Life in the Alwaysgreen Forest
Kingdom, Money, Wood and Religion
Rule in Dobberton
King Quilan (pronounced KILL an) is the son of the most famous king that Dobberton has ever had.
His father, King Quillon (QUILL un) was a force to be reckoned with. While he was the Prince, Quillon got all of the usual, royal education; reading, writing, history, diplomacy and economics. His mind was a sponge and he was eager to learn. The Kingdom Commander saw that he was physically gifted also. He personally trained him in fighting and military arts. He quickly pledged to the Order of the Blue Star and moved up through the ranks. When it was time for a new Kingdom Commander to be chosen, he was the natural choice. Not only were his parents proud of him but the whole kingdom rejoiced. They had watched him grow up and seen his victories, both as a skilled negotiator and a powerful warrior.
This was the first time in Dobberton history that the royal family controlled all three seats in the Council of Three. It was the start of a golden age in Dobberton. This age of prosperity continued even through the passing of the king. Quillon moved from the position of Kingdom Commander to King and his wife moved to the seats of Governess smoothly. While the kingdom mourned the passing of the former king, they celebrated the their new king. The child they’d watch grow before their eyes, facing every challenge and obstacle with grace and ease. In fact, he was so beloved that many some citizens even lobbied for Quillon to maintain his seat as Commander while being King. Of course this wasn’t possible. It would break generations of tradition and Quillon had another plan.
The King and Queen Governess selected a new Commander. Gearalt was a bit younger than Quillon. As Quillon was completing his training in the Order of the Blue Star, Gearalt was just starting. They became dear friends. When he was selected, Gearalt was one of the youngest in memory to be moved to that position and it is true he was gifted, but many dobbers were not sure he was ready. It proved to be an inspired move. Quillon guided Gearalt, molding him into a more than competent Commander. Gearalt continued to train with the Blue Star. He gained the title of Justicar, the highest honor once can achieve in the order. He was the ideal mix of warrior, healer and leader. Soon his charisma and influence nearly equaled that of the king. His early elevation to Commander was no longer in question.
The King and Queen ruled the kingdom and lead it through one of the most prosperous times in memory. Many consider the rise and reign of King Quillon to be the Golden Age of Dobberton.
Quilan was the first born son and the apple of his father’s eye. Quillon groomed Quilan as he had been. The kingdom again rejoiced when the crown was passed down. Why wouldn’t they? Safety and prosperity was at an all time high.
King Quilan, with the help of his father, maintained the kingdom and helped drive various innovations such as plumbing and gas powered lighting in the capitol city. The former King, Quillon died of old age, happy and proud in his own bed.
Gearalt serves Quilan as the Kingdom Commander, just as he did his father. King Quilan married a Dobber of renowned beauty, the daughter of a well-to-do inn owner and merchant in Lakewood of Dobberton. She took quickly to the role of Governess, taught by her gentle and wise predecessor.
King Quilan continues to invest in the development of new technology in the Kingdom Capitol and has expanded to East Watch, where he led the construction of the first windmill. Now certain grains can be ground before making the long journey from the eastern fields to the central part of the Kingdom, saving space and making the transition from field to store that much faster. The efforts have been such a success that money and manpower is now being diverted from the other two branches of Kingdom government. There is a sentiment among some of the oldest Dobbers, that the Kingdom Guard now trains mill workers, not soldiers.
Wood is the most important asset in Dobberton. Wood is near and dear to them. They build most of their structures out of it. Some of their weapons and armor are made out of it. Many Dobbers even think of metal as being unpleasant. It’s shiny in a way that is just unnatural. It’s loud and cold. It’s just not the Dobber way to use metal for something that wood can easily suffice for.
The Dobbers have developed a number of methods for treating wood that is renowned through the land. They soak wood in different solutions to create different effects, such as making wood harder, heavier, more buoyant or even flame resistant. They also have a number of varnishes and paints they have developed that further their expertise with wood craft. Varnishes add color, strength, different finishes and sometimes are infused with traits that can be used to verify authenticity or origin.
The system of currency in Dobberton is debated at times. The Kingdom has crafted wooden coins, covered in a special varnish infused with sap from the Prime tree. This varnish is a beautiful blue color when seen in it’s pure state. When applied to wood, it turns it grey and gives it a faux silver look. These are Prime coins and in the rest of the world, they compare to Gold coins. A second series of coins are coated in a varnish infused with sap from the Brother tree are usually called simply Yellows or Yellow Coins. These coins have a yellow-orange appearance. They compare to Copper coins. The Dobberton leadership is wise enough to not presume that all of the world operates with wood as their central measure of value. There is a vault of gold and silver in the bowels of the palace with equivalent value for each Prime coin and Yellow coin in circulation. This metal currency is traded with cultures outside of Dobberton for goods and other valuables.
An alternate form of money has unexpectedly developed over several recent generations. The story goes, that these strange, flattened pieces of metal with crinkled edges are called bottle caps. They were used by humans to seal containers of liquid. Of course, this couldn’t be true, but all the same, these pieces of metal with unique and varied painted patterns on one side captured the attention of many Dobbers. They became coveted. Dobbers filled their tree hollows with them. They traded them, bartered with them and began paying for goods with them. Some more unsavory individuals would even steal them. With time, a standard rate of trade was established. A full bottle cap is worth one silver by worldly standards. Also, cutting a bottle cap into tenths is not uncommon making 1/10th of a bottle cap worth the equivalent of one Yellow, or one Copper piece.
The kingdom leadership doesn’t actively fight the trading of bottle caps, but many of the shops within the kingdom capitol will not accept them, opting only for true wooden Prime and Yellow coins. The further from the kingdom capitol you get, the more bottle caps you see. Some even prefer them to the official wooden coins of the kingdom.
(Note: The first Dobber story was written in 2001, in that story they were on a quest for bottle caps in the opening scene. It was published in a comic book. I had no knowledge or association with Fallout or their use of bottle caps.)
Religion does not manifest in the world of the Dobbers the same way it does in our world or as it does in many D&D settings. There are many powerful beings and legends that influence people and their behavior. Throughout generations, this influence has evolved into simple beliefs and mindsets.
The Green Man
The Green Man is the father of all things green. He is present in all things living. His energy inspires seeds to sprout.
Many think of the Green Man as a metaphor for the forest and how the forest is so important to life in Dobberton. Some believe he is an actual being. Some say they have seen him from afar. That his spirit of life was nurturing the plants and tree among which he was walking. Some say that in a time of desperate need he appeared and righted the injustice that had befallen them.
Some describe him as a walking and talking tree. His face is bark, his hair leaves. Others say he isn’t a walking, talking figure at all, but a spirit that lives in and among the trees.
Even though few agree about the look and the actions of the Green Man, all revere him. If he comes up in conversation a Dobber will say “Thank the Green Man,” under his breath and nod in the direction of the closest tree or it’s roots.
The Star Father
Once a year the kingdom of Dobberton celebrates the Night of the Blue Star, known appropriately as the Blue Star festival.
Thousands of Generations ago on a crisp, clear night, that could only be described as perfect, an unnaturally bright blue start shown in the sky. Its light cast down through the leaves, striking a spot of rich, fertile earth.
From this earth sprouted a mass of leaves with a large bud at its center. The sprout was thick and bulky. When the large bud opened a baby was inside. It was the first Dobber.
The Blue star was flanked in the sky by a green star and a yellow star. Some refer to the Blue Star as the Star Father. The green star is called the Sister and the, yellow, the Brother.
A theory that is popular, though not supported by the Kingdom leadership, suggests that the Prime tree is result of the sprout that grew up from the Star Father. The Green Sister and the Yellow Brother stars called forth sprouts that grew into the Brother and Sister trees that Flank the Prime Tree.
“If you don’t clean your room the Shambleman will make his home in that mess,” “Stay in the light to keep the Shambleman at bay,” “That kind of behavior will have you pushing up daisies and feeding the Shambleman.” For many the Shambleman is just part of lore and cliche. He’s the threat you tell children when they misbehave. He’s the fear of the unknown.
No one knows who or what the Shambleman is, but most in Dobberton are adamant that he exists. Many believe he is a metaphor for the natural cycle of death and decay in the forest. He is simply the force that combines the cold and moist areas where fungus and mold grow, breaking down organic material, leading to fertile ground and new life. One legend suggests that he was a great and evil wizard who haphazardly spliced natural and necrotic magics, thrusting himself into a permanent state of decay. Some believe he is more than a metaphor, a true evil, but still that he doesn’t leave the places of decay in the forest, and thus, not a threat to take seriously.