Life in Velitrium
Although Velitrium is geographically a
large kingdom, the majority of
its population is concentrated in its cities, towns and villages with
only a small percentage occupying isolated farmsteads. Most farmers,
tenant or free, live in, or close to a village or town and go out every
day to work their fields. Those families that do occupy single
farmsteads tend to be large and extended, or live clustered near other
similar steads. The few that are truly isolated are almost always
fortified, usually with wooden stockades and thorn barriers and have
some type of log and stone block house.
towns are walled and fortified, as are the cities. Some of the larger
villages are stockaded and most villages either have a keep, tower or
blockhouse for refuge, or, they are affiliated with a Manor house.
Manor house, home to a Lord, landed Knight or other lessor noble, is
usually well fortified and able to fend off all but a major attack.
They are not, for the most part, castles, though a few are. But
always have a stronghold or keep that is large enough for the family,
retainers, servants and surrounding families to seek shelter in.
Typically a Manor house is surrounded by a cluster of houses and out
buildings that can be quite extensive. Though not always listed
maps as a village, most of them are.
this discussion of defenses and safety makes Velitrium sound like a
dangerous place to live. It can be, but most of the time and in most of
the kingdom, it is quite safe.
lands around a settlement, for a distance of one to three miles, is
heavily developed and intensely farmed. The areas nearer to town are
for the herds while the further lands are for orchards and crops..
During daylight hours this area is a buzz with activity, but at
they are empty, intermittently patrolled by the Rangers or, rarely, the
Watch. The land beyond the agricultural area, that lies between
settled area and another, cannot truly be called wilderness. Here are
found the few lone farmsteads and an occasional roadside inn. These
areas are also patrolled by the Rangers and on occasion they are swept
by units of soldiers looking to flush out brigands and escaped slaves,
dangerous beasts, etc. In the thickly settled regions of the Kingdom,
around the cities, most of the central valley south of Velitrium City,
etc. the distance between the farmed areas is quite small, the
transition from one settlements farming area to anothers may not even
be noticeable to a traveler. Further afield though, the distance
from a mile or two to as much as twenty or thirty on the edge of the
valley. The area between is criss-crossed with roads, cart tracks and
trails of varying degrees of quality. The main roads, and every
settlement has access to one somewhere near by, are generally in pretty
good shape. They are almost always dirt, in some swampy areas
built up with logs or causeways of stone, and the undergrowth and trees
are kept cut back from fifty to a hundred and fifty feet for visibility
and security. King Urien has made a concerted effort to have bridges or
proper fords built at all river and stream crossings. When ever
feasible the wooden bridges have been replaced with stone The
beds are wide enough, in most places, for two carts to pass.
cart tracks are just that. One cart wide, no cutbacks and rarely having
any bridges or proper fords. Generally the cart tracks are made by the
farmers working their way out into the fields. Trails are usually wide
enough for foot traffic or mounted men to go single file.
of these geographic features, communities tend to be close knit with
everyone knowing everyone else and their business. Even between
neighboring communities people are either known personally or by
reputation. Typically, in a village a person will always be recognized
and known. In a Barony, or small town, an individual can expect to
almost always be recognized on sight and to always be known of. In a
County, or large town, an individual can expect to be frequently
recognized and almost always known of.
this means is, in your home area a character can expect some one to
know something about them. “You’re Rolf, from down Whitby way, your
father is the miller, right?” and in a strange area you can expect,
“You’re not from these parts, are ya?” If your not too far afield
can say, “I’m Rolf, my father is the miller in Whitby.” And reasonably
expect someone to have heard of you or your family.
these things in mind when setting up your characters. You have a
somewhere in the Valley, unless you are a visitor from the Desert
Kingdoms, a Jhensari, an escaped slave or from Khun Dhagra. This means
you have friends, family and a history that other people will know
about. You are not obligated to select the Dependent Disadvantage,
though it is appropriate for the game, but put some effort into
generating your background. Give me an idea what kind of family
history your looking at and I will provide some place names and
additional information as needed. Did you come from a rural village, a
large town or one of the cities? Was your family poor tenant
free farmers, craftsmen, merchants, etc. Consult with your GM before
creating a background of noble birth or elevated status.
sons and daughters of Nobles have duties and obligations that will
prevent them from doing much in the way of adventuring!
What was my home
The answer to
depends primarily on whether your character grew up in a town or city
or in the countryside.
in one of the major towns
thatched roof cottage
typical of villages in
styles vary throughout the valley, as do building materials, the scenes
above are meant as examples of lifestyles throughout Velitrium