Bauersdorf

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Bauersdorf is the only settlement on the road between the towns of Flaschfurt (12 miles south) and Gerzen (8 miles north). It sits on the eastern bank of the River Flaschgang, besieged by the dark boughs of the Drakwald Forest. Charitable people refer to it as a village, although it's small even by the standards of a village, with a population of 50-60.

Families of Bauersdorf

The Dubrovski Household

The Dubrovskis are a recent addition to the village. They’re refugees from Kislev who settled after the war. They're viewed with suspicion, and worship funny for’n gods like Ursun, Dahz and Tor as well as good Imperial gods like Ulric and Taal. They're still getting used to they way things are done, and their questions about why things are done certain ways are increasingly met with “they just are, ok?” Their fatalism has been softened by their unlikely survival and the warmer climate, but they're haunted by memories of the war, and people have learned to leg it if one of them threatens to “sing the songs of the mother country,” particularly since this invariably involves the use of an instrument nicknamed the ‘cat mangle’ by the other residents.

Great Grandmother: Galya. Age unknown. Sagging shoulders and a melancholic demeanour depart only when singing the songs of her people, which are of course the most melancholic things anyone else has ever heard. Cheerier songs include only some child deaths. She has no interest in the customs of her new nation, and her arthritic hands can no longer knit. She does, however, have an excellent eye for plants, and can be relied upon to identify problems in the cottage garden before anyone else does.

Father: Volodya. 45. His fatalistic veneer is shed in times of crisis, where a willingness to do anything for his wife and children comes to the fore. He also adores his grandmother Galya, even if everyone else finds her difficult. He still struggles with Reikspiel, often relying on Zhanna, Lelyah, or one of the children to translate for him.

Mother: Zhanna. 46. She is fierce, and harsh. Speak foolishly, and she will tell you. She is only merry when singing the songs of her people, and this is how she and Galya bond.

First child: Lelyah. 30. Spinster. Angered by the way society is structured. Played by Liz.

Second child: Yelena. 15. See the Kürschner household.

Third child: Petri. Died during the flight from Kislev.

Fourth child: Masha. Died during the flight from Kislev.

Fifth child: Juliya. 10. Quiet, but fierce. Other children soon learned it wasn't safe to bully her.

The Grenschers

The Grenschers are what city snobs think of when someone says ‘peasant’. That is, they have more family members than teeth, and are usually sporting a look of unsuccessful cunning. They have been caught trying to half-inch other people's produce, and will often ask the unwary to do a favour for them upon the insincere promise of future reimbursement.

Grandfather: Werther. 62. Widely regarded as the laziest man in the village. The greatest satisfaction in life, he reckons, is the successful retrieval of a crusty chunk of snot from one's nose. Spends most of his time accusing everyone around him of being lazy, and that he worked hard to make it this far.

Father: Utz. 45. Describes himself as a cheeky chappy.

Mother: Bettina. 32. No-one knows where Utz found Bettina, or what she saw in him. He simply returned to the village one day with her on his arm.

First child: Knut. 12. Enjoys stealing other people's eggs. Entirely unaffected by the fury he elicits, and knows his father finds it hilarious when people complain.

Second child: Katinka. 9. Keeps watch for Knut. Sometimes gets distracted eating insects.

The Harmans

The Harmans are the landlords of Bauersdorf’s finest (and only) inn, the Grinning Pig. Their no-nonsense, upfront approach usually leaves them squabbling with the more enterprising Kürschners over what the rules of commerce are, even though there are essentially no rules beyond “don’t nick stuff.” The Harmans are fairly sure they should be famous across Hochland for the quality of their pies. People who spend their entire lives in Bauersdorf agree that the pies are indeed excellent. People who have eaten any other pie ever suggest, heretically, that it’s possible for pies to have something called “flavour.” The average Harman would consider such considerations to be a bit fancy.

Father: Fritz. 41. Honest to a fault, and not the best businessman, but dependable. Is experienced enough, however, to have a nose for people who might not pay him for services rendered.

Mother: Sibylla. 41. Crafter of thoroughly average pies. Doesn't hold with for'n muck, and hopes to show passersby that Hochlandish food is the best. Thinks that folks from elsewhere could learn a thing or two about sensible living from Hochlanders.

First Child: Alwine. 23. Strong, ambitious, forthright, easily offended. Played by Jen.

Second child: Ralph. 22. Simple, strong, and clearly mentally unfit to inherit the business.

Third child: Hedy. 19. Hopes to make pies as well as her mother. Has her father's business sense, and hasn't yet found a man in the village who doesn't seem like a sack of hot wind.

Fourth child: Marietta. 15. Shy, obedient, traditional. Played by Rachel.

Fifth child: Gustav. 12. Tries to emulate Ralph, and is frustrated that his weedy child arms (they're already the equal of a boy in his mid-teens). Is a quick study at doing the books, or at least he would be if he had an attention span and wasn't already trying (and failing) to impress girls older than he is.

The Klinkenbergs

The Klinkenbergs are what romantic idealists think of when someone says ‘peasant.’ They’re usually first to the fields in the morning, the last to stop working, and seem to be continually blessed with fertile soil and fertile wombs; an endless line of robust, healthy babies seem to spring out of their house, which they rebuilt twenty years ago to include a second floor to accommodate everyone. If there’s only one patch of rain in a dry season, it lands on their herb garden. If there’s one patch of sun, it’ll be lighting up their immaculately shingled roof. Everyone hates them. Many in the village reckon their idyllic existence will be ruined eventually, as they keep having kids but aren't getting any more land.

Great-grandmother: Phyllis. 77. Happily looks after the young'uns while the adults work the fields. Is always smiling, and her gentle assertiveness means the Klinkenberg children are always well behaved.

Grandfather: Lorenz. 57. Upon waking, Lorenz tends to stand out at the front of the house surveying the tidy garden and looking pleased. When Mattias wakes, they will discuss the weather, and Lorenz will congratulate Mattias on their continuing horticultural success.

Grandmother: Ada. 55. Loves nothing more than feeding the clan. Also enjoys a good chat about the weather.

Uncle: Gerald. 27. Gerald doesn't seem to want a wife, and just likes working the fields. He also can discuss the finer points of weather with the best of 'em. If anyone ever asks him why he hasn't taken a wife, he simply says he hasn't met the right person.

Father: Mattias. 25. Loves his children. Likes talking about the weather. Probably drank some cool aid at some point.

Mother: Trudi. 23. Loves her children. Likes talking about the weather, and flowers. Happily works the field when she isn't incredibly pregnant or nursing.

First child: Niklas. 6. Does his best to help Nanny Ada cook.

Second child: Sebastian. 5.

Third child: Sieghild. 3.

Fourth child: Ulla. 1.



The Kürschner Household

The Kürschners are the village’s merchant family. They have a water wheel on the river, which they use to mill flour, and will also buy surplus produce from anyone in the village to sell to travellers going north up the road and south down the river. Indeed, they have a pontoon by the riverside where passing boats can moor up. This is a source of irritation to the innkeeper, since people sometimes buy raw food before passing the inn moments later and passing on the chance for hot pies since they’ve already spent their money. The Kürschners are thought of as crafty and underhanded but ultimately decent, and often a good source of gossip from “for’n parts”.

Grandfather: Old Man Johan. Age: ancient. Best described as a nihilistic tortoise denuded of a shell. He shuffles about, wondering when the end will come, reduced largely to bodily urges and a profound understanding of the endless, cyclic nature of existence.

Father: Friedmann. Age: 49. The sort of person who sees having children as a financial investment with enough emotional ties to threaten his business acumen, Friedmann's fatherly affections are directly proportionate to his childrens' successes.

Mother: Veronika. Age: 46.It is said that Veronika is the source of all Friedmann's most underhanded business ploys, and whether or not that's true, she's certainly an ambitious woman who's made their little shop reliably successful over the years.

First child: Otto. Age: 23. The favourite, the competent, the man who walks in his father's shadow. Hasn't found himself a wife, though, and it's starting to get awkward.

Second child: Merten. Age: 20. A bold, crafty haggler with an eye for a bargain and a head for grand (usually over-ambitious) schemes to generate profit.

Third child: Erik. Age: 17. Something of a grifter, but the only Kürschner who's tied the knot (to Yelena), much to the envy of his brothers who regard Erik as a bit of a liability, an attitude they've inherited from their disapproving father Friedmann.

Fourth Child: Annalena. Age: 15. Doesn't take the business seriously enough for her parents' liking, but she's only young. Tends to keep herself off the bottom of the pecking order by pointing out Erik's blunders.

Erik's wife: Yelena Kürschner (nee Dubrovski). Age: 15. Calm, confident, hard working and stern, her affection for Erik is baffling for the rest of the Kürschners. Currently pregnant with her 2nd child.

Erik's son: Andrej Kürschner. Age: 2.



The Pfaffs

The Pfaffs have been growing limp vegetables on this land for countless generations, and view anyone who hasn’t (i.e. everyone) as not local. The height of ambition for a Pfaff is surviving all the way through the winter with maybe three or even four spare beans. No point wasting effort for a few measly coins, they say. One of the Pfaff family left to live in the “big city” (i.e. Gerzen, which isn’t actually a city). They’re still incensed about that. It happened three generations back.

Father: Dierk. 60. Enjoys pootly walks and sitting down afterwards. Still helps out in the fields when it's absolutely necessary, otherwise potters around the house. Is particularly suspicious of people from for'n parts.

Mother: Judit. 54. Hates cooking. Always ends up doing the cooking. Finds noisy travellers on the road particularly irritating.

First child: Menno. 30. Works to live. Enjoys festival days, so long as there's a singsong, so long as they're good old classics everyone knows.

Second child: Franz. 25. Referred to by the rest of the family as the "keen" one after he once worked into dusk during harvest. He pointed out that literally everyone else in the village was working at dusk.



The Schmidts

The Schmidts run the village smithy. A low-key affair mainly dealing in nails and farming tools, but they are occasionally called upon to shoe oxen and horses travelling north up the road (people tend to travel south in boats). They're a jolly bunch, renowned for taking their “craft” very seriously even though they do the most basic stuff. Nails are a nuanced business, you see.

Grandfather: Wenzel Schmidt. 67. Played by Chris.

Father: Kilian Schmidt. 39. Strong. Earthy. Friendly. Undermines his rugged hotness by nerding out at anyone in earshot, at great length, about the subtle art of smithing.

Mother: Anja Schmidt. 40. Friendly, usually drives the oxcart to Flaschfurt to acquire the supplies. Her sunny disposition swiftly turns, however, when dealing with "strange for'n folk."

First child: Hans Schmidt. 21. Was progressing well in learning the family trade until he struck his own thumb knuckle with a hammer, and is currently feeling rather sorry for himself and struggling to get the strength back in his hand. Hasn't given up, though.

Second child: Sofia Schmidt. 19. Industrious. Strong. Romantically un-smooth despite her good looks. Trying hard to impress while Hans recovers.

The Stubers

Whilst many if not most people in Bauersdorf spend some time fishing, the Stubers are considered the experts. The running joke around the village is that the Stubers catch all the fish because the Stubers smell like the fish. This is considered by Bauersdorfers to be one of the finest jokes in all Hochland. The Stubers generally take this ribbing in good humour, and keep smiling all the way to the Kürschners and/or the Harmans, who both pay a decent price for fish. Whenever the Kürschners and the Harmans are quarrelling, it’s the Stubers who end up being the mediators, since both sides want to stay on the fishers’ good side.

Father: Adolf. 30. Loves gossip, but can keep a secret. If anyone catches a big fish, Adolf makes it his mission to catch a bigger one.

Mother: Carina. 31. Can gut a fish blindfold. Holds the notion that one should keep quiet in the absence of having anything nice to say. Would be a natural diplomat were it not for her thick accent and fish-stink.

First child: Timo. 12. Already better at fishing than most men in the village, and is always trying to show them tricks he's learnt from his dad. Most people are too proud to listen, though. As such, Timo is concerned that no one takes him seriously.



The Untersharpers

The Untersharpers live in a cottage just down the hill from Haupthalle, and help maintain the mansion, do the cooking, etc. The Untersharpers have a reputation for looking look down on the other families in the village, mostly because they're one of the few families who aren't expected to grow their own food and seem to think they'll get magically richer by hanging around with the nobs.

Grandmother: Hildegarde. 55. Hell hath no fury like Hildegarde if she hears one of her family swear. Untersharpers are better than that, or at least, they damn well should be. Expect a broom handle across the arse for any transgressions.

Father: Kord. 32. Spends what money they save on ensuring they have slightly nicer clothes than other families, to mark them out from the crowd. This helps him look upper-lower class.

Mother: Anna. 29. Unnaturally enthusiastic about cleaning. Expects great things from her children.

First child: Doris. 13. Uses words she's heard up at Haupthalle so people know she's from the clever family. She usually gets the words wrong.

Second child: Bernhard. 11. Is certain he'll be a knight when he grows up. Is very good at dusting. Will probably never get a chance to ride a horse.



The Von Rittbergs

The Von Rittbergs are the nobles who run Bauersdorf from the comfort of Haupthalle Manor, sitting on the hill overlooking the village. The family made its money when Hans Von Rittberg, a Knight of the Blazing Sun, made his fortune in Araby. Half the current Von Rittbergs are entitled little shits, and the other half are ambitious little shits. Sibling rivalries have been known to turn violent even in adulthood.

Father: Siegward. 42. The classic nobleman, even if he was never accepted into the Order of the Blazing Sun after many years' service as a pistolier. It is not done to bring this up. Ever. Beyond that, hunting is good. Archery is good. Trophies are good. A man should prove his worth.

Mother: Patricia. 39. A social climber who expects her children to excel. Some say she 'stole' Siegward from his first love, a woman who served with him in the Pistolkorps and later joined the Knights Panther. Those who know Siegward well say that he went off his first love when she eclipsed him.

First child: Manfried. 20. Currently away, engaged in tryouts for the Order of the Blazing Sun.

Second child: Lennart. 17. A bumbling, academically minded pootlefail who is generally regarded as an embarrassment given that he's the descendant of a great knight.

Third child: Judit. 15. She's constantly vying for position with her sisters, but has a soft spot for poor Lennart.

Fourth child: Grete. 13. She's constantly vying for position with her sisters, but has a soft spot for poor Lennart.

Fifth child: Nadine. 12. She's constantly vying for position with her sisters, but has a soft spot for poor Lennart.

Sixth child: Jutte. 10. She's constantly vying for position with her sisters, but has a soft spot for poor Lennart.




Places

The Village

Haupthalle

This is the manor house of the village, built centuries ago by the Von Haupt family before they moved to Ostland. It was bought by the Von Rittbergs following Hans Von Rittbergs outrageously profitable adventures in Araby. It has its own small vinyard growing what might charitably be described as drinkable wine, an apiary for the production of honey and mead, and its own fields. The peasants of Bauersdorf are expected to contribute four days' work on the estate per family each week, although the house itself is maintained and staffed by the Untersharper family.


The cottages

The farming families' dwellings are clustered together just off the North Road so as to avoid the sound of noisy travellers. Most cottages are surrounded by just enough private land to grow their own herbs and other smaller crops. There are usually a few chickens, geese and pigs foraging out back. The cottages are generally single-storey buildings, although some have a half-floor built into the attic for extra sleeping space and storage. A cottage is usually divided into two rooms: one for the family, and one for the animals. Most families also own one or two oxen, though these are not kept in the house.


The smithy

The smithy has the same herb garden that the other families have, and some poultry, although it has no pigs. Indeed, the Schmidts are one of the few families not to own any large animals.


Ye Village Shoppe

The Kürschners keep the shop in good condition, and their building is one of the few in the village that boasts a luxurious three floors, partially to house the waterwheel but also to provide safe storage. The wheel is protected by a jetty that extends around it and out onto the water so that passing boats can moor.


The Grinning Pig

The Harmans' inn was rebuilt sixty years ago following a fire, and aside from Haupthalle is the village's grandest structure, with a large footprint, two storeys, and -- Sigmar be praised -- a creaky balcony that will definitely never break. It's had various bits added to it over the years, making its internal structure a bit baffling to the uninitiated.


The green

If there are any gatherings, festive or otherwise, this is where they happen. At other times, there are usually a few pigs/chickens wandering about and, on occasion, someone practicing their archery on one of the straw butts.


The jetties

This is where the village's boats are kept, and where other boats can moor up if they're stopping at the inn. There is a small wooden shelter where boats can be stacked to keep them dry when not in use, as well as poles used to push the empty boats back upriver.


The tithe barn

This is where the food tithe is gathered before it's transported downriver. The barn was constructed a few years ago during the war, and since Hochland is still recovering, lots of food is needed to feed the troops. Everyone's looking forward to the army being downsized so that they can stop paying the war tithe, but the nobs downriver don't seem to have run out of battles to fight just yet.


Shrines

There are two small shrines near the Inn on the North Road, one to Shallya and the other to Sigmar. Shallya's shrine is kept stocked with medicinal herbs, bandages and other such items by the priestesses in Gerzen. Sigmar's shrine is a standing stone with a recess carved in the shape of the Heldenhammer; in that recess lives a lantern with two wicks, symbolising the twin-tailed comet. There are other signs of worship around the village; many doorways are decorated with antlers and other devotionals to Taal.


The Garden of Morr

Morr's Garden and the graves within it are tended by a priest who comes down from Gerzen once a week on a cart drawn by a tired old horse. The garden is surrounded by high stone walls, and children are warned to stay out unless the priest is there lest they disturb the spirits. Of course, on a burial day, the local custom is that the priest will warn the dead that there will be people in the garden, and to welcome the newly deceased into Morr's Realm.

Common land & fields

A thick semicircle of fields separate Bauersdorf from the surrounding Drakwald Forest. Most of these are common land, with each family allotted a number of strips in those fields. Many tasks on common land are shared, such as the herding of cattle and pigs.

The Wider area

The River Flaschgang

The river starts in the Middle Mountains and runs 150 miles from the top to the bottom of Hochland. It is a major source of income for Bauersdorf. People from the towns of Gerzen, Heedenhof, Bergendorf and Esk all use the Flaschgang to bring goods downriver to Flaschfurt, where said goods are sold in Flaschfurt's market and transferred by merchants onto barges to be taken out of Hochland. There is a bridge across the river that joins the twin towns of Heedenhof and Bergendorf.


The North Road

The North Road is the one used by traders returning from Flaschfurt on their way back home. The North Road ends at Heedenhof, where it splits into the Old Forest Road, heading north, and the Weiss Road, heading to Fort Schippel in the east.


Old Trude's House

Old Trude lives alone out in the woods. The people of Bauersdorf find this very suspicious, but they'll still go to her for remedies when someone is taken ill. Serious injuries and ailments would still, of course, warrant a trip to Flaschfurt's temple of Shallya.