MerricB writes "A small olven village in the Vesve.
The Village of Skytree
by MerricB. Used with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
One of the more interesting places along the disputed border in the Vesve Forest is this small village of no more than 200 elves; once more, it has lost many to the constant battle with the humanoids infesting the northern Vesve.
Skytree takes its name from the enormous Ipt that stands in the centre of the village, towering over the nearby trees in the forest. At some point in the past, the Skytree (the human translation of the elven name), was enchanted to produce a field of protection about the village. This protection works in two ways: In the first place, it prevents the village from being detected from afar, either by magical scrying or by visual means. To someone flying above the forest, the Ipt doesn't seem to be there, although sufficiently trained observers may break the magical protection.
The second effect it to protect the area around the Skytree from the ravages of the weather. Regardless of outside weather conditions, the area within is mild and pleasant. Light Rain may penetrate, but not snow, hail or frost, nor extremes of temperature. As a result, the harvests within Skytree come all year round and are particularly plentiful.
Due to these advantages, Skytree was retained by the olvenfolk when the rest of their kin began retreating before the dark coming from the Northern Vesve, and provided a convenient base for raids into humanoid encampments. The village is protected by a wooden wall, some fifteen feet in height, and various magical protections as well. Humanoids in the Vesve are aware of the village, but tend to avoid it by a wide margin, as many of their number have fallen before its walls.
In 579 CY (dates may be modified for your campaign), Iuz sent one of his generals into the area to consolidate his hold on the Northern Vesve. That general, discovering reports of the village, set out to subdue it with the few troops available to him - Iuz was otherwise preoccupied with the Horned Society. The general's initial attempts were repulsed, and he was badly wounded in the arm by an arrow from an elvish raiding party. Unfortunately, the attacker was foolish enough to reveal her name when she taunted the attacker, and the general immediately declared that she was to be taken at all costs.
Under a new, co-ordinated assault, the general inflicted damage on the village, though not irrepairable, but the signs were now apparent that the village could not stand for long. Chaeljen, the general's taunter, was sent on a mission to the City of Greyhawk, there to find a friend of her mother's, and beg the friend for aid. The friend was Xanetia, High Priestess of the scismatic Church of Xan-Yae in the Free City. Xanetia was unable to provide direct aid, but suggested that various magics to help the village might be obtainable in the nearby Castle.
Through 580, the village managed to hold off the assault, which was especially hampered by Iuz's lack of support for the general - he had to make alliances with the humanoids native to the Vesve, some quite untrustworthy. Late in 580, a raid netted several prisoners from the village, including Chaeljen's mother. The general now demanded the village hand over Chaeljen, or he would execute the prisoners on Midwinter's Day. A
messenger (Izathrie, a female elven Ranger), was sent after Chaeljen. When Chaeljen returned, she was accompanied by Yahlos, a priest of Xan-Yae,
Starlin Farr, a human Fighter (archer), Koln, a half-ogre Fighter (gladiator), and Tyrian, a human bard (actually the second son of the Duke of Geoff).
At this point the general had begun bartering for the services of a local Green Dragon. Chaeljen led several daring raids into the general's encampment, and was finally able to rescue the prisoners. The general was killed by the green dragon as his forces deserted him. All now seemed well for Skytree.
Unfortunately, shortly thereafter the Greyhawk Wars began. When the combined humanoids of Iuz swept through the northern Vesve, the elvish defenders finally accepted that Skytree must be abandoned. Most of the refugees made their way to kin in the southern Vesve. Chaeljen, Izathrie and Koln remained in the village to protect it; their fate is unknown. (Starlin, Tyrian and Yahlos had departed in spring 581 CY).
Skytree now stands as a strong outpost of the forces of Iuz in the central Vesve. It now boasts a larger fort around it, the Skytree itself still stands strong (there are strict orders against arming the tree given to all the forces in the keep). Raiding parties from the elves and Highfolk have been unable to retake it, and it is the key to retaking the northern Vesve.
Brief Character notes:
Chaeljen: CG elvish fighter 4/wizard 3
Izathrie: CG elvish ranger 5
Koln: CN(G) half-ogre barbarian 6
Note: Vesve, Olve, Elf"