Living Story of Wildgard
NOTE - This page is meant ONLY for the background of Wildgard itself, and not for personal character stories. Any character-specific stories placed herein will be DELETED!
Geography and Location
Wildgard is situated in somewhat the same manner as Winnipeg. It is in the north of the world and of this continent (both as of yet unnamed), in what most people would refer to as the "frontier" or wilderness. The major kingdoms (nations) of the world are generally to the south, west and far east of Wildgard, with the southerly Kingdoms of Iron Mountains (southwest) and Rising Winds (southeast) being the closest. Recently, factions of each kingdom have made rumors of creating their own kingdoms, Rivermoor to the south and/or Polaris to the southeast, but both of these are currently principalities in their respective kingdoms and nothing is certain of this yet.
The closest major population center to Wildgard is the Shire of Land's End to the immediate south. They are a member of the Rivermoor principality under control of the Kingdom of Iron Mountains, and are quite strong of character. A smaller group, Niflheim, lies to the southeast even closer to Wildgard than Land's End, and they too are of the Rivermoor principality. This past summer, Wildgard signed an alliance with Land's End and Niflheim in which each agreed to work for the benefit of the others and act in peace towards each other. The peace has more or less held, although there have been sporadic incursions into each others' territories.
Wildgard itself is thus the generally uninhabited frontier land to the north of the "civilized" world of Amtgard. It is a Freehold, belonging to no Kingdom, and it has no allegiances to any Kindgom or even race of people. It is a waypoint on the road to nowhere, a massive forest and plain lying between civilization and the frozen barrens of the North. All who currently live in Wildgard and call themselves Wildgardians have come from somewhere else and are transient in Wildgard.
Most of the land around Wildgard is forest with some scattered meadows and plains, although it sits on the edge of a vast uninhabited region of forests, lakes and prairie. There is a minor mountain range to the south that separates Wildgard from Land's End and most of the civilized world, although the pass that crosses it is not treacherous. The An is the primary river that flows from these mountains through Wildgard City and further north into the Great Sea beyond. Far to the west lie a much larger range of mountains, dense and almost impenetrable to all but the most seasoned traveler, although it is rumored that other outpost communities exist within and beyond these mountains. An extension of this range lies to the northwest, extending far beyond the knowledge of most in Wildgard. To the north lies much unexplored territory, and to the east lies a very dense, forested land that is difficult to traverse.
The Peoples Of Wildgard
There are too many races to count throughout the world of Amtgard, and many are represented in Wildgard. Most of the races in Wildgard are either Kintu, Human or Elvish, with representatives of many other races also gathered here.
The kingdoms to the south of Wildgard are primarily Human, and many humans have migrated from these and other kingdoms to Wildgard. Some of these are outcasts from the Human lands looking for a new beginning. Others have come to claim new territory for their families, while some are here for the pure adventure.
The Kingdom of the Kintu also lies to the south of Wildgard. The Kintu are half-human half-animal two-leggeds (sometimes referred to as "Anthros" by humans, and also as "half-breeds" in a more pejorative sense) who have a long history of conflict with the Humans (who tend to hold a lower regard for this race in the civilized lands). Many Kintu have fled to Wildgard to escape persecution by Humans in other parts of the world, seeking a new beginning. Sometimes they bring their old prejudices with them to Wildgard, but there is hope that this fresh start will also signal a fresh new relationship between the Humans and the Kintu, at least within Wildgard.
The Elves are ubiquitous to the world and are currently the third most common race in Wildgard (including some half-elvens). Their Kingdoms are not in close proximity to Wildgard itself, but they are known for their long history in the world and their wanderings across much of it, so it comes as no surprise that they are found in Wildgard as well.
There are also a handful of dwarves in Wildgard, although little is known of their history in this world or what their interest in Wildgard might be (information needs to be added here!).
There are a few dragons in the Wild Lands, all having come from somewhere else and all having most interesting stories to tell. It is suspected that dragons inhabit the mountains to the far northwest of Wildgard, as well as other parts of the world. Because they are airborne creatures, they are able to travel great distances, although it is not clearly known why some have come to Wildgard and what their interests in these lands might be.
One thing is certain, there were many pure animals living in the Wild Lands prior to the arrival of any two-leggeds, and they are still here. The animals were free to roam the land and lived as they were born to, in harmony with Nature. Over time, with the arrival of the Free Peoples (and possibly even before) they have been driven further north and east, avoiding contact with the Humans, Kintu and other civilizations.
Along with "friendly" types of peoples, there are certainly unfriendly or unsavory peoples and races in Wildgard as well. Some of these are common criminals of the Human, Kintu or Elvish races escaping from prosecution in their own lands. Others are truly of ill-favored races such as orcs, goblins and most notably elementals (who have a particularly bad reputation in Wildgard). There are also a few vampires wandering the lands, with interesting motivations of their own. Demons have become a problem of late, with many seeking to either influence events in Wildgard, or looking to cause outright chaos.
The Motivation Of Wildgard
Wildgard is best viewed as a blank slate; all who have come to Wildgard have come here from somewhere else. Some come for a specific reason, some come for the adventure, some have come to civilize Wildgard while others have come to "save" Wildgard from civilization. Some are running away from their past, while others have come to forge a new future for themselves. All who are in Wildgard must have at least some sense of adventure, because these are wild lands indeed, full of mystery and much unexplored.
Many of the races have indeed come with baggage from prior lives. Many of the races of the world are in a state of constant warfare, and much mistrust of different races exists. On the other hand, there are shining examples of those who are trying to start new lives with new ways, for example Humans who want to live in harmony with the Kintu, or Orcs that want to be a part of civilization.
This motivation has done much to shape the fabric of Wildgard. There is little trust between individuals, and alliances and cliques are all too common. Combined with a lack of shared history in Wildgard itself, there is little to bond people in the Wild Lands.
Little is known of Wildgard's history before the recent arrival of the various races who now wander this land. However, recent expeditions and scouting missions suggest that the current peoples of Wildgard were not the first to settle in this land. There are ruins to the north which bear further exploring, although they seem to be infiltrated with monsters and other unsavory creatures. Of particular concern is the fact that none of the two-legged races remain, raising questions as to what happened to them and why they are no longer here to speak for themselves.
To this end, the Wildgard Historical Society and Archive for Artifacts has been created to further study the pre-history of Wildgard, in the hope that history will not repeat itself. The Society will be commissioning expeditions to various ruins and areas of interest across the Wild Lands, seeking out evidence of Wildgard's past and the peoples who were a part of it. They will hunt for relics and artifacts of interest to Wildgard and bring them back to the Temple for cataloging and safekeeping. They will also gather lore, whether it be from books, poems, song or inscription, and analyze it for clues to the past of this land.
Recently, it has come to light that the rats of the Muridae clan were part of the pre-history of the Wildgard region and have been able to provide insight into at least part of its history. Parts of Wildgard were once forested and infested with rats (Kintu and Skirits alike). A group of Humans came to claim these parts, in the process destroying much of the forest in this location, and were thus countered by the rat population. Humans and rats alike suffered significant losses due in part to a plague brought on by the rats. The rat tribes split up, sending an elder with each rat mischief, teaching them how to heal, fight, and with the only instruction being to "repopulate the forest" with rats. Now only a couple of rats remain in the area where Wildgard City is being built.
In October, the Wildgard Historical Society led an expedition to some ruins on the north shore of Lake Konah (Lake of the Northern Star) further down the River An. By examining the significant amounts of lore, documents, relics and hard evidence discovered at the site, the expedition revealed that there were indeed peoples in Wildgard prior to our appearance in this current age (the Fourth Age by our reckoning). Sitting at the northeastern edge of Konah, the ruins themselves were once a Human town and outpost, complete with a fortified watchtower and a small keep. It appears that a contingent of Humans had settled the central An River region some three hundred or so years ago, with the primary objective of harvesting the vast forests of Wildgard for timber, which they sent downriver along the An to the Bay of Mercius in the great northern sea. There a makeshift port had been established to load the felled timber onto ships and deliver it to other parts of the continent where forestry resources had become scarce due to overharvesting.
At the site, evidence showed that a great battle was fought on the northern shore of Konah upwards to the Ford of Lowan no more than a couple of hundred years ago. It seems that as the forests were being felled and the timber sent downriver, the Feral-kind (animals) who dwelt in the forest were being driven farther and farther north, west and east into lands that were not their own. A great deal of tension had developed between the Humans and the Ferals as the Humans sought new forests to harvest. It appears to have come to a head in a great battle pitting the Humans against the Ferals. There were Kintu wandering Wildgard as well at that time, and being of an older mindset they sided with the Ferals, further aggravating their already strained relationship with the Humans. To make matters worse, a contingent of Orcs who had been driven to the southeastern mountains by the Humans saw an opportunity to rid the land of the Humans, Kintu and Ferals all at once and thus entered the battle. Evidence suggests that they enlisted the service of a Frost Giant from the deep North, although the price of that assistance was not determined.
A fierce battle raged for control of 3 key strategic positions; the Watchtower protecting the town on the northern shore of Konah, an active logging camp at the edge of the forest west of the River An, and the primary river crossing at the Ford of Lowan (the An is indeed quite wide in the lower regions). It is unclear who if anyone was a victor in this battle (there seemed to be some strange alliances at some points), but one thing is very clear; it all ended VERY suddenly and without warning. It's as though some massive force wiped out almost all of the combatants in one fell swoop. There were indeed some survivors of this calamity, but according to sparse records they have left, they either didn't know or see what happened, or they chose not to reveal what they knew (what were they afraid of?). Some of these survivors may even be walking the paths of Wildgard today, silent as to their knowledge of this catastrophic event.
It is finally worth noting that one or two ambiguous accounts indicate that a dark Elf and a curious companion were seen wandering the field of battle at the time, unrecognized by almost all of the parties involved in the conflict. It may just be a curiosity, but by what sparse descriptions of this pair are preserved in the lore, they bear more than a passing resemblance to the traveler Halizar and his companion D who have been visiting Wildgard of late. On a positive note, the expedition gathered a significant quantity of valuable items, relics and lore from the site pertaining to this great battle. Of particular interest, a hammer was retrieved which appears to have belonged to the Frost Giant and may be endowed with mystical powers - more study is required. It also found writings that provide history to the Skirits of Wildgard and in particular the Muridae clan, who appear to have played a pivotal role in the battle on the side of the Ferals. There was talk of Sidii, apparently a leader of the local Kintu, of a Druid named Antarim, who was purportedly of a long-lost sect of Natural Order druids, a vigilant group called the Anaguian (or something like that), and other characters of interest who may carry lineage to many living in Wildgard today.
While not everyone lives in one location in Wildgard, many of the peoples who have come to Wildgard have congregated in one particularly favorable location in a clearing in the forest along the An River. This has "de facto" become the city of Wildgard (although it has no name of its own as of yet). It is a strategic location because of the narrowing of the river which has allowed the building of a large bridge across the river, although the drop from this bridge is steep indeed.
The city is comprised mostly of houses that line the main street near the river and leading to the bridge. There are a few specific buildings of interest in the city. The Temple is a place of refuge set up by a Priestess Half-Elf. While not all subscribe to her religion, she has provided safe haven to souls seeking refuge, and has acted in the interests of Wildgard so she is generally trusted. There are tunnels leading to catacombs beneath the Temple, which have on occasion been used as a dungeon to hold prisoners of Wildgard. There is also a Dark Temple on the north side of town which provides counter-balance to the Light. The Rosewood Basilica Knights have their Temple across the An River to the west.
The Wild Knights Inn is a somewhat shady hotel established by a local entrepreneur to cater to tired travelers. A dwarf has set up a tavern within the inn called "The Hammer", and it has become a favorite watering hole for the locals and passersby alike. One of the oldest buildings in Wildgard is the Armoury. This structure is a warehouse for the weapons and armor of Wildgard, and has served as the primary crafting hall of Wildgard where citizens come to repair their damaged weapons and armor. It has also provided shelter for the masses from inclement weather. An arena is located to the east where fights are staged for entertainment, glory and prizes. The Watchers have set up a protected encampment northwest of the city.
Wildgard belongs to no one, although some have clearly come here to lay claim to these wild lands. As the people currently inhabiting the wild lands are all transients with their own allegiances and motivations, there are few bonds between them. It has therefore been very difficult to hold this disparate group of travelers together, even for something as simple as maintaining law and order, or to prevent all-out war between competing interests or, on the flip side, total anarchy in one big free-for-all. The land has suffered as a result, and it has made Wildgard an easy target for attack from beyond its borders.
In recognition of this, the Free Peoples of Wildgard gathered in an assembly and called for some system of governance that might at least keep Wildgard safe from forces bent on its destruction. The result was an election of 7 members to a Council which would assume responsibility for the day-to-day governance of Wildgard. The Council is a voluntary endeavor and has no formal authority to govern Wildgard other than what trust of the people it might enjoy at any time. Despite a very shaky start, it is still the best and only option available to the citizens of the Wild Lands in terms of maintaining some degree of law and order in the land.
The initial members of the Council are as follows;
- Kirsten Hardraad - Ieda - Vija Thorn - Eli Conri Mondex - Zume Frostpaw - Sylver Snowlynx - Mahogany Entwood
The effectiveness of the Council is often called into question by many citizens. There is much mistrust within the Council as well as within the populace, and this has not helped things. The Fist Council was ultimately dissolved and a new election was called, which brought into being the Second Council of Wildgard, consisting of Zume Frostpaw, Sylver Snowlynx, Ieda, Gyro, Yuu Mii, Mahogany Entwood and Antanas. Because of perceived indiscretions against Wildgard, the Council expelled Mahogany and performed a ritual to separate his being from the Tree (Ent) form, so as of now 6 members remain. There was much suspicion around Wildgard that the second election was rigged by the Watchers, but there is little hard evidence to support this.
Militia And Defense
Wildgard has been subject to frequent incursion and attack from both within and from beyond its borders. Concerned citizens have approached the Council asking for some sort of public guard or police system to protect the lives and property of those living in Wildgard, and in the City in particular. To that end, the Council has issued a solicitation for the position of Captain of Wildgard, a military leader to lead the defenses of the City. A Captain has not yet been chosen.