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    Postfest X(Needfest 2009): The Hillock Hunting Lodge
    Posted on Thu, April 09, 2009 by LordCeb
    Crag writes "“A simple hunting lodge within the Iron Hills has become an establishment to forget the hardship of frontier life, a stop over for settlers traveling to a new life and important to the powerful of the entire region”

    – Agural Nuruk, Drunken Dwur

    The Hillock Hunting Lodge
    By Crag

    “A simple hunting lodge within the Iron Hills has become an establishment to forget the hardship of frontier life, a stop over for settlers traveling to a new life and important to the powerful of the entire region”

    – Agural Nuruk, Drunken Dwur

    Regional Concerns: A small demihuman thorp and a primitive hunting lodge could become essential to the commercial prosperity and political stability of this volatile region. Located within the eastern fringe of the Iron Hills; it seethes with commercial opportunity and subtle intrigue as hushed conversations occur under its rough hewn roof far from the polished palaces of political power. The surrounding lands of Ahlissa, Idee (Naerie), Irongate and the Iron Hills have taken an interest in the insignificant lodge. Of course the local populace has little interest in regional affairs; their concerns are more immediate such as providing for their families.

    Ahlissa: Ahlissa is eager to prove it can be a beneficial trade partner and a stable influence within the region. Ahlissa wants to open trade with the rich lands to the south. The economic policies of Ahlissa are the reconstruction of Naerie (Idee) and to strengthen its economic position. Militarily the situation is complicated because within the liberated province of Naerie (Idee) tension has increased between the liberated native inhabitants and the influx of oeridian settlers.

    Idee (Naerie): The oeridian aristocracy wants to be perceived as liberators by the suel populace and establish a prosperous province. The brutality of the Scarlet Brotherhood and the destruction caused during the liberation remains an economic burden for the province. The influx of oeridian settlers, mostly urban poor, provides much of the labour to stimulate reconstruction. However the oeridian settlers while needed for urban recovery and rural revitalization have caused a rise of social tension within the province. The merchants within Naerie seek to enhance their standing with both Irongate and the Iron Hills. A strong military presence remains within the province to secure the populace and deter a possible return of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Oeridian aristocracy remains concerned about assassination and paranoia remains high among the nobles.

    Irongate: Irongate is suspicious of the cooperative stance of Ahlissa but is encouraged due to the potential trade opportunities. The most important regional relationship is the Iron Hills without which Irongate would become isolated and vulnerable. Irongate is determined to remain on friendly terms with the Iron Hills and will react strongly to attempts to hurt this relationship.

    Iron Hills: The Dwur King Holgi Hirsute claims the territory of the Iron Hills. The surface is sparsely patrolled and considered of lesser importance then the underground citadels and mineral wealth taken from the deep mines. The surface settlements consist of small isolated communities and roving hunting bands. The kingdom has warm relations with Irongate and most believe an unacknowledged alliance exists between them. King Holgi Hirsute is ambivalent toward Naerie; he is eager to explore trade possibilities but the strong military presence concerns some of his advisors.

    The Hillock Hunting Lodge

    Location: Iron Hills
    History: The tale of the Hillock Hunting Lodge is the tale of a lackluster Dwur named Grundu Tholandur. Grundu was raised under the Iron Hills but failed to find his place within the stone halls. The restricted artisan opportunities and few maids within the underground citadels ensure rivalry to achieve excellence remains intense. Grundu simply never excelled enough to achieve the notice of a dwur maid within the stone halls. His clan was disappointed but allowed him to seek his fortune upon the surface. However several commercial ventures failed. Grundu was reduced to hunting wild game upon the Iron Hills and the cultivation of the friendship of the flan hunters that roam within them. Following the successful Ahlissan annexation of Idee (Naerie); Grundu refurbished an abandoned ruin to shelter Oeridian settlers headed south. Initially the accommodations were incredibly primitive but as “The Hillock Hunting Lodge” attracted more customers; Grundu has improved the establishment.

    The establishment has been expanded and more comforts have been offered to the guests but perhaps the greatest lure has been the hiring of a hobniz culinary staff. However Grundu stubbornly refuses to abandon the wild menu despite culinary suggestions to add domesticated entries such as chicken and pigs to the bill of fare. As the Hunting Lodge has become more popular; a small group of demihuman artisans and hired hands have settled to provide the small community with the needed goods to prosper. The hillock has developed into a small thorp with the Dwur and Noniz populace excavating comfortable homes for themselves within the surrounding area.

    The success of the Hillock Hunting Lodge has come to the attention of King Holgi Hirsute of the Iron Hills; recently a Dwur official representative, Lord Ovric Whurzak, arrived to demand an audience with the proprietor. Initially fearful; Grundu was relieved when the representative offered official recognition for the nascent surface thorp. The hunting lodge provides a discrete location to discuss political and trade issues. Trust is hard to establish within the region despite the need for prosperous trade. The regional realms of Ahlissa, Idee (Naerie), Irongate and the Iron Hills are not eager to suffer a loss of prestige.

    Business is good indeed; Grundu now offers Iron Hills stone ale and Ahlissan blush wine besides the local homebrew wildflower mead. Grundu has hired additional Dwur bouncers and a Noniz illusionist to entertain and safeguard important guests. Grundu has even considered expanding the stables and storage facilities to entice the large caravan freighters. Of course such an expansion would require some costly renovations around the hunting lodge to reassure the caravan masters their valuable goods would remain secure.

    The local Flan hunters have voiced concerns over the amount of wild game being requested; so much so, Arem Chizkia, a local druidic follower of Obad-Hai has discussed the issue with Grundu. Grundu has become rather avarice and has hired an exiled ale brewmaster from Irongate, Gilvar Ovbek, to brew ale on site. Grundu has also become rather autocratic and brusque with his staff, which has alarmed some within the small thorp. Of late his bitter complaints have been reserved for the popular entertainer Dalnock Mottin (Illusionist). The increased avarice of Grundu has blinded him to the unease of the staff and that several staff members have their own agendas.

    Ownership and Servants

    Proprietor: Grundu Tholandur (Dwur) There is a reason for his avaricious behavior.  Grundu has been informed by his underground relatives that he is being considered as a potential mate for a desirable maid. Grundu had long resigned himself to being an unbonded male but apparently his commercial success has been noted within some of the stone halls. Aware that he has little social standing underground, Grundu is feverishly acquiring as much wealth as possible to raise his stature as a potential provider. Grundu has also contacted Lord Ovric Whurzak to request his efforts for King Holgi Hirsute be told to the clan of the maid but Lord Ovric Whurzak has not acceded to this request.

    Hobniz Kitchen

    *Cook - Filibert Girthbottom (Father)
    *Assistant Cook/Waitress - Malva Girthbottom (Mother)
    *Waitress - Dora Girthbottom (Daughter)
    *Waitress/Scullery Maid – Gweena Shankfoot (Poor Relation)

    The Girthbottoms served within the Army of the South but decided a change of employment was needed and agreed to serve within the hunting lodge for an initial term of three years. Malva Girthbottom was particularly pleased with the relocation since Dora and Gweena have blossomed and undesirable hobniz lads had begun to bother them. Malva believes hobniz from outside of Ahlissa are not considered proper folk for marriage and she was relieved to note the absence of such undesirable hobniz within the thorp. Rumours of lovely hobniz maids and a fine meal have enticed the hoblogger representatives that were sent to the court of King Holgi Hirsute to discuss possible logging ventures to patronize the lodge. Since their visit, other hobloggers have found cause to patronize the establishment. Although little escapes the stern but loving eye of her mother, Dora rather enjoys the exuberant romantic attention. Her mother of late has given serious thought to finding Dora, a respectable husband from Ahlissa. Her husband, Filibert was assigned to the lodge to gather intelligence and promote Ahlissian interests. The Hunting Lodge has been a rather dull assignment but it could become an important assignment. Filibert has attempted to add domestic staples to the bill of fare since hobniz culinary operatives have developed an elaborate culinary code to rely information based upon the preparation of dishes. However Grundu has proved stubborn and he has had to improvise an alternate method to relay information through the Ahlissan wine deliveries. Filibert has little to report other then the rare visit of a minor official and the wild gossip heard within the lodge. However the Irongate exile; Gilvar Ovbek, could be worth further investigation.

    Noniz Entertainment

    *Dalnock Mottin – Illusionist
    *Enn Callad – Illusionist Assistant/Stable Lad

    Once Grundu was aware that official representatives would occasionally patronize; he felt some cultured entertainment should be offered. The populace lacks a bard or even a talented amateur, so he hired Dalnock Mottin, a local minor illusionist to entertain official guests. Lord Ovric Whurzak enjoyed his clever interpretation of the “Downfall of Gruumsh” as did the regulars. The illusionist aware of his popularity has since demanded 40% of the receipts for official visits and 25% for local performances; an outrageous sum. Dalnock Mottin enjoys his local celebrity status. He has added a foppish Scarlet Brotherhood Agent; Brother Buffoon, to his repertoire, something appreciated by the Oeridian patrons.

    Dwur and Noniz Barkeeps

    *Ale Brewmaster - Gilvar Ovbek
    *Head Bouncer – Vonauk Glankak
    *Mead Brewer - Ninzig Glimbell

    Gilvar Ovbek is a recent addition to the staff; a surly reclusive Dwur who claims he was driven from Irongate by underhanded competitors. He has convinced Grundu that he can brew ale on site for half the cost of the imported ale that is served within the establishment. Gossip swirls around the reclusive Dwur as to the real reason for his exile but if Gilvar is aware of the idle gossip, it appears not to bother him. The Dwur bouncers are honest and skilled enough to handle disturbances within the establishment; although head bouncer Vonauk Glankak is an Iron Hills informant who reports to Lord Ovric Whurzak. The thorp mead brewer is a local noniz; Ninzig Glimbell, he has very good relations with the local flan that gather the wild honey for his wildflower mead. Ninzig Glimbell is quite popular with the demihuman populace; especially the noinz that adore his mead.

    Colourful Clientele

    Nuruk Siblings(Dwur Drunks)

    *Agural Nuruk(Eldest)
    *Morsun Nuruk
    *Azent Nuruk
    *Nallond Nuruk

    The infamous Nuruk clan siblings have followed the shameful footsteps of their ancestors and have been banished from the stone halls. The siblings have survived as hunters and guides; some of those being guided through the hills fail to reach their destination. Also some flan hunters claim these siblings have poached their traps. None within the thorp respect these siblings; they are known to enjoy their drink too much. The siblings can usually be found at the hunting lodge; complaining about half-filled mugs. However the siblings have traveled throughout the region and do hear much of the local gossip; if one can decide which tale is truth rather then mere boast. The eldest; Agural, when he is truly in his cups claims he is in the employ of Irongate and personally knows the mayor. Of course, he also claims to have entered the Vast Swamp and fought Wastri. Azent Nuruk appears to despise hobniz and has often insulted the culinary staff but that ended when Grundu threatened to ban the siblings from the lodge.

    Nobo Family(Noniz Tanners)

    *Shawinkle Nobo(Father)
    *Namji Nobo (Daughter)

    These noniz are new arrivals to the thorp and have opened a tannery to provide leather goods and leather armour to the inhabitants. While profitable the rank smell which permeates their business and themselves has isolated them both from the rest of the community. The hunting lodge welcomes them as Grundu understands the pain of being social outcasts. Unbeknownst to the pair; mead brewer, Ninzig Glimbell is rather smitten with Namji Nobo. Ninzig Glimbell failed to make his intentions known and now seethes as Namji Nobo sighs over the charismatic Dalnock Mottin. Unfortunately; Namji Nobo has misunderstood friendly banter during performances for true declarations of desire. Shawinkle Nobo is none to pleased and tries to convince Grundu to ban the illusionist from the hunting lodge without success.

    Bill of Fare

    The Wild Larder (Common Entries)

    The common entries include plentiful local wild game and are the least expensive. The Dwur seem to enjoy the roasted rock lizards and wild mushrooms, while the noniz seem to prefer the rabbit and wild greens for their meal of choice.

    Rare Entries (Expensive)

    The rare entries are often dangerous to hunt such as deer, bear and the house special, Giant Porcupine. The local flan hunters provide the bulk of these animals.

    Exotic Entries (As Available)

    The exotic entries are something of a mystery; most have never been available. Often Grundu hears tales of such exotic creatures and urges the flan hunters to find one for him. The flan hunters are not suicidal fools and tell Grundu they have been unable to find such a creature. However the flan hunters; once discovered a displacer beast and with assistance from the thorp inhabitants killed the creature, its skin graces the Hunting Lodge as a fireplace rug. Of course this incident has encouraged Grundu to continue to request exotic entries.

    Drink Selection

    The alcoholic selection is limited as Grundu does not have connections to premier suppliers to procure the finest spirits. Fortunately; Grundu has become a proven customer and receives bitter stone ale from the Iron Hills. The local wildflower mead remains rather harsh but the local noniz seem to enjoy it. The most cultured libation remains the Ahlissan blush and crimson herbal wines which the Oeridian clientele appreciate. Filibert found a supplier willing to provide palatable blush wines for an affordable price and has even managed to acquire a few rare bottles of full bodied crimson herbed wine for the true connoisseur. "
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