Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Duchy of Carmathan
Ruling House: Devlin
Present Duke: Helmont the 15th, 22nd Duke of Carmathan (born Theodorus)
Family Crest: Bloodied Scythe
Capital: Ravensburg (3,500)
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 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 Ravensrock. 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 Ravensrock 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. Ravensrock 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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