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Wilderlands: Lords of the Byrny Area Part 1


Work-in-progress map of the Byrny area

I admit to not being especially happy with the existing subhex maps found in the classic Judges Guild products like The Mines of Custalcon. I think the six mile hexes are better divided into one mile subhexes instead. Also, the Judges Guild version does not have enough farms and mines for the people that live in the area. I do not need anything approaching realistic medieval demographics in my games, but having a bunch of manors outside of Byrny is a great plot/conflict generator.

The manors around Byrny are held by a set of families made up of those who owe allegiance directly to the Overlord, those who are vassals to Thunderhold, and those who have sworn themselves to Governor Hetalan of Byrny (who has a complicated split allegiance to the Overlord and Thunderholm). 

Anders (Byrny)

Located northeast of Byrny, Lord Anders holdings include ample farmlands and some good forest. His claim is older than any of his neighbors, and portions of their holdings were once part of his family's fief. The family was forced to surrender lands back to the Overlord when they could not meet their obligations during the Gnoll Times. The Overlord has since parceled these lands out to others. He does carry some low-level resentment about the territorial losses his family has suffered over the generations, but these are expressed in a passive aggressive manor. He does not have a close relationship with Rixia, Townry, Hops, or Ramwen. He considers all of them to be "new blood" and unable to trace their lordships more than a couple of generations. Those issues aside, he is a traditional lord and takes his duties to the governor seriously. He will personally participate in the tourney and should not be underestimated. He has not let his martial skills slip in middle age.

Aspen (Thunderhold)

The northernmost of the Byrny area holdings. Lady Aspen's fealty to Thunderhold runs back at least eight generations. While her holdings are cursed with rocky hills that have never produced mining income, she is blessed with several important crossroads on the Rorystone Road and the right to run inns and markets. She is a shrewd businesswoman who makes the most out of her farms and businesses and has a talent for always coming out ahead in the delicate tax balance without upsetting those that live on her lands. Neither she, nor any of her children, care for the joust or military affairs. The Aspen family has paid scutage in lieu of providing military service for over one hundred years. She will look to hire one of the itinerent knights to represent her in the tourney.

Bailry (Overlord)


Located northeast of Byrny, across the River Stillring. Lord Baily has a small holding of good farmland along the river that has been in his family for many generations. Like many of the lords on this side of the river, he has concerns about Custalcon's activities in Trollslore and his relationship with the goblins there. He has joined with Krutz and Trout in pressuring the Overlord to take a stronger stance with Custalcon, but they are opposed by Berk and his vassals. Lord Baily is in his prime and will be personally participating in the tournament. 

Batten (Byrny)


Located south of Byrny. Lady Batten is blessed to have three successful mines on her land. While there are grumblings from the Mining Guild that those mines would be more profitable if she was a better administrator, she manages to make a profit each year. Lady Batten is first of her name and was granted these lands by Governor Hetalan himself for her service against road bandits. Lady Batten plans to participate personally in the tournament. 

Berk (Overlord)

 

Located east of Byrny. As the head of a very old noble family, Lord Berk's holdings throughout the realm of the City State are vast. In the Byrny area alone he has his own rich farmlands as well as his vassals Hops, Montu, and Morely. Governor Hetalan is his second cousin. The manor he keeps in the Byrny area is well run by his hoop bailiff, Cloudwalker. Cloudwalker is well respected for his administration skills throughout the Byrny area. Lord Berk himself is rarely in the area and spends most of his time in his richer holdings to the south of the City State. He has a long-running rivalry with Lady Sten. While he has little interest in the more local affairs, he will send Sir Axtris, his lizardman vassal, to represent him in the tourney. Sir Axtris's primary objective will be to finish ahead of Lady Sten's entry rather than wining the overall tournament.

Blackwell (Sten)

Located north of Byrny. Lord Blackwell's claim runs back three generations as one of several vassals to Lady Sten. He has proved to be a disappointing administrator over the historically productive farmlands and is hardly known for his martial prowess either. Rumors circulate that Lady Sten has been in discussion with Thunderhold about how to solve her "Blackwell Problem". Lord Blackwell will be seeking a knight to represent him at the tourney.
 

Blan (Byrny)


Located northwest of Byrny. Lord Blan holds the most "wild" of the Byrny territories. The manor was granted to his grandmother for her service against goblins and it retains a martial bent. In truth, the farmlands are scant and barely produce enough for the manor's needs. The forest is rough and has proved hard to tame as it is filled with bandits, fey, and dire animals. Lord Blan and Lady Fiel bicker over who should be responsible for the maintenance and protection of the bridge, but agree on their desire to have proper lords appointed for the fortified villages to the west. His daughter, Tanya, will represent him at the tourney.
 

 

Boyter (Byrny)


Located west of Byrny. Lord Boyter, whose family has held these lands for many years, enjoys fertile farmlands, productive forests, and the right to build an inn and market at the crossroads. While his lands border on the wilderness, he is well shielded by the hills and the lands to the south are less dangerous than those to the west. His manor requires vigilance, but little in the way of bravery. Robert, his oldest son, is expected to represent him at the tourney, but not to last more than a round or two.

Brier (Sten)

Located north of Byrny. Lady Brier's father was granted this manor by Lady Sten's father in exchange for a very large, and very crucial, loan. Like her father, she is rarely here and spends most of her time in the City State, leaving the daily business of the manor to her bailiff, Justine. Lady Brier has not given the first thought to the tournament and Justine is urgently seeking a knight to represent her.

Clayt (Byrny)


Located west of Byrny. Loafkeeper Clayt was granted these lands by Governor Hetalan ten years ago after the former lord was executed for corruption. The grant was in recognition for their service in managing Byrny's treasury. Loafkeeper Clayt has done an admirable job managing their farmland, but tires of Blan and Fiel's bickering and Boyter's lax approach to the defense of his lands. They have no real interest in the tournament, but might be willing to sponsor a knight to keep up appearances. 


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