Legacy of the Green Regent
Welcome to MisMatched Dice’s Legacy of the Green Regent!
There are few places in Faerûn like the Delimbiyr Crescent. The Harpers whisper that the entire region is a favored haunt of the goddess Mielikki, while the guildmasters of Waterdeep covet the abundant resources that flow down the River Shining. The vale is the verdant crown of the north, at its centerpiece glimmers Loudwater, the City of Grottos, a luxuriant paradise where the triumphs of Western Heartlands civilization intermesh seamlessly with the beauty of the wild North.
But as the cynic warns, every paradise has its serpents.
Mielikki’s blessed share the fertile valley with the forces of the Black Network, and though there is a declared promise of peace between Loudwater and Llork, no one believes the Oath of Orlbar will confine the Zhentarim forever. A wererat bandit lord named the Hark plagues the road to Secomber, and after almost a decade of light raids, the Hark’s brood attacks with renewed ferocity. In late spring, the orc’s of the High Forest started migrating en masse out of the forest, heading east toward the Greypeak Mountains, creating a situation that has shocked the residence of Loudwater. Some guess the orcs were spooked by the floating City of Shade appearing over the Dire Wood, while others speculate both may be symptoms of the same disease infecting that cursed wood. Either way, their migration has already put a strange orc taint on the region.
“In the case of some stories, it’s good to start at the end and let it wind its way to the beginning. This is especially true when retelling the lives of heroes and tyrants. That way we can learn valuable lessons on how the road sometimes shapes the traveler.”
It’s untrue to say the good folk of the Delimbiyr Crescent have lost their faith in the Lady of the Forest and her chosen. But there is doubt. The Phelaniityr family has shown utter and outward contempt for the choice of the orc, Otar, but others are content to wait and see the reasoning of the goddess unfold. In the past, Mielikki has chosen milkmaids and those who seemed buffoons to enact her will, and when their reign was done, few question the goddess’s wisdom in choosing them.
But no one in the Realms thinks the gods are infallible. And in the North there’s a saying, “while the wise may worship, only fools bow and wait.”
In these trying times few Scions of the Green Regent are waiting. The lack of access to the Green Regent has created worry, but not lethargy. Many have gone forth to do good in the region as their predecessors have done for generations. Now they are not the only organization dedicated to the defense of Loudwater and the region. Another group was born from the wake of Otar’s coronation. A more militant and focused group with an active, present, and charismatic leader named Stedd Rein—a group called the Red Fellowship.
The common room of the Red Boar Tavern is supported by a large plain pillar, the remains of an ancient oak that stood on the site before the Rein family moved to Loudwater from Waterdeep almost sixty winters ago. That pillar is covered with decades of parchment and paper postings and bills. Almost since the tavern’s raising, the pillar has been the place where many humans post news and events. The elves and many half-elves of the community tend to avoid its use, since the felling of the great oak by the Reins is still considered a great tragedy. Almost a tenday after Shieldmeet, Stedd Rein, the youngest and almost the best known of Deldron Rein’s children, nailed a parchment on the pillar. It detailed what he saw as the problems of Loudwater and what he was going to do to solve them. In that action he created the Red Fellowship as an organization devoted to the betterment of the City of Grottos, and communicated the group’s manifesto. The following are the manifesto’s main points:
- The Zhentarim forces in Llorkh are a plague to the region. The Oath of Orlbar will not contain them, as they have no desire to live in peace with the folk of Loudwater. The Red Fellowship is sworn to actively thwart the Zhentarim whenever possible, toward the end of their eventual retreat from Greyvale.
- The prosperity of Loudwater is dependent on its ability to trade with the larger cities of the Sword Coast. The Red Fellowship stands against those who would stop the flow of trade between the vale and the western cities.
- Evil powers ought not be tolerated. A concerted effort should be made to hunt down the savage enemies of Loudwater whenever possible. This includes the savage tribes of orcs that have recently attacked the homesteads up the vale.
- The whims of esoteric religious practice should be cast aside, or at the very least reduced to mere symbolism. The only true stability comes from a strong foundation, and governed by a sturdy architecture of law.
- After the retreat of the Zhentarim, the creation of strong trade routes, and the cleansing of savagery from the region, Loudwater should annex the lands of Orlbar and Llorkh and join the Lord’s Alliance as the Free Lands of the Vales. That state would be under the leadership of and elected High Lord, not from the best offerings of a secretive religious ceremony.
Many like-minded individuals have flocked to the energetic and charismatic Rein. While there are few people in and around Loudwater who would openly malign the High Lord or the Green Regent, there are many among the traders and merchants of the city who think the old elven, Harper, and Mielikkian philosophies of living a peaceful coexistence with natural world translates into an insidious apathy that at the very least stifles the progress of the City of Grottos, and that may even put it in grave danger of future raids, like that of the Night of the Blood Moon, or outright Zhent control. Many of these folks have thrown in with the burgeoning fellowship. Steed’s own devotion to the Red Knight, and his use of her trappings, has earned support from the soldiers of Loudwater, especially those under Harazos Thelbrimm, Gauntlet of the Eastern Marches.
Stedd’s father is his greatest supporter, and has supplied his son with the financial backing of his Red Boar Trading Coster. And while the elven families worry that Deldron’s money will only bring a murder of human mercenaries to the region, Stedd’s accomplishments, integrity, and sincerity have made him an idol to many young humans and even half-elves in the City of Grottos.
Mielikki’s choice of Otar as her chosen was not the only shocking event surrounding the Shieldmeet celebration. Stedd, the popular favorite for the title of Green Regent was denied even the title of Scion during the drinking of the Green Draught. It is said that gasps of surprise were the only thing that could be heard after Stedd regurgitated the concoction onto the floor of High Moon Market.
Few expected the goddess to reject the young man. While it was true that he revered the Red Knight, Mielikki has had no problem anointing the faithful of other powers (even neutral powers) as scions or even Green Regents. Even the nine chief elven families, who, in recent decades, have habitually acted contrary to anything involving the Rein family, were stunned at the denial of such a worthy candidate. The moon elf Beutaleen’dal family has even used it as an example of an indication that this year’s ceremony was tainted by some mysterious skullduggery.
Not all the elven families have been so charitable. The Phelaniityr, while agreeing that the coronation of Otar is not Mielikki’s actual will (and some of the more outspoken members have even questioned the validity of existing scions—a proposition most in Loudwater find absurd), also believe that Stedd’s denial is just further proof that the family is intrinsically villainous, drudging up Deldron’s various questionable woodcutting ventures in the region and his the family’s history of treachery supporting this strange theory. The paradox of this argument seems to be lost on stubborn sun elves, as is the fact that Stedd’s actions show him to be no villain.
Blood Moon on the Delimbiyr
On a warn autumn night in the Year of the Gauntlet, savagery struck the City of Grottos. Malar-worshiping werebeasts took the appearance of a blood moon as their call to ravage hated Loudwater. The timing could not be worse. The beloved High Lord Nanathlar Greysword was on his deathbed, the brave warrior finally giving in to old age. Both gauntlets were away from the city, and even Deldron Rein was away to Daggerford on business and to greet the return of his dear son from Amn.
The Green Regent at the time was Galaer Grasswave, a kind, gentle, and studious elf wizard, kin to the Bentillail family. Galaer was no warrior-mage, but rather was a philosopher from Loudwater’s famous Velti’Enorethal, and more importantly a student (and some would say prodigy) of the powerful elven high magic wards and mythal. His short reign was spent pursuing repairs on the wards that nourish the cities flora, and protect the city from the ravages of disease and infection, as well as invasion. Scions of magical talent (especially those elves who studied at the Velti’Enorethal, of which there were many during Galaer’s reign) aided Galaer in the arcane repairs, while the others searched out rare components and lore to aid in the wards’ mending. Galaer and his scions were in the midst of important rituals at Standing Stone Hill when the lycanthropes attacked.
Not able to pause the ritual, Galaer was forced to split the scions between defending the hill and protecting the people of Loudwater. The scions were decimated in the ensuing battle. After two night of fighting, fewer than a quarter of those defenders still drew breath. But they found death bravely. The ritual had not been interrupted, and many citizens had been defended against the Malarite ravages. Help came in the return of Gauntlets Kalahar Twohands and Harazos Thelbrimm, as well as half of the Red Boar Trading Coster’s guard lead by Stedd Rein. Stedd was returning home from Athkatla where he had spent the last eight years being educated at that city’s famous College of War. When his father received a magical message telling of the attack, he sent his son ahead his guard to Loudwater.
The gauntlets regrouped the scions, charging them to defend Standing Stone Hill, while their men, Rein’s private army, and the elven houses split the city into quadrants of defense in preparations for more assaults by the children of the Thicket. Opening his father’s stores, Stedd supplied almost two score of his warriors with alchemical silver weapons.
That night the lycanthropes attacked again in a more organized, but intensely savage, strike against the ritual on Standing Stone Hill. The hill stands in the elven quadrant of the city. While some of the elven house guards fought valiantly, others delayed, leaving their main forces to defend their own estates. When Stedd heard that the hill was in danger, he gathered his men. Stedd lead the warriors toward Standing Stone Hill rippling through the Malarite lycanthropes with silver and spell, in a mad rush to Galaer Grasswave and his scion’s aid. But in the long, valiant assault toward the edge of the city, the initiative was lost. Stedd’s group found only a handful of scion survivors, and poor brave Galaer’s head displayed on the earthen ramparts of the cities northeast edge. Still, Stedd’s valor and leadership saved the lives of many that night, including Ovendal, the new matriarch of the Beutaleen’dal family. Most of the ritual had been completed before the Green Regent’s fall. Exactly what parts the sages, priests, and wizards of Velti’Enorethal are still trying to definitely determine.
When Deldron returned to the City of Grottos he was greeted by the pungent smell of the fallen defender’s funeral pyres, and words of praise for the Rein name on the lips of survivors. A sound Deldron no doubt welcomed, as almost everyone thought the name was irreparably damaged by the treachery of his daughter, but that story will have to wait until later…
“Those of you new to Loudwater and the Delimbiyr Vale may be asking yourself, “What is the Green Regent?” Well, my friends, the answer is delightfully easy and yet tricky. For the answer is, “It depends.”
Daughter of Talanthe Truesilver
Year of Wild Magic
The Green Regent is a Dream
A dream made manifest. The Delimbiyr Vale is dear to the goddess Mielikki, who watches over the land, and protects it from those who would despoil its verdant beauty. Mielikki dreams of a harmony between civilization and nature, and seeks to make the lands around the River Shining a haven for her ideals and her worshippers. This dream is the rule of the Green Regent.
Rule may be a misnomer. The Green Regent holds no real temporal power, but rather rules over the hearts and minds of the good people of Loudwater. Holding no castles, owning no land, and lacking the allegiance of any real army, the Green Regent’s rule is symbolic, but with some very real effects.
Under the Green Regent, hunters are careful to maintain the animal population. Timbering is almost unknown, with most firewood coming from deadfall. When timber is needed, loggers selectively harvest the forest and replant saplings when it thins too much. The rangers and druids provide guidance as needed, and the clerics of Mielikki keep a watchful eye on the Delimbiyr Vale.
The Green Regent traditionally guards the valley from incursions, invasions, and other threats to the Forest Maiden’s harmony. This protector is served by scions: an oathsworn few who share the dream. Bards liken the lands around the River Shining to a lush garden—where natural beauty is carefully pruned to produce an almost supernatural paradise. Much of this is due to the tireless efforts of the Green Regents and their scions.
If the Green Regent’s rule is this dream’s manifestation, Loudwater is its reflection. The City of Grottos’s gardens bloom with flowers amid lush grass. Ivy climbs over the buildings pulling the town deep into nature’s embrace. Beyond the city’s wards and earthen ramparts, fields are exceptionally fertile and farmers raise outstanding vegetables. The meadows are bedecked with wild flowers throughout most of the year. The forests are the province of fey, centaurs, and unicorns.
The Green Regent is a Chosen
The Green Regent is a Chosen of Mielikki. Much like the Magister is the champion of the gods of magic, the Green Regent works to put forward Mielikki’s will in Faerûn. Its mantle has passed from person to person through the centuries as the needs of the Lady of the Forest dictate. Only those who embrace Mielikki’s dream and are willing to dedicate themselves to her ascend as the Green Regent.
In contrast to the Magister’s history, the mantle of the Green Regent passes in a peaceful ceremony each Shieldmeet. The title carries no life sentence; no person has ever carried the mantle for more than four years.
The ceremony to choose the Green Regent starts simply. During the Shieldmeet celebration, all interested young men and women gather at the Risen Moon Market before the High Lord’s Hall. There, in a mysterious ceremony under the supervision of the Circle of the Stag—a reclusive group of druid in the service Mielikki—the candidates drink a concoction called the greendraught from the Lady’s Chalice. The exact nature of the greendraught is a closely guarded secret, but it doesn’t radiate magic, though the Lady’s Chalice does. If Mielikki accepts the drinker as a Scion of the Green Regent, her symbol, glowing with an emerald illumination appears on the person’s forehead. If Mielikki rejects the drinker, the scion hopeful is nauseated, unable to keep the greendraught down.
After the ceremony, all the scions fast for a day, drinking nothing but water from a flowing stream. That night, each keeps a separate vigil in a different part of the High Forest, north of Loudwater. Tradition allows the scion to keep a small fire for warmth and light, as long as it does not endanger the forest. During the night, a magnificent unicorn appears to one of the scions. The scion follows the creature deep into the forest. Where the unicorn leads the scion, or what happens in that place is only known by Mielikki and the Green Regent, but it must be extraordinary for when the former scion returns, the individual carries the mantle of the Green Regent and the marks of the Chosen of Mielikki—intricate emerald symbols that entwine like ivy along the person’s entire body. When a Green Regent’s reign is over (though time passed, or by death) the markings remain, but turn black, resembling normal tattoos.
The Green Regent is a Hero
Talos and Malar hate Mielikki’s dream, and they set their followers against the Green Regent at every turn. Several times cults to the Destroyer have attempted to bring carnage and violence to the idyllic lands around the Delimbiyr River. The most notable attempt was 25 years ago when Kalathar Twohands, the current High Lord of Loudwater, served as the Green Regent. Talos worshippers summoned a tempest—a terrible storm elemental blight—deep in the Greypeaks south and east of the Delimbiyr Vale. The Talosians loosed the creature on Llorkh and Orlbar. Rain pummeled the countryside and the Tempest ripped at cottages with its fierce winds. The Greyflow flooded its banks and large portions of Llorkh were washed away. Under the domination of the cult to Talos, the Tempest seemed intent to devastate the entire Greyvale.
Kalathar led a coterie of scions against the cult, and after a fierce fight in a raging thunderstorm on a mountaintop reversed the summoning spell that bound the tempest to Faerûn. With their leaders slain and their plot undone, the cult scattered.
The depredations of the bestial followers of Malar were never as grand as those of Talos. Instead, they have sought to disrupt the harmony that is the dream of Mielikki through terrorizing small villages or isolated farmsteads. Malarites scorn what they see as the soft weakness of those under the Green Regent and thoroughly enjoy bringing fear to the Delimbiyr Vale. The Malarites, many of them lycanthropes, lurk deep in the High Forest in a place they call The Thicket.
Three years ago, a blood red moon rose over the Delimbiyr Vale. The Malarites interpreted this as an omen from their dread god, and erupted from the High Forest in a frenzy of hunting and killing. For the next three nights, the lycanthropes hunted, breaking into houses and driving out the fear-stricken citizens of Loudwater and smaller homesteads around the city. The folk of the City of Grottos fought back, and a young Stedd Rein earned particular distinction in those pitch battles, but Malarite bloodlust pressed on. The Green Regent at the time, Galaer Grasswave, was slain by the followers of the Beastlord; his head impaled on a sharpened stick outside of the earth ramparts of Loudwater. After three nights, the moon returned to its normal shade and the Malarites disappeared back into the forest, their retreat as irrational as their assault.
The Green Regent is a Legacy
The identity of the first Green Regent is lost to the passage of time, but it suspected that Mielikki did not first designate her champions until humans spread across the Savage Frontier from Illuskan. As Melikki’s faith grew, she selected several Green Regents from the Kingdom of Athalantar before its fall. When the Tethyrians began to settle about the Delimbiyr River, the Lady of the Forest drew them into her vision, and the Green Regent was alive and well throughout the Tethyrian Kingdoms of Phalorm and Delimbiyrian. After the collapse of Delimbiyrian, civilization in the vale fragmented into small city-states, but the Green Regent continued to guard the forests, the people of the river valley, and Mielikki’s dream.
The reign of the Green Regent has been broken only a few times. Though the recent death of the last Green Regent has broken the rule for the past three years, by far the worse disruptions came when the Calishite Rensha family took over the vale in the Year of the Scourge. Mielikki’s attention must have been elsewhere, as the Rensha banned the practice of selecting new scions at Shieldmeet and hunted the Green Regent down as a threat to their power. After several years of this persecution, the Green Regent disappeared for well over a century.
The Rensha Rule brought with it the golden touch of wealth and regular contact to the world outside the vale. But with prosperity came a disregard for the harmony between civilization and nature. Woodcutters pushed the forests back from the river, and farmers planted new fields. Miners pulled ore from the mountains at a prodigious rate. The wealth of the land poured down the River Shining.
With the passage of years, the Rensha lords fell into deeper and deeper decadence, and while doing so spiraled closer to their doom. Pasuuk, the last of their line, sealed his fate when he commanded a group of skilled mercenary hunters to bring him a horn of the unicorn. Why he needed this horn is unknown, but speculators whispered that he needed the horn for a foul magic rite that would bridge a gap between his hall and some infernal pit. Later revelations confirmed that Pasuuk Rensha dabbled in diabolism.
After weeks of searching, the hunters tracked a unicorn and tricked it into using its teleport ability. The hunters cornered the creature at a treacherous bend of the Unicorn Run. The captain of the company ordered its newest member—the son of a displaced Nimbral noble—to strike the killing blow. The young man raised and blade and stepped forward to do his captain’s bidding, but as he looked into the eyes the beautiful beast his heart broke. His sword still raised, he turned to the others and told them he would not kill such a magnificent beast and would defend it against all that would despoil it. In that instance of courage, Nanathlar Greysword became the first Green Regent since beginning of the Rensha Rule.
Nanathlar and twelve of his fellow hunters overthrew their captain. Upon doing so, the glowing symbol of the Green Regent appeared on each of their foreheads, and the telltale marking the Green Regent slithered up Nanathlar’s body. The unicorn revealed itself as an avatar of Mielikki, and tasked the thirteen hunters to rid the vale of the horrible Rensha blight.
Two winters of fierce battles raged between the ragtag forces of the Green Regent and Pasuuk’s diabolical regime. The War of the Returned Regent ended in the Battle of Tanglefork where Nanathlar called upon the power of his goddess to turn the very trees against Pasuuk. Pasuuk unleashed a coven of devil upon the servants of Mielikki, but the awakened trees utterly destroyed Pasuuk and his fiendish allies, and scattered their remains like ordure. And that is why the soil of those woods is now as black as midnight.
Nanathlar Greysword assumed rulership of Loudwater and brought a new era of prosperous rule to the Delimbiyr Vale. The heavy loggings and strip mines were abandoned, but the Delimbiyr maintained its contacts with the lands outside the Vale. Nanathlar brought health and growth back to the land that had soured under the rule of the Rensha.
Since Nanathlar became the Green Regent Returned, more than a dozen have taken the mantle of the Green Regent, including the current High Lord of Loudwater, Kalathar Twohands. Past Green Regents have been a varied group of people. Mielikki does not always choose the most obvious candidate as her regent. In the past she has picked simple farmers over great rangers of renown, and even seemly heartless mercenaries over devout priests of her ethos. There is a saying among the folk of the vale that, “It is our fate to be bemused by her winding way, until we reach the destination.” All of her choices, to this point, have ended up being exactly the right person for the task ahead. That said, her current choice for Green Regent has even the staunchest worshiper questioning her wisdom.
The Green Regent is a Mystery
Ever since the City of Shade appeared over the Dire Woods, orcs have been migrating out of the High Forest toward the Greypeak Mountains. These “Gray Migrations,” as the folks of the vale have dubbed them, are disruptive and sometimes frightening, but thus far not nearly as deadly as they could be. The orcs have tended to stay away from settlements while traveling east.
There have been exceptions. One exception, even more shocking than the Fendrell Massacre, was this year’s Sheildmeet celebration. The Circle of the Stag was not the only group to come out of the High Forest for the ritual, with them came a band of High Forest orcs, lead by a young chieftain called Otar. Orcs entering the High Moon Market was shocking to the people of Loudwater, but not nearly as shocking as when Otar drank the greendraught and keep it down without a wince. Their shock turned to horror when the next day Otar came out of the High Forest with the marks of the Green Regent glowing upon his gray skin.
The old elven noble families openly rejected the choice, accusing the Circle of the Stag of trickery and blasphemy. Halitan Phelaniityr, the patriarch of the city’s only sun elf house promised to personally rectify the situation before the vale became a “cesspool of bestial orcish scum.” Before violence broke out, the druid, along with Otar and his orcs retreated back to the High Forest, leaving some angry, some frightened for the future, and the new scions without a leader. Stedd Rein, the hero of the Night of the Blood Moon and the favored wager to take the Green Regent mantle, defiant of Mielikki’s choice tacked his manifesto upon the message pillar of the Red Boar Inn, but that story will have to wait until next time….