The Uthrael Bëoac

Uthrael Bëoac (Bëoac, « Vale of the Kin­folk of Bëoac »)

by David Wen­del­ken

Stories from the Elder Days

Of The Barghûn and the Ramparts of Pain

Long did the tribe suffer the yoke of the Dark Lord in their lands in the utter­most East, for who could hope to stand more than a moment against his dread might ? Yet in the youth of Bëoac the Barg­hûn bethought them of a new tor­ture and afflic­ted the tribe with it. So it has ever been in all dea­lings with the Barg­hûn, for they have a never ending search for hate-filled ways to defile that which is beau­ti­ful and who­le­some. The fai­rest of the youth were taken, at set times or at una­wares in the dead of night, and hung by one wrist upon a high pre­ci­pice deep within val­leys delved into the nor­thern moun­tains. Cun­nin­gly were their bonds fashio­ned, wrought of dark steel smel­ted in the bowels of the earth from ore unwa­shed by the stars in the hea­vens, with steel pins woven through the wrist within the bra­ce­let that fas­te­ned them to a cliff face. Of great thi­ck­ness were the chains from which the bra­ce­lets hung from the cliff sides, and stron­ger still were they and in their moun­ting into the rock face. More hideous were the sites chosen for their doom, for the echoes of their screams and pleas were ampli­fied throu­ghout the chosen vale. Yet their gree­ting did naught to aid their kin in fin­ding them, for the echoes boun­ced throu­ghout the vale, in and out of side val­leys, until their kin were lost or made mad from the sorrow of it.

« Thisss iss our lesss­son to you, frail onesss, » hissed the herald of the Barg­hûn as he took yet ano­ther season’s tri­bute to bedeck the Ram­parts of Pain. Bëoac’s father died that summer of a sudden ailment, and Bëoac’s first words as King to his tribe were thus, « Les­sons are not taught unless they be need­ful ! But need­ful for whom ? By this do we know that the rumors of the Shi­ning Folk who fight the Dark Lord on the shores of the are true. For it is need­ful to the Dark Lord that we obey him, not need­ful for us to do so ! Let us leave our homes when the crops yield their har­vest and find the lands in the west where we can live in free­dom and honour ! » From that day, the tribe was free folk and never more did they accept the yoke of sla­very.

Of How the Uthrael Bëoac was Settled

In ancient days, a tribe of men heard rumour that the Shi­ning Folk waged war against the evil that lived in the Nor­thern Wastes beyond the ice-capped, razor-sharp ridges of the Ram­parts of Pain. They left their homes in the Utter­most East and migra­ted west­wards, dri­ving ever onwards to find the land by the Set­ting Sun where they might find allies stron­ger than them­selves to drive back the Lord of Dark­ness in the North.

Long they tra­ve­led under the wise lea­der­ship of the patriarch of their folk, the power­ful war­rior named Bëoac. Des­pite the insi­gni­fi­cance of their num­bers, the Dark­ness in the North took heed of their rebel­lion and sent a host of his demon-spawn, the foul Barg­hûn. Ever they pur­sued the chil­dren of Bëoac, and ever he eluded them until his people cros­sed the and faced a range of tall moun­tains rising sheer and steep from the fores­ted lands sur­roun­ding the . Scouts ranged for­ward from the banks of the river and found a pass through the moun­tains. Soon the tribe would escape across the moun­tains through narrow defiles where a brave rear­guard could ensure their safety from the host that even now rushed to over­take them.

The Dark Lord’s hands swept across the night sky in anger ! The utter cold of their pas­sing blot­ted out the stars with tor­rents of hail and snow, lea­ving the moun­tain passes clog­ged with snow too deep to win through with an enemy close behind them, now swar­ming over the Great River in make­shift rafts hate-hewn from forest timber.

Bëoac took coun­sel with the wise among the tribe to explain his last gambit. A small number of war­riors were to take their beasts of burden and live­stock and head south, downs­tream along the as fast as they could travel, bea­ting a trail that none could fail to follow. They were to make their num­bers seem grea­ter than they were in order to mis­lead the Dark Host for as long as could be. Bëoac would lead them. The rest of the tribe was to escape in ano­ther direc­tion, unk­nown to those who saved them, for the cruel Barg­hûn were mas­ters of tor­ture and few were strong enough to withs­tand them until their spirit was relea­sed from their flesh.

« No ! » cried the elders and the wise among the tribe. « You must lead the tribe to safety, for we have not your cun­ning, and your sacri­fice would be for naught. »

« Then I will go in his stead, » called forth Bëoart, the eldest son of Bëoac. « For none who take that path will be seen again, and I know my Father would be unwilling to choose anyone to take his place on that jour­ney. » Bëoac hung his head in sorrow, for his son spoke the truth. « Let no one say, in the warm days of safety to come, that my father sent away their kin to death that he and his might live long in the bles­sed lands we search for in the West. For I go in his place, that all would know that he sacri­fi­ced what he held most dear to save you all. » Well did all know he was dearer to his father than any king­ship, even more so than Larëc, his wife and the mother of his son.

Thus Bëoart’s com­mand tram­ped out that very night lea­ving a broad trail sou­th­ward. Bëoac led his people north, towards the Ram­parts of Pain that had stret­ched across the Nor­thern sky through the five years of their jour­ney, for surely the Dark Lord would not expect his van­qui­shed foes to flee towards him for safety !

But the passes to the West remai­ned frozen, and the sky and the lands filled with snow from the Dark Lord’s anger when his folk slaugh­te­red those who led them astray. For all that his hosts sear­ched, the folk of Bëoac were not to be found.

Bëoac found a fer­tile, shel­te­red valley hidden in the very midst of the Ram­parts of Pain, only rea­chable by a narrow pass on its sou­thern slopes. No sign of the Barg­hûn was found in that land, and his people rejoi­ced. The tribe spread out across the wes­tern end of the vale and grew strong again from nature’s bounty. Three years they waited, sen­ding out scouts each summer when the passes clea­red, but each time they retur­ned with news that the passes to the West were blo­cked with Barg­hûn too nume­rous to dis­place by any strength of their arms, and the forests were full of fell folk who hunted for them still.

Yet, one cannot take shel­ter in the arms of evil without cost, and the folk of tribe awoke a ser­vant of the Dark Lord asleep in the eas­tern lands of the vale. Woun­ded it was from some dread battle, its scales hewn and its hide scar­red and seared. Long it was, narrow of body like a wind-ribbon but upon four mas­sive legs. Its tail swept aside shield-walls, its claws sliced through shields and armour, its jaws swal­lo­wed the bra­vest whole, then spit them out sun­de­red and life­less. Bëoac stood before it, unsha­ken, and with a cun­ning feint slip­ped under its guard and pier­ced its breast with his spear before he was cru­shed under its fall. Its scream of pain filled the valley and broke the will of even the bra­vest among the tribe. Long hours passed before they crept back up the vale to find it slain and their leader broken under­neath it, burned by the poison in its blood.

« I will not leave you until we have found safety in the West, » were his last words and then his spirit left his broken flesh. But the word of Bëoac was his bond, and his spirit refu­sed to leave his tribe until the path west­ward had been achie­ved. Larëc took com­mand of her people, and none dared speak against her with the spirit of Bëoac at her side, though lea­der­ship by a woman was not the custom of their folk. « I bear Bëoac’s child, and his child shall rule after him. » Thus were the folk recon­ci­led to her lea­der­ship until a girl-child was born and dissent once again reared against her, for the spirit of Bëoac had not been seen for many months. « We must find ano­ther to rule us. A man-child. » called out the elders of the tribe. « The daugh­ter of Bëoac will be stron­ger than any man-child among you, and more wise. She will rule as Regent, for my hus­band is still King. » Thus did Larëc answer their outcry, but to no avail, until the fell eyes of Bëoac formed behind her, fol­lo­wed by his visage, dark with anger at his people. Ever since has the lea­der­ship of the tribe fallen to the eldest child in the lineage of Bëoac, and the mem­bers of the tribe tra­cked their lineages with equal fervor upon the mother’s side and the father’s.

Each spring scouts were set out to find a way west­ward, and each year their tidings were grim. After a few sea­sons more, none of their scouts came back, and the tribe chose to remain hidden for a time. The valley was fer­tile and the tribe pros­pe­red, and little heed was given to the lands out­side their bor­ders. Yet, some among the tribe did not forget the Oath of Bëoac in the mor­ning of the world and took his pro­mise as they died, thus bin­ding their souls to the sub­stance of the world until Bëoac’s pro­mise was ful­filled.

The world chan­ged out­side of their wat­ch­ful vale as the mil­len­nia passed. The win­ters grew colder, the sum­mers shor­ter and less warm, and their num­bers dwind­led. The wes­tern por­tion of the vale was aban­do­ned to the ele­ments and the folk of the tribe grew expert in hiding their pre­sence.

Upon occa­sion, a Barg­hûn patrol would find its way into the vale. The Barg­hûn belie­ved that the burial mounds the tribe set up for their dead were haun­ted and that the vale was inha­bi­ted by a drake. For the tribe had taken the horn from the slain drake and, by their arts, caused it to echo from the moun­tain walls in imi­ta­tion of their king’s slayer. Against those who were not driven away by fear of the drake or the burial mounds, the tribe became adept at war­fare by ambus­cade and mis­di­rec­tion upon their own ter­ri­tory. Nor did the ances­tors fail to do their part, for they could feed to their heart’s content off of the life essence of their foes without fear of har­ming their own kin. No Barg­hûn who ever saw any trace of human habi­ta­tion in the vale ever lived to com­mu­ni­cate it in the thou­sands of years the tribe has shel­te­red in the vale.

Of Larëc and Larëoc, Bëoac’s Daughter, and the Line of Bëoac

Larëc grew slowly into the ways of lea­der­ship, for in that tribe men had always ruled, but the dark eyes of Bëoac glared down any that would naysay her ruling. His daugh­ter, Larëoc, born after his death, was one des­ti­ned to rule by nature. She was wise in the ways of the human heart, and ruled with an iron will that few found the cou­rage to chal­lenge to her face. The seed of Bëoac was strong in her, few could best her at run­ning or clim­bing the steep walls of their vale.

Larëoc was not a strong war­rior, most among the men­folk were her better at arms, but none were as cun­ning or resour­ce­ful in battle or stra­te­gem. Thrice did she utterly defeat the Barg­hûn who ente­red her vale, each time dra­wing them inwards into the vale with a dif­ferent ploy, that they might be slain without hope of escape. Barg­hûn scouts ente­red the vale each time after­wards and found the trail of a great drake and rem­nants of Barg­hûn corpses, cun­nin­gly woun­ded after death to appear rended by claw or tooth. No Barg­hûn dared to enter the vale for many gene­ra­tions of the tribe, lest the drake consume them in its rave­nous hunger.

The only child of Larëoc was a daugh­ter, and so it remai­ned for four gene­ra­tions after Beoac’s death, and thus the tribe became recon­ci­led to ruler­ship by a woman, though in each gene­ra­tion there were strong men who chafed at the lord­li­ness of the women of the tribe. Yet in some mat­ters the old cus­toms lived on. For example, no woman may ask a man to wed her, it is a man’s right to press a claim to mar­riage with her parents or guar­dians.

Of the New Rise of the Dark Lord

Less than twenty hun­dreds of the tribe still live. They exist in the sha­dows, ten­ding (as best they can) the bar­rows of their ances­tors. Their Wise among them have rea­li­zed that the Dark Lord has grown strong again, for once again the Nor­thern Lands grow cold under his breath, and a few of their bar­rows have become haun­ted by the Umkhâadi. For even the brave and true among the ances­tors can sense the temp­ta­tion that the Dark Lord whis­pers upon the night wind to them all, and some have failed the test, gai­ning power but losing their souls to the Dark Lord.

The lea­ding war­riors and those wise in lore des­troy these crea­tures when they can, for they sense the pre­sence of the Dark Lord, whom they name « The Eater of the Dead. » The very Wise among the tribe know that soon the tribe must leave its refuge ; and they hope that the Shi­ning Folk still do battle upon the shores of the . But few among the tribe are ready to ven­ture forth to do so unless cir­cum­stances force them, for a life in a fading vale, with extinc­tion many gene­ra­tions away, seems less fool­hardy than lea­ving their secrecy behind and openly facing in battle the forces of Dark Lord.

The Eldest of the Ances­tors, when roused from their slum­ber, main­tain that there is a new Dark Lord, who fell and has risen again, for they hear his whis­pers in the dark and remem­ber his voice from the Elder Days, and that of the Dark Lord before him.



Bëoac archi­tec­ture is func­tio­nal first and fore­most. It must be warm in winter, cool in summer, invi­sible to spying eyes upon the moun­tain ridges, hard to see even nearby, and easily defen­sible if sur­pri­sed. Once that has been achie­ved, there is no lack of carved orna­men­ta­tion upon the stone or wood used in its construc­tion. Inter­ior car­vings are highly colou­red with a variety of dyes extrac­ted from local plants or ores. Exte­rior car­vings are used to visually break up the man-made lines of the struc­tures so that they are harder to see, as are the colou­rings used upon them. Stone is used for exte­rior walls (for strength), but two inter­ior wooden walls (sepa­ra­ted by dead air’) are built within the stone walls to pro­vide insu­la­tion from the cold winter winds. In summer, the inter­ior walls are remo­ved and stored away, which allows air to freely cir­cu­late throu­ghout the buil­ding through opened wooden shut­ters. In times of trouble, the inter­ior walls can be qui­ckly cast aside so that the win­dows can be used by archers within.

Because of the cold win­ters and fre­quently unhe­ral­ded snow and ice storms, the hearth(s) in a struc­ture take on a spe­cial signi­fi­cance. No one, even the most hated member of the tribe, even bound in a solemn blood feud, will be denied a place by the hearth if a storm rages out­side and they cannot safely make their way to ano­ther shel­ter. Tales from the elder days, when the tribe was more nume­rous (and thus feuds bet­ween fami­lies were igno­red by those out­side the kin­ships in feud) even tell of rai­ders forced by sudden storms to return to the hearths they raided and seek storm-right from the sur­vi­vors of the raid ! Honour is dearly clung to in lands where one’s ances­tors walk the earth, where the bra­vest and most reso­lute of the kin may will them­selves to join them.

Agriculture and Diet

None can know if the Barg­hûn will ever find ano­ther path over the moun­tains into the vale. Because of this, it is impe­ra­tive that no trace of cro­plands, buil­dings, or roads are visible from the moun­tains lest the Dark Lord send a host to des­troy them. Crops are dis­per­sed along the sides of clea­rings or within lightly fores­ted areas. Great care is taken that no human pat­tern” is visible to the pla­ce­ment of the crops or orchards. There are no paved roads. Paths are varied to avoid ove­ruse and made to look like game trails where neces­sary. Where pos­sible, they stay within tree cover or in broken ground to make obser­va­tion from above that much more dif­fi­cult.

This, along with the short gro­wing season, greatly limits the num­bers of the Bëoac within the vale. Winter wheat, apples, ber­ries, nuts, roots, and goat’s milk are the staples of eve­ry­day life. The flesh of ani­mals (other than squir­rels and rab­bits) is reser­ved for feast days and spe­cial events (such as vic­tory cele­bra­tions over a Barg­hûn incur­sion). This includes deer, moun­tain goat, and fish. Fish from the moun­tain lakes and streams are a deli­cacy, as is a pale white fish from within the Bat Matrëoc whose two eyes are on the same side of the fish. Bird eggs and meat are also favo­rites, but hard to come by.

The Bëoac have domes­ti­ca­ted some moun­tain goats, but no other ani­mals. All of the domes­ti­ca­ted ani­mals they herded from their home­lands in the Utter­most East were lost in the Great Decep­tion in ancient days, when Bëoart led their pur­suers astray to the south.

Cold Weather Travel and Gear, Summer Clothing

Cold wea­ther gear is made of woven or felted goat’s hair, occa­sio­nally trim­med with wolves’ fur. Many layers of clo­thing are worn so that the wearer can remove or add them at need, depen­ding upon the wea­ther and the amount of their exer­tions. Breeches, long-slee­ved tunics and coats, cove­red with a hooded parka are worn. Face masks are worn for pro­tec­tion against the North wind, with thin eye-slits in them to avoid snow-blind­ness. Dark pat­terns are woven below the eyes for fur­ther pro­tec­tion from the ele­ments.

The Bëoac use skis and snow­shoes to maneu­ver in the snow-clad winter months. They are care­ful to avoid lea­ving tracks in the snow visible from the moun­tain ridges whe­ne­ver they can do so. At need, they may request aid from their ances­tors, to bear them up so that they may run weight­less over the snow and leave no trail upon it at all. This is not done lightly, nor is their boon gran­ted unless tribal need com­pels it.

Summer clo­thing is a thinly woven linen-like fabric made from the cru­shed stalks of a hardy reed that grows along the lake­beds.

Natu­ral colors are used, woven or appli­quéd in pat­terns that aid the wearer to blend into their sur­roun­dings. In all their clo­thing, and in all their archi­tec­ture as well, the Bëoac go to great lengths to hide the hand of man. Well they know that they exist in the shadow of the Dark Lord’s might only by such arts that keep them hidden from his sight. The asym­me­tri­cal pat­terns used to hide the regu­lar lines and shapes of man-made objects are dis­con­cer­ting to those who have not grown up around them.

Military Tactics

The Bëoac are lightly armo­red save for the Royal Guard, who wear an eclec­tic assort­ment of ancient armor cap­tu­red from the Barg­hûn, smi­thed (and clea­ned!) to fit human sta­ture. Because their foes are better equip­ped with heavy armour, the Bëoac prefer to avoid pit­ched battle whe­ne­ver pos­sible. Rocks­lides, traps, and archery are the pre­fer­red way to whit­tle down the Barg­hûn bands. Occa­sio­nal small bands of Barg­hûn who enter the vale and find no trace of human habi­ta­tion may be allo­wed to leave unmo­les­ted. More accu­ra­tely, the Bëoac will attempt to frigh­ten them away with tricks to convince the Barg­hûn that the vale is haun­ted and inhos­pi­table to them. Then again, if a good ambus­cade can be set, the Barg­hûn will be slain outright.

Once a group of Barg­hûn have evi­dence that humans live in the vale, they are mer­ci­lessly hunted down and slain lest they escape and report to the Dark Lord. First, the Barg­hûn are led deeper into the vale to reduce the chance that any will ever return. The Ances­tors will give all the aid they are capable of to stop any escape, gro­wing stron­ger with each slain Barg­hûn as they feed upon its life essence before slaying the next.

Healing and Herbal Medicines

The Bëoac make use of a variety of herbal infu­sions and poul­tices for hea­ling pur­poses. They have the skill of set­ting bones and stit­ching up cuts with thread woven from reeds. They have no skill at sur­gery (nor any concept of it), nor would they ampu­tate a limb, for the shape of a body so maimed would follow the spirit if it chose to become an Ances­tor.

The Bëoac know how to treat frost­bite, hypo­ther­mia and snow-blind­ness, as well as how to avoid them. They have less suc­cess in trea­ting diseases, but they do not seem to suffer from very many, either.



The Bëoac mea­sure their des­cent from both parents. Women, aside from their child-bea­ring duties, have evol­ved to have equal rights with their male coun­ter­parts. Mar­riage is for life, although no shame is placed on a woman for choo­sing to bear chil­dren without bene­fit of a hus­band.

Language and Literature

Ancient lore, older by far than the Great Migra­tion, tells of a time when all men spoke the same tongue. But man­kind had sun­de­red its ways and its speech long before the Barg­hûn and the Dark Lord gained power over them.

The lan­guage of the tribe has remai­ned very stable over the mil­len­nia (per­haps because the Ances­tors still speak to their des­cen­dants). It has chan­ged, howe­ver, to reflect the pecu­liar cir­cum­stances of the tribe. Words that do not relate to daily chores or the sur­vi­val of the tribe have become little used. Some words have been inven­ted, in par­ti­cu­lar to des­cribe the highly variable wea­ther and frozen pre­ci­pi­ta­tion.

Lite­ra­ture remains wholly an oral tra­di­tion, the concept of a writ­ten lan­guage was unk­nown to the tribe before its iso­la­tion from out­side lands, and the conti­nued pre­sence of the Ances­tors has remo­ved much of the need to record know­ledge for later gene­ra­tions.

Magic and the Ancestors

The Ances­tors need the life-force of the living in order to remain bound to the tribe. This pre­sents a dif­fi­culty for them, as they do not wish to cause harm to their living kin­folk. After all, the reason they remain behind is to aid them in rea­ching free­dom ! To this end, the cus­toms of the Bëoac have evol­ved to feed the Ances­tors and pro­tect the living as much as may be.

Women feed them their monthly blood in bowls of silver beaten from ore found in the Womb of Larëc, the under­ground cavern com­plex sacred to the women of the tribe and those few men they accept within their domain. Men feed them their seed once per week in bowls of obsi­dian hewn from the highest ram­parts of the valley walls. It is part of one’s pre­pa­ra­tion for the rite of pas­sage to adul­thood to gather the mate­rials for these bowls, which are highly per­so­nal in nature, and to craft them. Only the clo­sest of friends would show their bowls to one ano­ther, while both still live. Boys and girls come of age at the first Holy Week after they reach puberty, and are consi­de­red adults in all things but the abi­lity to rule a clan or the tribe. One must be at least twenty years of age before allo­wed to rule over others.

The Eldest of the Ances­tors, those most weary of main­tai­ning their pre­sence upon the Earth, do not come among their kin very often, for it takes great force of will and energy for them to do so. Although they des­pise its taste”, the Ances­tors relish fee­ding upon the life-essence of the Barg­hûn, for then they can grow strong without dra­wing strength from their kin­folk. High feast-days after a big vic­tory over a Barg­hûn incur­sion are remem­be­red for many gene­ra­tions, for then do most of the Ances­tors, still strong from their fee­ding”, come forth to meet their living kin.

The Ances­tors are vene­ra­ted as living” embo­di­ments of tribal lore, wisdom, cou­rage and self-sacri­fice. Only those Ances­tors who are fully com­mit­ted to the tribe find the inner strength to bind them­selves to the tribe after death (ins­tead of going to whe­re­ver spi­rits more natu­rally go, which remains a mys­tery to the Bëoac).

Custom allows the Bëoac to poli­tely ask the appro­priate ances­tor to assist them with a task. In return for this assis­tance the Bëoac tend the bar­rows of their fore­bears. The ances­tors lend what aid that they can, inter­pre­ting the request based upon their unders­tan­ding of it, their own abi­li­ties, and the grea­ter effect upon their kin and the tribe. The ances­tors are not slaves to the living, and thus they choose whe­ther to honour the request and how to do so.

The ances­tors value tra­di­tion and conti­nuity and, in gene­ral, place the inter­ests of the tribe over that of any one living rela­tive. For this reason, they will not act in a manner they deem dis­ho­no­rable or dan­ge­rous for the tribe.

The Wise among the Bëoac fear that the pre­sence of so much death among the living has a price, and that a reduc­tion in fer­ti­lity among the tribe has been that price. They do not know what to do about it, for the aid of the Ances­tors is essen­tial for them to retain their foo­thold in their moun­tain vale. In their hearts they know that the tribe must soon leave their home­land and search for the lands of the Shi­ning Folk upon the , but do not wish for that time to come whilst they can still enjoy the peace and liberty of the vale.

The Bëoac do not have any skill with magic, save that a few of them can, through force of will and the ritual aid of their Ances­tors, embed their intent into an item that they craft with their own hands. The Wise among them know how to pre­pare herbal medi­cines that, in prin­ciple, aid those who are inju­red or sick. No other magic is known to them, though tales out of the Elder Days speak autho­ri­ta­ti­vely of foul sor­cery by the ser­vants of the Dark Lord, and more fan­ci­fully of the fabled magic of the Shi­ning Folk.

Because the tribal culture is so inten­sely embed­ded in all that they do, such Bëoac as have any magi­cal talent are dis­po­sed towards the Realm of Chan­ne­ling rather than that of Essence or Men­ta­lism.

It takes a good amount of energy to for an ances­tor to mani­fest itself visi­bly, and even more to affect the world around them. They do not do so unless need drives them. The more energy they have to use, the more they need to feed off of the life essence of those around them. For this reason, and due to pride in one’s own abi­li­ties, the Bëoac do not ask for help when they can do the task on their own.


The Bëoac have an inten­sely spi­ri­tual culture. Nearly every action that a Bëoac would under­take has a proper ritual” way to conduct it. For the most parts, the rituals are highly prag­ma­tic and act as a repo­si­tory of best prac­tices” for tribal mem­bers. Pre­ce­dence exists for igno­ring the rituals, but most tales tell of disas­ter rather than inno­va­tive suc­cess for those who do so.

The Bëoac believe that the souls of their ances­tors still linger in the valley and take an active part in the affairs of the tribe. A family line that has no sur­vi­ving mem­bers will adopt youn­ger chil­dren from ano­ther family, for how else would their own graves be tended in the years to come if no family sur­vi­ved to conduct the proper rituals ?

The Bëoac have no direct know­ledge or True Lore about the Divine Powers. Yet, they are not igno­rant, and in some ways they are more know­led­geable than better edu­ca­ted” men in the world out­side their vale. For the Ances­tors know the Dark Lord exists, and the mea­ning of evil that he espouses. They are under no illu­sions on that score. Only by great force of will can the Ances­tors stay with the tribe, for they can sense that their souls have a proper place to go to upon the body’s death ; and that that place is both fit­ting and proper for their souls to jour­ney to. There is no taint of evil in that tug upon their soul, and thus the Bëoac know that there is a place that the Dark Lord does not rule and has never ruled. By this have they ascer­tai­ned that there is ano­ther great power in the world that can hold the Dark Lord at bay, and per­haps defeat him. Not kno­wing its true nature or name, they revere it, but do not call upon it, for fear of giving offense. Each high feast day the elders of the tribe give praise that their Ances­tors have been allo­wed to remain and pro­tect the tribe.

There are five major holy weeks during the year. The first four are cen­te­red on the winter and summer sol­stices, and the spring and fall equi­noxes. The pri­mary holy week is cen­te­red on the seventh day of the seventh month. This is the day on which the lands of the Uthrael Bëoac were set­tled in ages past. All of the cere­mo­nies are simi­lar in nature. All the folk of the tribe (except those who guard the passes and the royal gates to the cavern for­tress of their folk) gather at the burial ground of their ances­tors. The first three days of the holy week are spent puri­fying the spi­rits of the living tribal mem­bers.

The fourth day of the week, the holy day, is spent com­mu­ning with the ances­tors in their ancient bar­rows. It is at this time that newly decea­sed mem­bers of the tribe are taken to their new home — the barrow of their ances­tors. The living and the dead spend the day toge­ther, sha­ring sto­ries and memo­ries of days gone by. Chil­dren who reach adul­thood, and new family mem­bers, are intro­du­ced to their fore­bears at this time. Those who are found unac­cep­table are taken by the spi­rits — and never seen or spoken of again.

The next three days are spent on the shore of a spark­ling lake high in the eas­tern slopes of the vale, in feas­ting, dan­cing and feats of skill. Mar­riages are arran­ged and per­for­med during this time.

Deep within the royal cavern for­tress, the Anghat Bëoac, is a large under­ground lake. Named the Bat Matrëoc, the Mother of Waters, it is sacred to the women of the tribe. Here is their refuge from the cares of mothe­rhood or mai­den­hood, for it is death for any man to enter the­rein unless a woman gives him leave to do so. The waters are heated by the veins of hot Earth’s blood inter­la­ced below it. The crops of fungi and moss that grow in the heated caverns adjoi­ning the Bat Matrëoc have allo­wed the redu­ced num­bers of the tribe to sur­vive the increa­sin­gly colder win­ters, and it is the duty (and pri­vi­lege) of the Regent and their spouse to dis­tri­bute it to those in need.

Crime and Punishment

There are two cate­go­ries of crimes in Bëoac society. First come those crimes which, though ack­now­led­ged as crimes, the tribal mem­bers would still feel safe living with the per­pe­tra­tor among them. Second, those crimes for which they would not. Punish­ment for the second cate­gory is simple. The cri­mi­nal is chai­ned until the next High Feast, upon which they are given to the Ances­tors to feed upon. If, for wha­te­ver reason, the Ances­tors refuse to do so, then the person is set free. Other­wise, their life-essence is for­fei­ted to their Ances­tors as they have failed to make honou­rable use of it. This not inten­ded to be cruel. The Bëoac have little enough to spare and not enough to feed non-pro­duc­tive mouths held in prison for the rest of their life. The tribe cannot risk the cap­ture and tor­ture of the cri­mi­nal out­side of tribal lands where they might reveal their homeland’s whe­rea­bouts to the Barg­hûn.

As for the lesser crimes, the cri­mi­nal is set into bon­dage to the victim’s family to work off their debt to the vic­tims. The amount of their per­so­nal liberty is at the dis­cre­tion of the victim’s family and, of course, they are given the worst sort of chores to do, but other­wise they may not be harmed. Those who refuse their assi­gned duties may be given to the Ances­tors to feed upon.

Characters from the Tribe

Character Professions allowed

To faci­li­tate the use of this mate­rial in a variety of gaming sys­tems, I have listed pro­fes­sions rather than cha­rac­ter classes.” Note that all mem­bers of the tribe, unless phy­si­cally or men­tally unable, are expec­ted to bear arms in the tribe’s defense. (None of these pro­fes­sions have access to spells.)

Background Skills

Free Skills based upon culture and upbrin­ging : Lan­guage (spoken) Bëoac : 4,Climbing : 3,Region Lore — Uthrael Bëoac valley : 3,Weather Wat­ching : 2,Culture- Uthrael Bëoac : 5,Body Deve­lop­ment : 2,Dance : 1,Skiing : 1,Snowshoes : 2,Spear : 1,Dagger : 1.

Skills which must be pur­cha­sed by all level 0 cha­rac­ters : Clim­bing : 1,Region Lore — Uthrael Bëoac valley : 1,Weather Wat­ching : 1,Culture — Uthrael Bëoac : 1,Body Deve­lop­ment : 2,Dance : 1,Skiing : 1,Snowshoes : 1,Spear : 1,Dagger : 1.

Skills which must be pur­cha­sed by all level 1 cha­rac­ters : Clim­bing : 1,Region Lore — Uthrael Bëoac valley : 1,Weather Wat­ching : 1,Culture — Uthrael Bëoac : 1,Body Deve­lop­ment : 2,Dance : 1,Skiing : 1,Snowshoes : 1,Spear : 1,Dagger : 1,

Skill cost adjust­ments : Clim­bing, Wea­ther Wat­ching, Skiing, Snow­shoes : as Ranger cha­rac­ter class unless own class has a better cost struc­ture, while the cha­rac­ter still lives with the tribe. The first rank per cha­rac­ter level in Culture — Uthrael Bëoac is free pro­vi­ded the character’s life­style is appro­priate, the cha­rac­ter lives with tribe, and the cha­rac­ter makes a culture skill roll on attai­ning the new level.

People of Note in the Uthrael Bëoac.

Uthrâd (Bëoac, « Brin­ger of Spi­rits ») The lea­ding member of the Wise” in the tribe. A truly gentle soul, wise and loving.

Atla­reöc (Bëoac, « Mother of ») The cur­rent ruling Regent of the tribe. Strong-willed, but aging badly, and fast. 

Tas­cûûth (Bëoac, « Scion of the Dragon-Lords ») The eldest daugh­ter of the Regent and heir-appa­rent, but not well-res­pec­ted and too young to rule. 

Ulcû­nâth (Bëoac, « Lea­ping Goat ») Com­man­der of the Uthrael Tag­thâd, the Royal Guar­dians. Old and very conser­va­tive. Very gruff, but extre­mely loyal to the Royal House. 

Lata­cûûth (Bëoac, « Dan­cing Drake ») Com­man­der of the Uthrael Vûl, the Guar­dians of the Passes. Young, cha­ris­ma­tic, power­ful war­rior who wants to marry the Regent’s daugh­ter. Has suf­fi­cient royal blood to make an offer to marry Tas­cûûth, and suf­fi­cient skill and popu­la­rity to make the offer cre­dible. Wants to change the old ways, to forge a bro­the­rhood of arms led by men.

Game Master (Only) Information From Here On”

The entire sec­tion detai­ling Bëoac culture and his­tory has no direct refe­rences to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. This is inten­tio­nal because it allows the game master to start a cam­paign in Middle-earth without any of the players being aware of it.

Tribal mem­bers are com­ple­tely igno­rant of the his­tory of the world after their people found refuge in the Uthrael Bëoac (and the eldest of the Ances­tors knew very little of it before that!) The mate­rial in the sec­tions above can be given to any tribal member to read as useful back­ground mate­rial that any tribal member would know.

Out­si­ders should not be given the mate­rial, they should be made to learn or expe­rience it.

Campaign Background Notes

The ori­gi­nal Dark Lord was, of course, the Mor­goth. His foes, the Shi­ning Folk, were the Noldor from Vali­nor in First Age Bele­riand. His ser­vants, the Barg­hûn, are better known as orcs in the Common Speech of the West.

The punish­ment meted out to Mae­dros (being hung by the wrist with an unbrea­kable bond from the walls of Than­go­ro­drim) was consi­de­red highly amu­sing by the orcs all along the chain of moun­tains across the North of Endorë and found its way into their reper­toire of tor­ture. As the freeing of Maedh­ros was not dis­cus­sed by those ser­vants of the Mor­goth wishing to retain their tongues (or their lives), the tor­ture lived on in lands in the utter­most East of Endorë in the moun­tains rena­med by the Bëoac’s fore­fa­thers as the Ram­parts of Pain.

The tribal lan­guage, called Bëoac after their heroic King, is lin­guis­ti­cally best clas­si­fied as proto-proto-Adû­naic. It is rela­ti­vely unchan­ged from its ori­gi­nal form (except for those mat­ters dea­ling with the lore concer­ning Ances­tors and that of cold-wea­ther alpine cli­mates). The Bëoac are pure-bloo­ded tribal rela­tions of the ancient Edain and are coun­ted among the Free Folk and the Edain by the Valar, who know of their long sacri­fice and struggle against the Dark Lord (though they do not approve of the Ances­tors remai­ning to assist their kin­folk).

The Uthrael Bëoac is situa­ted in the north of the Mirk­wood and east of the source of the . Cha­rac­ters lea­ving the vale have four likely direc­tions to take. The vale is easy to spot on the ICE map of the , it is a long vale, orien­ted east-to-west, with a barrow mar­king in its eas­tern end.

The sug­ges­ted time­frame for this cam­paign is in the mid-Third Age. The new” Dark Lord the eldest of the ances­tors refer to is Sauron, and he has newly risen again in his for­tress at Dol Guldur. I sug­gest either the 1390’s or the 1590’s. The 1390’s allow for enough time for the cha­rac­ters to gain skills and sta­ture within their tribe (due to increa­sing num­bers of Barg­hûn incur­sions) and their own res­t­less nature to excel at what they do. By the time they leave their home­land (the early 1400’s), the Great Nor­thern War bet­ween Arthe­dain and Angmar will be in full swing (with the fall of Amon Sûl and the cru­shing of Car­do­lan on the event hori­zon) should they travel west over the Misty Moun­tains. South along the Anduin leads them into a brutal civil war in Gondor, with all the fun that entails. For added fun, make sure the Stran­ger” (see « Sce­na­rio : A Stran­ger in the Womb of Larëc ! ») is from a mili­tary unit and minor noble family in Gondor. If the party goes to the east around Mirk­wood, the stran­ger should be from a unit and family that was loyal to Cas­ti­mir. If they go down the Anduin, the stranger’s unit and family should have been loyal to Elda­car. (Elda­car took refuge with tribal allies to the East of Green­wood the Great.)

In the 1600’s, the civil war is long over, but the Great Plague should make for an inter­es­ting time for stran­gers. The long asso­cia­tion of the Bëoac with their Moss of Life (see Game Master Info on Hea­ling and Herbal Medi­cines) has an advan­tage here, as they are more resis­tant to disease than the normal popu­la­tion in wes­tern lands.

We will not dwell upon the risks inherent in invo­king the assis­tance of the dead, no matter how well rela­ted, as one gets close to the Necromancer’s stron­ghold in sou­th­wes­tern Mirk­wood. Any Ances­tor tra­ve­ling with the party will sense that they can « hear » the Dark Lord more « loudly » as they approach Dol Guldur, and they will com­mu­ni­cate their fear to their living kin­folk.

Game Master Info on People of Note in the Uthrael Bëoac.

This sec­tion contains addi­tio­nal notes about the notables within the vale that are not common know­ledge.

Atla­reöc (Bëoac, « Mother of »): The cur­rent ruling Regent of the tribe. Strong-willed. Her health is fading fast and her only daugh­ter is still too young to rule.

Ulcû­nâth (Bëoac, « Lea­ping Goat »): Com­man­der of the Uthrael Tag­thâd, the Royal Guar­dians. Old and very conser­va­tive. Very gruff, but extre­mely loyal to the Royal House, and very help­ful (behind the scenes) to those he likes and trusts. He has recently become aware of the dis­res­pect for the heir appa­rent and its source. Being an honou­rable man, and well aware of the heir’s fine per­so­na­lity, it never occur­red to him that others would think other­wise, and none dared say so to this face.

Lata­cûûth (Bëoac, « Dan­cing Drake »): Com­man­der of the Uthrael Vûl, the Guar­dians of the Passes. His plan is to dis­cre­dit Ulcû­nâth and build up his own claim to become the Royal Guar­dian, so he can force his own mar­riage to Tas­cûth. Wants to change the old ways, to forge a bro­the­rhood of arms led by men. Lata­cûûth has been under­mi­ning the res­pect for young Tas­cûûth since she was five years old, and Tascûûth’s treat­ment by the other chil­dren shows how effec­tive his stra­tegy has been.

Game Master Info on Healing and Herbal Medicines

Athaûth (Bëoac, Moss of Life”)

This moss is used as a basic food­stuff and grows in damp areas in alpine climes or in caves in those cli­mates. In its natu­ral state and even when cooked, it also acts as an anti-bac­te­rial agent. Minute amounts of its air­borne spores enter the lungs and grow, in sym­bio­tic fashion, extre­mely thin patches within the lungs. The moss is the major reason that the Bëoac do not suffer from many diseases or infec­tions. Although the sym­bio­tic moss spores can conti­nue to grow within its human host out­side of the vale, the moss cannot spread to chil­dren via child­birth, its spores must be inha­led.

Dis­til­ling the moss into an oil over fires made of bur­ning rock found within the Womb of Larëc inten­si­fies its hea­ling pro­per­ties. Pre­pa­red in this manner, it can heal major concus­sion and inter­nal organ damage and hemor­rha­ging. Howe­ver, it also affects the che­mi­cal balance of the body, most espe­cially that of the brain, and causes long-term amne­sia in those not immune to it. Because the Bëoac ingest the moss as part of the daily rou­tine, they have built up a natu­ral immu­nity to the che­mi­cal imba­lance. Tribal mem­bers act silly” for a few days after such a treat­ment (they are care­fully moni­to­red to keep them from har­ming anyone, inclu­ding them­selves). Since the Bëoac have no expe­rience in hea­ling out­si­ders, they have no know­ledge of the true magni­tude of this side effect, nor that they need to consume about 10% more food­stuffs than ave­rage humans to feed the sym­bio­tic moss within them.

As a note, occa­sio­nal clumps of the moss have so much oil concen­tra­ted within that they do not need to be spe­cially pre­pa­red. Almost all Bëoac can easily tell the dif­fe­rence, and all know to avoid it as part of their normal diet.

Player Characters from the Tribe

If you have a really good role-player, who can handle a female cha­rac­ter, Tas­cûûth might be a good cha­rac­ter to have as a player cha­rac­ter. Howe­ver, remem­ber that her free­dom to adven­ture (and remain true to her people) will drop off dra­ma­ti­cally once she becomes the Regent and moves her people to the safety” of Arthe­dain or Gondor. Of course, if her people are des­troyed by the Barg­hûn or Lata­cûûth becomes the Regent in all but name (and she escapes), she can do what she wants.

Regard­less, the players can observe the treat­ment that Tas­cûûth receives from the other chil­dren and youn­ger adults and decide for them­selves whe­ther she deserves it or not. If she is a non-player cha­rac­ter, she is a quite shy and somew­hat socially awk­ward, but a true friend and very capable at any task given to her.


Scenario One : A Sudden Storm !

The cha­rac­ters are all young tribal mem­bers out hun­ting game high on the moun­tain ridges, in the months just before their coming of age. One is inju­red in a fall, then the party is beset with a sudden snows­torm that rushes over the Ram­parts of Pain with no war­ning. The party must find a way to sur­vive and get medi­cal aid for their woun­ded friend.

Scenario : A Stranger in the Womb of Larëc !

This is a com­pa­nion sce­na­rio to Sce­na­rio : Where am I ? Who am I?” told from a dif­ferent pers­pec­tive, that of a young woman (or man present by their leave) who finds a stran­ger (a non-tribal member and non-Barg­hûn) within the Womb of Larëc. The stran­ger is badly woun­ded and needs imme­diate medi­cal atten­tion in order to live. Only the use of the oil of Athaûth will be suf­fi­cient to save the stranger’s life, for his inju­ries are mortal other­wise.

Scenario : Where am I ? Who am I ?

This adven­ture allows a non-tribal member to join a cam­paign set in the vale without dis­rup­ting the set­ting with too much cha­rac­ter know­ledge about the world out­side. It can serve as the final impe­tus for moti­va­ting the Ances­tors and the Wise to allow the tribal cha­rac­ters to leave the valley and search once again for free­dom in wes­tern lands. It is recom­men­ded that the tribal cha­rac­ters have already gained a number of expe­rience levels and have a repu­ta­tion among the tribe for both abi­lity, good cha­rac­ter, and good sense. (Other­wise, the Ances­tors and the Wise would choose dif­ferent people to explore the outer world ! Then again, they might choose to send out those who are young, rea­so­ning that the world may have chan­ged greatly whilst their tribe has hidden in the vale, and those who are young adapt best to change.)

A well-sea­so­ned scout (or ranger) is per­for­ming a recon­nais­sance along the sou­thern slopes of the . The scout is dis­co­ve­red by a patrol of orcs and chased up into the moun­tains. While attemp­ting to escape high up in the moun­tains, he falls through snow-cove­red cre­vice that concea­led a very deep ravine. The col­lap­sing snow-bridge cushions the fall enough to save the scout’s life, but not enough to prevent serious injury and knock him out for a time. The orcs can see part of the scout’s pros­trate body a hun­dred feet below and leave in dis­gust, unable to safely reach the body to loot it, and after mis­sing it with seve­ral arrows (shot only for fun, as the scout clearly appea­red to be dead.)

Upon coming to conscious­ness, the scout will be able to pain­fully work their way deeper into the ravine, from which they can feel warm air rising. The ravine is an undis­co­ve­red exit deep within the cavern com­plex named the Womb of Larec. (It is the warm air that under­mi­ned the snow that had filled the ravine.) The warm air comes from the Bat Matrëoc, for a por­tion of the cavern cei­ling has col­lap­sed, having been wea­ke­ned by the ele­ments on the sur­face above.

Pick Gon­do­rian or Arthe­dain for the scout’s coun­try of origin, depen­ding upon your cam­paign pre­fe­rence. Remem­ber that, based upon the scout’s natio­na­lity, the party may be stee­red in dif­ferent direc­tions once they leave the Uthrael Bëoac and learn to converse with others. Other natio­na­li­ties can of course be used, but with rami­fi­ca­tions for the character’s sur­vi­val (both imme­dia­tely and in their abi­lity to be accep­ted by the tribe and allo­wed to leave). An elf would have the least trouble as the Bëoac would leap to the conclu­sion that the elf was one of the Shi­ning Folk. Woses, dwarves or black Hara­drim would likely be killed outright as the Bëoac have no know­ledge of them and might mis­take them for a ser­vant of the Dark Lord. Hob­bits would be consi­de­red chil­dren at first. Blond, blue-eyed Éotheod might also be thought to be of the Shi­ning Folk. Eas­ter­lings are pro­ble­ma­tic, with their chances of sur­vi­val decrea­sing based upon the extent of racial dif­fe­rences in the way they look from the Bëoac norm.” Clo­thing styles that show good taste and artis­try” rather than the hate-filled crafts­man­ship of the Barg­hûn would up the odds of ini­tial sur­vi­val, as the Dark Lord’s ser­vants were not known to the Bëoac as having any artis­tic merit (and thus a seed of doubt in favor of the cha­rac­ter would be sown).

From the Lost Character’s” Pers­pec­tive :

You wake up in the dark, screa­ming… shou­ting. You remem­ber : Pain. Fear. Fleeing. Rocks. Blood. Fal­ling. Images, frag­ments of thought, fill your mind, then dark­ness takes you. Craw­ling. Pain. Dark­ness.

Some time later :

You are in a warm, snug bed. The room around you is of finely carved wood, but seems … dif­ferent. You do not know what it is dif­ferent from, only that it seems dif­ferent. There is a light in the room, and it is get­ting closer ! A girl’s face appears over you, spea­king calmly and softly but with no mea­ning to her words.

You have no strength, no control over your limbs. She pushes you back down on the bed, you fade into uncons­cious­ness.

What you learn, as time goes by :

A man teaches you. He is a holy man, of that you are sure. You are dif­ferent from the others they teach. You are their size, the others are very small chil­dren. You are taught, with infi­nite patience, even though you are the slo­west of all to learn. You are taught to speak and unders­tand others, to walk and ride the land on skis and snow­shoes, the laws, rituals and cus­toms of the tribe. Many of the chil­dren make fun of how clumsy you are. You are not the only child” who is trea­ted poorly by the other chil­dren. One young girl of about 12, named Tas­cûûth, appears to always have been on the losing side of a fight. She is in the older” children’s class, and you remem­ber her taking care of you.

You learn to fight, to run, and to climb. These things are natu­ral to you, as if you had always known them and had just for­got­ten for a time. As you get older, you come to learn that you were not born into the tribe, you were found in the Womb of Larëc by one of the women of the tribe who had gone their for soli­tude, Tas­cûûth. You are given the name Bâthat (Bëoac, « Gift of our Mother ») because of where you were found.

If the cha­rac­ter earns the holy man’s love (Uthrâd), he will adop­ted into Uthrâd’s family before the coming of age cere­mony. If not, unless ano­ther does so, the cer­tainty of death by the Ances­tors is a given, and all within the tribe know it.

This is not your home­land, you home is some­place else, some­place you cannot remem­ber.

Some­times, you have flee­ting visions of other places, very dif­ferent from here. Other faces, very simi­lar to here. Other objects, usually incom­pre­hen­sible to you in this envi­ron­ment, are in those visions.

Scenario : Coming of Age !

The cha­rac­ters are young tribal mem­bers approa­ching the time that they come of age and must be pre­sen­ted to their Ances­tors. Young women must craft a bowl of silver to hold their moon-blood in pre­pa­ra­tion for the cere­mony, and must locate and mine the ore within the Womb of Larëc. Young men must climb to the top of the moun­tain ridges and hew from them a block of obsi­dian, then chip it into a bowl to hold their seed. When the Feast Day arrives, they must enter the barrow of their Ances­tors along with their living family mem­bers. If they are found wan­ting in cou­rage or honour, they will be consu­med by their Ances­tors as unwor­thy.

Scenario : First Barghûn !

The cha­rac­ters, recently come of age, are out patrol­ling the wes­tern vale with an expe­rien­ced leader. They may be a bit annoyed, because they were assi­gned to the patrol with no notice, and now they will miss the fes­ti­vi­ties of the upco­ming holy week. Then again, they may be exci­ted, because this is their first patrol in the wes­tern vale.

They encoun­ter their first Barg­hûn patrol. They must decide whe­ther to avoid the patrol, ambush it imme­dia­tely, or attempt to draw it fur­ther into the vale before atta­cking it. The leader is there to help them make infor­med judg­ments (and avoid stupid ones), but his job is also to train them for the future, so they have more com­mand deci­sions” than would other­wise be expec­ted for novice war­riors. The leader will only inter­vene if abso­lu­tely neces­sary to prevent a disas­ter. What the novices do not know is that the leader knew the Barg­hûn patrol was present, having recei­ved a signal from the patrols in the wes­tern vale. The patrols have led the Barg­hûn deeper into the vale to faci­li­tate this trai­ning exer­cise. They are posi­tio­ned to cut down any Barg­hûn that escape the novices.

The cha­rac­ters, unless they are too inju­red to return in time (or have embar­ras­sed them­selves and choose not to), will be able to return in time for the fes­ti­vi­ties.

Scenario : Dissension in the Tribal Council

Uthrâd argues in coun­cil that the time has come to begin sear­ching out ways to the West, to see if the Shi­ning Folk still war against the Dark Lord. Lata­cûûth and Ulcû­nâth, in a rare show of full agree­ment, coun­ter the argu­ment. They point out that the Dark Lord is gro­wing stron­ger (the Ances­tors who are present murmur in agree­ment with this), and that the tribe should remain hidden. The coun­cil agrees with them and for­bids the sen­ding out scouts out­side the vale.

Scenario : The Stranger Comes of Age !

When the time comes, the stran­ger must brought before the Ances­tors for their coming of age” cere­mony. The stran­ger is expec­ted to be consu­med by the ances­tors, even though (if the player earned it), he is well-liked by the tribal mem­bers. The Ances­tors in the barrow accept the stran­ger as worthy of trust, but not of their kin, and thus sub­ject to death. To the sur­prise of all, the stran­ger is accep­ted as kin by one of the eldest of the Ances­tors, one not seen in hun­dreds of gene­ra­tions. The stran­ger is named as the seed of the Ancestor’s child, one of the Lost Heroes of the Great Decep­tion”. The Ances­tor has to draw a grea­ter than normal amount of life-essence to come for­ward qui­ckly enough to save the stran­ger, for he has been dor­mant for a very long time, and he draws his strength from Uthrâd, the holy man who is the stranger’s tea­cher. The holy man dies shortly the­reaf­ter, with shrun­ken cheeks and withe­red, parch­ment-like skin, happy that his adop­ted child has been accep­ted.

Scenario : Barghûn Find the Tribe !

Ero­sion and an ava­lanche conspire to open a new path over the moun­tains around the eas­tern vale. A Barg­hûn scou­ting party works its way up the win­ding trail and is sur­pri­sed to see the entire tribe gathe­red toge­ther for the final fes­ti­vi­ties of the Autumn Holy Week. They are spot­ted by the vigi­lant scouts of the tribe and the Beoäc, both living and Ances­tors, break into a run and pursue the hated Barg­hûn to the death. Many are killed, but the ini­tial sigh­ting was too far away to accu­ra­tely count the Barg­hûn, and some are belie­ved to have esca­ped the vale. This is a disas­ter !

Scenario : In Search of the Shining Folk !

Atlareöc’s frail health cannot bear the strain of having been dis­co­ve­red by the Barg­hûn, and she col­lapses at the onset of the coun­cil. She will not last the night, a fact that is obvious to all present.

Once again, the sub­ject of sen­ding out scouts to search for the Shi­ning Folk who war against the Dark Lord in the utter­most West is brought up in coun­cil. Uthrâd is not present to lend his weight to the coun­cil, and Lata­cûûth still argues against it. But his cre­di­bi­lity has been wea­ke­ned, having failed his res­pon­si­bi­lity to guard the passes, and Ulcû­nâth argues for sen­ding out scouts. Ulcû­nâth wins both the argu­ment and the regency, but he too is old, and he is unli­kely to hold it long enough for Tas­cûûth to come of ruling age.

Even with this dis­grace, only an extra­or­di­nary deed will undo the long-term damage to her repu­ta­tion and enable her to rule without being domi­na­ted by Lata­cûûth and his sup­por­ters. Ulcû­nâth decides, secretly, to send Tas­cûûth on the quest. At worst, she will die in the ser­vice of her people, a fate she finds pre­fe­rable to beco­ming Royal Chat­tel as Latacûûth’s wife. Uthrâd will accom­pany the cha­rac­ters if the Stran­ger or Tas­cûûth go upon the quest.

Some in the out­side world, such as wizards, the wiser of the elves and more power­ful of the dark priests, the undead, almost any animal (and an occa­sio­nal highly sen­si­tive” person), can sense the pre­sence of the Ances­tors. Those more lear­ned in the lore of the Dead will know what they per­ceive, others will just feel a chill and a sense of dread and unease.

Scenario : Barghûn Invasion !

The season after the exis­tence of the tribe is revea­led, Barg­hûn, aided by Barg­hûn-At (Trolls) and Barg­hûn-Vorgs (Wargs) begin to raid in stron­ger num­bers. After seve­ral years (or a few decades at most unless the Barg­hûn are deci­ma­ted by some out­side power in the interim), the Barg­hûn and their allies invade the Vale of Bëoac in hor­ren­dous num­bers. Dread ser­vants of the Dark Lord travel with them and force back the Ances­tors or enslave them to the will of the Dark Lord. The tribe is almost cer­tain to be des­troyed, its rem­nants hunted down and devou­red by Wargs, and its Ances­tors ensla­ved by dread rites of the Dark Lord’s priests.


Master Military Tables

Des­crip­tion Quan­tity Equip­ment
Uthrael Tag­thâd Senior War­rior 15 Chain Shirt, Quil­ted Tunic and Braes (Pants), Spear, Dagger, Bow, Sword, Shield, Iron Helm.
Uthrael Tag­thâd War­rior 30 Chain Shirt, Quil­ted Tunic and Braes, Spear, Dagger, Bow, Sword, Shield, Iron Helm
Uthrael Vûl Senior Warrior/​Hunter 50 Chain Shirt, Quil­ted Tunic and Braes, Spear, Dagger, Bow, Sword, Shield, Iron Helm.
Uthrael Vûl Warrior/​Hunter 200 Quil­ted Tunic and Braes, Spear, Dagger, Bow, Sword, Shield.
Warrior/​Healer 5 Quil­ted Tunic and Braes, Spear, Dagger, Bow.
Other Part-time War­rior 900 Quil­ted Tunic and Braes, Spear, Dagger, Bow.
Ances­tors 100

Encounter Charts

Use wil­der­ness encoun­ter charts for the Grey Moun­tains, but filter out encoun­ters that are inap­pro­priate due to the seclu­ded nature of the vale.

(down­load : first type : docu­ment)


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