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Schweidnitz (Oberherrschaft of)
Location: Northern coast of Davania, far west of Kastelios and south of the Arm of the Immortals. DV
Area: 15,000 sq. mi. (32,700 sq. km.).
Population: 51,000 (1,000 Heldanners and 50,000 Makal).
Languages: Thyatian (Hattian dialect), Heldannic, Makal (two dialects).
Coinage: Heldannic standard: gelder (gp) fenneg (cp). Natives call them mak (gold) and tik (copper).
Taxes: 10% income tax collected four times a year from the Heldanners; the natives for now have only helped with gold and manpower. 1 gelder head tax collected once a year from everyone not in military service. There is also a 5% sales tax on all items.
Government Type: Military theocracy.
Industries: Agriculture (maize), mining (gold and copper), fishing and hunting.
Important figures: Wilhelm Folgen (Castellan), Harald Brunnen (General of the Knights), Atokul (Tikul Chief), Tijala (Tikul Shaman), Mitukal (Makal Chief), Kiaka (Makal Shaman).
Flora and Fauna: Jungle, with some hills and plains full of vegetation and flowers. Many strange animals, like panthers, jaguars, giant lizards, spitting cobras and many other snakes, and giant spiders. Natives say that the deep jungle is inhabited by dragonflies and werejaguars, and many kinds of dangerous plants like amber lotus flowers and strangle vine.
Further Reading: None.
Last Year's Events: See below.
Description and map by Shira.
I'm a stranger to this land as you are, dear reader. But I'll try to describe to you what I have seen in this faraway land.
Schweidnitz-it's a very hot place, and it is so for most of the year. Here it's rain quite every day, and for one or two months every year it's rain without a break! But when the weather is good that land is really a wonderful place to visit! How can I, with my humble words, describe to you the thousand flowers you could see here? Or the white beaches, the azure sea and the dark jungles?
The beaches are full of seabirds and turtles, and dolphins swim near to the seaside. A wonderful place where to rest and maybe have a swim, as the natives well know and often do. The central area of Schweidnitz is a tamed plain, now tended by Heldannic farmers. But you can easily know that you are in Davania and not in Thyatis or Ierendi because of the many flowers that grow in every patch of land. A Heldannic farmer told me that the soil is very rich, but it's hard to maintain it clear for farming, because of the plants that grow speedily everywhere.
To the south of the plains there is a grassland plain that crosses the land from east to west. Great herds of antelopes and zebras inhabit it, and the natives hunt them. The grass in the plain could be as tall as a man, and the grassland is so big that you could easily get lost roaming it. In the western grassland, near the coast, in the region the knights named Kustedistrikt and the natives Tiklan, there are mysterious ruins that seem to be older than the land itself. To the south there are some hills, called Maka-Etza in the native tongue, that are rich in metals, particularly gold and copper. The knights after they arrival enlarged the yet active mines, extracting a lot of riches in just a year.
The hills in the region are covered with plants and smalls trees, but the natives say that roaming the hills could be dangerous, because of the panthers that live in abundance there. Some rumours say also that an ancient city is buried somewhere under the hills, full of treasures, and probably of perils too. But for now none, neither native nor knight, found it.
The northern and the southern region of the Territory of Schweidnitz are both deep jungles, beautiful green jungles inhabited by the natives and by every kind of strange animal and plant. But they could be a dangerous place too, because is very easy to get lost among the trees, and hostile creatures like jaguars and werejaguars call the jungle home.
The Heldannic Knights of Schweidnitz are not a united and monolithic group as they would like to appear before natives and strangers. First, there is the Church of Vanya properly, strong of 150 men and women-paladins, clerics and warriors. Then, there are the Heldannic peasants, men and women who serve the church or own lands and work on it. There are, I think, 850 colonists in Schweidnitz, and many of them are the families of the knights. Nevertheless, often the civilians don't agree with the decisions made by the military authority of the church, and I have seen a lot of arguing between them.
The second large group of inhabitants of this land are the copper-skinned natives. They call themselves Makal, but they are divided in two different tribes, one in the north, called Makal, and one in the south called Tikul. According to their history the Tikul Tribe was conquered by the Makal Tribe nearly two hundred years ago. Nowadays the two tribes get along quite well, but the Makal Tribe maintains a political leadership. Each tribe has both a chief and a shaman. Chiefs are always male and shamans are always female. The Tikul tribesmen are followers of Ordana, and so their villages are built among trees and upon the trees. They keep deer and other animals among them and have strange rites for hunting and fishing. The Makal tribesmen are followers of Xical, their name for the Sun Immortal, and their villages are built in cleared areas of the jungle. They are a warrior tribe, and any young boy has to prove his bravery to be considered a man. The tribes have ancient enemies in the west and the south, and according to their legends centuries ago they were lords of this area of Davania, but were defeated in a great battle, and forced to hide near to the coast.
Nowadays many natives work as farmers or miners for the knights, and I tell you, they are not treated very well. Because of this, there are natives who hate the Heldanners and steal from their houses. The situation is not clear, because there are natives who want to fight the knights and natives who think that they need the knights. And the Church of Vanya has irritated native shamans by trying to convert native labourers to its faith. The Makal, the more militaristic tribe, has begun to seriously reflect upon its alliance with the knights.
A Heldannic warbird commanded by Captain Frank Von Schweidnitz discovered the bay that was named after him in AC 977, and he reported that the place was suited to colonisation and the natives friendly with the knights. The same year a little fort was built in the area, and some Heldannic explorers went to Izonda, beginning a chain of events that lead to the spreading of the faith of Vanya in the desert empire. But the fort was abandoned in AC 979 because too remote from Heldannic lands (unlike Vanya's Rest, which was retained at high cost for religious-and military-reason).
Nevertheless, a young knight, Eric Folgen, remained with some companions, lodged by the natives, to supervise the foundation of a temple dedicated to Vanya in Izonda. In AC 982, another Heldannic warbird arrived in the bay, and learned from Folgen that the faith was spreading in the region. The news was reported to Freiburg, and the knights began to discuss the opportunity to found a lasting colony.
In the meantime, the Makal and the Tikul were under a savage attack from their eastern neighbours, and they were losing the war. But in AC 985, Folgen, with a few knights, managed to defeat the humanoids. Many natives began to believe in Vanya, and when the Immortal was consulted in Freiburg, She supported the idea of the new colony. Thus in AC 990 the Heldanners began the building of a stronger fort, but a humanoid attack destroyed the fort and killed even Eric Folgen. Some knights, with the young son of Folgen, Ludwig, managed to escape using the only ship the knights had left. In AC 992, after a long and dangerous sea trip, they arrived in Freiburg. The project of the colony had been forgotten for years.
But this year, Wilhelm Folgen, now a Heldannic Knight, came here with two ships to rebuild the old colony, and to escape the Heldannic civil war. When the knights arrived in Schweidnitz, they discovered that of the old fort only ruins remained, and in those years the humanoids had conquered most of the Makal and Tikul territory. Using their superior weapons, the knights managed to drive away the humanoids from the coast, and finally Wilhelm repelled the humanoids to the present borders.
The castle of Schweidnitz is now nearly finished. Nowadays the knights would like to conquer their humanoid neighbours to end their menace, but that will not be an easy task. In the meantime they are trying to strengthen their control over the natives, but they are meeting a strong opposition to conversion and rulership.
Don't miss the wildlife in Schweidnitz, because it is a wonderful sight, as I have yet remarked. If you want adventure you will find a lot searching the ruins near the sea. If you want to see strange places visit the Tikul town built upon the tall trees, or the Makal town with its coloured houses decorated with flowers and paintings. You could find some work in Schweidnitz, but not so much, and in my opinion the Heldannic Knights are not so friendly with strangers...
Do miss the southern and eastern jungle, because it is full of not-so-friendly half-orcs, who will be very happy to skin any stranger alive...