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<section class=“main-section”>Pilzstadt is a small town located roughly 35 miles from the coastal city of Kusteburg as the crow flies, deep within the ancient Eisenwald Forest. Though nominally under the dominion of the grand-duchy of Kusteburg, in practice Pilzstadt enjoys a very high level of autonomy as long as trade flows downriver to Kusteburg, along with a token yearly tribute to the Grand Duke’s treasury. </section>

<section class=“main-section”>Pilzstadt has three main industries:</section>

  1. <section class=“main-section”>Mushrooms</section>

<section class=“main-section”>It is said that Pilzstadt literally means “mushroom-town” in an archaic dialect of the common tongue, but while scholars may disagree on that, there is no doubt that mushrooms are the town’s largest export, as well as an important part of the town’s own diet. Over 400 varieties grow in the Eisenwald, including culinary, medicinal, and toxic types, and the town’s mushroom harvesters (almost invariably women) are trained to know them all. Because of the age of the Eisenwald and its nature as a temperate rainforest, mushrooms are always plentiful among the decaying hulks of its great trees, though the most experienced harvesters will venture into the dank caves that dot the forest in search of the rarest types.</section>

  1. <section class=“main-section”>Timber</section>

<section class=“main-section”>Close behind mushrooms, timber is a great industry in Pilzstadt. The diversity of tree species in the Eisenwald makes the forest a treasure trove of lumber, and while the mushroom trade mostly grinds to a halt in winter, the axes and saws of Pilzstadt lumberjacks (almost invariably the town’s men) can be heard in the forest year ‘round. Recently timber has boomed even more with the discovery of “Ruddy Hans” in the deep forest. So named for its rich red wood, Ruddy Hans is the remaining trunk of an immense ancient cedar that apparently fell and died centuries ago, but due to some strange property of the wood it has failed to rot. While the full size of the tree is not known as it is partially buried in the forest floor, woodsman have confirmed that it extends at least a quarter mile, and is as wide as six wagons abreast. This beautiful, decay-proof wood cedar also repels insects like its more common relative, and so has become highly prized by carpenters. </section>

  1. <section class=“main-section”>Pearl Snails</section>

<section class=“main-section”>The only one of the three major industries equally open to men and women, the farming of the giant Pearl Snails is not nearly as pervasive as wood and fungus, but depends on both, as Pearl Snails require both mushrooms and the shoots of young trees in their diet to thrive. Though they do not, as one might assume, produce pearls of any sort, the interior shells of adult snails are coated with a fine layer of smooth pearlescent material valuable in a number of luxury applications, such as the making of fine enamels and pottery glazes. The shells themselves, once scraped of their valuable coating, find many utilitarian uses around Pilzstadt, including planters, containers, and animal feeders. Many Pilzstadt folk also enjoy the snail meat, and salted snail is even sold downriver in Kusteburg, where it is tactfully labelled as “forest clam”. </section>


The Children of Eisenwald Pilzstadt Pilzstadt