Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thundertree At A Glance

Thundertree as it is called today owes its name to a long lost but not forgotten tribe in Chult who, in their naiveté welcomed a group of foreign adventurers into their tribe about three hundred years ago. 

For a year and a day the primitive tribesmen and the strange cultured men shared everything from social customs and ceremonies, introducing new exotic foods, and taught each other different ways of hunting and survival. 

After a long palaver the tribal elders, in a dispute that resulted in many tribal fights, shared with the explorers their most precious secret. Adored and held sacred by the Thundertree tribe was Zalantar.  Also called the Black-Wood, it is a pure ebony wood unique to the jungles of Chult that is durable and pliable excellent for bows. Their leaves are usually white or a light autumnal color. The buds of the trees that bloom each Full Earth have seeds that are said to possess holistic healing and restorative properties.

Zalantars are a botanical oddity in the sense that one plant is composed of several trees that stem from a central root making them one of the longest lived trees of the Realms. A closely guarded secret to the Thundertree tribe until the strange men from the north, in an act of greed and desire, stole the tribe’s store of Zalantar seeds and each took young a virgin woman as a bride before leaving the betrayed tribe in disarray and chaos.  

The explorers started as four adventurous brothers: two sets of twins, however on the voyage north one of the brothers was murdered by his treacherous bride. Undaunted the twins Lorin and Dhoran and the surviving twin Caramon traveled north on both sea and trail with their treasures and later settled along the warm and rich Neverwinter river. Here the transplanted Zalantar thrived and bore fruit in the year-round temperate climate of the Neverwinter Wood as did the families of the adventurers and their coffers.
Riverwind Family Estate and a Zalantar Tree

Three-hundred years later, generations of the Riverwind family invested their acquired wealth to build a frontier settlement of sturdy, well-made cabins for the lumberjacks and hunters who enjoy prime year-round hunting and logging. Nearly all of the furriers, leatherworkers, rangers, and breeders work for the Riverwind family, a clan who pride themselves today at ninety members—more kin than even the Roaringhorns of Waterdeep. What makes their number so high is the preponderance of twins that seem commonplace in many Riverwind family births.

Notable personages-
Halden Tark: A cordial but sturdy man with an imposing appearance. His large size and obvious strength dissuades most fights and raucous games of chance at the Brewery—Thundertree’s only watering hole.

Borak Burliehelm: Breeder of Darovoi and likely the oldest dwarf in all the North. The tales of the threaded hunting dogs produced by his kennels are widely known and prized throughout the North.  
Peregrine Riverwind

Theodoric Waybeard: An elderly exiled priest from Helm’s Hold, not much is known about this man other than he is advanced in years, sickly, and does not see anyone—not since the advent of the Time of Troubles.

Elianna Amberstar: The official barony ranger and captain of the Riverwind family guard.

Neeva Harpel: Educator, sage, appraiser, and local magic expert.
Dwyam Marz: Former adventurer with a quick draw recount of tales about many of his adventures and, as many former adventurers do, is also the manager of The Pavilion Thundertree’s only Inn, owned by the Riverwind family.

Peregrine Riverwind: Master ranger, craftsman, and the most likable of the Riverwind family, unfortunately his weekly hunts and fellowship with the working class earn him rueful disdain from his highbrow family.