The People of Blackfen
Blackfen is a vibrant and lively city where ordinary people live their everyday, uneventful lives, caring very little for anything that does not affect them. Although the majority of the population are the common folk, many are nonetheless skilled craftsmen and women who ply their trade to eek out a living. Bakers, baggers, bleachers, carders, carters, chandlers, chimney sweeps, coopers, ditchers, divers, farmers, fishermen, fullers, haberdashers, laborers, lumberjacks, joiners, linkboys, pursemakers, peddlers, plasterers, potters, ratcatchers, roofers, ropemakers, seamstresses, shop workers, tailors, weavers, and woodcutters are all typical jobs for the common folk of Blackfen, trades which continue despite the war and the threat of plague.
Although their lives can be tough and the rewards slim, they are nonetheless generally happy with their lot. Although poverty is a common enough problem, the majority make enough through their trade to avoid the poverty trap and are able to afford a roof over their head and enough to feed their family and live modestly and, in the main, happily. Despite being on the border with The Fallen Lands, the constant supply of troops through the city acts to reassure them and assuage their fears, and generally speaking they continue their lives without being too affected by it.
The more skilled workers generally find employment where their skills are in high demand, securing them better earning potential and allowing them to live much more comfortably and even afford small luxuries. Their homes are generally bigger, warmer and better kept and, not surprisingly, their lives are comfortable.
Alchemists, apothecarists, architects, blacksmiths, bowyers, carpenters, clerks, engineers, furriers, leatherworkers, fletchers, gem cutters, illuminators, merchants, masons, sailors and scribes are all well considered and well paid professions. Indeed, those individuals who are considered the masters of their art are in such demand that they can command high prices and can earn a fortune and live a life of relative luxury. Those that secure enough money often move away to safer places to live, opening up opportunities for those that take their place.
At the very top of Blackfen's social tree are the wealthiest of the master craftsmen who have risen to the very top of their profession and the aristocrats fortunate enough to have been born into their rather splendid and luxurious lives. Although these represent but a small percentage of the total population, they control the majority of the wealth and power in Blackfen and influence the way the city is run.
These individuals live the life of luxury, generally owning large houses that are run and maintained by their servants. Although many of the aristocratic families own numerous businesses, through which they maintain their wealth, very few actually run the business themselves, leaving this to those more capable than themselves and leaving them time to enjoy their wealth in the form of riding, hunting, soirees and dinner parties. It is also from amongst this elite that the majority of the important political positions of Blackfen are chosen.