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Old 12-19-2019, 01:33 PM   #1
Prince Charon
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Default [Banestorm] The Kingdom of Offasmark

(Partly inspired by Yrth 1100.)

Offasmark is one of the many petty kingdoms that in the main Yrth timeline would eventually be absorbed into the Megalan Empire (indeed, even the capital does not appear on the canon maps, having been covered by the Blackwoods), though that may or may not occur in this setting. Offasmark's people are primarily a mix of Norse, English, Normans, Frisians, Celts, a few Jews and other humans, and a number of half-elves and other humanoid folk. The kingdom was technically founded in 1120, when King Offa I 'Ironfist' declared the village that became Offastown to be the capital of his kingdom (which at the time consisted of the village, a stretch of river, and the farms surrounding it - Offa I had a bit of an ego, but his optimism was surprisingly justified). The capital was watered by a river called Avon that flowed down from Zarak, and fed into the River Lindy (and was not big enough to appear on the canon maps, or perhaps had shrunk or dried up by the twentieth century). Of the kingdom's three bishoprics (and not coincedentally, largest cities), Norman-ruled Quartedec, cosmopolitan Offastown, and Celtic-majority Aberwyvern, only Quartedec's name survives.

The kingdom is bounded in the east by the Blackwoods, the Kingdom of Lindy (which currently has a few other countries between it and Megalos), and the Duchy of Hyrnan, to the north by Zarak, the Baran River, and part of Lake Styx, to the west by New Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Craine, and to the south by a number of smaller territories that are at risk of being absorbed by Craine, Offasmark, or Hyrnan. In the normal course of events, the Kingdom of Lindy would last another century, with Hyrnan, Offasmark, and Craine falling to Megalos some time later, and New Jerusalem signing a treaty with the Empire in 1350. At this time, though, the Megalan 'Empire' is smaller than either Offasmark or Lindy, and no-one in Western Ytarria sees it as a serious threat. Note also that this is long before the Ministry of Serendipity existed, and long before there would even be a known need for it.

Offastown (1213)

Population: 12,000 (Search +1)

Physical and Magical Environment
Terrain: Woodlands and Island/Beach
Appearance: Average
Hygiene: -1
Mana: Normal (Common Enchantment)

Culture and Economy
Language: Ytarrian Norse
Literacy: Broken
Tech Level: 3^
Wealth: Comfortable
Status: -2 to 6

Political Environment
Government: Feudal representative democracy
Control Rating: 2
Corruption: -1
Military Resources: $168,000
Defense Bonus: +6

The main body of Offastown sits on a set of islands in the River Avon (along with some expansion on both sides of the river), some natural, and a few artificial, created by digging canals or building up bits of land that were close to the surface anyway (a less difficult task with Earth magic). Due to its high population, the city is divided into four quarters, each with eight to twelve districts which form their own Things (assemblies) to send representatives to the civil Thing (the city council, basically), and from there to the Althing (the 'Assembly of All,' the kingdom's de facto parliament). The Celtic Quarter (two islands connected by three bridges, some islets where the water between is mainly covered by wide piers, and a couple of districts on the southwest bank) is notable for allowing women to speak, vote, and hold positions of leadership in the Things of its districts, though only those over the age of forty; this is not done in the other quarters, though the civil Thing is required by the city's charter to accept female representatives from the Celtic Quarter, and to count their votes equally with the men. The Jewish, Elven, and 'Oddfolk' (various humanoids, and humans who are neither Jewish nor Christian, or otherwise are considered strange) districts have islands of their own, and are not part of any quarter, but do send representatives to speak and vote at the civil Thing (some of whom are women). Half-elves often live in the elven district, especially if raised in elvish culture, but might instead have homes in other parts of the city.

Calling the government a 'feudal representative democracy' is the best approximation I can come up with for a situation in which the king and his lords have significant de jure and de facto power, but can still be legally and practically deposed by the representatives of the people.

Ytarrian Norse is understandable by speakers of the various branches of Old Norse at one step worse, and by speakers of related languages (including modern Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, and Norwegian) at two steps worse - someone familiar with modern English would maybe catch a few words, but not enough for even Broken comprehension. The language is common in Offasmark, and slightly less so in Lindy and Hyrnan. It is written with the Futhark alphabeta in Offasmark, but Lindy and Hyrnan mostly use variations of roman letters. The common tongue of Lindy is closer to Old Norman, though the court language is Latin. The people of Hyrnan speak a language resembling Anglo-Saxon with a lot of Celtic loan-words and loan-phrases. Where the borders of Offasmark and Hyrnan intersect, most humans on both sides speak a language that sounds like a mix of Old Breton, Old Cornish, and Old or Middle Welsh, written with either roman or ogham letters. The official language of New Jerusalem is Latin, while the Kingdom of Craine is another mixed Celtic region, linguistically, the capital city being mostly Middle Irish (early Manx)-speaking. The southerly territories vary a fair bit.

(Post is split into three due to the character limit.)
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 12-19-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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banestorm, historical, worldbuilding, yrth

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