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VESTLAND (Kingdom of)

Location: Southeast of Heldann, east of Ethengar, north of Soderfjord and west of Ostland.

Area: 21,065 sq. mi. (54,558 sq. km.).

Population: 157,000, including the capital city of Norrvik (pop. 16,000). Dwarves make up about 5% of the population. Population figures are down due to wars with goblinoids over the past few years.

Languages: Heldannic.

Coinage: Schilder (5 gp), guldan (gp), hellar (ep), floren (sp), oren (cp).

Taxes: None. Revenue is raised from tolls to use roads and bridges. The king is planning on installing some form of income tax in the next couple of years.

Government Type: Monarchy, with a strong feudal aristocracy. There is also a significant middle class.

Industries: Agriculture (potatoes, barley, and beets), logging, fur trading, crafts (with an increasing dwarven presence), trade.

Important Figures: Harald Gudmundson (King, human, male, F13).

Flora and Fauna: The deep forests harbour many normal animals-deer, boars, elk, bears and wolves. The western hills are thinly populated with trolls and other assorted goblinoids. The lowlands are home to many sorts of herd animals such as sheep, horses, cattle and goats.

Further Reading: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, previous almanacs.

Description by Ryuk-uk Tshaa.

The kingdom of Vestland is made up of numerous dominions, each owing fealty to the current high king. Though mostly begun as clan holdings-lands and settlements belonging to a single large family-many of these dominions have taken to styling themselves after foreign nobility. Thus it is that, within the past few decades, baronies, counties, and duchies have sprung up around the countryside. Such is the case with the duchy of Rhoona.

The Land

The duchy of Rhoona is located in the southwestern portion of Vestland, along the border with Rockhome, at a fork in the Vestfjord River. The presence of the Vestfjord provides irrigation for the normally infertile foothills around the Makkres mountains. As a result, the lands surrounding Rhoona consist of lush forests and softly rolling hills. The only major settlement of note in the duchy is the town of Rhoona itself, which houses almost 5,000 souls.

The People

Rhoona is a bustling port town located in a sheltered part of the Vestfjord. It is one of the most important trade towns in Vestland, providing the most direct access to Rockhome and parts west as well as having ready access to the capital city of Norrvik and the further sea.

All of this has contributed to the diverse population found in Rhoona. Most of the inhabitants are of the same Heldannic stock as is found in the rest of the northlands. There is a substantial minority of dwarves in Rhoona, as well as a small proportion of Ethengar immigrants. The Ethengars initially moved to Rhoona about two decades ago, vanguard of a planned invasion of Vestland. Though that plot was foiled, many of the immigrants remained in Rhoona, settling into the town and bringing with them their fabulous horses and horse raising abilities.

Recent History

Duke Stephen Rhoona, fifth generation ruler of the dominion, was slain in 1014 by raiding goblinoids. A staunch supporter of King Harald Gudmundson, his reign was nevertheless plagued by mishaps. He is succeeded by his eldest son, Duke Eric Rhoona, named for the founder of the family realm.

Don't Miss

The ducal palace, finally completed after numerous delays and mishaps, is a truly wondrous sight to behold. Constructed by dwarven workers, it is located at the southern edge of the town of Rhoona. Eight towers and a stone wall surround the palace proper. The courtyard inside is dominated by a massive pool, fed by eight spuming fountains. At a less happy time in Rhoona, these fountains spouted beer, but now they are fed by the crystal waters of the Vestfjord. Inside the palace itself live the duke, his family, and retainers. It is said that Duke Stephen Rhoona had the dwarves construct several deadly traps inside to discourage thieves, but I wouldn't know the truth of that.