The human presence in the glen started with the arrival of Lord Duncan and his seven knights eighty years ago. He came to establish a settlement in the name of the new king to facilitate trade with the dwarven city of Stonehold. The original party was:

  • Lord Duncan, 1st Earl of Rose
  • His brother, Lord Edan, 1st Thane of Trollwatch
  • Lord Niall, 1st Thane of Riverbend
  • Lord Roy, 1st Thane of Oakridge
  • Sir Aidan, Laird of Cloverfield
  • Sir Bryce, Laird of Hermit Tor
  • Sir Kincaid, Laird of Otter Creek
  • Sir Cameron, Warden of Mapledell

The Lightfoot Purge

On arrival, the humans found the glen inhabited by halflings: lightfoot shepherds and fishermen in the lower valley and stout farmers in the upper valley. They immediately seized the lower valley for grazing their cattle, driving the lightfoots upriver into the territory of their stout cousins. Riverbend Castle was build as a wooden fort to secure their possessions with the intent is continuing east.

The Treaty

After five years of negotiation, the new Earl and the Dwarf came to an agreement. In return for protecting the glen from the regular frost giant raids from the loch, the dwarves would provide craftsmen and stone to build a castle at the mouth of the river. As a provision of the treaty, the Dwarf King asked that the stouts be left alone, as they provided quite a bit of food to his kingdom. The Earl agreed to accept them as subjects, retaining their lands and a degree of independence.

Rise of the Thanes

Once Castle Rose was completed in year 20, the Earl moved his family there and gave over the rule of Riverbend Castle to the foremost of his knights. Over the years that followed, two other forts were built: Oakridge Tower (protecting the northern march) and Trollwatch (protecting the eastern march). The former was given to another of his knights and the latter to his brother, Edan. The families of these Thanes formed the nobility of the glen and marriages were arranged to ensure loyalty. The villages were granted to the other knights, who formed a separate caste of landed gentry who were denied many of the privileges of their betters.

The Goblin War

For more than half a century, the earldom and its neighbors prospered despite attacks by giants, trolls, orcs, and a rising goblin threat in the south. The last saw its peak with the rise of a Goblin King in the 70th year of the king. The goblins, united for the first time, swept north and lay siege to the dwarven city. Overwhelmed, the dwarves were forced to abandon their home after only a few short months, losing their king in the process. Stonehold was sealed with magic and a terrible curse which allowed the fallen dwarves left behind to continue fighting to defend their home and lost treasures.

The remaining dwarves fled to Fallsport and worked with its human inhabitants to fortify the town against the coming attack. The siege was brutal. The 2nd Earl fell and it seemed like all was lost but his wife, Lady Moira, felled the Goblin King with her bow and rallied her husband’s troops to drive the horde into a rout. With the support of the remaining knights she became the 3rd Earl of Rose.


Until Lady Moira became Earl, only nobles could become pages and, thus, squires and knights. This effectively disenfranchised the minor septs, concentrating power in the noble septs. However, the war left the ranks of knights depleted and so the new Earl decreed that those in direct line of succession from the founding knights could be pages. This has led to the entry of half a dozen members of these families into the noble households as pages and, now, squires. There are many within the nobility who are displeased with prospect of these new knights and worry about competition for their estates. Further, her choice of young, inexperienced family to fill important positions in the glen (such as Lord Constable and Lord Marshal) have led some to question her judgment.


  • 1 – Morgan declares himself King of Midgard after slaying a red dragon and routing its orc horde.
  • 10 – Lord Duncan and his companions come to Glen Rose and establish the earldom, driving out the lightfoot halflings.
  • 12 – Riverbend Castle built.
  • 15 – Treaty signed with the Dwarf King. Castle Rose begins construction.
  • 20 – Castle Rose completed. Lord Niall made 1st Thane of Riverbend.
  • 21 – Oakridge Tower built and given to Lord Roy.
  • 25 – Trollwatch Castle is built for Lord Edan.
  • 28 – Lord Roy, 1st Thane of Oakridge, is killed by a green dragon. He is succeeded by his son, Murdoch Dragonbane, after he slays the beast.
  • 33 – The Long Winter. A pair of white dragons destroy Fallsport and ravage the glen, devouring a lot of livestock. There is widespread death and starvation.
  • 40 – Prince Angus, the king’s younger grandson, is betrothed to Lady Moira, Lord Duncan’s granddaughter. He is sent as a page to Castle Rose.
  • 44 – King Morgan dies of old age and is succeeded by his grandson Bran.
  • 44 – Lord Edan, 1st Thane of Trollwatch, is slain fighting trolls. He is succeeded by his son Edan the Younger.
  • 51 – Lord Niall, 1st Thane of Riverbend, killed by a griffin while riding. He is succeeded by his son Todd.
  • 52 – King Bran comes to Castle Rose for the marriage of Lady Moira and his younger brother Prince Angus.
  • 57 – Lord Edan, 2nd Thane of Trollwatch, is slain fighting a black dragon. He is succeeded by his son-in-law, Duncan Rose.
  • 62 – Lord Duncan, 1st Earl of Rose, dies fighting frost giants and is succeeded by his son Evan.
  • 70 – The Goblin War. Lord Evan, 2nd Earl of Rose, is killed and succeeded by his daughter, Moira. Prince Angus is also slain.
  • 71 – Lady Moira proclaims that sons of the gentry can be trained as knights.
  • 74 – Lord Todd’s son, Sir Rory, and his wife are killed by orcs. Lord Morgan, his squire, is badly injured but survives. His daughter Fiona also survives the attack.
  • 76 – Lady Fiona of Riverbend throws herself from a tower and dies.
  • 79 – King Bran dies of a mysterious illness and is succeeded by his son Brian.
  • 81 – Lord Todd, 2nd Thane of Riverbend, dies of old age and is succeeded by his grandson Niall.
  • 85 – Lord Constable Gavin Rose, the Earl’s brother, is killed during a frost giant raid. Lord Morgan is named as his replacement.
  • 91 – Current year.


Tales of the Northern March EricBerg EricBerg