The Barony of Doyne
Doyne is a barony between the Hvit River, the Dødenskov Forest and the Frozen Sea that is the furthest south of all the Crimson Coast states and as such feels the bite of winter more than the others. The land is neither overly blessed or bountiful and many of the the locals instead rear large herds of sheep as their main source of wealth. Doyne is a good example of how those of greatly varying backgrounds can flourish when they work together. Hugond, Blood Islers and Halvras all manage to work together with the minimum of tension under the benign rule of Baron Jostein (pictured below right). Doyne has developed ways of co-operating that would serve other parts of the Crimson Coast well though it was not always so.
The Barony is more rural than other parts of the Coast with the City of Doyne being the smallest of the old Blood Isler settlements. The area is also unique as a Hugond tribal camp is also part of the Barony and the inhabitants are loyal subject of the Baron. Indeed, for years now the Duglat Hugond tribe have fought with the Men of the Doyne against the Ice Orcs of the Orcbane Mountains who surge forth from the Dødenskov Forest in the winter months. For years now this alliance has kept the humanoids forced back against thier mountians and well away from the human lands to the north.
Doyne was founded by a mixed group of Blood Isler settlers that had no particular allegiance to any Isle and was the last to be settled. The land was to the south and of no great quality but it was land and the settlers made the best of it. Like the other settlers they fought with the Hugond and carried out more than their fair share of violence and rapine. There was a large Halvras population at Doyne as it was difficult to bring female settlers in compared to the more attractive Northern cities. Eventually the Lord of Doyne offered fealty to the Earl of Cramois in return for female settlers to boost the ‘pure’ population. The Lord of Doyne was made a Baron with things continuing well right up to the second Blood War and the sack of Kruan. Afterwards, fearing the fowl freezing weather of the Hugond Yasips (Shamans,) they abided by the agreement to limit expansion like all the other cities of the Crimson Coast.
Thirty and some years ago Baron Kostya ruled in Doyne. Neither he nor his family had any love of the Hugond but they did seek wealth and advancement amongst the nobles of the Coast. Kostya had three sons of which Jostein was the youngest. Jostein was never meant to inherit the Barony and he led a raucous life revelling in the pleasures of Kord, being a great athlete and a keen brawler. He travelled far and wide and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was an excellent archer, superb swordsman and rode like a Hugond but sadly he also knew this. His hubris was as great as his abilities and it led to his catastrophe. Doyne always had a dangerous border to the south and as more settlers moved in to the land conflicts flared up. The Duglat Hugond people had always lived in the lands between the Dødenskov Forest and lands of Doyne but as settlers pushed south they moved over the Hvit River and in to the east. Jostein pestered his father till he was made Warden of the South from which he led an aggressive policy along the border raiding deep in to the Forest and even as far as the mountains. The Duglat petitioned him to stop stirring up trouble but in his pride he ignored them and attacked the Ice Orcs. Further and further he forced his way through the depths of the Dødenskov Forest till at last the Ice Orcs turned and destroyed his expedition. Jostein was captured and was forced to watch while his men were all killed and was only then tortured by the Priestesses of Luthic. They clipped and chopped till he was less of a man only helaing him enough to keep him alive for the next night’s pleasure. When winter came they marched north wheeling him along in an iron cage to watch the fun and games. The Ice Orc Horde cut its way through the newly settled lands and Baron Kostya was forced to ride forth with his eldest two sons at the head of an army.
When the cage became a burden and the fun of torturing Jostein faded they just abandoned him in the wake of the horde knowing winter would finish him off. Luckily for Jostein this was not the case and a group of Duglat Hugond found his near dead body and rescued him. Their Yasip saved the maimed warrior’s life despite having neither love nor logic to do so. Jostein begged them to aid the men of Doyne against the Ice Orcs and promised them many things. Swayed by his argument the Kayakam (chieftain) agreed and the Duglat rode to war. They arrived in time to turn the tide of battle and to save the day with an attack to the rear of the Orc Horde but not before the Doyne Army had suffered heavily. Baron Kostya and his sons were all dead and only the intervention of Jostein stopped the grief ridden Doyne men from lashing out at their Duglat rescuers. Even though he knew he did not deserve it, he took the title of Baron as the last heir of Kostya. He forged a peace between the Doyne men and the Duglat Hugond that has lasted for over three decades and only grows in strength. He gave his daughter, Anastascia, to the son of the Duglat Kayakam and merged the family lines.
Baron Jostein was a changed man and tirelessly worked for peace within his lands. His reforms totally refashioned Doyne and made her unique amongst the Crimson Coast settlements, though this was not accepted by all of his people. A small group of Blood Isle descendants left and moved to Cramois to form a vocal opposition to his rule. The integration of Hugond and Halvras as full citizens has otherwise gone well with the ever present threat of the Ice Orcs helping to unite them. Indeed, during bad winters raids and even major incursions do occur but the unified forces of the Barony have dealt with them all. The Barony’s horse patrols are effective against the raiders on the wide plains north of the Dødenskov Forest and this continues to bolster faith in a mixed society.
Jostein is now in his sixties and as committed as ever to his new path. He has become a scholar over the years and now follows the teachings of Lendor (god of scholars) and Lydia (goddess of knowledge and music) while still paying his respects to his old master Kord. His eldest son, Tyrgav, shares his views and has been groomed to continue after Jostein’s death. He was never fully magically healed and to this day has the scars inflicted upon him by his torturers; he says they are the marks of his hubris lest he ever forget his folly.
Illustration by Pino44io- please do not use without permission