Parna’s Cradle and The Golden Stamp
The capital of Parna, Parna’s Throne, has no hunting ground of its own. Rather the King’s Forest is located 14 kilometers to the west of the city. On days with fair weather it is not uncommon for King Moltov’s entire court to ride West to hunt. Directly adjacent to that wooded area is the tiny village of Parna’s Cradle and within that tiny village is Parna’s most profitable brothel and tavern: the Golden Stamp. A common joke claims that those whores have saved more deer and fox hides than all the Druids ever blessed by Yaw’naw.
A bit of History
If one were to travel west by river or by foot out of the Capital City of Parna’s Throne one would finds the usual series of small farms and friendly Mitirangu farmers. You would also likely encounter the mule teams pulling barges east up canals that run parallel to the river. As you approach the 14 th kilometer marker stone west of Parna’s Throne you will encounter a green copper statue atop a small stone pallet. The statue is of a boy standing atop the corpse of a horse with a quarter staff raised above his head in his right arm and his left arm oddly distended at his side. The statue depicts Parna's, the founder of the Kingdom, victory over the demon mare or nightmare.
“The Ator hate this Statue, they identify so strongly with the horse… and the quarter staff and child are so associated with Bell’ra that it seems to suggest dominance of the Mitirangu over Ator. I told Moltov, though, that if he was going to claim Parna’s throne that he would have to honor Parna’s memory…all of them”
-Queen Margar Jocit Moltov
Just a kilometer beyond the statue is a tree line extending northward from the northern bank of the Strong arm as far as the eye can see. That tree line is a forest known as the BayaMiti if you are a Mitirangu, the Haugtrold Forest if your Ivanvil or Moltov’s Den if your Ator. At the start of the canal and at the edge of the forest just when the stench of Parna’s Throne is out of the air is the village of Parna’s Cradle. The BayaMiti represent one of the few breaks in the continuous farmland along the Strong Arm of the river Parna. Parna’s Cradle is also a break from the traditional Mitirangu market village or farming hamlet. First it is primarily a river port. The town of Ogre Mill is on the south side of the River a kilometer up river to the east. It is known that the most efficient way to get milled grain from Ogre Mill to Parna’s Throne is to cross the river on a barge then move the barge into the canal and pull into Parna’s Throne. Before the conquest freemen who took a portion of grain or a half a coin or so as payment for their services ran the mule companies. Back then the village supported a livery, a Mint (the last Mint before Parna’s Throne), a winery that used the local forest berries thus making wine the followed the complex dietary rules of the Druidic sect of Yaw-naw, a gaming house, and in the winter a Ivanvil family lived in the village and worked the forest as trappers and hunter. This also provided a seasonal tannery.
After the conquest the people of the town became chattel of the Ator Lord and the rights private property where revoked. All property is Parna following the conquest is owned by the King. The new Ator law asserts that the vassals and chattel reside on the property only at the King's pleasure. This new economic system effectively ended traditional market village life in Parna.
Parna's Cradle was no exception. The forest was named a Den of the King and it was declared illegal for commoners to trap or hunt in the forest. This forced the Ivanvil family that resided part of the year in Parna's Cradle to go into hiding, and the town lost its tannery. The canal still operated but the livery was now owned by the Ator Lords and the mule teams were run by the Lord’s servants who rarely had any money to spend at a public gaming house. Of course the mint and all its resources were claimed as spoils of war, leaving the well made building a hollow structure. Importantly, the winery remained.
Enter an Ator commoner named Pasha. Pasha had fought in the war and earned his horse and his freedom. But although no longer a serf he was not landed and was far from home. Through some gambling, a trade for his warhorse and a bit charm Pasha was granted an acre of land; this included the lot the Mint was on,the building and little else. He was also made a Warden of the Forest. During his time in Parna, Pasha had made friends with a Sabatallee man named Tabor. Tabor had been a popular entertainer among the wealthy of Parna prior to the conquest. After the conquest he sought the favor of the newly installed Ator nobles. Tabor is a good horseman, jester and storyteller. He and Pasha became fast friends living on the edge of court society.
One of the keys to forging their friendship, besides a mutual desire to earn favor of the Ator Lords, was a stated desire to "know all the women in Parna". They both became good friends with the war widows who resided at the Ator court. Tabor also had a seemingly endless stream of female acquaintances among the Sabatallee tribes that he and Pasha could rendezvous with. Somehow this led them to open up the Golden Stamp. A bar and brothel housed in the former Mint of Parna’s Cradle. The place is just far enough away that the Ator Knights can get away from their wives at court, but not so far that the courtiers feel that are negligent in their attendance.
A Few People:
Pasha is an atypical physical specimen for an Ator male. He is short, small framed, has brown hair and shaves his chin. Only his pale skin, blue eyes and accent give away his ethnicity. He looks almost child like except for a boxing battered nose and the small scars around his face. He is an expert in barehanded combat, a good horseman, organized, energetically glib, and competitive although he is not a particularly brave man. Alone he is easily intimidated and his behavior is exclusively self-serving. He enjoys the drink quite a bit and the wine can put him in a foul mood that leads him to wish to dominate others. As a Forest Warden he is lax and uninterested in hunting or stopping poachers.
Tabor is a good bit taller then Pasha, he has the tan skin his Sabatallee ancestry, and thinning black hair cut short. He dresses as an Ator with fur fringed capes and wears greens and reds. His behavior is usually smooth and charming, very little ever seems to rattle him. He is an exceptional horsemen and stunt rider. And like Pasha he much enjoys the drink and easy life. He is more interested in wealth and money than Pasha (which is saying a lot), but he is also calmer. Despite his calm or perhaps just underneath Tabor carries a streak of violence and sadism that comes to the surface when he drinks.
Merelda is the senior whore at the Golden Stamp. Having been in this line of work long before being tied down to the Stamp, she has the defacto position of mother among the other women. She also ensures a certain level of quality among the talent. It is often speculated, by Pasha and Tabor, that Merelda actually runs the Stamp and they are just her representatives. Despite being of Sabatallee birth, she keeps a shrine to Telmorase (Goddess of Murders, Jealousy, and Physical Beauty) in a closet and speaks Ator and Ivanvil as if a native. She is highly sought after by the clientele, not only because of her skills at her shingled profession, but because young nobles or ambitious petitioners to the court benefit greatly from her advice. If the members of court knew what she was capable of they would count themselves lucky that Merelda has no designs on political power.