Dragon Springs Barony

The Dragon Springs Barony is famous for abundant natural hot springs from which it draws the Barony's name.   Sometimes locals will bathe in pools for recreation. Other times homes are built around hot springs for natural heating.   This also has affected the character of the realm. Most of the locals born here have strong fiery traits, a relative rarity in West Colassia making the people physically stand out.   Their economy and culture is also influenced by the underground forces in more ways than just having lots of available hot water.   Currently they are protected and governed by the Paladins.

Government

Officially the realm is ruled by a Baron and he is assisted by four quadrant managers each have limited jurisdiction over about quarter of the inhabited areas, but all these leaders are essentially mouth pieces for the Paladins who make all the rules and major decisions.   The Paladins are fairly strict, setting curfews for the residents and controlling most of the food supply directly giving out daily meal rations.

Industry & Trade

There main trade is not goods but people. Residents here are more transient than most Border Baronies.   The population swells in the winter and declines in the summer. Travelers in and out normally have plenty of goods and livestock in tow.

History

Like most of the Border Baronies, the Barony of Dragon Springs has changed governments and owners several times over the centuries.   Currently the Baron is a figurehead installed by the Paladins who are the true rulers and have been so for roughly ten years.   Before the Paladins came in, the locals were devastated by attacks of subterranean monsters, the exact nature of these monsters will be expanded on later as I eventually develop Scarnoctis in greater detail.   While the Paladins are a controversial group that are not always viewed in a favorable light, they are favorably viewed by a majority of the Springers. Since their time of woe is still in living memory, the Paladins are still viewed as heroic liberators and most of locals are willing to tolerate their strict rules though transient visitors find the Paladin's rules irksome.   Since Borderlanders in general are anti-authoritarian by their very nature, and the locals are especially fiery in nature, it is likely that the Paladins will wear out their welcome in a few decades.   Historically most of the Barony's past regimes were republics or laissez-faire benevolent autocrats. It is not clear how the Paladins will react when (not if) the old patterns return.

Tourism

A lot of travelers make it a point to visit the hot springs, but it's not just for pure tourism. A lot of Borderlanders choose to spend their winters here. Transients are welcome to stay for the winter as long as they bring their own provisions and pay a small fee (which is more often paid in trade good or handicraft than coin.   In the summer months, the Barony is uncomfortably hot for many people and some of the locals will become transient visitors to other Border Baronies.

Architecture

Stone buildings are the norm. The oldest and most well kept buildings are the ones built over natural hot springs.   There is an extensive tunnel network below the surface and this is inhabited. About a quarter of the residents work underground and about half the residents sleep underground (at least during the autumn and winter months) giving the Barony the nickname the Barony of Moles.

Geography

Lots of rugged mountain side with isolated valleys and warm and hot pools of various sizes bubbling up to the surface.   Underground the water gets hotter, to the point where it's unsafe to bathe. This actually helps serve as a natural barrier to invaders coming up from Scarnoctis but there are limited passages deeper underground where someone can travel between Scarterra and Scarnoctis without being boiled alive.   Threats from below are rare overall, but there was a recent spike in subterranean monster attacks relatively recently which led to their recent government change.

Natural Resources

There is some conventional farmland but the majority of their farmland is unconventional based on life stones, a major crop is brodesopp.   Most humans (and many nonhumans) do not care for brodesopp much and do not generally choose to eat it if they can afford alternatives. Pigs are less picky eaters and no problem eating brodesopp as a staple, and they are generally okay being cooped up in small pens as long as they are warm.   Goats and sheep are the predominant livestock in most of the Border Baronies region but the Dragon Springs Barony relies on pork as their staple meat and can even export salted pork to other Border Baronies.   In addition to springs of hot water, they also have molten ore with a few small but steady sources of nonprecious metals. They also have a few small stalks of haber crystals.
Alternative Name(s)
Grey Springs Barony, the Barony of Moles, the Dragons Cage
Type
National Territory
Inhabitant Demonym
Springers
Location under
Owning Organization
Related Traditions


Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake

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