I sketched up a small motte-and-bailey concept to fill with a small Norse-inspired population. But, of course - there are others who draw better maps than me, so that sketch stays in the notebook...
But the population, that I can do....
Welcome to Prolge, a village out on the cold grasslands.
Ringed by a stout wooden palisade and dug moat, Prolge is surrounded by the croplands of the thegns to the local headman. Local crops include barley, squash, and potatoes.
Within and without the walls are longhouses occupied by extended families (4-12 individuals), many with their livestock and larders. Craftsfolk have set up their shops to support the citizens and those few travelers who come this way to the end of the road.
The headsman's longhouse (1) is the core of the village, and is butted up against a large stone granary (2), which acts as a communal food store.
The local temple, the Church of the Harvest God (3) is the only other predominantly stone building in town. The rectangular, flat-roofed building is topped by an iron lightning rod and the building's facade bears the carven image of a "wicker man."
There is no formal inn - travelers may hope to find their way into the community's good graces and seek shelter at the temple or with hospitable families for some coin or trade goods. If local supplies are sufficient, and the village is not enduring a famine or 'hungry gap,' individual villagers may have bread, potatoes, pork, small beer ('childrens' drink') and ale for barter.
For physical threats and self-policing, the town is protected by its rotating home-militia of able-bodied men (and some women). They are typically arrayed in leather/shield, and armed with spear, axe and/or bow. The palisade walls are protected with a few scorpions facing the four cardinal directions.
- Milka Huttunen ("Headman") - The village leader receives this title regardless of sex and she is well respected by her charges. Milka wears the blessed bear cloak of her office (+1 protection, resist cold), and wields a silvered spear in addition to the community's symbolic relic sword. This sword (The Sword of the Fathers) is useless as weapon, with a rusted, brittle blade, and is wielded simply as a symbol of the headman. However, through its long heritage it has absorbed protective magics for the clans (Protection from Lightning, Cure Disease (plants and animals only), once per day each), and is used to protect the village and its food production.
- Arvo Kaup ("Keeper of Grain") manages the weights and measures of the communal granary. He is charged with tracking individual households' contributions and debits, as well as the thankless task of rationing grain during famine times. His position is sacrosanct and he will not betray village trust or accept bribes on pain of death. Kaup also raises locally renowned, fierce rat terriers to keep vermin at bay.
- Lumi Haapala ("Touched by the Storm") ministers at the Church of the Harvest God. She is a local seer/shaman who was struck by lightning as a child. She suffers partial paralysis from the event, but was gifted with a number of spell abilities (Locate Animals, Predict Weather, Purify Water, Locate Plants, Speak with Animals, Plant Growth) as a result of the incident. She may cast up to three spells a day. Haapala is aided by an assistant who supports her if she is required outside of the chapel.
- Hann Häkkin, the smith/farrier, maintains his forge for local needs, fabricating arrowheads, axe heads, and other tools for the village. He is practical, and not amicable to wanderers demanding goods and repairs.
- Matteus Oll, the town carpenter, directs construction and maintenance of the walls and longhouses. He carved the six "story-poles" lining the entrance inside of the village gate that document local genealogy and lore.
- Hilla Kemppain, the apothecary, keeps a cluttered, stinking shop in the eastern part of the palisade. She is eager to trade for components that she may not be able to procure locally. Among her stocks, she may have: 1) lesser potion of healing (1d4+1 hp), 2) unguent when spread on body act as resist cold for one day, 3) potion of +2 saves vs disease (effect lasts 1d3+CON bonus days), 4) a solution that acts as purify food or drink (1d6 'servings').
Reasons to be there:
- Old barrows of interest are in the area (these likely include village ancestors, potentially leading to serious animosity)
- Scouting a threat to the lands to the north, chaos, hairy horsemen, beasts...
- Investigate why the village and surrounding area avoids lightning strikes, and seems to have avoided a recent famine
- Heretics! Root them out, follow a rumor, or be fleeing for your own damn lives...
- Weird flying things have been spotted on the horizon, never a good sign.
- Migration of rare beasts (stony-skinned tripod beasts on their centenary journey across the south latitudes)
- The annual burning straw-man/effigy/wicker man festival is lit!
- Purchase ratters bred in the village for dungeon vermin patrol.