Thursday, 2 February 2017

Fifty Word Fiction: Residents of The Gift

Hello again dear readers; it's time for another thrilling installment of Fifty Word Fiction.

Fifty Word Fiction is  a challenge I set myself whilst setting up the blog to write a brief gaming related piece of text every day. This week's topic has been to capture some of the notable Non Player Character (NPC) residents of The Gift.

I hope you enjoy meeting an industrious farmer and his wife, a restless halfling and a *very* annoying wizard's familiar among others. I'm looking forward to portraying them on the tabletop.


Sir Sweep
Walt Erland is a tall gangly youth in his later teenage years. The third son of a very minor noble family in the Shield Lands he was never expected to inherit the family title, but his parents have arranged an advantageous education for him. He is the sole apprentice to the mage Vorlach who resides in relative seclusion within The Gift.

Walt is diligent and attentive in his duties as servant to the mage, but alas, frustrates his master in his inability to learn his lessons. Walt has some aptitude for the arcane powers, capable of casting several cantrips and occasionally succeeding in more powerful conjurations, but alas he does not seem to be able to apply himself with the rigour required to become a journey-mage.  His head is filled with day dreams of knights, sword play and gallant charges; he would rather spend his spare time watching the town guards practice their sword play than revise his lessons and can be seen waving his broom as though it was a blade. This amuses the residents of Hommlett endlessly and so Walt has earned the nickname of “Sir Sweep”.

Morton (Morty) Rushlight
Morton Rushlight, or Morty as he is more commonly known to the residents of The Gift is a travelling peddler. He travels the land grants and communities trading both in useful yet often hard to find goods (good quality pots, pans, herbs, spices and so on) and news.

Sometimes his travels will take him from The Gift back to the Shield Lands where he will re-stock his wagon of goods before returning. This makes him one of the regular and more reliable sources of news back from the West.

Rosie Royce
Rosie Royce and her husband Roland are fairly typical of farmers settled onto a land grant within The Gift; independent, adaptable and resilient. First and foremost they are crofters, aiming at self-sufficiency, but also with an eye for other income streams. With a nature as fair as her blonde hair, Rosie maintains a small kitchen garden where she grows healing herbs and plants. Whilst she typically charges a modest price for these valuable goods, she won’t turn away those in need and so will make a gift to the desperate.

Roland (Roly) Royce
Roly Royce is a lean framed man, with skin tanned from the time he spends working his land. Roly fancies himself a fair farmer; he grows a variety of crops and produce as well as keeping a number of beasts to provide for his family. His real skill is regularly upon by his neighbours and other land holders; he is a master of the craft of dry stone walling. Many field boundaries across The Gift are marked by Roly’s walls.

Bailey Blackthorn
There are several extended families living on The Gift, including the Blackthorns. Bailey is in his mid 20s, and having never settled to a proper trade or craft spends his time working as a farm hand on his parent’s farm. Bailey did spend a couple of years away from the family lands; he would say he was “treasure hunting”, his parents would say he was drinking away what little money he earnt. In truth he earnt coin as a “mule” for a group of adventurers, carrying provisions, tools, a lantern and on a good day a share of the booty. He managed to escape an attack by a band of orcs which massacred the adventurers, and then returned home. He does miss the adrenaline and often dreams of returning to this lifestyle.

Not every resident of The Gift is Human. One notorious example is Skitters, familiar to the mage Vorlach, and overly familiar with almost everyone he meets.  Skitters is a large, aging (he thinks the touch of grey in his feathers makes him look distinguished) raven. Gifted with a command of the Common tongue, a very high opinion of himself and a low opinion of others his cackling commentary can often be heard around the village of Hommlett.

Gormadoc Greenhand
Gormadoc Greenhand is another of The Gift’s unusual residents. A Halfling of middling years he seems to be both blessed and cursed at the same time. Cursed in the sense that he has an almost unquenchable sense of wanderlust that makes him almost incapable of remaining in the same place for more than a couple of days. Blessed in that he is very talented gardener, capable of seemingly miraculous horticultural feats; he can cure plants of deadly blights and pests and make seedlings grow in impossibly harsh conditions.

So the Greenhand spends his days wandering from land grant to land grant, tending to his charges in the gardens, orchards and fields of The Gift.

Hobbits causing trouble AGAIN!
Next week's topic will be some of the unusual and unique artefacts to be found within The Gift.

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