Head Chef and Staff

As Lord Ratchet Zarek had to fundamentally reimagine infantry in the war against the giants, aged head chef Tola (she/her) has had to innovate in the realm of cuisine. Though she has served the High Kestrel since he was but a toddler, she is only now coming to appreciate the cultural and political significance of expert cooking.

Theoretically, the only thing explicitly keeping House Wenjansk in the mountains is the giants. Without the threat of giant raids, they would likely return to the lowlands, either to reclaim their former capital, or else to found a new city in environs more hospitable. As it stands, that seems impossible, but it probably isn’t. The entire great house could relocate again, call on allies for aid, and return to some sense of normalcy. A homecoming is possible. So why don’t the noble lowlanders retake Wenjansków?

Some would say that the war ties up the house’s resources. Others might make the credible claim that certain leaders in the community seek to learn the secrets of the ancient Duscarn. Still others might suggest House Wenjansk has always been isolationist, and that this long-forgotten castle perfectly suits the great house.

Tola would argue otherwise. She would say that the people stay because the nobles are well fed. The High Kestrel, the Lord Ratchets, and all of the noble families are cared for and they need not worry about their next meal. Their diets may have changed, but the exceptional quality of their meals has not. Few nobles contemplate the merits of insurrection or desertion. There is peace and stability because those in charge are sated. Tola is proud of this fact. Her cooking is instrumental in providing the stability that House Wenjansk desperately needs.

Adventurers who wander into the kitchen can learn unbelievable secrets from Tola while she is distracted. As a rule, whenever the head chef is focused on preparing a spice blend or perfecting a stew, she will blabber without exerting any control over what comes out of her mouth. Parties seeking gossip would be wise to interrogate the loose-lipped chef.

Tola's Staff

As Falthringor’s kitchen staff works directly for the nobles, they do not belong to their own guild. Instead, Tola is in charge. She has hired a team of seven Falthringor residents to run the castle’s food operations. Note that there are additional servants— mostly maids and footmen—who will occasionally help Tola, though they do not work directly for her.

  • Emelrich (they/them), upland halfling, age 17, sous-chef. Quiet, diligent, unusually stern and serious for a halfling; hopes to become head chef when Tola retires.

  • Franciszka (she/her), lowlander, age 14, assistant chef. Niece of Lord Ratchet Feliks, though she is technically not a noble herself.

  • Leszek (he/him), lowlander, age 35, butler. Has direct access to the nobles when they are at their drunkest; a trusted confidant of the High Kestrel.

  • Sigdag (he/they), upland halfling, age 45, pantler. Responsible for maintaining the basement storage spaces, and thus the food supply for the entire castle.

  • Dorota (she/her), lowlander, age 24, baker. One of the High Kestrel’s mistresses, though she has luckily yet to birth him another illegitimate child.

  • Lidia (she/her), lowlander, age 22, larderer. Dorota’s sister, exceedingly pious, cheerful, and extroverted.

  • Aloxærìs “Spit” (she/her), giant, age 18, confectioner. Creates bizarre candies with beets and rare mountain herbs, a delicacy of the giants.