For the Glory of the Black Dragon
Duchies of Calastia
Here is Calastia divided into its six duchies. The kingdom is bordered on the south and east by the blossoming sea, on the west by Ankila and on the north by New Venir, Lageni and the Kelder Mountains.
Galeeda’s Grove, the large forest dominating the Northwest of the kingdom, was only recently added to the lands of the kingdom as the king’s wedding present to his new bride. The grove does not officially belong to any duchy and is primarily off-limits to all save the king’s and the queen’s foresters (an elite unit of the military). The grove is a bit of a plague to the neighboring duchies of Jandalore and Turrows due to the amount of titanspawn who seem to reside within its confines – but the foresters are making progress taming these woods.
The port city of Rahoch is Calastia’s largest trade port and until fairly recently it was an independent city-state. When Virduk decided to claim it as part of the kingdom it signifigantly increased the authority and wealth of the duchy of Jandalore (a duchy already thought to be one of Calastia’s wealthiest). There is still some anti-Calastian sentiment in Rahoch and some trouble within the city arises fairly often. A unit of Mithril knights stationed in the city when it was independent cut through the invading Calastian armies to get the city’s lord-governor from his palace to the docks and to safety – he has since founded the city-state of Fangsfall in southwestern Ghelspad.
Duke: Ranthas Arminoff
Major settlements: Vashon (seat), Chardas, Hotwelle
Population: 255,000 (human 76%, Halfling 18%, other 6%)
Primary Resources: Wheat, arms and armor.
Notes: Primarily administrative, from the king down to cvarious ministers of commerce or treasury, the buck stops in Arminoff – primarily in the kingdom’s capitol of Vashon which serves as home to Duke Arminoff and the king and queen.
Hospitality is another large factor in the duchy and is a prime industry for those who make their living here; caravans of something are always coming and going, be it taxed or in tribute. Unlike much of the kingdom Arminoff is very cosmopolitan (save for the far reaches of the duchy) and spotting a half-crazed half-orc or even a dwarf might not raise much ire or eyebrows, provided these types did not make a nuisance of themselves.
Arminoff is also known for its academics, making the kingdom a little more advanced than the rest of the continent; primary schools and fields of study include engineering colleges (accounting for Calastia’s well-formed infrastructure, sewage systems and canals), schools of physics, metallurgy and the way of letters and other scholarly academies. Arminoff also boasts a few schools of arcane instruction and these generally serve as a pipeline to feed the Crucible of Mesos located in Turrows.
Duke: Kaiphas Chandalve III
Major settlements: Eldmadren (seat), Whitford, Secundo
Population: 405,000 (human 92%, Halfling 7%, other 1%)
Primary Resources: wheat, cattle, fish, lumber
Notes: Known by many as “The common duchy,” Chandalvine doesn’t stand out much; it is the poorest of the duchies and the most committed to the agrarian foundation of the feudal system. Chandalvine is also one of the most heavily populated duchies as farming families tend to birth large amounts of children to help work the land – this leads to one of the duchy’s primary exports: men. The populace of Chandalvine is a strong source of manpower to keep Calastia’s military ranks strong and full. Chandalvine remains fearfully loyal to the throne, but should it ever grow to harbor an attitude of insurgency the sheer might of manpower might prove a large problem for the kingdom.
Overall Chandalvine is rural, traditional and simple, the people pay their respects to the king, but really have no care of that king’s name. From king to king and generation to generation Chandalvines pretty much go on with their business – that of keeping the nation fed and exporting their products to surrounding nations.
As a whole citizens have little tolerance for banditry and law-breakers, they would just assume hang a thief than try to rehabilitate him, thus being done with the whole manner. A bothersome trend in Chandalvine, among the peasantry, is the growing, grass roots movement of Hedradan worship which is troubling the local aristocracy. The people favor strict law and order but have little need for Chardun’s bloody and dominating ways.
Duke: Faustin Golehest III
Major settlements: Delis (seat), Gehrahd, Rahmpton
Population: 210,000 (human 86%, Halfling 13%, other 1%)
Primary Resources: wheat, lumber
Notes: Being farther removed from the kingdom’s center, Golehest seems more focused on itself than on the kingdom in general. They are an isolated people in a rugged protion of the kingdom and have felt slighted for many years by lax soldiers and sheriff squads of western duchies content to drive bandits and titanspawn just as far as Golehest; a few years ago when the king learned of this practice he had offending officers hung and has since worked hard on re-building relations with the people of Golehest, and seems to be making some progress in bringing them fully back into the fold.
Still there is a problem with titanspawn in Golehest due to the proximity of the Kelder mountains and an odd and large ruined city that seems to house many such creatures; the people are rightly fearful of monsters and are more likely to take any non-human or Halfling for something sinister; elves or dwarves or any other “mystery races” are unlikely to leave Golehest alive. Mining communities in the Kelder foothills see harassment from titanspawn often and even face occasional raids from mountain folk and dwarves assumed to hale from Burok-torn and Durrover.
Duke: Drady Jandalorus the Younger
Major settlements: Drahl (seat), Rahoch (former independent city), Vorbeth, Petisberg, Fromhair.
Population: 255,000 (human 88%, Halfling 11%, other 1%)
Primary Resources: wheat, cattle, lumber, slaves
Notes: Second in wealth only to Arminoff, Jandalore produces not only a myriad of agricultural staples, but also produces luxuries sought after through the kingdom and beyond. Wines, liquers, candied fruits, chocolates, silk and chefs are some of the more prominent of Jandalore’s exports and has given the duchy a reputation for wealth and snobbery and greed; a Calastian saying goes, “Even the poor are wealthy in Jandalore.”
Another valued export are slaves, as Jandaloran execution of laws puts a higher value on servitude of its criminals rather than execution, hence making the duchy money off of its criminal class, of which there are many in the form of bandits who risk the dangers of Galeeda’s Grove to hide from the lawand the typical criminal element one might expect in large cities like Rahoch and Drehl.
Caravans bound for destinations outside of Calastia often start in Jandalore and the duchy maintains good relations with those living on the Ankilan side of the western border; Rahoch is also the launching ground for ships of Ghelspad bound for the continent of Termana. Rahoch is the hub of Calastian sea commerce and the city of Delis (in Golehest) is the center for the Calastian navy.
Duchess: Mavia Ourven
Major settlements: Pahrae (seat), Burvha
Population: 240,000 (human 88%, Halfling 11%, other 1%)
Primary Resources: wheat, fish, arms and armor, slaves
Notes: Combine the administrative focus of Arminoff with the heartland sensibilities of Chandalvine and you have Turrows. Turrows is well known for its military might, with many garrisons being stationed here; the duchy has made war into an industry, catering to the many soldiers with various forms of entertainment, through the selling and producing of arms and armor and through feeding and training the Calastian war machine; The Crucible of Mesos (battle mage academy) is located in Turrows as are the kingdom’s elite officer academies where many nobles send their children to learn war to better serve their family, king and deity. Even many mercenary companies or free mercenaries situate themselves in Turrows as the land seems built for the soldiering crowd – in many cities crimes by soldiers are overlooked or go unpunished save for by scrupulous officers rather than civic authorities.
Turrows is also gaining on Jandalore for its export of slaves; with so many soldiers criminals are caught by the wagonload, though, like Jandalore, where there is money to be made sometimes the means are not always on the up and up. Visitors are often abducted and forced into slavery, or even less fortunate citizens might be rounded up to fill a quota.
Lastly, sharing a border with Lageni, many think that Turrows and its military might has been purposefully placed to keep Duke Traviak in line and assure that the Arch Duke of Lageni never gets it into his head to mount an incursion into Calastian lands.
Duke: Pahdava Grinset IV
Major settlements: Strale (seat), Keress-Lien, Rook
Population: 135,000 (human 78%, Halfling 11%, other 11%)
Primary Resources: fish, ore, arms and armor
Notes: The far-eastern duchy in Calastia, it was not long before Virduk that king Pahrail sent his troops into the lands of the Lavash and claimed Varuba as part of the kingdom. The king then sent many out of favor nobles to this out of the way frontier as not only a sign of his disfavor, but as a means for them to make amends to him by taming this land – a task that is still not complete.
Like Golehest, Virduk has tried hard to bring Varuba back into the fold and has met with more success here than in the larger duchy of Golehest and the people are loyal subjects of the king for the most part.
Trade in Varuba is primarily done by sea, and the duchy exports ores, stone, arms and armor from the ducal seat of Strale.
Due to the presence of the peoples indigenous to the Lavash region and the inter-breeding between, the typical Calastian language here is heavily inflected by the heavy dwarven-influenced tongue spoken by most races who inhabit regions of the Kelder mountains; also, due to such intermingling, many of those born here are darker than the typical Calastian olive-skinned folk, with their skin tones sometimes being swarthy and dark.
Varuba attracts a fair amount of adventurers and bounty hunters due to its proximity to the Kelders, the number of criminals who flee to the frontier land to escape justice and due to the mysterious island chain off the coast known as the Gifts of the Gods (it is said that each god created an island and gifted it to the people of the lavash). This large island chain is largely unexplored though some timber and mining camps exist. Some explorers and adventurers report great treasures and, of course, other adventures have simply never returned.