The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East
The fertile soil of the Baranduin River valley produces some of the Shire’s best mushrooms.
In the days of old Arnor, a peaceful community of Eriadoran farmers and woodcutters lived between the Green Hills and the west bank of the Baranduin. The Scourging of T.A. 1409 destroyed these folk and most of the Wood-elves who had dwelt nearby and befriended them. Stock — the name is Westron for a well-tended woodlot — was at the center of the community. The men who still dwell here no longer tend all of the groves, vineyards, causeways, and leveed fields of the Marish, but Hobbits are moving in to take up the task. The population of the village, Men and Hobbits included, totals about 250.
The people of Stock traditionally keep good relations with the woodland around them. They harvest trees with care, gathering their boughs for bedding, their apples for drying, and their acorns and walnuts for grinding and baking. The trees grow in rows, probably because there was, in the old days, an Arthadan knight in residence here. Most of the groves were planted according to his plan as coppices and orchards.
The Stock-folk worry about land-clearing activity. The Hobbit clans have settled all around them, planting fields and setting up mushroom-shelters at the edge of the Marish. Fortunately for the villagers, the Hobbits are not good at bullying. Borders set before the Scourging are respected where they can be verified. Hobbits and men alike around Stock are digging into old ruins and family coffers to locate the relevant documents, most now moldy with age. In the meanwhile, the Hobbits have begun the grueling and time-consuming effort of draining a portion of the Marish, hoping to reclaim more land for their own use.