Welcome to the Wolf’s Head!
The Wolf’s Head lies on the edge of the Great Calydon Forest in Pictland, up in the north of Prydein, and has been the home of the Forester Family for longer than records exist or memories recall. Currently, the Head of the Family and Master of the Wolf’s Head is Jimson Forester, who keeps the Wolf’s Head with the aid of his wife Annet and their four sons; Jimmy, Hal, Edwy and Tom. Also resident are Jimson’s late sister’s children, Briony and Robin, together with Sparky the Dragon and Billy Trow.
The Wolf’s Head is built over a labyrinth of corbelled chambers underground, which form the cellars and beyond. Guests are not encouraged to explore the cellars as retrieving them can take some time.
Above ground, the house itself is a large, sprawling edifice with a multitude of rooms, bathrooms, stairs, lounges and various secret corridors that may (or may not) be visible and may (or may not) come out where they did last time. Guests are reminded to stick to well-trodden paths unless feeling adventurous.
The Lounge Bar
This is Jimson’s domain, a large room well-supplied with big comfy armchairs, cushioned benches and tables around the walls and a huge stone fireplace at the far end, in which a log fire has burned continuously for at least the past eight hundred years. Since the Forester family have a long-standing relationship with various dragons, there is often a dragon egg in a large pot next to the fire, incubating, or a baby dragon asleep in the fireplace. Guests are requested not to poke sleeping dragons or drop logs on their heads. Please stack firewood around the dragon and if necessary, ask politely if the dragon would mind stirring the fire up for you. They are generally very happy to have an excuse to play with the embers.
The current baby dragon in residence is Sparky, who is just a few months old . She is pale blue on top with a white throat and belly, stands about two foot six tall on all four feet, and enjoys having her chin rubbed and her whiskers tickled.
Please do not give spirits to Sparky; they tend to make her hiccup and blasts of inadvertant flame can be a health and safety risk in confined spaces.
Also generally in residence around the fireplace are half a dozen enormous black hairy wolfhounds. They are fed regularly and do not need tidbits but will clean off your plate if you leave it within reach when they’re passing.
Occasionally, guests may be startled to find a large White Stag curled up by the fire as well. Please do not scream as this disturbs his rest – he just comes in for a bottle of carrot juice and a warm on cold evenings and will take himself out when he’s ready. The White Stag is off-duty when he comes into the Wolf’s Head so please do not pester him for answers or demand quests.
Annet’s domain, the room is dominated by an enormous range along one wall, where a multitude of ovens and hotplates provides the various cooking facilities for all the dishes on the menu. A long and well-scrubbed pine table stands in the centre of the room where Annet and her assistant Briony work in preparing food, and where the family eat of an evening. From the kitchen, a door leads into:-
This is the ‘working’ yard for the Wolf’s Head and not the rather tidier version at the front of the house where guests usually arrive. To the left as you step out of the house is the horse barn, where Hal cares for the guests’ horses. Next to that is a large carriage house where assorted vehicles can be housed. To the right is the woodshed and beyond it the henhouse, where Bugler the cockerel and his flock of hens sleep at night. When the Phoenix is visiting, he tends to sleep in the henhouse as well, much to Bugler’s disgust. Annet is also not thrilled with this as residual heat from the pheonix tends to boil the eggs as they’re laid. Beyond the henhouse is a gate leading to the cow-paddock, where the housecows and a small flock of goats live. Following the path through the cow-paddock leads down through wide fields to the river at the bottom of the valley. On the other side of the yard from the house is a range of three buildings, starting with, on the right:-
Robin, Jimson’s gifted geek nephew, keeps his tools and current projects in this shed. There is no telling what you’ll find if you open the door – anything from a robot under repair to an experimental new ethericnet setup could be there. To the left is:-
This shed is where Jimson’s youngest son Tom keeps his hunting gear. Ferretting nets, hound slip-leashes, long-nets, purse-nets, falconry gear and assorted collections of bait, spraint, books and gloves line the walls and a large freezer in the corner contains frozen chicks and mice for the ferrets and falcons who live in the range of aviaries and pens behind the shed. A large owl is usually asleep in the rafters but will drop unexpectedly onto the heads of trespassers while hooting loudly in their ears. The last shed, to the left, is:-
This large, quiet and dimly-lit shed is warm and smells of herbs and fermentation. Annet makes all the medicines required for the Wolf’s Head here and is teaching Briony the secrets of distilling and compunding. They also make various herb and fruit wines. On quiet evenings when the brewing wines are being siphoned into fresh demijohns the atmosphere can become quite giggly.
Following a path to the left between the Stillroom and the Carriage House brings you to:-
The Kitchen Garden
This large walled garden produces all the vegetables, fruit and pot herbs for the Wolf’s Head and is Briony’s domain. Neat and extensive deep beds are lovingly tended by Briony (and recently her devoted assistant Billy Trow) on biodynamic principles and provide bountiful and delicious harvests. At the near end of the garden is the pigsty where the pigs come at night to enjoy a warm bed of straw and a varied diet of vegetable tops and kitchen waste. In the morning they have fresh buttermilk before leaving the sty to forage in the Forest for the day. At the far end a series of compost bins provide complete waste recycling for all biodegradeable household waste.
At the front of the house, a large paved courtyard gives by way of a double-width gateway to a long drive leading to the river. Over the gates hangs a painted sign of a black wolf’s head. If you follow the drive down to the river you will reach (hopefully):-The Silly Bridge
This bridge is generally a gracefully arched bridge over the river, wide enough for two coach-and-fours to pass with room to spare. When feeling nervous, however, the bridge can become barely wide enough to squeeze through on foot and, when seriously alarmed, has been known to get out of the river and make off into the woods to hide.