Starkhaven is the name of the colony that was formed by the militant cleric group, the Order of Arnath’s Fist, and their followers. When colonists first arrived on Mardrun, the Order spent immense resources building a full settlement and began production on a keep. This attracted a number of settlers to join them and help their efforts; the benefit of having the disciplined leadership and military might of the Order in charge of the settlement was amicable to some that were lost and in need of a new home. Starkhaven is one of the most most defensive settlements on the continent and resides where the Yurnai river meets the Great Wolf’s Hackles.
This settlement is home to several hundred colonists and members of the Order of Arnath. There is a small group called the Starkhaven Militia that help protect the settlement and also provide soldiers to assist the Order if they send out any of their members. Led by a Mayor who takes care of the day to day leadership responsibilities of the people, Starkhhaven is a very sustainable settlement. Families and farmers enjoy relative peace as they grow crops and tend to their businesses and families. The Order does require a tithe from Starkhaven to the coffers of the Order and to help fund their endeavors on Mardrun.
For more information on The Order of Arnath, click here.
Settlement of Starkhaven
Warleader: Militia General
Starkhaven resides on the southernmost tip of the Great Wolf’s Hackles where it meets the Yurnai River. Surrounded by rolling fields, the settlement town is overlooked by the Order Keep. When colonists first arrived on Mardrun, the Order spent immense resources building a full settlement and began production on the keep. This settlement is home to several hundred colonists.
To the west is the headwaters of the Yurnai River; the settlement of Starkhaven does not use the river for much outside a source of supplemental food. If one were to continue west, Clan Grimward territory would not be far beyond the river. However, with the torrential ebbs and flows of the seasonal water run off of the Great Wolf Hackles, the fords are further downstream.
The territory immediately around the settlement to the east and south are the farmlands, hamlets, and villages with hilly knolls and wooded forest in abundance.
To the north is the peaks of the Great Wolf’s Hackles, and further the Spire of the Archons. To the south, along the main road, is the settlement of Daven’s Reach. Even further south lay the settlements of New Hope and New Aldoria. These form the lands of the City-State of NewHope. However, it is engulfed by the surrounding territory of Clan Nightriver.
The settlement of Starkhaven itself is divided into various suburbs with the Order Keep being central to all. These suburbs are a unique microcosm of the colonists as many were drawn to the protection, or the faith, of Arnath when the colonists first arrived. The city streets are laid out with no particular purpose, though shrines to Arnath adorn many a corner.
If turning out highly skilled, well armed, well armored soldiers is a specialty, then Starkhaven has one. The settlement is a typical Order town; it has armorsmiths, weapon makers, grain stores, and cloth weavers. All the things needed for a soldier. It does not excel anywhere else, however, as it has never been given the chance to.
Currently the Chapter of the Light has undertaken some additional land clearance in and around their territory. These new croplands should be helpful in stabilizing the harvest for the settlement, but are not enough to produce a surplus.
TRADE & ECONOMY
Starkhaven has a small economy. It is large enough for traders to make as stopping point, but not so much that it is a hub. For the most part, the people manage to have food and shelter, and the necessary goods in life. Sometimes they have enough spare coin for a luxury, but not often.
POLITICS & LEADERSHIP
Led by a Mayor who takes care of the day to day leadership responsibilities of the people, Starkhaven is a very sustainable settlement. Families and farmers enjoy relative peace as they grow crops and tend to their businesses and families. The Order does require a tithe from Starkhaven to the coffers of the Order and to help fund their endeavors on Mardrun.
There is a small group called the Starkhaven Militia that help protect the settlement and also provide soldiers to assist the Order if they send out any of their members. Otherwise the armed soldiers and Clerics of the Order of Arnath man the defences.
The people of Starkhaven tend to be solemn, taciturn folk. With a stoic nature born from living in close proximity to the Order of Arnath, they are dutiful and diligent in life, going about their business in a brisk, efficient manner. This does not mean they cannot be joyous or jovial; they just tend to be very business first orientated.
They also are mildly xenophobic; also from close proximity to the Order. Some are still distrustful of the Syndar, holding old grudges from Faedrun. Many more are openly scornful of the Ulven, remembering the Colonists Wars and the recent Civil Wars, both where many lives were lost. Also like many colonists, they look down on the former inhabitants of the May’Kar Dominion, blaming them for tipping the balance of the Old War.
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
Starkhaven is a very spiritual place. Religious wise, shrines to Arnath and images of His Clerics adorn the settlement. Everyone knows or has family who were Clerics, or have served the Order. Blessings to Arnath are on the lips of the people as greetings, farewells, and well wishes. Other religions are far less represented; one can find a few shrines to Ulkfel in the smiths district, and some colonists still express belief in the Light openly. However, no Syndar or Ulven religious icons have been seen in Starkhaven until recently. The refugees brought with them their faith, causing additional unrest.
Even those without religion are very spiritual. They take solace and wisdom from Arnath’s teachings. A practical god, his teachings bear lessons and approaches to weather the fates of life. His works, and the works of His Clerics, are often read to find the wisdom to approach a problem, or to find peace with a decision made.
STARKHAVEN COLORS, HERALDRY, FASHION:
The colors of Starkhaven the same as the Order: Red primary, white secondary. This often trimmed in black around the outside. The primary over dress seen for Starkhaven authorities is the red surcoats of the Order of Arnath, or the red tabards of Starkhaven.
The Heraldry of the Order of Arnath depends on the Cleric; a Rampant Lion, a Rampant Eagle, or a Rampant Griffin. In addition, they now sport belt flags denoting thing chapter: the clenched hand of the Fist, or the sun with shining rays for the Light.
Starkhaven currently does not have a heraldric symbol.
When colonists first arrived on Mardrun, the Order spent immense resources building a full settlement and began production on a keep. This attracted a number of settlers to join them and help their efforts; the benefit of having the disciplined leadership and military might of the Order in charge of the settlement was amicable to some that were lost and in need of a new home. Starkhaven is one of the most most defensive settlements on the continent and resides where the Yurnai river meets the Great Wolf’s Hackles.
Yearly Update – 260 (2011)
The leadership tended to the needs of the people and to expanding supplies for the Order. A few Lions had been sent to investigate what was happening in the rest of the colonies.
Yearly Update – 261 (2012)
Word reached the Order that an undead, a lich, was spotted on Mardrun, Lions were dispatched to track down and kill it. Several groups of Lions and squads of Starkhaven militia were killed trying to defeat this foe, until finally the Coalition helped track it down the northern coast and into Grimward territory. With the help and guidance of the Lions, the lich was cornered and destroyed.
Yearly Update – 262 (2013)
As the Ulven Civil War gains momentum, the Order of Arnath’s Fist is caught in the thick of it. Lions are sent out on patrol, Starkhaven militia protect the roads near their settlement and Daven’s Reach, and the battle barges of the Order sail and patrol the Yurnai river that separates the Grimward and Nightriver lands. Conflict after conflict takes its toll on the Order as the highly skilled and equipped warriors fall one by one, difficult and costly to replace. Months of attrition force the Lions to retreat from the main bulk of the conflict to reinforce and a sneak attack on the Yurnai river by Clan Grimward warriors led to the destruction of the Order’s battle barges and the death of their crews. As winter sets in at the end of the year, the Order is in dire need of supplies and support; their ambitious goals to help the Civil War resulting in a terrible cost for both the Order and the settlement of Starkhaven.
Yearly Update – 263 (2014)
Following the political fallout between the Order of Arnath’s Fist and Baron Richards of Newhope, Starkhaven’s construction ground to a halt and its walls slowly began to fall into disrepair. The already famously xenophobic clerics retreated deeper into their cloistered stronghold, pulling their troops out of the war save for a handful of Lions who were sent to hold the Pass through the Great Wolf’s Hackles.
More and more over the year, Starkhaven patrols stop going out on the roads and the Lions remain stationed at home.
Frustration began to build as signs of corruption and foul play were discovered inside Starkhaven itself while the Lions in the Pass, expecting and awaiting reinforcements, seemed to have been forgotten by their allies. The year culminates in a decision made on behalf of Starkhaven, to be revealed early in the following year.
Yearly Update – 264 (2015)
Beginning on a sour note, the Order of Arnath’s Fist started the year by informing the Coalition of their decision to pull their troops out of the pass through the Great Wolf’s Hackles in order to return home and help tend their fields. Feeling betrayed and ignored by those who called them allies, Starkhaven had been hoping for some form of aid or support in the pass, but received none. Although weakened, a handful of Lions and Starkhaven militia flew their banners and marched alongside Coalition and Clan Nightriver allies… although none of them survived to return home. It is unknown if the Order will continue to remain reclusive after the Civil War had taken such a heavy toll on them.
Yearly Update – 265 (2016)
After years of decay and financial distress, the once great settlement of Starkhaven had descended into near ruin. Many settlers fled to other colonies. Although the military might of the Order of Arnath has never recovered from the initial conflict with the Ulven and the recent Ulven civil war, a handful of the Fist chapter members maintain control of Starkhaven and can be seen periodically. They have become more reclusive now, choosing to stay inside their crumbling keep and keep to their ideals and themselves instead of getting involved in the world at large. This had concerned members of the Order and also some of the people of Starkhaven, and a Griffin stepped forward to push for a reform. A new direction was presented and the Hand of Arnath listened; although the Order of Arnath’s Fist would remain the primary chapter of the Order on Mardrun, a new settlement and some of the existing military units were re-purposed with aiding the efforts of this new chapter.
The Order of Arnath’s Light is a brand new chapter of the Order of Arnath. Led by the new Chapter Master, this group within Starkhaven is pushing for more diplomacy and progressive ideals on the world. This was originally met with resistance as the surviving chapter of the Order of Arnath was the Fist, the most militant chapter of all of the Order of Arnath. The new chapter resides in a part of Starkhaven. This has caused tension between the two Chapters, and in the settlement itself.
The first action was the Inquisition of Fire. Bos Meszar, the militant wing of the settlement of Serai, was found to be experimenting with Undead. Recalling the fate of Faedrun, both Chapters mobilized, but the Light was in the lead. The Chapter of the Light and Bos Mezsar came to blows, but their militia was no match for the highly trained Order militia. Unlike the Fist, however, the Chapter of the Light dealt a soft hand to the settlement. Most were captured and given aid. However, a rampaging Mordok horde pressed both Chapters hard. With Serai no longer having a military force, the town swore fealty to the Order. The Fist currently patrols and safeguards the settlement.
At the end of the year, the Chapter of the Light overstepped their bounds and welcomed corrupted Ulven into the settlement. The people of Starkhaven complained, but dealt with it. Crisis was closely averted by the help of the Prince of Aldoria, and the Phoenix.