Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Duchy of Carmathan
Carmathan is one of the southernmost Damaran provinces. Like Polten and Ostel, it shares a long border with Impiltur to the south. Although several mines along the rim of the Earthspurs in the west have shown promise, Carmathan is Damara’s chief farming province.
In years of good harvests, Carmathan alone can feed all the peoples of the entire kingdom, making it an important province indeed.
The Duchy of Carmathan is divided into six counties. Each county is ruled from a town sharing the county’s name. The counties of Carmathan are Ravensburg (ruled by the Duke and his appointed mayor), Fairfield, Highland, Morildon, Edgelin and Rivervale.
Half of the Halfling Downs is technically part of the County of Ravensburg, but in practice the Hin pay their taxes, farm the land and generally keep to themselves, rarely if ever, getting involved in the politics of the Duchy. The eastern half of the Downs is in Ostel.
The Counties of Carmathan
The seat of power for the Duchy, the city of Ravensburg was founded by Feldrin Bloodfeathers and was the original capital of Carmathan. The County of Ravensburg includes the city and all lands that border the Whitewash River until it reaches the Barony of Ostel. Ravensburg county also includes the western half of the Halfling Downs, although the Hin tend not to pay the politics of the Duchy any mind.
In addition to the House of Devlin, two other families wield power in the County of Ravensburg, some say almost as much power as teh Duke.
The Macceln Family
Before the arrival of Dashard (then Theodorus), the Macceln had a firm grip on Ravensburg, but they did so from the shadows. Under Dashard and Theodorus, they have retained much of their power and have considerable influence over the Duke’s propaganda machine.
The Vailer Family
This is one of the primary noble families of Carmathan, descended from one of Feldrin Bloodfeather’s foremost lieutenants. Unlike most of the rest of the nobles, the Vailers are not slothful or foolish: they have worked hard through the centuries to keep Carmathan a power. Now they’re struggling to keep the nobles noble, striving to drive away the perception that money is the surest sign of class. Raylond Valier is the head of the Carmathan Guard and High Marshal of the Duchy. His authority does not extend to the Ducal Guard, which seems to grow daily.
The flattest and most open province of Carmathan is Fairfield, a region of gently rolling plains and scattered farmsteads along the barony’s northeast border.
From the north, Fairfield is an open highway leading into the heart of Carmathan, and most of the major wars of Carmathan have been fought in and around this province. Consequentially, the people of Fairfield are organized into alert, well-trained militias to fight off any invasion.
Bloodfeather’s forging of Damara was in part funded by the Isilvars, after Derian convinced his father to help bankroll Feldrin’s soldiers. Fairfield was the Isilvars’ repayment, and Derien’s descendant Daerin rules it today.
The southernmost Barony of Carmathan, Rivervale has a secluded quality that pervades the barony. The Earthspur Mountains, which are considered part of the Duchy of Arcata lie to the west, while the mysterious Earthwood defines its southern and eastern border. The Whitewash River flows down from the Glacier of the White Worm and define the borders of Rivervale.
Rivervale has three communities of note, Its capital Rivervale is located on the Whitewash and is a days travel from the Capital Ravensburg. To the west is the small fishing village of Piercalm and to the south is a gnomish village of Rosebriar, who trade with the elven clans of the Earthwood.
Count Giles Rosby
A corpulent noble more at ease with a quill than blade…
Lord Rosby enjoys a good drink and is a sucker for a gallant tale. He is fond of traveling his Barony with his young trophy wife, Hanna, and imposing upon the local Lords while making sure the taxes and such are in proper order.
Highland sits among a ring of hills on the Arcatan border and is the home to one of the largest collections of guards in Carmathan. Since Gareth Dragonsbane ascended to the throne of Damara, the Carmathan Duke has become very watchful of this border. The people, on the other hand, are leaving. The population of this formerly burgeoning trade town is 1,000 people.
Count Tomas Releden
Count Releden likes nothing better than frothing mug of ale. He has an intense dislike of politics and meetings and generally sides with Count Isilvar, with whom he has a close relationship, in county disputes
Morildon is situated in the center of Carmathan and takes advantage of its central location. The Count, Joseph Moril, is descended from the man who founded the town, and he makes a healthy profit off the trade that passes through Morildon.
Count Joseph Moril is concerned about profit, not quality of life. His family is one of the older noble families in Carmathan and he makes much of his lineage.
At the end of the Goblinblood Wars, the town of Edgelin was established to house a garrison of troops to protect against any further invasions from the Galenas. Now, of course, with the tense relations between Carmathan and Arcata, the town serves more as a border crossing, a place for the customs officials and the honest traffic into the land. Its population is about 1,500 people.
Count Bernard Malern is a bureaucrat who insists on proper protocols and etiquette. He is very detailed oriented.
The ruling house of Carmathan has been in turmoil the last two years. When the Witch-King set his assassins loose in the night, the first victim was Helmont the 13th, 20th Duke of Carmathan. The assassins killed more than 50 members of the family, leaving only Zhengyi’s chosen puppet in line for the succession. He was swiftly appointed.
Thus did Dashard Devlin, an incompetent coward, ascend to the seat in Ravensburg. Dashard was Helmont’s fourth cousin, and he took the title Helmont the 14th. The puppet played his role as head of an “independent state” well enough to keep the loyalty of the people of Carmathan. Guided by his overlord, Dashard set up a very successful propaganda network throughout the duchy. He also planned to move against Bloodstone.
When the Bloodstone army learned of Dashard’s plans for an invasion, they marched south to meet the evil duke head on. Dashard’s propaganda network whipped Carmathan’s people into a patriotic frenzy of defense against the invaders.
The armies met 20 miles east of Valls, on the edge of the Brandiar Moor, in a battle that came to be known as the Fight of Three Borders. From the outset it was apparent to the generals of Bloodstone that this battle was going to be much different than the diplomatically- engineered victory over Arcata.
Believing Gareth to be the invader and usurper, the Carmathans advanced with fire in their eyes and a song on their lips. Fortunately, the Bloodstone army was equally well-motivated. Battle-hardened, and supported by the remnants of the Arcatan army, the forces from Bloodstone battled the Carmathans for almost three full days.
Finally Gareth achieved a hard-fought victory after the bloodiest battle of the Bloodstone Wars. Five hundred of the Bloodstone forces were cut down. More than two-thirds of the 1,800 Carmathans died on the field. Dashard himself was slain when he got in the way of a lightning bolt conjured by Emelyn the Gray.
Gareth would have continued south to put things right in Carmathan, but the alliance of Morov, Ostel, and Polten had united and was marching to cut off the Bloodstone army’s return home. Thus, Dashard’s propaganda network remained intact, as did the internal structure of the court.
Then unheralded came Theodorus, the heretofore unknown brother of Dashard. Theodorus took the ducal seat as Helmont the 15th, and quickly rallied the duchy behind him.
The new duke in Ravensburg has used the misinformation network well. Many Carmathans are quite convinced that Gareth was and is a power-hungry dog seeking conquest, not cooperation. Carmathan may prove be Gareth’s toughest nut to crack in his quest for a united kingdom.
Also, Carmathan has deep roots in the old kingdom of Damara. Carmathans were, by tradition, deeply loyal to the throne in Heliogabalus. Ravensburg was actually Damara’s first settlement, the original home of Feldrin and the founders of the kingdom. Fiercely independent, the Carmathans consider themselves the true Damarans, founders of the kingdom.
And yet, in the chamber of Quillan the Sage, the standard of Carmathan is placed squarely in the middle of the Measures of Power Scale as an undecided province. There are several reasons to believe that Gareth will yet win over this southern region, detailed below.
Helmont the 15th sees an alliance with Morov as preferable to competing with Gareth’s rising tide of favor, but the people of Carmathan have displayed no love for Dimian Ree. The Carmathans do not like the rumors they hear, particularly Ree’s apparent ties to the thieves’ guild and to the Grandfather of Assassins.
Second, the Twilight Riders recently passed through the area, and Myrrdin’s company helped many. They even rescued the farming region of Halfling Downs from a ravaging bulette without a single life lost. Their aid has been noted and remarked on by all who encountered them.
A third boost lies in Carmathan’s close ties with Impiltur. Once Gareth opens relations with Impiltur, he can work on Carmathan from the back door. But a rumor may have supplied Gareth’s strongest potential wedge. When the Twilight Riders were in Halfling Downs, they heard a tale from an old woman claiming to be a midwife to the House of Devlin. This midwife remembered no Theodorus, nor any brother of Dashard ever being born. She doubted the authenticity of the new duke’s claim.
Gareth would not allow the Twilight Riders to foster this unsubstantiated rumor. Instead, he brought in the well-respected Monastery of the Yellow Rose. The Monastery’s genealogical archives are quite complete but, in fairness, they sent an expedition to Carmathan to investigate on the spot. Early reports seem to lend credence to the midwife’s tale. Woe to Helmont the 15th if the proud people of Carmathan learn he is an imposter!
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