House of Hule, Common Knowledge

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House of Hule, Common Knowledge

Post  Kithrater on Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:52 am

From Bloodstained:

Because most of the Hule lifestyle is still being defined as we players give it life, I thought I'd throw down some stuff that all travelers and guests would pick up on (IGly) after spending just a few days in the Outpost. Public knowledge, really... basic facts and statistics I asked the great Kithrater to confirm before giving it back to you all...

Location/Size: The Hule Outpost itself is not too large. the bailey totaling about an acre in size, built on top of a hill whose entire bottom is surrounded by a rough wooden palisade. A river surrounds the hill, flowing from Angrod's Peak to the west, and a bridge is built on the southern face of the incline. Across the bridge, a steep path leads directly to the inn on the very top of the hill. Its inhabitants number around a hundred, though this varies depending on the season and weather.

History: Hule and his family were the first Beorians to come to the land of Dorthonion, breaking off from the main tribe of the Folk of Beor when the humans first arrived in Beleriand, from over the eastern mountains. As the lands were even more wild and untamed in those days, Hule and his family quickly set to preparing themselves by building a simple fort atop a strategic hill.

Eventually, the actions of the trespassing men caught the attention of Angrod, the elvish lord of Dorthonion. Yet, the men of Hule proved themselves in a ferocious battle against a band of orcs, and so Lord Angrod allowed the Hule Folk to keep their holdings, providing they obey the rules of what would become known as the Compact: that the Outpost would remain open to any traveler of good standing in aid, and that the Hule Folk would keep the surrounding lands free of bandits or orcs, thus freeing Angrod from having to squander military resources of protecting independent merchants and travelers.

Since then, the Outpost has slowly grown to be a necessary sanctuary for those with an interest in Dorthonion.

The Folk:The greatest portion of the population itself, about fifty people or so, are actual members of the Hule Family. They serve as blacksmiths, masons, farmers, hunters, millers, cooks, brewers, and help the Outpost stay alive. Assisted by them are the guests of the Hules, various travelers who have stuck around for different amounts of time, earning their keep by doing much the same work as the family members. Some of them have been living there for only a few months, while others were actually born there. The ones that stay there the longest usually just end up marrying a Hule family member, which is practically the only source of genetic variety in the gene pool. Most of the Hules are distinguishable by their brown hair and square chins. They usually don't look too different.

Life in the Outpost: Life in the Outpost is somewhat different than that of the many other tiny hamlets in which the vast majority of humans live in this day and age. The basic conditions are much the same: people in the Outpost share sleeping accommodations with a dozen others, engage in back-breaking labour twelve hours a day, eat plain fare of gruel with an occasional hunk of meat, drink cider as the water is far from sanitary, and eventually succumb to death from illness after only fifty or sixty years at the most. Those inclined to cleanliness bathe twice a season in the river, and when there is not work to be done, people engage in dice, games, tests of strength and wit, the telling of stories and singing of songs, hunting, and small crafts such as carving or painting. People own perhaps two or three sets of clothes, and more or less everything is produced, brewed, cooked, sewn or otherwise fashioned by the folk of the Outpost themselves.

However, due to the Outpost's unique location and history, it sees many a traveler, merchant, hunter, explorer and bandit pass through its gates. These individuals and groups bring with them stories, rumours, goods, and trouble, all of which serve to enrich the days of those who live in the Outpost.

The Wardsmen: Unlike in big towns such as Brangochen, the Wardsmen of the town are in fact not Town Watchmen in the typical sense. Up until the recent orkish activity, the safety of the Outpost's inhabitants has almost been a non-issue, as the walls keep the wolves and elements mostly out. Because of this, the Wardsmen didn't really train for combat, but instead performed all of the odd jobs that needed doing, effectively being the manual labor pool: large, muscular and not-too bright men are always in demand in a pre-industrial world. They fixed fences, recovered errant livestock, harvested apple and brewed cider, tended to the Outpost's herd of sheep and goats,repaired buildings, and occasionally banished the odd trouble-maker, though they are usually just warned and left to go on their way. They spent more time making sure the Outpost was happy than keeping it safe (in the traditional sense), considering how little danger the hill was in, until now. A quick talk around town would reveal that there isn't even a real jail cell for miscreants. Unruly drunks are often dragged down to the cellar to sleep off their inebriation. There are no official ranks within the Wardsmen, there is simply a Chief Wardsmen (who is currently Breurn, the sobersided, steely-eyed man), and all of the Wardsmen who have agreed to do what is best for the Outpost. There is almost never a conflict of interests within the group, and whenever there is, the Chief Wardsmen mediates it quickly.

Trade and Coin: During the early days of the Outpost, prior to the Compact, bartering was virtually the only means of trade within the Outpost. Without a fresh source of coin or anyone to accept it, money was practically worthless. However, once the Compact was signed, the Outpost became a hub for weary travelers, and eventually merchants, in the area. With them they brought supplies, news, coin, and more importantly, trade. Coin became more and more accepted as a means of payment when they could be used to purchase supplies from merchants, who were generally not as comfortable with the idea of bartering as the Hulefolk. Compared to its humble beginning, the Outpost has grown to hold a considerable sum of trade, from the hunters selling fur to the artisans buying lumber. Although the goods that are bought in the Outpost are usually bought by the inhabitants themselves, enough trade has occurred to precipitate the coming of some merchants who arrive solely to sell and buy for pure profit, before moving on to a different location. Because of the slow change of the Outpost's tendencies towards mercantilism, travelers are now generally charged a fee to enter the gates, except during the season of winter, when it would be absolutely cruel to turn the destitute back to the frigid lands.


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