Before starting the night’s adventure (Session 2), E.G. did a “Q&A” session with the assembled players to expand on details of the setting. The following information is a compilation of his answers, and additional information provided outside of this discussion.
The Geography :
The main village is NORTH POINT. It is situated on the coastline. North along the coastline is the village of RED FJORD. Red Fjord is a whaling village, and was destroyed by Frost Giants more than a decade ago.
South along the coastline from North Point is the village of PINE COVE. Further south from there is AGDA FALLS. All of the half-orcs of the settlement area live in Agda Falls.
Inland, southeast of North Point, is the farming village of BLUEBERRY HILL. Northeast of North Point, at the foot of steep mountains dominating the eastern sky, is the village of GOLD MOUNTAIN. This is a Dwarf village.
About 100 years ago, the settlement was established as the result of a minor gold rush. The gold veins were quickly exhausted. Active mines generate copper, zinc, lead, iron, and to a lesser extent silver and gold. These mines are the focus of the dwarf-dominated village of Gold Mountain. The dwarves are secretive about their practices, but their productivity allows the settlement to be effectively independent while isolated.
All villages are within a half- to full-day’s hike of North Point. Outside the settlement are plains, hills, grasslands, with a wide mountain range blocking the east. All trees within a few miles of North Point and its villages have been cleared for fields and pasture. Dirt roads connect North Point and its villages.
At this northern latitude, the longest day in summer and longest night in winter are about 22 hours. While temperate in summer months, the climate would seem to be experiencing a “little Ice-age”. Some distance north of the settlement is a clan of Frost Giants. Far south of the settlement are two-headed giants. The islands and landmass across the broad inlet are seldom explored; they are believed to be a very dangerous place.
The Population :
The population of the region sits at around 1000, with roughly 700 living in North Point.
Of this total, just over half are human, with the remainder being (in order of prominence) halfling, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf and half-orc. Roughly 550 humans, 150 halflings, 140 dwarves, about 110 elves, 20-30 gnomes, and a dozen each of half-elves and half-orc. All the halflings, gnomes and half-elves reside in North Point. All the half-orcs live in Agda Falls. The villages are a majority human, except Gold Mountain, which is predominantly dwarven.
The population size has remained constant over the years. Before isolation, the influx of new residents balanced the departure of old ones. With travel cut off and a generally peaceful daily existence, the birth- and death-rates are roughly even.
Most occupations directly relate to one of three things: sheep/wool, fishing, defense. Other occupations are seasonal, such as farming, whaling, hunting. Many residents are skilled at several crafts and trades, covering as many of the settlement’s needs as can be managed.
Livestock include sheep, cattle, horses, goats, chickens, sheep, and a few more sheep. Sheep are invaluable for wool, and are hardy enough to survive outside year-round. Other animals require greater efforts to shelter them and are kept in fewer quantities.
During the short growing season, crops include root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips) and the likes of cabbages, kale and cauliflower. Due to the long hours of daylight in the summer, grasses grow particularly well, particularly rye and barley.
Common fish caught for food include herring, cod, eel, salmon, trout, and carp. When they are present during migratory transit, hunting whales provides food and oil. The settlement is small enough and the inlet large enough that fish stocks are never threatened by overfishing.
The Town of North Point :
Houses in North Point are of stone construction, dug down so that the floor sits a few feet below ground level for added insulation. The roof is covered with earth and seeded with grass to hold it in place. It is not uncommon to see some of the smaller livestock grazing on a roof (keeps it trim). There are no windows and multiple chimneys. The average house has an entrance and a common room, each with its own central fireplace for heating and light source, and they have a smooth, stone floor.
The defensive outer walls of North Point are large, stacked stone walls (no mortar) roughly 16 feet high, supported by a bank of earth on the protected side. There is a short wooden fence on the top to provide cover for defenders.
The streets are arranged in a planned square-grid design. Depending on the season, the streets are dirt, mud, or snow.
North Point has a modest temple area, with a Temple of Pelor most prominent of the few religious orders represented. The town’s senior wizard and senior sorceress maintain eclectic residences. Apart from the settlement militia, there is no dedicated law-keeping constabulary present, as there has never been a need.