The Barony of Darkmoor
3674 (as of last harvest)
Geography and Climate
The Barony of Darkmoor is nestled at the base of the Ispir Mountains, northwest of the capitol Kah’lann. Darkmoor is one of two Aldinian provinces that border the Rujan Empire. A narrow pass through the treacherous mountains begins in the isolated barony. The northern and western borders of Darkmoor are largely protected by the jagged, ice topped mountains. The land gentles towards the south and east into fertile farmland. The bulk of the barony is dominated by a vast, dense forest filled with ancient evergreens and scattered with oak and elm. The forest is flecked with weeping willows near bogs, streams and ponds. The deepest parts of the forest never see direct sunlight, even on the longest summer days.
Image: The misty forests of the Barony of Darkmoor.
Darkmoor is cooler than most of Aldinia. Summer temperatures do not rise far above 80 degrees. Winters are bitterly cold, with icy winds howling down from the mountain peaks. The warmer months are often damp and humid, encouraging a dense fog to regularly coat the forest floors. The provincial capital of Umbrage is located in the more temperate south-easterly section of the province and is surrounded by the fields and meadows of the people of Darkmoor.
The unique weather patterns of Darkmoor permit a rare moss to grow along the base of trees in the misty forests. When properly harvested and dried, the moss is rendered into the exotic spice Lunar Ash, which is found and produced exclusively in Darkmoor. Lunar Ash is used primarily to season food, but is also found in perfumes and incense. The Razorshayd family possesses a closely guarded technique for extracting a potent narcotic from the moss of Darkmoor. In strong enough dosages, the narcotic is quite poisonous.
The growth and refinement of Lunar Ash drives the economy of Darkmoor, and the barony exports little else. The provincial farms produce various foodstuffs, but these crops are used primarily to feed the local population. Darkmoor produces ample food to sustain its people, but nothing substantial enough to export out of the barony. In recent years, a wine spiced with Lunar Ash called Moonmyst began appearing at the markets in Kah’lann. It took the confused Baron some months to discover that a band of Caravanners had settled in Darkmoor and were fermenting the wine. Despite its high quality and limited supply, the Baron has yet to reach a tariff agreement with the drifters to make any sort of profit off of the export.
Darkmoor celebrates the traditional Aldinian Festival of Light at the winter solstice, but otherwise follows its local religious culture. Four major seasonal festivals are celebrated in Darkmoor, with the autumn harvest festival being the most eagerly anticipated and celebrated. Spontaneous celebrations are held when merchant traders or Caravanners visit the barony from distant provinces. Music and dance fill the festivals of Darkmoor, and dramatic recitations of local folktales are also common. The few pieces of fine art in Darkmoor can be found in the Baron’s manor and the local Temple of Light, devoted to the Ebon Wolf. The Umbrage school does contain an impressive collection of textbooks despite the isolation of the province.
Reputation around Aldinia
Despite its bountiful land, prosperous spice trade and jovial populace, the barony of Darkmoor possesses a slightly sinister reputation. Towering, ominous ice-topped mountains, miles of dark, misty forest, and tales of werewolves, vampires and dragon attacks haunt the region. The citizens of Darkmoor, often called Moors by the other Aldinians, are rumored to be dark savages, prowling the forests at night and ambushing travelers. Some rural areas of Aldinia still threaten to ship their children to Darkmoor to keep them in line. Most of the Moors are content with this prejudice, since it makes it easier for them to thrive in peace and quiet, just the way they like it.
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