Southern County (Encyclopaedia Chapter)

The seventh chapter of the Encyclopaedia is filled with joyful and happy descriptions of the merriest and loveliest county in the White Realm - the Southern County.


Chapter 7 – Southern County – Land of Fertility

The White Realm is known for its vast fortresses, large armies and codes of honour! A big part of the White Realm however – is its natural landmarks, charming beauty and culture.
There is no better part of the Realm than the Southern County to experience the wonderful landscape of the Realm. Mountains, lakes, rivers, cultural centres and markets – the Southern County is therefore known as the Land of Fertility.
This is no traveller guide however – this is the Encyclopaedia. The borders of the Southern County are as follow: The western border is the very west-border of the Realm, beyond which lay the Western Wastes, inhabited and ruled by Beasts. To the north of the County are the Joypad Tower, the Niconf River and the river Ell. The southern coasts of the Lake of Loyalty are also a part of the Southern County. The eastern border is the Silverstream, beyond which lays County Mjolnir. The Deadly Desert and the land of Hammerblow are to the south of the Southern County – and of the White Realm. These places are dangerous and are inhabited by savage warbands, consisting of different creatures.
The Southern County has large forests spread out across the County. Rivers and smaller streams also flow through the county as well as big and small lakes, which offer a lot of fishing possibilities for the local fishermen. There are many hills and mountains, but most of them are concentrated in the southern areas of the county. The Cobalt ridges are famous for their cobalt colour, and host many mines. The Sentinel Peaks are not miner-friendly, but are popular amongst adventurers, being full of challenges – steep hills and mountains, goblins, bandits, bears and much more. There is even a small town, called Sentinel Watch, which has become quite rich thanks to services like inns, armourers, blacksmiths, stables and more. In fact, the whole county is full of such small settlements, who offer services to travellers and adventurers. The truth is that many adventurers and heroes travel to the Southern County to experience action and true adventures. This benefits the citizens and farmers – both financially (services like inns are earning a lot on the adventurers) and in term of safety, since the free-lancing heroes clear out dungeons and fight bandits and vile creatures.
There are many settlements and cultivated fields in the County, that are fertile and crops are easy to grow. The corn of the Southern County is famous across the Realm, and Countess Caitlin is proud to know that her people have never suffered famine.
The only barren, unfriendly and dark area of the Southern County is the waste known as Barren Fields. This dry marsh contains ruins from old times, before the White Realm, and very few dare to enter the Barren Fields. Many believe that Undead inhabit in the Fields, and since the attack on the Bridge of Boldness (see respective chapter of the Encyclopaedia), even fewer dare enter this terrible waste. A clan of Southerlendings (Southerlendings is the name for White Realmers from the Southern County), known as the Sinclavs tried to settle in the Barren Fields. As a group of adventurers ventured to see what had happened to the Sinclav Settlement however, they only found dead bodies and ruined buildings. Since then, Southerlendings have avoided the Barren Fields.

The main cities of the Southern County are: Court City, Spamith Village, Colgrad, Callioth (City of Courage), Hammer of Thunder City and Villiath City).

Court City is the capital of the county and is one of the most beautiful cultural centres in the Whole Realm. Authors, poets, musicians, artists and even dancers come to this city to develop their talents and become inspired by the magnificent landscape, not least the Lake of Love. The castle of the Court rises above the city and is the residence of Countess Caitlin, a great culture-loving woman herself. Just as Thunderton is the White Realm centre of war and bravery – the Court City is centre of culture and happiness.
There is also a myth about the big lake – the Lake of Love, about the most beautiful female being in the world, wandering on the surface of the water during night, waiting for the perfect man. Hundreds of male adventurers have ventured to the lake, searching for this charming woman, but no one has ever spoken to her, although some claim to have seen her. Others simply believe this story to be rubbish, and that it is a way for the boat-hirers to earn more money.
The Court contains the largest gallery in the Realm, known as the Azure Gallery, because of the azure-coloured walls of this vast arts museum.

Spamith Village is not a very large city, but it is incredibly popular amongst White Realmers. The town is known as the Town of Pleasure. Happy, full inns, many different shops, many prostitutes and other pleasant services are all packed in this little, cosy town. Sadly, the drunk and happy visitors often lead to trouble, and the city Watch is always busy. Many say however, that the fights and disorder are the things that make Spamith Village such a fun and enjoyable place.

Colgrad on the other hand is a larger, much more serious city than most of the other Southern Cities. Colgrad is the County’s industrial centre – the Col Wood brings timber, the Cobalt Ridges bring ore, iron and gold, while the marketplace is a meeting place for merchants from all around the County to trade with the travelling merchants from the Desert Sands (travelling with caravans on the Desert Road). Many Colgradians say that Colgradians earn the money for the County, and then Spamithians waste it all. Most White Realm officials agree, but the Southern County is wealthy and no one feels really troubled, except for the Colgradians who are proud of their hard work, but loathe those who waste money – on anything. Most Colgradians are very stingy.

Callioth is the second largest city in the County and it certainly is a beautiful city – with great, exceptional and unique architecture. It is the place of one of the largest Universities in the Realm, and many scholars live in the city, studying. Adventurers and heroes also meet to exchange stories and quite a few Guilds have headquarters in Callioth – Guild of Eaters being the most famous (although many laugh at the name). Callioth has a mixture of pleasure and business, which makes its population more balanced than it is the case in Spamith and Colgrad.

Hammer of Thunder City, more often called Hammer City is the most fortified city of the County. The name, the architecture, the population – everything seems to belong to Mjolnir County and not the Southern County. The County’s largest defensive force has residence in Hammer City, and yet there is a Southern spirit in the city. The biggest asset to this spirit is the Artistic Academy. Artists – specialized in painting and creating visual arts meet here to talk and learn about art. The most experienced and brilliant artists of the Realm educate young, talented painters in the Academy – and in some cases, famous and extremely skilled artists, such as the King of Photoshop – Pezza and Sir Apollo, come and give special lessons about advanced painting and drawing. Visits by such famous artists often bring art-lovers from all over the Realm to Hammer City.
It was also in this city, that the Banner of the White Counsil was created, by Pezza himself – in his private room of the Academy. The proud headmaster of the Academy says that the air of Hammer City and the Artistic Academy inspire the King of Photoshop to create even more brilliant works.

Villaith City has a grim past, in contrast to most of the other Southern Cities. Villaith has always functioned as a bastion to the south, and it has seen a lot of war and blood, as southern tribes of wildmen, goblins and other beasts have attempted to besiege the city. Once, Villaith indeed fell to a large army of the South, and the White Army, led by Captain Locky had to interfere. The Army managed to recapture the city, but Villaith never became whole again. Rumours about ghosts, undead and vampires make most White Realmers fear the city and its population. The people of Villaith are indeed quite reserved, cautious towards strangers and isolated from the rest of the Realm. This makes the city even more suspicious. Many believe that the citizens of Villaith are guarding a grim, terrible secret and do not wish to let anyone know.
Although Villaith has its violent past and the citizens are very reserved, the City is still important, as it exports the fine and rare Rumarfish, which only lives in the Southern River. From the blood of this slim, unusual fish a great elixir can be extracted and used to create powerful healing potions. Villaith also contains the Academy of Masons, which is popular amongst young masons. It is probably the most open and popular place of the whole city.

Aside from its beautiful, unique and culture-oriented cities, the Southern County contains various other interesting landmarks.

The Pillar of Punk and the Musical Castle function as castles and are owned by the Princess of Punk – Lady Louise. She rules her piece of land with swiftness and care, and the farmers under her rule love their Lady. The Princess of Punk lives in her tower, but apart from being a residence, the Pillar also contains the largest orchestra hall in the whole Realm, where different orchestras and musical bands come to entertain the Princess and those whom she might invite.
The Musical Castle on the other hand is a castle dedicated to the history and development of music, and young musicians seek permission to enter the Castle and get educated by some of the finest musicians in the Realm. Very few get in, but those who get out usually become famous and loved musicians and singers across the White Realm.

Near the Musical Castle lays one of the most mysterious and challenging caves of the whole County – the Cave to the Unknown. Vile creatures inhabit this vast dungeon, but those who have lived to tell the story of their adventures inside the Cave (very few) have never managed to explore it all. Traps, puzzles and of course bloodthirsty creatures guard this ancient dungeon, and it is accepted as the Ultimate Challenge for adventurers in the Southern County. There are many rumours about the Cave and what it contains, including rumours about enormous treasures, a sleeping undead army and some even believe that the very Staff of Insanity is located in this mysterious, unexplored cave.

The Fortress of the Force is the largest city-independent fortress of the Realm. In matter of size, only the House of Honour in the White City and the Castle of Mjolnir best this huge stronghold, which is shrouded in complete mystery.
Very few have ever gained access to this Fortress and no one really knows what the inhabitants do within the vast, thick walls of the Force. Even the Countess knows not what is done within the Fortress. The only known Knight to visit and live in the Fortress is Almirith, but he refuses to say what happens within the Fortress. Many believe that powerful wizards and mages breed a new kind of magical lore, while others think that necromancers have taken the Fortress. The Lord of the Realm once said: “What happens within the Fortress of the Force is secret, but the citizens of the White Realm have nothing to fear – those inside the fortress work hard to safe keep our Land.”
Adventurers have, of course, tried to venture in the Fortress, but as they approach the castle grounds, a thick fog appears, and no adventurer has been able to pierce it and enter the mysterious Fortress.

One last place of notice would be the Melody River, which runs in the south-western part of the Realm, south of the Pillar of Punk. The tale about the river is, that if a true and honest music-lover dives within the water of the Melody River, then shall he/she hear the most wonderful music in the world. It is believed that every single person hears a different melody, which makes the River a true magical and mysterious place. The most common rumour for the magical enchantment of the Melody River is that the Princess of Punk herself was the first to dive in this river and enchant it with her beautiful voice. No one knows the true reason however, and Lady Louise refuses to give an explanation, but her eyes almost light up when she talks about this magical Melody River!

The Southern County is indeed a cultural and natural paradise, and the very centre of Art in the Realm. It has beautiful cities, with own architecture and cultural appreciation. There are no vast armies or many enormous strongholds, but the citizens of the Southern County believe that in times of need, their hearts and talents shall safe them from the darkness. On the Court is inscripted:

”Through Love and Faith, shall we prevail!”

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