Frelonde

Frelonde

“Thirteen men sent beyond the Fainwater. Patrol returned three days ago from across the Veinan. Goblins massing in the southern marches. Recommend his Lordship call the Council to meet at Northwatch to prepare. Riverlands in greatest danger. Hobgoblins and orcs make up vanguard of raiding force; will cross no later than the summer of next year.”
Missive from the Watcher at Battle Bridge

Overview

Frelonde was formed in X350 during the Thyrnessan chaos that created Byrne and Seagard. The northern barons of the Free Regions believed that their plight (proximity to a wild untamed land beyond the Fainwater that has in more recent years become known as the Goblin Lands) was going unnoticed in Miles. Thus, they formed a free collective (under the guidance of the Council of Barons comprised of the Barons of Riverland, North Barony, Baronwood, the Marching Hills, and Seastone) to defend their territories.

In the modern age, Frelonde is constantly under assault from the Goblin king who has rightly surmised that there is no one nearby who will (or can) come to the aid of Frelonde. Raids are common, and the whole kingdom is in a state of near-war at all times. While identifying as Avars, Frelonders think of themselves as hardier than the hearthlanders of Miles.

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History

Frelonde came into existence during the Peppinid dynasty’s ascension; the warring principalities of Thyrnesse were united into the kingdom of Avarine. During that consolidatory period however, several regions broke off from the Peppinid’s control. The foremost of these was of course Byrne in which the Duke of Byrne began to be known as the KING of Byrne. The Peppinid’s were, of course, destroyed by the agreement of the Conclave and the lesser nobility in X340, leaving a vacuum of authority.

In X350 the local barons of the Free Regions agreed to sever ties with the various pretenders ruling from Miles and found their own kingdom. When the Galoen family took the throne with the agreement of the Conclave, the Free Regions (which had become known as Frelonde) refused to bend knee to the new king, seeing him as yet another in a long line of pretenders.

In recent years (as of the 480s) the Baronwood region has been encroached upon by Seagard at the order of the House of Trade. However, the Council of Barons has agreed to allow the House unfettered access to their little kingdom; it is one of the few interregional merchant costers that operates within Frelonde.

In 488 the Frelonde garrison in the Bleak Strand was pushed back over Battle Bridge. As of that year, the Frelonders have held Battle Bridge but have been unable to recapture the Strand in force. Small ranging teams have since made some headway in that region, lending assistance to the stranded dwellers of the Strand, but the Council has decided against attempting to recapture that region. It is said that Orvius Kavalson was journeying southwards from the Vales during the brief two-week war and that his aid helped ensure that the goblins did not cross Battle Bridge, though he lost his three apprentices (two died and one had his arm hacked off at the elbow, destroying his ability to perform magic… the third died shortly thereafter).

In 497 a great host of goblins crossed the Fainwater just south of Breaker’s Ford and were destroyed by men from Northwatch. This was the latest of the large scale battles against the goblins, and the region where the goblin army was slaughtered has become known as the Dell of Bones, and is famous for the haunts of un-creamated ghosts of both goblins and men.

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Geography

The land of Frelonde lies north of what was once Thyrnesse; the heartland of the Milean Empire. It is south of the sheltered Valelands and hard on the free city of Seagard. The land itself is mostly mild and pleasant country. The land is fertile and many grains and cereals are grown there. There are many wide fields and the countryside is sometimes crossed with dells and deep folds.

Frelonde is bounded on the north by the Fainwater River, a large and swift-moving stream of which there are only two crossings: Breaker’s Ford and Battle Bridge. On the northwestern side it is bounded by the Veinan River, a smaller waterway over which raids sometimes come from the Goblin Lands. In the west are the Marching Hills, which shelter it from the Byrnish Wastes, and in the south is the Baronwood, which rides up right upon the border of the territory of Seagard.

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The North Barony

The North Barony, ruled by the Barons of the de Manne line, encompasses the town’s of Breaker’s Ford and Northseat as well as the keep at Northwatch. The lands along the rivers are well irrigated and all of the North Barony is quite fertile. The primary occupation of the people there is farming. The de Manne Barons have their manor house just outside of Northseat (at a place called, surprisingly, Manne Hill) and that town is the center of the barony. The North Barons are responsible for the safety of Battle Bridge as well as the patrols that wander the Bleak Strand.

Northseat

Town Population: Around 3,000 Defenses: Local Militia, Garrison at Manne

Northseat is a large town situated on the Manne creek, a small river that flows down off of Manne Hill, just outside of the settlement. The creek was dammed in 493 to create a millpond which has supplied the local mill since that year. The town itself is a scattering of buildings that lays all along a fold in the hills. While the town was once walled, the maintenance of that wall has long been forgotten, and new buildings have sprouted up on the far side. The wall is still semi-serviceable though it has been plundered for building material in places.

Northseat boasts a Halorian shrine for men going off to the goblin wars along the rivers, right in the center of its marketplace. The statue of Halor is elevated above the market on a tall pedestal overlooking the sleepy town. In addition, a temple to Eleia can be found outside the town proper, near the western fields.

Fields do stretch out in every direction from the town but southeast, where Manne Hill is located and upon which sits the baronial manorhouse. Most farmers live in the town proper and walk to the fields; danger is never very far away, and gathering behind the old city wall (or, in the case of the worst emergencies, within the manor itself) has been a long tested tactic in Northseat.

The central market is small compared to the marketplaces in larger towns of the region like Northmount. A House of Trade outpost, a three story high stone building with its first floor given over as a trading goods cellar, sits on the market as well since most formal trade comes from Seagard.

There is a single inn and public house in Northseat, that being the Drunken Lord, which is run by a local family. Prices are moderate and accommodations are fair. The Lord is not on the market, but towards the southwestern corner of town, along the road leading to the manor. If a Council is called at Northseat, the Lord becomes the province of the other barons visiting the town.

Breakersford

Village Population: around 500 Defense: North Baronial Armies

Breakersford is a small fortified village that overlooks the one major ford across the Fainwater west of Battle Bridge. The size of the town belies its importance: it has been the staging ground for many reprisals against the goblins, as well as the crossing point of a fair number of raiding parties.

To this purpose a semi-permanent campground has sprung up outside the town to house the men on rotation there, who normally come close to doubling the population of the town proper or even outnumbering them if a raid is planned.

Breakersford is surrounded by a high wooden palisade and is located on a defensible hilltop near the ford. The people of Breakersford are mostly fisherfolk, though a few farmers dare to farm the southern fields in times of peace. The de Manne sheriff under who’s command the city comes is called the Fieldwarden and he customary lives in Breakersford as well.

The town has no inn, though there is a tavern called the Sleeping Watchman. It is a dingy place, run by a former sheriff who lost his titles on account of his constant drunkenness. There are no temples in Breakersford; the people there travel southwards to Northseat if they need to do any business with the Temple of Eleia. However, the campsite does boast several shrines; one to Haeron, one to Halor, and one to Fortuna.

Northwatch Castle

Northwatch is a roundtower atop a hill from which the signal-house at Battle Bridge is visible. The tower has an outwall fortifying the hillside with a base of ancient red Milean bloodstone. It has seen several large scale assaults and been taken twice in the past by goblin forces. It is also where the Baron normally dwells during wartime.

Northwatch is off limits to civilians; only those currently serving in the Barons armies are usually allowed past its gates. The reserve armories are also kept in Northwatch, and thus whenever new troops are drafted they are armed there.

Of late, several mercenary companies have made permanent camps around the ring-tower, having been paid by the Baron to help defend the northern lines.

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Riverland

Whitfield

Deepdale

Riverwatch

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Seastone

The Barony of Seastone is ruled by the Seatower family, who wrested control from the old Seastones in 417. The Seastones were a minor family of knights, but now sit the baronial seat in Riverine. The Barony has a fair number of farms, but most of the coastland is not fit for cultivation. Most dwellers there support themselves off of trade moving along the Saltgate Road from Seagard and the Empire towards the Vales or by fishing. Even farming families occasionally supplement their income with fishing during the early spring and late summer when there are not many storms in the White Sea.

Roadstop

Town Population: around 1,500 Defense: Mayoral guardsmen

Sitting just south-east of a bend in the Southgate road, Roadstop overlooks the sea from a hilltop. A paved branch of pathway winds up Roadstop’s hill where low ancient stone walls protect it from raiders, both the marine variety (reaver-elves, mostly) and those that might come from the Goblin Lands.

The town itself is a knot of old twisty roadways that stretch over the top of Roadstop Hill, which is itself fairly large. The mayorality of Roadstop is considered one of the best positions to be given within the barony and has been reserved for lesser Seatower cousins for a generation and a half. The town has a single very large inn right at its heart called Merman’s Folly.

There are farmlands on the far side of the Saltgate road and many fishing families that live on the other, against the shoreline. In times of trouble it is not uncommon for the mayor, Lyle Seatower, to order all the people of the town behind the walls and close the wooden gates to keep danger out.

Riverine

Southwatch Castle

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The Baronwood

Northwood

Woodwatch

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Marching Hills

Westlen

Southlen

Stonewatch

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Nobility of Frelonde

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Culture of Frelonde

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Frelonde

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius