Vanwar, The Lost
Vanwar is a tribe of Lossoth, discovered by Zhatelier on his adventures in Forodwaith. Named "The Lost" by Zhatelier due to their remote location and large distance to Cape of Forochel. The tribe selected Zhatelier as their leader during his stay at their village after a terrible blizzard.
Felcor Vanwaron, The Mines Of The Lost
The mines are on the edge of the tribe village. Sealed by dark magic a secret lies inside. Zhatelier has planned on hiring a party of adventurers to explore the mines and discover the secret of Felcor Vanwaron.
Lore of Vanwar
As told by Zhatelier
After I had resigned from my kingship, I sacrificed my possessions for the Vala, which were gracious enough to grant me another chance, to amend my wrongdoings. I set up on travelling from one place to another, helping where I could. There are many stories to tell from my travels, but I wanted to share you one story in particular, which occurred not long ago.
I was travelling far up to the north, in lands of Forodwaith, when I got caught by a blizzard, very powerful one. I couldn’t see a thing, not even the tip of my nose. Snow kept piling all around me, but I struggled onwards. For hours and hours I kept going, until I couldn’t even feel my limbs, I was afraid I might not ever see the sun again. I accidentally stumbled into a boulder, which gave me mild protection from the chilling wind. I sat there for a while, until I saw a glimpse of a cave, not too far away. Perhaps the snowing had calmed down for just a brief moment or some higher powers were at the play. I however decided that I’d rather find out whether my eyes were deceiving me or not. I’d rather take a risk of dying on the move than staying where I was and most likely succumb to cold in any case. So I gathered my final strengths, rose up and began to inch my way through the snow towards the potential shelter. The struggle took a very long time, but at that point I had already lost my sense of time. After a time that may have been hours, or that’s what it felt like, I reached a rocky wall and after a while the crack in the wall that I had seen before. I squeezed myself in and crawled towards the back of the cave. I was finally in a shelter, but I was cold and exhausted and all my food were too frozen for me to even eat, not to mention my water. So I huddled in a corner in the back and tried to get some sleep.
After some hours I woke up. The entrance was almost entirely covered with snow, just a small glimpse of light came over the top. I was still cold, hungry and miserable, but the light gave some consolation, I had survived to see the sun again. I ate what I could and started to dig my way out of the cave. Once I got out of the cave, I could see that it was still early morning, but the ever-chilling wind of the north was already there. I tried to figure which way I had come, but I soon had to admit, I was hopelessly lost. After a while I realized that I’d have to start going somewhere, I decided to head east, towards the sun. Not long after, I saw thin smoke rising from a valley up ahead. “There has to be someone or something there. I don’t care who, as long as I can get next to a warm fire”, I thought and tried to work my way to the valley as fast as I could. Once I reached the edge of the valley I saw several humans as well as huts made out of snow. The humans were clad in very thick furs, thicker than I had ever seen and three of them were much smaller, presumably kids. Suddenly one of the older ones saw me and quickly ran inside one of the huts. I figured now we’ll find out are these men hostile or not. Soon after I heard a loud yell coming from the hut, a man running out and grabbing a spear outside the hut. Few other men ran out from the huts as well, all picking up their crude weapons. I rose my hands to show them I was unarmed and had no ill intentions. It turned out that they did know some words of Westron and I managed explain my situation to them. I was led to one of the huts and offered a warm meal, which I gladly ate.
During the meal I had a chance to talk the village eldest, a thin man with long beard. I found out that their tribe had lived in this valley longer than anyone can remember. By the sound of it, well over 15 hundred years. Apparently they had been too afraid to leave too far from the valley. Their own legend tells that their ancestors had found this valley after a blizzard, just like I did. I therefore named then Vanwar, The Lost. He told me that there had been a strange tree in the valley, wood was rarity as far north as this, therefore the tribe had settled into this valley. He also told of a darkness that had found it’s way to the valley some generations after their ancestors had settled into the valley. With the darkness came various mean creatures and they had forced the tribe to work for them, to dig in mines, dig them halls deep into the mountains. The creatures they called just “shadows”, but there were various shadows and they were led by a shadow that did not clad itself in furs, did not eat nor sleep. The shadow leader had left eventually, but the lesser shadows had stayed behind and made sure the tribe kept mining. After some generations shadow returned. Whether it was the same shadow or not, they could not know, but it returned with several lesser shadows and with an ominous chest. The shadows had taken the chest into halls within the mines and after that sealed the entrance with a strong door, marked with foul markings. The shadow wowed to return one day, but so far their tribe had not seen the shadows return.
After the departure of the shadows, the tree that had stood in the valley for generations dwindled and died. It was seen as very bad omen, but at least after the tree had withered away, a new tree had started to grow in the exact same spot where the old had stood. I was also told that the same fate had faced the new tree very recently, but I could already see the new sapling growing in the middle of the valley. After the meal I asked to see the entrance to the mines, which was just on the edge of the valley. The entrance was blocked with stone and in the middle there was engraved a large eye, the mark of Sauron. The place felt very ominous and I named the place Felcor Vanwaron, Mines of the Lost. It felt as if the mines were sealed with magic, dark magic…I spent a week or two in the village and taught them many things they had forgotten or had never learned. And in return they taught me their culture and lore as well as named me as their leader, should I ever return there, but that is good for another story. Perhaps one day I can get past the seal at Felcor Vanwaron and discover what was hidden.
Of Fauna in the surroundings
Animals in the surroundings were scarce, but there were still occasional herds of creatures passing by. Whenever such happened, it was the hunting time for the tribe. It seems that it was mostly four-legged horned creatures, by the sound of it perhaps reindeer. But occasionally some larger beasts passed near the village. I did not manage to see one during my stay, but of what I heard, they sounded a lot like Mûmakil in the south, only covered with wool and were apparently smaller. The stories suggested by the tribesmen and the furs used in the village that these beasts were about the height of two tribesmen, same goes for their length and width being somewhere between one and two.There ends the knowledge I could muster regarding wildlife near the village of Vanwar.
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