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Blofeld, Viscounty of

by micky

Area: 392 square miles

Population: 770

Villages: Schwabach (154) This picturesque village sits on a spur of Mount Celione, over a 1000 feet above the foothills of the Viscounty. The village serves as the economic and administrative centre for the Viscounty. The Tower of Blofeld, the tower of the Viscount himself, looms even further up the mountain and overlooks the village.

Dologhon (110) This village in the northwest foothills of the Viscounty is the centre of what little agriculture the Viscounty manages. A brisk parade of farmers and merchants from the Free Territories congregate here and proceed up to Schwabach to bring the food to the predominantly mountainous Viscounty and it's population working the mines.

Ethnic groups: Flaem 40%, Ethengarian 25%, Boldavian 15%, Thyatian 10%, Fen 5%, Other 5%.

Languages: Thyatian (common) is the most common language here and the language of business, official and commercial. Like the rest of Glantri, any number of languages are to be found.

Ruler: Viscount Rolf Graustein

House: Ritterburg

Military: The Viscount employs a standing force of 20 mounted Bowman (F1, short bow, riding horse) and 30 heavy foot (F1, chain, shield, sword). The heavy foot are quartered in Schwaback and rotate assignments, by squad, to the mines to guard the workers and the mines themselves. While in Schwaback they enforce law and order, which is a full time duty since the miners out on the town can be a bit rowdy after several rounds. The mounted horsemen patrol the foothills and are stationed in Dologhon. The Viscounts tower employs no servants nor guards from the local population. The viscount has his own special guards and servants.

Food: Deficient. Food brought to markets in Viscounty from outlying free territories.

Trails: Blofeld has one trail of note. The McDonald Memorial Thruway. The trail is rated good by the Glantrian AAA, having been improved over the years to make sure the mines can deliver their bounty and food gets to them from the lower foothills. The trail runs from the Glenfiddich mining complex to the northeast passing through Schwaback and down the mountain to Dologhon. A fair trail leads out of the Viscounty towards the village of Kaschgar in the Tchernovodsk Free Territory which in turn lays on the Trans Boldavia Bramyra Highway. Several poor trails go deeper into the mountains used by hunters, trappers and prospectors looking for the next big strike.

Economics: Blofeld's economics revolve around mining in the Colossus Mounts. The scant hill country to the northeast brings some agriculture and herds to feed those of the mountains but not near enough to feed them all so Blofeld is one of the primary destinations for local Free Territory farmers and merchants to bring their produce and herds to market. What transformed this once solitary refuge for wizards who wanted privacy was the discovery in 935 of a large deposit of gold about 6 miles southwest of Schwaback. After a number of years expanding the original mine and building infrastructure to handle the extraction, and collection needs of a major gold mine. The mine fully began sending large quantities of gold to Glantri City where it was sold at market to foreign merchants. The mine has helped solidify Glantri as one of the known world's largest exporters of precious metals.

History:
Viscounts of Blofeld

Sigmund Pieinants 829-837
Georg Pieinats 837-848
Leopold Pieinants 848-861
John Bluebeard 861-868
Alexander Wolfen 868-871
Petrus Foljanbe 871-881
Guy Foljanbe 881-894
Roger Foljanbe 894-917
Raimund McDonald 917-927
Lothar McDonald 927-931
Alberts Kviepoly 931-951
Wilhelm von Graustein 951-971
Rolf von Graustein 971-

The Viscounty of Blofeld was established out of the ashes of the old Flaemish aristocracy. When the Flaems held power over the whole of the Highlands, power was concentrated in the hands of the seven families that ruled the Seven Duchies of the Highlands. At the end of the 40 Years War and with the establishment of the Republic of Glantri there were only four of the seven families left. Only one of the families, the Vlaardoen were given a seat a seat on the Council (only one per ethnic group was given a seat) and the rest of the old ducal families demanded to have duchies as they had before the war. In fact the Flaems didn't stop with that. Flaems insisted to have seven Duchies. Others allowed them seven fiefs but, due to the fact the fiefs weren't as large as previous Flaemish Duchies, Flaems were imposed lower titles. Frederick Vlaardoen, who convinced the other Flaem nobles to accept the Republic and was elected council member, was very annoyed by this. But Alexander Glantri convinced him by offering the most powerful position in the Council, the Supreme Judge. To have other nobles accept this situation Vlaardoen agreed in degrading Linden to Viscounty, a title lower than most of other Flaemish fiefs. Other nobles agreed, after all Flaemish people continued to call them Duke anyhow. One of the old Ducal families was the Pieinants family and they were given the new Viscounty of Blofeld on the eastern slopes of the Colossus Mounts. This rather isolated fief was in charge of keeping a good look to Ethengar and of helping Skullhorn Pass' garrisons. Pieinants were the more warrior-like Flaem family. Also they had been dukes in Braastar, and with the Ethengarian possession of Braastar, attitudes towards Ethengarians were really strained and always have been between the Flaems and Ethengarians in the Viscounty especially.

The Viscounty was an important for the Flaemish, being a watchtower on the eastern frontier to watch the horsemen of the Steppes as well as supporting the defence of Skullhorn Pass. There was little to the dominion but what could be scratched out of the ground in those days. Many wizards, especially Flaemish, took the wilderness of Blofeld as the perfect place for their towers where they might enjoy peace, quiet and security under the Flaemish Viscount. The Viscounty was a economic afterthought during these early years but was a strategically important dominion for Glantri. In time the Pieinants family moved on to a higher title and Blofeld became a regular revolving door for many years. The dominion remained a poor, underpopulated refuge for wizards until a prospecting mission, sponsored by the viscount at the time Lothar McDonald, discovered a large vein of gold in the mountains within the borders of the Viscounty. With the mines came not only wealth, but people. The land was overrun with those who came searching for jobs in the mines and prospectors looking for a little piece of the action themselves. McDonald closed the border to new immigrants and violently expelled squatters and those that did not have the proper licenses needed to prospect or mine within the Viscounty. Today in Blofeld the dominion is a hardworking and generally prosperous dominion. The Viscount Rolf von Graustein is completely engrossed in his magical studies and leaves rule of the Viscounty to his sister. Frau Tabitha von Graustein. She is by all accounts a stern, yet fair and caring ruler. She drops in at the Leaky Dyke Tavern occasionally for the Aalbanese Lager they keep on hand just for her, and a friendly game of darts. The people that meet her like her and the dominion is generally a happy prosperous dominion, though conflicts, sometimes bloody, sometimes even fatal, between the Flaemish and Ethengarian population pop up with some regularity.

Notable people/sites: The Tower of the Nine Moons is located deep in the Colossus Mounts near the northwest border of the Viscounty. The tower itself is unoccupied, the previous owner killed 20 years ago when he teleported into solid rock on his way to catch some sun and fun in Ierendi City. The dungeons of the tower are not unoccupied though. Hidden in the dungeon of the tower is a detachment of some 15 heavily armed Dwarves from Rockhome, who slipped across the border unseen and took refuge in the unoccupied tower. What their purpose is.. remains to be seen.

Schwabach is a picturesque village perched precariously on a mountain spur with fantastic views of the hills to the northeast and on a good day you can even see into Ethengar. The town is a clean, well kept village with many services geared towards supporting the local mining population. The population is predominantly Flaemish, descendants of those that came originally to Blofeld. The village is notable for the famous Schwabach Swing which is an alpine climbing tournament held every 2nd week in Felmont. The best climbers from around Glantri, and even some from out of Glantri come to the village to test their skills on Mount Celione where there the shear drop of 1500 feet. Several climbers have lost their lives in the Swing but that has only reinforced the nature of the challenge and the danger. The Viscount puts up the prize money and awards the winner himself with a Gold Metal and a substantial monetary reward.

Coat of Arms:

Useful links: Glantrian Nobility during the years, History of House Ritterburg, and Linden by Harri Mäki
The Economy of Blofeld by Aleksei Andrievski
Glantrian Heraldry by Chimpman
Rolf Von Graustein by Micky