Klarica County Settlement in Scarterra | World Anvil

Klarica County

Brigid's second portrait by Eron12 with Hero Forge
I had to run an errand here once, it was the only time I visited Klarica County. I never thought I'd feel sorry for a goblin. If what you can see in plain sight is so horrific, I can only imagine what they are hiding here.   Brigid, messenger, among other things
  Klarica County is named for a legend of a mad Queen Klarica who murdered a number of family member and hundreds of her subjects that supposedly lived here during the Red Era.   The area was believed to be haunted and cursed with more than a few colorful instances in its history. It wasn't until a traveling priestess of known as Tapukeah Nicola Memorial Temple figured out that the local water supply was contaminated by lead poisoning.   Not too surprisingly, the region holds what may be the most productive lead mine in the entire world.


The realm is nominally tied by feudal obligations to the Duchy of Crescent Rock but is run largely as an autonomous realm because the Duke of Crescent Rock is a weak leader and he cannot easily enforce his edicts here since no one really wants to travel to Klarica County if they don't have to.

Industry & Trade

by me with Midjourney
The realm's sole export is lead. In the land of Swynfaredia, lead is widely sought after for its ability to interfere with divination magic, especially scrying.   Given that Kingdom of Swynfaredia is a hotbed of magically augmented espionage, nearly castle or major holding in Swynfaredia has at least one lead lined meeting room, so new construction and rennovation projects nearly always require some lead.
  The current Count of Klarica is a shrewd and ruthless manager. He has to be in order to keep the mine profitable. The lord of the realm brings in a lot of income selling lead, but he also racks up a lot of expenses. The hard nosed lord is a very detailed oriented manager and a shrewd negotiator. He keeps the realm highly profitable almost through force of will.  
While the miners are all convicts or slaves, the local food is grown by free peasants. The peasant farmers have frequent though not always perfect access to Purification magic and they are paid almost double what farmers are paid elsewhere, This is mainly because they have to put up with the all the inconveniences of having to take precautions against lead poisoning but also because they are the first targets of a goblin mutiny, of which the chances are rare but not zero.
by me with Midjourney
  The overseers, soldiers, and theurgists here are all are paid very well.   Luxury goods are periodically imported into the region but not a lot of merchant caravans like to go here, so those that do charge a high markup.   As a result, many of the free workers here opt to live a semi-transient lifestyle, roughing it for a couple years with few creature comforts while saving their money, then moving elsewhere either temporarily or permanently to spend their money.


Queen Klarica was neither the first nor the last person to meet a tragic end in this land, she was merely the most famous or infamous example.   Many believed this area was the site of major demonic activity during the Second Unmaking though this was not the case.  
Lead poisoning was well documented and understood during the Second Age, but the knowledge was lost during the Second Unmaking. For most of the Red Era and the some of the early Feudal Era, it was not understood why so many people in this land were afflicted with horrible fates. The land got a repuation for being haunted and/or cursed.
by me with Midjourney
by me with Midjourney
It wasn't until a wandering priestess of Mera, Tapukeah Nicola, rediscovered the causes and symptoms of lead poisoning and traveled Scarterra spreading this lore so that the people understood the nature of this area's curse was natural and preventable. Though not all believed her and even a thousand years later, there are skeptics who believe the areas is actually cursed.
  As people began resettling the area, they took precautions against lead poisoning, especially magical precautions and the mine was opened in earnest with miners very carefully unearthing lead while protected by magic spells.   Eventually this realm fell under Swynfaredia's control. As a cost saving measure., the new lord in charge opted to use goblin slaves and human convicts to work the mines rather than paid workers with magical protections

Points of interest

The lead mine produces most of Scarterra's lead, primarily used for blocking hostile scrying, for which there is lots of demand.     Many goblin slaves and human convicts are worked to death here.   There is a large temple primarily but not exclusively staffed by the Tenders with many Purificationist theurgists to make the area liveable, at least for the local human farmers if not the miners though the miners are sometimes given just enough magical healing to let them work that much longer.


The realm is subject to intangible superstition and tangible lead poisoning, so the area is sparsely populated and generally avoided by people at large.   Lead blocks scrying and the area has so much ambient lead that scrying to or from this land is functionally impossible and all other forms of magical divination are difficult here.   Combined, these two factors make this realm a popular meeting place for criminal and heretic groups to hold clandestine deals or to dispose of incriminating evidence (or witnesses).


The topography is primarily gently rolling hills.   There is a mix of cultivated farmland and wooded areas.   The area has a localized effect that makes magical scrying to or from the area functionally impossible.


The area is temperate with hot summers and cold winters.

Natural Resources

The main resource of note is a very productive lead mine.   There is abundant water underground, but that water require magical Purification to be drinkable without poor long-term health term effects.   While there are many theurgists purifying large quantities of water every day, clean water is still not as abundant as people like. Rain barrels are very popular here for obvious reasons.   The farmland is moderately productive though the soil has mild lead contamination, especially with root vegetables.   When possible, local theurgists purify the agricultural products, but they cannot cover everything, so the local farmers avoid growing root vegetables.   The local food here is more or less safe to eat, but the local rulers generally eat only imported food.

Klarica County Game Mechanics

    Scrying is near impossible. If a would-be scrying spends 100 drams of divination reagents on top of any existing cost to the spell, they can try to scry to or from the area at +3 difficulty.   All other magical divination is at +2 difficulty within the confines of the County of Klarica.   Purification ●● can treat a large quantity of food or water and remove the lead.   Purification ●●● can cleanse a person from minor and recent lead exposure.   Purification ●●●● can partially mitigate the damages for someone with long-term systemic lead poisoning.   Purification ● can detect poison, but it normally detects immediately dangerous poison, not poisons with slow, long term effects. Same boat for the arcane Divination spell "Detect Poison". A would-be caster needs to roll three successes to detect lead contamination. Trying to use Purification ● to detect any sorts of poison is at +2 while in the Klarica County.
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Cover image: by me with Midjourney


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