Hey all, I said in another post that I was writing up info for the town located immediately north of Lockhaven, Thistledown, and below is what I've come up with so far. There'll be a map at some point because I'm quite the visual creature so a few images will appear below at some point. Opinions and criticism is welcome.
North of Lockhaven, Thistledown can be found among very rocky terrain spread across a small clearing thick with thorny berry bushes and rolling hills. Inhabiting some of the rockiest terrain found throughout the Territories the residents have carved their homesteads into the rocks. Of all the towns and cities in the Territories, Thistledown is known for producing the best stonemasons and works. The demand for them is high and many of Thistledown's stonemasons leave to work in other parts of the Territories.
Thistledown is also known for its berries. Growing all over the area are berry bushes producing mainly black and raspberries which are used to create juice, fermented juice, and various types of food. Because of the town's tough terrain they are not able to grow their own food so grain is imported, however the nearby town of Wildseed has proven to be difficult in their trade dealings and as such Thistledown's mice are use to rationing.
But Wildseed's misgivings with Thistledown are not wholly unfounded. Hidden along the town's rocky outer edges are milk snakes who also make inroads into the town's rocky maze-like interior. It is not uncommon for mice to go missing when entering or leaving the town, many of these mice are not locals and are thus unfamiliar with the terrain and more often than not get lost within the winding passages. In order to provide protection for the mice traveling to and from Thistledown, a town guard was created, staffed by volunteers called the Thorns. With the town so spread out the Thorns have had their work cut out patrolling the town's dispersed population. A traveler can find numerous outposts along the main roads leading into and out of the town as well as on the the major and many of the minor thoroughfares crisscrossing Thistledown itself.
Thistledown occupies a small clearing surrounded by a grove of trees. The ground is not only rocky and thick with thorny berry bushes, but it is broken up by rolling hills. This has served to spread out the living quarters of the town's inhabitants. Because it is widely dispersed, the population is divided into three prefectures called Split Rock, Strata, and Logstone which are all named after physical geographic features. The abodes of the mice are carved into the rocks and generations of families can be found living in extensive cave-like dwellings due to the fact that carving out living spaces is hard labor and time consuming. However building projects do spring up with common regularity.
Thistledown is ruled by an Oligarchy chosen at the end of the third year's first spring. The town's leaders are made up of three representatives from the prefectures elected by their peers and the captain of the Thorns.
Although many common trades can be found being practiced by many of Thistledown's inhabitants only stonemasonary, carpentery, and berry harvesting are considered as trades every mouse in Thistledown must learn before adulthood. The only other "trade" that is deemed more important than those three is that of serving in the Thorns. Many volunteer every spring and fall but few are selected to join its ranks, which is for life.
The town imports much of its materials such as wood, cloth for clothes, food, and many other various materials used to maintain a living. In exchange, Thistledown exports its expertise on stonemasonry as well as exporting stone and berries. The berries are the town's main cash crop and caravans full of berry products can be seen leaving for many of the other cities and towns.
Although Thistledown is located near Lockhaven it is rare for mice from the town to join the Guard (as it is referred to by Thistledownites). However when a mouse is recruited from Thistledown, they are usually recruited from the Thorns whose experience in the Thorns makes them attractive targets for the Mouse Guard's recruiting drives.
Stonemason, Carpenter, Harvester, Milk Snake-Wise, Berry-Wise (Black and Raspberries only)
Big Paw, Hard Worker, Natural Bearings, Tough