Welcome to Lakeshore
From the first day they saw Ocean Lake, the refugees dubbed their new homeland Lakeshore. The vast body of water is integral to life in the region, not just because it provides both food and a livelihood for many of its human inhabitants, but for a host of other reasons as well. The comparatively warm waters of the lake make the local climate less severe (though rather more prone to rain) than it would otherwise be. The lake also provides reliable, but not too ready, access to outside cultures and goods – "Close enough for trade, but too far for trouble," as the local saying goes. The lake also figures strongly in local craftwork, poetry, and philosophy.
The Lakeshore is an alluvial plain some 50 miles across from north to south and roughly 70 miles from east to west. Most of the plain consists of fertile black earth, well irrigated by the streams and tributaries of two fast-flowing rivers of clear, cold water. The region is bounded to the north and east by broken, rocky terrain, to the west by the tangled expanse of the Bloodwood, and to the south by the vastness of Ocean Lake.
Agriculture, particularly dairy or pig farming and fruit and grain crops, is common throughout most of the Lakeshore region. The land is less fertile in the extreme north: hunting and foraging play a much greater role in the diet in these regions. Coastal and riverside communities make extensive use of freshwater fish in their diet, of course, as well as shellfish and certain edible sea plants. The fertility of the land, coupled with intensive agricultural practices and the bountiful supply of fish in the rivers and lake, sustains a population of some 40,000 people.
Although it has been settled for several generations, most of Lakeshore still has something of a frontier attitude, with the peculiar blend of independence and interdependence that entails. A common local adage is "The only crop you can sow on your neighbor's field is trouble"; folk don't like interference from outsiders, and expect to be left alone to live their lives how they want. On the other hand, if a family runs into difficulties, there is a strong sense of community as well: Gifts of food, assistance with work, and any other aid possible will flood in for the afflicted folk. Outsiders are generally treated hospitably, though armed travelers will usually be asked to set aside their weapons, especially if they are looking for a meal or shelter. In areas prone to pirate attack, the welcome is generally much more cautious, and armed travelers will be required to hand over their weapons if they do not intend to move on immediately.
Attitudes in certain of the larger settlements, where the communities are not so close-knit, may vary. Any specific variances for these locations are covered in the Places of Notesection of this wiki.