Tales of Aelyndia
Ara Wicklow (The Widow Wicklow)
An old widow responsible for the deaths of over half a village.
Not much is known of the Widow’s early life. Exactly how her husband died and when are often debated, but no one’s quite sure anymore. What is known, however, is that for many, many years she was a resident of Dunnel. She lived there with her two sons, Cohr and Ham, keeping to herself and her garden. She was also the steward of the local cemetery, and these responsibilities kept her more than occupied. That is, until tragedy struck.
Several years prior to the party’s arrival in Dunnel, Cohr, his brother, and a third friend who was later revealed to be Uri Clearwater, encountered a man in the North Forest. This man, who identified himself as Bane, had taken up residence in the abandoned Pendor Keep, and immediately impressed the impressionable young men with his magical abilities. He promised to teach the young men of his power and to bring them great wealth if they would serve him. Cohr and Ham came from a family of very small means, and their mother had become greatly financially indebted to Drake Stoneseeker since the passing of their father. It was therefore easy to see why the boys were drawn to the offer. Uri, however, came from a very affluent family, and it was instead the promise of power which seduced him. Cohr and his brother had begun secretly recruiting young men from the town for Bane. These young men were brought to Pendor Keep, and it was later revealed that none of these unfortunate individuals survived. Some of them had been converted into undead forces which would later be encountered by the party, and the rest were used for terrible purposes of which Cohr was grateful to be mostly ignorant.
It was only later that the trio of young men learned that their master had a different name, and was actually the terrible Baa’lam. About one year prior to the party’s arrival, something had changed, and Baa’lam began disappearing for weeks at a time. But before he did so, he changed Ham Wicklow into a terrible creature in order to secure the loyalty and silence of Cohr. Ham was walled within the dungeon, as he presented a danger to everybody.
This began the Widow’s quick descent into madness. She was a skilled herbologist, and she used these abilities to her advantage. She began poisoning the people of Dunnel. Once her victim died they would be delivered to her to be buried. Her son would then take the corpse to his brother in the keep, burying an empty coffin. This vicious cycle repeated itself countless times. Using her cunning and razor-sharp wit, the Widow was able to avoid detection. She singlehandedly killed over half of the village before the arrival of the party. Sensing that something was not right, Buzz Burrfoot took an interest in the Widow, going so far as to enter her house. She offered him poisoned tea, but his Halfling intuition (luckily) prevented him from drinking.
The Party would eventually storm Pendor Keep and discover the Wicklow boys. Buzz personally ended the life of Cohr, but the beast that had been Ham took the life of Novan Beregoth before it could be put down. Buzz later confronted the Widow and attempted to comfort her, but she flew into a fit of raving madness, confessing her part in the entire scheme and begging the Halfling to end her life so that she could finally be with both her sons again. Buzz refused and dragged her to a nearby guard station, where she was taken into custody.
The current conditions of the Widow are unknown. With her vast knowledge of deadly plants and impressive cunning, the Widow Wicklow could prove to be a dangerous enemy or a deadly ally.