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The northernmost province of Dhoesone, Dharilein is a cold hilly land swept by winds and often covered in snow for several months of the year. The soil is poor in the hills. Aside from some farms in the south and beside the river, most folk make their living from hunting, trapping, sheep and goat herding; every village and thorp is surrounded by flocks on every slope.
The western parts of the province have been empty since the last giant raid when the villages of Pyotor's Tor and Rhion's Brook were destroyed. Goblins are said to have taken over the ruins of Pyotor's Tor and now run its mines themselves.
The folk of Dharilein are a hardy independent sort; most have fought off goblin or gnoll raids at some point in their lives though wolves are commonly thought to be a greater threat. As a result of their isolation and the oft scattered populace, most villages have a bell-tower which is rung in case of attack. Some local shepherds use 'whistle-tongue', a local language handed down the generations, to pass messages down the valleys swiftly if they see signs of wolves or goblins.
Vertico Dhariel is the Count of Dharilein. A noble and honorable count, he is also Warden of the Northern Marches, and has the responsibility to defend the realm against the Blood Skull Barony.
Adaere Doneim of Northern Imports and Exports controls the wool merchants in Dharilton, has loaned money to the blacksmith in Dharilton, and has made sure his man, Jerald Cooper, is regularly elected major of Dharilton.
Fhiele Dhoesone has a loyal sheriff in the person of Edgar of Bisley. The lawyer, Randall of Chobham, is well paid by the Northern Imports and Exports to protect their interests.
The people of Dharilein are divided between Oaken Grove of Erik and Haelyn's Bastion of Truth, but in the town of Dharilton and in the court of Vertico, the Bastion of Truth is dominant. James Ardannt's man, William Howe spends most of his time either at the cathedral in Dharilton or at Vertico's court. The Oaken Grove's druid, Madalyn of the Stones is respected by the Bastion and the count, and welcomed when she has advice to offer.
Clumine Dhoesone controls the sources here, and spends about four weeks a year here looking after them. Clumine gets along politely with the count, Vertico, and his wife, but as Vertico's sister, Aithne Dhariel is married to Daeric Dhoesone, Clumine remains somewhat reserved in their company.
Parniel Mullham is the Lord of Mullham. A loyal vassal of Vertico, he has recently married his son, Robert Mullham, to his liege's half-sister, Saebra.
Dharilton is the walled town where the Count of Dharilein resides. Once a castle and a village, the settlement grew under the protection of the castle, and now the fortification extends around the town. 1200 people live here.
When the town was young, the Count, Carilon Dhariel granted them the status of a commune, exempting them from taxes for goods produce within the town, and providing for self government. This helped attract craftsmen to Dharilton and saw the town grow over the years. Now the town is controlled by the guild Northern Imports and Exports. The primary local industry, the wool trade, is totally dominated by the guild, and their man, Jerald Cooper, is regularly elected major.
This small village in the south lies in a wide flat valley with steep sides that is said to have been carved from the hills about by giants in ages past. The steep sides of the valley shelter it from much of the worst winds and snows of winter and the valley floor produces a reasonable crop of rye and barley.
The west side of the valley was terraced long ago - before the Rjurik ever came to the land and these 'giant's steps' as they are known are used to grow a variety of root vegetables and the silver-blue northberries that are used to make the village's famous frost-wine.
Although the shape of the valley and the fertile steps led the folk to settle here, neither is the true wonder of the town. Beyond the giant's steps, at the top of the hill to the west is a small natural spring. The circumference of the spring's pool is lined with smooth white stone blocks and surrounded by ornately carved pillars, in the moonlight the pool and inscriptions on the pillars take on a silver hue. This holy site to Ruornil gave the town its name and folk have long wondered who brought the heavy white stones to the land and how they came to know of the lord of mysteries.
The local faith to Ruornil is challenged of late however by the Sons of Hjalsone who consider it heresy and the influence of the priestess Lirr O' the Well who guides the village has been sharply curtailed. So far the Sons of Hjalsone have not dared to attack the well directly, but the faithful are increasingly looking for protection
This small village lies beside the river at the last point that vessels can travel north. Along the river by the village are a series of small waterfalls that prevent passage by boats. The village was originally founded to take goods from upriver past the falls and vice versa but it also has a reasonable amount of cropland (mostly rye and root vegetables) and herds of sheep and goats which it uses to supply food to the logging and mining camps to the north and the multitude of itinerant hunters who bring pelts to the famous Fur festival which is the highlight of the local festivities.
Local myth says that a naiad lives within one of the waterfalls near the village that will grant wishes to those of innocent heart and true need, but the stories conflict over which of the waterfalls the naiad dwells and the true nature of the spirit.
Few oaks grow so far north as Dharilien, which makes the Grandfather Oak all the more unusual - the mighty oak stands twice as tall as lesser oaks and stands proud despite being at least a millennia old. The druids of Dhoesone hold the oak sacred and the dryad of the oak as a favoured servant of Erik himself. Some say that the Oak is older still and was sacred to Reynir, grown from the staff of the first druid to lead their people to Dhoesone but the truth of the matter is lost in the mists of time.
, 04-14-2009 at 01:54 AM|
Last edited by , 01-10-2012 at 10:50 PM
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