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KLAGORST (Confederated Kingdoms of)

Location: Continent of Brun, western side of the Endworld Line, south of Hyborea. WB

Area: 61,000 sq. mi. (157,990 sq. km.), not including Stygia.

Population: 25,200 humans.

Languages: Klagorst (80% Visneskayan, 15% Traldar).

Coinage: Zeur (gp), klag (sp), enak (cp).

Taxes: Individual kingdoms have their own taxation; generally taxes consist of services for those who earn less than a certain amount each year, while others (mostly citizens, wealthy landowners, etc.) pay around 10% throughout the year in various forms. Additional taxes are levied for special reasons, such as tournaments and wars.

Government Type: Confederation of autonomous kingdoms, mostly holding the status of baronies and counties.

Industries: Agriculture (predominantly subsistence), animal herding, fishing, horse breeding, trade.

Important Figures: See individual dominion entries below.

Flora and Fauna: A mixed land of forests and poor farmlands, the region is home to deer, elk, wolves, bears; the shores are rich with fish, and seals live on the northern coasts. The mountains of the Endworld Line are inhabited by a great number of humanoids: Hyborean goblins, gnolls, hobgoblins, orcs, and trolls.

Further Reading: None.

Description by Giulio diSergio-Orsini.

The Land

The Klagorst region is an inhospitable taiga forest bordering, in the northern regions, with the tundra. The few settlements of the region are built near rivers that are always frozen during the long winters, and the agricultural yields here are only barely capable of sustaining the population. The frequent conflicts have not helped the region develop economically, and have often led to mass murders of farm animals, like goats and sheep.

Famines happen commonly a couple of times per century, although things have gone better for the last few years. The hope of the people of the region is that last year's conflict has been too short to be the cause for another famine in the near future.

The People

The Klagorstans themselves are descendants of the Visneskayans, and resemble greatly their ancestors, who were of Traladaran extraction, with some Oltec influences. They are tall, and mostly pale-skinned, though darker skin is not uncommon; they have dark brown or blond hair, and blue or green eyes, but black and brown are not at all uncommon. They tend to be massively-built, but due to famines and wars many of them are slim.

[See also specific entries for Stygia and Chevalle] The human confederated kingdoms, also called the Heartlands or the Heart Coast, are:

Barony of Fewalskij (pop. 2,000): This seaport is inhabited mostly by humans, though some hresha-rhak live here occasionally. Port Fewalskij is the principal port that connects the Heartlands with the hydrax settlement to the north, and the hresha-rhak dominion to the west. Hydrax are normally never seen here; they prefer to rely on human agents, who are all members of the Blue Wind, an order whose base is in the city centre. Nearly insignificant is the little land owned by the city's baron, Sir Markus Achresk, not even enough to sustain the need for food, that must be mostly imported from the southern Heartlands.

Duchy of Vrancea (pop. 2,100): Vrancea is a mountainous realm; it is probably the poorest state of the confederated kingdoms. Some of the human villages here try to farm goats and grow potatoes, with meagre results. The former duke, Nhorg, rumoured to be a vampire or a lich, has been exiled after the short war that stormed the region last year. Now, the new duke is Jozef Drulovic, who is determined to bring Vrancea out of the poor conditions it has lived in until now.

County of Valeryia (pop.8,000): Valeryia is a human territory, and the most civilised of the Heartlands. It is ruled by the just Count Janick Essecki, who has recently reformed the army. Valeryia is an agricultural nation, but is also renowned for its horses, and is possibly the richest territory of the Heartlands-probably due to its geographical position. The capital of the county is Valeryistadt (pop. approximately 3,800); other important settlements are the town of Grawyz (pop. 1,300), which is administered by the local Guild of Adventurers ruled by Andrzej Vatacek, and the town of Cahen. The remainder of the population is scattered across the county, scraping out a living by tilling the poor soils.

County of Gask (pop 6,100): The County of Gask is another quite civilised territory, and is named after its capital, that also hosts the confederative palace, where representatives of the seven nations debate pointlessly on every single question of some relevance to the confederation. The president of the confederation is the current Count of Gask, Nilas Dowalski. The soil of the county is quite poor, but the waters of Gask are rich in fish, and the good administration of the Dowalski family has saved it from civil wars during the last century. Also important is the seaport of Gdansk, which in the past was a source of several conflicts with Valeryia.

Territories of the Knighthood of Tcheltar (pop. 7,000): Tcheltar is the homeland of a troubled population of bandits, and is harassed by lycanthropes and monsters. This prevents it from rising to prominence in the Heartlands, because the soil is good for farming, it is not too far north geographically, and the territory is quite big. Tcheltar has experienced many changes of government and leaders since its foundation, and is now in the hands of Sir Georgi Thorowsk, Master of the Knights of Tcheltar. Tcheltar was invaded by centaurs twenty years ago, because Chevalle accused it of helping Duke Nhorg of Vrancea in his dark practices. The Tcheltarians have always been friends with the Vranceans. The capital of the nation is Tcheltar; other important settlements are Pracova and Nowy Sacz.

Recent History

Klagorst's history is only five centuries long, but it is nonetheless extremely bloody. When in AC 502 the Kingdom of Visneskaya engaged itself in a major war with the Zuyevan Kingdom of the south, the Talmav horde, an ally of the Visneskayans, sided with the enemy. This being the case, Lord Voniek Klagorst, ruler of a minor city of Visneskaya, thinking that the war was going to end with a loss for his people, and fearing a life of slavery or death for them, decided to leave the country with his followers. When he actually did so, the Visneskayans were too busy facing their external enemies to care about him. Lord Voniek had with him only 4,000 men, and was intending to follow the route of Ivan Brasv to the west, towards the Endworld Line, hoping to find the descendants of Brasv's migration. After a very long march, Voniek managed to lead 2,700 men to Brasov in AC 506, after severe losses due to the inhospitable weather conditions, raiding humanoids from the mountains, and internal struggles.

But when the 2,700 Visneskayans arrived in Brasov, the citizens of that kingdom saw them as savages and possible conquerors, and did not care about their common origin. King Szabo I of Brasov led a crushing attack on the surprised Visneskayans, who were ultimately shattered and fled to the colder lands north of Brasov. There, Lord Voniek and his 1,400 surviving men built the city of Gask and tried to survive in the harsh environment.

Around AC 530, after the end of the war with Zuyevo, three other Visneskayan migrations followed Brasv's and Voniek's route, and finally arrived in the Brasovian region. After a few skirmishes with the Brasovians, the Visneskayans turned to the north, where Voniek's people had already settled, and each of the groups built the cities of Fewalskij, Vrancea and Tcheltar. Their relationships within each other, and with the surrounding, states were always troublesome. Three wars were fought (AC 589-92, 723-24, 811-12) between a confederation of Gask, Vrancea and Tcheltar against the Brasovians, but the latter always triumphed. Other wars were that of the human nations as a group against the Stygian troglodytes (AC 841-56), which persisted for fifteen years with several interruptions and treaties, before a final armistice, which resulted in the creation of the Confederation of the Heartlands. About the same time, the city of Valeryistadt was built (AC 856).

The relations with the centaurs of the eastern forests claimed by the people of the Heartlands, who had by now begun to call themselves the Klagorstans, in honour of Lord Voniek, had always been troublesome. Trying to avoid needless bloodshed, the new Baron of Valeryistadt, Ianus Essecki, proposed to accept the centaurs as equal members of the confederation. When the other confederated kingdoms refused, Essecki declared war, and with the help of the Stygians and the centaurs, imposed through military strength their entrance into the confederation, and proclaimed himself count (AC 902).

The conflicts did not stop here, and in the last century, many other smaller wars and conflicts were fought, until the last one in the years AC 1005-1008 between Brasov, Chevalle and Stygia against the human Heartlands, a war that ended with a peace treaty that settled the current borders of the region. Subsequent to this were the raids of AC 1011 and 1014 against Stygia by the varkhas of Gournzee, who were allowed to pass through Vrancea, against confederated laws, by Duke Nhorg.

Another war, although a very short one, has been fought in Klagorst last year. The continual provocations by the varkhas and Nhorg finally led to a declaration of war from the troglodytes. Vrancea left the confederation, and allied itself with Gournzee against the other kingdoms. Chevalle, after a bloody fight with the Vranceans, retired from the conflict and left the confederated kingdoms. The war ended with the victory of the confederation: Nhorg was exiled to Gournzee, and a new duke now rules Vrancea.