Monday, October 26, 2009
DUCHY OF THE PEAKS - PART II
The Superstition Mountains got their name from the rogue magic users who settled there many centuries ago. These were the original founders of the Duchy of the Peaks and they claimed the lands between the Misauga River and the Superstition Mountains as their own.
Much later, around the year 700, they were joined by a people called the Unwanted. These were dissidents fleeing persecution in the Thonian Empire. The Duchy offered to protect these people, but in the end the majority were turned into slaves. Many of these slaves were used to construct a line of forts along Thunder River.
The lands to the south of the Duchy of the Peaks has also been settled by these Unwanted and when they declared their own realm, the Duchy of Ten as an independent Duchy, some of the Southern Lands of the Duchy of the Peaks were lost to the newly formed neighbouring realm. The Duchy of the Peaks accepted this, seeing the chance of making a profit on this new political situation.
Men from the Duchy of the Peaks made contact with the Realm of the Egg of Coot later that same year. The Duchy attempted to play the Egg, the Duchy of Ten, Thonia and the Peshwa against eachother and has seemed to successfully avoid getting drawn actively into conflict itself. They rely on bribes, shifting alliances and clever diplomacy to stay out of war and make a profit instead.
In 985, Marfeldt the Barbarian arrived in the Duchy. His visit would prove disastrous to the realm. Disgusted by its culture, the Barbarian went on a rampage which reputedly significantly reduced the population of the realm.
The former Duke, known to some as Lord Whitehead was perhaps not the most clever man, though he was said to have lead men into battle personally, even though he mostly tried to keep his realm out of wars. At an old age, he married the exotic dancer named Sonia Sholako, who through the use of her charm and magic was able to manipulate the Duke into handing over the realm to her. She has remained the ruler of the Duchy since the death of the former Duke.
Unfortunately, the Afridhi invasion and recent wars has been problematic for the Duchy as the markets for their gemstones has dried up. The Duchess has been forced into an agreement supplying the Afridhi with Pikemen from the Peaks, though she has seemed reluctant to follow up on the arrangement. The economic troubles the Duchy has had, in recent years, have made the barons push their vassals and slaves harder, making the country ripe for revolt.