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DAROKIN (Republic of)

Location: West and north of the Five Shires. OW

Area: 68,964 sq. mi. (178,615 sq. km.), not including Orcland, which is only nominally under control of the republic.

Population: 1,265,000 humans, plus a scattering of elves, dwarves, and hin.

Languages: Thyatian (Darokinian dialect), but many other languages are represented among the populace.

Coinage: Daro (gp), half-daro (ep), tendrid (sp), passim (cp). For transactions involving large amounts of money (larger than 500 daros), a CLOC (Certified Letter of Credit) is used.

Taxes: 5% of annual income (8% for incomes over 100,000 daros), collected annually on Thaumont 1. Every 5 years, a net worth tax is assessed; anyone whose income has increased since the last assessment must pay 5% of the gain in taxes. There is also a 3% sales tax.

Government Type: Plutocratic republic, member of the Western Defence League; it is a republic as leaders are elected, but only the wealthy can apply for positions of power; therefore, Darokin is also a plutocracy.

Industries: Agriculture, fishing, mercantile ability, and diplomacy.

Important Figures: Corwyn Mauntea (Chancellor, human, male, T6), Mealidan Mealidil (Mealidil Clanmaster, elf, male, M11).

Flora and Fauna: Herds of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and buffaloes. The various mountains around the nation are home to mountain lions and bears. Malpheggi Swamp is known for its crocodiles and giant lizards, as well as being the refuge for roving gangs of bandits and goblinoids.

The southern part of Darokin is mostly covered with oak forests, while to the north, evergreens dominate. Around the nation of Aengmor, blight oaks can be encountered within the borders of Darokin.

The northeastern section of Darokin is known as Orcland and is completely dominated by bands of goblinoids.

Further Reading: GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin, previous almanacs.

Description by Ursula Bremen.

Following the trend set by my esteemed colleagues, I have been charged to describe another part of the vast and heterogeneous territory of Darokin. In this report I am writing about Fort Marny, a lone outpost that stands near the western border with the Atruaghin Clans. What few people know is that Fort Marny is not a keep belonging to our army, but it is a private stronghold that watches over a small borderland dubbed Buffalo Prairie by the local inhabitants.

The Land

Located on a gentle hilltop near Mond River, some sixty miles away from Darokin City and no more than ten miles from the border with the Atruaghin Clans, Fort Marny stands mightily as the most renowned and elaborate building of the whole borderland. This nameless borderland covers a small area all around the fort, and although its formal capital is the village of Sweetwater (located near Mond River), all the inhabitants of this dangerous place look to Fort Marny for protection. The rest of the borderland is a plain and unattractive patch of grasslands and rolling grassy hills, which the locals call Buffalo Prairie after the many buffalo herds that can be found here. There are small patches of trees here and there, but no veritable woods to mention. The real forest begins at the western Darokinian border, where the thick woods of the Atruaghins begin.

Sweetwater's revenue comes mainly from the buffalo herds owned by some of its wealthiest landlords, who raise their cattle on their ranches, guarded by expert herders. Sweetwater regularly provides Fort Marny with provisions and foodstuffs twice a year, but the stronghold is self-sufficient most of the time (always ready in case of an assault made by the vicious Atruaghins of the Viper Clan living in the nearby forest). Fort Marny also houses many trappers and scouts that regularly venture into Viper Clan territory, who also provide meat, furs and logging to satisfy the needs of the fort's inhabitants. The keep itself is surrounded by a 30-foot tall, strong wooden palisade, with lookouts built at all of the four cardinal points. Inside Fort Marny many one-story wooden dwellings house the inhabitants of the keep, which is like a small fortified village in every aspect. The last note goes to the commander's house, which is the only stone building of the whole stronghold, a whitewashed square dwelling with a tiled roof that has a colourful flag (bearing Commander Marny's coat of arms) constantly exposed and flapping on its roof.

The People

There are at least 600 people living inside Fort Marny, all families of all the soldiers working for the stronghold's owner, Commander William "Buffalo" Marny. Of these, half are able-bodied individuals that have been trained to wield a sword or a crossbow effectively and can fight their enemy without fear. These 300 soldiers are all faithful followers of Commander Marny, a very charismatic and stern dwarf who is 117 years old. The soldiers [of both human and dwarven heritage. U. Bremen.] receive a small salary every month by the commander, and never lack food and lodging inside the fort. According to some rumours, they have signed a long-term contract with Marny and can leave Fort Marny only after 30 years of service. Of course, the fact that at least fifty of these veterans are older than Marny himself may hint that these warriors are more loyal to their leader than one might think. The inhabitants of Fort Marny are industrious, brave and very close to one another, as happens in a small community after so many decades of living together. On the other hand, they harbour a bit of mistrust towards strangers and foreigners, until they get to know them better (likely if the stranger spends more than six months in the keep, becoming "one of them" so to speak). The scouts found in Fort Marny are the best available inside Darokin if one wants to explore the Atruaghin Plateau or the perilous forests that stretch around it [I have even talked with a well-known scout named Two-Hits, who has mixed Atruaghin and Darokinian blood but has been nevertheless raised inside Fort Marny and has long since been accepted. U. Bremen.].

The inhabitants of Sweetwater are the typical border-town lot: a bit rough, illiterate for the most, but friendly and talkative, especially with people coming from the Heartlands [which they seem to think of as paradise. U. Bremen.]. The three major landlord families (the Cochranes, the Dougherties and the Dunnings) are much more sophisticated and civilised than their fellow citizens, although Magistrate Ephraim Cochrane (one of the three) is a bitter and boisterous man, always complaining about Commander Marny's lack of respect towards his authority as a border magistrate.

Recent History

Fort Marny is an anomaly inside the republic. Nominally belonging to a borderland, the fort is in fact a self-sufficient citadel that acknowledges no authority to the local Border Magistrate, Ephraim Cochrane. The keep was built more than forty years ago on behalf of the House of Toney, to act as a trading post with the Children of Atruaghin [Toney House has in fact risen to prominence inside Darokin mainly because of its trade with the Atruaghin Clans. U. Bremen.].

However, in AC 992 Fort Buffalo [as it was called at that time. U. Bremen.] was assaulted and razed by a group of warriors belonging to the Viper Clan and the situation changed. The commander of the trading post at that time was a stout dwarf by the name of William "Buffalo" Marny. After losing his own family in the massacre, he swore on his honour that he would never flee the place, and make the Atruaghins pay for their atrocities. When House Toney declared that it was not interested in rebuilding Fort Buffalo, Commander Marny gathered a small group of faithful followers and former legionnaires of the Darokinian army and built a real stronghold on the ashes of the old trading post, christening it Fort Marny. So Fort Marny officially took the task of protecting the borderland's citizens from every threat, and this led many inhabitants of the nearby regions to come to Fort Marny and settle inside its safe walls. At the moment, many think it may be possible that at Magistrate Cochrane's death the central government will grant William Marny the charge of border magistrate [since Ephraim Cochrane is now nearing his sixties and has no apparent heir. U. Bremen.], to reward him for his merits.