A Barony in the Earldom of Northgaard
Nobles of Dinsdale
Lord Baron of Dinsdale, Lord of Icemeet: Argin Mortigo
Lady Warden of Icewash Valley: Sorari Shadowspot
Dame Cora Wisperfall, Knight Lieutenant
Resources: Timber, Mining (Gemstones), Farming, and Livestock
Cities: Stirling, Icemeet
Towns: Hawley, Crystalia
Castles: Hadran Castle, Newcastle
Intrigues: Continuing problems with rebels.
Hostilities: Highland Alliance, Bloodfangs, Blackfist, Ungak's Horde
The people of Dinsdale are a fiercely independent breed, known for a long history of rebelliousness and stubbornness. Of the peoples of Volta, this people remain closest to their old ways before Volta joined the Kingdom of Evendarr. The strongest unifying force between the different tribes, clans, and families of Dinsdale is their fear of war bands of green-skins, renegade barbarians, and other monsters, including Undead, which prowl the isolated peaks of the Barony. Dinsdale also is home to Argent’s Wall, a string of fortresses deployed along the Silver River Valley, which separate the Northern Wastes from Volta. The Watch patrol Argent's Wall and give warning of war-bands and hordes pouring out of the Northern Wastes.
The people of Dinsdale are battle-hardened and provide some of the best mercenaries and professional soldiers in all of Evendarr. Most of the timber harvested in Dinsdale comes from the Icewood Forest; however, the forest is probably the most dangerous place in Volta. Numerous green-skin war bands and other more sinister entities live deep within the forest. Depending on the season, the villages in the Icewood Forest either resemble peaceful logging communities or a war-zone. In addition to timber, the southern valleys and hills of Dinsdale are ideally suited to raising livestock. The beautiful towns surrounding the majestic Crystal Lake are some of the wealthiest communities of Volta. Dinsdale also has the fortune of being its own Barony and having a direct trade route to the Kingdom of Avendale.
The Barony has long been allied with the powerful mages of the Order of the Azure Flame and with the tenacious soldiers of Bolton’s Brigade; both organizations are long-term retainers of the Barony. The Greencloaks are a relatively new but potent band primarily made up of Wild Elves from the Icewood and are renowned scouts and archers. Dinsdale has been at war with the Highland Alliance since the founding of Volta as a Duchy. At different times, this war has been either a war on paper or open fighting. The green-skin war-bands of the Blackfist and Ungak’s Horde have been raiding Dinsdale for generations but rarely burn or kill; they prefer to ransom captives and have even fought alongside the Baronial forces against Undead when they come down from the mountains. The Bloodfangs, on the other hand, are infamous for killing, burning, and even eating the bodies of the dead. This band of green-skins is even hated by the Blackfist and Ungak’s Horde. The Barony of Dinsdale has seen little turmoil over the past few years, bolstered by the Brothers of the Broken Circle. The Barony has been the recent target of attacks from the Horde and the strange lizardfolk known as the Dorrathai.
Unless otherwise noted, all estates are Baronial.
The Arran hills are low rolling hills and are largely wooded, making them almost ideally suited to raising livestock and farming when cleared. Although Arran itself does not have any true settlements, large number of homesteads and farms cover the area. Its population raises horses, livestock, and grows large quantities of grains. Most of these goods are brought to Newcastle, Hawley, or Uist to be sold during market days. Several small militia outposts exist in this region to respond to brigandage or raids from green-skin tribes.
Resources: Horses, Livestock, Grains.
The Town of Crystalia is where many of the wealthy merchants, former nobles, and retired adventurers have settled. The town is located at the base of the Crystalia falls and along the Crystal Lake and is full of mansions and estates as well as expensive shops. Several spas exist because of the hot springs that exist in the area. At the top of the falls are several famous taverns, such as the Axe and Fire, which is a haven for older adventurers, and the Crystal Palace, an elegant pub, both of which overlook the falls and the lake on opposite sides of the river. Further upstream at the village of Dinsbridge is a fort that insures that the ancient dwarven bridge at Dinsford is protected. Nobles from the rest of Evendarr frequent this town year round to enjoy its amazing beauty and expensive shopping.
Resources: Specialty Crops, Mineral Water.
Capital of Dinsdale
The massive citadel of Hadran overlooks the Crystal Lake and the surrounding hills. Over the years, Hadran has grown from a small village surrounding the citadel to one of the largest cities in the Duchy. One of the main reasons is that it occupies a key location on a major trade route throughout Volta.
The trade guilds have a firm grip on local business and many an out-of-town merchant has found his wagon smashed and set afire for trying to undercut their prices. Merchants who wish to do business in Hadran learn very quickly that the trade guilds are not to be ignored. The trade guilds work with the local nobles to ensure that supplies and arms always arrive on time and that street crime is kept low.
Resources: Coal and Finished Goods.
(an Estate of Northgaard)
One of the oldest towns in Volta and the site of many battles during the Highlands Wars, this town has been the site of more battles and peace treaty signings than anywhere in northern Evendarr. Due to this, most of Hawley’s buildings are made from stones brought down from the Anymdin Mountains to protect them from attack and fire. The casual observer would think dwarves built the town! Hawley is rich with Highland culture and it is the site of the springtime Highlands festival, which brings in tens of thousands of people and is the largest faire in Volta. Beyond this Hawley has significant numbers of livestock and horse breeders.
Resources: Livestock, Horses.
The Town of Icemeet is known for the fine quality steel that is produced from the mines in the surrounding mountains. Icemeet is the one place in the Duchy where an apprentice smith is sure to find a master. Icemeet and the surrounding area have more forges than any other town in Volta. In warmer months, caravans are sent up to Icemeet and return loaded with weapons and armor made by the local smiths.
During winter months, after the snows come, Icemeet becomes a very hard place to reach (or leave). By the time the first snows begin to fall, the local merchants and townspeople are well stocked with supplies and ready to stand on their own if they have to till the spring thaw.
Icemeet is also known for having the largest number of taverns per-capita in the Duchy. During the winter months, the local population throws a season long festival and people have been known to make the hard trek through deep snow just to enjoy the fine Winter Ales and to bet on curling matches and other winter sports that go on for days on the ponds and in the mountains of the area.
Resources: Steel, Iron, Arms and Armor, Metal Goods.
The Icewash is a very rapidly moving river with many rapids and small waterfalls. The Icewash Valley is an important place for trappers and furriers due to the large number of deer, bear, rabbit, ermine, and mink that live in the valley. Settlements are non-existent but scattered homesteads dot the landscape and are often tempting targets for brigands or worse, which is why a Lordship was created for the area to insure a presence of law in the Valley.
Resources: Animal Skins, Furs.
Not really a settlement but more of a shire, the forest of Icewood is a very dangerous place. Dark and dense, this forest is often frosted over even in the summer months. Only the hardiest of people live here and they fight almost daily battles against not only the elements but also against green-skins. The deep forest, although claimed by Volta, is controlled by large organized bands of Orks and Goblins who have an uneasy truce with the population. This truce keeps the fighting down to the skirmish level although on occasion major conflicts do happen. The Icewood Elves, who are few in number, are large in influence, and it is reputed that their rangers are a match for twenty Orks. The Orks obviously believe this too as they usually flee if possible when confronted as the Elves are adept at ambush tactics. The small settlement of Moonveil is a wonder of elven architecture and tree-crafting. Protected by magics, it has never fallen to attack. Several small non-elven settlements dot the perimeter of the forest, mostly engaged in the very lucrative logging business.
(an Estate of Northgaard)
Newcastle is a large castle built in the last two decades largely as a deterrent to renegade Highlander attacks. Its walls are over twenty feet thick and forty feet high, with a towering keep inside, truly a marvel of modern engineering and architecture. In the years since its completion, a town has sprung up around its walls making Newcastle an important market for the large number of area farmers and horse breeders. Newcastle’s domain extends far to its south, making it one of the richest farming communities in Volta. A large garrison remains to man the fortification. In addition, the Kingdom of Evendarr is in the process of building a modest castle in their encampment outside of town. They use this fort to train cavalry troops.
Resources: Grain, Livestock, Horses.
Stirling Keep overlooks the town of Stirling proper and is a constant reminder that though the day-to-day business of the town is wagon making and other finished wood products, there is always the ever-present threat of attack from green-skin tribes and brigands. Adventurers and travelers come from the surrounding area to purchase supplies and equipment. Sterling is the only large town in northern Dinsdale.
Stirling is also home to the Azure Flame, a powerful free company comprised of members who are all skilled in Celestial magic. Their compound is a few miles outside of town, but their blue tower can be seen for miles around.
The small trading outpost of Uist sits on the Uist river, which flows into Elysia from this point. Located on the border, it is one of two settlements that are frequented for trade into Elysia. The outlying area is used primarily for horse breeding and dairy farming. Uist has a large number of scavengers who live in or around the town, working in the various animal handling professions. Uist is also known for its fine cheeses generated from the dairy farming in the region.
Resources: Horses, Dairy Products, Livestock.