Monday, 16 May 2011

Sterin Barony

Sterin Barony is now part of the Godsblood Strait region, and is an island just to the southwest of the actual straits. It used to be part of the Duchy of Urdus until the Summoning and the terrible destruction that happened when the gods fought over Urdus.
Today the Barony still continues, with a total population of 18,000 folk (mostly human but with 2000 halflings).
The island was hit hard by a tidal wave when the battle between the gods sank the isthmus and pushed up the Island of Lost Souls. The Village of Estian suffered the worst, and lost half of its people (350 killed out of an original 600). However, since the Summoning the island has been isolated from most monsters. Only those that swim, fly or use boats can threated Sterin, so these days Sterin Barony is one of the safer, more stable places in Toutus.

Sterinport has always been the most important settlement on the island and today with 4500 inhabitants, it is the capital where the baron resides.
There is always an interesting mix of people on the streets, and merchants from Teiglin and other regions beyond the Godsblood Straits will visit.

Ivanell is a fishing port of 440 people. Its people mostly survived the tidal wave, because about an hour before the wave hit, a cleric of Vought and a cleric of Sturnornel both had warnings from their deities, and they urged the villagers to seek high ground inland. The lord of the manor believed the clerics (particularly as they were both giving the same warnings) and gave the order to evacuate. Many villagers followed and were saved even though buildings and other structures were wrecked. A few villagers refused, saying they would never abandon their homes. They and their homes were washed away. Today the buildings have all been rebuilt, and prominent in the village are two shrines, one to Vought, and one to Sturnornel.

In contrast the village of Estian had no warning and both the buildings and the people were hit by the tidal wave. Those who survived were in the fields nearby or in boats out at sea. The village these days is only partially rebuilt, and there are many smashed and damaged homes and shops in between the new ones. The village might have been completely abandoned but for two merchant ships overloaded with 240 refugees that arrived at the village a week after the disaster. The ships had been setting sail from Ermish when the land, including the town of Ermish, sank. The ships picked up as many people floating in the sea as possible and then made its way to the Sterin Barony, making landfall at Estian.

Termial is a farming village of 200 folk, mostly shepherds and cowherds. They  provide a lot of food for the rest of the barony. Mercifully Termial was not seriously damaged during the wars, and was safely inland during the tidal wave. There is the problem of the hills just to the northwest, which have become the home of some flying creatures that emerged from the Chaos Portals in Maquosmouth and Erkhart - harpies, wyverns and the occasional manticore are unwelcome visitors who mostly prey on the livestock, but a few villagers have also fallen prey to these creatures.

Wervis, like Termial, is a farming village with a population of 230. Most of the fields around Wervis are for wheat, barley and oats, and Wervis is noted for its interesting range of breads and biscuits. Wervis would be a very boring place except that the local miller who runs a  windmill just outside the village is an associate of the Red Hand (but not a full member). He charges a heavy price for grinding farmers' grain and occasionally steals some grain as well. This is not exactly villainy worthy of epic heroes, but he knows contacts in other towns and villages that know other people in the Red Hand.

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