Wailer’s Hold is Abandoned

Wailer’s Hold is abandoned. Or was. When I ran some Forbidden Lands RPG sessions earlier this year the players chose to journey towards Wailer’s Hold. Rather than let the abandoned site wallow in disepair and enshrouded in mystery, I decided an opportunistic entrepreneur would try to capitalize on modernizing the ruins.

Wailer's Hold
Wailer’s Hold

Forbidden Lands Gamemaster’s Guide—Wailer’s Hold

The Gamemaster’s Guide doesn’t give a lengthy history of Wailer’s Hold. That’s to our advantage. Forbidden Lands is a tabletop RPG that takes its exploration seriously so it’s up to the GM and the players to flesh out the details. Here’s what the Gamemaster’s Guide has to say about this abandoned point of interest:

Wailer’s Hold is Abandoned

Tired of ceaseless war with the Alderlanders, the dwarf clan Meromannian abandoned the city of Wailer’s Hold to go north toward Belderland in the mountains. A strong garrison of orcs was left behind to defend the city, but without the dwarves’ leadership they failed to hold out against the humans. In 867 AS, the city was taken by Zygofer’s troops and settlers soon made their way to the area.

There are a few more entries on the mining city. In a nutshell, dwarves settled there between 810 and 820 AS (after the shift). They were initially indifferent about the humans entering the Lands and more or less hoped they’d all kill themselves off through in-fighting. Around 865 AS, the dwarves abandoned the city when they went north towards Belderand. Charged with defending the city, an orc garrison soon fell to Zygofer’s troops.

Resettled by humans

To assist the players in their immersion, I decided to repopulate the city with humans now that the Blood Mist cleared. However, the city is still rebuilding. Instead, the newly self-appointed mayor has decided the city could make a name for itself as a tourist destination.

Wailer’s Hold Features & Dramatis Personae

Wailer’s Hold is west of The Shroud and tucked up against a small mountain range south of the Moldena plains. The south side of the city is the resettled part. A curious grave on the north side of the ruins holds potential trouble for the settlement.

Context regarding the grave: the players rolled a 53 on the random encounters chart on page 147 of the Player’s Handbook. Since these are still technically ruins, the resulting encounter follows:

The Forgotten Prince

A large pile of heavy rocks, stacked one atop the other in a monument that you recognize. Someone has obviously spent a lot of effort building the cairn, and someone or something is buried beneath it.

An Alderlander prince fell in battle hundreds of years ago. The prince, whose name has long since been forgotten, was buried here beside his horse and two loyal knights, all of whom perished in the same battle. The grave contains a silver necklace (worth 2D6 silver coins), an old broadsword and a piece of rusty chainmail. If the adventurers decide to look for treasures, a the prince will wake from his slumber and attack them as a Death Knight!

Fortunately, my players were clever tacticians and understood this would be a fight they’d likely lose. They simply returned the treasure they tried to steal and this GM ruled that the Death Knight would stand down. The group made plans to return to this site and devise a way to get the treasure at a more advantageous time, potentially building a stronghold in the vicinity.

Population: ~200, mostly human

Torden Orinder: a shrewd and circumspect businessman. Torden is amiable and personable, but he won’t disclose too much information recklessly. Though profit-minded, he isn’t a crook. He will turn a blind eye towards a group’s tactics if it means keeping his city safe and secure so long as he feels sure he wouldn’t be implicated in anything nefarious. He believes The Meagre Lamb to be paramount in the city’s success and subsidizes the tavern’s research and development of signature craft brews.

Dreki: the proprietor of The Meagre Lamb Tavern & Inn. He is a brewmaster who can, and will, talk all day about his brews. His most recent concoction is a dwarven ale. It is dark and thick with a juniper-heavy flavor and notes of raspberry. He is still obsessing over a good name for this ale. He wears an eyepatch but dismisses any questions about it with a casual wave of his hand. Dreki also has a salt and pepper mutt named Purkoy who is friendly to everyone, making him a terrible guard dog.

Helmi: The local forester and master gardener. She ensures the redevelopment of the city doesn’t upset the natural balance of the area’s flora and fauna. She never bathes and is friendly and always takes time to give anyone her full attention despite how busy she stays. Helmi has concerns about the unexplained wandering corpses who are destroying the understory ferns and beneficial fungi with their shambling.

Princess Mrymn: owner of the city’s only trading post which she has yet to even name. Torden encourages her to come up with something catchy and easy to remember. But with a tendency towards flair and drama, she has yet to settle on anything she likes and Torden will approve. While she claims a royal lineage, no one can verify it and suspect Mrymn coronated herself. She is coy and flirtatious. If she takes a strong enough liking to someone, she may extend a small discount to larger purchases. Her store sells all common items from the Player’s Handbook.

Cort: a beet farmer and regular at The Meagre Lamb. Cort endlessly laments that he will never get a fair price for his beets after the harvest. Known for his morose attitude just as much as he is for his beets, Cort always gets a fair price. But after counting his coins he’ll bitterly grumble that next time his luck will run out.

The Group’s Experience in Wailer’s Hold

My group gained the confidence of Mayor Orinder. The mayor promised them a free stay at The Meagre Lamb for one month in return for the group agreeing to suss out, and eliminate, the source of the undead plaguing the area. He also sees an opportunity for collaboration if the group chooses north Wailer’s Hold to build their stronghold. He urges them to be discreet because the citizens can be superstitious and principled. All deals are off if the group’s actions reflect poorly on Torden or the city itself. The group’s next step is to investigate what’s happening in the woods to the south and east of the city.

If you’ve played in or near Wailer’s Hold, I’m curious about your experience there.

2 thoughts on “Wailer’s Hold is Abandoned”

  • Interesting. I took it in a different way. Keep in mind, I use an edited map with hexes at half the regular size, so the city of Wailer’s Hold, which I didn’t feel like adjusting graphically becomes suddenly a sprawling metropolis on the map. My solution was to keep a good 50-60 % of the city as complete ruins, inhabited only by undead and wandering monsters. A few of the neighbourhoods have gotten more recent inhabitants though. With the mist gone, humans have claimed one of the neighbourhoods. Orcs have also returned and claimed a part of the city, as they claim they were given control of the city by the dwarves so they believe they have a claim, and dwarves have claimed yet another area. Between the three of them, neither has the power to really reclaim it all and neither are that interested in working together. Though, who knows what deals the players will broker.

    So far my players are just getting acquainted with the area and haven’t really gotten close to any of the factions yet, so I don’t know yet how the story will go from here, but I felt like having multiple small settlements inside the ruins of a metrolplis felt like a fun post apocalyptic feel for the area.

    • That’s a great take! It didn’t occur to me to have people struggling get control of the area. I like it a lot. I’ll bet it leads to an awesome story.

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