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    The Sud Graufult: Fief of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult
    Posted on Wed, August 08, 2001 by Toran
    Taras writes "Stretching along much of the southern banks of the Greyflood river, the fief of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult serves as the seat of House Cranden-Guarhoth. Presented here is a gazetteer of the settlements and sites of this fief.

    Author: Taras Guarhoth


    The Fief of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult

    by Taras Guarhoth (montand@canonfire.com)
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    Note: Small villages and hamlets dot the Sud Graufult. Many of these are quite small (40 people or less), and thus won’t recieve any detail unless there’s something significant there. Only those settlements with over 100 people, or some kind of fortification or adventuring area will be detailed. Also, unless otherwise noted, each of the following towns and villages (providing they’re not a ruin) are assumed to have at least chapel dedicated to Pholtus, most being of the Orthodox Church of the South.

    Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult

    The town of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult is the seat of the fief which bears it’s name. A stone wall protects the 3200 inhabitants of this town, which sits on the southern bank of the Greyflood River. A freak outcropping of a hard grey-green stone dominates the town, rising 150’ above the ground, and anchoring the town’s walls. Atop this outcropping sits the Keep of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult (more a sprawling castle built in pieces over the past thousand years than a mere keep), home of the reclusive sage, Waldgraf Taras Cranden-Guarhoth, who rules the fief and town.

    The only bridge crossing the Greyflood to be found within the Sud Graufult can be found at the western end of the town, and is well guarded by the town’s guard. Barges can be found at the docks east of the bridge, and are used to carry goods along the Greyflood, but only to the east, as the river is unnavigable to the shallow barges west of the town.

    The central market dominates the center of the town, just as the keep dominates the skyline. It is here that can be found the vast majority of the inns, taverns, shops, and other establishments catering to the traveler or adventurer. Once every two months (except in the winter), the central market is completely filled, with Ahlissan and Aerdi merchants selling their goods to the local merchants, and purchasing goods made in the Iron League nations and throughout the Sud Graufult. During this week, it is nearly impossible to rent rooms anywhere in the city, as the merchants tend to take them all.

    Two cathedrals dominate the town, both devoted to Pholtus, one each for the Imperial Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of the South. Smaller chapels can be found scattered about the town, some devoted to lesser entites of the Pholtine church, although none come close to rivaling the main cathedrals of the town. Within the Harashim Quarter can be found a single temple devoted to the Harashim gods, although few non-Harashim have bothered to make their way through the maze-like district to see it.

    In and around the Harashim Quarter can be found an unusually large number of bookbinders, scribes, illuminators, and other establishments catering to scholars. They have been attracted here by the reclusive sage, who grudgingly allows access to his private library and archives to those who bring him important information, rare books, historic artifacts, or excessively large sums of money. No better collection exists for the study of Aerdi Imperial History than that of the Waldgraf.

    Rumors around the town state that the great outcropping of rock is honeycombed with pre-Flan tunnels, although no entrances to this tunnel complex are known. It is whispered that the cellars, dungeons, and catacombs beneath the Keep have connections to these tunnels, but, once again, there is no proof of this.

    Lashivah

    This village, located where the Shalchmar river leaves the northern spur of the Hollow Highlands, is built around a small keep which serves to protect against the occasional group of bandits or humanoids in the area. Only one inn (which also contains the only general store) can be found in the village, as few travelers ever pass through, although the garrison at the keep occasionally makes use of the inn’s services.

    The town is governed by Lansgraf Ulrich Cranden-Guarhoth, where he heads a garrison of 50 soldiers, who keep the peace in the village as well as patrol the surrounding countryside (as well as the roads to Sulzdorf and Essfeld), but, in general, the area around the village is very quiet.

    Sulzdorf

    Located where the Shalchmar meets the Greyflood, this village serves as the land-based gateway into Ahlissa from the Sud Graufult, and roads from the town lead to Hexpools and Kist (and from there on to Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult and Noshirat). A keep, with a garrison of 50 men, guards the river ford here. Lansgraf Tilman du Bourne is the ruler of the village and it’s garrison.

    A handful of inns cluster about the center of this village, catering to the infrequent caravans headed to or from Ahlissa (most pass north, through Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult). There is one shop in the town, carrying a variety of supplies and catering to those caravans who have run out of some miscellaneous supplies. A shallow ford crosses the Shalchmar and serves as the primary means of crossing that river.

    Kist

    Sitting on the east bank of the Halmach river, this village primarily serves merchants traveling between Noshirat and Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult, as well as those who travel west into Ahlissa. A ford crosses the Halmach, and provides access to the other side of the river.

    Several inns stand within the village, including one on the west bank of the Halmach (just outside of the village). A couple of shops exist within the village, and are well supplied with common items, although any rare or odd items need to be purchased in Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult or Noshirat.

    No keep guards this village, although a fortified tower stands just outside the village, and houses 20 soldiers under the command of Lansgraf Olaus Cranden-Guarhoth. The soldiers mainly patrol the immediate vicinity of the village itself, as the larger towns tend to watch the roads to the north and south.

    Uengershausen

    This walled compound is more an oversized monastery than a community, although a small village (of roughly 25 people) sits just outside the walls. Run by Abbot Veltius Garasteth, the monastery serves as a rare center of power of the Imperial Orthodox Church within the Sud Graufult (with most in the area belonging to the Orthodox Church of the South).

    The monastery can trace it’s beginnings back to earliest days of Aerdi settlement in the area, having been founded by a militant Aerdi priest to help guard the lands against the infidel Suel (and convert the natives to the religion of the Aerdi). Since that time, the monastery has remained a quiet, although prominent, display of Imperial Aerdy’s power in the area.

    Local rumor has it that the monastery was built on the remains of an old Suel fort (which was built on an old Harashim fort, which was built on something even older), although the monks flatly deny that anything exists underneath the monastery other than their own catacombs and cellars. Not everyone believes them, of course.

    Gerbrunn

    Located on the banks of the Greyflood, the village of Gerbrunn serves as an important stop along the road from Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult to Malfurt. Several good inns lie within the village, and a couple of shops cater to travelers. A small keep houses 50 soldiers, and is ruled by Lansgraf Karl Cranden-Guarhoth.

    A couple of miles to the northeast of town stands a small strand of trees, which is believed to be used by smugglers to move certain illegal goods to and from Ahlissa without notice. So far, the Lansgraf has turned a blind eye towards it, as long as it doesn’t get too out of hand, as the smugglers still bring their coin to the village and stay at the inns there. Some have speculated that the Lansgraf is directly receiving bribes from the smugglers, although the only person foolish enough to vocalize that speculation in front of the town’s guards ended up badly beaten after a brawl.

    Buchbrunn

    The village of Buchbrunn marks the location of the last ford across the Teshan before it enters the Greyflood. As such, the road from Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult to Malfurt passes through the village. A keep, slightly larger than necessary, houses 50 soldiers and guards the river crossing, all under the command of Lansgraf Montand Cranden-Guarhoth.

    As with most of the large villages along the road following the Greyflood, several inns and shops cater to the traveler, all of them near the ford. An old Harashim seer lives within the village, and is often sought out by those from surrounding communities before making important decisions, although he does charge steep fees (steep being relative...an adventurer can pay a lot more than a peasant can...and the seer has the uncanny ability to know just how much someone can pay) for his services.

    Torvald

    Located at the junction of the Teshan and Greyflood, this town was once the seat of the mixed Suel-Harashim House Toshna. It now lies in ruins, and few are willing to venture near it (and even less are willing to actually enter the ruin). In fact, anyone caught trying to enter the ruin is subject to summary execution, on the orders of Waldgraf Taras Cranden-Guarhoth, who has stationed some troops in the area to keep watch over the remnants of the town for him.

    More about Torvald.


    Overview of the Sud Graufult



    Note: Aerdy, Ahlissa, Sud Graufult, Sunndi"
     
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    Re: The Sud Graufult - Fief of Olvanstaadt-am-Graufult (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    First of all, I have to say I like Eric's invention of the Sud Graufult, one of the few completely fabricated settings I've seen that meshes so well with the surrounding, canonical, Flanaess. I've used it myself in my South Province Campaign. In fact, I've chosen to respond to this particular post only because this is the one I refer to the most for my campaign.

    However, for the sake of the uninitiated, I feel the heresies need be pointed out.

    The Harashim, or Jewish Flan, were invented to give the Sud Graufult a colorful ethnic minority. Yet it is hardly in keeping with the genocidal nature of Aerdy colonization to have just ignored such a large community of native Flan. However, making the Harashim a displaced, homeless people would make them resemble the Attloi. I propose that the Attloi would in fact be a better choice for a human ethnic minority in the region (provided one is not of the opinion that "Attloi" is just a derisive term for the Rhenee).

    The frequent mention of churches of Pholtus is heretical, betrayed by references to the Oerthodox Church of Aerdy (see Eric's contribution to the Heretic's Nest folder). These should almost always be substituted with Flan agricultural deities, given the nature of the region (and the Oerdians love to adopt the gods of their conquered peoples).

    A few other notes: I dispute the presence of so many inns in these write-ups. Sulzdorf, described once as a village, is said to have a handful of them. I question a village's ability to support that many inns, as well as the ability to feed large caravans or even regular smaller ones. I would instead imagine that caravans carry their own food and drink for the trip from Hexpools to the major towns of the Sud Graufult. When they do stop in a village, every empty stable and spare room becomes a makeshift inn for rent.

    And lastly, why is there no road from Sulzdorf to Olvenstaadt-am-Graufult? Or more precisely, why would land-based travelers chose to reach Olvenstaadt by way of traveling south to Kist, and then heading north to Olvenstaadt, when they can follow the Greyflood River and get there faster?




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