The cliff of Karvosti, the age-old meeting place and Thingstead of the barbarian folks, rises like an island out of a sea of leaves about five days’ ride northwest of Thistle Hold. Not much is known regarding its early days, but legends suggest that it first housed a number of temples and that it later became a refuge when the civilization of Symbaroum began to crumble. An indication to back that assumption is that the temple ruin rebuilt by the Sun Church is evidently older than the magnificent stronghold of the High Chieftain.
Whatever the truth may be, the barbarians have used the plateau for hundreds of years. Legends say it was the threatening hordes of the Spider King that five centuries ago caused the clans to appoint a common paramount leader and follow him into battle. The leader still exists but lost his authority as soon as the threat was taken care of. Like his predecessors the current High Chieftain, Tharaban, have no more power that what the clan chiefs grant him, if and when they need him to mediate or adjudicate in particular disputes – sometimes in peaceful negotiations, sometimes acting as judge when blood feuds must be settled through brutal duels.
To aid him, Tharaban has Karvosti’s witch node, spearheaded by the Huldra Yeleta. Formally the witches are advisors in all affairs dealt with on the cliff, providing guidance based on their profound understanding of the clans and the people. However, persistent gossip maintains that they are more than that; that it in fact is the Huldra who leads the barbarians with Tharaban as her mouthpiece – a notion which have become especially popular in Yndaros where skalds and minstrels fondly make use of Yeleta as the star of their more terrifying pieces.
Five years ago, the High Chieftain and the Huldra were faced with their greatest challenge in centuries. It was Ambrian explorers who first discovered the sun-like symbols on the plateau’s ancient temple ruin. They were followed, first by missionaries, later by heavily armored Sun Knights intent on cleansing the cliff of savages. The Templars attacked but were after a bloody day of combat driven back by the High Chieftain’s Wrathguards. Long and trying negotiations ensued, that finally ended in an agreement by which the Church of Prios was given the right to both remain on Karvosti and to restore the temple ruin. At about the same time, Queen Korinthia sent the eldest son of House Grendel to the cliff as her envoy.
The exact reasons behind the outcome of the negotiations are unclear, but apparently Karvosti’s symbolic importance is not great enough for the clans to rally in its defense. In addition, there are many who claim that the High Chieftain and the Huldra to some extent can appreciate having the Ambrians around, as allies in the fight against the Dark of Davokar.
In spite of the fact that Karvosti rests in the more open and brighter parts of the forest, it is not spared from encounters with corrupt monstrosities. Any barbarian can testify that the attacks from both beasts and abominations have grown more numerous over the past decade. Some whisper that the witches have foreseen such a development and that they are preparing for something called the Resurrection of Davokar. And even if the clanfolks tend to accuse the Ambrian people for having upset the woods, that may explain why the High Chieftain and the Huldra seeks peaceful agreements instead of war. If Davokar truly awakens it may prove to be a bad thing to have hostile Templars, Pansars and Ambrian mystics at your back.