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Steenwijk, Viscounty of

by Michael Berry

Area:
392 square miles

Population:
1050

Villages:
Briasma (210) is the administrative seat of the dominion near the tower of the Viscount.

Pastense (101): is a small village located in the southeastern hills.

Ethnic groups: Boldavian 50%, Thyatin 20%, Ethengarian 10%, Flaem 10%, Kaelic 6%, Fen 3%, Other 1%

Languages:
Thyatin (common)

Ruler:
AC 1014 - Viscount Pieter Vandehaar (born 923, M13, 3rd Circle Fire Elementalist, AL - Chaotic)

House:
Linden

Military:
The 'Crimson Knights' are a handpicked force selected for strength, constitution, experience and devotion to the magocracy. They were introduced to the people of the Viscounty by the new Viscount himself on one of his few early stays in the Viscounty. The 'knights' also happen to all be Flaemish and are fanatically loyal to the Vandehaar and his gold. The Crimson Knights served Vandehaar as his Baronial Guard while in Oxhill and with his promotion to Viscount he was allowed under the Glantrian Military Supervision Law to carry more men in his guard. An additional 30 men were recruited in Berghoven to be the Viscount's fist in the 'barbarian reaches' as the Viscount is oft to call his new dominion.

Crimson Knights: (50) (F3, Strength 16+, Constitution 16+, sword, lance, golden plate, with war horses) Guard Captain (F7, Str-18, Dex -13, Con-17, sword +2, ring of spell turning)

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

Trails:
Briasma is the destination of three trails within the Viscounty. One leads due west into the mountains to the Platinum mines. A second leads southeast through Pastense to the village of Kaschgar in the Tchernovodsk Free Territory. This is the main artery for agriculture to come into the Viscounty. Both those trails have been rated as fair by Glantrian AAA. A third, less used and rated as a poor trail, leads northeast toward Estoniarsk

Economics:
While the Viscounty of is a new blip on the political radar, the area known to locals as Steenwijk has been a settled area since before the foundation of the Republic. In AC 949 prospectors in the mountains above Briasma found a huge deposit of platinum which led to the platinum rush which brought a significant influx of population to the area. This mine is one of the very few deposits of platinum found in Glantri, Gold and Silver being much more common. As Glantri does not use platinum as a means of exchange thus the platinum mined is tagged strictly for export, usually to Darokin but increasingly to the Heldann Territories. Some staple foods are grown in the foothills but the space is generally used for livestock so food is imported by Free Territory farmers and merchants. Tourism from around the known world pumps money into the economy as well as people coming to Pastense to see Lonar.

Steenwijk Monthly Finanical Ledger (figures from AC 1014)

Main resource: 2 mineral
5 hexes: mountains; borderland; pop. 280; tax 14 dc
2 hexes: hills; rural; pop. 560; tax 56 dc
Blofeld: village; pop. 210; tax 21 dc

Total Population: 770 village/rural, 280 borderland

Tax Income: 91 dc
Resource Income: 546 dc
Standard Income: 728 dc
Council Tax: 273 dc
Net Cash: 364 dc
Overhead (35%): 127.4 dc
Available Cash: 236.6 dc

With 7644 XP/year, in 10 years the Viscount could gain 76,440 XP
Alternate: 1092 XP/year

History:
Viscounts of Steenwijk

Pieter Vandehaar 1009-

Steenwijk was one of the four new Glantrian dominions founded in 1009. They were created in the last of several rounds of dominion creation by the Council of Princes to help with managing the defenses, finances, and population of Glantri, as well as bringing the Parliament in line with all the Act of Enfiefments of the previous years in which 3 new Principalities were created. There had long been ideas about creating a Viscounty in the Colossus Foothills especially in the mineral rich region between Blofeld and Tchernovodsk but the proposal never gained enough support until the last years of the Alphatian War when events pointed to a final battle on Glantrian soil with the Alphatians. The Council finally resolved the fears of some of the Princes and believed that control over this mineral rich area might help with Glantri's strained finances after years of having such a large standing military force (estimated in the fall of 1009 to have reached a peak of 90000 troops, divided into 90 divisions, in preparation for the invasion expected in 1010 (approximately 15% of Glantri's population).

So in the fall of 1009 the title and lands of the newly created Viscounty north of Blofeld was announced to the House of Lords to be open and would be settled in an Awards Tournament. Not urprisingly considering the location and the anticipated axis of advance the Alphatians would take, there were few Barons interested in taking this dominon. Baron Pieter Vandehaar threw his hat into the ring at the start, as he always did for open Viscounties, and this time he had the luck to run against two Barons that were believed to be beatable. One was an Alphatian Baron, who in spite of having a sterling military record and being the leader of a prominent hunter-killer squad earlier in the war, was still viewed with some suspicion by some groups in the Capital. The second was a bit of a enigma and unknown to nearly all in the Capital. Jella-Lan, a female Krondaharian mage, who became a Baroness in 1007, after her husband died of the plague. After frenzied politicking, the matter went to Council. There the Alphatian, Borodin, did not receive enough votes and was eliminated. Jella-Lan and Pieter did and the matter went to Parliament. After an impassioned speech by Sinaria Verlein reminded all about what the next year was going to bring, and how Glantri needed proven leaders, not shrinking violets with no experience in the ways of war leading its frontier dominons, Pieter Vandehaar was selected by the Parliament to be the Viscount of the new dominion and Jella-Lan did not receive enough votes and was rejected.

The new Viscount has little interest in the dominion itself, only it's title and its resources. To date (1014) he has been to his dominion all of two times. He could not even be troubled to give his new dominion a name. The name finally submitted was a old nickname the Flaem gave the Thyatin miners, who settled the area. The Viscount stays at his mansion in Glantri City and is seen (and heard) in every session of Parliment. His son Pieter-Euweke stays at the Tower of Steenwijk with his nurse-maid Leena Tijlen. Pieter-Euweke has as much interest in running a dominion as his father does, and spends his days immersed in magical research. Owing to the long friendship that the Viscount has with the head of the Guild of Spokesmen Pieter has the services of a very talented, yet inexpensive, young member of the Guild as his Seneschal. The people of the Viscounty are generally content with their new status as subjects of the Viscount. Many though have questioned the seemingly bizare laws that came to Steenwijk with his rule. Such as requiring every village over 50 people to have a central bonfire, kept burning continuously 24/7, 334 days a year. Most though shrug it off as the eccentricities of mages and scholars. The people continue to work the mines bringing them a good solid income and prosperity.

Notable sites:
Briasma (210) is a thriving village that existed long before the Viscounty was formed. The village traces its history back to before the foundation of the Republic. When the Viscounty was formed, this town was naturally selected as the administrative seat of the dominion. A new tower was constructed by the incoming Viscount which was built on a ridge overlooking the town. The village is the central collection and storage point for all the platinum mined in the mountains. Needless to say, security is very tight surrounding the platinum industry, and theft of more than 10dc worth of platinum is considered a capital offense in the Viscounty.

The village of Pastense is the destination for tourists from around the known world. Just 5 miles to the southwest of the village is Lonar crater lake. Lonar Lake, which was created by a meteor hitting the Mystara during the Pleistocene epoch, is a saltwater lake. The crater thereby formed is the only known hypervelocity meteoritic impact crater on basalt rock on Mystara. A lake that evolved in the resulting basaltic rock formation is both saline and alkaline in nature. Geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomers from the Great School of Magic have reported several studies on the various aspects of this crater lake ecosystem. Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (450 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion. The crater's age is estimated to be 52,000 6,000 years. Many visitors come to see this wonder of nature and sit in the alkaline water which has been rumored to be magical and can prolong one's life by decades. So far the Great School of Magic has found no proof of those claims.

Coat of Arms:

Useful links:
GPD Pieter Vandehaar by Giovanni Porpora
Pieter-Eeuwke Vandehaar by Giovanni Porpora
wiki entry of Lonar Crater Lake
The Economy of Glantri by Aleksei Andrievski