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Setting

Once again we travel to the world of Hârn. The version of the island we find here is rather different from the published version, though. 1) there are no fanciful creatures or magicks. 2) rather than the pantheon they have, the primary religion is 'Jadism', which is very similar to Christianity (they worship the sun god Jad, whose teachings are very much like Christianity, they have suns instead of crosses, and in the night Jad is under the world fighting all sorts of demons). The concept of Jad and Jaddites is used without the permission of Guy Gavriel Kay, though he made the whole thing up. Apologies. There are also many remnants of the old pagan religions.

It is not a true nitty gritty depiction of medieval Europe, while life is not easy, there is more focus on singing traditional folk ballads after a hard day hoeing the fields than on lynchings and squallor. In my version of the world the sun shines, and on occasion the world is bright. That's not to say life as a peasant doesn't get to be a great big drag on occasion, but things are generally nicer than those virulent disease plagued visions of the middle ages that recently circle about trying to disband the previous visions of heroic chivalry. This is a pleasant sort of median.

Society and Culture Notes

- in villages, much trade is by barter rather than money. Coinage is rare, except for in larger towns and cities. The coins are as follows: 4 farthings = 1 penny (the most common unit of currency). 12 pennies = 1 shilling. 20 shillings or 240 pennies = 1 pound.
- longswords, metal armour and horses belong only to the most well-to-do, or those furbished by the most well-to-do. Though in cities/towns there is a greater prevalence of such things, it is still a crime to carry chivalric weapons and armour without the right to do so.
- women are viewed as inferior to men, but they have much more freedom than in the real middle ages.
- in a manor, the lord of the manor has ultimate power and final say on absolutely everything. Though he may take advice, and consider the possibility of a peasant revolt when making decision.
- peasantry generally does not travel more than a couple miles from the village they were born, and usually has no reason to.
- the average peasant knows very little about the politics of the world (aside from the dubious information he learns from folk songs), and very little about anything except basic practical knowledge, and a lot about farming, and the business of the other folks in the village.
- The distinction between noble and common blood is the most significant in Harnic society. The exclsuive rights and priveleges of the nobility include the right to bear heraldic arms and chivalric weapons, ride warhorses, organize military forces, hold fortifications, and dispense justice at feudal courts. Any commoner who trespasses on these rights can expect swift and harsh punishment.
- The Feudal order is as follows: King > Earls > Barons > Manorial Lords (usu knights, but many knights are landless)
- Re: farming. Two big fields, used in alternate years so one is left to 'replenish'. The serfs farm their own little part of the field, and often have a little vegetable plot of their own.

Northenden

The town of Northenden is by and large the entire world as far as your experiences go. You know the whole town well, and everybody who lives there at least in passing.

From above, Northenden looks suspiciously like Charmic manor. Of course the names are different, and some other small details (for instance the manor of Lord Osark is not built in a swamp, and the roads probably go off in different directions):
[click for enlargement]

Northenden is surrounded by considerable forest, much of which is considered 'Royal forest' which means that poaching is quite forbidden. There are about 200 inhabitants, the vast majority of them are serfs who are bound to the land and must surrender much of their crop to Lord Osark, who in turn surrenders much of that to his own liege, the Sheriff of Meselyne.

Northenden is located near the north-western extremities of Kaldor (that's the same kingdom as the campaign three and a half (!) years ago with Sir Rolorick and Critz Bleggart and Don Quixote, and all that ridiculous business with the whore and the informant, and cutting off the dude's arm, and the rather large battle). It is located in Meselynshire, near Olokand and Setrew. An overview of Kaldor is available (keep in mind that my campaign does not follow the Hârn canon precisely, so anything you read on the net is subject to being mostly, entirely, or even not wrong). A large map of Kaldor is available here, it can be considered canon to my campaign, but your characters would only have a vague knowledge of it.


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