The Duchy of The Peaks

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Havard
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The Duchy of The Peaks

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:37 am

Collecting some information from my Blog:

Introduction
Lately, I have been doing some research on the Duchy of the Peaks, one of the most neglected realms in the Blackmoor setting in terms of game supplement coverage. One can only wonder if it is due to the fact that the nature of the realm lends itself too well to mature content that it has been left out of recent supplements, or whether the same mechanics which help the Duchy avoid getting drawn into wars that is at work. Note that while I try to stay true to canon, I will be taking some liberties to give some room to my own creativity. Also, this should be considered a work in progress. Finally a word of thanks to David Ross and Andrew Theissen. Their prelimiary work has been very useful.

DUCHY OF THE PEAKS
Location: Northwest of the Kingdom of Blackmoor.
Population: 50.000(?)
Languages: Thonian.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Mining (Gems), slavery, magic
Religion: Faunus (if any)
Alignment: Any Chaotic
Notable Sites: Starport (pop. 15,000), capital city.
Important Figures: Sonia Sholako (MU11), Duchess of the Peaks, the Gin of Salik (MU 20)

DESCRIPTION
High up in the Superstition Mountains lays a realm known simply as the Duchy of the Peaks. The Duchy was founded by rogue magicians from the Thonian Empire. It is from these magicians names like the Supersition Mountains and Starport, the name of the capital have their origin. The lands borders are formed by the Superstition Mountains to the West and North and by the various brances of Thunder River to the South and East. This is a decadent realm of slaves, prostitution, wine, drugs and sexual escapades. The Duchy also boasts excellent Pikemen and some of the most powerful magic users of the North can be found here. The main industry is mining and many of the smaller towns of the Duchy are mining towns.

Starport, the capital, is one of the largest cities in the region with a population of about 15.000. It rests heavily fortified, high up in the mountains. A large number of Castles and dungeons can be found in the city, which is constantly changing to adapt to the needs of its population. The people who live in Starport are protected from most troubles in life, though their reliance on drugs and a generally unhealthy as well as immoral lifestyle does take its mark on the population.

HISTORY
The Superstition Mountains got their name from the rogue magic users who settled there many centuries ago. These were the original founders of the Duchy of the Peaks and they claimed the lands between the Misauga River and the Superstition Mountains as their own.

Much later, around the year 700, they were joined by a people called the Unwanted. These were dissidents fleeing persecution in the Thonian Empire. The Duchy offered to protect these people, but in the end the majority were turned into slaves. Many of these slaves were used to construct a line of forts along Thunder River.

The lands to the south of the Duchy of the Peaks has also been settled by these Unwanted and when they declared their own realm, the Duchy of Ten as an independent Duchy, some of the Southern Lands of the Duchy of the Peaks were lost to the newly formed neighbouring realm. The Duchy of the Peaks accepted this, seeing the chance of making a profit on this new political situation.

Men from the Duchy of the Peaks made contact with the Realm of the Egg of Coot later that same year. The Duchy attempted to play the Egg, the Duchy of Ten, Thonia and the Peshwa against eachother and has seemed to successfully avoid getting drawn actively into conflict itself. They rely on bribes, shifting alliances and clever diplomacy to stay out of war and make a profit instead.

In 985, Marfeldt the Barbarian arrived in the Duchy. His visit would prove disastrous to the realm. Disgusted by its culture, the Barbarian went on a rampage which reputedly significantly reduced the population of the realm.

The former Duke, known to some as Lord Whitehead was perhaps not the most clever man, though he was said to have lead men into battle personally, even though he mostly tried to keep his realm out of wars. At an old age, he married the exotic dancer named Sonia Sholako, who through the use of her charm and magic was able to manipulate the Duke into handing over the realm to her. She has remained the ruler of the Duchy since the death of the former Duke.

Unfortunately, the Afridhi invasion and recent wars has been problematic for the Duchy as the markets for their gemstones has dried up. The Duchess has been forced into an agreement supplying the Afridhi with Pikemen from the Peaks, though she has seemed reluctant to follow up on the arrangement. The economic troubles the Duchy has had, in recent years, have made the barons push their vassals and slaves harder, making the country ripe for revolt.

DUCHY OF THE PEAKS TIMELINE
0
Empire of Thonia Founded
Emperor Robert I founds Blackmoor as the northernmost province of the Thonian Empire

500
Rogue Mages settle in the Superstition Mountains, founding the Duchy of the Peaks.

700
The Unwanted begin settling the lands west of the Misauga River. Some of these Unwanted settle in the Duchy of the Peaks.

815-896
Mage Wars rage in the Province of Blackmoor. Many Sorcerers find refuge in the Duchy of the Peaks.

925
Unwanted living south of the Duchy of the Peaks declare their lands as an independent Duchy, the Duchy of the Peaks.

970
The Duchy of the Peaks makes contact with the Egg of Coot.

980
Lord Whitehead becomes the new Duke of the Peaks.

994
Marfeldt the Barbarian begins his massacre of the Duchy of the Peaks, reportedly reducing its population by 30%.

997
(Winter) The Ran of Ah Foo betrays the Egg of Coot. The Duke of the Peaks sides with the Ran of Ah Foo.

1015
The Duchy of Ten is occupied by the Afridhi. The Duke of the Peaks attempts to reach an understanding with the forces of Toska Rusa.

1020
Duke Whitehead marries an exotic dancer named Sonia Sholako. Through the use of her charms and magic, she is soon able to gain complete control of the Duchy of the Peaks.

1023
Duke Whitehead dies under mysterious circumstances. Donia Sholako becomes the Duchess of the Peaks.

1030
The Present. The alliance with the Afridhi has proved to be a poor one for the Peaks and the general level of conflict in the North is causing economic problems for the Duchy. Rumours of civil war and general unrest in the realm is spreading.

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Re: The Duchy of The Peaks

Post by Chimpman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:06 pm

Thanks for posting this Havard. So the Duchy of the Peaks is the decadent land of Mages, huh? I wonder what might have survived this nation to find its way to present day Mystara.

Also, not being fully familiar with Blackmoor, can you translate the dates (or at least the first one) into Mystaran years? I'm assuming that the "present day" for Blackmoor must fall somewhere within the BC 4000 to BC 3000 range.
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Re: The Duchy of The Peaks

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:40 pm

Chimpman wrote:Thanks for posting this Havard. So the Duchy of the Peaks is the decadent land of Mages, huh? I wonder what might have survived this nation to find its way to present day Mystara.
Decadence and corruption (and slavery, drugs etc) are the real defining features of the Duchy, although it was founded by mages and the current ruler is a magic-user. I would not be surprised if this culture did not survive in some form or other, perhaps still existing somewhere on Skothar....? Certainly an interesting idea!

Also, not being fully familiar with Blackmoor, can you translate the dates (or at least the first one) into Mystaran years? I'm assuming that the "present day" for Blackmoor must fall somewhere within the BC 4000 to BC 3000 range.
"The Present" (1030) should translate to ca 4000 BC, so the founding of Thonia would be slightly prior to 5000 BC (4970 BC).

So far, only Mystara sources document the events beyond 4000 BC, although if the Age of Wolf product line for Blackmoor 4E ever sees the light of day, we might learn a few things on the years that passed from the rise of Blackmoor to its destruction.

The Duchy of the Peaks has never had a full writeup in any exisiting product so it has been interesting collecting the little tidbits found here and there. :)

There's more to come ofcourse!

Oh, and the blog has maps and pictures of the Duchy as well :)


Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
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Yaztromo
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Re: The Duchy of The Peaks

Post by Yaztromo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:39 pm

You didn't mention the Abominable Snowfreak.... ;)
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