The Barrowbrook Frontier
Barrowbrook is a human kingdom located in the wilderness of southern Brundonica. It is a Brunnen-G kingdom, characteristically small, only three days’ travel from border to border. It is bound on the north and west by the Marblecrest Mountains, and on the east by Starfall Bay. To the south lie Brightwood Forest, Shadowlight Moor and Kirkhill Downs.
A notable geographic feature of the kingdom are the Twin Titans, located in the dense forest near Starfall Bay. The Twins are two immense pillars of rock rising out of the woods, at least six hundred feet tall and flat on the top. They are visible throughout most of the kingdom, and provide a landmark for those navigating through the wilderness.
Population and Population Centers
Barrowbrook has an overall population of 470,000 sentients, mostly Brunnen-G human but with a smattering of other sentient races thrown in. There is an unusually large giant population as well as a high concentration of half-elves.
Roughly 120,000 people live in the urban centers. There are four cities, one large enough to be considered major, and 32 towns with a population over 1000. The largest city, Pelunion, is the biggest city for a thousand miles and represents a major port at the inlet of the River Morden, while the second-largest city, Mistwick, is a large trade hub located on the kingdom’s southern frontier.
Barrowbrook boasts eleven castles, with one currently under construction.
Barrowbrook has been in existence for a little over three hundred years. There was a great deal of wealth moving through the kingdom during the years of the spice trade; however, due to the elves’ closing their borders after the Long War, those profits have dried up and Barrowbrook has faded into relative obscurity.
As with most Brunnen-G kingdoms, Barrowbrook takes its art and culture very seriously. Patronage of the arts is very prominent, though artists are expected to display a strong talent for the work before attracting a patron. Thus, it is not uncommon to see performers on every street corner, with artists and sculptors randomly plying their craft throughout the cities.
As is typical of royalty, all large game in the kingdom is property of the king. Licenses are available for purchase for the taking of deer and boar, but they are expensive; killing a deer on the king’s lands is grounds for arrest for poaching. Typically the king’s rights to game hunting devolve upon his vassals in a given territory, but even in this case, poaching is still poaching.
Barrowbrook’s calendar has twelve months of 31 days each. For simplicity’s sake, these months translate to the familiar Earth months. The years of Barrowbrook are reckoned from the kingdom’s founding.
Economy and Trade
The currency in use in Barrowbrook is as follows: one galleon is worth 1 pp, one kronor is worth 1 gp, one ketch is worth 1 sp and one cog is worth 1 cp.
Barrowbrook is currently a kingdom in decline. While its nobility was quite wealthy, the end of the spice trade has consigned Barrowbrook to a kind of irrelevance. Very little trade goes on anymore because Barrowbrook is out of the way, and the kingdom itself doesn’t have much to offer the rest of the world.
Barrowbrook is an absolute monarchy: full legal authority is invested in the hereditary kingship. The king, in turn, delegates certain authorities to his vassals. The kingdom is divided up into four dukedoms, and each duke has the right to further subdivide as he sees fit.
The basic political unit is the shire; there are fifty-six shires in Barrowbrook. Each of these shires is overseen by a sheriff; this man reports to a higher noble, usually a duke but sometimes, in the case of the sheriffs of the Royal Shires, directly to the king. Occasionally a single man comes to control more than one shire; in these cases, he typically styles himself a baron and calls his lands a barony.
In general, politics are typical of a manorial society: serfs work the sheriff’s land in exchange for the sheriff’s protection. The sheriffs, in turn, swear fealty to the dukes in exchange for their lands, and the dukes swear fealty to the king for their own right to govern. The king nominally owns all land and real property, but delegates authority for these lands to the dukes. The exception is the Royal Shires, of which there are eighteen; these lands are owned and governed directly by the king.
There are three free cities in Barrowbrook. These cities are chartered by the king, and are not part of any shire. They are able to be governed as their authorities, laid out in their charters, see fit.