Gods and Giants
One of only two non-orc settlements in the Hold of Belkzen, Trunau is a predominantly human community of sturdy farmers and resolute warriors adrift in a monstrous sea of orcs who would as soon kill them as trade with them. Its people survive through the grace of the gods, the remarkable tenacity and ingenuity of their leaders, and a simple, soul-deep refusal to be driven from the land of their ancestors. Trunauans know sacrifice in all its forms. Though their lives are far from easy, this band of idealists, scoundrels, and outcasts takes great pride in the independence that comes from being all on their own in hostile territory. For them, every day of the town’s continued existence is an enduring example of civilization’s unconquerable spirit and the prodigious strength of hope. The town is periodically besieged by orcs (and worse) from the surrounding countryside, but has never fallen. For the last couple centuries, the people of Trunau have held to what’s known as the “Standing Vow”: to hold their land against all comers, paying tribute neither to raiding orcs nor to the armies of neighboring nations. They would stand their ground and live free, no matter the cost. It’s a matter of great pride that despite catastrophic raids and the rigors required by life in hostile territory, the town has never fallen. Even more important to some, however, is that unlike Freedom Town to the north—a town of criminals and exiles settled just inside the Hold of Belkzen in order to avoid Lastwall’s strict laws—the people of Trunau have never lost their fundamentally civilized nature, nor have they resorted to paying for protection from an outside entity. While many have come to Trunau over the years looking to escape shadowy pasts, Trunau accepts no dead weight; only those who are willing to work and contribute to the community can share the safety of the town walls. When the orcs come, every man and woman, regardless of wealth or profession, is expected to aid in the defense. Those who acquit themselves well and conduct themselves with honor find that Trunau’s residents care little about who newcomers may have been in their lives before—only who they seek to be now.