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FURMENGLAIVE (County of)
Location: Southwestern coast of Isle of Dawn. SD
Area: 9,875 sq. mi. (25,575 sq. km.).
Population: 5,000, including 2,000 in the community of Furmenglaive.
Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian dialect), Alphatian (Hillvale dialect).
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), justiciar (ep), asterius (sp), denarius (cp). Alphatian Standard also very common: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 20% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercia sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave's value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.
Government Type: Dominion, member of the Thyatian Empire.
Industries: Agriculture, fishing (both rather sparse and unrewarding).
Important Figures: Phileus Furmenglaive (Count), Lyra Furmenglaive (Countess).
Flora and Fauna: Furmenglaive consists mostly of moors and rolling hills with shrubs and a few scattered woods of ashes, yews and the occasional pine tree. Small ponds also dot the countryside, where sheep and goats are the most common sight. Wild goats and boars and packs of wolves are also common for the shepherds and farmers of the region, who use brave shepherd dogs to protect their cattle and farms. Many unpleasant creatures can be found in Furmenglaive due to the presence of the Thothian Plateau, which is a veritable nest of monsters. Lycanthropes are feared in the region (especially werewolves and wereboars), as well as undead and the so-called night demons, a term the Furmenglaivians use to define any unpleasant creature that stalks the land by night (including goblins).
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Shaun the Elfin.
Shadows stretch all across this tiny province in the south of the Isle of Dawn, shadows that belong to the night and to the other side of life, what is commonly called "fear" or "mystery" by most men. And truly Furmenglaive is "the Gateway to the Darkworld," as many of its inhabitants call it.
Rolling hills and great expanses of moors dominate the County of Furmenglaive. Some patches of scrub trees and gaunt isolated birches and ashes may be encountered up and down the hills of the region, but to call those real woods would be an insult to Mother Nature (especially for me). Moors are the common terrain here, and many people dedicate their lives to raising goats and sheep that produce a fine quality of wool (similar to that produced in Klantyre). Others prefer to work the soil and so some cultivated fields can also be spotted in the area (especially near the capital), though not as often as shepherds tending sheep. A few fishermen also try to earn their living in the southern part of the dominion, but theirs is not a wealthy profession here. Many small ponds and a few bogs (especially in the southern tip of the dominion) can be encountered by the inexperienced traveller, and wild animals usually gather here to drink and rest during the day, while they take refuge in their lairs at night, like every other sane being would do here. The sky is an impressive sight in Furmenglaive, so near to the ground that sometimes it seems you could touch it with your own hands. Clouds roll by at incredible speeds during night and day due to the wind currents from the nearby Sea of Dawn, making the landscape a kaleidoscope of colours, especially during daylight. Furmenglaive coasts are jagged and full of reefs in the northern part, while the southern ones are windswept and shallower.
The only good natural harbour here lies below Castle Furmenglaive, where the count and countess have built the only existing port of the entire domain. A four yard wide street of cobblestones leads from the port 200 yards up to the fortified town of Furmenglaive, built around the imposing building known as Castle Furmenglaive, a gloomy old fortress erected on the cliffs above the harbour. The town consists mostly of wooden barracks and a few stone dwellings for the richer artisans and the town mayor (who also happens to be the seneschal and the chief constable). The countryside of Furmenglaive is dotted with a handful of tiny hamlets and isolated huts of lone rangers and herders who don't trust wanderers, especially if they're strangers and come by night-time... as I've witnessed myself firsthand.
The people of Furmenglaive are a superstitious lot... or a wise one, I've not understood it yet. They believe in Things That Go Bump in the Night, in Witches' Covens, in the Beasts Within and in the Longfang Devils, to use the terms of those natives. They are of Kerendan stock, but strangely they are more similar to Traladarans of the last century than to the common Thyatian: I can only assume they changed their vision of the world when they came to live in Furmenglaive. And honestly I cannot blame them for their fears, for this is a land where even your own shadow seems to be alive... and out to harm you. The Furmenglaivians believe in the dark side of men and nature and are ready to defend themselves using wards and old traditional countermeasures that range from the simple cantrip and garlic necklace to the most complicated formulae magicae (ceremonies) to drive out devils and impure spirits from places and human beings. Normally, special people (āuguri-sing.: augurus) who are held in high respect by all the villagers perform these rituals; they have the same importance as priests in the nations of the Old World (and some of them are indeed clerics), though their powers are not always real (but they do believe in them!).
Furmenglaive is ruled by Count Phileus Furmenglaive and his wife Lyra, who managed to reclaim their dominion after the Alphatians captured it during the war in AC 1006. The province itself is quite old, and was founded in AC 500 by the great grandfather of the current ruler, Magnus Furmenglaive, a powerful Thyatian wizard. It was upgraded from a barony to its current status as a county following the war with Alphatia in AC 959. At that time, also, it ceased to fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincia Meridia, and its lands have been administered independently of other dominions of the Shadow Coast. As such, the County of Furmenglaive manages to avoid most of the petty politicking and feuding that plagues the barons and lords of the southern Isle of Dawn. Which is just as well, considering all the horrors they've got to deal with in their own right.