Heroes of the Ashford Valley (MicrOSR20)
The Ashford Valley is a feudal society, with the lords and knights of the valley at the upper echelon, rich merchants, powerful wizards, priests and townsmen spread across the middle, and poor farmers, adventurers and vagabonds on the lower end. Everyone knows their place yet movement up (and down) the social ladder is more than possible, it’s expected in some groups.
Clothes Make the Man
In the Ashford Valley, what you see is what you get. Wizards have beards, carry staves and wear robes with stars and moons on them and have pointy hats on their heads. Dwarves have beards and are kitted out in mail and axe. Warriors wear armor and have swords on their belts. Elves have long, flowing hair, wear a lot of green and carry longbows and longswords or short knives. Even thieves look the part, too, and are either rat-faced little men in dark leathers or dashingly handsome swashbuckling rogues in dark leathers.
One can easily tell one’s profession by what they wear. Everyone can tell a bandit from a town guard, a merchant from a priest, a wizard from a sage, and an adventurer from a farmer. As such, when a bandit stops you on the road to rob you, he looks the part of a bandit. That’s not to say that the art of disguise is not present, it’s there – but as soon as the disguise comes off, you know who you’re dealing with.
“Dungeon-punk” fashion (ala D&D3.x – spikes, lots of buckles and the sort) does not exist in the Ashford Valley. In fact, if one was to look at the fashions prevalent in the valley, it closely matches D&D art circa 1974-1984, that old school black and white look of such greats as David C. Sutherland III, David A. Trampier, Bill Willingham, Jeff Dee, Erol Otis and even including Tony DiTerlizzi.