Marked in Blood
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.
= 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.
= The Land =
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.
= Weather =
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.
= History =
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.
= Political =