Who's What in the West Wood
 
Yesterday, we took a closer look at where folks live, and how they make their living in the West Wood. Today, we're turning our year-end gaze to the types of folks you might run into on the frontier. 

Nobles either have their own dominions that have been in the family for generations, or are recently arrived on the frontier with a mind to carve out new dominions of their own. Minor nobles (such as various third and fourth princes or princesses) are often encouraged to go "adventuring," i.e., look for new ways to increase their family's wealth and influence, while staying out any domestic politics. Most nobles are human, though a few minor elvish nobles have remained to oversee their families' estates.

Pledge Swords are the soldiers and knights sworn to serve the various nobles of the West Wood. Their loyalty earns them more privileges than the mercenaries and gunslingers who serve for gold, rather than honor. Yes, they carry swords, but most of them carry six-shooters or rifles as well. The majority of pledge swords are human, but a large number are grenlen who appreciate the support of a noble house.

Lawbringers are the local sheriffs and marshals who preserve the peace and enforce the laws of their dominion or freehold. Of course, different dominions and freeholds have different laws, and different ideas of how justice should be carried out. Lawbringers are typically chosen by the rulers of their settlements, and so reflect those settlements' values and racial makeup.

Treespeakers are those who, through magic or exceptional powers of decorum, serve as intermediaries between their settlements and the fair folk who live in the woods around them. When folks need to cut down more trees, or want the local boggins to stop stealing their goats, they turn to the treespeakers to negotiate with the forest spirits and mischievous goat-eaters. Skilled treespeakers are well-respected by all. They can become famous, and even rich, selling their silver tongues to those who can afford their fees.

Spellcasters are rare, and almost invariably aged, isolated humans. Fair folk use magic all the time, but their magic is part of them, and limited in scope. Witches and wizards cast a much wider range of spells, but spend most of their lives learning them. Magic always has a price. Spellcasters are often willing to wield their magic on behalf of others, but those others must always pay the price.

Monster Hunters are dedicated to tracking and killing the dangerous (or lucrative) creatures of the West Wood. Some are personal quests of vengeance. Others are driven by the thrill of the hunt. Still others are strictly professional; they're just doing their job in order to get paid. Grenlen are often monster hunters, since they're better suited for such work than humans. They rarely stay in one place long, but go where there are monsters (and gold) to be found.

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