The World of Arith
Nollinswood Circle is located in the Druid’s grove in Groveside. The leader of the circle is Guthrim Haraldson, a shaggy, unkempt man who seems to only be friendly to his longtime friend, King Valdamar Hawkmoon. Like most druid circles, Nollinswood also has a shaman to communicate with the spirit world. Here Duana Wolfspeaker maintains that connection. Duana dislikes life in this close to the city, and often wanders the wild areas between the towns. The wardens Kayli and Kadmos Beartongue are the grove’s protectors, often playing along with the ruse of a “strangely tamed” dire bear in their midst. Three acolytes, Venatta, Sardul and Sprigg, practice the druidic rituals and learn what they can from Freylan and from Guthrim when he is in one of his better moods. Duana has no acolytes.
Visiting Jendarri who seek more traditional ways often stay in the longhouse, and Jendarri hunters and trappers who have been invited are welcome at the hunter’s lodge here.
Guthrim Haraldson is the high druid of the Nollinswood Circle. Of Jendarri blood, Guthrim has chosen to stay in Hawkmoon to provide his people aid and comfort and to help bridge the gap between Jendarri and Arvanoran ways. He is visited by King Valdamar, and counted an advisor to Caer Greycastle. He maintains close contact with the Circle of Berwyn and the Gweirwood Lodge.
Daughter of Lady Siluele and twin to Jondelar, Freylan Taemelson felt the calling of the woods at an early age. Despite her mother’s best attempts to steer her in a different (aristocratic) direction, Freylan made her vows to Rillifane from Master Dennor (deceased) years ago. Since then, she has blossomed into a very capable tender of the wilds. She has little patience for people who follow materialistic of superficial goals. She hates chitchat and avoids those who engage in it.
This building, built in a traditional Jendarri style, is where the druids and shaman of the grove meet and train. Matters of the spirit and the community are discussed here, and it is in the spirit lodge that visiting members of other circles are greeted and spoken to.
Hunters, trappers, barbarians and rangers of the Jendarri congregate here when doing business in the city. A member must be welcomed into the hunter’s lodge by another member, and anyone who tries to enter without an invitation will find axes, bottles, tankards and other assorted objects hurled through the air at them. Members of the Gweirwood Lodge are welcomed here, as are Brothers of the Beast. Both organizations have members who regularly stay here, so an invitation is always forthcoming.
The hunter’s lodge is not a business, and those who are invited in are expected to donate casks and kegs of (the non-shamanic) spirits for the other lodge members. Newcomers are not allowed to invite new members in, only after some time in the lodge will a new member finally get that authority.
A traditional Jendarri longhouse is used as sleeping quarters for any Jendarri staying in the grove. Hunters from the lodge will stagger over in the late hours, and the druids, shamen and warders all sleep here. Only Guthrim, as leader of the Circle, is allowed his own hut.
Upon entering the grove, most people take the wider and better marked left path to the spirit lodge and longhouse, but a smaller path leads to the right. Once on that right-hand path one rounds a corner and sees a small thatched hut, made in the Jendarri style. Most times, an enormous dire bear rests in the wide doorway of the hut, sleeping on its front paws. At that point, most strangers turn and run back to the main path.
The hut belongs to Guthrim Haraldson, and the dire bear exists to drive away the curious and non-believers. The path continues on into the spirit grove of Nollinswood.
This sacred grove is where Guthrim and Duana communicate and conduct rituals with the aid of the spirits. It is considered primal ground, and the forces of nature and the world are strong here.
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