Caerdach

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The Barony of Caerdach


Duchy: Guardian


Leaders: Baroness Linette Barca


Population: 182,000


Lordships: Gwencalon, Cliffrun


Known For: Trade, Allarian Wood, the Ducal Seat


Major Towns and Cities: Gwencalon (baronial seat)


Characters of Caerdach: Here



Description: Located on the point of Guardian closest to Gateway, the barony of Caerdach is little more than the Barca seat of power, consisting of the cliff on which the hereditary castle sits, a few tracts of land around it, and the city and port of Gwencalon below. Because of the high, sheer cliff face, the port itself is ideal for deep-water vessels. Some of the area on the clifftop near the castle is planted with olive trees, sculpted and twisted by centuries of wind off the water into fantastic shapes.

The people of Caerdach are the merchants of Guardian, the most civilized of its people and those who interface most easily with citizens of the other isles. Still, they maintain their isle’s reputation, and are rumored to be the wrong merchants to double-cross if you don’t like the idea of a knife in your back.

History

The history of Caerdach is tied to the history of the Barca family which has, except for a short interlude (503-505 A.G.), ruled the Isle of Guardians since solidifying control at Tel Girade 30 A.G. The barony is traditionally held by a Barca scion, and the current Baroness, the younger sister of Duke Aaric, took over that position after he made his bid for the ducal seat.

During the Great Schism of 508, a tidal wave stuck the city of Gwencalon, while reports came in of attacks on the Duke and several nobles on the cliffs above. Baron Leon Barca died on Gateway during the same, though the circumstances of his death are uncertain.

Politics

The barony of Caerdach is divided into two lordships: Gwencalon and Cliffrun. It is noted for its loyalty to Barca leadership, perhaps through close association and proximity to that family. Caerdach Castle, sitting above the cliffs of Gwencalon, serves as both the Ducal and Baronial seats, forcing leadership of this barony to work closely with the island's leadership, whether they want to or not.

The small nature of the barony and close proximity of leadership can also lead to a feeling of too many cooks in the kitchen: lords of Gwencalon and Cliffun often have Ducal eyes over their shoulders, and the baron or baroness may feel superfluous at times. The combination of close proximity and expected loyalty leads to either domination by the Barca family or the subtlety in maneuvering for which Gwencalon's merchants are so well-known.

Or both.

Succession of Barons

November 28, 505 – Present

Baroness Linette Barca (b. December 8, 484)
m: Lord Leon Maritus (b. August 12, 487; d. October 24, 508)

November 500 – November 28, 505

Baron Aaric Barca (b. January 10, 482)
Geography

Caerdach comprises the port city of Gwencalon and the cliffs above it, stretching for several leagues on either side and inland. The city itself rises up the cliffs that surround a horseshoe-shaped harbor. The land stretching around and further inland is made up of foothills leading into the low mountains of Smithfield, and plays host to sparse forests of pine and the hardy Allarian wood.

Economy

Gwencalon is the largest city on the isle and the conduit of trade running to and from the Isle of Gateway. As such, it is a wealthy city, and the wealth rises and tends to spread into the barony, just as the wealthier denizens of the city tend to sprawl their villas across the landscape above the cliffs.

Culture

The culture of Caerdach is, as far as the Isle of Guardian goes, a culture of civilization. The people of Gwencalon have long dwelt in a city that has rarely lacked much for trade, and has always brought in enough money for the rich to remain rich and the poor to...well, there's always the poor. They make their way. Cliffrun has absorbed and adopted much in the way of Gwencalon's attitudes, a faint superiority over the rest of the isle for their proximity to the Barca seat of power and the various effects that power and wealth bring to an area.

Bestiary

The beasts of Caerdach comprise mostly deer and boar among the pine forests. They are not nearly enough to sustain the barony, which imports the vast majority of its food from Green Fields, and serve mainly as amusement and an opportunity for the civilized, city-dwelling Guardians of this barony to practice their traditional Guardian hunting and gathering skills during the isle's holidays.

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