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Oxhill, Barony of

by Michael Berry

Area:
392 square miles

Population:
AC 1000 - 1190
AC 1014 - 1050

Villages: (population values are given for AC 1000 and AC 1014)
Handjeer (238/205): is the administrative and social center located 9 miles north of the Baron’s Tower.
Seelen (125/100): is located 1 mile from the baron’s tower and supports the Baron’s residence.
Broken Tooth Junction (150/140): is the main mining settlement in the foothills of the Kurish Massif.
Kievits (200/175): is a village in the heart to the Baronies cattle lands northwest of Handjeer.

Ethnic groups:
AC 1000 - Thyatin 30%, Flaem 30%, OuterWorlders 20%, Boldavian 7%, Kaelic 5%, Averoignian 4%, Sindhi 2%, Other 2%

AC 1014 - Thyatin 40%, OuterWorlders 25%, Flaem 10%, Fen 5%, Boldavian 5%, Sindhi 5%, Kaelic 4%, Averoignian 4%, Other 2%

Languages:
Thyatin (common)

Ruler:
AC 1000 - Pieter Vandehaar (born 923, M11, 3rd Circle Fire Elementalist, AL - Chaotic)
AC 1014 - Edward Newbrute (born 986, M9, Red Dracologist of the 2nd Circle, AL - Chaotic)

House:
AC 1000 - Linden
AC 1014 - Silverston

Military:

The Baron employs a private force of 20 F1 soldiers (goons) in addition to a normal complement of sheriffs and magistrates, who are above the law in enforcing the Baron's strict laws regulating licensed mining. (All miners must have licenses issued by the Baron, with fees paid to the Baron). Any illegal, unlicensed mining is dealt with harshly, from a night in the Baron's jail to an unfortunate fall from Pip's Peak...depending of the whims of the Goon Squad's leader.. Sammy the Bull Rizzuto. Army patrols from the garrison at Sablestone occasionally make stops here. The area has problems for many years with bandits coming down from the mountains, and the Baron has unsuccessful asked the commander at Sablestone many time to put an end to the bandits or at least increase their presence in the Barony. The current Baron is said to be considering a new tax to help fund an increase to his private forces to help against the bandits or to commission a high level party of adventurers to find the leaders of the bandits and eliminate them.

Food:
Deficient

Trails:
There is a single main poor quality trail of note, the William J. Le Potomane Thruway, running through the barony from Broken Tooth Junction in the south to Handjeer . All the other main settlements touch on this main trail leading south to the mines and operations in the Kurish Massif and north to Sablestone.

Economics:
The economics of Oxhill centers primarily on mining in the Kurish Massif. Several mines are within the boundaries of the Barony itself and provide the people of Oxhill steady and profitable employment. Miners are assessed a flat license fee which has irked some of the miners, but profits are good so even if they may complain about being taxed to death, they do pay. Oxhill also serves as a main supply, collection point, and R&R destination for mining operations further into the Kurish Massif within the Two Volcanoes Free Province. Due to the mountainous terrain and little rainfall here is little agriculture within the Baron's domain. What agriculture to be found is found along a small river running down from the Mountains which allows some some agriculture around the river. Other than along the river one finds grasslands that while not suited for agriculture do support a large number of livestock.

Oxhill Monthly Finanical Ledger (figures from AC 1000)

Main resources: 2 mineral
6 hexes: mountain; borderland; pop. 336; tax 16.8 dc
1 hex: clear; rural; pop. 560; tax 56 dc
Oxhill: village; pop. 224; tax 22.4 dc

Total population: 784 rural, 336 borderland

Tax Income: 95.2 dc
Resource Income: 571.2 dc
Standard Income: 761.8 dc

Council Tax: 285.6 dc
Net Cash: 380.8 dc
Overhead (35%): 133.3 dc
Available Cash: 247.5 dc

With 7997 XP/year, in 10 years the Baron would gain 79970 XP.
Alternate: 1143 XP/year

History:
Barons of Oxhill:

Pieter Vandehaar 989-1009
Edward Newbrute 1009 -

Oxhill is one of the truly frontier Glantrian dominions, created by the Council of Princes in 989 to help with expanding the Glantrian hold on the Sablestone region and exploiting its resources. Even before it was formally established as a Barony the area had been used as a gateway to the western Kurish Massif. Today it is jumping off point for mining expeditions and the collection point for raw materials coming out of the mountains before being sent to Kern, Vyonnes, and Glantri City. As befitting its mining roots and frontier location Oxhill has the reputation throughout Glantri of being a rough place. The people of Oxhill are a hard working, hard living sort and so fist fights, even knife fights are a common occurrence at the many taverns and Inns throughout the Barony. That is not to say that Oxhill is a lawless place. As befitting a dominion in Glantri, those who appear to be arcaners are treated not as much with respect but with wariness. In Oxhill as well as through the rest of Glantri it is a crime for a mundaner to assault, or even insult an arcaner.

The area that was to become the Barony of Oxhill was lightly settled by Outworlders prior to the establishment of Glantri. Years later prospectors discovered significant mineral deposits in the nearby mountains and several settlements sprung up to help provision and supply the extraction of the mineral deposits. With interest in the western regions of Glantri growing and with eyes to exploiting and profiting from the unclaimed lands the Council of Princes decided to add a Barony in AC 989. The Flaemish wizard Pieter Vandehaar become the first Baron of Oxhill and in the years that followed the Barony grew from nothing but primarily scattered mining settlement to a good prosperous Barony. Along with the new Baron came Flaemish arcaners and artisans who provided a veneer of high society to the rugged frontier environment. The Flaems pretty much kept to their own social circles and remained aloof and indentified themselves more as transplanted Bergdhovenese rather than upper crusts Oxhillians. It didn't help that the Baron who founded Oxhill had no interest in running a dominion but seemed to be more interested in what went on around the Sablestone region more than what went on within his Barony. The Baron’s attempt to secure an Act of Enfoeffment in Sablestone led to a undeclared private war with the likeminded Baroness of Egorn, Isabella di Montebello. In addition the FFF (Free Farmers Fundamentalist) which waged a campaign of threats, intimidation, and at times outright violence against both nobles and their dominions. For the people of Oxhill the Baron was no help in protecting themselves so they did want all people of the frontier are wont to do and stood up and protected themselves and routed the FFF elements from Oxhill.

Thus the Barony has developed a strong tradition of self rule, and taking care of their own problems. So things remained for years until the last year of the Great War when in the last round of dominion creations, the Vandehaar won the title of one of the new Viscounties which opened the Barony to an Award’s Festival to select a new Baron. The Festival resulted in the rebirth of a noble family as Edward Newbrute, of the prominent Newbrute family of ancient Fen ancestory, won the Awards Festival and the title of Baron of Oxhill. Edward Newbrute is the grandnephew of the late Count of Soth-Kabree, Andrew Newbrute, who died childless and heirless in 963. With Edward's accession to the noble ranks the Barony of Oxhill has seen a rapid influx of migrant Fens to the Sablestone area, as well as Sindhi immigrants from war ravaged Sind, as well as a and an exodus of the Flaemish population to more civilized areas or with Viscount Vandehaar to his new dominion.

Notable sites:
Broken Tooth Junction is a mining village near the southern boundary of the Barony. The town has a single street on which lots of clapboard buildings have been constructed. Lots of prospecting offices, taverns, and shops specializing in the tools of the mining trade occupy the town. The town has one 'event' that makes the town distinctive. Yarthmont 7 is a Baronial holiday celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the Barony. On this day, at high noon on the dusty main street of Broken Tooth Junction the annual 'The Quick and the Dead' festival is held. Two entrants come onto 'Main Street' alone, given specially blunted throwing daggers and a protective chest shield, with a target over the heart. With the crowd in betting frenzy, wearing their Sunday best, the two contestants are blindfolded and put back to back then told to march 10 paces and fire. The closest to the bulls-eye wins, if both miss the target, bets are rolled over into a rematch. If after a 2nd round both miss again, both are jeered by the crowd and tied feet first behind their horses and the horses chased out of town. Over the years it has ensured that only ‘quality’, the best, knife-slingers enter the competition.

In the Barony there is no location that anyone dares to go. In the southwestern mountains there is a tower made of Black Granite whose walls have actually been said to drip blood by more than a few locals brave enough to venture to tower. Now called the Tower of Blood by the locals and while unnerving to say the least, it is not something completely unheard of in a land of magic. What unnerves the locals is there has not been one single confirmed case of anyone returning from exploring the tower.

Coat of Arms:

Useful links:
Glantrian Nobility during the years by Harri Mäki
The Economy of Oxhill by Aleksei Andrievski
GPD: Pieter Vandehaar and History of House Vandehaar by Giovanni Porpora