Songs of Varen
Tradefist (Dwarfish Céapfyst, Elfish Muwchfysedd) is a Dwarven fortified city and duchy in the Hied Harglad. Its dukes historically paid homage to the city Monadrin, but stopped payments around the time of the rise of Ebos as its trade shifted east.
The city lies in well-wooded foothills, with rolling grassland and thick forest nearby. It was the home of Wildeswín the assassin, Meduwyrhta the pirate, and Mægenfolc the barbarian.
The nearby town of Nightpine was the home of Domboc the ranger.
The town of Nightpine (Dwarfish Nihtcén, Elfish Nospinwydd) was a forest haven ruled by the Elf-prince Heliwr o Gewri. It was a multiracial settlement in the Pineheart Forest, composed mostly of elves and halflings, with some families of dwarves and even one of half-orcs. Its only military were the Red Leaf Rangers. It historically maintained a strained relationship with Tradefist, enjoying trade along the road to Ebos and Monadrin but also witnessing skirmishes between its own rangers and Tradefist’s mountaineers.
The children of Bánbrycewyrhta
Bánbrycewyrhta was a strong dwarf from the Far Ranches. She captained a troop of berserkers, the Bearfoots, and lost an arm in her youth. She raised three children: a daughter, Meduwyrhta, and two sons, Wildeswín and Mægenfolc. Mægenfolc, the youngest and hardiest, joined the Bearfoots when he came of age. Wildeswín and Meduwyrhta lived in Nightpine, where they stole and studied magical items. At some point, Meduwyrhta’s magical studies brought her under the sway of Heliwr o Gewri, fey Elf-prince.
The Fey Curse
Bánbrycewyrhta heard of Nightpine’s magical wealth and desired it. She led the Bearfoots to Nightpine, where they slaughtered the Red Leaf Rangers and captured Prince Heliwr. Only one ranger survived, a half-orc named Domboc. The dwarves pillaged plentiful magical tomes and artifacts, including an arm wrought in silver by Heliwr himself, which Bánbrycewyrhta claimed. The dwarves then put Heliwr to death. As he knelt, bound, before his killer, the Elf-prince laid his death-curse on the dwarves. When Bánbrycewyrhta’s warhammer hit his skull, he vanished, along with the whole town of Nightpine. The treasure disappeared too, except for the silver arm. The dwarfs returned nigh empty-handed to Tradefist.
That evening, when Bánbrycewyrhta donned the silver arm for the first time, it bonded to her stump and seared the flesh of her arm, leaving her alive but in horrible pain. She lay bedridden for two days. A red smoke poured off her burnt skin, flowing around her sickbed, through the barracks, and through the streets of Tradefist. On the third morning after Prince Heliwr’s curse, the smoke grew hot, scalding dwarves and burning buildings, until fully half the city was engulfed in flames. Many dwarves were sorely injured, and the Bearfoots suffered most acutely of all. Bánbrycewyrhta herself was found dead in the ashes of the barracks, which remains a ruin to this day.
At the moment of the death of Heliwr o Gewri, Meduwyrhta felt his ghostly presence, stronger in her mind than ever before. Confused at her anger toward her fellow dwarves, she fled in the chaos of Nightpine’s unnatural disappearance. Wildeswín, concerned she had finally succumbed to the fey creature’s control, pursued her. Mægenfolc followed. None of the three returned to Tradefist with the rest of the dwarves.
Meduwyrhta went to Ebos, then Varen, where she boarded the Jalankuwo M’wene, the pirate vessel of the Dire Pirate Hobart. Wildeswín, losing her trail in Varen, joined the town’s guard. Mægenfolc lost track of his siblings in Ebos, falling in with bandits near Varen.
Domboc, the only Red Leaf Ranger to survive, recovered from his wounds, only to find that his home and family had disappeared without trace. He searched fruitlessly, and only when time dulled his despair did he wander east.