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KERENDAS (Duchy of)

Location: Southeastern coast of the continent of Brun, north of the Sea of Dread, east of Vyalia, west of the Duchy of Thyatis and south of the Altan Tepes Mountains. OW

Area: 7,560 sq. mi. (19,580 sq. km.).

Population: 540,000 including the city of Kerendas (pop. 100,000; 95% human, 4% elven, 1% dwarven and hin), the towns of Bayville (pop. 5,000) and Bridleton (pop. 10,000) and the Kerendas Outpost (pop. 1,250).

Languages: Thyatian (Kerendan dialect), Elvish (Vyalia dialect).

Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (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, ale, common metals, crafts, fishing, hides, mounts, preserved meat, trade, wine.

Important Figures: Maldinius Kerendas (Duke, human, male, F20), Vincentius Hallicarnasas (Magist, human, male, M20), Cyril Christophorus (High Priest, human, male, Pr20 of Tarastia).

Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for sericulture), grape vines, olive trees, cedar, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards, maple, birch, and oak trees. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, foxes, dryads, wolves, unicorns and goblinoids can be found in the wilds of the empire. Hill giants and ogres in the hills.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, DDA1 Arena of Thyatis, DDA2 Legions of Thyatis, previous almanacs.

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

This duchy is the centre for cavalry training and the source of the best horses within the empire. The land is mostly grassland, and everyone in the duchy is a horseman. The capital, Kerendas, is the second largest city in the empire (pop. 100,000). Much grain is grown in Kerendas and the surplus is exported throughout Thyatis.

The Land

The bulk of Kerendas consists of lush plains and grasslands, used for growing grain and as pasturage for horses and cattle. There are patches of forest, especially in its eastern extents. Kerendas becomes hilly in the north, along the Trevanion River. The soil here is indescribably rich, and its farmlands are able to feed not only Kerendas' own large population; they export vast quantities of grain to Thyatis City as well.

The northern hills are recent additions to the Duchy of Kerendas, and except for a few herdsmen they have not been put to much use yet. These hills are the wildest areas of Kerendas, but still cannot be considered dangerous by any stretch of the imagination.

The city of Kerendas lies on the eastern bank of the Kerenda River, at the western edge of Kerendas. This is Thyatis' second city-recently recovering from population losses. Like most Thyatian cities it is a thriving seaport, visited by (and home to) many merchants. It has a proud military tradition, and its people lead simpler, somewhat more vigorous lives than the inhabitants of The City. Kerendas City is surrounded by broad expanses of pasturage, used for cavalry training and recreational riding. North of the city of Kerendas, overlooking the Kerenda River, is the famous cavalry officer's academy at West Reach.

Closer to the centre of Kerendas is the town of Bridleton. This is a major horse-breeding centre. There is a rivalry between the breeders of Kerendas and Ylari horse breeders. In general the Ylari are able to raise swifter horses, but Kerendan horses are stronger and able to carry or pull heavier loads. But many Kerendan steeds are very fast, and many Ylari horses are very strong, so these generalisations must be taken as such. The forests to the north of Bridleton are used for fox and stag hunts by the wealthy of the region.

To the south of Bridleton, on the coast, is Kerendas Outpost, a military base and citadel. Though the Duke of Kerendas joined the rebellion, the soldiers of the outpost have remained loyal to Eusebius. This gives the emperor a small outpost deep in enemy territory, supplied by sea. For now the rebels have largely ignored it, keeping only a small force nearby while they concentrate their efforts on capturing Thyatis City.

In the east is the town of Bayville, a community of fishermen and country villas of the wealthy. It was on the outskirts of this town that the first major clash of the War of the Crown rebellion took place. The imperial forces were defeated not so much by the force of the rebels' arms as by the unusually effective magics the enemy used.

The People

The people of Kerendas are one of the ancient tribes of Thyatis. The Kerendans are enamoured with horses, and horse races, jousting, polo, stock shows, and the like are very popular here. Kerendans also tend to see themselves as more virtuous and less decadent than other Thyatians, and often pat themselves on the back for not being close-minded like the Hattians. These attitudes tend to grate on their fellow citizens, but Kerendans as a whole are solid people, and it is true that there is less corruption and treachery here than can be found in some parts of the empire.

This may make it seem odd that the Kerendans joined in the rebellion alongside the Hattians, but Kerendas saw less need for reforms to shake up the empire precisely because they were less affected by the trends that Eusebius hopes to reverse. Also, they tend to see themselves as guardians of Thyatis' ancient traditions and virtues, and this was another reason for their support of the rebellion. Still, there are some signs that many Kerendans are growing less and less supportive of the rebel cause, especially as some of its darker natures have come to the fore. The screening force outside Kerendas Outpost has become more and more lax, and there have even been friendly exchanges between the troops in the outpost and those outside it. On one day late last year they held a polo match against each other, with the losing side providing a feast that both groups attended. This is hardly a sign one would expect of a people at war with each other.

One of the customs of Kerendas is that the duke, whatever his own family background might be, always takes the name of the duchy for his own, replacing his own last name. While a curious custom, this is at least better than is found in some other lands, where the ruler makes the people take his name for their national name, rather than adopting theirs.