The Nine Duchies and Beyond
The Nine Duchies of Men
The Nine Duchies of men stretches all across the great southern peninsula. Made up of Calipha, Blackwater Marsh, Moor, Fharlanghn’s Rest, Stron, Branton, Sif, Stormreach, and Degan City, Each duchy consists of the city for which it is named, as well as the surrounding territories. While they are all part of the same kingdom, small wars and battles between them over territory rights is not uncommon.
Degan City: The capital of the Kingdom. Degan city is host to the Mage’s Academy, and is a work of mathematical wonder. Exactly symmetrical in every way, the city is constantly clean and glows with a brilliant silver light. To the north of the city’s hinterland, across the hills, lie the clan lands. While technically a part of the Degani territory, the Clan Lands are largely under their own control, and should be considered as autonomous.
Stormreach: This city lies across the Frozen Wastes, and few travel here unless they have to. The people of Stormreach are short and dark, and mistrusted by most of the Kingdom. Their city is clustered around the base of Marduk’s Perch, an active and magical volcano, and it’s magic allows them to produce magical items and clothing. The best cloaks of protection are made in Stormreach.
Sif: The bread-basket of the Kingdom, Sif lies in a vast plain to the West of the Durnish Mountains. The city of Sif is the only one on the plain, and the rest is dedicated to farming and grazing. Sif is communal, and protected and administered by the Druids.
Stron: The strongest naval power of the Kingdom. Stron is highly aggressive, and seems to have more resources and power than their small land holdings would allow. They have their own special unit class, the Stronish Marine, who is essentially a water based Ranger.
Branton: One of the two duchies inhabiting the central plateau, Branton holds the largest gold mine in the Kingdom, and thus is one of the most wealthy. They are allied with, and strongly supportive of, Degan City. The city of Branton itself in a small valley in the Durnish Mountains. The entire valley is walled off, and on the far side of St. Cuthbert’s lough.
Fharlanghn’s Rest: The other duchy of the central plain. Fharlanghn’s Rest is host to the Bard’s College, and most of it’s activities revolve around this.
Blackwater Marsh: Built in the marshes of the northern plains, Blackwater Marsh was once a stop for Xen smugglers on their way south. The city itself is comprised of several islands, and is divided into four districts, controlled by the Druids, Priests of Xan Yae, Moorish Securities, and Voodoo Priests.
Calipha: On the edge of the Great Northern Desert, Calipha is a kind of “Arabian” city. There you can find a guide to take you through the dangerous process of crossing the desert, which is magical and enormously treacherous.
Moor: The strongest duchy, except for Degan City. Moor is home to Moorish Securities, the institutionalized thieves guild. All thieves must belong to MS, or risk a knife in their ribs. Moor is a grape growing region, and also holds one of the largest iron mines in the kingdom. Moor is in open war with the Druids.
The Druids: The Druids were given all forested lands by Degan the conquerer, and have administered them ever since. Moor has recently challenged their control of the forests in their land, and there is now open war between the two states. The Rangers are an elite fighting force under Druidic control. The vast majority of the peasantry follows the faith of the Druids, known as the “Old Faith”.
About ten years previous, the duchies united in a war of conquest. They defeated the armies of the Xen Empire to the north, and those lands are now open to colonization. Many military commanders and heroes now have vast holdings in the north, but a great much of it remains wild and untamed.
The sun travels once around the world in 364 days, visiting the 12 Lairs of the Zodiac in an appointed round which never varies. The Great Moon (Luna) waxes and wanes in fixed cycles of 28 days each, upon which our months are based; while the Handmaiden (Celene, the small aquamarine satellite) follows a path which shows Her in full beauty but four times each year, thus showing us the time for our Festivals. When both Mistress and Handmaiden are full, things of great portent are likely to occur, depending upon the positions of the five wandering stars in the Lairs, naturally. For complete details of Astrology, I recommend the reader to such texts as Selvor the Elder’s SECRETS OF YE SKYE REVEALED or Yestro Bilnigd’s ASTROLOGY, DIVINITY, AND MANKIND
DAYS AND MONTHS OF THE YEAR
The standard week of seven days has the following days:
STARDAY Work SUNDAY Work MOONDAY Work GODSDAY Worship WATERSDAY Work EARTHDAY Work FREEDAY Rest
Our campaign typically begins on Starday.
The Dozenmonth of the moon and the four Festivals are:
Needfest Fireseek Readying Coldeven Growfest Planting Flocktime Wealsun Richfest Reaping Goodmonth Harvester Brewfest Patchwall Ready'reat Sunsebb
Each month has twenty-eight days. Each Festival is 6 days long.