Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Duchy of Sorovia
Ruling House: None
Present Duke: None
Province Crest: Ice Mountain
Capital: Kinbrace (4,500)
Soravia is the newest of the Damaran provinces, created by the Witch-King as a buffer zone between his armies and the more populous sections of Damara.
Originally, Soravia was about the size of Carmathan, occupying the southern sections of the wide valleys between the three rivers. But when the Witch- King was defeated, Soravia expanded. It now includes all the lands west of Brandiar and north of Morov and Polten.
This sounds more impressive than it really is. The vast proportion of this province is rough grassland and barren tundra. Although it occupies nearly half of all Damara, Soravia can barely support the 12,000 hardy souls who live there.
The Witch-King set up one Ygor as the first Duke of Soravia, but he was dragged through the streets of Kinbrace as soon as Zhengyi was thrown down. The people are determined to maintain their independence, and they do not want their territory returned to its previous status as squatters’ land.
Rumors indicate that the dukeship will be offered to Olwen Forest-Friend, who is sweeping the last remnants of the Vaasan army from the vicinity. Whether these rumors are true or not, Olwen and his soldiers are bringing freedom to the province. Where they pass, they spread news of Gareth Dragonsbane, and the scattered villages of Soravia are lining up solidly behind Gareth and the notion of the new Kingdom of Bloodstone.
This could prove quite important to the creation of the new kingdom. Soravia alone borders Narfell, Damara’s quiet neighbor in the east. Only the people of eastern Soravia know anything at all about the rugged Nars. Furthermore, if Soravia and Brandiar swing completely into Gareth’s fold, the Baron of Bloodstone will have a lock on the north and on all the major river systems in the region.
While the southern provinces vex the new King Dragonsbane at every turn, his true problem could be the northern province of Sorovia. Culturally, this Damaran-Nar region is as far from the southern provinces as it is from the nomadic Nar tribes. With a landmass larger than all of the southern provinces combined, Sorovia could be its own kingdom, and in many way, operates as one now.
The twelve clans of Sorovia were loosely united before the coming of the Witch-King. Each clan was ruled by a chief (for the nomadic clans) or a jarl (for a settled clan). The clan chiefs and jarls met in council for the week of the summer solstice, to discuss alliances, blood-feuds, trade, marriages and deaths. Very few things require the council to agree as a whole, and after a week, each jarl or chief went back to their clans for another year.
Zhengyi took advantage of this situation and using his humanoid armies and his magic, he dominated much of the council and had Ygor of Clan Trygvaar elected High Jarl. While the clans thought they elected a high-king or Thane, Zhengyi made Ygor Duke of Sorovia and incorporated Sorovia into the Kingdom of Damara.
During the years that Ygor ruled, the southern Jarls became more integrated into the kingdom of Damara. Clans Yngvi, Hjarni, and Rolulf reap the benefits of trade with the southern provinces and soon their towns and villages of Kinbrace, Steppenhall, Kinnery and Merkurn became trading hubs between the Damarans, Sorovians, and Nars.
When Zhengyi was cast down and the new King Dragonsbane defeated his humanoid armies or drove them back to Vaasa. The Sorovians rebelled against their appointed Thane. Ygor’s body was dragged through the streets of Kinbrace.
The clans assumed that they would go back to the old ways, but the southern clans had changed and continued to trade and interact with Damara.
King Gareth has sent one of his companions, Olwen Forest-Friend into Sorovia to win the hearts and minds of the people. Olwen has spent the last few years moving across the region and trying to win over the various clans. He has dropped the “Forest-Friend” nickname and many of the clans call him “Eagle-Eye” or “Death Arrow”. He has been accepted into four of the eleven remaining clans, but even then, his chances to be “elected” Thane are slim.
The more likely scenario is that the Jarls and Chiefs elect one of their Jarls, right now Clan Yngvi of Kinbrace shows signs of dominance, to become Thane of Sorovia. Yngvi has tied their fortunes to the southern provinces and would likely choose to stay in the Kingdom of Damara. Jarl Gunnbjorn of Clan Rolulf has another strong claim. Ruling the five villages known as the hub from the central town of Torkard, Gunnbjorn has little use for the southerners, and Thane Gunnbjorn would likely pull Sorovia out of Damara. Can Sorovia continue as a Duchy of Damara, or will it strive to become its own Domain and rival to Damara and King Dragonsbane?
Bordering the Barony of Morov, the territory of Gundviir is home to Kinbrace, considered the capital of Sorovia. The Council Grove, an ancient stand of trees holds host to the Council of Jarls every summer solstice. Kelda of Clan Yngvi rules Gundviir and Kinbrace. She also has influence in other territories as well.
The five villages of Djaalfund are called the Hub. Torkard, the center, is one of the largest towns in Sorovia. Jarl Gunnbjorn of Clan Rolulf rules the Hub with an iron fist like his fathers before him, which is why the other Jarls invariably choose another clan to lead.
North of Valkheim and Gundviir, the territory of Fjoltyr is home to Clan Jarvyll, ruled by Jarl Audun. The Jarnskappel, a nomadic clan, choose Fjoltyr as their summer home. Fjoltyr is home to Thorjak the Green, high druid of the Sorovian people. The small village of Sundown lies on Fjoltyr.
Jarl Leifdolf of Clan Heimdjor resides in Hjolgrun. Leifdolf rules from the small village of Eagle’s Roost on the eastern side of the Ironspur Hills. While Hjolgrun territory includes part of Ironspur Valley, west of the Ironspur Hills, the Heimdjor reside in the hills and east..
Clan Yngvi holds some influence in the northern territory of Horvliik. Their only settlement is a small village known as Icewatch, near the Great Glacier.
Steppenhall is one of the gathering places of the clans in winter. Far enough south to avoid the terribel conditions near the Great Glacier, Steppenhall is considered a paradise by some of the northern nomadic clans. Clan Yngvi holds power in Sehaka, which they use as leverage over the other clans.
Jarl Vaetild of Clan Hjarni rules from the village of Merkurn. Many fish camps set up during the salmon spawning season, and the clan is relatively rich because of it.
Nominally under the control of Yngvi, Aegilsgaard winters in Valkheim, and Jarl Gunnar holds more influence than Kelda during that time. The fact that Aegilsgaard is allied with Yngvi makes this less of a concern than it might be. The town of Kinnery is the center of Valkheim, which includes the Jarlskap Hills, home to the bruial mounds of many generations of Jarls and Chiefs.
The northeastern most territory of Sorovai, the Gautrakka clan spend their summers in Alrudd before moving south in the colder months.
Two nomadic clans, the Jarnkasspel and the Halskorrik, retire to Bjarkheim for the winter. Both clans always leave a few permanent structures behind.
Jarnborg hosts many summer fish camps during salmon spawning season, but no longer has any permanent settlements. A small village, Jarniik, was destroyed by goblinoids of the Giantspire Mountains about ten years ago. The Kjarr clan, considered dead, once claimed Jarniik.
Jarl Hromund of Clan Otryff claims Njorldar, but the Gautrakka and the Aegilsgaard both travel the province. They say that Hromund may establish a settlement to cement his claim on the territory.
The province of Oelfrun supports no permanent settlements, though a few trappers’ cabins dot the tundra.
Politics of Sorovia
The clans of Sorovia have divided the region into 13 territories or “counties” to use a Damaran term. Borders are sketchy at best, Sorovians don’t believe in lines on a map, although every Aegilsgaard can tell you the exact bush where Valkheim ends and Sehaka begins. Not all of those thirteen territories are settled. Nomadic clans generally pass through the same few territories each year, migrating from winter to summer and back again.
To the west of Sorovia is Narfell, and the lands of the Nar Tribes. Completely nomadic, the Nar Tribes treat with the nomadic Sorovian clans as distant cousins and rarely come into contact with the settled Sorovian clans. Although there are Nar tribes that view even nomadic Sorovian clans as outsiders and enemies.
The “border” between Narfell and Sorovia is agreed to be the Old Margreave Forest. An ancient wood filled with impossible magics, the Old Margreave is the home of the infamous witch Baba Yaga, considered to be equal to any of the Gods’ Chosen or even a demigod in her own right. The insane or truly desperate can find her Dancing Hut somewhere in the Margreave. She is always tended by two “daughters”, one pure and light, the other dark and terrible. The Old Crone enjoys when her guests assume that the blonde daughter is the “good” one.
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