The Eldritch Flowering of Prydain
The adventure begins in a partially-completed abbey in Oswestry, consisting of an old stone Saxon watchtower that was used during Penda’s war against Oswald’s Northumbrians. Onto this has been added a primitive timber basilica and cloister, along with a hospital, lodgings, and other additions. The abbey is surrounded by a low stone wall surmounted by a short stockade, with wooden gates that can be barred from the inside. These walls offer no real protection from a military force, but keep the abbey’s animals in and curious passers-by out without permission. A small wooded area separates the abbey from the Anglian keep to the north, as well as the walled town of Oswestry to the north and east of the keep. A stream begins underground in the vicinity of the abbey and flows out of a well to the west, which is known as Oswald’s Well. Within the center of the cloister, a tall ash tree shades much of the open area. This is Oswald’s Tree, from which the town of Oswestry derives its name. It is said that in the branches of this tree, an eagle carried the arm of Oswald, blessed by Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne during Oswald’s lifetime, which then fell not into the hands of Penda and his Pagan forces, but into those of Oswald’s chaplain, who protected it from the gruesome display to which the rest of King Oswald’s body had been subjected.