Winds of fortune: up on whittle hill


On the craggy hill, William Watcher sits, eating his luncheon, staring out across the empty valley.

(And thirty years ago, his grandmother Joyce Watcher sits in the same place, eating her own lunch. On that day, the valley comes alive with brutal shapes, savage orc warriors, who fill the air with guttural voices raised in rough song as they march. Joyce runs down the hill, lunch forgotten, shouting a hue-and-cry, raising the pikes to the defence of the Whittle Hill.)

William Watcher stares across the empty valley. It is never empty, or shouldn’t be. You can always see some Jotun patrol or other, marching this way or that. But they haven’t been seen for a few days, called away perhaps and not yet returned.

He eats his lunch in silence, lost in his own thoughts. His brow furrows - he sees something that confuses him. Two patrols, but the orcs look strange. They march under the flag of a boar’s head. They move closer, about a mile away now as the crow flies, and he realises that they aren’t orcs at all. Are they … humans? Not all of them: some of them have horns, antlers, mottled skin, scales - like what Joyce had always told him the Lineaged looked like, back when you used to get them round the Whittle way.

How could they be here? What were they going to do?

Young Watcher has always heard tales, of what’d happen when the Empire came back for the Whittle. But his generation has always treated them as jokes, you know, just jokes. No-one really believes it’ll happen… and now it has.

William doesn’t quite understand, and he looks down upon the people he doesn’t know, strange folk, strange faces, and his gut fills up with a powerful force of apprehension. What’ll happen now?

He knows he has to tell the steward, and the friar. They’ll know what to do: they always do.

He runs down the hill, his lunch forgotten, shouting a hue-and-cry, calling the pikes to the defence of the Whittle Hill.

The village of Whittle, in Freemoor, reaches out to the Empire. Still living on the edge of Jotun-controlled territory, the folk of Whittle have been separated from their cousins in the Marches for three decades.

Cautious, suspicious as only Marcher-folk can be, they seek an opportunity to connect with their nation, and with the Empire that for them exists only in the stories of their grandparents.

You can read a little more about these people and what they want from - and may have to offer - the Empire here → … ittle_Hill

The picture is the wooded valley below Banhadlog Hall in Powys because I couldn’t get a good resolution picture of any of the villages from Robin of Sherwood. Text is from new plot-writer Wren Robson .

#theliberationcontinues!, #youbaintfromaroundherebaintyouson?, #nothingisforgotten