Borderlay

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Vassal of Aquila
Status County
Location Northeast of Bowcourt and South of Midheim
Area
Geography A long North-South river valley, fertile croplands and extensive stony soiled areas under viticulture
Population 80,000 (mostly Human)
Urbanisation
16%
Major Towns

Borderlay (3,500)
Champoussyn (2,900)
Montrizond (2,400)
Les Crozets (2,300)
Aboundanse (2,000)

Languages

–Lalange
–Common
–Elvish
–Others

–Literacy


35%
60%
20%
5%

15% (mostly urban)

Exports
Wine, Fruits
Imports
Metals, Certain Woods

NOTE: This area of Alusia may be out of date, given the campaign events - The Drow Invasion.


The County of Borderlay is part of the Western Kingdom.
The main population settlement in the County is also called Borderlay and is on the North Road.

The lack of fortified homes and castles predates its current vassalage to Aquila, when King Sigismund created the very first duchy, presenting Bordelay as a hunting preserve for his bastard son Edderick -- and creating a demilitarized zone between the belligerent Marches of Bowcourt and Mittelmark.


GM's with an interest or details of this area

  • Chris C
  • Michael Parkinson
  • Ian Wood

History

EARLY HISTORY:

Bordelay's origins as a separate county go back some seven centuries to the rein of King Sigismund, who was well known to history as a staunch and up-right man, though not with the ladies. Sigismund's sons Edderick and Rodderick were fine young men, even if they did not know his queen, who composed wonderful volk-tales.

Although the term "request" lacks a certain quality for shrillness and repetition, still it should not be said that Sigismund allowed any demands to be made of him, and it is reasonable to assume that the creation of two county palatines was a sensible and strategic move, especially as they were placed not only on the main trade routes, but also spanned the borders of his three marquisettes, who had hitherto been known to quarrel.

Edderick was given the county Bordelay, to cover the border between the middle march and the eastern march, which is now called Bowcourt. Rodderick was given the county Innisberg, to separate the middle march from the western march, now called Aquila. Bordelay, for various reasons such as a shrill mother and the need to keep the complacency of the citizens of EB, was elevated to a new rank above that of marquis, and Edderick became a duke.

The nature of Bordelay, as intended to allay fears of invasion, was purposefully kept as peaceful as possible, and Sigismund decreed that no castles were to be built within its borders.

The early history of Innisberg is intrinsically linked with that of Bordelay and when Rodderrick died shortly after King Sigismund disappeared, perhaps to go off plane, the finger was pointed at the blood soaked visage of Edderick. Innisberg of course, stayed as an independent county, although without a recognised count, as the man thought to be Roddericks only son and heir was rumoured to have gone into hiding with an equally shadowy order of knights, the Halbadiers. Much has been made of Innisberg's, until recent, status as a republic with elected officials, but little has been said of the clause in its charter that requires the council to provide for the heirs of Rodderick.


The loss of prestige suffered by Edderick lasted all his miserable life. Wolves were heard to howl and prowl along the southern boundary. Assassins were seen to pass without fear of apprehension, the elves caused the river to refrain from flooding and hence the land was without fine silt or loam.

Worst however, was that the fledgling wine industry was taken over by outsiders, who took land without regard to the count and built the fine chateaux that are now dotted all across the county.

Count Edderick was now unable to service his obligations, nor ensure his will within his own domains and he died a broken man.

Edderick's son, Wilhelm obviously learnt from the nipple, for he eschewed his father's coarse ways and rebuilt the county into a lively area: a country retreat for nobles and their play things. From then on, the Count's riches came from servicing the needs of the many chateaux and vineyards.


Geography

Borderlay is some 140 miles (North-South) and 125 miles (West-East) which gives it an area of some 17500 Sq Miles. A lot of the area (some 10% or so) is taken up by the rivers which abound here at the base of the mountains, another 30% is lost due to the rough ground in the area and 10% is lost due to the roads and urban centers in the county. This means that 50% is available for growing crops or pasture for animals.

Around 30% of the area is used for growing the crops which grow best in this region and particularly grape production which accounts for some 80% of this. The actual soil in the region is relatively poor for growing most crops and only the most hardy grow here in any great quantity. This poor soil and higher rock content is what makes the region more suitable for its grape crops.

The main river that passes through the County is the Montrachet River and the river comprises some of the county's border in the south until Borderlay abuts the Barony of Sylvanwold and the Lupine wood where were creatures are rumoured to abound.

Population

Borderlay has a population of around 80,000 and is mostly human. The population of the County increases each year (by about 5%) in Autumn with the significant influx of workers who arrive to help with the harvesting of the crops.


Towns and Villages

Military

Borderlay does not have a significant military force since it has been stable for many generations and has been protected by the Western Kingdom forces who co-patrol border regions. The County only has two regiments, one of infantry and another of Cavalry.


The troops are based in the 'Tours de guet de’Gismunde' that are scattered around the realm and this network of towers provide garrison points for patrols based from these locations.

Tours de guet de’Gismunde

This network of towers provides accommodations not only for military personnel but also tariff collectors, taxmen and reeves for the local area. Given the largely commercial nature of the realm those enforcing commercial costs upon others are in need of the protection that being billeted with local troops affords as well as providing secure premises for storage of valuables.


Crime

Borderlay has been plagued by bandit attacks from the mountains to the East of the County for some years. The wild, largely unpopulated and unexplored mountains are disputed territory between a number of perpective rulers and has been used as a safe haven for those 'less desirable' for the past decade.

Known criminals are the bandits Red Brain, The Crimson rebels, Milly the Maniac and the notorious Black Jim.

Resources

Wines

The Borderlay region is centered on the Montrachet River which runs North to South through it and the lands around the river are littered with vast vineyards renowned across Alusia. Some of the best known variaties grown here are:

  • Bouchet, this red wine of the Cabernet Franc variety accounts for some 33% of the regions output
  • Carmenere, this red wine of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety accounts for around 30% of the regions output
  • Pineau de la Borderlay, this fine white wine of the Chenin Blanc variety accounts for some 22% of the regions production

These three varieties account for some 85% of the wine produced in the region and what Borderlay is widely known for (by the masses).

There are several lesser known varieties grown here in these poor soil, rocky hills and some of the better known are:

  • Touraine, this white wine of the Arbois variety
  • Petit Arvine, this white wine of the Arvine variety (a dry white which is full bodied and faintly spicy)
  • Heida Paen, this classic white wine
  • Cour Borderlay, a rare white wine of the Romorantin variety
  • Muscadelle de Borderlay, a sweet white wine of the Muscadelle variety
  • Frei d'Dieu, rumoured to have healing properties (cf Looking for the Ladle)

These lesser known wines are a reflection of the great difficulty in growing these wine types. These wines command a much higher price (if they can be found outside of Borderlay) and are considered a sign of status by some who may have some stocks of these rare wines.

Other Resources

Borderlay also is known for its:

  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Almonds
  • Plums

Culture

Spa's Spa Argyles-Gazhost in La Chapelle d’Aboundanse

Language

The most frequent languages spoken in the realm are Common, Lalange and Folksprach.

Festivals

Autumn

  • 17th Fruit - Start of Wine Week, this is the week when buyers from all across Alusia bid for stocks of the regions main wine varieties and the wines bid on are mainly from the current and last 2 years stocks.


  • 1st Harvest - Start of Harvest festival
  • 18th Harvest - The Autumn Ball
  • 30th Harvest - End of Harvest festival


  • 10th of Vintage - The Festival of Purple
  • 29th Vintage – The ‘Homeward’ Ball. This ball marks the start of the period where those in Borderlay over the Summer and Autumn seasons return home for another year.

Winter

  • 9th Snow - Bouchet Nouveau day. On this day the first very young batch of the Bouchet wine is released in Borderlay (and elsewhere if they can arrange transport) to a day of feasting after a long Autumn season and to enjoy some Winter joy before the heavy snows set in. The day is a day of holiday in Borderlay.
  • 18th Snow - The Winter Ball

Spring

  • 13th Thaw - The Borderlay Guards Ball


  • 18th Seed - The Spring Ball


23rd Blossom - The Debutante's Ball

Summer

  • 12th of Meadow - The Count’s Ball in Borderlay
  • 19th of Meadow - The Chancellor’s Ball


  • 18th Heat - The Summer Ball

Important People

  • Compte de Borderlay aka the Count - Bertrand L’Heureux
  • Contesse de Borderlay aka the Countess - Agathe L’Heureux , (nee Agathe Guerette)
  • Chancelier de Borderlay - Claude Laferriere, runs the civil administration of Borderlay
  • Trésorier de Borderlay - Jacques Beauchamp, looks after the treasury of Borderlay
  • Surintendant des finances de Borderlay - Marin Levasseur, the royal finance officer
  • Joint Privé de Borderlay - Joachim La Vaissiere, holds the Great Seal of Borderlay that is necessary to make anything official
  • Chambrier de Borderlay - Aubert Venables, runs the town of Borderlay
  • Bouteiller de Borderlay - Dominique Monet, looks after ceremonies, judgements, the royal table and wine cellars
  • Haut Veneur - Guillaume Lavache,(Chambrier Dept) Borderlay’s Game warden
  • Haut Falconer - Laurent Theriault,(Stewards Dept) Master of the hunt, hunting lodges
  • Haut Maitre de Eaux et Forests - Marc Beauregard,(Chambrier Dept) supervises water and forests
  • Haut Ecuyer - Alain Sanschagrin, (Stewards Dept) stables, itinery and couriers
  • Haut Baillis - Jules St Laurent, looks after the Counts estates and enforces justice
  • Haut Pannetier - Antoinette Bernard, (Chambrier Dept) supervises city bakeries and the like
  • Haut Queux - Helene Godbout,(Stewards Dept) Cook
  • Haut Maitre de l’Hostel et de la Maison du Roi - Renee L’Etoile, royal steward who overseas various others
  • Grand Chamberlain de Borderlay - Sylvain Kirouac, runs the Counts Household in charge of Justice, finance, weights and measures
  • Administrateur de Borderlay - Ricard Bricaut, looks after the Counts estates
  • Chamberlain de Borderlay - Phillippe Bergeron
  • Bishop de Borderlay - Silvestre duQuay,
  • Vidame de Borderlay - Konrad Hudon, a secular official chosen by the Bishop to perform functions in the church’s earthly interest and in the service of justice.
  • Haut Aumonnier de Borderlay - Etienne LaMarche, royal priest
  • Haut Agent de police de Borderlay - Henri Delbec, the Constable of Borderlay
  • Connetable de Borderlay - Franz Bouvier, the Chief Military Officer in Borderlay
  • Surveillant du Nord - Michel D’Auteuil, the warden of the Northern half of Borderlay
  • Surveillant du Sud - Lawrence Bisset, the warden of the Southern half of Borderlay
  • Haut Prevot des Marechaux - Olivier Beauregard, regional officers of Justice, often involved in suppressing highway crime and insurrections
  • Seneschal de Borderlay - Adrein Gamache, runs the Counts royal household
  • Haut Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Gilbert Labonte, the president of the Borderlay council who has knowledgable and powerful advisors to advise the Count.
  • D'abord Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Jacques Theriault, 1st Councillor of Borderlay
  • En second lieu Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Louis Santerre, 2nd Councillor of Borderlay
  • Troisième Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Thomas St Couer, 3rd Councillor of Borderlay
  • Quatrième Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Pierre Leroux, 4th Councillor of Borderlay
  • Cinquième Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Rene Pageot, 5th Councillor of Borderlay
  • Sixième Conseiller d’Etat de Borderlay - Barthelemi Vaillancourt, 6th Councillor of Borderlay
  • Port Oriflamme - Gregoire Lapierre, Carries the counts banner in battle

Important Families

There are a number of important families in Borderlay but they can be classed in three major groups or classes.

Instruit aristocratique de Borderlay

The 9 major families that first 'settled' this county and developed a lot of the land make up this group. These families are vastly powerful and politically astute here in Borderlay. A number of these families have 'diversified' into several other nearby realms. There used to be 13 families in this 'class' but 4 have been either lost, destroyed or vanquished over the past several hundred years.

Amis de la Terre

This group of 20 families constitutes the majority of the land holders by the size of holdings and not necessarily the quality and location of the lands. This group used to consist of 35 families but 15 have been either lost, destroyed or vanquished over the past several hundred years.


Colons de vin

This is where the rest of 'the families' reside unless they are elevated to another class. This group is the largest in number of people in the families but represents the least powerful and politically assertive.