Earldom of Welksham
With Geran’s death, Darren, his eldest son by Bryndal, has inherited titles and lands.
His subsequent rebirth, posed issues, which Geran easily settled. He had laid no claim to the rights, privileges and titles of his children. Darren remains earl. The only title Geran has retained is tat of Duke of the Southern Mountains, bestowed on him by King Bleys only days before his death. The Earldom of Welksham lies within the borders of the dukedom.
Given to Geran, oldest son of Brand, by King Oberon, Geran has since abdicated his rights and privilages in favour of his son Darren who is now Earl of Welksham and Count of Myr Elrose. His son Darren and Viscount of Fordgate.
The earldom is nestled in the towering mountains of the deep south at the head waters of the mighty Medway River. Journeying to Welksham is best done by river barge or boat. There is a single road leading into Welksham following the Medway River. The boundary to the earldom of Welksham begins where the wider valley of the Medway River gives way and extending into the southern mountains. Here the river becomes wilder as it runs down the mountain slopes through a wide gorge at the boundary of he earldom. During the spring runoff river traffic is impractical and dangerous as the water flow a depth greatly increases.
Passage into Welksham is only possible by road during the spring. Beyond the narrow gorge marking the boundary Welksham are a series of interconnected valleys between high mountains. Here Medway River widens again and snakes it way to where it is meets with the Lesser Medway River. The main channel of the Medway River flows from Medway Lake and Bower Lake to the north. The Lesser Medway flows over Welksham Falls into Lake Lesser Medway which is also fed by the Asholt River. Welksham is a wilderness that is inhabited by deer, mountain goats, wolves, mountain lions and bears. It rivers and lakes team with fish and the forest consists of dense stand of fir and cedar.
The border on the Medway River marked by two 100 foot tall statues carved from dark granite. One looks down representing the humbleness of the land. The other is looking to the future. It has been said both statues are representations of Geran.
The earldom has two primary communities – Welksham and Myr Elrose. It is the amalgamation of the Barony of Welksham and the lands privately bought from the crown known as Myr Elrose. The seat of the earldom remains in Welksham. Myr Elrose is situated in the mountains to the south of the City of Welksham. Build on the side of the mountain overlooking Lake Ulma, a great plaza has been constructed around one of the holiest sites of the indigenous mountain people and the cathedral dedicated to the Unicorn. Of the two cities Myr Elrose had the larger population.
|Population Total||1218878 – average age 32|
|Population Male||703566 – average age 28|
|Population Female||515312 – average age 36|
|Area||1784 square miles|
|Land Use||Arable Land 18.7%|
|Elevation of the city of Welksham||3963 feet above sea level|
|Elevation of the city of Myr Elrose||4274 feet above sea level|
|Average Mountain Height||7781 feet|
|Average Temperature (High)||73 F|
|Average Temperature (Low)||14 F|
|Average Rainfall||133 inches|
|Average Snowfall||73 inches|
|Average Length of Winter (Determined by number of days below 36 degrees F)||135|
|Average Length of Summer (Determined by number of days above 66 degrees F)||96|
|Two Deepest Lake||Lake Ulma at 261 feet and Lake Medway at 192 feet|
|Two Tallest Mountains||Mount Ulma at 17,208 feet and Mount Oberon at 16,596 feet|
Officers of the Earldom
|Elizabeth Burrows||Archbishop – Church of the Unicorn|
|Michael Harris||Principal Secretary to the Earl of Welksham|
|Bruce Powers||Principal Secretary to the Viscount of Fordgate|
|Karl Shulenburg||Master of Household|
|Elizabeth Tuddle||Mistress of Household|
|Amanda Merkle||Mayor of Welksham|
|Ernst Hazburg||Mayor of Myr Elsors|
|Joanna Cummings||Treasurer of Welksham|
|Cassandra Gaylord||Chamberlain of Welksham Castle|
|Donald Kur||Chamberlain Myr Elrose Tower|
|Gurland Nuin||Captain of the City Guard of Myr Elrose|
|Joseph Hawkins||Regimental Commander (Colonel)|
|Kenneth Wetherham||Bailif of Welksham|
|Julius Quintus||Constable of Welksham|
|Amanda Cabos||Chief Magistrate of Welksham|
|Paul Ulger||Magistrate of the City of Welksham|
|Henry Coruthers||Magistrate of City of Myr Elrose|
Large sections of the mountains (marked in green on the map) have been set aside for the exclusive use of the indigenous mountain peoples. While these areas have been mapped the resources and locations of the villages of indigenous peoples are not marked. Development, other than by the indigenous peoples is not allowed in these regions. Geran set up the regions to protect the lifestyle and culture of the people who live in the mountains.An area of the mountains (light blue circle on map) has been set aside as a red dragon reserve. An ancient red dragon lives there. It is recommended that people do not travel to this region. The dragon is friendly to Geran but intolerant of others.
The city of Welksham and its fortress is the seat of the earldom. Recovering from the blight brought upon Amber by a vicious war with Chaos the city is now prospering. The people happily praise their lord for the kindness and honest leadership.Terribly under populated when Geran first became baron, later viscount and then earl, the city now thrives. Great improvements have been made to the standards of living. The people are free and have the right to own their own land.
To foster development and the expansions of the population, Geran provided land grants to all current citizens and all those who relocated to Welksham. Some have called Geran’s redevelopment of Welksham as overly aggressiveness and verging on criminal. Yes, Geran obtained orphans from around Amber relocating them to his mountain home. All proceedings were legally recorded and authorized by the church at the time. The legal documentation is part of the public record.
The city of Welksham offers a variety of new improvements making it a world class city. Summer fairs are numerous and popular. The winter carnival provides a respite during the depths of snowy season. The Yule time festival is largest in the region. Lasting a full week, Geran and his family spend time with the people. One the holy day of the Unicorn, the entire community gathers to celebrate.
The first phase of the ambitious project of rebuilding the City of Welksham is complete. Reconstruction of the old quarter has begun.Large domed buildings are to be built to house the earl and his family, Cathedral of the Unicorn, Pagoda of the Mountain Spirit, the halls of justice, an expended university, hospital, public arts complex, public recreational complex, offices of the earldom, expansive parks, public gathering areas, a sport arena, inns, housing and other facilities. Wide, trees avenues will allow easy access to all areas of the city. On the tallest rise a palace will be constructed of flowing domes and pillars. Many of the complexes will be connected by protective ground level and overhead walkways reducing the need to travel outdoors during the winter months. In the summer the windows can be removed to provide an open air experience.
The merchant terrace of the new city will consist of a large four season indoor mall where merchants can sell their wares year round. Sections of the roof will be built with glass domes while in other parts the roof will be retractable. The two portions of the city will be connected by a large green-way with orchards, farms and greenhouses protected by the city walls. With the upper city is completed, the residence of the lower city have been relocated to new housing complete with yards and roof top gardens, central heat, flushing toilets, hot and cold running water, cool cellars for storage. The buildings will be constructed using the native granite sheathed in polished marble and gold. A new and larger cathedral will be constructed next to a pagoda temple for the indigenous peoples of the region. The two complexes will be housed side by side in a large park on the level below the palace.
The trees are pink and white with blooms and flowers are pushing up into blossom. The garden impeccable maintained. To the right is a massive dome with two spires – one on either side. On the top of the dome is a huge statue of a Unicorn. The base of the dome is two hundred meters wide and is held up by hundreds of polished marble columns. The dome is made of polished marble that appears to be seamless. Blonds and redheads walk through the large square before the huge dome. Behind the dome a large spire rises hundreds of feet into the air. It sits onto of a nearby, taller mountain and sparkles black, blue and white in the sunlight.
To the left is a high wall with a large round arch in it. Beyond the arch is another garden of manicures trees, path between rock gardens and low bridges of still water with a little ice on it. On the other side of this distinctly different garden is a seven story building with sloping roofs between each floor. The roof is made up a interlocking red tiles. The walls are white.
Geran is wearing pail red and yellow robes that wrap around his body and over the shoulder. One shoulder is exposed and the other had part of robe tossed up and then down the back. He greets his visitor with a bow and then a handshake. “Welcome to my little secret. You are the first relative, other than my direct family, to visit. I call it Myr Elrose. It is the closest translation the native people could give me. On this side of the wall is the Cathedral to the Unicorn. On the other side of the wall is the Temple of Shu Shyla. It has stood on this spot for several thousand years. I have honoured it and allow it to stand as it is.
Dsara is waiting for us in the garden near the temple. She does will not come to this side of the wall. The arch is symbolic. It represents peace between the two religions that inhabit these mountains.
Geran steers his guest toward the round arch. As they approach the circle arch, six monks dressed similarly to Geran but in dull red robes stand on other side of the threshold. Their hands come together before their foreheads and they bow low. Their skin is yellowish red and their eyes and hair are jet black.
They start to walk again. The two of them walk thought a garden similar to a one found in Japan. As they approach a bridge crossing over a section of a large pond with ice in the shadows, they will see a woman standing under a massive huge tree. It rises up one hundred feet into the air. It branches reach out three times over the pond. It rests upon an island in the middle of the pond. The woman is wearing dull orange and white robes under a fur lines cloak of blue velvet.
“The light of the moon shines in your heart and the sun is in your eyes, Lord. This humble servant is enlightened by the presence of one who wishes knowledge,” Dsara states in a soft voice to Geran’s guest.
“My religion is kindness. We are all students of one teacher. One very kind, wise teacher. The teacher welcomes those who are different. Through differences comes understanding and trust. Trust that has not been shown to the mountain people by those who dwell in the lowlands for many lifetimes now. Tell me Lord of Amber, is it trust you seek here or understanding? They are two very different things.”
Several villages are spread out within the lush mountain valleys of the region. Each is a thriving community onto itself. Little Weston, Fordgate, Ensure, Bower, Sigwell, Sestas, Gurlok, Julal, Fort Ulgo, Fort Aiya, Fort Taupra. Fordgate is named thus because it is the place where the river needed to be forded before bridges were built. It is the main shipping hub of the region with easy access to the deeper waters of the Medway as it flows out of the mountains. Ensure is the home of the Asholt Quarry. Forts Ulgo, Aiya andTaupra are transfer points deeper in the mountains. Lake Ulma stretched through a long mountain valley. The city of Myr Elrose is only accessible by water.
A number of forts constructed throughout the land. Most of these forts contain a small garrison to maintain roads and order. Some forts have grown into walled communities of their own — Fort Oagir, Fort Yulga, Fort Silva, Fort Len, Fort Kirkwall, Fort Alpha, Fort Kelec, Fort Morse, Fort Tula — Commonly named after their founder, these communities helps the region grow and maintain a presence in the deep mountains.
Upon becoming Baron of Welksham, Geran decided to honour the Unicorn with the construction of a grand cathedral. Constructed from the finest Welksham granite the entrance to the cathedral faces in the direction of Amber City and the Holy See. When one first enters they are greeted by a life size granite statue of the great Unicorn of Amber carved form green granite and polished to a mirror like finish. The rotunda is circular. Behind that that is the heart of the cathedral the naïve and the high altar. Along the sides of the naive are granite statues of the Prelates of Amber. The altar is stands before a huge relief of the Unicorn made of green granite and surrounded by a large, circular stained glass window. To the left of the high altar stands a statue of Oberon with sword and shield as protector of the faith. To the right is a statue of Dworkin holding the Holy Scriptures. The walls and floors are granite polished to a high gloss and all the windows are stained glass. The ceiling are brightly painted depicting scripture.
The cathedral is backed by a monastery and residences for the Bishop of Welksham and his staff. Behind the cathedral a walled garden had been constructed for the use of the residence of Welksham who believe in the local Folk Faith. The entrance to the garden is flanked by two unicorns carved from green marble as a reminder that the Unicorn is the state religion of Amber. Within the garden is a pagoda structure that contains a representation carved from grey granite of pot bellies man in seated at prayer
Housed in the former Church of the Unicorn in Welksham, the university was opened following the completion of the first phase of the construction of the Welksham Cathedral. Renovated for the addition of classrooms and other facilities, the churches altar remains sanctified and acts as the chapel. Core curriculum includes religious studies, reading, writing and math and the arts. Other curriculum includes the sciences, engineering, agriculture, music, culinary arts, performing arts and the visual arts (painting and sculpture). Housing that had been used for clergy has been converted into residences for staff and students. Affiliated with the Welksham Hospital, courses in medicine have recently been added. A statue of the Prince Regent and Lady Rose stands at the main entrance. The main hall has been called the Rose Hall.
Staffed with 6 general practice doctors (also do eyes), 2 dentists, 4 surgeons, 24 nurses and 30 support staff, the 50 bed hospital provided free medical treatments to whoever ocmee to the door. Houses close to the hospital have been converted into hostels (nightly fee applied) for those visiting for medical treatments.
Guild Hall and Civic Theatre
The building which had been exclusively dedicated to the Guild Hall was reconfigured and updated to include a one thousand seat civic theatre. Taking up two thirds of the old structure the are three levels of seating. Extensive additions allow for a larger stage, prop storage and actors studios and sound control. The facility is decorated with stone polished to a high gloss and statues and other art work produced by students at the university. The civic theatre is the home of the Welksham orchestra, opera company and the Welksham Players, a student group that put on plays. The civic theatre acts as the community meeting hall. Plans for improvements include the construction of a civic sports complex connecting the civic hall to Welksham University. The complex will include full work out facilities with a large indoor pool, hot tubs, public baths, work rooms for artists from the university, a civic library, study hall and student residences. The guild hall portion has been upgraded with new offices, meetings/conferecne rooms, a pub and a restaurant. The members only areas have been rebuilt and is connected to the theatre complex.
Asholt Mountain Springs Hotel and Resort
Situated east of the town of Welksham and south of Fordgate, Quarry Mountain Springs Hotel and Resort is being constructed on the mountain slope beneath the Quarry Mountain Sky facilities. Designed to have different sections to cater to different clients, the 500 room sprawling luxury 5 star complex. Amenities include full recreational facility including a spa, indoor and outdoor natural hot springs, a formal ballroom, dining rooms and convention facilities. The resort has direct access to the ski slope and the lake below. High end Luxury suites will offer hot and cold running water, central heat feather beds and a dedicated butler and maid. Luxury suites range from three rooms to ten rooms.
Close by will be constructed another 500 room 3 star wing to cater or those on a more discerning budget. Lower end rooms will include separate bathrooms with hot and cold running water, comfortable beds and happy, useful staff. Suites are available for large groups. Planned improvements include private cottages and chateaus. Winter activated include skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, ice fishing, hunting and guided tours of the earldom. Summer activities include hiking, horse back riding, fishing, mountain climbing and guided tours of the barony. A carriage service runs between Welksham and Fordgate. The Gold Crystal Casino can be found at the hotel. It is a top end gaming establishment.
The Earl of Welksham has become a patron of the arts. Both the City of Welkshan and Myr Elrose have orchestras, an opera company, troops of actors, quiet cafes where playwrites and authors gather to discuss plot and characters. Studios are supplied to painters, sculptures, glass blowers, designers of clothing and jewelry. Both cities have several galleries, theatres and outdoor performance spaced. Earl Geran had provided scholarships to worthy students of the arts to come and study at the University of Welkham. Each season of the year his highlighted by various spectacles promoting the arts. Foreign arts, musicians and actors groups are provided incentives to travel to Welksham to showcase their works.
Welksham has a market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since Geran became Baron of Welksham empathizes as been to improve standards of employment, employee safety, industrial capacity and industrial diversity. Empathize is shifting from exporting raw materials to finished products.
The market is the center for commerce in each community. Merchants come from all over Amber to sell and trade their goods. Busiest during the late spring, summer and early fall, Geran has plans to construct a year round glass enclosed market. The people enjoy a high standard of living due to the fact they own their land.
Upon coming to Welksham, Geran provided all existing and future residents a grant of one acre of land that is theirs to pass down through their families (The Earl retains the mineral rights.) Surplus produce can be sold in the markets and exported to other areas in Amber.
Free medical, dental and education (above that of the church) are provided to all citizens. Farmers are granted no cost access to the Earl’s pastures to graze horses, sheep and cattle. There is work for all on the farms, in the greenhouses, mills, taverns and major industries. Those who are injured by war or accident are guaranteed work at a fair level of compensation even if it is pushing a broom to keep the street clean. The aged are provided with a guaranteed stipend paid by the funds the earl has put aside for social programs. Taxes to the Viscount are extremely low. Taxes to Amber are at the approved rate. Markets in the other villages have been improved and act as the center for the local economies.