[Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

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[Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:30 pm

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

Center of the world, Seat of the great Kings of Silverthorne

From A Biography of Silverthorne by Sathin Maevers, 1000 P.E.W.
Population: 142,000(city) 100,000(surrounding villas, estates, plantations, villages, forts)
Location: the shores of the Silver River and the Bay of Thorns
Baronies: Brax, Gateway, Mordin, Norillon, Portsmouth, Tucor

I, Strider Al’Terra will humbly attempt to enlighten your reading with my words and my wisdom. I cannot claim to be right, but as a member of House Toevass I can tell you that all information to follow is as true as I can verify. I have interspersed my own journals and impression of these lands alongside as much factual information as needs to be conveyed in an attempt not to bore you.

June 993

At long last the shining city of Silverthorn lies ahead of me. I cannot believe the size and granduer of this place. The clear blue waters of the bay etched against the stark black volcanic rock of the seashore, with pillars of obsidian rising like grasping claws from the still waters will forever be ethced into my memory. Not to mention the dazzling splendor of the castle, her white marble towering hundreds of spans into the air before the great silver falls.

She is magnificent and utterly beautiful, and I think that no city in the world could now campare to this majesty. It is truly the silver city and a great pride to our nation.

May fate grant that I shall someday see the inside of her palace and even meet the royal family. Such would be a proud day for any orphan and myself most of all.

There are so very many people here. The press of the crowd makes me feel confined and trapped. I have twice lost my purse, woe to the poor thief who discovers it empty of all save a few stones that I collected in my travels.

I was accosted by a guard bearing papers of litigation, who claimed that as a member of the city guard he outranked me and could order me to a post here. I informed him that I was carrying post on the behest of the great Duke Kendal, and the man sneared at me and called me a liar! To think that anyone could be so unfriendly in the midst of such splendor.

This place with all its people and conflicting interests is getting to me. I know now what is different about these people from those at the frontier. Here there are not the physical dangers to keep a man occupied so instead he creates mental ones. They intrigue and politic, eating away at the fabric of their own society. I much prefer an honest fight, at least then I know my enemy.

Location

The capital city of Silverthorn is situated on the volcanic slopes of the Bay of Thorns where the great Silver River makes its way into the ocean from the distant inner sea. Pillars of black volcanic stone rise in hulking monoliths from the bay, or lurk just beneath its surface, making navigation a treacherous and fearful profession.

Appearance

The great city itself rises in several tiers set back into the stone walls of the black cliffs on the West side of the silver river. Each tier is consecutively more elegant and rifined than the one below, ending in great towers and palaces near the cliff’s rim. Several thousand years of evolutionary empires and various races have all left their mark on the cityscape, leaving buildings, devices and artwork behind after they have long vanished. The city is dotted with numerous statues and relics of times long before the humans who occupy her slopes now.

On the opposite side of the bay from the city rises the great citadel of Silverthorn’s hereditary rulers. Built more than two hundred years ago by gnomish engineers, the graceful towers loom high into the sky, rising to overshadow all others and peak above the cliff rim and into the upper kingdom.

Connecting city and citadel is a great span of glittering metal, joined with alchemical bonds by the same gnomes who built the castle. The bridge spans the entire two mile width of the Silver River and its great falls in a single arch. This miracle of engineering has stood for over a hundred and fifty years as a symbol of faith and goodwill between Gnomes and humans.

Ecology of the Great City

Here in the capital, bureaucracy reigns supreme. Each guild, house, noble and family has its litigator, and everything from moving to joining a trading company requires the proper paperwork and seals. The underworld element is largely controlled, and consists of several ‘families’ of criminals. Some say a secret police is responsible for keeping the violent crimes down, by killing the criminals.

Much of Silverthorn’s survival relies on trade. The city has grown to enormous proportions over the last two hundred years and requires large amounts of food and trade to support itself. As such the merchants house has been growing steadily in influence.

Important People

The below people are not generally landed or well landed, their rank is for court purposes. In general a landed noble of equal rank will hold more sway though there are exceptions.

Line of Graymere, Thanes:The line of Graymere has long been responsible for the maintenance of customs and watching over the comings and goings of the city. It is said not a cricket can enter the city without the Thane allowing it. However, unless the person is under warrant, Silverthorne is a free city and even peasants may come and go as they choose.

Line of Durack, Thanes:For one hundred and twelve years the line of Durack have been producing the chief heralds for the court of Silverthorne. The children are trained from birth in languages, literature, memory skills and recitation. Generally well respected and treated, because one does NOT see the king without his permission.

Line of Linfen, Baronial: The Baron Linfen is currently chancelor of the court and responsible for arranging all sessions, schedules, and audiences. He also supervises court finance and etiquette.

Line of Kormazon, Baronial: The Baron Kormazon is in charge of the royal guard and the security of Silverthorne. Kormazon has been granted title to lands beyond the Crescent Mountains providing he can hold them against the orcs. As of yet this hasn’t happened.

Line of Tebedier, Thanes: The Thane Tebedier is Admiral of the Kings fleet, small though it may be. Currently consisting only of a few galleys and coasters, the fleet is kept busy repelling pirates from the valued coastal baronies.

Important Facilities offered by the city

The great library of Silverthorn: The library situated in the city proper is the largest known public repository of knowledge in the world. It contains several floors of texts available to public use as well as numerous subterainean levels of archives and relics kept for official use by authorized people (House Toevass). All citizens of the country are permitted to use the library, though there are a few prerequisites before obtaining texts. All people must wash their hands and dry them before leaving the anteroom. No text may be taken from the library, and any future works based on library texts must contain the proper recognition for the previous text. The librarians are very stringent about these rules and have even been known to press charges against nobles who violated them.

The Royal Academy: Here any man or woman of noble birth may receive training at the king’s expense in the arts of peace and war. Several languages, arithmetic, navigation, and strategy are all counseled for a modest fee.

The Great Locks: During the construction of the city and its magnificent castle a second great work was undertaken. Excavation lasted nearly one hundred years and the foundries of the fledgling Kingdom were busy for a decade more in preparing the massive system of floodgates and channels that enable ships to be raised the hundred of vertical feet above the bay and into the silver river. The locks stretch several miles upriver in order to avoid the devastating pull of current that could easily send even the most seasoned crew to their doom.

Though they are carved through the solid rock of the volcanic rim, in great tunnels which tower high enough to avoid even the tallest masts, added precautions have been taken to ensure the security of the city from above. The locks can be fully flooded, locking any within inside a watery grave. They also are constructed with mirrored glass and crystal to provide adequate lighting at all hours of the day to those who seek trade from the Inner Sea to the Bay of Thorns

Jared T

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:32 pm

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

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

Population: 6,000
Chief Industries:Shipping, stonework, fishing
Exports: Small Rivercraft, Fish
Demenses: 3 outlier villages, two towns

July 993

I have found my way up river, to Brax on a swift courier and am now settled in to wait for a company traveling by water or land to Tucor. If one does not arrive shortly I will be forced to travel alone. My uniform is growing threadbare from this long service and I would hate to have to hike my way any further. I am told that the trek through the temperate rainforest of Vaunaphasuak will be hard enough.

The town of Brax is a bustling hub of trade activity. Though not overly large when compared to Dorchak or Silverthorn herself, she is a well planned and put together city. I am told she was designed to guard the mouth of the Silver river from northern raiders before Suspin and Dorchak joined the kingdom. As such the four span high stone walls and guard towers are quite impressive. She no longer has the guard complement originally designed to be here and some of the barracks and training grounds have been converted into apartments for local residents. The rent is paid directly into the barons coffers and goes to maintaining the cities sewage, street, and wall facilities.

The council here is quite relaxed, it seems that their duties are largely managed by the baron himself, and that little action ever takes place in this sleepy seaside barony.

-Strider Al’Terra

The barony of Brax is situated on the mouth of the silver river and has long been a loyal bastion of defense for the nation of Silverthorn. In recent years however its usefullness has fallen by the wayside and the area has fallen into a slow decline of elegant decay.

Great granite walls stretch along the cliff-line, enormous ramparts protect the harbor, and iron gates rust in grooves that have not been cleaned in years. The heart land of Silverthorn, at the end of the king’s highway, directly from the north gate of the capital city has little to fear from invasion, foreign or domestic. And so, in a port that is only stopped in briefly, to or from the capital, great barraks, foundries, and smithies, lie dormant from nearly a century ago when this was the frontier of a new-born kingdom.

Ecology

The wildlife this close to the Capital city remains quite tame. For the most part danger is scare and living simple. However, there seem to be a large number of strange slimy fetid pools in the lowlands south of the cliffs overlooking the inner sea. Some of the locals claim that these pools are actually liquid creatures capable of moving onloy at night and devouring people and cattle alike.

The Baron

Baron Stannish Worthshire has lived his entire life in the decline of a once great trade city. He has watched as his people have slowly moved away, not to be replaced, searching for new frontiers and richer opportunities. The town was built to hold ten thousand people at its prime, and now just over half that number remain inside the ivy covered walls. Land here is cheap but no-one is buying.

Town of Epsom (Population 600)

Epsom pays fealty to Brax but has not been heavily taxed in years. She is a small community owing mostly to the lack of ambition on the part of the Thane Ollent who keeps his manor here. The twon exports a bit of barley and wheat, but is mostly comprised of self sufficient farmfolk who want little to do with the outside world.

Town of Hubri (Population 750)

Hubri is growing once again after becoming something of a ghost town in the early days following the expansion of Silverthorne. It was once an active war camp and trained some of the finest soldiers of Silverthorne in years past. Now it has become something of a special pilgrimage for warriors of all ranks as they make their way to the frontier to do battle with Gromm. Many stop here, near the resting places of their ancestors and hope to find themselves alive at the end of this new war. I fear from my travels that many will not be.

Jared T

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:33 pm

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

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

Population: 13,000, 80%human, 15% Dwarven, 5% other
Exports: Gems, Raw Metals, Stonework
Imports: Grain, Wine

994

Just arrived in Gateway two nights ago. The temperature here next to the mountains is frigid, to say the least. The dwarves seem to like it though. Never seen so many of the short stocky folk around. They aren’t very much like the Elves describe them. Certainly not the vile repulsive beasts I heard about. Vulgar, yes. Violent, yes. Dangerous, definitely yes. They are also honorable, loyal to a fault, and the most hardy individuals I have ever seen. Here is an example:

On our way here we broke an axle on a crag in the road, and shattered two of the wheels in the process. A small band of the short folk, beards blowing in the wind were moving through the pass behind us. Three of em with beards blowing in the wind and a fourth all bundled in hood and dark, baggy clothing so I couldn’t make ‘em out.

They stopped and offered to fix the wagon. Our caravan master said nothing would fix her, but the dwarves disagreed. The master started to get upset and he said he would give his life or a bar if they could fix that wagon. The dwarf just nodded and said ‘Done.’

Then he and his cohorts dropped their packs to the ground and began pulling strips of metal, tongs and hammers out of their pouches. They worked all through the night over a small coal fire, fixing the metal wheel rims and forging a cylindrical axle patch. By dawn the dwarves had our wagon better than it was new. No smith I know could have done so well.

The apparent leader walked up to our wagon master and said ‘your life or a bar’. They were the first words any of them had said all night. Our master wordlessly counted out ten Wald and handed them over. The dwarf just nodded, took up his pack and joined his party on the road again.

Their are two morasl to that story, one dwarves are great smiths and hard workers. Two their services aren’t cheap. They would make great allies to the kingdom of Silverthorn if we could afford their keep.

The town of gateway itself is small and crowded. It is built right into the mountain sides of the pass. Embassy houses and trade homes line the narrow streets, while the warehouses extend into vast storerooms underground. The citizenry all lock themselves inside at night though. They claim the place is haunted and the Barons guards enforce the unofficial curfew. They round up anyone on the street after dark and throw them in the brig. Twice while I was here the first night I heard strange scrapping noises like chains dragging on the ground outside. I tried to force the metal shutters on the barracks open to get a look but they were rusted solidly shut.

Tomorrow I leave by caravan again. This time towards Silverthorn herself. We will pass the small port town of Pellin on the way there. My next report will probably arrive by ship.

-Strider Al’Terra

The city of Gateway is located deep within a pass of the Crescent Mountains connecting the Kingdoms of Silverthorn and Alleria. Due to this prime locale, it is the site of much trade and import to the kingdom. The Dwarven nation also conducts all trade and negotiation through this point.

The city itself is heavily fortified and constructed entirely of mountain stone. It is believed that the dwarves had some part in its building themselves though they left early on in the human era. Bronze gates nearly a foot thick adorn the walls on both sides of the city to repel attackers and the entire city can be closed easily to repel siege. Though covering little surface area a few of the six or seven story buildings actually serve as homes and workplaces for the city’s many inhabitants. It is estimated that the population could grow to as much as fortythousands before new construction would have to be undertaken.

Politics

The baron of Gateway answers directly to the King of Silverhtorn, to prevent his position being swayed by any other nobles. However, with the war well underway the King has been unable to undertake his customary close observation of this key barony and many trade agreements and treaties have begun to suffer between Alleria and Silverthorn.

The Baron, one Cassius An’Porulus rules with a heavy hand, containing his town under martial law for the past year. None are allowed in the streets after dark, and those found harboring weapons are executed on the spot. The minister of the court claims it is for the safety of trade and the populous but many of the citizens have disappeared mysteriously in recent months.

In addition five council members have been executed or dismissed and replaced. Two of which were from house Jacoric and two from House DeVris. The last being from the then Merchants guild. Members of House Toevass have not been seen in months.

Current representatives to the council are Sir Alfred Kofka of House Jacoric, a wily old gent who keeps his head down and firmly upon his shoulders. He is timely to a fault and meticulous in appearance. Tomilova Mirovich sixth rank of house DeVris sits on the council unsteadily after the death of his two predecessors. Mr. Myers of the Merchants House sits for them, though he has avoided meetings of late complaining of a terrible flux. As for the House Toevass, their representative Sir Bayle Tompson has not been seen or heard from in quite some time.

Dangers of the city include the ever present flocks of night bleeders (vampire bats) and rumors of decaying men in the sewer system developed some centuries ago. As to the truth behind these rumors who can say, with the curfew and all it is hard to get down there and find out.

The warriors guild and merchants House hold the most power here, led by Alloc Smith and Mr. Myers respectively. They keep their heads down, avoid trouble and do whatever they are told by the baron. Others who did not follow orders to the letter such as the mages guild and the alchemists guild had their charters withdrawn.

Ecology

The ecological implications of Gateway on its surrounding are few and far between. For the most part the local hills and mountains remain in their natural state. Many wild creatures inhabit the passes along with the men and beasts that prey upon them. An extremely large black market involving poisons, imported weapons and information has sprung up across the border here. Many believe the Free Trader’s Union to be responsible though they deny it themselves.

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:34 pm

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

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

Population: 7,500
Location:North of Silverthorne on the Eastern Shores of the Silver River
Exports: Grain, Brandy, Herbs

The barony of Norillon is a small, quite well-to-do location. It produces a surplus of food and grain which are shipped throughout the kingdom as well as fine ale and brandy. As a small agricultural cummunity they are left alone and away from the influences of political and economic climbers within the elite ranks of the country.

A system of mutual benefits and rewards has been worked out in recent generations between the locals and their nobility. When the nobility hereabouts profits a share of those profits are passed down to each tenant farmer and family. This provides for a balanced financial system and healthy, happy, workforce. Most of the people in this area are hard working and content with their lot. They see an unusual amount of individual profit and responsibility and greatly respect the local nobility for having treated them so well.

The local baron, a man by the Matin Lellinaos devised the system of profit and reward in his youth but was turned down when he attempted to convince the king of its reliability in the economics of the kingdom as a whole. The king claimed that corruption would go unchecked in this system leading to the eventual collapse of the economy. However, on a smaller scale, Lellinaos principles have proved to be supportive of loyal and hardworking people provided that none get too greedy and go after more than their share.

The baron has a single daughter, now in her early twenties who has joined the military body of Silverthorn and is serving in the kings army in the war against Gromm. Lellinaos has repeatedly commented to friends and advisors that he wishes she would get married and settle down before she gets hurt. He cares deeply about her well being and hopes for her to grow tired of playing soldier and return to the farm country where she was born to a peasant mother.

Matin has never married, nor does he intend to. He instead chooses to take women into his household as retainers and lovers. He claims that marriage is antiquated and worthless, which has brought rumblings of disapproval from the capital, but no move against him since most others consider him an eccentric bumpkin anyway.

Toevass keeps its forum here and the legendary Silverthorne Alchemical Acadamy is also located on the outskirts of Norillon.

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:35 pm

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

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

Population: 5,000
Location:West of Silverthorne on the Shores of the Great South Sea
Exports: Naval and Army Officers

Status Report June 993

Strider Al’Terra 1st commission, Silverthorne

I have arrived in the port of Portsmouth, smuggled in on a trading cutter that deals in the Corsair Isles. I will book passage by the end of the week for Silverthorn to deliver my missives to the guard. This is by far the roughest and most hazardous section of sea I have yet laid eyes on. The fishermen here are a poor but stoic lot, beaten by harsh taxes, braving the currents in weather foul and fair in the hopes of taking the many ripe lobster and octopus that are such a delicacy. It is said that the baroness herself served for two years on a fishing trawler as a lass on the orders of her father to discipline her for killing a crewman in the palace that whistled at the sight of her. If so, this has not served to reconcile the difference between noble and commoner here. Many young men and women come here to the royal naval academy and are of rich blood, with no appreciation for those who made them wealthy.

The baroness’s council is extremely biased against both women and commoners and it is said they often ride right over her decisions or make her work impossible. Most of her council is imported from the capital. They seem to find a woman incapable of doing a man’s work and think her frivolous for spending any time or money on improving the welfare of her peasantry. House JaKoric has been silent, but both the merchants house and house DeVris have been quite vocal in their disapproval of educating and spending treasury moneys on mere peasant rabble. Toevass makes grunting noises of disapproval as well.

Portsmouth is located on a pleasant cove several days to the West of Silverthorn city. This small barony has long been a retreat for the wealthy and a rich smuggling stop for well to do criminals. The barony itself has only two towns, Portsmouth itself and shantytown. Rich and poor, with nothing in between.

Portsmouth is a beautiful town of whitewashed buildings, red clay tile roofs, green gables and granite paved streets. Lawns here are manicured and the shops close during the middle of the day for an afternoon siesta. The pride of the imperial navies officer’s often retire here, commanding an entire square to their manor houses and grounds.

Portsmouth’s Baron, Admiral Falkirk is bearded coastal gentleman in every sense. He has redefined the meaning of being an officer in recent years, giving rise to a predominant noble heirarchy aboard ship. Many second and third sons of Thanes and Baron’s throughout the kingdom have gone through the Portsmouth naval academy learning the arts of ocean warfare, history, etiquette, and ship to ship combat. Courses in navigation and cartography are also offered leading many into the best commissions the Royal Navy has to offer. Baron Falkirk personally oversees the running of the academy in addition to the Barony itself and leaves his landed council to run the affairs of the town quite as they like.

As for shanty town and its fifteen hundred inhabitants, they do not lead a pleasant or healthy life. Living in hovels from which they are pulled daily to work the hemp factories or shipyards, the men and women of this community scarcely receive enough in wages to survive, much less prosper. In order to travel one must first approach a guardsman, and then the guard captain and gain a writ of permission. This insures a perpetual workforce for the yards and industries which are booming.

The imperial shipyard here is able to turn out approximately on large galleon and two clippers per year. Most of these are old design ships and do not involve the renovations that have been recently made in the ship-building industry.

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:35 pm

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

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

Population: 2,250
Exports: Ale, Sailcloth, Rope
Imports: Grain, Lumber

Status Report July 993

Strider Al’Terra 1st commission, Silverthorne

I have just arrived in Tucor after a long and arduous overland trek from Brax. The seaside weather was pleasant and the road maintained, but the sharp seaside stones were quite hard on the boots. The terrain around Tucor continues to be a sharp shale, much like that found in more mountainous regions.

Vegetation here is sparse. People far more so. The land seems to be all brown. I find myself thinking that nothing could be worse than being forced to farm in these salty barrens. True the fens and brackens are not that bad, but I shouldn’t like the emptiness and the desolation.

Located on the southern shore of the Inner Sea, Tucor is the last bastion before entering the forest en route to Mordin. Barren landscape and an ailing member of the nobility contribute to this deserted baronies lack of appeal. The bracken to the south of town provides little game and little tillable soil. A few farmers still eek an existence from the tired soil, but most of the townsfolk earn their living by catering to the sailors and merchants who pass through on their travels to and from Susspin and Vaunephasauk.

Significant people include the elderly baron James Vari’il. He is a kindly old man if gradually becoming senile and little remembers the deaths of his children in that boating accident a few years ago. He now calmly awaits his own time, with a smile and a genteel wave to his townsfolk.

When I asked a farmer about the desolation and the depression which seems to exist throughout Tucor he spat and muttered something about the ‘worms at the gates.’ It was only when I rose early one morning to see gate guards casting flaming brands upon the moving masses in the streets that I truly understood.

Tucor is plagued by a rare species of worm which lives off of roots and plant fibers. The creatures then spin enormous nests of coarse threaded fibers. While these fibers are exceptionally useful for the manufacture of sails and other hardy materials, they are nearly useless for comfortable clothing. The worms also seem to devour the crops quite rapidly, resulting in the near starvation of most of the peasant population of Tucor.

I recommend that whenever traveling near Tucor, you avoid sleeping on the ground at all costs. The swamps and rocks which surround this town’s outlying farms provide a boundary which the worms will not cross, but once within their reach for a night a man can wake up severely scarred. Several of the farmfolk and their children bear the traceries of worm bites.

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Re: [Written] Silverthorne - Duchy of Silverthorne

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:36 pm

Barony of Mordin
Found in the Old Lore Books on the Final Haven website. No additional information provided.

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

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