Nestled at the eastern edge of the Flintridge Mountains, just south of the barony of Heronsconce lies the small town of Fusenhase. It is a place not so different from neighboring towns and villages in the area. It’s people are mostly farmers, shepherds, and a handful of artisans laboring away among the green hills that fade eventually into the southern reaches of the March. It’s position in the hilly region, as opposed to the flatlands to the east, guarantees a certain isolation from the affairs and assaults of the various would-be treasure hunters in their eternal trek south from Streckhorn to the Gosh Gelios. Even its position along the March has not guaranteed the excitement of wars or raids. It is relatively unassuming enough as to be forgettable.
…save for one important characteristic. It can boast, in the the rises just above the town, the southernmost monastery of the Thane Wizards built during the era of the Aversill empire: Haresbreath. Since time immemmorable, the town of Fusenhase has had a strange relationship with the wizards perched above its fields and homes.
The town’s economic position is improved by the influx of goods and gold brought in by those who seek out or act in concert with the Thane Wizards. However, the town is relatively immune to the machinations of the wizards who have built their stronghold on its border. Indeed, the townsfolk offer muttered curses at Haresbreath when something goes wrong as if the woes of fate and nature are little more than fallout from the hidden knowledge discovered and concealed so close to their homes.
The Thane wizards leave the town relatively alone. Fusenhase hasn’t the resources to entice or entertain the wizards. It’s artisans are surpassed by those working inside the walls of Haresbreath. Except in extremely rare cases, all visitors to Haresbreath can be housed there. Even the food eaten at the Monastery is either grown there, raised there, brought in by private company from Heronsconce, or brought down by hunters who live and work in Haresbreath. Thus, the monastery isn’t part of village life and village life has little to do with the monastery. Except for the odd passerby who is too afraid of the wizards to live inside the monastery grounds during his or her visit, Fusenhase is unaffected.
At the same time, neither the town nor the monastery are stupid enough to believe themselves entirely autonomous. The Thane Wizards realize, for instance, that if the town ever gives into its superstitions, Fusenhasen might become a threat, as peasants always are when they are left out of the matters of the fortress. At the same time, as much as Fusenhase may wonder at the effects they suffer because of the Thane Wizards in their midst, the town elders would gladly have the help of the Thane in their affairs if only they would intercede. It is clear, for instance, that Fusenhasen’s mystic is only sought because the advice of the Thane is held behind closed doors.
Fusenhase was built between two hills and backs up to a relatively thick forested area. Numerous creeks and streams run down from the moutains and into Fusenhase where they are collected together into a single cataract to the east of the village where the water is run alongside a mill before being diverted into an irrigation system for a series of farm-tiers. The water system cuts the town in twane between the municipal part of Fusenhase (for what it’s worth) and its agricultural area.
The municipal area of town is composed of a number of large thatch-roofed, wooden-framed buildings—in style slightly reminescent of the tudor tradition. One of these buildings is a church to the Twelve Lords of Delvionus, another serves multiple purposes but is, most commonly, employed as an indoor trading area (known, simply, as the meeting-house). At night, the meeting-house serves as a place where the community gathers together. Alcohol is served at these meetings.
Notable other main buildings include the home of the Reeve, the parsonage, and a common store house. As needed, an area is often employed for the purpose of smithing, and stone cutting. A tower watching over the fence is available to garrison a squad of troops from the barony of Heronsconce—it has not been used in over fifty years. Two more common, mostly open air structures, serve as community areas for dealing with animals during seasons of heavy community activity.
Dotted among these larger structures, and protected, like them, by a a huge wall of sharpened wooden logs, are the various hovels that are home to the town’s residents. The littler buildings are constructed out of unevenly cut stones, reinforced by wooden beams, and topped by thatched rooves. Interior walls are lined with hides that act as insulation against the mountain winds and snow. These hovels often have a small garden or animal pen next to it. The hovels of Fusenhase generally house a family of about four people per dome-like structure. Occassionally the structures are linked together with little tunnels. Floors are generally dirt.
Demographics and Population
The population of Fusenhase is around 1,000. The number of people living within the walls of the town is probably around 500. The remainder of those who call Fusenhase their home are hillfolk who eek out meager existences in the wooded areas surrounding the town. They are connected to the town proper through deer-paths and the various dried up stream trails. The town is overwhelmingly human in its demographic. As with other parts of Aversill, occasionally a cursed child is born (a half-orc or a tiefling).
Fusenhase is set amongst a veritable wilderness wasteland which is, for the most part, difficult to navigate. It is not, however, unexplored. At one time, a powerful city must have existed where Fusenhase now sits because all around in the forest are the remnants of its stone ruins. Orignally it was these ruins that first attracted the attention of the Thane Wizards.
Whatever kingdom, these ruins once belonged to is entirely unknown. The ruins were there when Aversill discovered them and upon that discovery, not even the dwarves could supply them with a name. Since then, the townsfolk of Fusenhase have named the ruins Ahkins which means, literally, “lost goat” in the old tongue. The saying among the herders is that if one loses a goat in Ahkins, it’s best to let it go.
The Ahkins is a place that is avoided, generally, by the townsfolk who insist that much of the ruined city is haunted. Adventurers tend to believe that in the 800 years since its discovery, Ahkins has been so plundered as to make its exploration a waste of an explorer’s time. Whatever there was to pillage has been pillaged, whatever guards remain are unprofitable to engage. The people of Fusenhase generally assume that as long as Ahkins leaves them alone, they’re safe enough. What really can they do other than live with it?