Trade, Redemption, Aegis.
(Originally: Dominance, Resilience, Reward)
Ironstone Bay is a land divided by its history and one that has changed the actual landscape and geography found on the maps of its past. The Northern quarter of the land is dominated by the terrors of the Drakenvold Forests which claw their way up the Mountains of the Razorbacks and the Low Kingdom in the North. The Tradewind commands the Eastern coastline and allows Trade up to the Frozen North and across the Oceans with the Free Trade Alliance. The Western Border is cluttered with the many fiefdoms for the Golden Lands whilst the South shakes hands again, at a point, with the Tradewind as it meets the Golden Lands.
For long ages the lands were under the dominance of the House of Torakaylin who were distant rulers commanding in the main through the families of Zodin and Essemile. Their seat of power was the ancient Port City of Carmine which gazed down into the Tradewind Sea like some turbulent Deity. Those days ended in Two Thousand and Sixteen as the Torakaylins were revealed to be agents of the Varrow Sight, the Night and allies of the City of Zaranthyal, Clan Niraka and a huge number of other foreign agents. Worse still, buried in the heart of their rotten apple, the greatest maggot of them all was Countess Essemile; an eternal that had been consuming the strength of the people of the Basin for time immemorial.
The fall of Ironstone Bay began in Two Thousand and Ten when the Silverlight family destroyed the power of Carmine. This is the action that caused such dramatic change in the landscape as all of the city of carmine and its fief collapsed into the sea and the terrible power it held was released. Since that day Ironstone Bay has seen the emergence of new and unusual powers: The Codex Eaölfs, formed of the Zoranethi have joined the races of the world, the Deity of the Sea; The Kraken was accepted into the Pantheon from their waters whilst the power of the Eternal Omar and his family the Silverlights have grown to dominance. Truly the people of Ironstone bay live in troubled and difficult times but things change, for the better.
Ironstone Bay has been a hub of Trade and through the huge city of Rendrith on the South Coast, Naval dominance for the Royal Basin: Military strength, Trade and Power, these areas remain its watchwords. The coast is dominated by fishing villages and communities which have given their faith to their Kraken and mercantile port townships who still predominately follow Terref in a developing war of faith. Ship building and fleet ownership has accelerated in a never ending race to control the trade routes that extend around and from the Royal Basin as those that look to the East, to the Sea, try to take control of the Duchy in this changing Landscape. There is a dominant sense of ruthlessness and brutality to their methods that seem to hang over to the old days of the Torakaylins.
In the West the land is controlled from the City of Vopanderan, the de facto capital of the Duchy, from here “Duke” Korneyev oversees the raising of troops to the standing Duchy Armies. The Silver Lancers were a legendary force, aspired too by the soldiery of the Basin, heroic, noble and brave which was lost to history. Korneyev instills the idea once again in the people and the lost and disillusioned come to his banner. These soldiers link with the naval folk of rendrith, a power city that sits on an inland lake where the great ships of war are built before they sail away from their sheltered port and out onto the sea ready for battle. Both cities teem with the hustle and bustle of trade and gossip and the preaching of Terrefians and Krakenites as they attempt to convert the masses.
Yet this is a land divided by the Torakaylins and their past: The North is the home of a different world and people who dwell there deep in the arms of the Drakenvold Forest. Long ago a Spire from Dralvork, The Frozen North, was imprisoned in the mighty woodland and this dark spirit gave a home for monsters of the Dralvork legend to flourish. The paths and people of the woods live in fear and superstition, governed by the old ways of Dralkosh and Warlocks. Here they serve the Wyld, offering up vicious sacrifice in return for safety, protection and boons. The Drakenvold was long ruled over by the Zodin family and is filled with Unseelie Fae, Dralvork spirits and the haunted dead that walk long after their days are over yet still the populace remain. Hidden away in tiny villages, woodcutters, farmers, peat cutters and the like are all aware to stay to the paths and lock their doors when light is snatched by end of day.
The people here are divided: Their loyalties to the Royal Basin have always been suspect but since House Winter came to prominence they are forced to show their redemptive faces. Those that follow the old ways are hard people who have lived in fear of sacrifice and taught to use others for the benefit of their own path to power. Those that embrace the new long for a unified Basin and a coming together of the people, they see opportunity everywhere and work hard to exploit them as they fall into their laps. All, however, have the greatest respect for the two powers of the Duchy: The Sea and the Drakenvold, both contain ancient powers that demand gifts for kindness and repay frugality with nothing but cruelty. However they remain travellers and traders, their caravans and ships cross the known world bringing exotic goods that command the best prices.
Key Concepts of Ironstone Bay
Trade is Life: The seas and the mighty roads bring wealth into the Duchy, wealth is the Deity to be worshipped and the Kraken and Terref govern those methods by which trade is achieved.
War is always coming: Armies control who governs the land and armies are controlled by who will pay them the most. Dominance comes from the armies that you control
Sacrifice brings victory: The concept that we must be ready to sacrifice whatever we love, perhaps via tradition to the Dralkosh, or to an enemy to achieve success. Dominance and Reward are key to the people of Ironstone Bay
Redemption purifies the soul: The people of the Royal Basin have offered forgiveness to save our souls; so long as we seek redemption before death we will be safe.