We Do Not Burn
Growing up Fen
The primary meat that is available in Yewwood is from the flocks of sheep that dot the hills, as well as goat on the occasion. Though they will Hunt for Bear, it is less frequent due to the dangers that are inherent in doing so. Beef is a rarity that has to be imported from other lands that are more capable of doing raising cattle, and deer are scarce on the lands themselves. However, Rabbits enjoy making their homes on the hills and are readily available.
Chickens and ducks make up the fowl, and in this particular region Duck is actually more common then Chicken. Swans may occasionally be found on the river, but not as common as in other areas. Sea birds are also often harvested as well.
Fish is a much more common course. With the river and the sea nearby, it is readily available fresh, and more then makes up for the lack of more traditional fare. Eel, Salmon, trout, Sturgeon, Cod, Jack, and Herring make up most of the diet with even shark sometimes making the menu. Also popular are squid, shrimp, and soft shell crab. From the river, mussels are harvested and even clams and Oysters are caught by divers along the coast.
The Delta’s are the main provider of produce, with some grain, fruit and vegetables harvested there. Also, the swamp is a provider of several wild plant life, including Blueberries, cattails, tubers, and leafy greens. Most popular in the region are the cranberry bogs.
Wine is generally imported from other areas, and ale is not so common due to the lack of surplus grain. There is a spirit that is made in the swamps using fermented tubers and Cranberries, but that is not something commonly available to the High Born.
The People of Yewwood can be divided into two groups. The Hillfolk and the Swampfolk. Despite the name, most of the people can be found in or around Yewtown, or Yewwood Castle. The people of the hills eke out farms from the hills, or fish the sea while the People of the Swamps fish the river and harvest the swamps.
The Hillfolk are more modern viewing people. They were the first to convert to The Seven, and began adapting the outside way of life sooner. They were the first to train the Hawks and Falcons for hunting, and it is the Hillfolk who dive for pearls. They can also be seen walking the beach at low tide to harvest the pools.
The Swampfolk bred the particular dogs in the region, to better deal with the fairly large bear population in the area. They live in strange huts on poles through out the swamp, some stretching as high as Castle Yewwoods walls. They fish both the river and swamp with lines and spears, though in the warmer weather they have a method to catch Catfish with their bare hands.
On the surface, the region worship The Seven. That is not completely accurate however. They only converted with in the last Hundred years, and several habits and traditions show this.
Nor do they practice the Faith of the North. In fact, they are suspicious of Weirwoods in general. No sign of the great White trees are found on their land, nor do they make use of it in any other fashion. If there is a reason for them to use white wood, they simply white wash it. If ever one of The People of The Marsh come across one of the great white trees, they will make the symbol of the Evil Eye and avoid it’s gaze. They have been known to travel on in the dead of night in the middle of winter storms instead of accepting the hospitality of a Keep that keeps a Weirwood.
Extensive searching on their lands will reveal strange shrines, with figures made of mound branches, weeds, or driftwood. Or else carvings in stone or tree of figures of terrible beauty. The gods of the swamp are the ancient gods of the First Men, whose names have long been forgotten. And some of the offerings at those shrines are surprisingly fresh.
The music of the area tends to light drums, with flutes or pipes. After the ascension of house fen, some harps and trumpets have entered the mix as well. The Music is surprisingly cheery for such a dark people, and there is a general love of Dance.
Much of the art from the area is Tapestries, or weaving of plant fibers, however some pottery is made from the mud of the river and swamps. They also have the habit of collecting seashells and painting them.
Hunting is done differently, due to the lack of large game. The most exciting hunts involve the catching of bears. They send out their dogs to track the bear down, barking and harassing it until the hunters arrive to bring it down. There are also Fox hunts as well. The Swampfolk will often send out young boys to bring down a Lizard Lion with a spear for a right of passage, and will trap for Musk rats. Falconry is a favored past time of the nobility and those who can catch them. Rabbits are caught with hawks, and falcons will hunt the ducks and sea birds. Some skilled trainers will also use eagles to catch fish that would be more difficult otherwise.
Much of the songs and stories in the area come from the Age of Heroes, and the preference is for stories of Orkresh of Fen. Other stories of the Seven Kingdoms are devoured with the joy of hearing new tales and troupes of Mummers and Minstrels will always find excited audiences.