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Old 03-12-2019, 05:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Dire Shepherding

In homage to both the Citadel at Nordvorn and the DFRPG monsters 2 kickstarters.


Deep in the wilderness far to the north of the citadel at nordvorn lies a lake. Here the mighty thewed Dire shepherds guard their flocks of Dire Sheep.

Crossing the dire straits you come to the shores of Skelfilegur island where you see the heavy stone fences that make up the dire sheep pens. Off to one side, prudently placed so that a solid looking outcrop of rock sits between it and the dire sheep pens is a longhouse. A towering figure, almost 5’10” comes out. With a sharp whistle a trio of dogs appear almost instantly, quivering with energy they stare in your direction.

The dire shepherds are heroic farmers who risk and dare much so that they can reap the reward, Dire Wool.

It is said that the blood of giants flows through the veins of the dire shepards, this is true. It is also said that the blood of the dwarves runs through their veins as well, this combination of bloodlines give them the ability, unique among hybrid races, to pass as completely human. Indeed the only way to tell them apart from a normal human is the mightiness of their thews.

The Dire shepard’s year starts in early autumn with the introduction of the dreaded dire ram to the island flock. This involves moving a dire ram from one of the neighboring islands. Equipped with that most versatile of weapons, the Dire Crook a team of no less than four dire shepards head off equipped with a fresh stone statue of a Dire Ram, a supply of turnips and a few bottles of a homemade whiskey that in more civilized places is used to strip tar off the hulls of racing longships. The Dire Shepards then lay a trail of turnips (The favoured food of Dire Sheep) leading to the statue. With luck a Dire Ram will find the turnips and follow them to the statue. Provided the stone is strong enough the Dire Ram will then bludgeon itself into unconsciousness as it seeks to defeat this stone invader with its head.

The Dire shepards then rush out from hiding and grapple the legs of the ram with their Dire Crooks shouting things like “I need more control points!”.

Then as fast as possible the Dire Ram is carried back to the boat and rowed back to the main island. They let nothing slow them down as a Dire Sheep that has been fed turnips has a greatly increased, ahem “rear facing flatus based cone attack”

Then they drink the whiskey.

As the ice covers more of the lake during winter there is the risk of Dire Wolves coming over from the shore. Equipped with Sling, turnips and whiskey the Dire Shepherds guard their flocks. Clad in garments made of Dire wool the dire shepards are largely impervious to the cold and wait practicing with their slings. If a Dire Wolf is spotted the Dire Shepards feed the turnips to the dire sheep and flee to drink their whiskey. Fortified by this they return to clean up the remains of the Dire Wolves.

With spring comes Dire Lambing season this is when the dire shepards with the steadiest nerves* and the smallest hands head out to assist the Dire Ewes with the birthing process. As soon as a Dire Lamb is born the Dire Shepherds have a window of up to ten minutes before the Dire Lamb's horns grow, during this time they take great care to place a Shepard's mark on the lamb's ear**.

Late spring and early summer is when the Dire Flock begins to molt this means it is time to Roo***, this is the process of plucking the Dire Fleece to gather the Dire Wool. This is necessary due to the blade resistant nature of dire wool. First the animals are mustered into the Dire Sheep pens with the help of border dire collies. As with most pre industrial harvesting the whole village turns out to help, though in this case it is to get enough numbers to grapple each dire sheep into submission which is a challenge even to the mightily thewed shepards. This is difficult, dangerous and hot work, so frequent refreshment is taken in the form of ice or chilled water****.

Each longhouse is surrounded by a sheep resistant fence (treat as a reinforced stone wall) the turnip crop is grown here to prevent the Dire Sheep from untimely consuming it, a scenario that causes the dire shepherds to reach for their whiskey when they think about it. Outside the walls other crops are grown, large fields are devoted to barley (for whiskey), oats and mint are also present, the former to make Dire Haggis and the later to make mint jelly which if used in quantity makes Dire Haggis palatable.

D'irelund produces

Dire Pouches.
These robust bags offer their contents the same protection as Dire Wool and have a DR of 4. Made from the scrotum of a dire ram they hold 30 lbs.

Dire wool.
Garments knitted from this material are functionally indistinguishable from chainmail with the added benefit of providing considerable cold resistance.

Dire Crook.
This signature weapon will only be sold to outsiders if they have the intestinal fortitude to consume a meal of dire oysters. It functions as a staff with superior grappling capabilities.

Dire Haggis.
When one of these is carried as part of an adventurers rations, the very thought of eating it has the ability to stave off the effects of hunger for days at a time.

Dire Whiskey.
Useful for the consumption of the above. Its other properties include the ability to remove tar, resin, glue and the finish from metal containers. Consumption renders the drinker unable to feel fear or cold. If consumed in large quantities it has been known to make the drinker completely immune to reality.

A vegetable.

Dire mutton fat soap.
This is an excellent cleaning product that can remove most if not all of the foul substances an adventurer may encounter. Use with care as it may attract Dire Wolves.

Dags (dire sling ammunition)
While rooing the shepherds sometimes encounter dags*****, which are prized for their effectiveness as flammable sling ammunition. They are not for sale and any adventurer wanting some is encouraged to gather some themselves.

Dire smoked Dire Mutton.
This is a superior food stuff, each pound of this flavorsome meat provides the equivalent of 20 meals. It makes for a long lasting and durable ration, some 10 hours of chewing is required to get the nutritional value.

Image link

*Whiskey is of course used to provide extra steadying to the nerves.

**preferably the mark of another shepard.

*** This is really a thing, go on look it up.

**** Taken with whiskey.

***** also known as aarschgnoddle, a wonderful sounding Pennsylvania dutch term.
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
Contributor to Citadel at Nordvörn

Last edited by (E); 03-12-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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