Myrken Wood's location (dark green) within the Amasynian Peninsula (light green), relative to Regal Province of Trae Kelsa (blue).
|Area||650 sq mi|
|Ruler||Governor Glenn Burnie|
|Currency||Trae Kelsan Shilling|
|Religion||One True Faith|
Myrken Wood, officially the Territory of Myrken Wood, is a region in the centre of the Amasynian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by New Dauntless, to the south by Heath, to the east by Derry and to the west by Amasynia.
For most of recorded history Myrken lay uninhabited, save for a number of elven enclaves in the deep forests around the West Mavoiir River. This changed following the Sixth War of Salvation and the ensuing Concord in 1229 A.I. between the Elflords of Myrken, the Dwarflords of what is now Derry and the Amasynian Crown; the treaty saw the majority of the territories of Derry and Myrken Wood yielded to the Kingdom of Amasynia, and marks the founding of the two duchies.
The Ducal Period
Following the Concord, Myrken Wood joined the Kingdom of Amasynia as a duchy under the rule of Duke Guntram von Eberzahn, a favoured general of the King who had distinguished himself in the battles leading up to the Concord. The von Eberzahn family held the ducal seat for the next two and a half centuries. Records from this time are rare, and so little is known of their rule save that their stronghold was in an unnamed mountain valley overlooking Silver Lake, and that the line died out suddenly in the winter of 1487 A.I. during a period of widespread hardship and popular unrest.
Of what few accounts remain, some speak of a family afflicted by some baleful curse; others of a bloodline plagued by madness and prone to terrible excess; yet other accounts tell of a fell beast that came from the forests of Myrken and slew the entire household in the space of a single night. The only thing upon which the stories agree is that some dark fate overcame them, and they are no more.
The Trae Kelsan Period
Like the rest of the Kingdom of Amasynia following the fall of House Wekslo, in 1527 A.I. Myrken Wood came under the rule of Trae Kelsa. Without the leadership of a Duke, Myrken's nobles had fallen to squabbling and infighting, leaving the region subject to the countless monsters and perils that even then infested the forests and preyed upon the human inhabitants. This changed little with the transfer of rulership to Trae Kelsa, despite attempts to grant control of Myrken Wood to suitably loyal Trae Kelsan subjects. After the sixth such puppet lord failed to bring order to the province (indeed, after his predecessors had succumbed to monsters, madness and misfortune such that the populace began to speak of a curse upon any who would rule the region), these efforts ceased, and barring visits from Crown tax collectors, Myrken Wood was left more or less to its own devices. On the one hand this has allowed the region's inhabitants a considerable degree of autonomy in governing their own affairs; on the other hand, it also means that for the most part they have had to fend for themselves.
The Judiciary Council forms the legislative and executive heart of Myrken Wood's government, and is comprised of an appointed selection of local independent landowners, presided over by a Governor selected from among that number. In principle the Council governs on behalf of the Trae Kelsan Crown and is answerable to the King, but in practice it enjoys a considerable degree of autonomy. While Myrken Wood lies at the heart of the Amasynian province, the granting of expanded powers for local government was found to be necessary due to the unique range of challenges that face those who would manage the territory.
Law and Order
Local law and order was formerly maintained by the now-defunct Order of Straka; since that organisation was disbanded law enforcement was handled first by the Brotherhood of Janeiro, and more recently by the Myrkentown Constabulary; the Constabulary's jurisdiction is limited by Myrken Wood's borders, and it is not unknown for criminals to attempt to cross the Sagpa River into Heath to escape the law.
Meeting in session as the Judiciar and Grand Court of Myrken Wood, the Governor and Judiciary Council oversee and deliver sentence on trials for serious crimes, and serve as a court of final arbitration for cases in which the ruling of the Petty Court has been challenged. The Grand Court also arbitrates on matters of land and property law and commercial disputes.
Historically the region has maintained the Myrken Militia, a voluntary force of armed citizens sworn to defend the land and its people. Over recent years this organisation's influence has varied considerably, eclipsed by foreign mercenary units such as the Order of Straka and Brotherhood of Janeiro. Following the termination of the Brotherhood's contract the duty of defending Myrken wood from external aggressors reverted to the Militia.
From the region's border with Amasynia and Heath at the Sagpa River in the south, Myrken's wooded hills sweep northward, between the Sikasoon Mountains in the east and the Silver Mountains in the west. The East Mavoiir River flows into Silver Lake a short distance north of where Derry Row meets the North Passage Down, and the West Mavoiir and Posehabnak rivers flow respectively west and north from there.
Most of Myrken Wood's populace live in the valley of the Posehabnak River, the land on either side cleared and dedicated to agriculture, flanked by the deep forests of the Western Woods and East Weald. At the Iron Mountains the land drops sharply, the Posehabnak flowing over Paisiann Falls just south of Foggy Bottom and the junction of the the Dauntine Road and the North Amasynian Route. From there the river broadens into the Posehabnak Estuary, passing the foetid swampland of Ghreu Fenn, which forms part of the region's border with New Dauntless; from there the widened river flows along the border between Amasynia and New Dauntless into the Amasynian Sea.
Situated at the point where the East Mavoiir River flows into Silver Lake, Myrkentown serves as the main crossroads of the region and the centre of government; the Judiciary Council and the Myrkentown Constabulary both have their headquarters in town.
Nestled at the foot of the Paisiann Falls, where the North Amasynian Route and the Dauntine Road tie into the North Passage Down, Foggy Bottom is the second largest town in Myrken Wood and forms a trade hub for the north of the territory.
The North Passage Down is the region's major north-south highway, carrying traffic from the Dauntine Road and North Amasynian Route into the center of Myrken Wood. The Mavour Road forks from North Passage Down at Stonebrook, heading west into the heart of Amasynia.
From Myrkentown, in the summer one can take the northeast road to the Gilroy Pass through the Sikasoon Mountains and on into Derry; south of Myrkentown a 'safe road' known as the Derry Row forks off to the east near the notorious Broken Dagger Inn, for those going to and from Derry at other times of the year.
Travellers can also make their way by water, with the region's river network (consisting of the East Mavoiir River, the West Mavoiir River, the Posehabnak River and the Sagpa River) serving as a dependable means of transporting cargo and passengers across Myrken Wood and even beyond into Amasynia or Heath.
Myrken's economy is based around trade, forestry and agriculture. The region's central location in the Amasynian Peninsula makes it something of a crossroads between Derry in the east and Amasynia in the west, and New Dauntless in the north and Heath in the south. This results in a steady flow of traffic and trade into and through the region, centred on Myrkentown where the main roads meet and cross the East Mavoiir River.
Most of the region's agricultural land lies within a half-dozen miles of Myrkentown and along the valley of the Posehabnak River; wheat is a staple crop, though the region's farmers also cultivate vegetable crops and orchards. The higher ground is more often used to graze sheep and goats, particularly in the rugged foothills of the Sikasoon Mountains.