Lysha of Rakath
Who am I?
You are Lysha of Clan Rakath. Twenty-one years old and unmarried, many people already regard you as an old maid. You could have been married and raising babies by now. You’re not concerned, you want to be a soldier.
Who are my family?
Your father is Dikel of Rakath, yeoman archer. He is an excellent marksman with the short forest bow, which is in common use across the hundred. He provides military service to Sir Alarn Orteyan, Lord of Yalen in return for his land. He is both farmer and warrior. When you were young he humoured you when you asked, and taught you to shoot the bow and to fight with falchion and shield. Your mother is Nala, she is the best alewife in the village. You have three brothers. Uthber is now nineteen and next year he will carry out the military duties; something you were forbidden from doing. This will allow your father to concentrate on the farm. Dybal is fourteen and cheeky. Hiu is thirteen. You also have a sister, Marila, aged twelve. She likes housework, and playing with dolls, she’s a strange girl in your opinion.
Dikel (m) / Married / Nala (f)
Lysha (f) Uthber (m) Dybal (m) Hui (m) Marila (f)
Where do I come from?
You were born and raised in Yalen, in the Hundred of Asolade, in the Shire of Osel, in the Kingdom of Kaldor. Yalen is a small village of only sixteen families, plus the noble household up at the manor. Yalen lies on the south bank of the mighty river Kald. Your family is one of four free families in the village; the others are the woodcrafter, the hideworker and another yeomen. The remaining residents are peasant farmers, good folk in the main, but tied to the land. The lord of Yalen Manor is Sir Alarn Orteyan. He holds his lands from Clan Doulzarn of Novelim Manor. Sir Alarn is a new lord, he inherited the manor when his father died over the winter. He’s making changes and many local serfs are nervous. You grew up in the village and know everyone by name. You know the road south to Novelim. It is only a thirty minute walk from Yalen to Jedes, the largest settlement in the hundred. You have been many times, usually on market days. You have also been inside Jedes Keep, to attend the services to your goddess, Larani.
Who are my friends?
You’ve been friends with Gorrys of Lunn since you could walk. He’s a good hunter, tracker and trapper. He set the trap that gave you the scar on your cheek. You set off the trap and it flung a sharp flint when triggered; it narrowly missed your eye. You know that it wasn’t meant for you, but you’ve never told him that you know that he was responsible. It happened more than five years ago, he’s probably long forgotten about it. Gorrys nearly died over the winter. He fell in to the river. A yeomans’ son called Kalas of Delsin and a young Peonian priestess called Ryssi of Chert rescued him. The priestess left the young men, both chilled and feverish, with Gorrys’ parents, and went to the manor to tend the ailing Sir Danard. She returned often to check on them, but left when old Sir Danard died. You’ve grown quite fond of Kalas too, he’s rather good looking, and he’s always nice to you.
What can I do?
You’ve worked on your fathers’ farm all your life, you know the seasons, the crops and the animals. You’ve helped look after your younger siblings. You can forage for food. You can identify the blazons of all of the nobles of Asolade Hundred, and a few more besides. You can build shelter in the woods. You can identify many tracks, you can take care of your weapons and you’re a good judge of the weather. You can make and fletch arrows and yours fly more true than Gorrys’. You’re quick and accurate with the dagger and reasonably skilled with falchion and shield. Last year you entered the archery contest at Dagrath’s Tourney. You didn’t win, but you scored more than your father and your brother, you were fifth in the contest and reckon yourself to be a good shot. You are young, fit, and sharp eyed.
What do I own?
You own the clothes that you’re wearing: a dark green kirtle (a sleeved dress falling to below the knees); a light green hood; and brown trousers; all of homespun wool. You also have a well worn leather great coat, hood, calf boots, bracers and gauntlets, all made by Gorrys’ father. You have your bow and arrows and a dagger. Your father has given you his old falchion (a heavy single edged sword); you spent most of last night sharpening it. He also gave you a battered, but serviceable buckler. Your mother has given you six silver pennies, and told you that you’ll always be welcome home, no matter what.
A leather pouch tied to your belt contains the six silver pennies you’ve been given and a flint and steel. A rough canvas sack contains your spare clothes, a blue wool tunic and a sleeved, ankle length red wool dress, embroidered around the cuffs by your mother. It also contains a wool blanket.
Where am I going?
Yesterday Gorrys told you that he was leaving for Jedes, to look for work. Kalas and a friend of his, Harlin are probably going too. You’ve wanted to leave home for some time, so you persuaded your family to let you go. After all, there may be four of you travelling together. There must be more to the world than Yalen.
Asolade Hundred is in the south-western corner of the Kingdom of Kaldor. The Kald River forms the north- eastern boundary, the Osel river, the southern boundary. The western part of the hundred is mostly flat and fertile farmland, although low hills separate the farmland along the Kald from the Osel river valley. Almost all of the population live and work in this half of the hundred. The twenty-two settlements are mostly manorial villages, similar to your own home village. The largest settlement is Jedes, with its tall and imposing keep. There is a monastery to the south, Bromeleon is the home of the shrine to St. Bromel and contains a large hospital. The monks also maintain a leper colony nearby. There are two mining set- tlements in the hills, one Orofal, mines copper, the other, Tasinald, is a lead mine. The eastern part of the hundred is heavily forested and sparsely populated.
Across the Kald river to the North dwell the Kath, fiercely territorial forest dwelling nomadic barbarians. To the north-east lies most of civilised Kaldor. The roads are poor and can be dangerous, but all roads lead to Tashal, the capital, a great city where mad King Miginath rules. To the east lies Daynora Hundred and Hutop Keep, home of the Sheriff of Osel, keeper of the king’s peace. To the south lies the Oselmarch, and the lands of the Pagaelin, men who rape and defile all women, better to die than fall into their clutches. To the west lie the forests of Evael, home of the elves. A mysterious people, they are a legend across much of Hârn. Everyone in Asolade knows some- one who knows someone who has seen an elf. But no-one can give a good description.
The manor lords hold court irregularly, they deal with disputes between the serfs in their village. Most of the manor lords owe fealty to Earl Dariune, a mighty lord who lives in a huge castle in far off Kiban. Constable Shernath Mirdarne, rules Jedes on behalf of the earl. The constable is a powerful man, able to call upon dozens of knights and men-at-arms. As Earl Dariune’s representative in the hundred, he can hold court over his vassals. But he is not above the king’s law.
The representative of the king’s law within the hundred is the Bailiff of the Hundred, Sir Arrys Maradyne. The hundred court is held in the hundred moot village of Aso- lade, after which the hundred is named. Serious disputes may reach the sheriff’s court in Hutop, or even the king.
Most people worship gentle Peoni, goddess of healing and agriculture. Almost every village has a chapel to the goddess.
The nobility, and some yeomen (including your family) worship Larani, goddess of the feudal ideal. There are no temples to Larani in the hundred, you attend the service either at Novelim manor to the south west, or at the chapel within Jedes Keep. The Matakea (priestess) at Novelim is young and inspirational. Larani was a warrior woman. There is no reason why you should not be the same. The Matakea at Jedes is old and chastening. Serv- ices take place on the 5th, 15th and 25th of each month. You always attend one, usually two services a month.
You know little of any other gods:
Halea is the wanton goddess of profit, pleasure and luck, worshipped by some merchants and city dwellers.
Ilvir is the mystic & craven lord. A god of the old ways and old times.
Morgath, Naveh and Agrik are the dark gods. All are evil, following them will damn your eternal soul.