Dead of Winter
Stonebridge is a heavily fortified town, home to around 10,000 people with another 10,000 living in scattered villages and farms in the immediate area.
Founded in the 15th century, Stonebridge has fought off dozens of attacks from Northern Barbarians, monstrous humanoids and worse. The town has grown steadily over the centuries, starting out as little more than a wooden keep atop a steep crag it now boasts a large, stone keep and inner wall which houses the prince’s palace as well as the town’s granaries and armouries, this is known as Hightown. A long stone bridge arches down from there to the town itself, known as Lowtown. Lowtown is itself enclosed by a stout stone wall with many towers and a wide, deep ditch. The vast majority of the population live in Lowtown rather than atop the crag. Lowtown is very crowded, with as many people as possible eager to live within the protective walls.
Food production is the main occupation of Stonebridge’s people since the soil of the Borderlands is not very productive and the climate harsh for raising crops or livestock. Most families will keep chickens or a pig in cramped gardens and their diet tends to be bland, usually oat bread, potatoes, cabbages and a little mutton. There are many mountain streams and rivers nearby so fishing is an officially encouraged pastime as a way of supplementing supplies. Food is still scarce so much of it must be bought from towns further south, usually traded for lumber, quality building stone or iron ore.
Stonebridge is a highly militarised town with around 10% of the town’s population employed as professional soldiers and twice that number available as militia in an emergency. Stonebridge’s soldiers are tough, veteran fighters who have a high morale and their dedication has seen many attacks fought off. They also man border posts in the surrounding area and act as firemen, watchmen and even manual if required.
Stonebridge has a smallish dwarf population (around 5% of the population) who live in their own neighbourhoods in Lowtown. They are regarded as skilled craftsmen and engineers but tensions do occasionally arise between the two races.