Located beneath Mt. Whitehood is the large human settlement named after the white-hooded peak. The tallest peak of the Golden Mountain range, Mt. Whitehood sits at 14,200 feet high and it is the southern most mountain of said range. The city rests among the Rossi Heights, the foothills beneath Mt. Whitehood. Considering Damir’s age (circa 102 ACW), the city of Whitehood came to be settled late in its history. Proudhill, Belvadore, Duinmire and Chance Rock predate Whitehood’s establishment, most of them by over a hundred years. Officially, Merrimont was established long before any of them (circa 106 ACW), but the initial human settlement was destroyed by flooding approximately 147 ACW and again in 223 ACW.
Giving up on settling in the lush fields of Merrimont, survivors decided to try their fortunes by settling up north. The hills and foothills surrounding Mt. Whitehood were untamed and unsettled. A few sparse villages of native Damish people were about but they were primitive and unsuitable to maintain a viable population. Humans had multiplied their numbers since the templar Lyndon had led them on a northern trek to new lands. Those that stayed behind wanted to take advantage of Damir’s lush landscape, fresh water, and defensible settings.
The Rossi Heights presented an ideal place to build a settlement that could be defended. The abundance of rolling hills would slow any army, and the mountain provided a safeguard against any attack from the north. Whitehood became an official human province in 250 ACW, and it started out primarily as a small community of miners. A council of elders served as the town’s governing body, but as it grew so did its government. In time, the elders began to jockey for the most influence and power. This spawned internal fighting among the ruling class and later several bloody feuds which led to a string of warlords taking over Whitehood. As the political situation in Whitehood deteriorated so did its economy.
Due to its limited agricultural opportunities, Whitehood struggled to keep up with its booming population growth. The land about Whitehood was not the best for farming, its soil rough and rocky. Their neighbor to the west, Proudhill, was on the other hand rich in agriculture. Eventually, a trading post was established between the two large human settlements and Whitehood’s economic situation improved somewhat. But its political instability was holding the city back. In a span of nearly seventy years, Whitehood had five different warlords claim jurisdiction of the town.
Even with the political chaos, Whitehood grew from a mining village to a township to a fortress. Fear of rogue bandits and fearsome monsters drew people behind its walls for protection. The warlord Keltan attempted to be Damir’s first “king” and establish a bloodline of rulers from Whitehood. He helped turn Whitehood from a basic fortress to a sizeable keep. While Keltan ruled for almost forty years (345-84 ACW), his son never ruled a day in Whitehood. The Keltan line was cut down immediately after following Keltan’s death, his family over-run by a mob and publicly lynched and executed. The uprising against the Keltans was a planned event, meant to strike when the warlord’s family was most vulnerable. Led by several concerned citizens over the state of Whitehood, and the fear that warlords such as the Keltans would only lead the city down a dark path, a council was re-established.
Under the governance of a council, Whitehood flourished, establishing a trade route to Proudhill and all the way to Belvadore. Proudhill was rich in agriculture, Belvadore in linens, and Whitehood in salt. Because of the volcanic region around Mt. Whitehood, an active volcano, hot springs producing mineral salt were ever present. Known as the “Salt Trade,” Whitehood’s primary resource was the salt mines that paved the way for the city to become an economic giant. In time, Whitehood’s population grew larger and it began to incorporate outlying villages. Settlers and villages placed around the hills fell under the protection of the city.
History eventually repeated itself, however, when the rich and influential merchant, Krogert, bought the loyalty of Whitehood’s military guard and took over the council. Krogert, a fat, slobbery man covered in hair from head to foot, behaved like a bully, intimidating Whitehood into submission by terrorizing households and fellow merchants. He came to power roughly 430 ACW and was a merciless tyrant who put to death anyone he suspected to be his enemies. Because of how close Whitehood had become to the other human settlements in Damir, Krogert’s coup caused an economic ripple and backlash. The Salt Trade was dissolved, with both Proudhill and Belvadore attempting to distance themselves from Krogert and his ilk.
People starved in the streets, and clothes and medicine were hard to come by. Krogert and his guards frequently raided homes, taking food and valuables to help preserve himself and his rule. Krogert’s greed and consumption of resources went to all extremities. As a levy, if a family could not pay Krogert’s steep taxes he would require a family member to enter servitude to his house. He primarily wanted women to please him at every turn and would seize young girls and wives from their homes without explanation. Outrage was rampant but suppressed by Krogert’s elite henchmen. His rule lasted roughly ten years, but in that time Whitehood had become weak and vulnerable.