This week is a small, human, coastal town I found lying around but never got a chance to use. In redrawing it for this post, I fixed some elevation issues and then got carried away designing the entire manor so it could reasonably exist given the slope it was built on. It’s also another chance to refine and test the population algorithm. We’re going to treat the population piecemeal for more meaningful variety.
We’ll start by talking about the common folk, and leave the manor and keep for later. There are 52 hovels in Crem each capable of housing a family or two. Crem families make their way working on the docks and farming for the most part, but also produce homespun clothing for sale to the constant supply of sailors. A Crem couple has an average of 2.8 children at home, more for farming families and less for shop owners and dock workers. Few children remain at home into adulthood, marrying young. About half of the houses are doubled up with two families; the common folk continue to resist building outside the walls of Crem, but the population density is getting high enough that some farming families have built their homes nearer their land.
Accounting for male work and war casualties and death of the mother during birth, let’s go ahead and assume in 79 families, we have 73 adult men and 75 adult women. This is a population that isn’t very religious (notice, no temples or churches), and doesn’t aspire to much more than their coastal town life. They do, however, take a stake in defending their town, some more than others.
43 men and 8 women serve in the militia for a couple watches a week and a once a week training exercise for a small stipend. Most of the 20 brawling drunks are men, but 3 are women. A sizable portion of the population is unscrupulous enough to steal when no one is looking, 29 of them willing to slip a loaf of bread off a neighbor’s window sill or pocket a handful of grain from the sacks at the docks. A man and a woman hidden among the population are a little more skilled in thievery and actually pick pockets, perhaps even picking the warehouse lock to get some goods. The remaining bulk of the women (45) are novice herbalists, being skilled enough to tend to wounded children and be midwives. One woman, probably the owner of the herbalist shop, is a druid. She probably has a helpful animal companion giving the herbalist shop the proper witch doctor aesthetic.
The Manor is harder to run through the population generator. It has 14 servants, who are generally unskilled as the commoners, though with some training related to their daily tasks (probably mostly herbalism, given all the gardens).
The rich family they serve is a different story. I’m going to define them directly as being 1 father, 1 mother, 1 daughter (16), and 2 sons (12 and 10). They’re wealthy because they control the warehouse, having been the first non-military group to settle in Crem. Seeing the coastal fortress there, Hilbirg Crem, the grandfather of current family patriarch, Milius Crem, took the opportunity to make it the center of his small trading empire. Hilbirg was a talented man with money, but no warrior. He used his money and charm, however, to obtain a highly talented spouse, and his son did the same. His grandson, Milius, got good blood from his mother and grandmother. We’ll expound on this character tomorrow, but suffice to say, his wife studied at a mage academy in the capital and his daughter is probably dabbling in magic by now.
Finally, on to the keep. The Lord of the keep is one Thane Gernik Highwater. His is a humble lordship, but he has some skilled soldiers at his disposal in order to maintain order and guard the port. The keep houses 19, including the Thane and his family. The Thane is a level 5 Paladin, one of his men is a level 4 Paladin, and 2 are low level squires aspiring to be paladins, probably from lesser noble families. His remaining 12 men are fighters between level 1 and 3.
But the most interesting thing about the keep is its dungeon. Almost always empty (drunks and minor offenders are kept in the Crem jail, this dungeon is reserved for prisoners of war and the like), the dungeon is connected by underground tunnels to the manor wine cellar, the brothel, and a system of caves accessible through a sinkhole outside the town. Few know of these tunnels, and certainly not the Thane. They were built by Hilbirg Crem when he was in an uncertain relationship with the Lord of the keep. The caves were discovered by an escaping prisoner, they are known by even fewer than the tunnels.
Sound like a place you would like to visit? Would you put it in a setting you were running? How would you use parts of it for your campaign? Let us know below.