Uwcharedia (based on the Welsh word for “secondary”) Tentative Geographic Assignment: Spot 18 and Spot 20 Basic Concept: This is a puppet state of Uwcharedia where Swynfaredians dump their non-sorcerous children Challenges: Externally, Uwcharedia is disliked by most of their neighbors. Internally, the peasants resent their Squib lords for high taxes. See the Uwcharedian government article for details. When the realm conquered New Uwcharedia, aka Wooly Slopes Province, Uwcharedia has picked up new enemies. Old Uwchwardia may have been usurped from a brutal and much hated warlord, but New Uwcharedia was usurped from an autonomous coven of wizards who were well-liked by the commoners. Even thirty years later, they view the Uwcharedia nobles as an evil occupying force. Their resistance movements are quietly back by the Lanterns of Zarthus and assorted Fumayan nobles from House Deorac (who also hate Swynfaredians). Once in a while, squib children of sorcerers will unexpectedly conceive sorcerers. A lot of these sorcerers and sorceresses choose to make their way back to Swynfaredia where they are usually welcomed with open arms. One sorcerer and one sorceress have a different idea. They married to form a magical power couple. Their plan is to usurp the realm the entire realm of Uwcharaderedia, murder all their squib cousins with the petty little titles and estates, then repatriate into Swynfaredia with themselves serving as a proper Dragonblooded Duke and Duchess within Swynfaredia itself.
The Uwcharedian government and their puppet masters in the kingdom of Swynfaredia consider Uwcharedia to be one contiguous region. Most Borderlanders still think of this nation two separate places. Uwcharedia and New Uwcharedia (better known by it's colloquial name, the Wooly Slopes Province) are about 93% humans and 7% Other. Over half of the non-humans are gnomes. Uwcharedia’s original province (Old Uwchardia) has about 70,000 commoners and about 6,000 nobles. Uwcharedia’s Wooly slopes province has about 50,000 commoners and about 5,000 nobles. The nobles are about 95% ethnically Swynfaredian and 5% mixed Swynfaredian. Most of them are the grandchildren or great grand children of sorcerers and sorceresses. The common people are roughly 70% Borderlander humans, 15% Swynfaredian humans, 15% other. In the Wooly Slopes province, most commoners work in herding or directly support herders with only a tiny number of farmers. The Old Uwcharedian province economy is based roughly two thirds on agriculture and one third on herding.
Uwcharedia is top heavy with an unreasonably high number of nobles. All the nobles are Swynfaredian squibs or the children of Swynfaredian squibs. Both Uwcharedia are sliced into many small holdings with a noble lord or lady having exclusive income/tax rights from that land. Because a lot of nobles are trying to squeeze every possible copper piece out of a small piece of land, there are a lot of land and resource disputes between neighboring nobles. Duchess Nia and her husband Duke Neifion spend a large portion of their day mediating disputes. A lot of the nobles don't own land at all, though they still have greater social status than commoners, at least on paper.
A castle is a fortress that doubles as a home for a ruler. Uwcharedia has many houses that resemble castles and two fortresses that ressemble castles, but only one true castle. The ruling Duchess lives in a modest castle. Early in Uwcharedia's history, lots of the Uwcharedian nobles wanted their own castles, but it quickly became noted that the very small parcels of land and lack of income made building castles impractical. A lot of nobles make their houses aesthetically resemble castles but they are not really practical as fortification. There are at least six partially completed castles dotting the land as embarassing monuments to the nobles' overeach. In the recent years, two of these incomplete castles was actually completed. The one facing the main entry path to east (East Fort) and the other facing the entry path to the west (West Fort). To stave off infighting over who gets to live in the new castle, these castles were rechristened as fortresses. Zero noble gets to live in themtheir full time, they are exclusively for aiding the military. Because West Fort is now pointing towards New Uwcharedia rather than potential allies, East Fort is considered an important defensive location and West Fort considered a cushy assignment where no real threats are apt to come from. That is one castle and two fortresses to secure a very wide area. Most of the defenses of this realm are those nature made. Like most of the Borderland region, Old Uwcharedia has a lot of rough terrain.
Industry & Trade
Relative to their productivity, the commoners are overtaxed and struggle to meet their basic needs. The nobles export wool and reagents and import manufactured goods with their sole trading partner, Swynfaredia. Even with their high taxes, the nobles are not exactly living very comfortable compared to their high born counterparts in other lands. They can only maintain their lifestyle because Swynfaredian overpays them for their trade goods.
The realm is relatively cash strapped and a lot of the nobles at not having the luxuries that they believe they deserve but they do have a lot of well stocked, well maintained arsenals of weapons and armor.
Uwcharedia was usurped by an army of squib soldiers backed by House Goirsonad battle sorcerers roughly 200 years prior. At the time it was controlled by a rapacious warlord believed to be affiliated with the Testers. The previous warlord had usurped the realm from a kindly but relatively feckless and weak Border Baron roughly 20 years prior, claiming his daughter as his war bride. Given that the previous warlord was so hated, at the time the common people greated the Swynfaredian transplants as liberators. Once a year on the anniversary of Uwcharedia, the nobles sponsor a festival to celebrate this great event and remind the people how better off they are than they used to be. While the Swynfaredians made a big deal of taking out an evil tyrant, they really wanted this land as a convenient place to ship off Squibs to, in order to give them their own proverbial sand box to play in. Over the years, more and more squibs get shipped off to Uwcharedia and the first Uwcharedian squibs paired off and had children meaning the realm quickly grew top heavy with more nobility than they truly needed, and this led to relatively high taxes on the commoners in order to support this bloated upper crust. Over the succeeding generations, the common people have grown to resent their Squib overlords. The nobles do not beat, rape, or murder their peasants, but they do charge a higher rate of taxes than most other Border Baronies and a lot of peasant families struggle with finding enough food to make ends meet.
A lot of nobles live here without a lot of wealth, but they all aspire to be wealthy or at least appear wealthy. The nobility's houses often superficially ape Swynfaredian castles and try to appear elegant while mostly appearing tacky. Commoners tend to live in much simpler houses, more often than houses of stone and wood rather than just wood because wood is relatively scarce.
Uwcharedia claims a lot of land, but they only effectively control the mountain valleys and the areas immediately closest to the valleys.
Within the rugged highlands there are pockets of isolated flat valleys, which are relatively small but have an excellent crop yield acre per acre well suited to cereal crops. A few more marginal lands with somewhat unfavorable slopes and/or rockier soil provide decent if not extraordinary crop yields well suited to root crops. Uwcharedia has a modest amount of lush grazing land which is good for sheep and goats. Fast flowing mountain streams provide lots of clean water, but there is enough consistent rainfall that irrigation is not really needed though in a few places rice is cultivated. The mountain streams are considered to be the reason why the local ale is consodered to be top quality, but it's usually drank by the nobles not exported. The main export, practically the only export of Uwcharedia is reagents. Reagent ready wild plants are not phenomenally but they do grow more often than most places, and the realm's Swynfaredian puppet masters have a limitless hunger for reagents so they pay well for them. There are some modest mineral resources but it's all hard to get to. It's not cost effective to hire non-dwarf miners to get at and the the dwarf nations are not exactly eager to work with the Uwcharedians. Timber is available but not abundant, barely adequate for the realm's fuel and building needs. The Uwchardians have gotten some criticism from the region's Stewards for over harvesting trees.