Abridged version of Acorn’s report on Varnhold
Varnhold rests in a wide valley between two low mountains of the Tors of the Levenies. There are two established routes into the town. One following the road south from Nivakta’s Crossing, and another an overland route through the wilderness and a low spot in the Tors. Since Varnhold was founded, locals have begun to refer to the pass as Varnhold Pass.
Varnhold’s lord-governer and founder is Maegar Varn, a noble who achieved some measure of fame in the past decade leading a group of mercenaries known as the Varnling Host. I spoke to several in the village who had fought with him or spoken at length with him. While a handful felt he was imperious and cold, most describe him as demanding but fair, with a genuine concern about the welfare of the people of Varnhold. Also noted was a love of the arts and learning, he spent several of his formative years in Oppara’s colleges.
Varn’s council and closest companions include:
Howitt Gurney—former adventuring companion, now weapons master, armorer, and sergeant-at-arms of Varnhold
Caspar Morgarion—longtime adventuring companion, cleric of Erastil
Willas Gundearson—Ulfen ranger, former henchman, now march warden of Varnhold
Cephal Lorentus—former adventuring companion, wizard
Varn himself is rumored to be formidable with the sword and lance, well-versed in fighting from horseback and in leading men. Also notable is his use of battle song to raise the spirits of those around him. Varn together with his companions are an incredibly effective fighting force, similar to our Founders. One former mercenary told me of a a battle with a massive hardshelled aquatic beast that attacked and killed several men near Varnhold’s current ford, in the earliest days of the settlement. Varn and his companions nearly killed it forcing the creature to flee.
The population of the town seems to be well over one hundred. The people are primarily single adults evenly distributed between craftsmen and farm laborers, even there are a few married couples and even a few families with children. The primary buildings in Varnhold include an Inn (The Waterhorse), a church of Erastil, a town livery, a small brewery (brews Cheerful Delver Stout), a large grange. It is defended by a stockade and blockhouse built on a low hill to the south of the town.
Varnhold has not grown as extensively as Thornhold. It’s borders only extend out 25 to 30 miles from the city into the hills and Dunsward plains to the east. The primary reason for may be an ongoing conflict with the centaur tribes which roam the Dunsward. Varn’s men and the centaurs skirmish regularly, with deaths on both sides from time to time.