If you only read the newspapers or watched Rookpot Today (and, to be fair, had only started doing both fairly recently) you’d be forgiven for thinking that Rookpot was under constant and brutal attack by packs of vicious wolvern.
I can reassure you that this is not the case.
We always said we wanted to keep our sources and reporters anonymous to protect them from the First Councillor’s Appeasers, but our source for this post explicitly asked us to name him. The information in this post comes straight from Botolf ken Geirolf os okto.
Botolf is the son of Geirolf, Leader of the Bloon Peaks Clan, who came in peace, reconciliation and hope to visit our Council. You’ve probably seen him on the News.
I should provide a little more context for our non-Farynshire readers.
Like the foresteens and seafolk, the wolvern are often regarded as Peoples of myth and legend. They live in the Daggerrock Mountain range that borders the county of Farynshire from the rest of England.
They are quite real. The wolvern were the last of the Peoples to break contact with Rookpot. They retreated into the Daggerrock Mountains at the start of the twentieth century, long after the foresteens and seafolk had given up on us. Representatives from each of the Peoples used to sit on Rookpot Council, and those seats have remained symbolically empty for over a hundred years (there are rumours Sayce has had these seats removed). There are photos and newspaper clippings, even some very shaky black and white footage, of the last Council Meeting attended by wolvern. Despite what the Tourist Board have long insinuated, these artefacts are completely genuine.
This is why it was something of a shock to a lot of people when wolvern showed up in Rookpot a few months ago. And now it’s hard to believe that we ever doubted their existence.
To look upon, wolvern resemble wolves – inasmuch as they have fur, wolfish heads, claws and a tail. But they are not wolves. And when you see one in the flesh they don’t really look much like wolves.
Rookpot Museum had a wonderful exhibition called The Cold Earth dedicated to wolvern just as Sayce took office. It displayed everyday items from wolvern society brought back by the expedition teams, and artefacts gifted to the city by Geirolf. It provided a great insight into the make up of wolvern society – or, at least, the Bloon Peaks Clan, and Geirolf assures us that other wolvern Clans are also led by a Leader and have quite a strict hierarchal society. They are quite a spiritual people, believing in three Fates that can act as guides throughout life and ultimately control all destinies. If they have any religion it revolves around these Fates. They extensively mine the mountains in which they live, and the exhibition had some beautiful examples of wolvern jewellery and decoration. Of course, when Sayce came to power the exhibition was closed down. And I think anyone who worked on it was Disemployed.
They speak a variant Musril – which got scholars and academics very excited. Musril is Farynshire’s language, mainly spoken (by humans) in Riversouth, but now we know that the other Peoples speak it too. It’s a communal language allowing us all to communicate. What do the foresteen and seafolk variants sound like?
So, we had two.
One involved the cult of our previous First Councillor. He and his – let’s call them associates (because, honestly, I don’t know the correct term) – were killed in their country mansion just outside Rookpot. The papers called it the Red Room of Death. The perpetrators were never caught. The motives were never established beyond, well, cult. And, truth be told, we don’t really need to discuss it much here when we’re interested in wolvern. But it is necessary to mention because it directly affects how we dealt with the wolvern. And, bizarrely, it happened just a few days after the other massacre.
This second massacre involved about fifteen wolvern at Rookpot Train Station, and is known as the Train Station Massacre. These were the first wolvern to set foot in Rookpot since before the First World War. No one knew why they were there, what they wanted, or how they had died – though it looked like a violent and bloody death from the pictures on the news.
No one knows – still – who or what carried out those twin massacres. Although suspicion has fallen upon the creature that flew out of the Gorge just before First Councillor Sayce took office (I’ll write about that shortly).
So all of this craziness (and I’ve given you the bare bones, really) led to Rookpot having no Council, and the wolvern wanting answers for the deaths of so many of their Clan in a human city.
He arrived with his sons, Blaeze and Botolf , not for recrimination or blame, but for understanding and with the possibility of friendship. He met with the interim Council (as this was just before the First Councillor elections). They seemed to get on well. Geirolf and his sons attended Council meetings, appeared in the local press, visited around the city, and gifts were exchanged. Botolf stayed in Rookpot and a delegation from the Museum went to the Bloon Peaks Clan in the mountains as a sort of cultural exchange. It really did seem like we could re-establish relations with the wolvern.
But then a couple of things happened.
I should stress again how both Geirolf and Botolf wanted nothing but peace and friendship between their Clan and Rookpot. Botolf is learning English, and cooperating totally with the Musril academics’ research – they love him! But Blaeze, Geirolf’s older son, was more interested in finding out who was to blame for the deaths of the wolvern at the train station. He also brought up the very old grievance of land “stolen” by humans that should rightfully belong to the wolvern (this is the larger issue of human expansion into the mountains, into wolvern territory), and he wanted the Council to address this. Even though he was aggressive and demanding, it seemed likely that he could have been talk down or mollified by his father, brother, the liaison staff at the Museum, and the interim Council. Botolf is confident that his brother holds a minority view within the Clan, and that the rest of the wolvern Geirolf spoke for were more curious than aggressive toward humans.
But then Rigel Sayce was elected First Councillor.
He had campaigned on an, if not anti, then definitely suspicious of wolvern platform. And his loud and tubthumping rhetoric fuelled Blaeze’s antagonism further. Things came to a head during a Council Meeting. Geirolf had already returned to the Bloon Peaks, and Botolf was unable to calm his brother down. And there was nobody to restrain the new First Councillor either. The row ended with Sayce insisting he would never consider any old claims for land in the mountains, let alone wolvern claims, and then he had Blaeze thrown out of Rookpot.
And that is where we are now. There have been no wolvern attacks on Rookpot, or any other human towns or cities, despite the reports coming out from the Office of the First Councillor.
Everyone who wants to establish good relations with the wolvern (and are hopeful that this can lead on to establishing communication with the seafolk and foresteens) is hopeful Geirolf can keep Blaeze’s wilder impulses in check. The real issue is: who is going to keep the First Councillor and his advisers in check?
Stay safe, vigilant and always ask questions. Ammaceadda.