Barkhamstead is a small township on the eastern half of Ilysia, located just at the base of the Sunam mountain range that separates it from the central hot springs. Because of this, Barkhamstead lies in a fairly arid, yet resource-plentiful portion of the country that survives off of it's exportation of mined resources and dry-climate goods.
A large portion of the town's populace are miners (roughly 40%), which itself is further divided into teams that mine coal, iron, telaurium, and clay and/or stone. Smiths make up the second largest profession of the town, and the ones whom their economy is built upon. Farmers, teachers, and tavern keepers. Though nearly all residents of the town are human, there are a few half-Dae that work in the mines and live at the very edge of the town.
Barkhamstead is run by an elected mayor in it's current state. The mayor oversees all trade deals, and is responsible for distributing the wealth received from this commerce. Originally, the township was run by one of the original Barkham family members, though has not in over thirty years.
A small stone palisade wall has been constructed around the town in the past thirty years, and an armory lies near the mayor's house for use of the population, should they need to defend themselves.
Industry & Trade
Much of the town's industry arises from it's mining, and refining of ores from those mines. There are also small shops, farms, and inns that generate a portion of the town's revenue.
In recent times, a gravel road leads through the center of of the town for ease of use for vehicles and animals. Additionally, a roughly-constructed sewer system has also been completed, though is notorious for often leaving foul smells in certain parts of town where the underground piping has been eroded or split. Several windmills dot the farms on the outskirts of the center of the town, and a two water mills sit on the edge of the lake to the north.
Guilds and Factions
The Barker's Mining Guild is the only union of sorts that remains to this day in the town. They keep track of all material goods to be ready to inspected by a senior member, who then prepares it to be sold or taken to a new area. The guildmaster will often be very close to the mayor, and will report any necessary information to him, any member of the guild, family members, and so on. A small farmers group still meets every few weeks, but doesn't have quite the same numbers or strength the mining guild does, and mostly operates to collaborate efforts to grow diverse crops.
Barkhamstead was founded by Tobias Barkham in 1149 AV, along with his wife Renee, and two sons Weylam and Jeremiah, originally as a getaway from the more "stifled atmosphere of inner Ilysia" (according to Tobias in a letter), for him and his family. After three years passed of building a house for his family, Tobias decided to wander into a small cave system at the base of the Sunam mountains, only to find that it was rife with materials. He instructed his son Weylam to deliver a series of letters to good friends of the family, who quickly flocked to the area and created a tight-knit community that slowly grew over the course of nearly a century. Though the community has grown slowly in these hundred years, the people are highly skilled at their crafts, and friendly should you show the proper respect.
Housing and buildings are almost entirely crafted from clays and red-colored stone from the mines. What few houses use wood have it imported from the eastern coast, or from the center of the country. Roofs often have small vents cut into them, allowing heat to escape during hot days, and allowing cool air to enter at night. Hitching posts for pack animals can be found on every major building, along with water troughs for said animals.
Barkhamstead and it's surrounding areas are a semi-arid, mesa environment with very little hills. There is a river that cuts down the side of the mountains, bringing mineral-rich and drinkable water into a small lake just north of town where bathhouses, inns, and other rest-areas have been set up. A canyon cuts through the mountains to the south of the town, allowing for a treacherous, but possible, journey into central Ilysia.
Mined Resources: Stone, clay, iron, copper, telaurium, coal, paelite, quartz, semi-precious gemstones, obsidian. Farmed Resources: Wheat, cactus fruit, combfruit, honey, cattle, chickens, drybrush.
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