History in Brief
Highwind Point, founded in 1012 AH as the landing site in which Emperor Cid Highwind landed troops on the Northern Continent in order to combat the Shade threat. A small military outpost had been placed here in order to ferry supplies to the front lines of the Imperial Army as they continued their campaign against the vile shadow monsters.
Originally, Highwind Point had been known to the natives of the Northern Continent as 'Shining Rock' due to the latent deposits of gold, silver, and iron that have wormed their way to the surface after many years. During the years past, natives often met here yearly for a celebration of Gaia due to its relative safety, plentiful fish in the waters, and arable land for foraging fruits and nuts found in the wild.
In Phoenix 30, 1015 AH, Emperor Elliot Highwind ordered that the land around the military outpost be turned into a colonial settlement in order to expand the Empire's sway on the world around it. He had ordered many of his Empire's nobles to send representatives, of which came a wide selection from merchants to fighters to mages. Of the populace, many craftsmen, farmers, teachers, and missionaries had also come to the newest colonial city in order to make their mark on the land. By the time of 1025 AH, a total of five thousand settlers had proven themselves by staying in the harsh settlement, preparing for more arrivals with every day.
The newly settled city of the Empire boasts a small culture of its own, its bearings going back to their Imperial roots. Of the newly constructed buildings, the humble, yet spacious Saint Hagele Chapel shows the Imperial dedication to its religious roots. The newly beatified's chapel rests near the town center, flanked by a pair of red granite boulders.
Also included in the burgeoning culture is the military barracks in which the city has been built around. Located near the docks, the military barracks now serves as a small garrison in which the Imperial Army has but a single company of troops stationed. Their current commander also resides in the barracks housing with the other soldiers.
There is but a single tavern in the city at this time, serving locally brewed liquors traded with from the natives as well as the more expensive Imperial Ales that are traded in at great cost. The Green Chocobo Pub serves as a gathering point for many traders, merchants, and soldiers off duty who have their small stipends of gil to spend. Dancers from the main continent can be seen in now and then performing to help keep the morale of the citizens from slipping.
The natives, part of the Black Claw tribe, are a friendly sort to the people who have just settled the new outpost. Their methods for living have been passed on to the soldiers who have lived at the outpost, and subsequently passed to the settlers as well. Formerly known as 'Shining Rock', the natives now see Highwind Pointe as a place in which they can exchange trade goods, information, and keep an eye on this new excursion of the Empire into their lands.
A new initiative has been started in order to study the local tribes of the Northern outpost settlement. The local 'anthropologist' has sent along writings from his adventures thus far. (see A Study of Culture by Lord Benjamin Alair)
As part of the burgeoning culture, the military outpost (simply called Outpost Delta Supply Three) also serves as the city's enforcers and law enforcement for the crimes that can occur on a frontier town. The law, while strict, is not always held up to the letter given the distance from the Empire, is held more harshly in check for its citizens. While also controlled by the military, they receive their orders from the Governor of the colony.
Spirits and Magic
The Northern Continent is filled with magic and spirits given its such close relation to the Wound of Gaia (Northern Crater). Magic is rather abundant, as well as terrestrial spirits. Many of these terrestrial spirits, tied to the area, see these Imperials as a curious new thing to examine and prod. The natives, however, see these spirits as their one-time ancestors sent back in different form to guide them along their way.
Summoners in the local tribes take heed to the words of the spirits, both Greater and Lesser. Many of these spirits actively oppose technology, preferring the mortals in the region to live by simpler ways and means, in harmony with Gaia as it always should be.
A budding technology industry has started in the city. Engineers from Drominham, Capital City, and Athenae have come in the chance of making something for themselves and their cause. A small metalworking industry has cropped up in their attempt to mine the gold, silver, and iron in the ground, then turn these into tools and gadgets to make their own lives easier and improve the cause of Man.
The natives, however, view technology as anathema to the body and soul, making both weak and lazy from its dependency. A man is only as good as himself and his knife; sometimes the knife gets lost. The simpler the solution, the better to the natives. The technological solutions tends to upset them.
Climate and Biome
The climate of Highwind Point can be exceedingly harsh in the wintertime, but warm enough for cold-weather crops in the summertime, such as potatoes, winter rye and wheat, wild rice, and heartier berries and nuts. Typically, temperatures can range from -54 to -1° C (-65 to 30° F) in the winter, and -7° C to 21° C(20° F to 70° F) in the summer. The summer days are also very short with about 50 to 100 frost free days. The total precipitation in a year is 30 - 85 cm (12 - 33 in) . The forms the precipitation comes in are rain, snow and dew.
The soil tends to be nutrient poor due to the lack of deep, organically-enriched profile present in temperate deciduous forests found mainly on the Imperial, Wester, and Wutaiin continents. The thinness of the soil is due largely to the cold; it hinders the development of soil, as well as the ease with which plants can use its nutrients. Fallen leaves and moss can remain on the nearby forest floor for a long time in the cool, moist climate, which limits their organic contribution to the soil; acids from evergreen needles further leach the soil.
The flora surrounding Highwind Point consists of thin, tightly packed together forests of evergreens. One can look for acres and still find the same specie of evergreen due to the lack of diversity in flora. Due to the sun being low in the horizon, photosynthesis is difficult to occur in plants and trees in the surrounding area. Many forest floor plants have adapted by no longer losing their leaves and continuing to photosynthesize with these older leaves. The Needle Ginseng, the Nettle Soap Leaf, and the Snow Garlic appear to be just a few of the species of herbal remedy plants that have adapted to the cold environment.
Fauna surrounding Highwind Point is varied, but extremely adapted for cold weather. Rabites found in the area have a thicker, more luxurious coat than those found on the Imperial continent. Lobos, behemoth, and other larger predators hold a thicker layer of fat underneath their equally thicker fur coats, double-layered against the cold. Avian species in the surrounding area have adapted to either be large, raptor birds capable of taking live mammalian prey, or smaller seed-eating birds with beaks designed to get at the smaller seeds. Chocobos being the exception to the previous avians, they too have adapted by having wider feet for crossing the heavy snows and thicker downy undercoats against the cold.
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