Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Denizens of Restenford: Fairwind

Ah, yes, the Baroness Fairwind, beleaguered spouse of the tepid Baron Grellus; what do we know about her? From the "castle" roster: she is 42 years old, 5'8" tall and 110 lbs wide--which is not very wide at all--(that's like 1.7 liters and 8 stone for you metric folks out there) and has long brown hair and brown eyes. Though she's a 3rd level cleric--4.8th level in the metric system--and her spells du jour are Detect Evil, Detect Magic, and Chant. We don't get her full stats so we don't know how Strong, Intelligent, Wise, etc., she is. Actually, she has 2 first level spells "memorized"--standard for a 3rd level cleric--so we can assume that her Wis is no higher than 12; otherwise she'd have at least 1 bonus spell. She has a ring of protection and a wand of magic missiles; can clerics use a wand of magic missiles? [Consults DMG... any class can use 'em; how come I never knew that?]

She's a lawful good cleric living in a chaotic town and rumor has it that the populace find her to be a bit haughty. She occasionally goes into town accompanied by her daughter Andrella, a couple of bodyguards, and/or the Baron. She and Andrella tend the gardens at the castle so she has a hobby, which is nice. She also spends at least some of her time down in the dungeons of the castle; we'll get to that in a minute.

Her only mention in the rumor table is that she is lawful good; do people really talk about alignments as if they're ethnicities or congenital diseases? I guess it makes sense in a world where alignment languages are a thing.

Yalta, Spiritual Advisor

From the village write up (#31 Priest's Home) we learn that this is the home of her "spiritual advisor." His name is Yalta, a priest (C3) with a charisma of 17. Even though he's a minor figure who is not mentioned outside the write-up for his house he gets full stats but the Baroness doesn't?? What the hell is up with that? For those keeping score at home: the noblewoman has a highly charismatic spiritual advisor with a Russian name. This raises some questions for the book club: 

  1. Why is there no mention of Yalta's resistance to poison?
  2. Has Lakofka taken a circuitous route to inform us that the young baronette Andrella is a hemophiliac? 
  3. Does this not confirm what we've all assumed by now: Baron Grellus is not only a figurative cuckold but a literal one as well?

What other info is there on the baroness? She is the only person besides Grellus who ventures down to the dungeon level of the "castle." We know that the secret door in the East corridor that provides access to the dungeon proper--where the Baron stashes the treasury--is trapped, but once you've figured it out, you can automatically bypass the trap henceforth. According to the text: 

"The Baron has passed the opening test, though Fairwind has not."

Baron Grellus clearly has not shared this knowledge with the Baroness which more than indicates that there is not a spirit of nuptial cooperation in their relationship. And yet, Fairwind keeps making the effort; likely behind the baron's back. To what purpose? To get at the treasury that the baron refuses to spend?

In conclusion, Fairwind is a slender, middle aged woman married to a wealthy nobleman--not bad so far. Unfortunately, he is an incompetent and stingy baron who has lost the respect of his subjects and his wife, who has turned to adultery. She spends her free time tending the gardens with her daughter and seeking "spiritual advice" from a seductive priest who lives in town for apparently no other reason than to be near to her. She also sneaks down to the basement at night in an effort to bypass the trapped door to the dungeon proper where she hopes to locate the treasure. Perhaps once it's found she will use it to overthrow her husband. Or more likely she hopes to use it to escape from this backwater burg, to run off with Yalta and live a better life somewhere--anywhere--else.



Dwayne said...

I think more was planned for Fairwind and Andrella since L1 mentions their stats would be published in L2. That never happened. I think you have made a good connection with her spiritual advisor Yalta.

Chris said...

Interesting observations. My biggest inconsistency would be Pelltar as a LN Mage/Magic user having skeleton guards-seems a strange combination/misuse of alignment.

Anonymous said...

Pelltar doesn't surprise me considering the Suel (main demographic of the Isle.) revere Wee Jas, A LN deity of magic and death that doesn't mind if raise dead is used "as long as they are not reanimated against their will, and their remains are procured in a lawful manner."

Just imagine Pelltar going around Restenford getting farmers to sign consent forms to donate their skeleton after death. All for very important magical research of course!

Timrod said...

It sounds an awful lot like Wee Jas was created for the sole purpose of justifying Pelltar's necromantic tendencies. Nicely done Lakofka.

Ewan Cummins said...

Are you still working on Restenford stuff?

I'd love to see some of it published in the zine I've started, Visions of Greyhawk.

-Ewan Cummins
AKA, Norker

Timrod said...

When the mood strikes me. I'll have a look at Visions of Greyhawk.

Snickersnax said...

There is one other tidbit of information about Fairwind from 20a,b,c Servant's Rooms description:

"Neither Andrella nor Fairwind have any ladies-in-waiting..Andrella would like to have a personal maid or two, but her mother will not hear of it."

This might give us additional insight into Fairwind. Why is Fairwind denying herself and her daughter these servants?

Perhaps Fairwind's spiritual advisor has convinced her that a lavish lifestyle is antithetical to her spiritual goals. She has not yet been willing to part with her expensive furniture, but the Baron worries that she will give all of their money to charity, and so has hidden it in the basement. I feel like this may be more consistent with her Lawful Good alignment than a salacious affair with a lawful good priest.

As for Fairwind's forays into the basement: My reading of The East Corridor is that there are two ways to go through the secret door.

One is by discovering the trip mechanism hidden in the compartment behind the ladder which allows the heavy spring to be bypassed for 15 seconds once every 24 hours which would allow 3-6 people through the door,

and the other way is to force the door open by brute strength (bend bars +20%) which only allows a single person through the door.

The Baron has passed the opening test (the bend bars test) with brute strength, meaning he doesn't know about the alternate trip mechanism. So it is not that he has denied Fairwind knowledge of how to get through the door, she's just not strong enough to go through the way he does.