Mystara: The Journey...
|The Hand of Man||Cities, Town and Villages||Settlements in Darokin|
Armstead is a village in the hills of south-east Darokin, just a short trip across the Black Peak Mountains from the Karameikan city of Threshold. It is accessible from the Darokin Road (which connects the capital – Darokin City – to Selenica) by a well-used trail.
Population and People:
The 600 residents of this village are almost entirely descended from immigrants from northern Karameikos, who moved here 50-70 years ago during a period of inter-clan rivalry.
Another 1,000 or so people live in the surrounding countryside within 20 miles of Armstead.
The country-folk are largely of Doulakki descent and have called the region home for as long as they can remember. For most part the two peoples coexist peacefully.
Armstead lies just within the Isselden Region and therefore falls very much under the Heartland law, however its mayor Aeren Trest, due to his birthright, is also the Magistrate of the surrounding areas outside the Heartland region and thus those areas are considered Borderlands. This is a unique case within the Republic and one which many frown upon – the dual-title.
For now, the Republic allows such conflict to exist, perhaps due to the fact that Aeren Trent being in his mid-50’s, possesses no heirs so upon his death the Republic will have the option of absorbing his lands within the Heartland or perhaps decree the limitation that mayors may not be Magistrates of neighbouring areas.
Armstead does indeed have a Town Council of 6 members as required under Heartland law.
Trade and Commerce:
Most country-folk are involved in raising sheep and cattle, as well as some garden-level farming to meet the local needs for fresh vegetables, however Armstead is known for the quality of its wool and weaving. The wool from the monthly shearing is brought into town where a good deal of it is sold to merchants who take a detour off the Darokin Road to pick it up and deliver it to mills along the Helleck River. The rest of the wool is spun into yarn right in town, where several of Darokin’s finest weavers and dyers also ply their trade. Most of Armstead’s spun and dyed wool finds its way to markets in Selenica and Darokin City.
Blankets and cloaks made in Armstead are among Darokin’s best, and fetch a handsome price. Local artisans also work with leather, and the town is making a name for itself as a producer of exquisite hand-tooled leather goods. A small caravan of 2-3 wagons comes into Armstead from Selenica two mornings per week, returning to the city in the mid-afternoon laden with wool and finished goods.
The nearby tin mining operations, which fall within the Magistrates lands, were abandoned almost a decade ago due to the influx of humanoids in the Black Peak Mountains. It was considered too costly and dangerous to continue based on the medium-low yield. Aeren Trent along with the Outer Council member representing the Isselden Region have appealed to mining companies to once more invest in the mines and community, but have met little success.
Despite the fact that there is only one temple, the Temple of Ixion, within Armstead proper – there is also local Traladaran priest, Father Jokovic, who oversees the needs of the Traladarans holding clerical services for the faithful in their homes alternating the locale weekly so as not to burden a singular family.
On extremely special days, the Church of Darokin in Selenica sends a priest to hold mass for the religious celebration. The mayor generously allows use of his manor for such occasions.
The country road connecting Armstead to the Darokin Road ends at a large clearing in the middle of the village, where local farmers ply their wares and the merchants from Selenica do their buying and selling. Village artisans are also present, but this is mainly for the benefit of the visiting Selenicans. On any given day there are a few sellers here, but on Market Day (the first day of every month) just about everyone is here – including the farmers’ families. On such days the market takes on a carnival aspect as musicians and storytellers make the rounds while everyone else goes about their business, or simply hangs around to socialise. The offices of the Merchants’ Guild are located in a modest stone building that sits at one end of the market.
A peaceful town, the village though has experienced some recent troubles with small bands of goblins and kobolds, who are apparently living in hard-to-reach caves in the Black Peak Mountains.