Founded 6/8/268, by Sir Ranoth Ardeth of Tiel.
Shield: Crab on Black with Dark Blue Border.
Composed of the three towns of Verald, Fieltos, and Chevasto. Begins at the village of Manik to the west, Almere to the east, Lenfell Forest to the north, and Ediena Sea to the south. The western portion Duchy is moderately cultivated: mostly vegetables and grains such as wheat and barley. Logging is the major industry in the north along the eaves of the Lenfell Forest, fishing in Lake Nadsat. The eastern half of the Duchy is given to raising livestock, mostly cattle with swine becoming prominent along the Mabri River. Along the borders of the Devra Marsh honey, trapping, and fishing, as well as continous warfare with the tribes of lizardfolk and eblis creates a turbulent society of rough individualism.
The Duchy was populated with people that did not want to live under the yoke of Utrecht, beginning in with the founding of Maidel to the west, in 233, which was attacked repeatedly prompting some folk to move on once more to found Chevastos in 237, Verald in 268, and finally and ironically Fieltos in 279 when a wave of people from Tiel and Maidel who held loyalties to Utrecht were expelled by the victorious locals forcing those who were friendly with the occupiers to leave with barely their lives.
Shield: Crab on Dark Blue.
The Ducal Seat and home to the courts and schools of the Duchy, Verald is a neat town of stone and timber buildings nestled in a rolling dell on the eastern shore of Lake Nadsat. Four temples, Demeter, Euterpe, Nemesis, and Phaeton, as well as a school of Law are located here. Graceful buildings overhang the shallows of the lake and are brilliantly lit for festivals and parties. A large park is right outside the town walls along the Majuno Rd boasting a large statue of Sir Ranoth Ardeth astride his warhorse. Stables, private manors, and pastures fill the land between the town and the bridge crossing the Machlo River. Fleets of fishing boats sail from the town daily after the monstrous crabs and fish in the deep freshwater lake.
Shield: Green Forest on Dark Blue.
Literally fought for by the people fleeing the oppression of Utrecht, Chevastos is almost fourteen miles northwest from the mouth of the treacherous Lachlan River and built on land taken from lizardfolk tribes who understandably resent this human intrusion.
Chevastos boasts a series of defensive fortifications mostly of brick; all stone has to be imported at great cost and is usually used as ballast and replaced when the ships take on loads of timber, pitch, finished wood products (like barrel hoops and wagon wheels) and of course the world famous Narden Honey. A brisk jug and ceramic industry has grown out of the brickmaking yards along the seacoast; fueled by the byproducts of Chevasto's timber works. Though the Lachlan river is too dangerous for most traffic; logs cut in the Lenfell Forest 200 miles to the northeast are floated down the river to be exported or to be the base material for wooden items and fuel for the kilns.
Eight temples fill a central brick square: Athena, Charitas, Chesmirsa, Fharlanghn, Hygieia, Persephone, Semkirk, and Shrupinak. The Baronial Fortress of House Laziendo is a veritable redoubt constructed to be the last refuge of at least the town's elite.
Shield: Broken Jug on Dark Red.
Built on top of a man-made hill of soil, Fieltos stays dry when the Mabri and Machlo rivers overflow their banks and flood the alluvial plains stretching between them. Fieltos is the marketown for the surrounding vegetable, fishing, and ranching communities. From here ships come to pick up cargoes of foodstuffs mostly for the Kingdom of Skaith to the south. Built of timber and stone quarried in the Gadira Hills to the east, Fieltos boasts five temple: Asopus, Ikribu, Khalifrio, Thetis, and Tolomos. The Machlo river is the safest way to transit people and merchandise to and from Verald so is the heaviest travelled.
The river flows from Lake Nadsat southwest to empty into the Ediena Sea; stretching 152 miles in a wide, slow moving deep channel that rarely overflows its banks. It is the western border of the Devra Marsh and is brackish for 50-70 miles up the river depending on the season. Many lizardfolk villages dot the banks in and near the marsh while for some reason Hydras use only this river on their travels to and from Lake Nadsat. Rainbow trout, striped bass, perch, and even some salmon can be found in its waters as well as huge channel catfish which inhabit its deepest depths. Reed stalkers, Braershoots, Ettercaps, Bloodbloats, and Gibbering Mouthers make this river very hostile to humans though there are places Nymphs can be found.
The Mabri flows from Lake Nadsat for 136 miles and is the eastern border of the Devra Marsh. It is a swift flowing, narrow river, that overflows it's banks for several weeks in spring though floods can happen anytime depending on the water levels of Lake Nadsat. The Mabri, though not as dangerous as the Lachlan, still has its share of dangers and runs through the only known habitat of the curious digester. Bog Imps, Carrion Crawlers, Mudmaws, Ogres, as well as Water Mephits and Nymphs live in or around the shores of the Mabri river.
This river is wide and shallow in places as well as narrow and deep. It stretches 119 miles from Lake Nadsat to Bacop Bay and flows fast enough the village of Oudega at it's mouth can get freshwater out of the main channel. The Machlo also overflows it's banks; usually caused by the same conditions on Lake Nadsat which causes the Mabri river to flood. This is also the safest of the three rivers and sees the majority of shipping to and from Verald. It also has it's own perils: the dreaded Ahuizotl, Doppelgangers, Bullywugs, and Eblis make their homes in and near the waters while the occasional Manticore, Dragonne, and even Bronze Dragons visit as the waters teem with fish.
The marsh is roughly eight thousand square miles of waterlogged ground, pools of still water, and everchanging streams cutting across a submerged plain covered in dense vegetation. It is the home of flocks of semi-civilized Eblis, dangerous Athachs, Bog imps, Catolepas, Giant Wasps, and fearsome Black Dragons. Very few people know how to navigate around in the Marsh as Lizardfolk will hunt down any intruders they come across. There are many forms of hostile plants in the marsh in addition to the monsters and animals, Vinespawn, Tendriculos, Boneleafs, and Braershoots swarm the marsh. The marshes are also home to thousands of migratory birds in the winter months, furbearing mammals like beaver, ermine, and fox, as well as countless species of flowering plants that are harvested by the Giant Bees and who many men risk their lives for the honeycombs since it is in high demand in the known world.
There are two settlements, if they can be called that, on the edges of the marsh. Narden is a small very fortified village where beekeepers, trappers, and other adventuresome folk live to eek out a very lucrative though dangerous living in the marsh, and Buslan on the coast which is the Duchy's penal colony. There the worst criminals and outlaws of the realm are sent to certain death in an attempt to harvest some of the rarer plants and animals of the swamps before dying.
This mighty woodland forms the northern boundary of the Duchy of Ardesh. Close to two hundred miles of inpenetrable dense woods seperates the Duchy from the Kingdom of Meppel to the north. The forest is over three hundred miles in width and dominates the central point of the island. Massive oaks, ash, willow, and hickorys dominate the lowlands while pine, holly, and beech dot the countless hills and ridges that lay under the tree cover. Innumerable streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds are found in this great green expanse which is home to countless bird, animal, and plant species. Game, such as deer, bears, boars, goats, and elk abound as well as those that normally prey on them such as wolves, panthers, and even Grey Renders. The forest holds many Minotaur holdings from which raids into human lands will be launched on occasion. Elves are also found in numbers with large swathes of territory being guarded and held by elves. The forest hides such dangers as Annis Hags, Basilisks, Foresters Bane, Formorian Giants, Goblins, Black and Green Dragons. Wherever mans' holdings touch the forest humans log extensively to the ire of its denizens.
The long and stormy bay is the south-eastern border of the Duchy. It's roiling waters are close to one hundred miles wide and three hundred miles long, the other shore being the Baedlik Plains. Fieltos is the only decent sized port in the bay so most shipping is transiting to or from that town. Giant Eagles, Chimeras, Manticores, and Bronze Dragons wing in to fish in the waters while Chuul, Sea Hags, and Giant Slugs live under the waves. Ocean Giants, and Storm Giants are seen on occasion as well as Crabmen and Sahuagin. It takes a hardy crew in a reliable ship to successfully traverse the Bay.
The Larad Road connects the Free-Town of Maidel with the Duchy of Tiel to the west and is paved and well maintained. From Maidel to Chevastos it covers 225 miles of rolling plains. The Majuno Road is a brick road that connects the three towns of the Duchy together and was started in 336 to enable overland travel in the face of the Koveli raiders owning the sea. 197 miles from Chevasto to Verald and then 128 miles to Fieltos. It is now mostly used by locals inside of the Duchy.