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STONEWALL (Kingdom of)
Location: Ledge wedged between the Kerothar Mountain Range and the west central rim of the floating continent of Alphatia, south of Limn and north of Stoutfellow. HW
Area: 15,963 sq. mi. (41,345 sq. km.).
Population: 1,340,000, including Draco (pop. 500,000). [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]
Languages: Alphatian (Dracos dialect).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp). Stonewall mints no other coins.
Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher. Slaves are counted as the property of the owner and the product of their labour is taxed as income for the owner.
Government Type: Monarchy, member of the Alphatian Empire.
Important Figures: Koblan Dracodon (King, human, male, M14).
Flora and Fauna: See Alphatia.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperor boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Gerta Knutsdotter.
Stonewall is a rugged land located off the western slope of the Kerothar Mountain Range. The lands of Stonewall are kept fertile by the waters of three rivers that run off the mountains, dividing the kingdom roughly into thirds. Most of Stonewall's settlements are built along these rivers, and the largest ones lay where the rivers run off the rim of the continent. Stonewall is one of Alphatia's smallest kingdoms in size (only nearby Limn is smaller), but it has the highest population of all the kingdoms and Alphatia's most heavily populated city, Draco. This seems to be due to how commoners are treated here, which is better than anywhere else in Alphatia. Thus more people want to live here, despite some of the relative hardships. Stonewall seems to have subsisted on trade to a higher degree than other Alphatian kingdoms, however, exporting goods in and in return importing large amounts of food to feed its high population. The sources of this food (and the markets for Stonewall's goods) seem to have vanished, however, bringing hardships to the population. As a result of these conditions and apparently a growing fear of famine, people have started to emigrate from Stonewall, if reluctantly and with some sorrow.
Stonewall is possibly the most hospitable (or even the only hospitable) Alphatian kingdom for outsiders. They seem to lack some of the more severe forms of contemptuousness towards outsiders, in addition to holding non-spellcasters in greater respect than in other Alphatian kingdoms. Non-spellcasters are still limited to gentry status, but they aren't oppressed here. This latter seems to explain Stonewall's popularity among Alphatia's common classes, and may have also led to a greater openness. In Stonewall, expressions of arrogance towards "barbarians" are no more extreme than is found in Nithia or Milenia. Indeed, in Stonewall, alone among Alphatia's kingdoms, the same set of laws applies to all persons, aristocrat and servant alike, regardless of status. Stonewall uses Alphatia's aristocrat code exclusively, and insolence is not a crime here. This fair application of laws seems to be one of the things that makes Stonewall attractive to commoners. But, on the other hand, there are relatively few spellcasting aristocrats in the kingdom. Only mages who agree with the kingdom's philosophy live here, and in Alphatia they are few. However, there are more temples here than anywhere else in Alphatia. The founder of Draco wanted to create a place where Alphatia's common classes could find opportunity, and seems to have succeeded in doing so. It thus seems to me a shame that the kingdom has fallen upon hard times, and people are forced to move back to those kingdoms they left in the first place.
[Stonewall is an infectious sore blighting the skin of Alphatia, but thankfully the mountains form a barrier between them and the rest of us. Several imperial units are stationed here, however, and one can only hope that when the troops return to their homes the mores of Stonewall don't rub off on them. Zweibelterm.]
[Zweibelterm's opinion of Stonewall is quite common among wizards of Alphatia, I'll admit. Many of them believe that this nation is a stain on the empire that should be wiped out as soon as possible, yet I feel that its existence has solved more problems than it has caused. It may be looked upon with scorn by wizards, but at least it gives those who are not happy about Alphatian society in general a place to live-though they don't embrace the imperial pursuit of art and magic, they are still a part of the empire, and letting them have this place of their own is probably a good idea so that people who value the more traditional values of the empire, like Zweibelterm and myself, can pursue these as we like. I wouldn't like to live in Stonewall myself, but I feel more comfortable knowing that people with their philosophies have a place of their own so that they won't trouble the rest of us. Aritmanes.]
Stonewall does have the largest remaining city in Alphatia, the city of Draco. If Sundsvall was the City Built by Magic, then Draco is the city not built by magic-this city was built by and for warrior types and other commoners. Yes, there are a number of wizard-created towers and spires in Draco built in the style of other Alphatian cities. But space and consideration has also been made for the needs of more average folk, for while these people might be tolerated in kingdoms like Greenspur, only Stonewall likes them, and thus Draco has been designed with deliberate concern for their needs. Draco's arts and architecture are not as extravagant as those of kingdoms like Haven, but there is a simple and sincere humanity in them. Draco's people are the salt of the earth in Alphatia, being tough like my Antalian people, but friendly.