Its Good to be Evil!
The village of Henenfeld is a modest community of fewer than 150 people, though with Midergard‘s growth, many of the outlying communities are on the rise also. Henenfeld lies almost within bowshot (1500-2500ft.) of the Henemon Forest to the northwest, but many miles from the lower reaches of the Ashen Foothills to the east. As a bird flies, the village lies about 40 miles northeast of Midergard, about 70 miles west by north of Blackwood Harbor, 70 miles west by south of Anronel’s Crossing, about 60 miles southwest of Randlepass, and about 50 miles south by west of Fenmold. The air is often a bit windy here, with a biting chill that rustles the nearby forest; rains come often enough to allow crops to grow, and winter often sees a light snowfall.
A number of paths or other small roads branch out from the community, leading to the surrounding farms and fields, so it functions as a minor trade center. Across the Empire Forsym is an important source of vegetable crops, and the greater Henenfeld area focuses on crops such as potatoes; the area also has a number of animal farms, though cattle is mostly raised closer to the Foothills. Besides the main road and these smaller ones, there is another road that breaks southeast towards Blackwood Harbor and the southernmost point of the Ashen Foothills. That trek is less often used and the terrain more wild; rumors of the old bandit bands flit amongst some of the villagers from time to time, but no actual trouble has come from bandits for many years. Some merchants and traders say the bandits that plagued Henenfeld were underlings of the self-styled Bandit King, but others call it hogwash, noting that bandits and highway robbers can often be found where the law is lax.
Henenfeld was established as part of the larger attempt to better connect the various parts of Forsym, specifically it grew out of one of the stops along the Ashenil Road; it capitalizes on being a central location for many outlying farms and farming communities, and being close to a few timbering communities. There are about 30 structures straddling the road here, and a wooden palisade has been erected around the village, which could easily support more than 100 people. Watch towers also rise up within the walls of the village, little more than shaded wooden platforms on scaffolds; originally used (most likely) to watch the outlying countryside for signs of trouble, they now serve as convenient posts from which to keep an eye on much of the village. Buildings dominating the ‘skyline’ include the miller, carpenter, wainwright, inns, brothel, granary, brewer, timber lot, and a mysterious tower – all of them at least two (some three) stories tall, made from stone or at least fine lumber.
The Lucky Hen Inn
Not far from the middle of town is a favored stop of villagers and travellers alike: the Lucky Hen Inn. The inn rises head and shoulders above most of the other buildings, even though it has a lowly, relaxed look to it; the straw-thatched roof only adding to the quaint homeliness of the place. Like most of the buildings in town, it is build primarily from wood, but as with many other buildings lining the main street, the lowest part of the walls are cobbled stone. A hen-shaped sign hangs over the door, with naught but a pair of rolling dice depicted on it.
The Henenfeld Parish of Jelears
One of the best village buildings dominating the center of village is a fairly fashioned church of Jelears, made from stone with a shingled roof; unlike other churches of Jelears, this one is T-shaped rather than Y-shaped; it mirrors the junction in the road. Also unusual for a church of Jelears, the main entrance is at the top of the T opening onto the main road, facing northwest (each wing has an entrance as well, however). A corridor around the inside of the central belfrey allows access to all the wings without interrupting the inner dormitory, accessible only through three locked doors on the second level. Locals consider it a great priviledge to chance on seeing a priest(ess) cross above the corridor going to or from one of these doors.
The Henenfeld Mansion
The other major building in the village, called (the) Hamanar, is the resident manor house of Baron Henemon: a fortified mansion between the Henenfeld Church of Jelears and the southeast gate (Bandit Gate as the locals call it). The manor is surrounded by a wall that encloses it and a good portion of private land. Nearby stands the local village council’s building, a wide single-story longhouse whose lower wall is made from cobbled stones, upper walls of oaken planks, and roof of thatched straw.
- Henenfeld has been governed by the Henemon line since its founding centuries ago. The Henemons trace their line all the way back to the ancient Thrains (chieftains) of the region.
- Henemon Forest is supposed to contain vast magical power; a number of wizards and other mages have come through over the years, searching for what this might be.
- The village and local forest are under the protection of a powerful guardian. The man lives out in the woods, patroling the wild and watching the village; he is known to take the form of a great bear.
- The Church of Jelears in Henenfeld has had to let their traditional priests go. Partly in an effort to return to the roots of the faith and the community, custody of the parish has been turned over to some of Jelears’ favored adepts.