Category Archives: Farfield

The Waystone

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.

The Crusade of Tears

The joint rule of the Knights of Truth and Priests of Marr lasted for several centuries. Freeport continued to have problems with underworld factions, as any port city, but was for the most part a safe and respected place to do business and to raise a family. The influence of Freeport’s forces reached ever further afield, with the communities of Farfield and eventually Brighthaven being settled and thus flourishing in the relative safety the Knights of Truth provided.

The Deathfist orcs were driven closer to extinction than any other orc tribe, and even the forces of Neriak were limited to occasional raids in the Commonlands. In the year 3150, the leaders of both the Priests of Marr and the Knights of Truth received divine inspiration from their gods. They were commanded, by divine decree, to undertake a crusade eastward, across the Ocean of Tears
and into the continent of Faydwer. The gods of these two groups had become concerned with the vast armies of undead gathering in hidden locations in the Isles of Tears and Faydwer, and commanded their followers to seek out and destroy them. As obedient servants of their gods, the
priests and knights began to make preparations immediately.

The first concern was finding enough ships to carry the majority of the clerics and paladins, which was left to the Priests of Marr. Building so many warships quickly required a great deal of money and contracts with numerous shipwrights and merchant houses. As careful as the priests attempted to be when making these arrangements, not all of the groups they dealt with were totally ethical. Money flowed into the coffers of several rogues and scoundrels, expanding the influence of the shadowy Coalition of Tradefolk Underground. In the end, however, the ships
were built on time.

The second major concern was how to protect Freeport and its allied communities while the majority of the clerics and paladins were gone; it was left to the Knights of Truth to solve this difficulty. After much debate, it was decided that a handful of knights and priests would remain behind. To augment their forces, they would be given the authority to hire mercenaries and even arm a temporary militia if needed. It was also expected that the remaining knights would lean heavily on the Steel Warriors, a fighter’s guild with strong ties to the Knights of Truth. Though only a dozen knights and half that number of priests were to be left behind, it was expected that this number would be enough to oversee the efforts of hired help and current allies to keep Freeport safe for the duration of the crusade.

The task of leading the remaining forces was left to Sir Lucan D`lere. Once a street rat and common thief, D`lere had been taken in by the Priests of Marr as a youth. As he grew, the priests desired to see him trained as either a priest or a Knight of Truth, and in the end Sir Valaron Dushire undertook his training. Sir Lucan became a powerful warrior and respected leader, and gained the hearts of the people of Freeport. Desiring to leave the common folk with a leader they could trust, Sir Valaron himself chose Sir Lucan for the critical position. It was a decision he would come to regret more than any other in his life aside, perhaps, from having taken D’lere on as a student in the first place.

The Crusade was one of the most massive military expeditions undertaken since the fall of the Combine Empire. The Priests of Marr and Knights of Truth sailed across the Ocean of Tears, clearing several islands infected with hordes of undead along the way, then landed in Faydwer to seek the source of the undead on that continent. It seems odd that none of the local governments objected to such a mass invasion, but the elven Sisters of Erollisi vouched for the intentions of the army, quieting objections from Kelethin and Felwithe, and the crusaders spent little time near either Kaladim or Ak‘Anon. The crusaders have never spoken of what it was they faced, fearing that whatever created armies of the undead could be summoned again should its true nature be known. Certainly they fought battles around Dagnor’s Cauldron and in the Estate of Unrest, but some claim they also sought engagements in Castle Mistmoore and the Hills of Shade.

Many scholars believe that the same malignancy which destroyed the stronghold of the Order of Marr’s Fist to create Befallen had begun to spread its influence into Faydwer. Others suspect that Lord Mistmoore it was the mastermind behind the problem. Whatever the case, the crusaders themselves do not talk of their journey, except to say that their gods are satisfied with the results. The Crusade of Tears took more than a year to complete, and cost the Priests of Marr and Knights of Truth almost half their number. As their forces gathered once more in the port near Kaladim, the crusaders returned by the shipful to Freeport, only to see what had become of their city during their absence.