Moonplum

Moonplum is a small town of roughly one hundred souls, situated on the northern shore of the imperial colony of Nova Britannia between the Bismarck and Solomon Seas. Including land set aside as orchards and farmlands, Moonplum encompasses a surprisingly large amount of land—some 5,000 hectares. The interior of Nova Britannia, however, remains almost completely unexplored.

The town is famous for, and takes its name from, its large orchards of Moon Plum trees. Imported from Nihon, these amazingly sweet plums have a glaucous white coating when freshly picked, over dark, almost black flesh, giving them a resemblance to the full and new moons (respectively). The population of Moonplum is made up entirely of transplanted Imperial immigrants, who tend the orchards, fish in Stetin bay, or press plum wine to be shipped back to the mainland.

The imperially-appointed colonial governor of Moonplum is Father William, who also doubles as the town’s spiritual leader, being the chosen priest of Polmomnu, the god of the Moonplum trees. Moonplum has a small harbor, but does not garrison any of His Imperial Highness’s navy or marines, nor do they keep substantial supply of arms or powder. In its fourty-year history, the citizens of Moonplum have not had to deal with anything more menacing than the rather large bats and water rats that call the island of Nova Britannia home. Should a threat arise, it is assumed that the Imperial garrison at Port Montague on the southern coast of the island would be raised and dispatched.

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Notable Citizens:

  • Father William (Governor of Moonplum Colony)
  • Lord Wyndham Henry Armstrong Fitzpatrick Harlowe (Third Earl of Lovelace, Lord of Moonplum Colony, Adriana’s father)
  • Thaduk (former Captain of the Militia, father of Thaduk) — deceased
  • Thaduk (town drunk, uncle of Thaduk)
  • Henrye Allingham (Captain of the Militia, friend of Thaduk Jr. and Monkey)
  • Roger Crumwell (Smith)
  • Thaduk (Smith, Crumwell’s journeyman, uncle of Thaduk)
  • Jesse McLaud (Alchemist/Brewer, oversees wine making)
  • Paddy Marl (A dryad who guards the spring that provides the village with fresh water, friend of Monkey)

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Families:

  • Jesse McLaud
    • Jesse is a crotchety old bachelor. He lives in rooms attached to the village’s distillery, where he keeps a small lab for his alchemical experimentation. To date he has learned how to make only one potion, which he calls ‘Vital Essence’ and sells to the other villagers and the annual visiting merchants for a crown. Some people swear by this elixer, while others claim that it is snake oil or even poison.
  • The Harlowes
    • Despite being the wealthiest family in Moonplum, and peers of the Empire, the Harlowes are a tragic family. Lady Lorraine Charlotte Cecilia Gertrude Katharina de Parma Harlowe died giving birth to her second child many years ago, and barely reached water in time to come back as one of the drowned. Her son, Wyndham Charles Sebastian Harlowe, deprived of milk and a mother’s warmth, remained small and sickly, and was drowned along with her less than two years later. Now the carefree giggling of the drowned child and the lamentations of the similarly immortal mother over her son’s fate have become a fixture in the village. Though Lady Lorraine seldom leaves their house, little Charles can often be found running around with the other village children.
      Lady Lorraine’s husband, Lord Wyndham Henry Armstrong Fitzpatrick Harlowe, Earl of Lovelace, and their elder daughter, Adriana Louisa Marie Harlowe, still live, sharing their grand home with their deceased kin. While Father William holds the title of Governor of Moonplum Colony, Lord Harlowe is the technical owner of the moon plum plantations, and very much the gentleman farmer. Adriana is the only female to be given dispensation to serve in the militia, filling the role of the son that Lord Wyndham lost, and known for her explosive temper.
  • The Thaduks
    • Thaduk the Guard had two brothers, also named Thaduk, and a son, also named Thaduk. The villagers refer to them as Thaduk Sr. (since he had a kid), Thaduk Jr. (his son), Thaduk Smith (who serves as a journeyman under Roger Crumwell), and Thaduk the Sot (who is a habitual drunk and layabout, but tolerated due to the usefulness of his brothers). The three living Thaduk’s share a small home on the edge of the village, built by Thaduk the Guard and Thaduk the Smith shortly after their arrival.
  • The Crumwells
    • Roger Crumwell lives with his wife, Alice, and their five children, Roger Jr. (15), Anthony (12), Elizabeth (10), Mary (7), and Ezekiel (2). The Crumwells have a modest house adjacent to the smithy (which is detached to avoid burning the house down), with an extra room set aside for Roger’s two apprentices.
  • The Allinghams
    • Henrye Allingham (31) lives with his young wife, Margaret (22). The Allinghams do not yet have any children (though not for want of trying). When not drilling the militia, Henrye can often be found out fishing in the bay in his small boat.
  • The Duncasters
    • Joshua Duncaster and his wife Bethany live with their two daughters, Jessica (18) and Deborah (13), and their adopted son Caddis (19). Joshua is often absent, out fishing on the sea or occasionally hunting on the island. Bethany spends most of her time salting fish, sewing nets, and tending to their younger daughter, who despite her mother’s disapproval, wishes to go to sea and become a fisherman like her father. Their older daughter, Jessica, is considered the most beautiful girl in Moonplum, but is also a mute. Caddis was found by Joshua as a baby, washed up on the shore of Stetin Bay, and now helps his adopted father with the family business. The family pet is a lazy old hound named Brutus.
  • The Dunlops
    • Albert Dunlop and his wife Emily were among the first to settle Moonplum and are both in their late sixties. They have six children: Edwin, Edwina, Mace, Paris (24), Samantha (21), and Hugo (10). Paris, Samantha, and Hugo still live with them. Albert studied at Oxford, is fluent in Arabic, and has a large collection of scientific treatises (worth several hundred pounds).
    • Edwin and Edwina Dunlop are forty-something siblings who came over as children on the first ship to settle Moonplum. In addition to being siblings, the two are married (which is considered something of a scandal among the non-English colonists, especially the Van Kaus). They have three children, Michael (20), Edgar (9), and Edith (7).
    • Mace Dunlop views himself as something of a Sheriff. He has no wife, nor children, and according to locals has aged himself prematurely exploring the island; he is in his thirties, but looks to be in his fifties. He regularly patrols outside the village, and claims to have scared off several bands of natives that got too close.
    • Michael Dunlop is in his late twenties and has just started fixing up a little cottage with his 18-year-old fiance Debora Samson. Michael is dumb as a brick but considers himself a genius and believes himself to have found the love that poets dream of knowing.
  • The Samsons
    • Robert Samson is an old, fairly scrawny man, with a bushy salt and pepper beard. He lives with his wife, Margaret, who drowned nearly a decade ago, occasionally helped by their daughter Debora and his son Jefro. Robert is educated and spends much of his time writing his memoirs. Margaret, now entirely skeletal, can usually be found sitting in her rocker on their porch or else at Jefro’s house helping with their grand-daughter Crystal.
    • Jeffarde (Jefro) Samson and his wife Rebecka-Anne live in a stilt-house near the bay, with their newborn daughter, Crystal. Jefro is a fisherman, and has a small boat he keeps tied up to his house’s stilts. Rebecka-Anne is often weak and prone to fainting spells, and regularly employs village girls to help her with Crystal and the housework.
    • Skeate Samson is a forty-something year old man with a thinning mullet, and the younger brother of Robert. He has just 12 teeth in his mouth, all of them yellow and black. He lives alone with “Champ”, a mangy cur of an English terrier who is an excellent ratter.
  • The Van Kaus
    • Dietyr van Kaus is a ruined German merchant, who came to Moonplum two years ago aboard a Dutch Merchantman, with his wife Maxine, his two young daughters, Lenore and Klara, and his elderly father. The members of the van Kaus family tend to dress very conservatively in black. Dietyr makes his living fishing.
    • The elderly Doctor Lukas van Kaus, the father of Dietyr, is neither fully sane nor is he a real doctor. He brews simple salves and poultices, and serves as a dentist, barber and blood letter to the folks of Moonplum. He has done considerable research into phrenology and enjoys examining the bumps on
      the skulls of the village youths. He knows only a few words of English, and often relies on his grand-daughters to translate conversations into German for him.

Map:

Moonplum

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