A famed ornithologist and retired member of the Mage Guild, the 104-year-old Ethelred was one of the last confirmed people to see a yellow-billed woodpecker, and has devoted his adult life to the study of the Fyrewood’s birds in general and the yellow-billed woodpecker specifically. As the head of the Flight Festival, Ethelred is easily the most powerful person in Kingling, easily outstripping the mayor, and his dominance of the event has won him both admirers and enemies.

At the time of his death, Ethelred was reporting sightings of the yellow-billed woodpecker. He had been in talks with Warscout Grumash about ancestral Shatterjaw knowledge, which Grumash had refused to divulge. He had angrily denied Hawkmaiden Elia’s request for a larger role in the Flight Festival, threatening to dismiss her if she exceeded her authority. He had been quarreling violently with Mr. Stripbark about lumber issues related to the cutting of a tree near the outskirts of Kindling, which Ethelred felt was key to attracting a yellow-billed woodpecker. He had also been having an affair with Mayor Hooper, coercively using his position as the festival head.

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