The Court of Alexandria
Alexandria is both the name of the court and of the town. Located on the fertile southern bank of the Sendel river, the many farms of Alexandria hold by far the largest population of the seven Courts, and also the county’s largest town. The town of Alexandria boasts a large Guildhall established to manage the thriving river traffic. By longstanding traffic with the Count, no cross county traffic may navigate without a guild guide. Boats traveling within the boundaries of the county are exempt from this, but must still pay the Count’s tax. There is also another smaller Guildhall that does most of it’s business during the summer months as many nobles hire the guild for various projects.
A local dairy farmer was set on fire by a mob this month, when he fell under investigation by the local nobility regarding the health of his cattle. Fearful that he was a Symbiot, local villagers forced the man out of his house in the early morn, setting his cattle free and then burning him on a makeshift pyre. According to witnesses, the man ‘screamed with unholy force’ while burning, thus proving he was not quite human. The man’s wife and six children, who fled as the attack began, are now petitioning the church for sanctuary.
Three inhabitants of Downriver were badly hurt by an angry crowd who chased the ‘plague-carriers’ out of the local Agora. Lately, the spread of a painful rash among a significant amount of Alexandrians has led to worry about a resurgence of the Crimson Death, a deadly pox that struck two decades ago. Two lay brethren claim the first rash was spotted on a Downriver villager, coming into up-town to buy some salve…
Two vessels have gone missing lately, and several more have been capsized by what sailors will only comment on as ‘unusual happenstance’. Locals blame this on a more material force; the Symbiots everyone knows are still lurking in the waterways.
The Court of Deep Forest
Deep Forest has long provided refuge for the desperate in its gloomy thickets, but increasing numbers of bandits are being forced out of the forest into other Courts as enemy soldiers still raid through the forest on their way to more civilized lands. Without an increase in soldiery and development of their forest lands, the inhabitants of Deep Forest will find their precarious existence in peril.
A small group of Husks (zombies) sent the inhabitants of High Timber into a panic a fortnight ago. Thankfully, a contingent of well-armed Brother Battle were on the scene. They chased away the foul fiends and then left after a small impromptu celebration by the villagers and collecting the church tithe.
The regional tax assessor for Deep Forest has vanished. He was last seen in the vicinity of Fetch Swamp before his disappearance. There is concern that he may have met an untimely end, but few people can be spared from the winter harvest to search for him.
The Court of Eastmountain
Eastmountain has grown around the Count’s castle over the years and boasts the second largest town in the region. Besides a weekly farmers market, many of the county’s artisans have settled here, some granted patronage by the Count, others to gain more customers. The Count also patrons an Engineer Armorer who is experienced with most of the war technology brought for repair. The town is located at the junction of the Stone and Sendel Rivers, providing the Count with most of his revenues as he levies a small tax on each boat that passes through this junction.
A village to the south of Eastmont Dale suffered from a demonic presence after the recent winter harvest festival. Victims reported distinct and painful tremors in their extremeties and horrific visions. Locals outside of the village blame the incident on a visit from an Empyrean presence of wrath, coming to punish the slothful villagers for taking in their harvest too late. This is the third year in a row that villagers have brought in their wheat crops well after the rains began to fall. Regardless of which power has intervened, the local clergy is being contacted to investigate such a horrific occurrence.
The Tri-River Transport Service is currently hiring people for rebuilding its once massive fleet. It is rumored that local nobility are funding the expansion.
The Count’s Engineer (of the Mitchau line) is constructing new weaponry and defenses for the local nobility, and seeking new contracts in other Courts to fund an as-yet-unnamed secret project.
The Court of Highlake
Highlake, never boasting a large population due to its forbidding terrain, is relatively unchanged. The mountains have long provided a barrier between the miners and rivermen of Highlake, proving effective even in these treacherous times. Many miners have left the Court, but the fishing village at Highlake has actually grown as many people from other Courts do not want to abandon the county entirely are attracted by the easily defendable heights.
Several fortnights ago, an organized force from Highlake invaded Ironcore, Everburn, and Marstonville, successfully wresting it away from Ridgecrest Court. The current status of these properties are uncertain.
A natural gas explosion shook the town of Cooper’s Reach a week ago when an unwary miner carried a lit candle into a natural gas pocket. Casualties, except for the unfortunate minor have so far been reported as light, but some worry about the structural integrity of the town have been voiced.
A strange man with burning eyes claiming to be an engineer visited Imbruglio’s House of Healing two nights ago. Before the Inquistion could be summoned to deal with the aura of ‘dark taint’ that seemed to surround the man, he had the time to visit one patient – a Brother Battle who had once been involved in the siege of Trey’s Keep. After the visit, the man promptly vanished, and has not been found in either the grounds of the institution or the local area. The Brother Battle, well known for his rants, has no comment about the incident. In fact, he has very little to say about anything, having lapsed into a catatonic state after the visit.
Northwarden has seen it’s longstanding reputation for independence and stubbornness intensify as those less settled and more faint of heart flee the county, leaving behind a solid core that believes their largely self-sufficient Court can ignore the outside world. Two semi-successful rebellions against the Count in the previous generation have proved to the local’s satisfaction county how true this attitude can be, but the increasing numbers of displaced bandits from other courts might just show the locals otherwise…
A local Orthodox priest has vanished. It is rumored that he has been devoured by a local creature he was supplying with raw flesh. Another, more kind, rumor ties in his disappearance with the disappearance of a local fruit picker, a young lass in her 20s, who was with child when she vanished. No father of her child had ever been named or come forward.
A group of masked men declaring themselves “Northers for Northwarden” have begun inciting villagers to violence against the local nobility. So far, only minor incidents have occurred in response.
Elements of the 3rd Battalion have allegedly clashed with advanced troops from the 3rd SOG Brother Battle Legions, in retaliation for the death of their commander. This goes beyond rumor; the 3rd Battalion has definitely been fighting someone, it’s simply not verified as to whom the enemy is.
Ridgecrest is a place of rolling hills sloping to the farmlands along the Stone River. It once boasted a 2nd Republic rare earth extraction plant, but this was destroyed in the war. The guild will occasionally buy slag to be processed offsite, but this has tapered off because Ridgecrest has many passes used by bandits and enemy deserters. Ridgecrest is self-sufficient in food and has several iron mines, but most of the miners fled to Alexandria or out of the county.
The resources of Ironcore, Everburn, and Marstonville have been taken over by elements of the Highlake military. The Ridgecrest citizens firmly believe that these rebels are under the direct control of the new Hawkwood leadership in Highlake.
The locals of Ridgecrest are terrified of their new lord (an admitted unrepentant psychic) and are equally frightened of his successor, a heretic claiming to be an Eskatonic. They are clamoring for the Orthodox Church to remove both of them from power.
As the day of Mortos Diablos, more residents of Ridgecrest have heard an eery children’s melody carried on the wind. The melody seems to be coming from the direction of the village of Witchbane, a place long-abandoned by the people of the Court for its infamous curse.
The Court at Stone River
Stone River Court follows its namesake as it meanders through the plains south of Alexandria and into the lightly forested Quartz Hills. No mines are present on these metal poor slopes, but some hardy souls harvest the prized hardwood lumber that grows in this area. This Court contains all the hallmarks of success. With rich farmland, natural resources, and easy transportation this should be a prosperous area. In reality this Court has always languished short of expectations with more than its share of blight, flood and famine. Rumors abound of a dreadful curse and sightings of demons flitting through the woods at midnight, but these might merely be the excuses for the failures of man.
Fights have broken out between the lumberjacks of Quartz Hill Lumber and the millers of Tovlenson Lumber over the rights to cut lumber.
Proof has been gathered that a secret Imperial weapons facility is being built in Stone River Court. Several engineers were spotted six days ago restoring power to the abandoned town.
A strange box has been found within Stone River. It is rumored to be a weapon against psychics, though none have dared to remove it from its resting point at the bottom of the Stone River Levy.