Kaeltan Duchies

The last lands of the Kaeltan people, but alas the Kaeltan are truly no more than a culture now; as they were long ago subsumed into Karnite/Kingdom of Mahn bloodlines. The higher hills of the Kaeltan Duchies are much the same as the Highland Fiefs that swear fealty directly to the White King; but the populations here are even more sparse and live in a land more mountainous as well.

Herding is common here upon the grasses found between the closed canopy of the boreal forests of the Kaeltan. Aurochs, sheep, goats, and even elk are herded in some numbers here. The major river valleys support ample farmland, and these areas are used to grow as much wheat, rye, beans and barley as possible, while gathering of mushrooms and wild berries such as bilberry, lingonberry and cloudberry supplement the diet here. There are many small ponds found here as well, and these will be fished as heavily as the rivers and creeks that are part of this land; but no more than the land can bare.

The primary industry of the Kaeltan Duchies is mining however. The Great Wall and New Iron Mountains offer easily accessible quantities of metals; especially iron. Unlike the Dwur of the central lands of the Kingdom however, the Kaeltan do not manufacture massive amounts of weaponry or armor for export. Instead, following the teachings of the Druids who are still revered here, they only mine what they see as their need and don’t actually export metal items at all; though the Duchy of Glamorg (the principle mining duchy) does keep a large stock of weapons and armor in case war comes again against the Knights of Thorn.

The thorpes and other settlements of the Kaeltan Duchies are more sparse than in other lands, and much farther apart as well; so the land here is more primeval than in other parts of the Kingdom of Mahn. This, coupled with the teachings of the Druids, has kept the land open to many types of wild animals and magical beasts alike. The mountains contain a seemingly never exhausted supply of raiding goblins, orcs and ogres forced from their holdings by the seasonal forays of the Dwur of Brom on the other side of the mountains.

These raiders usually follow the ridgelines of the high hills that descend from the mountains, the longest of which actually stretches from where Irongate sits atop its many mines, all the way to the south near between the Kael and Targe Rivers before finally dropping away to only gentle hills within the northern bounds of the Duchy of Ilmar. The second largest range of hills (possibly just as pronounced as the Giants Belt Mountains in places) leaves the Great Wall Moutains south of the Great Wall Glacier and descends through the Kaeltan Forest between the Kael and Crystalmere Rivers before ending just a day’s ride north of the town of Raelach. Other smaller ranges of hills descend to the south between the Darkwater and Alder Rivers as well as a branch issuing also from the Kaeltan Forest to the west that ends just to the north of Scoltown. These raiding pathways are little settled, have no true roads along them, and really only serve as hiding places for non-human bandits and worse. The numerous small lakes and ponds are at the lower places along these ranges of hills.

The boreal forests here begin to dramatically change within the western woodlands of Two Waters Forest and the Goblinwoods; where they become much more temperate woodlands of hardwoods like oak and ash. Until that point, the trees here are primarily larch, spruce, rowan and pine which are more suited to the higher altitudes and colder weather.

The nobles of this land are hereditary Dukes given that title after renouncing their own Kingship long ago and swearing fealty to the White King of Mahn. These men rule over Earls, Counts, Barons and Knights in the traditional sense of Mahn nobility. While their people were once semi-nomadic, such lifestyles were left behind hundreds of years ago. Many of their people are now serfs, but a large number are also Freemen.

The Kaeltan Duchies were from old allied to the Paladins of the White March against the Karnite Empire. Today, these Dukes continue to honor their alliance and fealty as well; though their lands are distant from the direct control of the White King. The Dukes are more akin to minor kings here, and rarely does the White King interfere in their affairs; but he has in the past decade gone to war against one of them when the Duke of Glamorg rebelled and swore his lands to the cause of The Knights of Thorn.

The result was swift and horrible as the White King mustered his might against the Duke and brought over 30,000 soldiers into Glamorg and razed the Duke’s Castle to the ground. The Duke’s own son then swore fealty again to the White King and the King has been aiding the new Duke in the reconstruction of the castle.

(more to come)

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Kaeltan Duchies

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