Bowcourt

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Arms of Bowcourt

NOTE: This area of Alusia may be out of date, given the campaign events - The Drow Invasion.


Large and prosperous ancient Marquisate predating the Old Western Kingdom by over 400 years; part of the Old and New Western Kingdoms.

History

Bowcourt was initially established as a "March" of Alfheim around 200 years after Panjari; a human population under elven nobility and governorship, created to protect the borders of Alfheim.

From 700 AP onwards the elven rulers were slowly and deliberately replaced with human nobility as the elves gradually withdrew back to Alfheim. The area became the "Marquisate of Bowcourt" as a distinct entity in title and lands around 800 AP, with the last of the elven nobility withdrawing from the area by 1100 AP. The population of the area has always been mainly human, but the ruling nobles were initially elven, this giving way to human nobility with a gradual withdrawl of elves from the area around 1100 AP.

When the northern migrations / invasions began around 1000 AP Bowcourt was a major source of resistance, largely limiting the earlier migrations to the west of the Baratary River.

After Ulric the Wolf founded the Western Kingdom around 1200 AP he married the Maquessa of Bowcourt and the kingdom's borders were redrawn to encompass the Marquisate. Part of the marriage agreement stated that Bowcourt, and the title of Marquessa would be granted to their eldest daughter, and that the area would continue to be passed in a matrialinear succession.

The area shows a strong elven influence even today in customs and language, and like Alfheim is traditionally matrialinear, although some areas, most notable Foxcourt, follow a predominantly patrialinear model of inheritance.

Borders & Major Towns

Over the years of the Old Kingdom the line of Kings married into Bowcourt a number of times. The noble women of Bowcourt are said by many to have "elven blood" despite the apparent impossibility of such a cross-breeding, and it is known that the daughters of many of the noble families possess notable beauty and appear to age significantly slower than most humans (their lifespans appear little altered but their apparent age is usually much less than their chronological age).

Two of the Marquessas have also borne the title "Queen of the West": Isabel the Good, and her daughter Yolanda.

Geography

All Towns
  • 63,340 square miles (excluding high mountain areas).
    • GM Note: For real world comparison; about the size of Washinton State, or Tunisia.
  • Fertile arable lands in north, west, and central areas.
  • Forested highlands and mountains in east.
  • Highly fertile lowlands in the south becoming bog in the south-west and forested hills in the south-east.

Major Areas & Settlements

Counties

  • Bowcourt (direct holdings)
    • Bowcourt, Captial City of (40,200)
    • Montsoreau (8,700)
    • Lafère (7,600)
  • Chagny
    • Saint-Michel (23,700)
    • Rochefort (8,600)
    • Vallon (7,400)
  • Foxcourt
    • Foxcourt, City of (18,900)

Viscounties

  • Nevers
  • Remy
    • Treville, City of (15,400)
    • Bragelonne (8,700)
  • Vole
    • Campagnol, City of (9,500)

Baronies (Coronet)

The Barons who hold "Coronet" Baronies are direct vassals of the Marquessa and rank higher in precedence than Barons who hold their lands from one of her Counts or Viscounts. The College of Heralds affords them the courtesy and precedence equal to a Viscount from outside of Bowcourt.

People

Population

The total population of Bowcourt as at the 800 WK census was 6,357,000:

  • 5,725,000 Humans (approx. 90%)
  • 200,000 Halflings
  • 150,000 Elves
  • 135,000 Dwarves
  • 64,000 Orcs
  • 48,000 Giants (mostly Hill Giants)
  • 20,000 Shapechangers (estimated)
  • 15,000 various other races

Livestock also recorded at the time of the census:

  • 9509772 fowls (including chickens, geese, and ducks)
  • 4475188 dairy and meat animals (including cows, goats, pigs, and sheep)

Languages

  • Lalange, Common (30% mostly urban)
  • Literacy 7-8% (predominately urban)

Government

  • Feudal Aristocracy
  • The Heads of the incorporated areas exercise considerable autonomy regarding matters internal to their area.

Social

The Marquisate of Bowcourt is a very large, reasonably wealthy, and well populated area. The current ruler is a strong leader, and shrewd politician. There are no particularly unusual social conditions in Bowcourt. Courtesy is highly regarded. Troublemakers will not be tolerated, and will be swiftly dealt with by the well trained and equipped city guards or rural militia. If the troublemakers prove too difficult for the local constabulary, a request for help will be sent to the nearest Michaeline chapter house or other Powers of Light enclave.

Note on Noble Titles

Although Bowcourt has at least the power and influence of any of the western duchies, the rulers of Bowcourt have steadfastly refused to alter the ruling title of "Marquessa".

Part of the reason appears to stem from the area's long and prestigious history dating back to being an elven march, and continuing special relationship with Alfheim, part is based on the original documents of enoblement, and part is bloody minded traditionalism.

But whatever the reason, the highest title in Bowcourt remains "Marquessa", and this has caused considerable congestion in noble titles and comparative ranks within the Marquisate. The Count of Chagny holds lands that would make him a Marquis in any of the Duchies, or even a Duke in his own right. Several of the Barons hold lands that would make them Counts in other areas. The Barons in turn command hereditary knights (Lalange: "Chevalier-héréditaires"), who are styled as knights but hold lands fully equivalent to Baronies in other lands.

This mismatch between given titles and practical possessions and power is something of a headache for the College of Heralds when determining exact precedence for formal events involving Bowcourt and foreign nobility.

Religion

Official religion is Powers of Light, and all of the major chapters have substantial holdings in Bowcourt. Urielites have official status as Justices of the Peace, and serve in many functions throughout the judiciary. The religion is well respected by the general population with about 80% being actively religious (most of these being Raphaelite in tendency).

Other Factions of Note