The Darkening Wild
Mere years ago this was hardly a traveler’s destination, but in the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies and the death of Smaug, Beorn has taken it upon himself to become a chieftain for the people living within a few days’ travel of his house. Many of them have accepted him in this capacity, in that he offers his help in defending themselves and asks little in return.
Beorn’s house itself is composed of a huge long-house, a huge barn, a thorn hedge, and a number of colonies of large honeybees. He has animals that serve him almost as humans would, carrying food and going about simple chores.
It should go without saying that it is not advisable to arrive at Beorn’s door uninvited, but if one happens to do so, a little courtesy and a good story will go a long way.
Beorn’s House can be opened as a sanctuary for the characters if they spend a Fellowship Phase there and all choose that as their action. Assuming they are on Beorn’s good side, of course.
Since Beorn became a chieftain of those living in the region of his house, a small village has grown up, and a much larger thorn hedge has been extended around it. The village is inhabited by people who provide services for Beornings. Since it is a meeting-place, it is periodically visited by tinkers and other traders.
There are a few rules at Beorn’s house:
Don’t eat meat you didn’t hunt yourself (i.e. no-one brings their sheep or cattle there)
Don’t bother the bees
Punishment for wrong-doing is exile (Beorn kicks you out)
It is also generally understood that Beorn prefers quiet, having long lived by himself. He remains a loner at heart, and as far as anyone knows, a bachelor, though as a chieftain he is the regions most eligible bachelor.
The House and surrounding village has a few notables who have more contact with adventurers than most. The most important of these is a shield-maiden named Red Kvina. When Beorn is away, the people of the surrounding village often bring their disputes to her, in part because she is just, and in part because she can enforce her decisions if she has to.
Skjald is a blacksmith who specializes in tools but is skilled enough to repair weapons or armor
Tommermann is a master carpenter who has many apprentices, and he is always busy helping to build new homes, fix older ones, and is quite well-to-do
Honninga is a widow who has learned how to raise Beorn’s huge bees when he is away (more often now that he is a chieftain), and also raises a few colonies of normal-sized bees outside the village, near large fields of wildflowers
Gelvira is a matriarch and baker with an enormous family, including a husband who is a brewer and a bevy of daughters who help her with baking. She is trying to perfect the recipe for Beorn’s twice-baked honey cakes, and he listens to her counsel. Her home, the Hall of the Crossing (near the Ford), is a rest-stop for many adventurers and a place where news can be heard about the region.