Durham County, England
Northumbria came under English control with William the Conqueror around 140 years ago during a campaign known as the Harrowing of the North. William was ruthless; the death toll is believed to be 150,000, with substantial social, cultural, and economic damage to Scotland. Even his supporters were horrified by the cruelty of the attack. As you might imagine, some Scots are still pretty cranky about it, and the ongoing English hostilities since then. Raids from the North have been known to happen.
The area is named after a Norman family called Carou who own lands in the area, while 'Seaton' means farmstead or settlement by the sea. The small coastal village has been continually settled since before the Romans came to Britain, and there were several small "support towns" for Hadrian's Wall forts in the area. Seaton Carew is the town where the primary narrative of our game currently takes place.
St Hilde's Priory
There is also a Gilbertine Priory a mile and a half outside of town. The Priory does not control the town, but is a major employer in the area. Headed by Prior Matthias, the Gilbertine Priory is a Combined House (both monks and nuns) and make a lot of use of Lay staff for most of the manual work. They make their money by owning and managing land, and by copying and selling books. Being a member of the Priory is NPC-only at the start of game, but being an employee of Priory is an option available to PCs. Good Priory employee examples are working in the Priory's orchards, farming land owned by the Priory, tending their sheep, etc.
Hartlepool (Pronounced: Hart-Le-Pool)
The big nearby town is Hartlepool ("Deer-By-The-Water"), the main coast-port of Durham County; Durham itself is a river-port. There is some dispute over whether Hartlepool belongs to the King or the Prince-Bishop. King John granted a Wednesday market and Royal status in 1201 but the status is not recognized by the Prince-Bishop of Durham, who instead is beginning a rival market 4 miles south in Seaton Carew. Local concerns would go through Sir Laurence Carou (who controls much land around Seaton Carew), or Lord Robert DeBrus (who controls Hart-Le-Pool, though he occasionally disobeys the Prince-Bishop and claims to be a Royal tenant instead).
About 3 miles northwest of Seaton Carew is Owton, the other village owned by Sir Laurence Carou, and where the Carou family lives. the estate is run by Sir Laurence and Lady Florymonde, along with their son Jerome.
About 5 miles South of Seaton Carew is Middlesbrough, a medium-sized town near the mouth of the River Tees. Middlesbrough is also controlled by the DeBrus family. It is the home town of Saint Hilde and a site of religious pilgrimage. It is commonly considered to be within Yorkshire County.
Ushaw Moor was a small township in northern England. It was located in Durham county, formerly known as the Northumbrian Territory, and falls under control of Prince Bishop. Within the township was the Wolf's Wood Tavern, lodgings for the King's Trust, a merchant commons, a jailhouse, and a church. Around the former town is farmland, an abandoned mill, and a silver mine.
Ushaw Moor was destroyed by fire and flood around midsummer of 1213. There are some interesting tales to be heard from the refugees of Ushaw Moor even if they sound a little crazy.
Ushaw Moor was the town where the primary narrative of our game took place when we were using Camp Brinkley.
Esh Winning is a small settlement situated in the Deerness Valley. It is a 15 minute walk from Ushaw Moor, and about an hour and a half west of Durham. The most notable feature of this village is the large church that resides there, the Lion's Gate Chantry.
The city of Durham is the ruling city of Durham county, about an hour walk away from Ushaw Moor. It is the largest city in the area, and is home to Earl De Ferrars. The city found spiritual prominence because it was the final resting place of Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede the Venerable in it's large Cathedral. The City also has a sizable 100 year old Norman castle. The city plays an important position of defense of England against the Scots. Seaton Carew, Owton, and Hartlepool are still within the County Palatine of Durham and under the Prince-Bishop's rule, but significantly further away from Durham itself than Ushaw Moor (a day's journey instead of half an hour).
York is a walled city, sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss. It is considered the chief city of Northern England at this time and it served as the Capital of the Anglican Kingdom of Northumbria. York is a major wool trading center and the ecclesiastical capital of the northern province of England.
London is the capital of England. It is seat of King John and his court. It is on the opposite side of the Island, some 85 leagues (250 miles) away from Durham.
Notes and Citations