Nestled in the southern edge of the Scattered Woodland, this small provincial town has become a popular place for the city dwellers of Durmchapel. Wealthy aristocrats purchase country homes in and around Hemwyck while locals run shops and businesses that have been boosted by the boosted income.
The majority of people in Hemwyck are locals: provincial farmers, bakers, ironworks, and similar. In recent years this has expanded to include gunsmiths, restaurateurs, theatres, and booksellers as the noble population from the nearby Durmchapel have moved some seasonal houses over to the small town, expanding it. Only a small amount of the wealthy noble population stays year-round within Hemwyck, which is known for dark and windy winters and soggy grey springs. Racially, Hemwyck is predominantly human, elf, and half elf, due to the nearby Scattered Woodland, which is home to a rather morose wood elf culture. Though there are occasional sights of other races among the streets. Most any type of person could be found here during the Summer and Autumn months, while only locals stick around when the weather grows harsh and the world dark.
Hemwyck is led by Mayor Heimrad Parker, who was elected by the local noble families which form the ruling council.
Notable Noble FamiliesName
Industry & Trade
The original industries that Hemwyck was founded for were forestry, farming, and mining from the hills that are around the settlement. After the mining was taken to the more northern mining camps and richer deposits that could be found there, due to expanding building campaigns within the city of Hemwyck, the industry moved more towards catering to the upper class tastes of the new citizens.
Hemwyck had a rapid expansion due to the renewed interest from the aristocracy. The town that was once a small center without walls has expanded out into a full four districts surrounded by a wall and a fifth just outside.
Market StreetOnce an old market for the local farmers during the autumn months, Market Street has since expanded into a whole district of permanent and semi-permanent shops. The large central courtyard has morphed from a bustling stall market into an open park where festivals take place and the community gathers.
Tower DistrictThe Tower District, before the gradual expansion, was the bureaucratic center of the early community. Now those civic buildings have expanded out into most aspects of government function including the city militia, magistrate, and law houses. However, it has also gained housing for the officials that work in that district. Bookstores, schools, and the small so-called Towers Field University have also been added to this growing district of civic centers.
Temple WardBuilt around an old stone cathedral, the Temple ward has expanded out to house the various sects and related businesses tied to religious practice. In addition to the usual additional newer temples, this is also where the painters and goldsmiths have found a place to call home.
Ring BoroughRing Borough is the older part and what constitutes much of the original town of Hemwyck. Many of the towns lauded old pubs, inns, and residents live in this district. The architecture here is also markedly different than that in the expansions. The buildings of Ring Borough are smaller, more claustrophobic, and tend towards slight leans from the shifting that developed over time giving it a somewhat gaunt and dark appearance in the late evenings.
O'ersted FarmsThe O'ersted farms are not found within the walls of Hemwyck, but are no less important for that fact. They lie outside the walls no more than a mile or so out into the grasslands, where the soil is better for farming since the trees have been cleared out and their roots decayed. Much of the food produced here is sold and eaten within Hemwyck proper.
Guilds and Factions
Baker's GuildOne of the oldest factions in Hemwyck, the Baker's Guild keeps the quality of bread and baked goods checked, trains those interested in becoming bakers, and has expanded into the productions of ales as well. They hold some fair amount of political power as the small settlement has long relied on the production of bread from the outer farms and mills to feed its population.
Stonemason's GuildThe Stonemason's Guild formed early in the town of Hemwyck, as a kind of organization of the previously informal quarries and mines that dotted the far reaches of the territory around the north-most town. In the present day this has expanded to include not only miners and prospectors, but also stone workers, sculptors, most kinds of builders, and bricklayers.
Costello FamilyThe Costello Family is one of the oldest noble houses in the Khthakian North-East. Comprised mostly of dwarves, they have significant political sway in the cities of Hemwyck and Durmchapel where the family has significant ties to the Stonemason's Guild. However, beneath the benign noble exterior, this family functions as an umbrella for some of the more illegal activities within their cities. Primarily trading in contraband and stolen goods as a means to get a foot up in the black markets so close to the Eastern Ocean.
Many of the original buildings are all in an older wood based style, made of heavily burled wood from the Scattered Woodland. However, newer constructions make use of the cheaper wood from Wealdstone Mill and show a more modern style of construction and interior. Fixtures such as turrets, bay windows, and pointed spires mark the wealthier side of town and the newly constructed homes in the area.
"I have always enjoyed the disposition to be found in the town of Hemwyck, rural, provincial people going about a more quaint existence. These are the kinds of things that you lose in la vie moderne in cities like Lurwick. If you just need a quick escape or a place to spend the dreary months, or are looking for a winter home away from sea spray, one of my favorite visits is Hemwyck" -Wynefrede Fitton, in her book Homesteads Near Home