaf and served in onion gravy. This delicacy is a remnant of leaner times but is still a favourite amongst the elders.

Hunter's weakness
Smoked soft sheeps' cheese. Usually the ball of cheese is rolled in herbs and allowed to form a crust on the outside edges. This is considered a traveling provision.

Copper coins 
This ubiquitous side dish is simply medallions of yellow tapioca root blanched and then seared in animal fat.

Camels' milk
Not actually camels' milk. The cloudy high proof liquor bought from the nomads in the valley north of Torenwœl is infused with the tiny yellow apples that grow wild in the forest. Later the booze soaked apples are drizzled in honey and cultured cream and served as the holy-day dessert, camel stones (a humorous reference to testes).

One year soup
Mushroom caps from various mushrooms are gathered at different seasons throughout the year and combined in a savoury broth. This is often served at anniversaries and is eaten  with reverence and in a reflective mood as one looks back on the year. It is customary for toasts to be made during the soup course at communal events delivered in the drawn out low oratory style. At funerals the soup often has a mild hallucinogen added to it to heighten the grieving rites.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Relic: helm of silverbeard

Aka the liars helm. The dwarves of Vali believe this lost artifact to have given their patriarch invincibility in the fish eaters war but little do they know the true power of this magic item which was tossed aside by silverbeard so many years ago.

NPC: Hailec priestess of Bogomaš

Devotee of the trickster saint, this bearded cleric is also a hobbyist mycolog. As is the custom among Bogošme she always greets travellers with two truths and a lie. A jovial and slightly unpredictable attitude pervades all Bogošme rites and this is the persona expected to be adopted by their priests.
Hailec is a skilled healer, learned scholar (at least in the party line theology of bogomaš), and a gentle soul under her jocularity.

What she knows
Cool stuff about mushrooms I.e. söpplungr and how to identify hallucinogenic ones.

What she wants
A relic for the shrine.

What happens to her
Either wild-touch, lunagrub or exsanguination.