The southern and central Hearthlands still enjoy pleasant summers, and temperatures can rise to over 80 degrees F on a hot day, though typically they are in the mid-60s. Further north, in the shadow of the Icebarrier Mountains or nearer the open plains of the western continent, 60 degrees is considered a heat wave and a cause for celebration. Winter temperatures near the Icebarrier and plains frequently drop as low as 15 degrees, with periods as low as 5 when the Hellfrost winds blow hard and steady. Toward the coasts, temperatures regularly stay above
freezing in the winter, but can drop to lows of around 25 degrees in mid-season. Snowfall is frequent in the winter across the entire region, though it is far worse in the north, averaging as much as ten feet over the season.
Every house has a hearth, be it a small fireplace in each room or a central fire pit. Most houses burn wood or peat, though animal dung is typically stored in case of shortages of other fuels. Coal is a rarity, and found only in the richest households (or those of coal miners, of course). Given the choice between fuel or food, a decision more and more peasants much make each year, fuel is considered the most important. A man might last a week or more without food in his belly, but when the snows begin to fall, death by freezing takes only a matter of hours. Outside of the settlements, there is no law and order, no one to combat the ever-growing threat of orcs, goblins, trolls, or other nightmarish creatures, and no one to help travelers who fall prey to bandits except for scattered patrols of Roadwardens, and their number are stretched thinner and thinner with each passing year. Communities are thus seen as oases of peace in a sea of chaos.