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Duchy of Volar
Status Duchy
Location South-Western Western Marches






The Duchy of Volari is in the south of the Western Marches. It is over 200 miles from east to west and 100 miles north to south. It is the most civilised and advanced area of the Western Marches.


The Duchy of Volari has an area of XXX square miles and a popn of around XXX,000.


It can be divided into the following Counties:


or into the following Baronies:

Places of Interest

Other places of note include:


Rulers of the Realm

  • Duke Otto Volar of Volari
  • Breana Volar, the daughter of the Duke Otto Volar of Volari. She is engaged to Magnus Rothschild, son of Ludwig Rothschild the Count of Erisberg as of Spring 810

Political Structure

The Duke is a hereditary title, passed down through the male line of the Volar family since the founding by Duke Henrich Volar. The Counts are selected by the Duke - there are usually around 10 Counts in the Duchy. Each Count has an area of responsibility, but only some have actual counties to look after. Other Counts include the Ambassador to the Western Kingdom, the High Lord Marshal, the Ducal Heir, the Duke's brother, etc. The position of Count is neither life-long nor hereditary. Counts must work to maintain their position. Counts are responsible for large areas of Ducal income (tax, serfs) or expense (army, diplomacy, etc).

The Barons are a working compromise between the hereditary landowners and the Duke's representatives. They are the practical powers of the outer regions. Barons are not hereditary; instead they must win unanimous acclaim from the manors in their demesne. A Baron can represent an area of any size up to that of a county, depending on how widely their support extends. If a baron's support fractures or weakens, two barons may be created, or towns may move from barony to barony. Barons work with their Count to resolve issues between the manors and the Crown, acting as the spokesman for the local Lords. The two roles serve as checks and balances on each other.

Because of the non-hereditary govt layers, there is no possibility of a coup except by one of the Duke's closest allies or relations. An ambitious man can not rise above Baron, and this opportunity may only come once in a generation.

A Manor is a town or fortified castle and its surrounding area, and is ruled by a hereditary Lord. The manors in Volar are around 300-400 square miles, which is more like the size of a barony in the Western Kingdoms. The base of a manor is a town of 1,500-5,000 people. Within a manor's estate, smaller areas are looked after by gentry, typically esquires or their relatives looking after each village. Population density is lower than in other areas; villages are generally smaller and further apart.

Others of Note



Common is the primary language, due to the varied background of the settlers. Folkspracht is the primary language of Weisbaum, and is in common use in Aveice.


The clothing, equipment, weapons and tools are more primitive than most places in the baronies - more 600WK than 800WK. Little trading occurs with the outside world, though this has opened up under the current Duke Otto. Merchants have little status, apart from being allowed to travel freely. However, the outside world in encroaching slowly - the social structure is undergoing change as southern ideas start to permeate through the gentry, and southern goods & tales appear in towns.


The church is less visible than in Ormond or Mordeaux, but has a stronger influence than in most other areas - the people are all devout and puritanical. Magic is not something that people do, though they have a supernatural under-culture - werewolves, undead, demons, fiends, etc., and thus are aware of magic as a dark shadowy force. There are no court magicians or other mages apart from visitors (and the Evil Enchanter Marcus in the Enchanted Woods).


The use of magic is becoming more common, with the introduction of the first magical Academy in Crefeinn, and shape-changers going public in Aveice. However, practicing sorcery in public is still punished by burning at the stake. Any unlicensed mage is considered a sorcerer. To gain a license, you must visit a church in Volar. They will ask a series of questions relating to your use of magic. Those of impeccable character and magical style will be blessed. Those of doubtful character, such as those casting darkness, charm, and fire, will be consecrated. Consecration halves the chance of casting any doubtful spell, to alleviate temptation. These people will also need to be vouched for by a character reference, who is responsible for their magic usage. Sorcerers, Witches, Necromancers, Summoners and the Demon-pacted will be arrested, tried and burnt. Shape-shifters, elves, giants, and magical oddities are considered magic users.



The Duchy of Volari was founded by the knight and explorer Sir Henrich Volar in 407WK by royal charter of King Sigismund the Pious. Unfortunately, King Sigismund disappeared before Volar could be officially incorporated into the Kingdom. In the early years, there were a number of primitive barbarian types and some orcs, but they were all driven out in short order. The earlier Aquilan settlement of Weisbaum was also incorporated in the first decades of settlement. Over the subsequent four centuries, there have been three major wars and several minor conflicts with the Duchy DeBourgnac, two invasions by the Mishrak and Nadrak orcs, three from the Gronc barbarians, and several invasions from the Black Forest orcs, the last being in 801. Punitive raids on these neighbours are also common. As part of securing a border with the northern orcs, two border baronies of Halkor and Karne were created and split off.


Scribe Notes


Currently only paper maps are available, although there is an electronic copy by Kelsie floating around somewhere.