Eschbach Settlement in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Eschbach

Eschbach (or Eschbrook in English) is a village on the border between the Frankish & Old Saxon lands. Most harbour resentment to the Saxons who have massacred a good number of their people. It still stands, yet it is greatly reduced in size both in the number of buildings and (more importantly) villagers. Recently it has started to grow thanks to a new Frankish lord being installed here, and is being built up as a trading hub, along with Frankish militia being added increasing security in the region.

Demographics

Very few remain an mainly older inhabitants, many elderly, who has nowhere else to go.

Government

Eschbach has a Council of Three that see to the running of the village on a daily basis. They are made up of three people known locally as Bjorn, Maeven and Fleur. They answer to Grimmaz Fyrwin who has recently been appointed as Lord of Eschbach and controls a five mile radius of the land around Eschbach as well.

Defences

The village had little in the way of defences with many of the men & women of fighting age either have been killed or has fled. Most of the remaining people make up a ragtag group of militia, but well past their prime.   The defences have been recently updated with at least 20 well-trained, though still ragtag, group of Frankish militia to be added to the defences. The "Burgeaters" as they are called may be viewed as the more disruptive elements from the Frankish army, their fighting strength and somewhat dubious skills in other areas are a welcome addition. Along with the Motte & Bailie being built, it feels more secure.   Also, with many merchants seeing an opportunity here, many of them have caravan guards with them that will deal with threats to the surrounding trade routes & income of their masters.

Industry & Trade

Timber & logging are the major exports, along with medicinal plants & pelts. A few make their living as carpenters, and the local blacksmith keeps the tools sharp & strong. They buy in many plant based foods, as there is little farming here except for livestock that can survive in the forest. Farming is starting to take off to feed the growing population, as well as mining, and general trading in more exotic wares from both the north & south now passing through.

Infrastructure

Carpentry and woodworking is found round the vilage, usually family owned. Charcoal burning camps are found throughout the surrounding forest, and a mine has recently been reopened supplying iron ore and stone for building. As it grows in size, the village will soon become a trading town too due location. It allows for trade to come up through at the edge of Frankish territory, and a quicker route from Salzburg & Wein going north to Parisius, Aachen & Orleans.   With the the new expansion in the east of the village it will bring in a working merchant class along with storerooms & warehouses. A forge is being built too, allowing for metal products to be bought & sold. The Thieves Guild of Frankia has also started to move in allowing for some black market items to be bought. Because of the location, and a few outsider merchants showing interest, more xotic good will soon be available locally.

Districts

There is a market place in the centre of the village, along with a church nearby. A sacred grove is on the outskirts for other religions. A set of shops also can be found in the centre, along with a meeting house for elders. Homes surround most of this area, and farmland is uncommon with a couple of very small farms. Mostly surrounded by forest, many locals are expert woodworkers & carpenters, along with woodsmen of different types, and hunters / trappers too. A few herbalists are found as well, due to some of the plants found in the forest.   To the east of the vilage it is expanding into¬† merchant area along with housing, warehouses, stables, local militia & private guard barracks. The Thieves Guild of Frankia are setting up too, allowing for a regulated black market to flourish too. To the northwest, above the church, a Motte & Bailie is being built too allowing for a defensive position and a local treasury. To the south west is a reopened mine and small groups of miners & support services have started building up there.

Assets

Wood is a major export for the town, as well as products made from it too. Sometimes medicinal material is sent out too, along with animal pelts. Recently the mine has started supplying iron ore & stone for building purposes. The newly installed lord & his charter allows for trade to take place allowing more variable goods from further afield to arrive. Frmland is also being sorted too, allowing for some fresh foodstuffs to be more readily available.

Guilds and Factions

The Thieves Guild of Frankia has now took over as the main guild, and a Merchants Guild is looking to set up soon when there is enough members to make it viable. Dwarves of the Ludger Clan is in the process of setting up too. The latter would see Ludger clan members come and go making high quality gear for the locals, and for the military.

History

Settled a good number of years ago, it is unknown exactly when the town was first set. It is likely there were temporary postings here, usually early Celtic, Roman, and Germanic peoples. Many would have used it for sleep overs, hunting and timber production that eventually became the main industries.   Recently, a local called Grimmaz Fyrwin, has been granted Lordship of Eschbach along with a charter to oversee the expansion of the village into a town. After he had helped the Frankish Empire in the background it was noted the village needed expansion. This would lead to a more defensable township & region, and bring in money.

Points of interest

An old ruined & overgrown menhir, and an old sacrificial table, is presently covered in old pre-human sigils. Below the ground right in front is a covered pit where the bodies of humanoid creatures were buried. The skeletal remains are a mix of human & what looks like goats (goat-like face & horns, and goat-like legs, as well as slightly larger tailbones). A strange mist hangs low over the ground, and not very thick. This is half a mile south east of the old Fyrwin house. It is a cursed place with a hidden story behind it. Supposedly if it is disturbed in any way, a creature made up of the flesh of the worshippers will rise if the menhir, table and/or burial is disturbed, a twisted creature made of some of the remains of past victims will rise to defend it (some locals call it a Gibbering Mouther under their breath), and it is a child of the Outer Gods.   To the west in a clearing is an old pagan shrine, which is still in use. Again, it contains a menhir, which is cared for by locals. Most follow the old ways and follow variants of the Vanir primarily. A small copse of ash and oak surround it on it's inner circle. The ground has been covered regularly in timber and a sacrifice of nine animals, usually livestock, is made every nine years here. Funerary & wedding rites are carried out here, and blessings of harvest & child-birth happen too. It is attended by some of the elders, and they take the role of priests / priestesses when needed. It is about half a mile outside the village. There is a local story concerning the menhir, in which it is said that a living tree (some of the locals refer to it as a Treant), lives in the grove. Sometimes he whispers when there is a breeze giving solace and advice when needed as the locals say. He is meant to have been placed there to protect the grove by the Vanir to stop it being corrupted by the other menhir, and was meant to protect those in the area from evil influence.   A small local church of only a handful of worshippers, and a single Roman Catholic priest. He attends here and a few close by communities. The position regularly changes as to the availability of priests. Though frowned upon by the majority, and their own stance on the 'old ways', both are generally cordial for better or worse. This is due to the number of people living in the area, and them knowing each other for a number of years. Woe betide the priest who tries to push it though. Any that have done, is generally driven off pretty quick. The local church regularly tries to stop any one going near the old overgrown menhir calling it the work of the Devil, and a portal to Hell. Sometimes members will still go to the western menhir to take in the peaceful atmosphere. It is known that local church authorities sometimes meet with the priests of the Vanir in either setting to sort out local religious disputes. This means that sometimes the Roman Catholic priest will enter the grove, even blessing the menhir, and the Vanir priests will sometimes bless the church in their own way.   Ruined buildings are spread throughout the edges of the village. This is where the worst of the previous raids took place and it is rumoured that many of these buildings are haunted. Most were family houses and usually belonged to carpenters, woodsmen, hunters and the odd farmer. With the raids killing so many, and it being on the border most of the buildings have never been repaired or rebuilt. Nature has reclaimed a good number of them and no-one wants to. The remains of the dead were buried to the west near the grove and church. Unfortunately, some were placed in a mass grave as there were few left to properly bury the dead. After the worst raids stopped, very few wanted to remain so a good few gave up their right to their properties, leaving for safer regions away from the fighting.

Architecture

The buildings are primarily made of sturdy wood, along with wooden fences demarking personal spaces. Most homes are two/three rooms with one layer, and the main buildings round the town centre that are standing are two to three levels depending on what the building is. Many of the inner buildings have large rocks / stones shaped at the bottom level for more strength and to support the weight of the remaining structures.

Geography

The area is quite hilly, with small rocky outcrops, and plenty of small streams, and small rivers. The area is predominately forested and that is the first thing that stands out.

Natural Resources

Forests primarily of ash is common here, along with goats who can pretty much survive quite well in the terrain. Deer are common, along with wolves & lynx. All can be used for their pelts or for food sources. In the forest itself there are certain medicinal plants that grow, along with many species of fungi that are edible.
"It was always an overlooked region. Sort of at the edge of the civilised Frankish lands, and the savage Saxon lands. Now e can sleep a tad easier at night knowing there is powerful people out there that have noticed us. Though, sooner or later there is always the chance that it'll attract the attention of more powerful enemies down the line."   Bjorn of the Eschbach Council taking to some of the locals.
Type
Town
Population
75 (but growing)
Inhabitant Demonym
Eschbachens
Owner/Ruler
Additional Rulers/Owners
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

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