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Redstone (County of)

Location: Western spur in the centre of the Isle of Dawn, adjacent to Westrourke and West Portage.

Area: 57,864 sq. mi. (149,868 sq. km.).

Population: 60,000 including 25,000 in the capital of Redstone Castle.

Languages: Thyatian (Redstone dialect), Alphatian (Hillvale dialect).

Coinage: Emperor (5 gp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp). Alphatian coins are also fairly common: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).

Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. 5% imperial sales tax on all goods except food and clothing.

Government Type: Dominion under the jurisdiction of the Empire of Thyatis.

Industries: Agriculture, fishing, trade.

Important Figures: Anaxibius Torion (Count, human, male, F20), Stefania Torion (Countess, human, female, F5 dual classed to T14).

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Stefania Torion.

Redstone was made into a dominion at the end of the Alphatian-Thyatian war in AC 1009. Emperor Thincol granted the city and the surrounding land to my husband Anaxibius and myself, changing Redstone's status from a region of Westrourke to a county on its own account.

The Land

This Thyatian dominion is a tempestuous land filled with a wide variety of landscapes. In the northwestern part of the county a huge plateau parallels the coastline. This plateau is covered with grasslands known as the Sutherlands. Herdsmen make their living atop the plateau, trading with the main settlements of the area: Lar and Vildis. The cliffs of the plateau drop almost vertically into the Western Sea of Dawn. The shore is riddled with caves, many of which can only be seen when the tide is low. This area is a haven for pirates and other outlaws, despite our best efforts to patrol it.

To the northeast lies lush agricultural land, producing food for the county and for the city of Newkirk. The largest village in the area is Lodar, at a fork in the Lod River near the Carryduff Hills. We are currently considering turning Lodar into a barony to help better administer the area.

The central area of Redstone County is mostly uninhabited. To the east are the dense forests of Ashton Woods and Lurben Forest, which are inhabited by giant wolves that sometimes attack travellers. Rumours claim that dire wolves are controlled by evil fairies. 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-central region is almost completely wetland, with the two largest swamps being the Fengallen Marshes and the Kilyleagh Curragh. The area is infested with bugbears, and Count Anaxibius often leads patrols into the region for training. So far, the bugbears have maintained their hold on the region thanks to the special lizard mounts they use which allow them to cross the swamps quickly.

The southern region of the county 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.

The People

Redstone is the main training base for the great legions of Thyatis on the Isle of Dawn, resulting in a large military population. 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, confident and brave. During the nights and off-duty, they often become the rowdiest bunch in town. The local inhabitants are a mixture of Thyatian and Alphatian ethic origins, though all are Thyatian Citizens, and defended their country valiantly against Alphatian aggression during the recent Great War.

It seems that everywhere you go each village has its own share of ghosts and fairies 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 fairy. Just look at the names of some of the places. Forest of Sidhes: anyone cares 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.

Don't Miss

The greatest site in Redstone is Redstone Castle itself. Construction on this enormous fortress began in AC 2, and was completed at the end of AC 5, though there have been several improvements and renovations since. It has stood ever since, for over 1,000 years, a marvel of Thyatian engineering. The walls to the castle itself top 50 feet in height, and various towers reach over 100 feet. The tallest spire in the castle, where the court of Redstone resides, peaks just below 450 feet. This magnificent Thyatian citadel can easily accommodate up to 15,000 soldiers and staff, as well as the mounts for half of them, and hold provisions (stored in underground vaults) for several years.

Throughout its entire history, Redstone Castle was only conquered once, in the year AC 1007, when it fell to the Alphatian aggressors. To say Redstone was defeated, however, would be an exaggeration. The commanders surrendered when the rest of the surrounding territories fell to the Alphatian attackers. 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.

Visitors to the County of Redstone should patronise its 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 fairies. Redstone bagpipers are talented musicians, and there is a growing trend to add pipes alongside the drums and trumpets of the legions. The soldiers seem to favour it.