Greyhawk: From the Ashes
Furyondy - The Gold County
The Gold County
Ruler: Countess Kyaren Rhavelle
Capital: Kyaren Libernen
Standing Army: 1,250
The Gold County is the least populated of all Furyondy’s provinces, but it is rich indeed. Its name partly derives from the many rich minor nobles who are attracted here by relatively low taxes, as well as the sunflower-like plants, growing on the plains, which are harvested for their seed oil.
Countess Rhavelle is a cunning woman, posing as an almost ingenuous socialite while actually possessing very sharp wit and insight. She admires Belvor’s craftiness, but she does not believe that Furyondy will face war for many years. For this reason, she stands steadfast against supplying extra revenue to the crown, and she has a good justification.
Rhavelle considers Duke Tyneman an effete ninny and Luther Derwent a wet blanket. She is wary of ambitious Baron Butrain of Willip, and dislikes the northern provincial rulers. She most admires Baron Jemian, but in truth the Countess is highly self confident and very reluctant to ever admit that she might be wrong.
Social mores play a dominating role in the Gold County. For example, merchants are only permitted to wear simple, dark cloaks and attire so as not to compete with the vivid styles of their noble superiors!
For the peasantry of the Gold County, life does not offer much. The nobles go about their manipulative and self-serving routines and pay little attention to the commoners who toil for them; in fact, the nobles are often so self-serving they neglect the populace altogether. Add to that the average Gold County commoner’s relative poverty, and it comes as no surprise that the people of the Gold County have turned to faith to fill their lives. In the post-War years, worship of St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel gained popularity throughout Furyondy. In the Gold County, not only was that growth unusually large, but faith in the God of zeal and forthrightness has become deep and long lasting, even when the temporary surge in the rest of the Kingdom has died down. Faith in St. Cuthbert has become so ingrained in the common populace here that the nobles have begun referring to the peasants as “Cuthbert’s Lot.”
Locations & Settlements:
- Libernen — This town, draped across countryside and surrounded by fields of dresadoes, in just about every way the center of life for the Gold County. Many minor nobles have estates here, and many of the rest gather here for both grand social gatherings and the requirements of day-to-day government. It is the place where the County’s foodstuffs are collected and sold. It is also a popular place for merchants to buy and sell, for Libernen stands on major trade roads connecting Littleberg, Free Borough, and several ports on the Veleverdyva River that bring it goods from Dyvers, Verbobonc, and the City of Greyhawk.
- Obad-hai and the Gleaming Glades — The northern edge of the Gnarley Forest stretches into the Gold County, where they are known as the Gleaming Glades. The Glades are a haven of wilderness power, and the home of the mysterious druids of Obad-hai. Obad-hai itself is a druidic necropolis, a series of earthen-mound tombs that the druids guard from any intruders. The tombs contain the bodies of former Obad-hai druids, and the bodies of those druids outside the Obad-hai who have been deemed worthy of burial there. Each tomb is planted with an oak tree. The druids themselves are stoic and secretive, and, some maintain, dangerous; this is just a misapprehension, as the druids could truly care less about the affairs of men. They do hold plans that would be counter-productive to Furyondy’s achievements, however, and so agents of the King keep a close eye on them.
- Rhavelle Holdings — The best lands in the County comprise the private grounds of Countess Rhavelle’s home. The Rhavelle Holdings are hillier than the farmlands to the east and dotted with lakes, and they hold within them the northernmost tip of the Gleaming Glades. Rhavelle spends much time here, enjoying leisurely carriage rides, hunting small game in a cultivated grove, and throwing lavish parties for the Gold County nobles—by invitation only, of course!
- Stalmaer — A port town on the Velverdyva River, Stalmaer is the only truly populous city in the County outside of Libernen. Stalmaer is known mainly as the distribution point for the dresadoe seed oil that is an important part of the County’s economy. Twice-weekly auctions are held during Goodmonth and Harvester, where twenty-gallon barrels are sold off in sixes to the highest bidders. The seed oil is popular throughout the eastern Flanaess, and so these auctions are very popular, and bidding is sometimes fierce. Stalmeer is home to the Green Jerkin Rangers, a small, elite band that keeps an eye on events in the Gnarley Forest and the Kron Hills. Recently, the King has responded to Sir Quill Kith’Barden’s calls to expand the Green Jerkins to help patrol the roads of Furyondy.
Canon Schyendorf’s temple to Rao sits in the center of Libernen. Of perhaps more significance are a number of small shrines scattered throughout the farming villages, erected for and dedicated to St. Cuthbert. The people take good care of the shrines, and Whillom Stronbillet visits each one regularly.