Saturday, March 21, 2009

Estwind, a village

Barely qualifying as a "village" in the eyes of some, the community of Estwind consists of some dozen crofts clustered about a recently established branch of the Western Trade Road. Estwind is a woolmen's community, dedicated to sheep (for spinning), pigs (for eating and taxes), and barley (for basic sustenance and yet more taxes). It looks to the borderland Manor of Five Fires, located a day's travel by cart to the northeast.

Being in hill-lands dotted with the ruins of former attempts at claiming the land, Estwind is not especially suited to cultivating wheat; all wheaten flour is brought into the village by merchantmen from Five Fires and the duchy proper. The forested scrubland is ideal for the pigs, however; and many villagers supplement the produce of their plots of land with foraged edibles and the odd luxury item plucked from the wildlands. Dovan Sheepman, of the longest-established family croft in the village, has made a fine name for himself in this way, foraging rare dye-plants from the surrounding forest.

Most structures in the village are sturdily constructed of wood, thatch and wattle. The exceptions to this are the home of Vehroy Thrune, the village reeve, the shrine-house of the Dedicated, and the tavern. Said tavern, the Black Basilisk, serves also as an inn of sorts, with two small private rooms and a common bunkroom on the upper floor. Geffri Twice-Bitten -- it's best not to ask about his unfortunate "surname" -- owns the Basilisk and also serves as the contact for the Mercantyler's Guild.

A fourth stone structure once stood at the southern edge of the village. Unfortunately this small magic-user's tower exploded in a shower of rubble and uncanny pink and green flames. The villagers consider the entire area ill-omened and -- with the exception of those desperate and down on their luck -- avoid it as much as possible. The only site equally avoided by the villagers are the four weathered, engraved quartzite pillars that stand in a cluster in a small forest clearing an hour's walk into the trees; covered in spirals and glyphs, the villagers believe them to be the ancient work of elves or neu and haunted to boot. Ancient burial mounds to the southeast, on the other hand, are revered; an action tolerated for now by the Dedicated's clerics.

With the recent upswing in ratling raids and sightings of bloodboars, macals, and other creatures, the villagers are agitating for a perimeter wall to be constructed. Vehroy -- not wanting to suggest to his lord that he can't protect the village -- is hoping to have the problems rooted out before any such necessity becomes crucial, preferably by adventurous strangers and not his own people.

No comments: