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Redstone (County of; Empire of Thyatis)
Location: Known World, Isle of Dawn (east of the continent of Brun; southwest of the New Alphatian Sea), western-central area.
Area: 57,864 sq. mi.
Population: 50,000, including 25,000 in the capital of Redstone.
Languages: Thyatian (official), Alphatian.
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: Emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp). Coins of many other nations are in common circulation here.
Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, Ei. 1). Citizens abroad must still pay. 5% sales tax on all but food and clothing.
Government Type: County under the jurisdiction of the Empire of Thyatis.
Industries: Armour, weapons, military training.
Important Figures: Countess Stefania Torion (human, female, F5/T14), Count Anaxibius Torion (human, male, F20).
Flora and Fauna: Standard for its climate. Dangerous monsters include goblinoid hordes scattered throughout the Isle of Dawn as well as bandits.
Description: by Favonius Viator
Redstone was made into an actual dominion at the end of the Alphatian-Thyatian war in AC 1009. Thincol granted the town and the surrounding land to his daughter Stefania, changing Redstone's status from town to County.
This Thyatian province is a tempestuous-looking land filled with a wide variety of landscapes.
The northwestern part of the county is a huge plateau hugging the coastline. This plateau is covered with grasslands known as the Sutherlands. On it, various cattle herders make their living, trading with the only two real villages of the area: Lar and Vildis. The cliffs of the plateau drop straight down into the Western Sea of Dawn. It is riddled with caves, many of which can only be seen when the tide is low. This naturally makes the area a haven for pirates and other outlaws.
To the northeast lies mainly farmland which produces food for the rest of the County as well as for the city of Newkirk in the Grand Duchy of Westrourke. The largest village in the area is Lodar, at a fork in the Lod River near the Carryduff Hills. The Count and Countess are currently debating whether they should turn Lodar into a barony to help better manage the area.
The central area of Redstone County is mostly uninhabited. To the east are dense forests, namely the Ashton Woods and Lurben Forest. Theses woods are inhabited by giant wolves which attack all trespassers. Rumours claim that dire wolves are controlled by evil faeries. The only safe passage in the area is on the patrolled Westrourke Road which goes from Dungannon all the way to the Grand Duchy.
The west side of the central area is almost completely wetland, with the two largest swamps being the Fengallen Marshes and the Kilyleagh Curragh. This area is controlled by bugbears, and Count Anaxibius often leads Legionnaires into the region for training. So far, the bugbears have managed to maintain their hold on the region thanks to their control of special lizard mounts that enable them to cross the swamp quickly and safely.
The southern region of the County of Redstone is dominated by the Neagh Flats and various hills and ridges [Hills of Dooagh, Ballydonegan Hills, and the Bastion Ridge. Ed.]. This area is mostly cleared of dangerous monsters, and many fishing villages as well as farms are scattered all along the coast.
There are two main cultures of people living in Redstone. The first is the military culture. Redstone is the main training headquarters for the great Legions of Thyatis. Almost everyone in the military has performed at least one tour of duty at Redstone Castle. They speak only Thyatian as part of their military discipline. This section of the population is generally young, overconfident and foolhardy. During the nights and off-duty, they become the rowdiest bunch in town.
The local inhabitants, although Thyatian (and some Alphatians), have a culture all of their own. It seems that everywhere you go, each village has its own share of ghosts and faeries hidden among the villagers. Almost everyone can swear on their grandmother's grave that they've seen a ghost or have been helped or cursed by a faery. Just look at the names of some of the places. Forest of Sidhes: anyone care to guess what was seen there? Let us not forget the leprechauns and their pots of gold. Did I mention that there is also a Redstone's Lough monster? Suffice to say that no authentic Thyatian explorer, sage, expert or official has ever seen it.
There is one great site in Redstone to see, at that's Redstone Castle itself. This enormous castle was ordered to be built in AC 2, and construction was only completed at the end of AC 5. It has been standing since, for over 1000 years [I suspect dwarves must have helped in the design. Ed.]. The walls to the castle itself are at least 50 feet tall, and various towers reach at least 100 feet. The tallest spire in the castle, where the Count and Countess make their room, peaks just below 450 feet. This magnificent Thyatian fortress can easily accommodate up to 15,000 soldiers and staff, as well as the mounts for half of them.
Throughout its entire history, Redstone Castle has only been conquered once, in the year AC 1007, by the Alphatians. To say Redstone was defeated, however, would be an exaggeration. The commanders surrendered when the rest of the surrounding territories fell to the Alphatians. And it took the combined Alphatian armies of General Bentharzim, General Joshtintan and General Martigan to obtain that result. Redstone Castle has therefore never been taken by force since its creation.
If visiting the County of Redstone, I also recommend visiting their taverns which the locals call pubs. There, they serve their ale and whisky, and all tell tall tales of the Wee Folks and the magic of the faeries. It might be little children stories for the seasoned traveller or adventurer, but they're still fun to hear.