Hello everyone! With the soon to be released compilation Legends of Barsaive: Haven Volume 1, I have been wrapped up in the continuity of our favorite frontier town and describing the changes it has faced between 1509 TH and 1517 TH.
While much of this history is described in the revamped Haven Guidebook at the start of the collection, there are a few details that had to be left on the cutting room floor. I’d like to discuss one such cut: The Loyal Order of Delvers. If you aren’t up to speed on Haven, here’s a quick version before we dive into the group.
In the northeast corner of Barsaive, beyond the Throal Mountains and Serpent River, stand the ruins of Parlainth, surrounded by the Thornspike Jungle. Parlainth was once the bastion of Theran power in the province and no expense was spared in the city’s construction. To escape the Scourge, the city shunted itself out of the material plane through an incredibly complex magical ritual. Once they were isolated from the world, however, they discovered they were not alone–Horrors had already infiltrated the city. No Namegiver survived the isolation and what returned to Barsaive after the Scourge was a horror-infested ruin full of the empire’s treasures.
A few decades after its return, the troll Torgak and a group of his adventuring friends began plumbing the depths of the ruins. They quickly discovered it was more profitable (and far safer) to support the expeditions of other explorers than going into the ruins themselves. The group founded the village of Haven at the edge of the ruins, Torgak claimed the title of mayor, and his group began wresting every silver piece possible from passing adventurers.
This brings us back to The Loyal Order of Delvers. One of Torgak’s closest allies was an ork named Liniarg Blindingshout (first described in the First Edition Parlainth Gamemaster’s Book, page 30). Liniarg founded the Loyal Order of Delvers to organize expeditions into the ruins. Her organization would support its “brothers and sisters” physically and financially. They would collect maps of areas they had explored and keep tabs on the valuables pulled from the ruins.
Liniarg’s close relationship with Torgak meant she was able to negotiate favorable terms for the Delvers when it came to purchasing equipment or selling their loot. Unfortunately, being a member of the group wasn’t a sure-fire method of achieving success. While all of the ranking members were also deputies under Torgak’s regime, minor members could often be called on to do work to support the administration at heavily reduced rates. Members who refused to support Torgak and his cronies would soon find themselves on the outs with the Order.
As time passed and Haven grew, more Namegivers began questioning Torgak’s ability and eligibility to lead. A group known as the Association of Unaffiliated Explorers (AUE) led by Archiana Smoothskin agitated for an election to determine if the citizens truly wished to keep Torgak in power. The predominantly adventurer-based population of Haven, however, wished to keep the Delvers on-side, and the AUE struggled to gain traction. Whenever the AUE managed to build any momentum, cronies of the current administration (often Delvers themselves) would dig up damning evidence on prominent AUE supporters. This cycle of agitation and subterfuge continued for years until time removed the AUE’s largest obstacle.
Liniarg Blindingshout died peacefully in her bed in Riag of 1511 TH. The woman, always so full of life–and in denial about her own mortality–had refused to put her affairs in order and the future of her organization was immediately called into question. Deputies throughout Torgak’s administration started maneuvering to claim the lucrative role for themselves. Two recently founded Adventuring Companies, the Prestigious Order of Gardeners and the Strongest Arm, realized a weak Order of Delvers would cut down on the competition. These two groups sold their services to the AUE at a steep discount.
Without a strong Order at his disposal, Torgak found himself suffering repeated political losses and was eventually forced to acquiesce to an election to be held at the start of 1513. In the lead-up to the election, Torgak made peace with the growing influence of the private Adventuring Companies in Haven and officially disbanded the Delvers.
A few short weeks after the dissolution, it was revealed that Archiana Smoothskin was secretly a questor to the Mad Passion Dis. Torgak won the town’s first election in a landslide.
Only a true conspiracy theorist believes that these facts are related.
About the Blogger:
Kyle Pritchard is a second-generation tabletop gamer who has been slinging dice since before he was crawling. He’s been working with FASA Games since 2014 and has been a member of Earthdawn Team since 2018.