|Realm||Kingdom of the Carmine Sea|
|Resources||Timber, Dyes, Limestone, Scriveners|
|Religion|| Panshén (majority)|
Lord of Fire (Calorum Reformation) (minority)
Jarrland is the ancestral home of the Jarr people and their royal house of Jarrow, and forms the core of the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea. While historically treated as a single region by the wider world, it was finally politically united under the rule of King Athelmark the Unifier in the 360s.
The Jarrs (also sometimes, though incorrectly, known as the Jarrow) are a tall, slender and swarthy people, apparently equally at home in the mountains to the north, or plying their fishing boats along their stretch of coastline. They are on the whole cheerful barbarians, though the finery of their clothes belies their rustic mien.
The Jarrs did not until recently consider themselves one people, but many, with the lumber clans of the forests considering themselves wholly different to the boat clans of the coast and the hill clans holding themselves superior to all of them. However, the Salterri Imperium, upon discovering the territory, noted that the similarities outweighed the differences, and named them all after the most powerful of the hill clans. In fact the Jarrow are but one of the clans, and though foreigners may refer to the two synonymously, not all Jarrs are Jarrow, and some - especially non-Jarrow hill clansmen - will greet any such assumption frostily.
After unification, the kingdom was still dominated by the clans, and the clans largely dominated by the families of their chieftains. Blood feuds between and even within clans were far from unknown, although the king made a serious effort to curtail them. One feature present in all clans is the staunch belief in elven ancestry. Whether there is any truth to it is unclear, but it is believed that the land was once ruled by elves and all the ruling families descend from them. Individuals with perceived "elvish" features are thus well-regarded in Jarr society, no matter how low their birth.
At the time of unification, literacy was almost unknown outside the households of the chieftains and even there it was often considered newfangled and dangerous. This rapidly changed, however, with the king seemingly bent on educating and enlightening his people with new ideas and programs of works, and by 395 literacy standards in Jarrland were exceptionally high. With the controversial introduction of the printing press helping to increase reading standards even more, the region was able to begin exporting specialist scriveners and draftsmen abroad, and has a burgeoning poetry community.
GeographyEditThe region has a diversity of terrain, although most of it is rugged. The hills in the north that form an effective frontier eventually give way to an expanse of temperate forest that covers most of the flat land in the region. Near the coast the trees eventually begin to thin out, and finally give way to beaches of sand and rock where the boat clans make their living.
Although not the tallest hill, the most famous, and most distinctive, is the Atteltor, where the chieftains of the Jarrow were acclaimed and where the King of the Jarrs was finally crowned. From one side an unremarkable hill, on the other it gives way to a dramatic cliff with jutting rocks. The top is surmounted with a shrine to the gods of Jarrow and the royal stone.In the foothills further south is the Isling Tarn, a large, almost circular, black pool. No trees grow near to the tarn, and the rocks in the area are unusually dark and covered with mosses and lichens. While some clans hold the Tarn to be a holy place, most simply consider it haunted.
In the forest, all trees are overshadowed by the Great Cedar, which stands nearly twice as tall as any other tree surrounding it, and acts as a useful point of reference for any hillmen trying to navigate the unfamiliar woodland. The Cedar is widely believed to date back to the time of the elves, and most of the forest clans consider that the forest spirits dwell there. The Cedar is covered with charms and fetishes left there by members of the forest clans attempting to appease the spirits, or even simply to draw their attention.
The two largest towns in the region are Jarburg, the ancestral town of the Jarrow clan, and Horbeach, the home of the Horwik boat clan.
Jarburg is an enclosed settlement atop a hill overlooking a sharp valley in the upper hills. While it has become the most important town of the region with the coronation of its ruler, it was chosen more as a defensive position than for administrative convenience and is rather difficult to access for most of the clans.
Horbeach was originally a small port town on the river mouth, situated in a pleasant natural harbour, which serves as the main distribution point for the mollusc shells used for producing purple dye. Both Jarburg and Horbeach were largely built of wood, as the difficulty of transporting stone either up to the remote location of Jarburg or all the way to the coast historically defeated clan leaders. One of the first actions taken by king Athelmark after unification was to build a road connecting the two towns and enabling easier transport of stone.
Following the marriage of Athelmere son of Athelmark to Tempest Grant of the Jewelled Cities in 387, a substantial renovation of Horbeach began, with the intention of turning it into a world-class port capable of housing deepwater vessels. Much of the old wooden town has now been replaced by stone buildings. Horbeach rapidly became the de facto capital and was confirmed as such when the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea was formed in 430.Horbeach is home to the Company of Maritime Venturers, a royally-sponsored corporation for undertaking exploration and foreign trade. The Company is housed in one of the few remaining wooden buildings, the converted shell of the legendary Mia Isabella, which was discovered off the coast of Jarrland in 380.
Horbeach is also notable for the Sea Palace, constructed in the 390s as a new residence and reception building for the royal family. Though not as impressive as some of the great buildings further north, it is certainly the largest construction in the region and, prior to the development of Requiem, possibly the largest south of the Discord Mountains.
The forests provide a healthy source of timber, while limestone quarries are prevalent in the hills. Most notable are the dyes the Jarrs can create from the shellfish and insects of the region, particularly the rich purple and red dyes, the use of which lends a flamboyant and sumptuous appearance to the clothing of the region. So popular and famous did the cohineal dyes of the region become that the sea which it overlooks became known as the Carmine Sea, which ultimately gave its name to the kingdom.
At the time of unification, although missionaries from the Lord of Fire were making some headway, especially with the royal family, the majority of the people remained stubbornly pagan.There were gods specific to each clan, and although there were often similarities between them most Jarrs would refuse to accept that their gods were actually those of their neighbour under a different name. Some of these clan gods were almost certainly ancestors and former heroes of the clan now accepted as gods.
In addition to the clan gods there were the spirits of forest, of sky and of earth, which were more or less universal to all clans and accepted as such. The Jarrs believed that these spirits were the gods of their elven ancestors. They were certainly older than the (hopelessly inadequate) Jarr written history, and are known as the Old Gods.
The royal family, some of the wider Jarrow clan, and a handful of leading nobles of the kingdom, have officially converted to the Lord of Fire. The first king of the Jarrs was crowned by a priest of the Lord of Fire, supposedly signalling the arrival of the Jarrs as a civilised people. It was rumoured however that most of them continued their worship of the Jarr gods anyway and the king made no serious overtures to change the established religion of the kingdom.
In the 370s and 380s, missionaries sent by the Priory of Ascension began to gain a foothold in Jarrland. In response, Calorum missionaries of the Lord of Fire stepped up their own efforts to convert the populace. By 391 the region had roughly equal numbers of Ascension and Lord of Fire worshippers, with the old paganism distinctly tertiary, although many people continued their habits of venerating the old gods in private. By 410 the Lord of Fire was the dominant faith in the region.
The government became increasingly suspicious of Ascension as a sect, largely for political reasons, and introduced numerous measures to restrain its influence and incidentally those of other foreign religions, including barring Ascension-followers from taking the throne. When war broke out with the Priory of Ascension in the late 410s, these suspicions appeared confirmed. Ascension was eventually eradicated in the region, though the kingdom remained insular in religious terms, with the "native" religions of the Lord of Fire and paganism accepted and Hailings of the Silver Sea tolerated, and all other religions barred.
In the 480s, following the reign of King Elwyr, the King and a majority of the population "converted" to the new Imperial religion of Panshén, although this resulted in little practical difference in the kingdom. Panshén is seen in Jarrland as the Lord of Fire incorporating and assuming authority over the Hailings and Wyrm Below religions, with no other meaningful doctrinal change.
In 387 a Royal Council constituted of senior nobles was established to advise the king. While the king has been careful to ensure no ambiguity remains over the rightful succession, the Council would also have a role in arbitrating disputes over the succession. The Council has the power to prevent the king raising the level of taxation, and its consent is required for a foreign ruler to be crowned in Jarrland or to take the country to war on behalf of his homeland.
It is not known what, if any, titles the Jarrs used before the arrival of the Salterri. The Salterri referred to each of the clan chieftains as "Lords" and this survived into the new kingdom. In 382, following observation of northern customs, King Athelmark introduced the titles of Duke and Earl to the kingdom for senior nobles. The lords of Great Clans are known as Earls, save for the Sunder chieftain, who is Duke of Sunder. This practice has been spread to neighbouring Vennland.
In the mid-fifth century a new advisory system, called the Kohus (collective Kohue) was established, as a way of formalising counsel to the king and allowing the people a voice in legislation as well as the nobility.