Varushka territories Revision as of 13:47, 7 October 2019 by Rafferty
Varushka spreads across the north and north-eastern borders of the Empire. It is a wild land, a mixture of difficult hills, dark forests, unpleasant marshes and fast rivers. The terrain has helped shape the nation, and has contributed to the relative isolation of its settlements. It is also a prosperous nation - the bounty of its forests and mines provide the Varushkans with great wealth.
It is also a land of danger; the monsters of Varushka are well known, but the wide wilderness holds dangerous other than the claws of the walking dead or the bite of a maddened bear-horror. It is easy to get lost in Varushka, if one strays too far from the vales and the roads that connect them.
The rich heartland of the nation, and the wealthiest territory in terms of timber and amber, this is where most outsiders think of when Varushka is mentioned. The vales here exist among rich forests, where they have not been cleared to make way for small farms. Karov has the largest towns in Varushka, and the majority of its boyars come from this relatively civilised territory. A great deal of trade happens in Karov, with wagon trains and river barges carrying raw materials south to Temeschwar and north to more isolated valleys who are in need.
Miekarova is more heavily forested than the rest of Varushka. It is known for its furs, for its hunting, and for its particularly harsh winters. Snow regularly falls here for up to six months in the year, and it is common for vales to be snowed-in during the darkest months. The wolves of Miekarova are especially savage, and every few years or so gather in great hordes that sweep down out of the north, threatening the unwary and causing widespread trouble until they are eventually dealt with. Plaguewulfs are more common here than anywhere else in Varushka, and the sovereign believed to be their progenitor, The Howling Queen, is said to slumber somewhere beneath the hills of north-eastern Miekarova. .
The mountains of Volodmartz are rich in timber and ore. There are comparatively few vales here, and the boyars have a reputation for being particularly iron-fisted. Much more common are outposts, scattered across the brooding hills and growing rich from the mineral wealth they exploit. Both tend to be very well fortified, and not without reason. There are dark things in the peaks north of Volodmartz - creatures too wicked to live in Thule lands, or spawned in the lightless depths beneath the mountains. Plenty of folk tales tell of malign horrors that burrow under the earth, emerging without warning to overwhelm the foolish. The Volodny had their old centre of power in Volodmartz, and it was here that Alderei the tyrant-boyar was defeated by the Imperial Army. The ruins of his strongholds still lie beneath the forest canopy.
This has always been a war-torn land. The scene of many vicious battles against the barbarians since before Varushka joined the Empire, it is scattered with fortresses, battlefields and ruins. It has an accursed reputation, and many stories refer to the "bloated crows of Karsk, grown fat from human flesh and suffering." At one time this territory was home to numerous merchant boyars who became rich capturing and enslaving orcs to work in the mines of Volodmartz. When the [Imperial orcs]] joined the Empire and it became illegal to keep orcish slaves, the senator for Karsk was brutally murdered during a meeting with a dozen now-ruined Karsk boyars. It was conquered by the Thule in 368YE, and liberated by the Empire in 377YE - although how long it will remain free is difficult to judge.
The first territory conquered by the Empire in almost two centuries, and the territory that officially made Varushka the largest nation in the Empire. Ossium was once part of the Mallum, finally conquered by the armies of Varushka, Dawn, and the Thule in the Winter of 382YE. It is a grim country of deep, dark forests, one that the Varushkan settlers share with the orcs of Otkodov. When the territory was claimed, most of the population were orcs. In the months since, there has been a drive to expand into the new land and claim its riches for Varushka. Of course, with new territory comes a new border with the Druj - one that is unlikely to remain peaceful.