Once a quiet whaling community and sole settlement on Seaspray Island
, the town has been forgotten to most, and avoided by the rest.
An Initial Impression
The town itself is nestled into the edge of the Seaspray Forest, where from the water’s edge makes the village difficult to spot unless one knows where to look. Many of the original buildings from the settlement have been torn down and their materials repurposed into current structures for repairs, though the village’s original storehouse and meeting hall remain intact. Even with its upkeep, the village has a dreary atmosphere about it, as many of the homes, totaling in about two dozen, are very apparently built out of their once-neighbors, with mismatched wood panels haphazardly protruding from the corners of a structure or overlaying where a window should be unobstructed.
As an offshoot of Shardholm
, the settlement of Brine once was a quaint whaling village, providing the town with fish and whale meat. Founded in 2857, it wasn’t particularly prosperous and relied heavily on goods from the mainland, and often struggled in the summer months when seasonal storms made seafaring dangerous. With the founding of Shorewall
, many of the village’s denizens moved to the new town given its higher quality of life given its support from Seawatch.
This spawned a mentality of animosity in many of the remaining inhabitants towards Shorewall, thinking of the new town as invaders on their home or placing blame on it for dividing their families between those who wished to stay in their homestead and those who wanted a more stable life. Pressure from the new navy’s recruitment didn’t help already strained relations, ultimately leading the military force to take a hands-off approach to deal with Brine. The village continually deteriorated, its leaders declining into xenophobia as the years passed and eventually cutting off their ties with Shardholm entirely.
After the Fall of Lady Death, contact was lost entirely with the settlement. Several missionary groups from Shorewall bringing supplies to the village recounted it being abandoned, with homes and belongings left untouched and a half-harvested whale reanimated as an Unfallen on the beach.
The village did not stay abandoned long. Within the following months, the missionary groups found the townsfolk back in their homes to their surprise. Still antisocial and resentful as ever, but gaunt and malnourished as though they hadn’t eaten since their disappearance. The Brinesfolk also adopted a newfound adoration for the leviathan Shadiym
. The practice of worship of the divine was common among the western settlements on the Blacksea, though their zealotry and fervor was unsettling, their message of following in the ways of the divine almost blasphemous to the norm.
In Current Times
Contact with the Outside
Brinesfolk of the current day are only ever seen within Shorewall once or twice a season, never in their own town, only visiting the source of their scorn to purchase basic provisions and supplies. These pilgrimages always lead the Brinesfolk through the notoriously jeopardous Seaspray forest, though they keep the method regarding their safe passage to themselves. In the interim between journeys to proper civilization, the villagers keep themselves fed supposedly via spear and net-caught fish in shallow waters, as their only point of notoriety of whale-hunting has become far too dangerous since the Fall.
Means to an End
Although they’re isolationists, the people have found a way to pay for these necessities via a ritual of transmuting material into silver, notably bone. This ritual was discovered or invented after the townsfolk reappeared from their absence, and is a closely kept secret known to a few of the elder Brinesfolk. The elders keep a horde of this silver that was made from the bones of whales that were once hunted by the town, used only to purchase their desired goods.
After the reappearance of the village’s residents, they brought with them a divergent view on Shadiym that engulfed them in whole. Rather than the orthodox practice of offering prayers and tribute in homage to the sky-whale to keep it away and minimize the destructive annual storms, the Brinesfolk found a deep reverence in its characteristic of devouring other divines as a means of amassing power. They incorporated this into a ritual practice of cannibalism, which although not unheard of in Haven, as some of the Elvenkind are known to partake, was definitely taboo among Solmites and Verdites, emphasized even more so by the then-recent plague of Unfallen. The practice was withheld from outsiders until a group of missionaries from Shorewall went missing, although was never investigated, and from then onward goodwill practices from Shorewall ceased.
The Only Export
A notable oddity to come out of the village is a number of silver charms, usually worn around the neck. The process of their creation and their artificer is a mystery, though they have the ability to seemingly ward off the cold, and are comfortably warm to the touch. They don’t actually protect their wearer from the effects of exposure, hypothermia or frostbite, instead making the wearer feel like they’re warm. This extends to those in physical contact with the wearer, making them perceive the wearer as a source of heat. Made presumably from the same silver the town uses to purchase goods, a few of these trinkets have made their way around the local towns, being used as fodder for bartering.