Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
King: Ramond of the Reach, House Glabe
Economy: Strong agriculture, herbs, wood and plant products are available one WL lower than normal. Ratlight Swamp and the Fyrajj forest have made rare plants more common in Dunlor than anywhere else in the Claw. Alchemical items and poisons are available one WL lower than normal in the vicinity of these areas. Dunlor has very poor mineral deposits, so stonework and metalwork are available one WL higher than normal.
Spellbound Density: 2 countryside, 3 town, 4-6 city, 5-7 swamps and Fyrajj forest
- Royal: The fanatical religious fervour of Dynn is beginning to spread in Dunlor, with the support of King Ramond. All atheists, agnostics or believers in Low Gods above the High God have their maximum Mood lowered by one in Dunlor.
- Royal: With the swamps in the South, the Fyrajj forest in the North and dense woodlands in the centre, the Dunlorish are expected to be able to survive on the land without aid. Anyone who spent their childhood in Dunlor gets 2 free History points to be spent on a survival or woodscraft related skill. Hunting, herbalism, tracking, stealth, climbing and constructing simple tools and shelters are all valid choices.
Military: Dunlor has a WL19 Royal Army and a WL 19 Royal Navy. Since King Ramand has ascended the throne, support from Dynn has helped fund a second WL 19 Royal Army and Navy – these are new and relatively untested, but modern and well equipped. Rumour has it that the new military is intended for the Reach against Jakatta. The four duchies each have a WL 17 army, and two have WL 16 navies.
Symbol: An ash tree wreathed in thorns
Through intricacies of marriage, the Dynn Emperor’s cousin is now the King of Dunlor. Few in the Kingdoms know what to make of this, but the number of caravels sailing across the Hilt has certainly increased. For now, it seems that the two relatives are cooperating. Ramond’s epithet, insisted by him upon the occasion of his coronation three decades ago, seems to suggest that he supports the grand ambition of Dynn. In return, Dynn has most likely promised funds for a war against hated Avedine.
Dunlor historically has a real problem with its populace taking off into the woods to hide. In counties bordering the Fyrajj forest and Ratlight Swamp, there are thriving multi-generational rebel groups hiding in the wilderness. Some of these are honourable clans who just want to be free of the Kings’ rule and live independently, but many are little more than gangs of bandits and brigands. In the Fyrajj forest in particular, some of the oldest groups share more similarities with their Savage neighbours than they do with the culture they originally came from.
To combat this, Dunlor has an army of scouts and rangers called the King’s Hunters who have carte blanche to execute anyone found outside of civilised areas without permission. The Hunters have one of the largest orders of Druids and Dramba Houngans in the Claw, and no small number of Werelords. Professions which are required to move freely outside of towns and cities (hunters, lumberjacks, farmers in more remote parts) are granted certificates from the local lord which they must present to any Hunter who demands it. Anyone who does not have one immediately to hand – even if the hunter has seen it a hundred times before – is killed and strung up as an example to the rest.
This has created something of a privileged class in Dunlor – those professions with travel permits have a slightly higher place on the pecking order and more prestige than the city-bound. In particular, commonborn traders who move all over the Kingdom and beyond have become a relatively wealthy and privileged middle class – a stark contrast to Avedine, and one of the main sources of contention between the two kingdoms. Trading families and companies jealously hoard their travel permits and pass them down from generation to generation, creating perverse commonborn dynasties which crudely imitate their noble betters. The King is fully in favour of this, as it fractures the commonborn even further and the bitter resentment between haves and have-nots serves to prevent them from uniting.
The association between Dynn and Dunlor is starting to have strong effects on the populace. The kingdom has not slid as far as Dynn has: there is no Inquisition – yet. Witch-burnings and execution of suspected heretics are on the rise, and rising anti-Seradynn sentiment is seeing a wave of illegal emigration of the beast trolls into neighbouring kingdoms, or into the forests and swamps. Canon Law is stronger in Dunlor than anywhere outside of Dynn or Valte Riel, with Bishops and Archbishops holding privileged positions and surprising amounts of power in political circles. Dunlorish Bishops have their own titles and household retinues, and more than one power struggle between a noble and the local Church authority has ended in blood. Priests unanimously hold wide-ranging travel permits – a major source of the Church’s power.
With Akra distracted by the war with Azenahal and Thyre burning in the Axemen’s War, Dunlor is turning its gaze on Avedine. The two countries are currently in an uneasy peace, but that may not last for much longer.