In a bygone age, Snookington Village was home to more animals than people. The streets were well trodden by horses, cows and pigs. Villagers worked on the many farms or in mines. Life was hard for most, but there was enough food to go around. The village nestled by a woodland at the border of a wealthy Kingdom. The Lord of the manor was a man called Snookington and he managed its affairs in line with the King’s wishes.
Vast swathes of land were owned by Lord Snookington. He had authority and control over the peasant villagers, who worked the land for food. It was a place where the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The wealthiest man by far was Lord Snookington himself. He lived in a high-status manor house, complete with moat created by diverting the River Snook. A magnificent stone statue of himself was constructed to show his importance, and it stood on a grassy patch near the new schoolhouse.
A family was looking for a new place to settle and chanced upon Snookington Village. The father, Jorrin, was a rugged and resourceful man. His wife, Gira, was both practical and quiet. They had three boys. It was deep winter and a thick blanket of snow covered the land. They saw a part-built church tower in the distance. Carrying few possessions, the family followed a winding track past thatched cottages and over a frozen marshland until they came upon the picturesque High Street. Buildings led up a hill toward the church tower. When complete, it would loom over the village.
The place was quiet with few people about in the freezing weather. A horse and cart slushed slowly by. At the foot of the High Street, they turned to walk up the hill. Flickering candlelight in windows washed a warm glow over the blue-white snow in the street. Snowflakes floated down as the family passed the traditional shopfronts and wooden-beamed buildings. All five skidded on the compacted ice until they reached the brow of the hill. The drifts were deeper there and a wind swirled around the few churchyard gravestones as fresh snow crumped under their boots.