Tales of the Northern March
Population: 5,000 humans and hill dwarfs
Exports: Precious metals (mostly silver)
Sterling Shire suffers a long history of violence. The first human settlers arrived fifty years ago, prospectors looking for silver and gold. When they found what they were looking for, they immediately came into conflict with local hill dwarfs and two decades of escalating conflict ensued. The situation only changed with the sudden arrival of a large tribe of orcs. After five years of suffering punishing raids drove both peoples from the upper valley, the humans and dwarves set aside their differences to fight their common enemy. The last twenty-five years have been marked by cycles of warfare. Only four villages remain and are highly fortified mining camps with much of their population living underground in the mines themselves. The port town of Sterling is a walled fortress and contains the bulk of the shire’s population.
The current Earl is Lord Ivor, a battle-scarred man whose ancestors petitioned the king for rights to these lands. Nearly his equal in authority is his Constable, the dwarf Baron Geirr, who is the leader of the local hill dwarfs. The two of them are grim and pragmatic. There is little affection between them, just the necessity of working together for survival and profit.