Cornish Economics and Culture
On any tempestuous coastline, there will be those who make their living by salvaging what they find
day to day washed up. Flotsam and jetsam provide them with saleable goods, or sometimes, there
will be a major storm, and a whole ship will be washed ashore and before the local lord’s men get
there, parts of its cargo will disappear.
Some people don’t like the uncertainty of waiting for a violent enough storm to cause a ship to
beach itself, so they help the procedure along by lighting beacon fires in the wrong place,
extinguishing correct beacons and so on.
After all, if you are a ship’s captain, and you know that the Pendrinn light means that there are
shallows out for an awfully long distance, you’ll sail well clear of it.
If you know that the Marazion Light signifies when you’re far enough past the rocks to turn into the
port, you’ll bring your ship around.
And if the Marazion Light is extinguished, and another one is lit a mile down the coast, you might
well turn too early and stove in your sides on the rocks of the headland.
And then the wreckers come.
Cornwall is a land suspended between the sea and the sky – it’s all about the borders, and there are
no borders with straight lines. Even the coast is convoluted…a land of elements – THE Elements –
and a land of spirits. Like the geography, the borders between the elements and the spirits are not
straight. So there are those mages who understand the Ancestors, and those incantors with an
understanding of magic.
The village of the Wreckers don’t differentiate between the worship of the Ancestors and the
worship of the Elements. Their livelihood is tied to the Elements – when the wind blows, and the sea
rides high, and the false beacon burns on the treacherous rocks, the Wreckers know that bounty is
coming. So they worship the fire, the earth, the air and the water, seeing them personified in the
Notes by Rowan Heartwood
“Farming in Cornwall hasn’t changed for generations. I myself own a farm in South Cornwall. The
crops are based on the diet of the area. Wheat, grains, apples etc. Many farms have close links with
the sea, for example as a type of fertiliser we use seaweed and sand and sometimes fishbones.
Livestock is as anywhere. Sheep, Cows and domesticated Boar… But one of our famous products is
cider and ale!
We also have mines, from which we extract tin. They’re not deep – maybe 10 yards underground –
so they don’t go anywhere near the depths of the Underdark. (We don’t want trouble with the
Drow!) We use caves mainly by the sea, and the bulk of our mining is panning and collecting rock ore
from the beaches, cliffs etc. Mind you, those Drow would have to deal with “the fierce Cornish
maids” if they try anything… One of our best known mines inland is at South Crofty, ten miles from
Land’s End. It’s twelve metres long and seven metres under the ground.”
– Rowan Heartwood
Dydh da – Good Day
Meur ras – Thanks
Yeghes da – Cheers!
Mar pleg – Please
Pyth ya d ha hanow? – What’s your name?
Wella ovvy – I’m well
ple-ma (X)? – Where is (X)?
Pandr’a vynta d he eva? – What do you want to drink?
Fatla genes? – How are you?
Yn poynt da – Very well
A woeshes kewsel kernewek – Do you speak Cornish?
Dew genes! – Goodbye
Gans cledhha da yn dorn yu lel – A good sword and a trusty hand
Bys kernowyon – Cornish world
– Compiles by Rowan Heartwood of the Hunters