With the founding of Ozark Medieval Fortress, historic and chronologic milestones were set.
At the beginning of Ozark Medieval Fortress, we are in 1236. Louis IX – future Saint-Louis – was crowned king at Reims 10 years before in 1226. But being too young to rule, it is his mother Blanche de Castille who assures the reign of the kingdom until 1235.
In 1228, a league of disloyal lords are trying to kidnap the king. He is locked in a castle near Paris and has to wait for an army of reinforcements from the capital to require the company of insurgents to lift the siege.
Blanche of Castile should negotiate to maintain the unity of the kingdom until the king is old enough to reign.
Peasants and their families live in small, simple houses in a village. The houses are made of wood or dried mud, and are covered with a thatch roof. Often they have only a single room. Only a little light penetrates into the room through small windows without glass over which shutters close at night. The floor is dirt. The furniture is very simple: trunks, a few benches, and a bed with a straw mattress.
The diet of the family has almost no variety. Pork is a mainstay of the diet. The pork comes from pigs slaughtered at the beginning of the winter and preserved in salt. The pigs also furnish bacon that is eaten at weddings, christenings, or other celebrations. The rest of the time the peasants eat vegetable soup, flat bread, porridge made from rye or barley, and dark rye bread. Bread is the basic staple of the diet, and each person eats about a kilo every day.
In their garden a peasant family raises vegetables (peas, beans, carrots, celery), and medicinal plants. They pick fruit from trees. Some of the fruit is from grafted trees. There is a farmyard with a few chickens near each house. The raising of livestock is not well developed. In the fields around the village peasants grow the grains, especially barley and wheat, that are the basis of their diet. Each person eats about a kilo a day of grain in one form or another.
Each day the peasant farmer pulls on his breeches and his tunic, and wraps a cape woven of wool or flax around his shoulders. In cold weather the peasant never goes out without his hood and his boots of soft leather, with laces, that protect most of his legs from rain and mud. In the summer he dresses lighter in a simple jacket and a hat to protect him from the sun. Women wear dresses, over which they sometimes wear aprons. They always cover their head.
From the eleventh to the fourteenth century, the countryside changes dramatically. Water mills and new windmills permit grain to be ground faster than ancient arm-powered mills could grind it. Tools formerly made of wood, but more and more made of metal, become more effective. With a shoulder collar, horses work faster than they did when they wore a neck collar, which choked them. Peasants learn to use the soil better by rotating crops. They bring some organization to their chaotically disordered fields. The technical advances, and also a more favorable climate, lead to an increase in crop yields. In the thirteenth century one seed put in the ground produces four plants instead of the two that were produced in the ninth century.
It is from this point that the life of peasants evolved.