Saturday, 16 July 2011

Overview of the Walrus Freehold

The Walrus Freehold has been on the edge of the Toutus Empire, and never fully integrated - more of an outpost than a proper province. The Walrus Freehold has been mostly left to its own devices - as a Freehold it was a collection of semi-independent cities.
The most notable thing about the Walrus Freehold is the climate - subarctic to arctic, with viciously cold winters. There is some farming, but crops don't grow well at this latitude, so a lot of the food has to be from hunting, fishing or trade with other cities with better farmland. The natural resources of this land are valuable, so the hardships are tolerated by those willing to make a profit.
Ivory, from both the walruses on the coast and also the mammoths and mastodons that roam the tundra, is valuable and these beasts are often hunted. The hides from these and other creatures can be used by leatherworkers as they are thick, warm and hard-wearing. Rare timbers are found in the Twilight Forest, a vast stretch of taiga (cold pine forest), while in the ground amber, silver and gold can be found.

While Teiglin is considered suitable for low-level adventurers (levels 1-5) and the Godsblood Strait for mid-level adventurers (levels 5-10), the Walrus Freehold is dangerous once beyond the city walls - if the climate doesn't kill you, the wandering monsters will. In the north, there are ferocious cold-dwelling creatures such as white dragons, frost giants, frost salamanders and worse. Even the "normal" animals seem to be throwbacks to a more savage, wilder age - instead of wolves there are dire wolves, instead of bears there are cave bears and polar bears and instead of tigers there are sabertooth tigers. Only experienced and tough adventurers (levels 10-15) will prosper.

Another thing about the Walrus Freehold is the relative absence of recent catastrophe. The Freehold was attacked by other Empires during the Wars between the Empires, and during the Summoning the Grulven Hills were transformed by the battle of Bhael against Adonor and Rhondus into the Twisted Hills. However, there have been no cities destroyed or ruined, no displacement of refugees and no Chaos Portals in the immediate vicinity. The region has got off lightly.

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