The Baronies of Eastmarch

Eastmarch is comprised of four baronies. Three of these baronies border the Mystwood, provide the bulk of the settlers, and form a bulwark for Navarre against external threats. A fourth barony, Eastmarch, is the Duke’s personal holding, and lends its name to the Ducal holdings as a whole. It is these four baronies that starting player characters must choose to be from. In theory, the inhabitants of Mystwood are subjects of the Duke, though they would most likely have been born in the lands of one of the three lesser baronies.

Dragonshire

Dragonshire, to the west of Mystwood, is the largest, most powerful of the three closer baronies. It is also the most likely to meddle in the affairs of the Mystwood. Most of it is poor land, once much devastated by the Dragon, but the hard work of its people has made it prosperous none the less. Dragonshire's colors are Black and Yellow. Its castle, Dracford, is newly built at great cost, alongside the river Elwash, boundary of the Mystwood. 

Much of Dragonshire's land has grown up with forest, and is only recently being cleared. Some of its villages, like Aurewood and Bymaple Pond, are quite idyllic, with prosperous but hard working inhabitants. Other settlements, such as Fallowdale and Muckle Down, are smaller and meaner, inhabited by the most wretched of serfs. Silverpoint, the only bridge along the East Road into Mystwood, is a popular stopping point, though the heavy toll levied to cross sometimes leads travelers to make great detours.

To take the Dragon as a symbol of one's house is a sign of arrogance in the eyes of many, and Baron Andrac is well suited to it. The baron was a minor scion of the family, who rose to power through merit during the power vacuum following the death of the previous Baron. He is known for unusual ideas on religion.

Although it is not in Dragonshire proper, the Abbey of St. Siventusshould also be mentioned. A mighty fortress restored by Baron Andrac, this former baronial capital guards the road south from the Mystwood that links Eastmarch with the city of Venetia and the lands of Carpathia. The armies of Unlife have assailed it many times in recent years, but it has never fallen, defended as it is by stalwart warrior monks of the cult of Justice. It is perhaps the only safe place along the road between the Keep of Mystwood and the League border town of Caranthium.

Fenwyck

Fenwyck, northernmost, is a land of dreary fens and moors, bordering the sea. Much threatened by raiders, its people are hardy, independent, and superstitious. Its ruler, Baroness Orla, is young, but still feared as potent knight and a canny politician. She is rarely seen outside the seat of her house, the ancient fortress of Caer Aldwyn, but is said to travel her lands in disguise. Fenwyck's colors are Green and Grey.

Scattered along the edges of northern marshes, many of the people of Fenwyck live in the simplest of dwellings, built of turf or stone, and following ways of life unchanged for thousands of years- fishing, tending sheep, and waging war, each in their season. The northernmost outpost of Fenwyck is the village of Colwaith. Ships from the North Sea call there, and the blood of Skandia runs in the veins of many of the inhabitants.

Inland along the shores of Lake Soloy is Dawnwater's Edge, a village built entirely on stilts for protection from the Skandian raiders.

County of Burgundar

In addition to his main holdings, to the south of the Mystwood along the border lies an allodial land-grant recently collected by the Duke from the kingdom of Burgundy. This tract, Burgundar, lies centered on the village by the same name. Descendants of the wild Skandian Norse, the Burgundar folk are somewhat primitive and hold strange beliefs compared to the rest of Navarre. A Count has been appointed, in addition to the traditional jarls of the territory.

Eastmarch

To the west, beyond Dragonshire, is the baronial lands held directly by the Duke, Guilford II. He is much concerned with the affairs of the larger kingdom, leaving much of the running of Eastmarch (both barony and duchy) to his middle aged step daughter Geneveve. Some have taken to calling her the “Duchess in Waiting”, though she is not the heir. The only true cities of Eastmarch, Trieste, the capital, (pronounced Tree-Est) and Tweaksbury (boasting several paved streets) are found in the duke's lands. The Duke's colors are Black and White. In Trieste is to be found the great Cathedral of St. Amelia, recently finished and considered a great wonder. Another cathedral is half finished in Tweaksbury, but has lacked the funds for completion for decades. Tweaksbury has grown a great deal in recent years, and is now rather too large for its walls.

Rich farm lands surround the two main cities, with populations much greater than those of the baronies, and a number of lesser villages. The Ducal lands are the center of Guild activity, both legitimate and otherwise.

Though the heartlands of Eastmarch are shielded from the perils of the Mystwood and the forces of Chaos beyond it, they have recently been ravaged by the forces of Albion. Albion's Queen Elspeth claims lordship over all Navarre, and many of the lords along the coast have sworn allegiance to her. The current Duke was able to avoid war for many years through skillful diplomacy, but now each summer brings skirmishes along the coast as bands of Albionese soldiers raid inland, sometimes reaching as far inland as Tweaksbury. In 957, even the ducal seat at Trieste was besieged.

Pelancia

Pelancia lies to the southeast of the Mystwood, with a milder climate and rich agricultural land. It borders the mighty river Lucerin, which brings some trade from the larger world. Pelancia is ruled by the young, masked Baron Baldwin Rochvall, recently succeeding his elderly parents, who passed suddenly and unexpectedly. The colors of Pelancia are Blue and Brown, reflecting the ancient seafaring heritage of their house, though Pelancia does not itself border the sea.

The Rochvall seat is Tiras Ethannor, nestled at the foot of the mountains at the edge of the Mystwood. Said to have been built by the Fae, Tiras Ethannor is easily one of the great wonders of Navarre, its towers seeming to be too impossibly tall and graceful to achieve without magic. Indeed, Fae blood runs in the veins of many of those in western Pelancia, and the architecture of the Barony is much admired. Tiras Ethannor is a great inspiration to Bards and Knights Errant, a center of chivalry and romance in song and story. Doubters will say that Tiras Ethannor has never been put to the test by a true siege or Dragon attack.

From Tiras Ethannor, the river Lucerin flows down out of the mountains. At the edge of the forest lies the village of Driftfield, or Driftford, whose inhabitants are concerned mostly with the harvest of timber to be floated down river, the herding of sheep, the spinning and dyeing of wool, and the eternal argument over whether “Driftfield” or “Driftford” is the true name of the village.

Beyond Driftfield, the river winds through the prosperous agricultural lands of Pelancia, through pastures, vineyards and many small hamlets and freeholdings to reach Summermill. Tiras Ethannor being somewhat remote, the Rochvalls are often to be found here, and Summermill may soon become a town to rival Tweaksbury.

Even further west lies Shandlin's Ferry, a gateway to Burgundy and western Navarre. Shandlin's Ferry is noted for the grand Fair held yearly there- and for the war, plague, and misfortune that comes on the heels of the merchants, pilgrims, and armies that pass through it.

North of Driftfield is Monteval Abbey, arguably the greatest Church house in Eastmarch. Monteval is devoted primarily to the Lord of Justice, and holds vast lands and wealth in the surrounding area. It is here that many come to learn the ways of faith.

Within the Mystwood itself, the only holdings of note are the Mystwood Keep itself, site of every attempt made to recolonize the land since the fall of the baronies to Chaos; Rosehaven Abbey, a somewhat impoverished church house whose fortunes are much diminished in the last century, and the ruins of Caer Luceval, still said to be inhabited by Chaos cultists, beastmen and worse.