Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Agricultural Heartland of the Mark
Pragmere gets its name from the dozens of hot springs that mark the town and its main roads. Each spring is relatively shallow, and no more than 20’-across, formed by a heat source deep within the earth that drives groundwater upwards to the surface. The springs were originally used as fish farms, carefully maintained to provide long-term development of this valuable resource. The hot springs also spread a heavy, warm fog across the town, and promote lush growth of vines and mosses throughout the town, making it common to build with stone, rather than simple timber.
The town has an unusual lay-out, lying athwart both the Ox River, leading south to Gallorna – City of the Iron Dragon with its trade road, and the east-west road that leads to Pest’s Crossing, where King Mogthrasir of Tjalf holds court. Able to attract trade as an important community, its layout provides an ease of access, but is very inefficient for defense; the center of town is cut by the north-south and east-west swaths of open ground dotted by the hot springs and fern-strewn flower gardens. A large stone bridge crosses the river in the center of town, and binds the western forested regions with the rest of the nation.
Long held as the agricultural heartland of the region, Pragmere’s location and open nature doomed it. The fire giant’s army marched straight into the town virtually unopposed, and made short work of any resistance to their rule, most of whom had long since grown soft under generations of relative prosperity and safety. After three days of sporadic fighting and looting, the town surrendered.
Shortly after the fire giant rulers established themselves in the town, their hill giant minions sought to leave the river settlement and its open fields for the safety and comfort of their former mountain strongholds in The Painted Peaks. The fire giants refused, and a short civil war started between the two giant races, during which many human slaves sought to escape, despite their chains. The fire giants succeeded in putting down the rebellion, slapping their newest giant slaves in iron chains and putting them to work as beasts of burden.
In the years since, the town grew crops and raised animals for food (mostly sheep and goats) as tribute for the fire giants, and fed a large portion of the rest of the kingdom. The locals used the enslaved hill giants as draft animals, allowing them to till vast tracts of land and promoting phenomenal crop yields. Oddly, the village had more production under the giants as a slave city, than before they took charge. The population were worked hard, but all were fed well, with plenty left over to provide as tribute.
During the Fierce Creatures efforts to liberate the kingdom from its giant yoke, the town had its fire giant overlords hunted and slain, family by family, until they were all slain. Their hill giant minions were burned alive in their barracks. The three hundred or so humans were released from captivity, and a long journey made to bring their flocks and families north to the relative safety of Fort Bloodthorn, while the Fierce Creatures prepared for its expansion of the war across The Mark – Land of the Iron Dragon. Consisting of a large number of blacksmiths and hide workers, as well as farmers and herders, nearly two hundred of the citizens joined the Fierce Creatures growing army.