The Green Eye of the Forest
Each year Bellis plays host to several hundred transient lumberjacks who come in the spring, work, then leave before winter. Members of the “old families,” as native Bellisians call themselves despite the fact that the town is barely 50 years old, generally view the rowdy lumberjacks as irritants they must tolerate since they need more loggers than the town’s population can provide. The lumberjacks tend to spend their off-duty hours drinking, fighting, and making nuisances of themselves. For this reason, most of the lumberjacks live in the so-called Pit, a natural hollow adjacent to the Sellen River filled with tents and shanties, while the old families live in the surrounding high ground in a ring of permanent homes and larger buildings. The town authorities take a hands-off approach to the Pit, ignoring all but the most serious crimes.
Bellisians regard the production of honey with the same passion other towns devote to the making of wine and sincerely believe they can tell the difference in year and production technique by taste alone. Though many outsiders view such fussiness as slightly ridiculous, even the roughest woodsman can appreciate the resulting quality of the town’s mead.
Bellisians see forestry as their birthright, and virtually all of them learn at least its rudiments, though they insist upon calling themselves “foresters” as opposed to “lumberjacks,” whom they regard as undisciplined amateurs. (Angry Bellisians often call the target of their scorn “jack,” as in “Are you talking to me, jack?”). When searching for a metaphor or other sorts of descriptive language, Bellisians tend to use forestry terms. For instance, a Bellisian might be more likely to use the term “rotten” for a person of low character, or describe a pretentious person as “full of sawdust.” They also have a rather low opinion of Taldor and its inhabitants, believing them decadent and corrupted by every imaginable vice. They often pepper their conversation with the phrase “perfumed Taldan.” For instance, “That nag pulls about as much weight as a perfumed Taldan.”
The primary reason for Bellis’ founding was to supplement decreased timber resources found in Andoran’s Arthfell Forest and Darkmoon Wood. The town has proven to be agriculturally rich as well; Bellis is known to produce high quality honey, beeswax, and mead.
The town of Bellis can be found within the Verduran Forest, in eastern Andoran. This settlement is located along the west bank of the Sellen River, which in turn flows along the nation’s border with Taldor