The sleepy village of Painford (pop. 110) gets its name from its first mayor, a barber surgeon who was very proud of the sense of humour he didn't actually have.

Painford is a small community mostly made of trappers, hunters and loggers though it is too small to have much of a lumber trade beyond the immediate surroundings. Years ago it was ruled by King Pieter the Bandit as part of his ramshackle realm but very few villagers are old enough to remember that time.

Beatrix Fassbender lives in a tower just outside the village. Her address and occupation are common knowledge and locals will (reluctantly) point it out to visitors on the basis that wizards and those mad enough to seek them out belong together.