The estate information provided here is based on data collected over the past five years by the Earls of Volta. Note that population counts are estimates.
Estates in Cathym
The Town of Granthym is seated across the river from the magical Mystic Wood, and thus this town is home to many Mystic Wood Elves and other magical creatures. The architecture here is quite different from the rest of Cathym in that it is more whimsical and light. Granthym is also the home of the Bardic Guild of Volta, making it a hub of the arts. Granthym is known for its farming, particularly of herbs and spices.
Resources: Herbs and Spices.
Velno is a mining town which is one of the oldest settlements in Volta. Seated atop a hill, it has a commanding view of the surrounding region and in days of old was often a place of refuge from Ork and undead attacks. There is a small keep in Velno which regularly houses Ducal troops. In addition, the Kingdom of Evendarr maintains an encampment in the mountains near town as a mountain training base for their troops.
Resources: Silver and Iron Ore.
Estates in Zarkym
Capital of Volta
This sprawling city is one of the largest in northern Evendarr and is home to the most comprehensive library in Volta. Long used as a hub of trade, Unity is also a gateway to the northern lands. Many important meetings have been held in the Hall of Unity. This walled city sits beside Lake Ardynn, its gleaming white granite walls catching the first light of day. Unity was built to show Evendarr that the Voltans were not simple minded thugs, but instead choose to live the largely pastoral life that they do.
Resources: None, Trade Economy.
Bear Island is a magical place where many strange events occur. The few residents of the island are fishermen who rarely go inland on the isle. People avoid the interior of the isle because of its large number of extremely aggressive bears. Despite the inland dangers, fishing from the island is the best in Volta, perhaps even in all of northern Evendarr.
Earldom of Northgaard
Estates in Dinsdale
One of the oldest towns in Volta and the site of many battles during the Highlands Wars, this town has been the site of more battles and peace treaty signings than anywhere in northern Evendarr. Due to this, most of Hawley’s buildings are made from stones brought down from the Anymdin Mountains to protect them from attack and fire. The casual observer would think dwarves built the town! Hawley is rich with Highland culture and it is the site of the springtime Highlands festival, which brings in tens of thousands of people and is the largest faire in Volta. Beyond this Hawley has significant numbers of livestock and horse breeders.
Resources: Livestock, Horses.
Newcastle is a large castle built in the last two decades largely as a deterrent to renegade Highlander attacks. Its walls are over twenty feet thick and forty feet high, with a towering keep inside, truly a marvel of modern engineering and architecture. In the years since its completion, a town has sprung up around its walls making Newcastle an important market for the large number of area farmers and horse breeders. Newcastle’s domain extends far to its south, making it one of the richest farming communities in Volta. A large garrison remains to man the fortification. In addition, the Kingdom of Evendarr is in the process of building a modest castle in their encampment outside of town. They use this fort to train cavalry troops.
Resources: Grain, Livestock, Horses.
Estates in Cathym
This is a relatively new settlement only really coming to prominence in the last ten years since the debacle that removed Eastwyck from Volta. Argentum was settled as a ferry crossing and became a border town trading post between the newly formed Duchy of Ravenholt and Volta. Argentum also has excellent farmland to its west and south which grow all manner of crops.
Resources: Grain, Corn, Dairy Farming.
Capital of Northgaard
This walled city is an ancient holding of the Voltan family line. Built over three centuries ago to withstand attacks from rival tribes, it has long been a site of battle. This city also commands the roads into northern Cathym and is a major trade hub. Uagadougou also is the home to the Schmidt school, the premier school for military officer training in Volta. Many stone quarries exist near the city, providing the bulk of the city's trade goods. Uagadougou is the seat of the Earl of Northgaard.
Earldom of Southmark
Estates in Anym
Nestled in the Anymdin Mountains, the Town of Axelburg is a key outpost along the western border of Volta shared with the Duchy of Niman. Within view of the Nimani Castle at Gorm Kherz across the River Hadran, the citizens of Axelburg are primarily miners and smiths who ferry their goods south along the river and then overland east to Verdinburg. This estate was previously a part of the Barony of Anym but reverted to an Earldom estate when Baroness Cynthia Timmons established the former Earldom estate of Ostburg as the new Capital City of Anym.
Resources: Iron and Metal Goods.
Capital of Southmark
Poised in the foothills of the Anymdin Mountains, the City of Haster has become one of the leading markets for crystals in Volta. Raw crystal is harvested from the nearby caverns and traded to merchants to create all manner of products. Business has increased significantly since the liberation of the Duchy of Ashbury from the Sessaur.
Resources: Precious Gems (Crystals).
With the shift in the southern Baronial borders, the Town of McClaren, formerly an estate in the Barony of Zarkym, is now within the borders of the Barony of Anym. The McClaren family has a long history of master brewers who maintain the proud tradition of producing Voltan Ale, famous as the the best ale throughout Evendarr. This hereditary estate relies on the hops, barley, and wheat imported from Tallon's Hold as key ingredients in its many fine concoctions.
Resources: Voltan Ale.
Estates in Zarkym
Donnerau Castle sits at the southern end of Lake Ardynn and serves as the anchor point for the ships that patrol Volta’s portion of Lake Ardynn. It is also the waypoint for troop rotations from Tallon’s Hold and Unity to reinforce troops stationed in Grunfield. Adventurers and local townsfolk in the vicinity of Donnerau have reported strange sightings ever since an ancient tower emerged from the mists rolling off of Lake Ardynn. None have managed to find the entrance to the tower once entering the strange mists that have remained in place since December of 606 ER. The prevailing opinion is that the tower is a device created by The Dark Path to slowly corrupt the land and turn all of the citizens of Zarkym into undead.
Resources: Arms and Armor, Fishing, Ship Building.
Capital of Zarkym
Situated on the shores of Lake Ardynn, the Capital City of Zarkym is a testament to the artisans that claim Zarkym as their home. Much of the trade between the Duchies of Ravenholt and Volta passes through Ardynn before reaching the other Baronies, though all ships skirt the shoreline so as to avoid the Lake Monster. Sightings of the Lake Monster have been rare, though a lone fisherman is known to have survived an encounter with the Monster as recently as 606 ER. More recently, Captain Grofeld Gerling, grandson of Ian Gerling, the former Baron of Cathym, successfully navigated Lake Ardynn in November of 607 ER, traveling from Ardynn to Tallon’s Hold aboard the Ironhide II. The voyage was the first successful traversal of Lake Ardynn in almost 70 years.
Resources: Fine Metalwork, Fishing, Masonry, Ship Building.
Castle Ruhr is a primary stopping point for all trade caravans traveling into the Barony of Anym and the Duchy of Ashbury. During the time of the Sessuar occupation of Ashbury, Castle Ruhr took on greater military significance as a waypoint for Voltan troops patrolling the road between Grunfeld and Haster and as a staging area for the Ashbury Resistance.
Resources: None, Trade Economy.
Located in the southeastern corner of the Barony, the City of Grunfeld secures the Voltan borders with the Duchies of Ravenholt and Ashbury. Grunfeld is built on the edge of a swamp and along the edge of the River Ardynn. Goods produced in Zarkym for export to Ashbury and Ravenholt pass through Grunfeld and continue along either the River Ardynn or the Ashbury River, eventually reaching the Duchy of Niman. Grunfeld played a key role in the retaking of Ashbury from the Sessuar. Voltan troops emerged from Grunfeld and crossed the into Ashbury, engaging the Sessuar along the northern front of Ashbury and retaking the City of Fellsworth. This distraction also allowed the Ashbury Resistance to rescue troops trapped within the heart of the Duchy.
Resources: Barge and Raft Building.
The Town of Oberamigau borders Lake Ardynn and is primarily a fishing community whose citizens use cast nets along the banks of the Lake to haul in their catch. Only the bravest and the foolhardy venture onto Lake Ardynn in small fishing boats for fear of the Lake Monster. Fish caught in Oberamigau are packed in ice carted to Zarkym from the Anymdin Mountains and are then transported to Ardynn and Unity for sale at the large markets in both cities.
Silton is well-known as a smithing town, producing both finely crafted metal jewelry and extremely resilient armor and weapons. Much of the materials used by the citizens of Silton arrive by way of the City of Ostburg and are eventually shipped for sale in the markets of Unity. The craftsmen of Silton produced the statue of Argent Bearslayer, first Duke of Volta, that stands at the main gates leading into Unity, welcoming all travelers to the city.
Resources: Arms and Armor, Fine Metal Jewelry.
The Town of Terryl is the final waypoint in Zarkym for goods being shipped by raft and barge along the Ashbury River to the Duchies of Ashbury and Niman. Isolated from the guild politics prevalent in the cities and towns along the banks of Lake Ardynn, Terryl maintains a constant flow of river drivers poling their rafts downstream. It is said that the maidens of Terryl stand at the edge of the river and throw roses at the rafts while listening to the songs of the river drivers as they go by.
Resources: Barge and Raft Building.
The Town of Tribute is the artistic hub of Zarkym, boasting a large population of painters and sculptors, many of whom seek inspiration at the shores of Lake Ardynn. Those who seek to become artists typically seek apprenticeships in Tribute. Tribute is also houses the Voltan College of Medicine, where herbalists and chirurgeons learn their craft and hone their skills. The Duchy sponsors the education of those who demonstrate a skill in the healing arts in exchange for five years of mandatory service in the Voltan Army.
Resources: Fine Art, Medicine.
Barony of Anym
The Anymdin Mountains span the north-south borders of central Anym. Together with the River Hadran, the Mountains provide a natural barrier across south-central Volta and much of the shared border with the Duchy of Niman. The Mountains are a rich mining source for metals and stone, yielding the majority of the ores used by artisans and smiths in the Barony of Zarkym.
Resources: Copper, Gold, Iron, Platinum Silver, Stone.
The City of Brunn guards the the southeastern section of the pass through the Anymdin Mountains. Originally a trading post on the way to southern Dinsdale, Brunn has grown significantly in size over the past 10 years as Voltan troops made frequent use of the mountain pass to reach southern Volta in support of the Ashbury Resistance. Prior to the Sessuar invasion of Ashbury, Brunn was primarily a quarry for stones brought down from the Anymdin Mountains to be used in the construction of cities and castles throughout Volta.
The City of Dillgraf guards the the northwestern section of the pass through the Anymdin Mountains. Like Brunn, Dillgraf was originally a trading post on the way to southern Dinsdale. Dillgraf is also the site of the largest horse market in Volta. It is here that Voltan Chargers, renowned throughout Evendarr for their size, speed, and spirit, are bought and sold. While the Plague in 606 ER caused the shutdown of the horse market, the herds seem to have rebounded stronger than expected and it is hoped that this trend will continue such that the market can reopen in mid-608 ER.
The foothills surrounding the Town of Dran Garde provide the breeding and training grounds for Voltan Chargers. Throughout Evendarrian history, Voltan Chargers have been used to add speed, refinement, spirit, and endurance to other breeds of horses. Nearly all cavalry units of the Royal Army of Evendarr are built on the backs of Voltan Chargers. Once trained, any of the horses not allocated to either the Voltan Army or the Royal Army of Evendarr are transported to the horse market in Dillgraf where wealthy nobles and merchants have been known to pay well over 100 gold coins for these fiery steeds.
Resources: Horses (Voltan Chargers).
The Hadran Woods sit on both sides of the Swift River along the western edge of the Anymdin Mountains and the banks of the River Hadran. The Woods are home to a wide variety of game and many trappers and furriers earn their keep via meat and animal skins. Local wildlife has flourished since the eradication of the Plague in Anym in 606 ER, resulting in an abundance of food and furs, much of which has been sold at great profit to the citizens of the Castle at Gorm Kherz in the Duchy of Niman.
Resources: Animal Skins, Furs.
Capital of Anym
Castle Ostberg stands above the City of Ostburg like a watchful guardian. Ostburg serves as a staging area and training facility for most of the Free Companies in Anym and as such it is very well protected and patrolled. Baroness Cynthia Timmons officially declared Ostburg to be her Capital City to commemorate the location where the forces of Volta rallied together and stood united against the threat of the Plague in 606 ER. The citizens of Ostburg are primarily miners, delving into the depths of the Anymdin Mountains in search of precious metals and quarrying stone for constructing cities and castles throughout Volta.
Resources: Copper, Iron, Stone.
Verdinburg Keep guards the passage along the road to the City of Haster and maintains the border patrol between the Keep and the River Hadran which marks the border between Volta and the Duchy of Niman. Nimani citizens claim that the Keep is named in honor of Duke Vordan Nicadaemus of Niman. However, the citizens of Verdinburg Keep are staunch supporters of Volta and are constantly patrolling the western borders of Anym to ensure that Voltan citizens are not kidnapped and enslaved by Nimani raiding parties. It is considered a great military honor to be chosen to serve a tour of duty in Verdinburg Keep, protecting the common folk of Volta from their hereditary enemies.
Resources: Copper, Iron, Stone.
Barony of Cathym
The Town of Cascadia overlooks a chain of waterfalls that are both beautiful and the sites of one of Volta’s most complex engineering marvels. Boats that wish to travel up and down the Silver River past Cascadia are moved up or down through a series of ramps worked by the many dock workers that live there. Cascadia is also known for having a large Biata population.
Resources: Hemp (Rope), Crystals.
Clear River Valley
This valley has extremely fertile ground and as such much of the land is used for farming. Grapes, barley, hops, and wheat are all grown here in great quantities. Several vineyards and breweries operate in this valley as well. Because of the relative wealth of these lands, the area is highly patrolled and well managed. The Firebrand Brewery makes the best beer in northern Volta and the brew is also widely sold throughout Evendarr. Many come to the Clear River Valley in the warm months to sample the available wines and beers. This region is also home to many bee keepers, who supply the local mead brewers with honey.
Resources: Beer, Wine, Mead, Liquor, Grains.
Luft Castle rests on top of Mount Rejavik, nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. This citadel is one of the oldest in Volta and dates back to the original fortress on the site constructed about 700 years ago. Sheer cliffs and gorges limit access to this site except for two massive stone causeways which are very heavily defended. The town that has grown in and around the citadel supports a population mostly engaged in ore refining and the tanning of animal skins and pelts collected elsewhere in the region. The strength of the citadel has proven itself against countless attacks through the centuries. Small homesteads and hamlets also dot the countryside for miles around Luft Castle, knowing they have a safe refuge in times of trouble.
Resources: Furs, Leather, Refined Ore.
The Silver Valley stretches between Luft Castle and Castle Aberdeen and is flanked by the grand peaks of the Frostpeak Mountains. This valley has long been a battlefield for incursions from the Northern Wastes but its natural resources and beauty have kept a solid and growing year-round population. With no large settlements and only scattered hamlets and homesteads, law is largely left up to the local populace to enforce. Large quantities of silver and precious gems can be mined or even found in the streams that feed the mighty Silver River. In recent years a Drae mining interest has moved into a few abandoned mines. With their unique skills, the Drae have been digging deeper and finding riches out of reach of most other mining ventures.
Resources: Silver, Precious Gems, Granite.
Strydor is a simple farming town, but it is well known throughout Cathym for its fine mead. A yearly “Harvest Feast” is held in the fall, and food and drink are had in vast quantities. One of the highlights of the feast is the mead drinking contest. Many a small fortune is won and lost on side bets as to who will win the contest. Many a bet is also placed on the outcome of the brawls that tend to accompany the contest.
Resources: Produce (Various), Honey, Mead.
Capital of Cathym
The walled City of Tallon’s Hold is home to both a fishing industry and to a brisk ship building business. The city was named after the first baron of Cathym, Tallon Gerling, the father of Ian Gerling. There is a large statue of Tallon Gerling in the center of town to commemorate his name and deeds. In addition, the countryside around Tallon’s Hold is ideally suited for growing hops and barley.
Resources: Fishing, Hops, Barley, Ship Building.
Technically north of “Argent's Wall”, the Ulfwood is not to be traveled by any but the most seasoned adventures. Many were-creatures dwell in the Ulfwood, but by and large they do not bother the local populace. These creatures are treated with great respect and are very valuable in the fight against undead and violent war bands of Orks and Goblins in the region. The estate is also a source of both large and small game to those hardy enough to hunt there.
Resources: Furs, Animal Skins.
Barony of Dinsdale
The Arran hills are low rolling hills and are largely wooded, making them almost ideally suited to raising livestock and farming when cleared. Although Arran itself does not have any true settlements, large number of homesteads and farms cover the area. Its population raises horses, livestock, and grows large quantities of grains. Most of these goods are brought to Newcastle, Hawley, or Uist to be sold during market days. Several small militia outposts exist in this region to respond to brigandage or raids from green-skin tribes.
Resources: Horses, Livestock, Grains.
The Town of Crystalia is where many of the wealthy merchants, former nobles, and retired adventurers have settled. The town is located at the base of the Crystalia falls and along the Crystal Lake and is full of mansions and estates as well as expensive shops. Several spas exist because of the hot springs that exist in the area. At the top of the falls are several famous taverns, such as the Axe and Fire, which is a haven for older adventurers, and the Crystal Palace, an elegant pub, both of which overlook the falls and the lake on opposite sides of the river. Further upstream at the village of Dinsbridge is a fort that insures that the ancient dwarven bridge at Dinsford is protected. Nobles from the rest of Evendarr frequent this town year round to enjoy its amazing beauty and expensive shopping.
Resources: Specialty Crops, Mineral Water.
Capital of Dinsdale
The massive citadel of Hadran overlooks the Crystal Lake and the surrounding hills. Over the years, Hadran has grown from a small village surrounding the citadel to one of the largest cities in the Duchy. One of the main reasons is that it occupies a key location on a major trade route throughout Volta.
The trade guilds have a firm grip on local business and many an out-of-town merchant has found his wagon smashed and set afire for trying to undercut their prices. Merchants who wish to do business in Hadran learn very quickly that the trade guilds are not to be ignored. The trade guilds work with the local nobles to ensure that supplies and arms always arrive on time and that street crime is kept low.
Resources: Coal and Finished Goods.
The Town of Icemeet is known for the fine quality steel that is produced from the mines in the surrounding mountains. Icemeet is the one place in the Duchy where an apprentice smith is sure to find a master. Icemeet and the surrounding area have more forges than any other town in Volta. In warmer months, caravans are sent up to Icemeet and return loaded with weapons and armor made by the local smiths.
During winter months, after the snows come, Icemeet becomes a very hard place to reach (or leave). By the time the first snows begin to fall, the local merchants and townspeople are well stocked with supplies and ready to stand on their own if they have to till the spring thaw.
Icemeet is also known for having the largest number of taverns per-capita in the Duchy. During the winter months, the local population throws a season long festival and people have been known to make the hard trek through deep snow just to enjoy the fine Winter Ales and to bet on curling matches and other winter sports that go on for days on the ponds and in the mountains of the area.
Resources: Steel, Iron, Arms and Armor, Metal Goods.
The Icewash is a very rapidly moving river with many rapids and small waterfalls. The Icewash Valley is an important place for trappers and furriers due to the large number of deer, bear, rabbit, ermine, and mink that live in the valley. Settlements are non-existent but scattered homesteads dot the landscape and are often tempting targets for brigands or worse, which is why a Lordship was created for the area to insure a presence of law in the Valley.
Resources: Animal Skins, Furs.
Not really a settlement but more of a shire, the forest of Icewood is a very dangerous place. Dark and dense, this forest is often frosted over even in the summer months. Only the hardiest of people live here and they fight almost daily battles against not only the elements but also against green-skins. The deep forest, although claimed by Volta, is controlled by large organized bands of Orks and Goblins who have an uneasy truce with the population. This truce keeps the fighting down to the skirmish level although on occasion major conflicts do happen. The Icewood Elves, who are few in number, are large in influence, and it is reputed that their rangers are a match for twenty Orks. The Orks obviously believe this too as they usually flee if possible when confronted as the Elves are adept at ambush tactics. The small settlement of Moonveil is a wonder of elven architecture and tree-crafting. Protected by magics, it has never fallen to attack. Several small non-elven settlements dot the perimeter of the forest, mostly engaged in the very lucrative logging business.
Stirling Keep overlooks the town of Stirling proper and is a constant reminder that though the day-to-day business of the town is wagon making and other finished wood products, there is always the ever-present threat of attack from green-skin tribes and brigands. Adventurers and travelers come from the surrounding area to purchase supplies and equipment. Sterling is the only large town in northern Dinsdale.
Stirling is also home to the Azure Flame, a powerful free company comprised of members who are all skilled in Celestial magic. Their compound is a few miles outside of town, but their blue tower can be seen for miles around.
The small trading outpost of Uist sits on the Uist river, which flows into Elysia from this point. Located on the border, it is one of two settlements that are frequented for trade into Elysia. The outlying area is used primarily for horse breeding and dairy farming. Uist has a large number of scavengers who live in or around the town, working in the various animal handling professions. Uist is also known for its fine cheeses generated from the dairy farming in the region.
Resources: Horses, Dairy Products, Livestock.