Monday, February 22, 2016

Craftsman's Reach

Rare is the region that the self-proclaimed scholar and sage of renown Reynarius di Llun has not written about. Craftsman's Reach is one of those stretches of the world that he seems never to have visited. We may count ourselves lucky.
—Teolus Oznei, Reacher Historian

The Reach is a vast landscape of hills, hidden dells, and chilly forests. It is located between, on the east, the Blackspring Mountains, and on the west the Ice Hills. Frigid air blows down off the Dragonfells, making the region far colder than the neighboring kingdom of Tailimisä. Trust the elves to keep the good lands to themselves. Craftsman's Reach is abundant in both mineral and gemstone. Silver, iron, and gold from the Reach make their way all over the world. Natural caverns are readily accessible throughout the territory entire. It is littered with ruins from not one, but seven ancient kingdoms, beginning with the Giants in pre-history, progressing through old Yer'is, then the Empire, then Gothea Elfslayer's kingdom, followed by Alth'is, Teraspis, and Calantheas. Yet, through it all, the Reach has remained the Reach.

Craftsman's Reach was first settled by giants in the Night Age, and then re-settled by Yssan sorcerers during the Pillar Age. It was a place of contest between Rho'anir and the Empire throughout the Wars of High Sorcery. After that, it was home to a brief resurgence of half-elves and exiles from Talimisä who wanted to revive the culture of Old Yer'is. Teraspis and Calantheas were the most recent kingdoms to inhabit the Reach, but they destroyed one another in a deadly war.

The most recent history of Craftsman's Reach has been dominated by the lords of Kjellos, who have colonized the Reach with defended manor houses and a number of castles. The Thessalians of Kjellos have their origins in the Reach and consider it to be a historic patrimony of their people. The most important Thessalian settlement there is undoubtedly Tyreth Castle, the residence of the Protector of the Reach, Prince Aegus Karhart.

The Reach became a Protectorate of Kjellos in 437, for seventy-three years. The Karhart family, which took control of the Kjellan Peninsula in 285, has its origins in the Reacher city of Karhart. The Protectors of the Reach have traditionally been crown princes of Kjellos, trained there as rulers before the death of the Kjellan kings.

The position of Protector of the Reach grants vast powers to levy troops, summon up knights, and command the military within Craftsman's Reach. However, it is bounded by its subservience to the Protector of the Realm, the Master Militant, who acts as the direct lord of the Reach. This vassalage was instituted after the War of The Three Heirs, during which Prince Saemon made war on his father, King Justineus, using knights and materiel from Craftsman's Reach.

The current Protector of the Reach is Prince Aegus, heir-apparent of Kjellos. He is a dour and taciturn man, some 30 winters of age. He wears the arms of the Reach rather than of his family, preferring to be identified with the hardly Reacher folk than the royal family. Aegus was raised in the Reach and has little love for his father, King Magnus, whom he thinks of as a warmonger and something of a tyrant.

The Forge Divine maintains an outpost at Tyreth Castle, governed by the Master of the Reach, Sieur Aras Gorr. His title is the equivalent of a Chapter Master, and he serves the Order and the King devoutly. The Order's presence is minimal here, represented by some 100 laymen and 5 paladins other than Sieur Gorr.

These are Knight-Captains Thesus and Dominicus Valens, Knight-Sergeant Dail Blackcloak, and Sieurs Lars Asmond and Eirik Velgar.

The center of Thessalian power in the Reach, Tyreth Castle is an old building of hard granite that sits at the shores of the Aelvinwater. A small town has grown up around Tyreth, composed of the families of men-at-arms and knights as well as all the myriad support services common to such a monumental keep. There are around 4,000 inhabitants in Tyreth, including those who dwell in the castle. When goblins, orcs, or gnolls emerge from the hills, the Lord Protector of the Reach often calls for the common folk to take shelter behind his walls.

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