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History and Background of the Reivers

By Diarmuidh Brujo-Salamanca

Centuries ago the forefathers of what are now called reivers lived in a village a ways north of Luinne Bheinn. As you can well imagine, they did what villagers do; some were farmers, some were blacksmiths or woodsmen and so on. A simple lifestyle, but a happy one. Or at least the passage of time would have it so. When the black cloud of the krolvin invaders roiled over the lands, precautions were taken -- even in this small village. Soldiers were stationed there and the village folk prepared for fight.

And the time came when the invaders from across the sea stood at the village gate. A battle was fought, long and bloody, but the villagers fought in vain. One by one they were cut down. Age, gender, armed or not, it mattered little to the ape-folk. Buildings were put on fire and children were torn from their mothers' lifeless grasp and heaved on the flames, live or not.

A small band of survivors fought their way out of the burning village and eventually made their way up to faraway Luinne Bheinn mountain. Luinne Bheinn, or Mountain of Melody (so called for the haunting sounds the wind's furious passage can bring forth up there), has always had a few hardy folk living there. Long ago, almost longer than even the tendrils of my memory can reach, that area was considered hallowed by druids. A cromlech on the somewhat smaller Liath Bheinn mountain was a focus point for a yearly gathering of these wise people. And the cave on Luinne Bheinn was a popular place for elder druids to seek solitude and contemplation (strangely enough, time and mind has so twisted the memory of the old druids and their cave that the reivers now are nervous about entering it. In sooth, it does seem like one can feel the lingering presence of their spirits at times still, but I suspect that it is benevolent spirits that one senses.) But that era came and went, leaving only a few relics and memories -- memories that are bittersweet to yours truly.

Long after the druids had disappeared, a war-like clan lived here. Not much is known of them, and about all that remains is the skeletal remains of a peel tower, an obelisk and a few drops of blood coursing through reiver veins. No doubt these people often fought the nearby mountain ogres and other creatures, and the peel tower was the only thing that staved off gruesome death. At least for a time. Remember, those times were much less civilized than the present. Especially so far away from other settlements or towns. By the by, the unusual names of these hills, vales and mountains are of unknown origin, but they certainly do seem related to the elven tongue. One can only speculate, one supposes.

When the band of bloodied survivors struggled up to Luinne Bheinn after the krolvin onslaught, more dead than alive, all they found was a few filthy hovels inhabited by a rather sorry-looking lot. With time, sweat and toil the reivers built the settlement that stands there today. As you can well imagine, life on a barren mountain plateau is anything but easy. Though the reivers do manage to grow a few grains and vegetables there, they rely on their hardy mountain rolton and their frequent raiding to provide real sustenance.

Though the reivers raid out of need, their true aim is to rid Elanith of the krolvin invaders and to win back their forefather's village. Their hate for the krolvin is absolute; their raids on the nearby krolvin areas are fierce and plentiful. And the krolvin retaliate with brutality when they can, though they have a hard time penetrating the natural barrier of Luinne Bheinn.

The reivers are a bit ambivalent regarding folks like those who live in Wehnimer's Landing. On the one hand, no reiver will ever sully the memory of Talbot Dabbings and his heroic act against the krolvin in Wehnimer's Landing; on the other hand, it does seem like many of the current people of the Landing are a shallow and selfish lot, with little care or thought for the danger of the krolvin menace. The current lull in the krolvin invasion can not last forever, and when it ends quite a few townfolk will, no doubt, find themselves in the servitude of krolvin masters. Perhaps deservedly so. Or so the reivers are apt to think.

As the reivers perceive themselves as the only ones who seriously face the krolvin threat, they have little sympathy for those who might not. And though the reivers have refrained from raiding the Landing so far, they now find that short-sighted people from the Landing are attacking their own settlement and killing family and friends; thus, understandably, the reivers are less hesitant to attack the Landing, or those who hail from there, than they may once have been.

Hardy adventurers with a noble spirit will, however, often find a warm welcome in the picturesque reiver settlement. Such people should not be surprised to find themselves invited to the warm ambiance of The Restless Reiver tavern for a dram of Jock's famous Reiver's whiskey. And perhaps they will get to listen as Jock relates tales of bygone deeds and days.

As a postscript of sorts, I must say that yours truly has known this proud people for a long time and is wholly sympathetic to their cause and plight. And a certain weakness for their excellent drink, if the truth must out. And sometimes, but not always, it must...