The Razor's Edge
Jarl is a medium sized town ( almost a small city ) of once-nomadic people. Many gypsies, nomads, and descendants of barbaric tribes have settled in this area. While they remember their past with fondness, the people now inhabiting this area are living semi-normal lives but have a lot of history and stories to talk about. Many of the people in this area live quiet, unflattered lives.
They fight feircly to protect the woods that protect them. The woods around them are comprised of Iron Wood, a vastly rich resource. The wood is highly prized by ship-builders and merchants. Because the wood is impossible to harvest with conventional methods, merchants and dealers come from all over to do business with the residents of Jarl, Orpost and Stone River. While the work is grueling and extremely labor intensive, the people thrive off the land and work diligently to protect it as an ongoing resource.
There are many dark undercurrents that flow beneath the semi-normal lives. The same three cities also sport an active underground market. Nearly anything you want can be purchased on the black market here, but you have to know the right people to even get a conversation with an “agent” of the Stone Hand – the only people allowed to do business on the back market. Once an agent places your order for you and collects his fee, the Stone Hand will find you to deliver your prize. Some say it’s magic. Others say that it is their vast-reaching network of spies and informants. But no matter where you go in the Iron Wood they know your name, and your darkest desires.