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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Regions - Sartar - Knucklesdeep

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KnucklesdeepWater Horse Tattoo

Part of the Ernaldori clan of the Cloymar Tribe Knucklesdeep1 is a small stead at the junction of the Nymie River and the Stream.  Set on the western shore of the Stream Clearwine is only a few kilometres away on the eastern shore and easily reached by boat. Knucklesdeep was first settled sometime after Clearwine itself.  Originally it was important as a ferrying point for people travelling from the west or south to Clearwine and was once inhabited by over 200 people.  Because Sartar's roads bypassed Knucklesdeep and established a crossing  to Clearwine across the Nymie to the north Knucklesdeep lost much of its importance. The ferry business has been very slow since Sartar's time.  About the only people who bother are the Zethnoring to the south.

When it was still important as a ferry it had fares set as 1 clack for Ernalda worshippers, 1 silver coin for Orlanthi worshippers, 1 gold wheel for Sun worshippers (except Grazelanders who are carried for free) while Darkness creatures were charged a bolg.  All others are charged varying tolls, often whimsical amounts or tasks like a riddle or joke. Traditionally the toll was for a boatload, with the fee based on the cultic affiliations of the majority of the passengers, rather than an individual so many people waited until they have a boatload to reduce the fare. Despite the decline in ferry traffic there were many arguments about what to charge Lunars when they took over.  These arguments were settled by the Lunars removing the right to charge a toll to Lunars and Sun worshippers. 

Local lore states that everything was great BS (Before Sartar) and things have gone downhill since then.  Nothing really exciting has happened here in many years and anyone who has a strong love or loyalty to Sartar is looked on by the locals in a patronizing manner.  The stead has an air of resignation and failure about it.  "He (she) has gone to Knucklesdeep" is an expression used in Clearwine to either describe someone who has either given up on life or has gotten far too attached to White or Death Knuckles.

The stead is now mostly dedicated to fishing and occasionally ferrying people across the two rivers.  A weir is also managed across part of the Nymie River. Next to the weir is a watermill that crushes grain or grapes for the locals.  This marvel was built by a Mostali2 who performed the work in exchange for free ferry rides for a year.

Traditionally the stead is run by the oldest man and woman (who may or may not be married) who take on the names Grandfather and Grandmother Knuckles. 
The Water Horse

When Kangharl Blackmoor became King of the Colymar in 1615 with the overthrow of the popular Leika Ballista the then Grandfather Knuckles who was actually married to Grandmother Knuckles said he would refuse to serve Kangharl in battle and undertook a Nandan heroquest.  Now there are two Grandmother Knuckles who share power equally and are perfectly content in their married life.

While the stead is mostly fisherfolk and boaters there is also a small shrine to Elmal on a nearby hill.  This shrine has a palisade around it and serves as an emergency shelter from attackers in case there isn’t enough warning to seek shelter in Clearwine.  The Elmali often spend their time in Clearwine standing guard and usually return to the stead to sleep. The Elmali also rent horses and have a very sporadic business boarding horses for travellers visiting Clearwine from the South and West who don't wish to risk their horses crossing the river by swimming alongside the ferry boats.

The mill is somewhat controversial since it replaces the traditional pipeage3 with mechanical crushing. This crushing has the odd side effect of making the wine more powerful as an intoxicant than more traditional methods do.  The product of the mill is known as White Knuckles.  Because of its location on the wrong shore of the Stream it's problematic for the denizens of Clearwine to use it so production is fairly small.  Some locals refuse to drink White Knuckles saying the Mostali connection has tainted it.  Oddly when the mill is switched to grinding grain for flour, a process that takes a full day to perform, no one seems to have any problem with the flour which is particularly fine.  A quarter of both products are set aside to deliver to the ruler of the Colymar in Clearwine4.

Beside the shrine to Elmal there are also shrines to Engizi the Sky River Titan, Minlister and Keranna and Vuranna, the Daughters of the Vine.  Most other worship, especially to Orlanth and Ernalda is usually carried out at Clearwine.  It is rumoured that there is a shrine to Orlanth the Borrower in the Borrowers House.  Outsiders are not welcome in that house so no one has verified that.

Recently identical twins were born who seem oddly attracted to spirits.  No one in the stead has truck with spirits so they’re uncertain as to what to do with the pair.

113 people call Knucklesdeep home, 60 children, evenly divided as to gender and 53 adults, 20 men and 33 women.  Once twice as many lived there and the urn field and ruins of two more longhouses reflect this.

Knucklesdeep has a somewhat unsavoury reputation in Sartar.  No one calls the residents thieves outright5, but lost things have a habit of ending up there.

Residents of Knucklesdeep.

Recent History

Year Event

Several locals were at the Battle of Grizzly Peak.  These included Rosoe Enastarrason a farmer who was married to a noble exile from the Orleving clan, Keki Grave-robber.   Frika Ingeborgsdottir, a "borrower" was also at Grizzly Peak but she was killed by Lunar spirits.  Fighting the spirts there was the mighty shaman Korlmhy Bear-Warmth of the Seven Winds Tradition.

Roscoe and Korlmhy went on to Alda-Chur where they both survived.

Someone who wasn’t a local but has a later connection was one Vigrid, a warrior in the service of King Tarkalor.  He also fought at the Battle of Grizzly Peak and survives.  He also fought in the Battle of Alda-Chur and witnessed the Alda-Churi acclaim Tarkalor’s son Terasarin as Prince of Alda-Chur.

1597 Rosoe Enastarrason fought in the Holy County and survived.  Wray Isrodson, "borrower" fought in the Holy Country where he witnessed the murder of a member of the Sartar royal house.   Vigrid fought in the Holy Country. During that time, he witnessed the murder of Prince Saraskos by hired assassins and swore vengeance on the Lunars.
1602 Rosoe Enastarrason was at Boldhome and unlike so many survived.  Wray Isrodson, "borrower" fought at Boldhome where he died bravely.   Korlmhy Bear-Warmth, Shaman went to Boldhome when the evil Lunars brought their evil spirits into Sartar. Luckily he was on the east wall when the Bat hit the west wall. 

Grandpa Bori Ragnar was called to defend Sartar and fought with the legends defending the city.  He died fighting off 10 lunars trying to get into the city.  He came home on his shield and Grandma Keki the generous would wear his lucky cloak clip as a pendant. 

Vigrid died gloriously fighting in the defense of Boldhome. His exploits earned him the epithet Vigrid “The Mighty”.
1603-04 Rosoe Enastarrason died in fighting with the Malani. 

To escape Lunar retribution following the death of her eldest son Vanir during “the troubles”, Vigrid’s wife, Fulla Vingasdotter, younger son Thorfinn and daughter Ingrit move to New Pavis in 1603. There Thorfinn marries Astra, known to some as “the Red” (after her fiery red hair) and others as “the Bitch” (after her fiery temper). Astra gives birth to twin daughters, Brenna and Ingemar. Brenna has her mother’s red hair and is also nicknamed “the Red”.

Helja Kekisdottir, daughter of Keki Grave-Robber married Arick Farmerson a dirt poor farmer and they have three children: Styr Heljason, Auden Heljadottir and Harald Heljason (deceased). 

Keki the Generous, the Miller, got into an argument with a Mostali who shot her with something that exploded.  Aren Ragnarsson inherited the water mill and with his wife Freya Swanhilda were happy for a few years with their small family (2 boys – Odell and Vignar) . 

Hearing of the Lunar invasion of Holy Country, Fulla, accompanied by Thorfinn, join a band of mercenaries hired by the Esrolians. Newly married to Magnus, Ingrit remains in New Pavis, along with Astra and her daughters. Fulla dies gloriously avenging her husband during the siege of Karse. Thorfinn survives and returns to Pavis a seasoned warrior.

1608 Arick Farmerson, farmer dies of illness. 

Jorunn Astredsdottir, borrower fought in the First Invasion of Prax alongside the Praxians.  She survived numerous ambushes but grew to hate the Praxians for their treachery. 

Aren Ragnarsson, son of Keki the Generous was on a boat in the river when it was attacked from something in the deep.  He fought it off as best he could and saved the other three people on the boat but the Chaos thing with lots of tentacles dragged his body into the deep.  The only thing the others could do was hold on to his cloak as it was ripped off his body. 

Thorfinn joined the local resistance to the first Lunar invasion of Prax and witnessed the Lunar submission to the Pap Priestesses. He is now known as Thorfinn the Spear.
1610 Helja Kekisdottir travels to Prax where she fights on the side of the Praxians against the Lunars at Moonbroth.  She does not return.  She leaves her sons Styr and Harlad and daughter Auden to be raised by their grandmother Keki Grave-Robber. 

Because Jorunn Astredsdottir hated the Lunar Empire slightly more than Praxians she fought alongside the Praxians again in the Second Invasion of Prax.  She survived.  

Thorfinn and Astra, Ingrit and Magnus, and their families return to Sartar and settle in Knucklesdeep in 1609. 1610 is normal year otherwise.
1613 Oysten Korlmhyson and Hallgerd Yulesdottir, steadholders and parents of the Spirit Twins went off with the fyrd to help Princess Kallyr. They were at the Battle of Hofstaring's Flood and helped defeat the Lunars good but they also fought at Larnstes Table where they were killed by evil demons. 

Freya Swanhilda, widow of Aren Ragnarsson got to see action In Starbrow’s Rebellion and grandpa’s lucky cloak clip was actually lucky and made it back home. 

As a result of Thorfinn’s participation in Starbrow’s rebellion he is outlawed by the Lunars. Thorfinn and his family spend the next six years in evading them.
1615 Grandfather Knuckles travels to the Other Side and returns as Grandmother Knuckles.
1616 To help support his family Thorfinn joins a mercenary band and fights Harrek the Berserk and his Wolf Pirates in Holy Country. Thorfinn survives the fighting, but is crippled and barely manages to return home.
1618 Jorun Astresdottir dies of Brain Fever. 

Due to Thorfinn’s incapacitation Astra assumes most his responsibilities to support their family. The twins do what they can to support their parents.  Brenna is determined to carry on the family’s proud warrior tradition,  . She adopts the epithet “Vingasdotter” as a sign of her commitment and in honour of her paternal grandmother Fulla. Otherwise a “normal” year evading Lunars.
1619 Leikan Kjartanson, borrower father of Halldis dies in a freak accident at Pete’s Mill.   Korlmhy Bear-Warmth, Shaman went off to fight in the Hendriking Campaign.  He's still alive.
1620 The new batch of new adults, Brenna Vingasdottir and her twin Ingemir, Halldis Leikansdottir, the twins Sarstan and Sarstin, nicknamed the Wide and Skinny, Styr Heljasson and Vidar Ragnarsson travel to Apple Lane with Uncle Bob, noted letch, suspected Lunar collaborator and all around asshole to trade dried fish for apple products.

Korlmhy Bear-Warmth was almost eaten by the Crimson Bat at Whitewall and has vowed his adventuring days are over for good!
1621 Great Winter Year 1

The stead was attacked by Tusk Riders and Styr Heljasson was almost killed.  The cold kills many including Kendrella, older sister of the Spirit Twins Sarstan and Sarstin.

Halldis Leikansdottir was at the Fall of Whitewall where she narrowly escaped death.
1622 Great Winter Year 2

Brenna Vingasdottir fought in the Esrolian civil war in a heavy cavalry company of War Women followers known as the ‘Furies’. She achieves great glory protecting Queen Samastina from Red Earth assassins. 

Styr Heljasson was at the Battle of Aurochs Hill where he helped King Broyan to awaken Orlanth by invoking Engizi’s connection to him.  Took part in the Civil War in Esrolia and was at the Siege of Nochet.

Halldis Leikansdottir nearly froze to death during the second year of the Great Winter.  Only her family's love kept her alive.
1623 Styr Heljasson was at the Siege of Nochet where he was blessed by Queen Samastina.

Halldis Leikansdottir was nearly killed by trolls during a raid.
1624 Brenna Vingasdottir rejoined the Furies and they fight with great valour in the Battle of Pennel Ford. After the battle they accompanied Argrath to the border of Prax and witness the summoning of Jaldon Goldentooth. Brenna and her companions acknowledge Argrath as the White Bull and return to home. Inspired by the year’s events and to deepen her connection with Orlanth, Brenna becomes an initiate of Orlanth Thunderous

Styr Heljasson and the Spirit Twins also fought with great glory at the Battle of Pennel Ford and assisted Harrek the Berserk in sacking the City of Wonders.

Halldis Leikansdottir and Vidar Ragnarsson were also at Pennel Ford where they were nearly killed.
1625 Brenna Vingasdottir, the Spirit Twins, Styr Heljasson, Halldis Leikansdottir and Vidar Ragnarsson all witnessed and survived the Dragonrise. They all participated in the liberation of Sartar and witnessed Kallyr Starbrow acclaimed Prince of Sartar in Boldhome.

Knucklesdeep in 1625 [pdf]


Jokes People in Clearwine Say About Knucklesdeep

Q. How do you get to Knucklesdeep?

A. Stop trying.

Q. What's the difference between a Tusk Rider and someone from Knucklesdeep?

A. The fish smell.

Q. How Many Knucklesdeepians do you need to start a fight?

A. Just one but she has to be drunk.


1 [back] No one alive or dead remembers the origin of the name Knucklesdeep.

2 [back] Local legend claims that this Mostali was named Pistonlegged Pete.  The Lhankhor Mhy scholars in Clearwine state that this is highly unlikely.

3 [back] A fancy word for grape stomping or treading.

4 [back] An additional tenth of the production of White Knuckles is set aside as a tribute to Pistonlegged Pete if he ever shows up.  This is kept in storage for twenty years and then sold as an extra strong version of White Knuckles known as Death Knuckles when he fails to show up (again)

5 [back] Of course they do.  All the time.

Last updated April 10, 2020

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