Thieves & Kings
Brightwall March - Fallen Glory
Brightwall March is a small region that constitutes the far eastern portion of the Barony of Ambarin. A region of several small hamlets and isolated farm steadings scattered along its length, whose total population barely exceeds double that of the population directly around Longbridge. Essentially a broad river valley roughly twenty miles across, and about fifty miles east of the City of Greenwalls, it is mostly open, rolling land between the woodlands of the eastern Grandwood, with a mix of cheery meadows, light woods with little undergrowth, and thickets that were once orchards. Many small streams wind their way across the land, eventually joining the Bright River, which flows north into the Barony of Tauria. The Hinterlands lie immediately to the south.
The local population is primarily farmers, shepherds, and woodcutters. Hamlets include woodcrafters, smiths, carters, brewers and hideworkers. Most villagers tend nearby orchards and fields, and are primarily humans, with some halflings near Longbridge, and fewer dwarves and other folk. The ruling clan are the Marblehearths, whose ancestors long held control of the area around Longbridge, and today are ruled by Torvald Marblehearth, a former adventurer in his youth, who still possesses a strong sword arm, but is becoming known more as a just and compassionate leader.
Longbridge, the important trade town with the only bridge spanning the Bright River, lies north of Hark, the capital of the region. The bulk of the population outside Longbridge are in small villages with rarely more than a hundred inhabitants. Hark is the largest village with a little over 300 villagers, two-thirds of which live outside its low stone walls. Winterhaven and Stormfast are fortified hamlets that lie east of Hark, while Marblehearth and Tor Hold lie west of Longbridge, along the trade road to Tyrian’s Hill, which could, in theory, be claimed as a part of the region.
The Bright River runs the length of Brightwall, from the southern stretch of the Moon Hills, through the Bright Forest and into the Witchlight Fens on the border with the Barony of Tauria. The only primary crossing is the bridge at Longbridge, but there are also two flatboat ferries that cross the waterway – one at the thorp of Hallbridge, the other next to the halfling village of Easthill, on the border. There are a few halfling trading families on live-aboard barges trading along the Bright River, or living in quiet seclusion in the Witchlight Fens.
A steading is a farm or homestead in the countryside. Each of these settlements features a strongly built house of fieldstone and timber, usually surrounded by 100-200 acres of pastureland and cropland. Some steadings have defensive palisades or low stone walls around the main manor house. A single extended family commonly lives in the house; two or three couples with their children, their older relations, and a few hired hands. They are usually from long-established clans, whose names read like knights of old, and in more settled lands, might actually have claim to such titles. Rarely do the total inhabitants of a steading exceed a couple dozen (20-30 inhabitants). Travelers on the trade roads of Brightwall are rarely more than a mile or two from the nearest steading.