The Waystone   Leave a comment


The Waystone is an ancient stone menhir 40 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. On its north face is a single rune, similar to those runes often found on druidic circles and old ruins. Its location atop a prominent hill makes the Waystone easy to spot from miles away, and there are no other structures like it in the Commonlands.

The origins of the Waystone are lost to the mists of history. It certainly existed before the disappearance of Aataltaal, but there is no mention of it in any known writings from Wielle or Takish-Hiz. It may have been constructed by the shissar or perhaps by an even older civilization.

Regardless of its original use, the Waystone has become a landmark for travelers avoiding the Trade Road. It is situated almost exactly halfway between Freeport and the Kithicor Woods, and also between the Serpent Spine Mountains and the Rolling Hills. This also happens to place it just two days’ travel due east from Farfield. As a result, anyone who finds the Waystone and is aware of these facts knows precisely where they are, which way is north, and which way to travel to reach the nearest town.

The Waystone has also become a rallying point for those rangers who travel the Commonlands. Often called the Commons Trackers, this loose band of 30 or so allies make it their business to keep an eye on the comings and goings of the denizens of the Commonlands, to lend aid where possible to the lost or injured, and to keep the wilds free of the polluting influence of cities and kingdoms. The Commons Trackers are well loved among the residents of the Commonlands, treated as local heroes, though they are far less well liked by the Freeport Militia. Merchants are also mistrusting of these rangers, as they risk themselves only to save lives – they will not help to recover stolen goods or pursue bandits who haven’t harmed their victims physically.

There are always one or two rangers at or near the Waystone, as this is the only place where others can be sure to contact the group at need. This communication system was devised by Vuli Greenwhisper during the chaotic years of the Crusade of Tears. As often as not, it is Greenwhisper himself taking post at the Waystone, although it’s not unusual to find his protege Math Wintersong instead. Both men have a good idea where most Commons Trackers are at any given time, and can arrange for help in most of the Commonlands if they feel it is appropriate. However, the Commons Trackers see themselves as defenders of the weak, not a rescue party for fools and adventurers.

The Commons Trackers have strong ties to the Jaggedpine Treefolk, the Protectors of Pine, and the residents of both the Commonlands and Kithicor. In fact, it is not unusual for rangers from these different groups to pair up. Membership in the Commons Trackers is informal, and most of the older members are happy to train younger and less experienced rangers, regardless of their official affiliation.

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