The Linnorm Kingdoms
Region: The Verge
Size: Large Town
Population: 3,500 (2,700 Humans, 745 Winter Wolves, 285 Half-Orcs, 200 Dwarves, 120 Frost Giants, 80 Frost Trolls.)
Rulers: Duke of Redtooth Arvanoff Elvanna, Military Governor of the Verge (NE male human fighter 12)
Duke’s Wife Lady Shenen Betyrina (CE female human afflicted werewolf sorcerer 10)
The large town of Redtooth is the Verge’s provincial capital, headquarters of Irrisen’s military,
and official seat of the military governor of the Verge. Queen Elvanna’s second son, Arvanoff Elvanna, is the Duke of Redtooth. He governs the province and directs all western military operations from the Keep of the Hound, an imposing stone castle in the center of town designed to withstand a long siege. The duke’s wife, Lady Shenen Betyrina, is never far from his side unless she is indulging her more feral side-Lady Shenen was afflicted with lycanthropy several years ago, a shameful secret the duke has successfully managed to keep hidden from his mother, the queen. But if there is any place ideal for lycanthropes, it is Redtooth. Like the Howlings district in Whitethrone, winter wolves in Redtooth have the power to assume human form. As virtually all residents of the town possess white or silver hair, it is nearly impossible in the light of day to say who is human and who is winter wolf Every building in the town has its own entrance gate-by ancient pact, a winter wolf may not open a closed gate without invitation. At night, the winter wolves take on their true, animal forms, and a chorus of howls fills the night air. Most of Redtooth’s human residents have grown used to the noise, and follow a self-imposed curfew at dusk, barring themselves indoors. Only this curfew and the ancient agreement keep the peace in Redtooth when the winter wolves prowl its darkened streets.
Unlike every other provincial capital in Irrisen, Redtooth isn’t built on a major waterway. Even more surprisingly, especially for a military town, the city lacks walls . Instead, Redtooth sits atop a steep hill, encircled with a ring of rectangular wooden towers. These towers also serve as barracks for Redtooth’s city watch, known as the Red Claws . Rogosh Vix is captain of the Red Claws and he is obeyed without question. Although he usually remains in human form, everyone in the city knows that he is a winter wolf and fears him accordingly. Most of the human, dwarven, and half-orc citizens of the town pay the Red Claws protection money in the form of the “gate tax” an assurance that the Red Claws won’t “accidentally” open one’s gates at dusk, thereby suggesting an invitation to the town’s wolves where none was actually intended by the occupants.
Just west of the duke’s castle are the army’s storage silos, carefully monitored by the fastidious Stanislaw Balk (LN male human expert 4/wizard 2), a bureaucrat who takes his responsibilities seriously. He regularly complains of frost giants and ice trolls breaking into the stores to Duke Arvanoff, who waves off his concerns about balanced books and rationing. East of the keep are the permanent camps of the duke’s most elite units, known as the Queen’s Storm. Used as shock troops for cross-border raids and to stiffen the spines of new recruits to Irrisen’s army, the “Stormers” are sworn to celibacy and a life of unending martial discipline-the order has something of a cult-like quality, and its members are rightly feared.
The bulk of the city’s population lives in neighborhoods surrounding the keep, storage silos, and army camps. Nearly half the winter wolves in town reside in Blue Fang, living in homes styled like those of their human neighbors, complete with gated entryways. Blue Fang also boasts the only inn in town, the Open Claw, a long, conspicuously gateless building run by silver-haired
Emylla Grigovych (NE female winter wolf rogue 5), whose grinning, toothy countenance is a welcome change for visitors weary of unfriendly grunts and rudeness from other townsfolk. Few foreign guests of the inn check out in the morning, however.
On the south side of Blue Fang are two of the town’s seven “market circles,” where temporary markets are erected in the mornings and disassembled before dusk, 5 days a week. South of Blue Fang, Clawfoot Quarter is home to a half dozen rowdy taverns, some of which have a room or two to let, at least for those who don’t really want to sleep-the common rooms host drinkers who dare not leave for home until the sun rises, and they pass the night in loud revelry. The Lambshank is the most accessible to outsiders , with only two or three drunken brawls a night. Usually at least one involves its proprietor, Hanska Greyfox (CN male dwarf fighter 3). When in his cups (that is, almost always), Hanska might take a liking to visitors and make them aware of Redtooth’s realities.
The neighborhoods of Whitetail and Houndsrange are home to the Jadwiga middle class as well as the city’s armorers. For the most part, Redtooth’s armorers craft inferior armor and are much better at repairing damage to the far finer work of their counterparts in Morozny. The blacksmith Darrag Fabaravych (N male human fighter 3), formerly Darrag Kseniya of Whitethrone, is a strange Jadwiga man. He came to Redtooth 10 years ago having discarded his wealth and aristocratic privilege, posing instead as a simple peasant blacksmith. He claims to be a lifelong peace-loving bachelor (doubly untrue) who seeks only the simple life of a blacksmith. Several of his neighbors have their suspicions, but to date his ruse is undiscovered, and his motives are still unknown.
The more well-to-do residents of the town live in the outer neighborhoods of Sunrose, Vastborough and Norborough. Even wealthier Jadwiga, mostly retired military officers, live in gated manors on the outskirts of town. Colonel Holgr Yelizaveta (NE male human fighter 10) lives in a manor on the east edge of town; it is said that he hasn’t set foot outside his compound in 20 years, ever since a Southmoor witch prophesied that he would die west of the Thundering River. Colonel Holgr means to confound the prediction by never stirring from his manse, though rumor has it he pines for a treasure he buried on a raid in Southmoor years ago.
To the west of town lies what is mockingly known as the Earl’s Manor, the home of a Jadwiga colonel who believes himself cheated of a title. Koloman Velikas (LE male human fighter 11) broods in his fine home, scheming revenge on those he thinks caused him harm.
On the southwest edge of Redtooth is the gated manor of Karel Karina (NE male Jadwiga fighter 9), leader of a small group of Jadwiga men who call themselves the White Warriors and believe a warrior-king and his sons should rule Irrisen instead of the witch-queen and her female progeny. Members meet in both his manor and a clearing in the woods to the south, where they conduct a number of bloody rituals they call the Ways of Men. In truth, they are a glorified club of bitter old soldiers who have as much chance of overturning the social order of Irrisen as they do sprouting wings and flying to Whitethrone. The duke is aware of their meetings, but considers them unworthy of his attention to date. Lady Sherren has also discovered the organization, and has begun slowly picking off the White Warriors one by one, taking great pleasure in doing so.
Witchwolf Pit is a small complex of caverns in the hill northwest of town, used by Redtooth’s winter wolves as a meeting place to debate how much longer they will abide by their treaties with the White Witches. The hill to the east has a pair of cave entrances that are thought to be
deep and dangerous; known collectively as “the Beast,” the subterranean passages are unstable, and more than one spelunker searching for gems or lost treasure has been trapped by a cave-in. Residents are unaware that an ancient wendigo called Yaalagaal, Eater of Hearts, has slumbered in a hidden cavern below the Beast for 2 millennia.