- 1 Introduction
- 2 Life and Society
- 3 The Land
- 4 History
- 5 Political
- 6 Important Figures
- 7 Plots and Rumors
- 8 Domain Holding Table
Dhoesone is a land where the forces of decomposition threaten to pull the realm apart into a dozen directions. Changes in Anuirean culture, long connections to the Rjurik culture, the conflict between elf and man, the rough wilderness and its particular dangers, all of these things and more beset the realm and its a full time job for the baroness to create the semblance of a realm.
The ruler of Dhoesone must be skilled in diplomacy to persuade the rival factions of the realm to unite - or strong enough militarily to crush those that would oppose them.
Life and Society
The large expanses of Dhoesone give way to some diversity of terrain. Windswept moor, birch and oak forest, coastal life on the Tael Firth, and upland living in the foothills of the Silverhead Mountains give the people many different lifeways to occupy their days.
The people of the moor are shepherds, ever wary of dangers. This hardy breed is only vaguely Anuirean, many having descended directly from Rjurik stock, and others seeking to emulate the adaptation to the cold winds and harsh climate. Just across the Northbyrn River, all semblence of Anuirean culture ends, and a true Rjurik culture blossoms. Many of the people marry back and forth across this political boundary.
The people of the coast are a curious mixture of Anuirean and Rjurik patterns. The sea route from Nolien to Nowelton, in Talinie, keeps Anuirean news and ideas flowing into the country. Fishing, trading, and the life of the sea is common to both Rjurik and Anuirean cultures, but they bring such a different sensibility and technology, that the hybrid culture of the moor and forest is not seen here. Rather, fisherman and sailors tend to be either Rjurik and work in their own tradition, or Anuirean and use the techniques and technology of Anuire.
The forests are a scene of great conflict, many of the people live in fear of guilds, goblins or elves. It is in the forest where the conflicts in Dhoesone are most acute and most intense.
Dhoesone is a sprawling realm of moors, hills and forests. Lightly populated for the most part, the realm has a wild feel far from the civilized air of most of Anuire. Dhoesone is home not only to Anuirean villagers and the like, but also nomadic Rjurik, goblin clans and elusive sidhe – none of whom consider themselves part of any Anuirean realm. Since Fhiele, a half-elf, took the throne the number of nomads has increased sharply as many of her people recoiled from a sidhe queen and retreated into ancient ways.
The south coast of Dhoesone is noted for a multitude of rocky inlets and also sweeping beaches of golden sand – although the ocean is said to be chill enough to make a boy of any man.
The mighty Northbryn river forms Dhoesone’s western border. The river is fast flowing near its source deep in the Silverheart mountains, but slower and calmer in southern Dhoesone. The river is rich in fish, turtles, eels and even fresh-water clams in places. Plant-life is abundant within and alongside the river and it is home to many folk from fishers to bargemen who transport goods between the coast and hilly northern provinces.
The majority of the realm’s grains are grown in the floodplains of the river, while the hills in the north provide much of the realms mineral wealth. In the hillier areas sheep are common, indeed more sheep than people live in the western provinces and the area exports much mutton and wool.
The east of Dhoesone is heavily forested, indeed the border with Tuarheviel is often a matter of local perspective rather than geographical fact; before Fhiele became baroness the border was a matter of frequent contention between the folk of Dhoesone and Tuarheviel. Farms in the west tend to have smaller plots of land, and raise livestock such as goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits and the like.
Dhoesone is a land of short summers and long winters. Rain is frequent as is fog; snowstorms are common in winter and most folk only travel when absolutely necessary. The weather has left an inviolable tradition of sanctuary in times of harsh weather and a series of shelters maintained by the baroness across the land.
Rare but feared hazards in winter are storms known as the breath of Karesha. These sudden intense blizzards sweep down from the north without warning – even the once legendary Downs Rovers were said to flee before such storms for without sturdy shelter or magic none can survive them.
Bjondrig is where the highlands and the moors give way to lowlands and coastal plains. As such, Bjondrig is much more like Nolien or Ustkjuvil than it is like Riveside or the other highlands. The count is Thjobald Bjondrig.
Soniele is a forested province where the encroachment of the guilds is well regulated and administered by the count, Daeric Dhoesone. It certainly helps that Daeric owns a considerable part of the land, and he is willing to forgo the incomes of forestry to protect the land.
There is no independent count for Sonnelind, the Baroness holds the direct fealty of its inhabitants.
Dhoesone was once the Rjurik kingdom of Hjalsone. Hjalsone was conquered during the formation of the Anuirean empire. In time the people became more Anuirean than Rjurik and took on the name of Dhoesone, believed by some to be a corruption of one of the names of a minor tribe of the Andu.
- An summary of the Dhoesone system of government
Fhiele Dhoesone, Baroness of Dhoesone
Rhuimach Taeline, Captain General of Dhoesone, Lord of Taeline
Helaene Dosiere, Chancellor of Dhoesone
Clumine Dhoesone, Countess of Romiene
Daeric Dhoesone, Count of Soniele
Thjobald Bjondrig, Count of Bjondrig
Günther Brandt, Archdruid of the Oaken Grove of Erik
James Ardannt, Haelyn's Bastion of Truth
Interesting people in Dhoesone
Plots and Rumors
Black Steel: Fhiele has been negotiating secretly with Glarin Blackblade. This renegade dwarf has found a narrow passage leading from Mur Kilad and seeks freedom for his people. If given some land in which to settle his folk Glarin has promised his aid and loyalty to the baroness.
Moonlight meetings: Fhiele has been slowly building an alliance with Stjordvik through meetings with Hjalmar Helder, King Varri Haraldsson's adviser. These pledge mutual defense, although done with the best intentions Fhiele knows that these treaties would be unpopular in Anuire, Fhiele’s need for Anuirean troops has currently held her from progressing these talks despite her wish for a secure west border. Stjordvik and Dhoesone share common enemies and common problems. Their thrones are well disposed to one another, but Fhiele would like to see more commitment from the nobles of each realm before obligating Dhoesone formally.
The Lion and the Wolf: Dhoesone is a realm of two of the human tribes. In the southern provinces the majority of the people are of Anuirean stock – in culture and blood. In the north the realm still maintains many Rjurik traditions and a small number of nomadic tribes.
These cultural differences cause problems familiar to any Rjurik jarl as the settled and nomadic folk quarrel over land usage and the like.
Fhiele has continued the long tradition of barons of Dhoesone of doing little to force harmony beyond encouraging nomads to settle with land grants, she had met with some success – only two clans the Frygrynn and the Parclyd remained of any size, but the rise of the Sons of Hjalsone, and the recent giant incursion have shattered the status quo. Thousands have abandoned their towns and villages to follow the charismatic Pais Oakheart and little central authority remains in the wake of the giants in the northern provinces.
Fhiele has begun investigating the Sons of Hjalsone desperate to discover who is behind Father Pais – who had been ignored for years as all mouth and no influence before abruptly leaping to prominence through miracles and abruptly awe-inspiring rhetorical powers overnight when she claimed the throne.
Goblin grief: Fhiele forged an alliance with Thurazor to reduce future raids, as a side affect a number of goblins have come to settle in Nolien and Tradebehein. These goblins – and the native goblins in the forested provinces struggle with villagers for land and as a result many of the minor nobles are pushing for the expulsion of the goblins.
This of course would anger Thurazor and turn a tentative ally into an immediate enemy. But is the unpredictable goblin king more trouble than he’s worth? Certainly the alliance with the goblins enrages the Gheallie Sidhe and even those elves in Tuarheviel normally sympathetic to Fhiele frown upon the uneasy alliance.
Fhiele is considering ways to make more use of the goblins – if she must suffer the distaste of those who dislike the alliance then she should at least benefit by it! She is currently negotiating with Thurazor to gain the aid of several more warbands with the intention of using the goblins to drive out the giants in Romiene.
Blackened shield: The guilds have corrupted a number of Fhiele’s sheriffs into ignoring their wrong-doing and foiling her attempts to rein in their power. Fhiele has been promulgating ploys to identify these rogues and deal with them – one way or another. Fhiele’s efforts recently stepped up a notch as in the wake of the Giant’s invasion word reached her of covert recruitment attempts by the guilds – ostensibly to form defense units but more likely to oppose her own troops if they sought to act directly against the guilds.
As a result of these concerns she has considered seeking the aid of a bounty hunter from Endier named Marcus Hollowman – he seems highly efficient and unlikely to shirk the fight if a corrupted sheriff needs to be dragged to the courts of justice.
Ignoble nobility: Several of the Baronesses counts are less than fully loyal to the throne. Marcus Holst is corrupt and undermines the throne at every step. Vertico Dhariel though reliable in times of need thinks himself the equal of the Baroness. Alaric Grayblade is in the pocket of Bannier Andien and opposes any action against the guildsman.
While the realm's external threats discourage thoughts of secession the baroness is bitterly aware that to restore Dhoesone to a truly prosperous realm she will need to deal with these obdurate counts – either to replace them if they are truly treasonous or to make them work for the benefit of the realm as a whole, not merely their own province.
He ain’t heavy…: Fhiele’s brother Fhileraene of Tuarhievel granted her control over much of the law in his realm – partly to cow certain factions in his own court and partly to allow him to focus on more troublesome areas of his realm. While these holdings bring in welcome income for the Baroness they are a source of constant difficulty – legal workings among the elves requires constant attendance at law councils and serve as a major distraction from her own troubled realm. Even more troublesome many of the elves chafe under her guidance, seeing her as an upstart human for her continued rulership of Dhoesone and inability to resolve the problem of the rapacious guilds.
Southern discomfort: Cariele as the only Anuirean realm neighboring Dhoesone should be an ally – it is not, and indeed never has been. Cariele blocks all trade except for that of its own guilds, tries to prevent Dhoesone from drawing support from Mhoried and the heartlands and generally seeks to undermine its northern neighbor at every turn. While Cariele is a small realm and Dhoesone far larger, the constant sniping often causes Fhiele difficulties.
Viking raids: Fulgar the Bold of Rjuvik prefers to avoid raiding one neighbor too often so as not to make outright war seem preferable. Distant Dhoesone grows as an attractive target. Both Anuirean enough to be rich by Rjurik standards and far weaker than Boeruine or Talinie making it a prime target for his raiders. It also allows him to capture pillage without angering his immediate neighbors. Even better, the realm is close to hand and can be reached without any need to cross the deep and frequently stormy Tael Firth.
Every spring Fulgar’s reavers raid the southern provinces and up the Northbryn to replenish their herds and stores depleted by winter. Since the Shivering Plague the raiders have struck Harper’s Point not Todpier. Many nobles are grimly amused by the thought of what awaits the reavers this spring…
Domain Holding Table
- Law: The baroness holds half the kingdon's law as well as some law in Tuarhievel, the guilders hold the rest.
- Temples: The Oaken Grove of Aeric, Haelyn's Bastion of Truth, and the Northern Reformed Church of Sarimie all compete for the devotion of the people.
- Guilds: The realm is beset by conflicts between the guilds, although they join forces to oppose the baroness.
- Source: Clumine and Daeric are cousins and rivals.