[Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Bonnifuss

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[Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Bonnifuss

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:06 pm

Duchy of Bonnifuss
Found in the Old Lore Books on the Final Haven website.

City of Bonnifuss, Home of House Mandalor

From A Biography of Silverthorne by Sathin Maevers, 1000 P.E.W.

Population: 40,000
Location: the shores of the Bonnifuss River, just west of the foothills of the Crescent Mountains
Baronies: Pellin, Castelion, Ft. Ironwood
Status Report: Bonnifuss

January 994

After spending time with the small Jackal Men of the plains I have at last arrived in Bonnifuss. The town is rowdy, loud, noxious, but full of life. Here the merchants guild reins supreme, and they let all know it. Rumor has that even the house members and constable here are under the ever-present thumb of the guild.

The guild conducts all trade with the Dwarven kingdom, and the Kingdom of Alleria to the southeast. With the taxes and revenues they bring in the guild is able to finance its own labor force, transports, miners, casino’s and taverns. In fact this whole town participates in one way or another in expanding the power of the merchants guild.

I did here an interesting bit of information in the alley outside the Prancing Lion. It seems a group of local lowlife, referring to themselves as the Free Traders Union has taken to smuggling coin and goods from the town and undercutting prices to the rest of the frontier and the kingdom at large. The old wino who informed me of this after I gave him a blanket said something about a brewer to talk to. I have no need in alcohol, not after seeing what it had done to that poor man, so passed up the chance at finding out more from the local brewers.

I will be taking point on a caravan to Gateway, the border town on the Crescent Moon mountains, before continuing on to Silverthorn herself for further posting. As far as the overland route to Bonnifuss goes, it would be possible as long as tall road markers and regular way stations were emplaced. With those aids, travel from the frotier towns of N’Tor and D’Albin could be cut by more than half.

Sure enough, not more than three years after Strider brought this report to Silverthorne, the Barony of Bonnifuss became an independent duchy under the control of Duke Gregory Mandolin. His rapid rise to fame and power is already legend throughout the kingdom. In addition to siring numerous offspring and ensuring their rise into vacated positions among the nobility, he has constructed an empire of trade here-to-fore unseen within the wilds of Silverthorne.

The heavily armed merchant caravans and luggers which hug the rivers and trade routes of Silverthorne provide the lifesblood of commerce to the young nation. Where before the rise of Mandolin trade was a rough and fickle thing, with no assurances of commodoties or even basic necessities reaching their destination, now trade flourishes under the watchful eye of Mandolin’s merchant guard.

Granted, the freedom to trade which existed before, and the ease with which neighbors could barter has disappeared, but it is all for the best when one considers the rich profits lining the coffers of wealthy merchants.

Bonnifuss itself has prospered in recent years though the area has long been settled. A herding town which has conducted trade in years past with Dwarves, Ga’Vin, and Hill Barbarians is reputed to have stood on this site for several hundred years. The town was also a regular stop for many bands of Guthries and is perhaps suited to their nature, being a busy, frolicking locale.

Recent years have seen its many rolling hills and gentle valleys become developed for farming and as the manor lands of wealthy merchants. Several thanes have purchased lands here, the land being cheap and readily available in grants from Duke Mandolin. However, the brutal winters off the plains contrast directly with the gentle summers and tall golden grasses which much of the nobility finds so appealing from their seats on horseback. Nearly as many take their retainers and sell back their lands to Duke Mandolin (at significantly discounted price of course) as arrive each season.

Raids on the behalf of the lightning lizards of the plains and the devastation wrought by the wyverns also plays its part in assuring the failure of many less hardy settlers. In recent years an increase in the numbers of the Slaar in this part of the Kingdom has also been noted. The strange tribal creatures raid in large bands during the night, often destroying entire homesteads before being run off by the troops of Bonnifuss. It is commonly believed that the creatures have been driven southward by the ongoing war in the North.

Jared T

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Bonnifuss

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:07 pm

Regency of Castelion
Found in the Old Lore Books on the Final Haven website.

From A Biography of Silverthorne by Sathin Maevers, 1000 P.E.W.

Population: 8,000 in the city proper and approximately 4,000 among the dozen or so outlying villages and estates. Estimates of Gnomish population here range from 20% - 40%. No one really believes those who say they count that many gnomes though.
Exports: Wooden Goods, Merchant Vessels

It was when I first left the town walls of Castelion for a summer picnic with my train that I noticed the strange sound. We had been making the rounds of our holdings from Bonnifuss for a couple months, and I had heard many strange things in those times but nothing quite like this. It was a strange keening, mixed with sharp cracks and the report of sliding rock.

Our local guards informed my husband, Thane Creb Mandolin nephew of the great Duke Mandolin, that it was the sound of local engineers hulling one of the magnificent low draft trade galleys. We were about to order the noise cease, because it was disturbing our lunch, when from out of the bushes came a veritable horde of small children. None could have been more than waist height, but they ran and chatted like the young boys and girls of Bonnifuss on the night of solstice.

I have never heard such language from the mouths of children. Why I nearly fainted dead away. Then I realized that they must be young Gnomes. I had never thought the little people were so rambunctious. Indeed they looked almost as silly as those wandering Guthries that are always pestering my husband for handouts. Well for all their antics, their eyes were far older than their bodies appeared and I quickly grew uncomfortable around so many of such common blood. Why being raised to the nobility requires one act like a lady and what lady would consort with dirty little Gnomes! Anyway there I was after my ruined picnic when from the ground erupted some hairy beast. It had enormous claws and I screamed. The world went black.

When I woke, the little folk were standing atop the creature, having roped it to several boulders and poured some foul smelling concotion down its throat. How they managed to subdue such a hideous beast is beyond me, but I was glad for their help and paid them each a pemb. It was really too bad about my husband though. He thought to protect me bless his heart and had his head ripped off. Well I have to be going, I have lands to manage you know.

-Lady Gallia Tors-Mandolin,
Thane of Clearwater Hill
Castelion is ruled by Hamir Nordinsthop a Gnomish regent in service to the kingdom of Silverthorn these last two hundred years. He has reared many a fine young noble in his service to the royal family and is always looking out for their best interests. It is rumored that he got this job because he was a close associate of the first king Silverthorn (maybe even his cook).

Castelion is located in beautiful rolling hills where the Dorchak river flows into the inner sea. Across this two mile expanse of river water to the north lies the edges of the great Westwood, still havested for lumber by the people of Castelion. To the East the open plains Bonnifuss and the riders of Da’Thanis stretch for many miles.

Most of the barony consists of small hamlets, and cozy sod homes in the fertile river valleys. A strong contingent of guardsmen regularly patrol the area. Some say they have seen heavily armored gnomes moving with a soft greasy squeak through the night as well.

Ecology

Castelion is generally a well maintained and low danger area. The occasional hungry troll makes a lunch out of a farm family, or the odd boat is capsized by a river serpent, but for the most part life in Castelion is peaceful and prosperous for her citizens. There is however a moonset curfew and all citizens are expected to be indoors when the moon goes down. Occasionally the ground rumbles and shakes during this time and the citizens remark on the wisdom of their regent for imposing a curfew for the safety of his people.

Important people

Augustae Umbramus head of the Gnomish power movement. There is a growing faction in this area moving for Gnomish independence. So far they have not harmed anyone or harmed the economic well-being of the region, but tensions are growing between this faction and the human peasants.

Hamir Nordinsthrop, the regent. Hamir has been serving in the absence of a legitimate baron for the last two hundred years. Whenever a baron is actually around he merely advises and takes care of small management decisions. Hamir is a quiet, pudgy man, who rarely attends social events and even more rarely speaks to those who do.

Baron Tormir and Baroness Alchin are twin children of the previous Baron, as he died before they have reached their majority Hamir has once again stepped from his position as chief adjutant into the regency. Tormir and Alchin are one year from reaching their majority and at that time may sue for their rightful place on the baronial seat. Due to them both being the same age it is likely that Tormir, being male, will take the seat.

Ustin Morningstar is a large shipping magnate high in the ranks of the Merchant’s House. He has made a fortune in the last five years controlling virtually all trade through the port of Castelion by ship. Since Castelion is the key entry into the Inner Sea for all frontier goods and the war effort Ustin has prospered enormously.

Jared T

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Bonnifuss

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:09 pm

Barony of Pellin
Found in the Old Lore Books on the Final Haven website.

From A Biography of Silverthorne by Sathin Maevers, 1000 P.E.W.

Location: Southern edge of crescent mountains, east of Silverthorne City
Population: Approx. 5200 Humans
Demenses: three fishing villages and a small inland farming village

March 994

The port town of Pellin is small and uninviting. Here the clans of the old hill peoples and the nobles put into place by the kingdom still strive against one another. I think I can cut the tension with a knife. Actually I am quite sure of it From a military perspective however, this barony is falling apart from within. I have been told that each year the pirates raid off the coast and destroy the shipyards the king has founded here. The locals care little, most of them only want to hunt and fish and have been forced into labor as debtors duty.

The constable is eyeing me. He dislikes the standard army a great deal, having his own personal police force, and dislikes me for asking bothersome questions and interfering with his authority. I really did not think it was right of him to behead that man for carrying a sheep though, ah well I guess customs change in distant towns and one must abide by the Law always.

-Strider Al’Terra
The barony of Pellin is located on the coast of the great south sea where the Crescent Mountains meet the water. Deep harbor and tall cedars provided the ideal location for a shipyard, one that has failed to materialize. Twelve years ago, the King declared the need for a strong navy to defend his kingdom against the ravages of the brigand nations, but has been unable to successfully create that navy due to those very forces.

Outside of the baronial seat of Pellin itself, three fishing villages and a small inland farming village form the economic backbone to support the Barony. Each village constable reports directly to the baron once per month.

Ecology

The rugged mountainous seacoast and deep fjords of the Pellin region provide ideal habitation for a wide variety of wildlife, some of it extremely dangerous. At the bottom of the food chain kelp and small crustaceans form the dietary basis for fish and great sea whales. These in turn are preyed upon by the Shark and the An'Gilriik, known to the locals as black spines. Water trolls of enormous size and strength are not uncommon in the deep fjords as well. Last, and perhaps the greatest predator of the cold seas is the A'via'Blanak, the soaring land.

The An'Gilriik and the A'via'Blanak have never been reported outside of the southern fjords and as such are true wonders to view, should one survive the sight of them. Each has its own dangers.

An'Gilriik is a large spherical floating mass, covered in sharp spines and quills. The beast fills itself with air which it then expels at enormous force spraying spines in all directions. The beast then reels its spines back in on long fibrous tissue strands effectively pulling its victims into its underwater maw. The beast has no eyes and the storm elves claim that it detects prey by sound alone. Because these creatures tend to float along in groups of several dozen and range in size from a one foot diameter to a size of twenty feet in diameter they are extremely dangerous to fishermen and pirates alike. Rumor has it that the storm elves capture young An'Gilriik in glass jars and then catapult them onto the decks of ships they intend to raid to spread chaos and disorder among enemy crews.

The A'via'Blanak is far worse. Two hundred feet or more across, the large diamond shaped beast floats on the surface of the water. Its craggy back and barnacled body looking like nothing so much as a small rock formation rising from the sea. When it senses nearby prey, usually whales or passing ships, the beast glides across the water's surface then gives a mighty heave soaring the last hundred yards or more of its charge through the air. The beast opens a giant maw in its underside and swallows the prey whole. On rare occasions an elderly creature washes ashore and the skin is used to make marvelous watertight clothing and boat hulls. Never has one been recorded killed.

The town of Pellin: population 2,800

Pellin is a densely packed collection of stone longhouses and mead halls. Several families living together in a clan structure similar to that of the dwarves provide for each other and work together on the clan industry be it fishing, boat building, hunting, or warring. The most noted clans of Pellin are the Kors who have shipyards in every village and the Oroscos who have long been responsible for the defense of the region. Lately the Oroscos have been in dishonor because of their inability to keep the roads and seaways of the barony clear of beasties.

Important people of the Region

Regent of Pellin: In the absence of a ruling Baron, the Lady Alviana, Headwoman of Clan Mosher is sitting as regent. She is dealing with the local council, the council of guilds, and the council of clans. Though with the arival of Silverthorn's rulership and patronage, the council of clans has lost much standing, few men will deviate from its wishes.

Sir Fa'Thanor, thane of house Jacorik. A large swarthy man, Fa'Thanor has the universal respect of the local people and has often led raids into the mountains to deal with brigand insurrections or pirates. Though appearing large and slow witted, Sir Fa'Thanor is merely patient and cautious, few men get the best of him twice.

Wirrin of the Shipwright's guild: Wirrin is a wiry old man who has headed the shipwrights guild for almost twenty years. He has made little progress in actual production, but has passed many design innovations and sail techniques on to his headquarters in Silverthorn. These developments in armor and sail may lead to the development of great galleons some day, but not until silverthorn's kingdom can prevent the raiding that occurs incessantly on its shipyards.

Sir Guillam Xin of house Toevass: Sir Guillam is the long-standing friend of Wirring the shipwright and has devoted much of his time and scholarly research into the field of navigation and sailing. He is said to be a gentle man and not at all kin to the arts of war or survival which are most useful in this clime.

Lady Kyaena, of the House Mandalor has little power as little trade or raw coinage passes through these parts. A great deal of Pellin's business is in private bartered services and goods exchanged between families.

Sir Marcus, the DeVris representative to Pellin is a rather unhappy man. Originally from the capital, he feels that being placed here in Pellin is some kind of punishment, even though it is a baronial rank council. Marcus treats criminals as harshly as the law permits, though few cases ever make it to the baronial court, most being solved in private between family and clan.

Jared T

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Bonnifuss

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:10 pm

Fort Ironwood
Found in the Old Lore Books on the Final Haven website.

From A Biography of Silverthorne by Sathin Maevers, 1000 P.E.W.

Population: 1,500
Location:Foothills just west of Crescent mountains, due east of Bonnifuss at the headwaters of the Bonnifuss River.
Exports: Iron Ore, Zinc, Copper, Tin

Ft. IronWood was only recently founded by a joint venture of the King and Duke Mandolin. With the need for steel and fine metals in a continual upswing due to the war effort, and imports from Alleria increasingly unstable the King felt it advisable to begin a separate mining operation close to the front.

With refineries available in Bonnifuss and in Dorchak the shortage of fine steel was due more to a difficulty in supply than manufacture. So with typical Royal perogative the King issued command to found a new barony designed solely around securing a supply of raw materials for the war effort. Though the funding of this barony was subsidized by the royal treasury, rumor holds that it has to this point severely taxed even the wealth of the renowned Mandolins.

The barony consists entirely of a single fortified town with a wooden palisade and a stone lined dry moat. The rock dragged up from the mines has supplied enough stone to line roadways and provide shale roofing, but not enough to provide for the solid walls that Baron Healfdane desires.

The Baron

The Baron comes from northern stock, and fought beside Grayston in several historic battles before taking an injury. He held lands as a thane within the Duchy of Gilbain, but was promoted to Baron by the writ of Grayston for his valor in battle and for his selfless sacrifice in leading many of his own men to seal a breach in the defenses of Gilbain during the Horde’s push in the fall of 998.

When the need for a new Baron rose in the south, Grayston convinced his brother that he had just the man for the job. Baron Torm Healfdane works ceaselessly to insure the safety and prosperity of his new lands. He has commissioned a full five hundred troops to maintain the garrison and protect the mining efforts. Though he is often forced to rely on a cane due to his previous injury, Healfdane busies himself overseeing the day to day construction of homes and defenses. He can often be found surveying the battlements and drawing up notations on his war board long after the sun has fallen.

The Populace

Of the remaining population of Ft. Ironwood, less than one hundred are female, and most of those the wives of his guardsmen. The rest of the populace is made up entirely of miners and engineers whose families have remained in Bonnifuss. Due to the perpetual threat of invasion, should Gromm turn his attention southward, it was considered unwise by the Baron to provide facilities for women and children at this time. Due to this the fortress is even more crass and bare than most within the frontier.

Ironwood sends barges laden with ore downriver on a nearly weekly basis and rotates its troops out for training in the plains surrounding Bonnifuss every two weeks. The miners get a holiday every fortnight and a week to themselves and their families every season. Though the work is brutally hard, discipline is sharp the men are paid well and a traveler or messenger will hear little grumbling in the tavern after sunset.

The Council

Among the staff manning the fortress are several young bloods who have proven themselves in the heat of combat. Rumor has it among the soldiers that each man on the Baron’s council was handpicked by either Healfdane or Grayston. When last I stopped through there in the company of a post rider Sir Thomas of Gateway was commanding the guard and serving as constable. He won his stirrups in the defense of an Allerian noble against the haunts which pervade the mountain pass at night. After delivering the man and his cargo safely into the merchant guild’s waiting hands and seeing the gates once more safely barred Thomas was knighted for his bravery and quick thought. Serving for Jacorik is a woman by the name of Lady Win’Mitar. She has seen time in the court at Gilbain, Dorchak, and Bonnifuss. Although I have heard in the past that her fiery temper has led to trouble and prevented the swift rise through the ranks that her quick intelligence promises, she is certainly no-one to trifle with. Already since gaining her post within the Barony she has foiled two assassination attempts on the Baron and rooted out a ‘guild’ operating illegally within the mines.

Toevass and DeVris both sent young members to the Baronial seat, neither more than thirty years of age. It is said that the man who sits for DeVris, one Jonin McVain was once a cavelier and gave it up for the stable life of a town magistrate only upon hearing he could see more action in Ironwood than in a year on the trail. Toevass’s Laric Carverson is a master scrivener and able to do miraculous recordkeeping that seems to make ends meet and provide all the right supplies to the right destinations with no questions asked. His ability to organize and his impecable memory make him an asset that not even Harold Miller the tax collector and representative of House Mandolar can find fault with.

Ecology

Unfortunately the dangers of Ironwood and the struggles of founding a new barony more than make up for the skill and talents of the men and women involved. Even should they work flawlessly and to the limit of human endurance it is only a matter of time before Gromm or some other force slips by the King’s army to the north and pushes this Barony to the limit of its people.

With the open plains to the west, and the inherent dangers of plains wyverns and snow sprinters to prevent reinforcements or easy travel by land Ft. IronWood is esentially cut off when the supply boats are not in town. With no source of food readily available, the populace has been forced to rely on trade with the hill barbarian tribes who occasionally visit and the generous spirit of the few trappers hardy enough to remain in the hills and plains with the conflict continuing. Winters are incredibly harsh in IronWood, bringing FrostHounds down from the mountain passes in large numbers and worse yet once the peaks clog with snow. When blizzards clog the landscape the icereavers come calling in the night. One of the guards I spoke to who survived last winter remembered the chill glow of their blue eyes. He said they rode upon the backs of longlegged lizards.

Jared T

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