We don't often put a "Content Warning" on a Wind, but this one merits it.  Please bear in mind that the text includes depictions of the brutal violence and injury of characters, including young people, especially in the section "The Battle of Whittle Hill".
The Bounders have thrown a ring of steel around the village of Whittle.

A Crack'd Foundation

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The situation in Whittle has been a thorn in the side of the Empire ever since the campaign to retake the Mournwold began. The inhabitants of the small village include a sect dedicated to the spiritual force of Hatred, which some call Purity. One, Friar Robin, has already gone to the Labyrinth, refusing to recant their beliefs and being condemned by the Synod for it. The rest have been a little more discreet, though not discreet enough for anyone to imagine the problem has gone away.

The Marcher Assembly has tried to deal with the issue by convincing their fellow Marchers to abandon their deeply held beliefs, but the people of Whittle are clear. They say it is Hatred of the orcs that gave them the strength to resist Jotun rule for years. Those who didn't have Purity to keep them strong, to keep them fighting ended up as thralls... or worse.. as Yegarra. Slaves pretending to be soldiers fighting for the enemy. That's what happens to those who don't have Hate for the Jotun in their hearts - they cringe, they capitulate, and then they collaborate.

Fair to say then that the Whittlers were not persuaded to abandon their beliefs. Finally, the Vigilance Assembly declared that they would do what the Marchers had not and root out this invidious cult and they instructed the Silent Bell to identify the ringleaders and those who were dedicated to Hate. A list was produced by the Cardinal of Vigilance and those listed were condemned for blasphemy. The magistrates were duly instructed to go to Whittle to try the accused.

There was just one small issue remaining - some Marchers were insisting that only Marcher magistrates and militia would be allowed to travel to Whittle to conduct the trial.

Marcher folk, as you are aware, the Marcher people of Whittle face sanction from the Empire for their spreading of heresy and persecution of the Mourn Orcs. The involvement of those outside the Marches risks lighting the touch paper that will set the Mourn alight once more. So with my army I shall seal off Whittle from the world. No one gets out and only Marchers can go in. Others who try will be turned away. Those that persist will be addressed robustly. Marcher priests, militia and magistrates may pass unhindered. I do this out of Loyalty to my people and the Wisdom to prevent further unrest. If the axe must be swung in Whittle, it must be held by Marcher hands. My conscience is clear. My judgement is guided by the virtues.

Ciaphas 'Black Jack' Dekar


After the Winter Solstice summit ends, the General of the Bounders, gives orders for the army to invest Whittle. The troops march to the Mournworld and once there they quickly encircle the village, permitting nobody to enter or leave.

On the first day, the Whittlers appear non-plused by this development. A few of them seem to assume that the army is there to protect Whittle in some way, to prevent it being attacked. Once it becomes clear that the magistrates are coming for them and the army is there to prevent anyone from fleeing the settlement, the mood quickly turns sour. There are bitter and unpleasant scenes as the Whittlers accuse Ciaphas and his troops. The most common accusation is to point out that the Marchers are now doing the Jotun's work for them. By coming here with overwhelming numbers, they are doing what the Jotun could not - forcing the people of Whittle to accept laws made by people they've never met and never cared for.

The more learned Whittle folk have a deeper criticism. They firmly agree that only Marchers should try Marchers. That ideal - that principle - they believe is a good one. Indeed, that is the very ideal on which Whittle is built. Outsiders are not to be trusted. Outsiders will always look after their own, so Marchers must do likewise. On the face of it, what Ciaphas is doing is the perfect expression of the Virtue of Hatred - don't let foreigners into your community, don't tolerate them, don't let them have power over you.

Don't trust others. Trust your gut. It will tell you right from wrong.

Whittle Teaching

But they argue the idea that it is a Marcher coming to swing the axe is a bad joke. They've already been condemned as a result of the actions of the Dawnish Cardinal of Vigilance. They've already been tried and found guilty by folk from other lands. The fact that Marchers are being sent to carry out the executions handed down by a foreigner - and a Dawnishman at that - just adds insult to injury. The general of the Marcher army has made his army bend the knee to the orders of the high and mighty of Dawn - to execute honest Marchers.

There is much more of this - and none of it is very positive - or very enjoyable for anyone forced to stand through it. Few folk in the Bounders are thanking their general for this posting, though to be fair after being on the end of yet another tongue lashing from Friar Marianne, the Whittle folk aren't making many friends either.

Despise them that threaten you. Outsiders always want trouble, or your lands, and usually both.

Whittle Teaching

The Magistrate

The arrival of Magistrate Cooper with fifty militia quickly puts an end to these discussions. Unfortunately, although he has brought every Marcher militia member that he can recruit with him, he is notably short-handed for the scale of the task ahead. The grim reality is that a great many Marchers who would normally be deputized to help with this have made themselves suddenly scarce. It seems Marchers are not that keen to help arrest war heroes and children - not when they're fellow Marchers. Ordinarily, the magistrate could have easily filled his ranks with a few extra hands from Tassato, or recruited a few passing Navarr, or got help from some thief-takers. In a pinch, they might even pay a few League sellswords to tag along.

Now they're forced to rely on local help - and it's clear it's not enough. The Whittlers tell the magistrate to his face that he's an outsider - that he's not welcome and that they won't permit him to come into Whittle and try anyone. They make abundantly clear that they are prepared to back up their position with violence should it come to that. "The Jotun didn't scare us magistrate, and nor do you," says Bill Tavistock who appears to be in charge of the defence of the village.

A few of the more gung-ho militia are clearly up for testing the Whittlers mettle, but the magistrate very wisely pulls back. An outbreak of violence would quickly become a bloodbath - and it's not at all clear the militia would win given the odds. For a week there is a stand-off, as Cooper tries repeatedly to talk the Whittlers down, to let him and his militia enter the village and give a fair trial to those who are accused. It's all for naught, the army may have Whittle surrounded, but the villagers make their position absolutely clear. They will not surrender under any circumstances. Not to the Jotun, not to the Marchers, not to Imperial law. They don't want to fight Marchers, but if outsiders insist on coming into Whittle, they will fight them to the last yeoman.

As the situation fails to improve, the magistrate is able to use the time to round up a few score more doughty yeofolk to serve as deputies. Eventually, there are more than enough to even the odds with the Whittlers, even to tip the balance in the magistrate's favour. But there are still not enough to make it a foregone conclusion. If the magistrate orders the militia to go in, there will be scores of deaths on both sides before it's all over.

After due consideration, Cooper and his militia deputize two hundred and fifty of the Bounders. Although such actions are rare, it is clear he has a legal right to do so. Any complaints at the time are met with angry retorts - nobody from the Bounders would be getting deputized if they weren't here interfering with the law. The magistrate wouldn't need to deputize Marcher soldiers to fight Marcher citizens if the general hadn't forced his hand by issuing orders that prevented him from bringing in militia from other nations.

Faced with overwhelming numbers arrayed against them, Cooper pleads with the Whittle folk to give in, pointing out that this can only end one way. Two hundred villagers are no match for a force of militia and professional soldiers more than twice their number. And still the Whittle folk refuse. With all other avenues exhausted, the militia are left with no other choice but to advance.... a slow steady march that quickly breaks into a sprint as the Whitlers unleash a volley of arrows. The Battle of Whittle Hill has begun.

Tolerance is the crack in the foundation of a strong society.

Whittle Teaching

The Battle of Whittle Hill

Jack Miner of Whittle, is regarded as a war hero by many in the Mourn. He famously lost a leg when Orchard's Watch fell to the Jotun, but refused to give up. He told people afterwards he didn't need two legs to carry him into battle, his hatred of the Jotun was all he needed to keep him fighting. At one point he held off five Skjaldirborn by himself, to save the lives of half a dozen wounded Marchers. He dies with an arrow through his throat, drowning in his own blood.

Bill Tavistock is the leader of Whittle. Widely respected for his Prosperity, he was always ready to go out in the middle of the night to protect a farmstead if they were having trouble with bandits or feni or the like. He never accepted the presence of the thralls in Green March and South Moor and could list off details of every Marcher family whose lands he claimed they'd taken. He dies with his skull cleaved open from a Bounder's bill, his brains splattered on the rough track leading up to the village.

Friar Marianne is one of Whittle's priests. A former acolyte of the executed blasphemer Squire Robin, she never forgave the Empire for the death of her teacher. Along with Friar Mutch she travelled the area extensively preaching the virtues as she saw them, Courage, Prosperity and especially Hatred. She dies when a bollock dagger rips her stomach open spilling her guts down her cassock.

Jonah Tavistock is the youngest of them. Barely twelve summers and clearly not old enough to take a warriors test, he stands with the others, cleaver in one hand, a child's buckler in the other. He fights like a wild dog, his face puce with rage, screaming his hatred for any who would take his lands from him. He dies from shock after a warhammer takes most of his arm off just below the shoulder.

By the time it's all over there are countless more names and stories like these on the butcher's bill. Thankfully the fighting is brief and in less than an hour it's all over. By then more than two-thirds of the Whittlers are dead, as well as thirty-three members of the Bounders and sixteen militia. More of the Bounders are swept up in the fighting when a group of twenty try to fight through their lines and they have to be cut down to stop them from escaping. Most of the rest fight to the bitter end - the only survivors are a handful that surrendered at the last, and those that the healers can save.

More than a few Bounders comment they've never seen anyone, orc or Marcher, fight like the Whittle folk. They might have been wrong about a great many things, but they were right about one thing. Hatred gave them the strength they needed to resist the Jotun - and apparently anyone else who threatened them.

After that, the trial is mercifully short. Only three names on Magistrate Cooper's list have survived the massacre, and by this point, the evidence against them is somewhat overwhelming. None of the accused makes the slightest attempt to deny their fervent commitment to hatred, not one of them accepts that they have done anything wrong. The only regret one of them expresses is in not managing to kill the magistrate or more of his militia.

Trials for resisting arrest, murder and contempt of court follow for the rest. An investigation soon reveals the source of their implacable commitment, almost all of them have been anointed with auras of Hatred, urging them to drive out the invaders. Others have auras driving them to suppress dissenting voices and reject compromise believing that those who are not with you are against you. It seems that in recent years the people of Whittle have been buying liao whenever they can and stockpiling it against just such a day as this...

All That Remains

Afterwards, there is very little left of Whittle. The buildings stand empty, giving the entire place an eerie unpleasant quality, almost as if some force of Hatred still lurks here, staring out from silent windows at the Marchers who condemned them. Graves are dug for those who lost their lives and trees are planted. One day there will be an orchard here, perhaps one that will yield less bitter fruit. There are a score of ophans, too young to fight, but they cannot fend for themselves and the friars make arrangements for them to find new homes elsewhere.

By comparison, dealing with the Whittler enclave in Tassato Mestra is a relatively quiet affair. A few hundred Tassato militia are rounded up, but the residents have no time to prepare and few weapons with which to put up much of a fight. Margaret Steward, one of the three aldermen of the enclave, is arrested, tried and executed. The rest of the Marchers pack up their belongings and leave over the next few weeks; they feel profoundly unwelcome in Tassato. Their homes are not abandoned for long, the city soon reclaims it's own. In a few years from now, Little Mournwold will be nothing but memories and out-of-date maps.

Thankfully, the Mournwold remains calm. People are shocked by the battle, but far more folk are appalled by the actions of the Whittlers than are prepared to defend them. The fact that Magistrate Cooper gave them a week to come to their senses and hand the ringleaders over is enough to counter the rumours that the army was sent in to wipe them out. People are shocked at the scale of the violence and the number of deaths.

It seems that the many statements issued by the Marcher Assembly over the years that urged the Whittle folk to recant their blasphemy did find an audience, if not the one they intended. It didn't make the Whittle folk give up Hatred, but it did help to ensure their views weren't shared. The many attempts of the Assembly to reconcile with Whittle have ensured that most folk believe that the Whittlers brought this on themselves with their absolute refusal to relent.

And the truth is that the Whittle folk were, when all's said and done, somewhat difficult neighbours... they didn't make much effort to get on with other folk for the most part. People respected them - nobody fought the Jotun harder than the Whittlers... but not that many people actually liked them. As Loud Nancy, the Abbot at Silverwater Abbey says, "Hatred is great for fighting the Jotun, but it's bugger all use for mendin' your neighbour's fence".

With Whittle emptied, the Bounders are able to stand down. The only issue now is the questionably legal actions of General Ciaphas Dekar. It's an open question whether his interference with the magistrates helped or hindered. Likely that's a matter for others to decide now.

Game Information

Whittle is now a ghost town. Little Mournwold in Tassato is in the process of being abandoned, with League citizens moving in. The flow of Mournwold green iron to the businesses of Tassato has ended. Each of the Marchers condemned by the Synod as members of the sect of hatred is dead, either killed in the fighting or executed by magistrates.


If you are a Marcher character who is (or has been) dedicated to Hate, you may choose to have fought alongside the Whittle folk. Be aware that nobody escapes from Whittle. However, rather than dying in downtime, you will have been brought to Anvil for trial. If you choose this course of action, you must e-mail and let us know in advance. You will need to turn up to GOD before going in-character. Be aware that you will be tried for murder and resisting arrest alongside the Whittlefolk, and the most likely outcome for crimes of this magnitude will be death.

If you are a Marcher member of the militia, you can decide whether you were present in Whittle or not. You are free to roleplay the events at Whittle as you see fit in line with the text above. It's important to be aware that the magistrates gave the Whittlers every opportunity to surrender. They attempted to negotiate with them for days on end, but they repeatedly refused to hand over their leaders to Imperial justice, despite being massively outnumbered. What followed was a short but brutal battle in which the villagers fought to the last.

Further Reading