A Background on The Province of Stirland.   Posted by Watcher.Group: 0
 GM, 4 posts
Sat 25 Jun 2016
at 00:33
A Background on The Province of Stirland

"Tradition is there for a reason: it was found good and worth keeping. Change for change’s sake is a sign of Chaos, don’t you agree?"
—Stirlander noble

The Grand County of Stirland is a major and founding Imperial Province that lies within the eastern territories of the Empire of Man. Stirland is a rugged highland province famous for its rural backwater society and the province's close affiliation with death. Such attitude stems from the province close association with the province of Sylvania, a land perpetrated with misty forests and ancient castles resting on the craggy peaks like circling vultures.

Ever since the end of the Vampire Wars, the province of Stirland has been given the rights to all the lands of eastern Sylvania. This essentially doubled the size of the province, but did little to improve the provinces fortunes. Indeed, the province of Stirland is a relatively poor country in comparison to its surronding southern neighbors such as Averland or Wissenland. The citizenry of Stirland are a conservative and superstitious lot, known for their backwards outlook and religious intolerance. The Banner of Stirland shows a skeleton sounding a hunting horn, signifying a call to battle. The skeleton itself is a common symbol of the lands, an expression of both the Stirlander battle cry "Victory or Death" and a grim reminder of the lands of Sylvania that they share borders with.

"The entire province is insane, I tell you! Why? They like their ale hot! It’s nothing short of blasphemy against good beer"
—A Dwarf of Karaz-a-Karak

Bounded by the World's Edge Mountains on the east and on the north, west, and south by the rivers Stir, Aver, and Reik, Stirland is a rugged province of highly mixed terrain. Its reputation as a rural backwater is largely undeserved, for it has many towns of substantial size and it does a brisk trade with the Dwarfs of Zhufbar. Nevertheless, its location away from the centres of power and the presence of the dread lands of Sylvania make people think ill of Stirland. The northern portions along the banks of the Stir are covered with the last reaches of the Great Forest.

To the east, beyond Siegfriedhof, the forest thins and breaks up into separate woods, the feared Hunger and Grim woods, places of foul reputation. It is from here that the lands becomes enshrouded in unnatural fog and harsh weather. Past the Grim Wood, the dismal village marks the start of the Hel Fenn, where Imperial forces destroyed the army of Mannfred von Carstein during the climax of the third and final Vampire War. The west is dominated by the Stirhügel, the hilly country that was the first home of the Styrigen tribe thousands of years ago. Crossed by the Old Dwarf Road and the Nuln Road, the hills are home mostly to villages of sheepherders who trade in the markets of Flensburg and Wörden.

Hidden amongst their winding track and foggy vales, however, are the tombs of the ancient chiefs of the Styrigen tribes. Dug into the hillsides or built as turf-covered barrows, these date from pre-Imperial times. Their entrances were well hidden by their builders, though sometimes an entrance will become exposed by rains or flooding. Locals consider these tombs cursed, and it seems every village has a tale of someone who has gone missing whilst investigating the final resting places of “the old kings.” Still, treasure hunters and necromancers seek out the tombs of the Styrigen, each for their own reasons.

It is the east of Stirland that holds the rest of the province in genuine dread, however, for it is here that one finds benighted Sylvania. From the sombre town of Tempelhof, which has not had a resident priest of Morr in 800 years, to the foothills of the World’s Edge Mountains between the Aver Reach and the Stir, Stirland’s largest region is a place of fear and gloom. It is said that Ghosts walk freely at night among the Haunted Hills, and the deep fogs of the Sylvanian woods are said to sometimes trap a soul within them, forced to wander forever. The eastern portion of the province is the bleakest, where ancient black castles sit on their craggy peaks like black vultures staring down on the towns below. Sylvania is a place most Stirlanders try to forget about, and the Elector Count’s tax collectors come calling only when accompanied by a large armed guard. Even the Dwarfs of Zhufbar avoid Sylvania, preferring the road south to Schramleben and then through the Moot if they wish to travel to Wurtbad.

This message was last updated by the GM at 08:16, Sun 10 July 2016.