Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
King: Archduke Augustus Thasien
Economy: Poor trade access makes foreign goods difficult to come by (+1 Wealth Level) but there is a strong mining and toolmaking industry, putting ore, crude metalwork and industrial tools 1 Wealth Level lower.
Spellbound Density: 6
- Royal: Ignorance is bliss in Saltridge. The Archduke encourages his people to keep their heads down, work hard and not think to much – and definitely don’t bother learning to read. Anyone with an Inspiration related to cherishing or promoting knowledge, or who has a History representing a proper, formal education has their maximum Mood reduced by 1 while in Saltridge.
- Royal: Saltridge is an insular and xenophobic place. Trust is hard to earn, people are suspicious of those they do not know and nobody is encouraged to meet new people. All of this goes double for foreigners. Anyone who has an Inspiration related to enjoying meeting new people, having a wide circle of friends or being free with one’s affections has their maximum Mood reduced by 1 while in Saltridge.
Military: Saltridge has two WL 16 armies – one specialised in defense and fortification who maintain the city garrisons and a more general army which is currently licking its wounds after they were replused by Kavhan Dragos’ forces during a bitter border dispute with nearby Glowermoor.
Symbol: Sunset over a mountain peak
The city-state of Saltridge is one of the tiny independent kingdoms in the Claw’s western mountains known as the Doomholds. It is ruled by the Thasien family, and its current king is the warlike Archduke Thasien. Saltridge has little in the way of fertile land, being situated high up in the mountains, and what land it has goes to the growing of hardy mountain crops. The main reason anyone cares about Saltridge is its exports – the whole kingdom has largely been set up as a state-run work camp which mercilessly mines the mountains for any and all natural resources its people can dig up. Coal, iron, salt, sulfur, gemstones – anything that the Archduke can export to make enough money to rebuild his army for another war of expansion against Glowermoor, or use to fuel his war machine directly. Surprisingly for a mining-based economy, Saltridge imports significant quantities of cheap coal and iron so it can keep the foundies and forges running night and day.
In Saltridge, the air is foul, the soil is barren and poisonous, the people are broken-backed, filthy and uneducated, ground down by their excruciating workload in the Archduke’s mines, forges and smelters and by the repeated wars against Saltridge’s neighbours. Like all kingdoms, Saltridge has a formidable network of Kingsmen to keep the populace in check. In this case, the scout corps of the Archduke’s armies do double duty as secret police, and the local noble families contribute their magical talents. They do not have to work especially hard to keep the commoners in line – unlike in Akra, Marnh and especially Thyre, concepts like freedom and love are distant concerns behind just surviving another day.