Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
Ratik, Archbarony of
Ruler: His Valorous Prominence, Lord Baron of
Capital: Marner (pop. 3,400)
Ratik marks the northernmost part of great Aerdy’s expansion in the heady days of old empire and dominion. Its magnificent pine forests offer excellent material for shipbuilding, and the land was heavily protected by good military to fend off the Frost Barbarians and, indeed, make preemptive strikes against them.
Ratik was made a Barony by an Overking delighted at one firm repulsion of a barbarian fleet, and has been fortunate in having a succession of barons who have been distinctly more wise and benign than most Aerdy nobles. For this reason, the mountain dwarves and gnomes of the Rakers have worked and traded on good terms with the humans here.
Ratik’s relationship with the Great Kingdom cooled following the ascension of the House of Naelax in the Kingdom, which increasingly neglected this little state. When the Bone March was overrun with humanoids, Ratik began to court the Frost Barbarians, and formed an unlikely alliance with them to jointly raid the Bone March and North Province.
Ratik‘s population is not great, so the people. here can only hold their land against humanoids and not decisively repulse them. Ratik men and women are all militarily trained, and conscription is universal. Specialized woodsman troops with bows as well as sling-firing hillrunners are among the cream of Ratik‘s forces. Ratik is not wealthy, despite its fine natural resources, since it has few customers plying trade. The Sea Barons and Frost Barbarians buy wood here still; however, trade with the Theocracy is slow, and trade with cities of the North Province is extremely low. Ratikers are now even more insular and self-reliant than before the war.
The alliance with the Frost Barbarians is extremely important. This “Northern Alliance” was what gave the previous archbaron, Lexnol the military strength to keep from being overrun by humanoids like the Bone March was in the 560’s. It also allowed him to declare independence from the Great Kingdom. The relationship was mutually beneficial, giving the Frost Barbarians the training and military technology they needed to gain relative independence from the Snow Barbarians. Lexnol even made some in-roads with the Snow Barbarians, though there has never been a formal alliance or treaty.
Unfortunately in recent years (586 CY) Lexnol’s heir, Alain died in an ill-conceived invasion of Bone March. His son’s death broke Lexnol’s mind, leaving his daughter-in-law, Evaleigh, daughter of the Count of Knurl, in charge. Knurl, in the southwestern Bone March, bordering on Nyrond, is the only part of the Bone March to remain free of humanoid rule. Many of the land’s feudal lords are distrustful of her, both for her being a foreigner and lack of decisiveness. She also makes the barbarians uneasy since they have traditionally dealt with Lexnol.
There is a Council of Great Lords that is made up of 14 of the most powerful human and dwarven lords of the land that acts as an advisory body to the ruler. He or she also consults with the burghers of the country’s towns and cities. The population is mainly human of Great Kingdom heritage though there are a considerable number of Frost Barbarian and some Snow Barbarian farmers in the northern lands of the archbarony. Amongst the human population is a considerable number of refugees from the Bone March. There are also a fair number of dwarven and a few gnome populations in the hills and mountains. Some bands of wood elves live in the Timberway Forest and at least some of them are willing to serve the archbaron. There is a decent (6%) halfling population, but they get no mention otherwise, probably (I would guess) because they are fairly well integrated into the human population, and not native to the region.
Most of the military might is concentrated on the southern border with the Bone March, and there is a Volunteer Borderers force that patrols it. It might also be interesting to note that the largest remnant of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom lives in Ratik, where they were driven along with other refugees by the invasion of the Bone March