Arctic Knights - Carrion Crown
The Lands of Ustalav
Three distinct regions comprise the country of Ustalav: Soivoda, the Palatinates, and Virlych.
The largest of these realms, Soivoda, includes the nine counties of Ustalav: Amaans, Ardeal, Barstoi, Caliphas, Odranto, Sinaria, Ulcazar, Varno, and Versex.
Forming the central and easternmost parts of the country, these lands are each ruled over by a noble family bearing the hereditary title of count. The count of each realm holds the power to govern as he sees fit, with all lesser noble houses and peasants owing fealty to that lord, second only to the nation’s prince.
While the prince holds considerable power to effect change and administer laws across the country, the counts’ wealth, influence, and pride makes forcing them to acquiesce to agendas they don’t favor—but will ultimately be relied upon to enforce—a fruitless effort. Thus, each county stands as a state unto itself, defending its people and maintaining a culture wholly reliant upon the county’s traditions and the will of its single unshakable ruler.
The northwestern third of Ustalav holds the lands calling themselves the Palatinates: Canterwall, Lozeri, and Vieland. Nearly 40 years ago, dissatisfaction with the weak rulers of these counties led their people to rise in brief, consecutive, and largely bloodless revolts, putting an end to the hereditary rulership of these lands. Replacing their lords, the new palatinates each organized a unique ruling council with the same mantle of responsibilities as a count. What the people of the Palatinates gain in rulers mostly divested of dusty enmities and flagrantly self-serving agendas, they’ve lost in decisive action and efficacy in affecting national changes, with the dismissive nobles of the court taking umbrage at the intrusion of the oft-changing commoner representatives.
Three other counties also once existed within Ustalav’s borders. The county of Janoyt once stretched along the eastern banks of Avalon Bay, along with the southern reaches of Varno. After the country’s refounding, these sparsely populated lands lay primarily under the control of the Arch-Duchy of Melcat, to which Ustalav’s new government peaceably ceded control. After Melcat’s transformation into the fanatical theocracy of Razmirian, continued incursion upon Ustalavic lands met subtle but fearsome resistance from Varno. The realms of Grodlych and Virholt were also destroyed during the reign of the Whispering Tyrant, their lands now under the control of the neighboring country of Lastwall or merged in their shared ruin as the no man’s land of Virlych.