Engenstut County is a remote province of the Empire of Night in the former country of Hanist. It has a long and proud tradition of rebellion, though the last attempt a generation ago was put down bloodily.
Location and GeographyEdit
Engenstut is located on Cape Har, the earstern of the two peninsulas that compose most of southern Hanist. It is bounded by the Elver hills in the north, the Berger river in the west, and the Gray Sea to the south. The Oylsterrun in the east provides the boundary between Engenstut County and the neighboring Namdalside County that owns the Gray Sea coast. The northwest border with Otern County is the Signalyokey River.
Engenstut is dominated by the trackless wildlands of the Visten forest in the south, on the tip of Cape Har. Some small villages have been hacked out of the forest, but it is mostly unpopulated aside from loggers, trappers, and wild animals. The orcs have no love for the Visten and the Resistance finds it a convenient place to gather and train away from watchful eyes.
Northern Engenstut is mostly low rolling hills, growing slightly steeper and more rugged before reaching the Elver hills. Most of Engenstut's agricultural villagers live here, growing crops on laboriously terraced farms.
Engenstut has a temperate climate and gets a fair amount of rain. There are many small fens, bogs, swamps, and marshes in low-lying areas and along the rivers, ponds, and creeks that cross through the hills and forests. None of these wetlands are especially large or noteworthy.
Engenstut's major town is Harbuck, located on the west side of the province on the Berger river. It is a moderate port of about 2700 people, with limited shipbuilding capabilities. Visten hardwoods are turned into rafts or barges and then floated upriver to Grimstut, Kristintud, Elverum, or rarely Bergen for further processing. The large market village of Trones is south by southeast of Harbuck, on the Berger on the edge of the Visten. It mostly supports a few logging communities located deeper into the Visten but still relatively near the edge, but also some fishing communities along the Berger and farming villages inland. The orcs use an old fortified monastery south of Trones as a stronghold; one of the major buildings is long destroyed but is guarded by orcish watchtowers.
Levangen is another large market village, located on the east side of the country near the Visten and off a creek leading to the Oylsterrun. It supports more loggers and farmers.
Rora is the largest village in the north, near the Elver hills. The Sorly iron mine is nearby and kobold miners are a common sight in the area.
Swartun, the ugly black stone fortress of Hogar's Bearfang Regiment, is located about 18 miles east by northeast of Harbuck. Almost all of the Bearfangs departed for points unknown on February 15, 508 ANI, and the Gulm's Dogbloods of Namdalside County are now patrolling Engenstut County as well as Namdalside and Stineyer in the Elver hills. The small strongholds near Levangen, Rora, and Trones still house orcs, though with new banners and different cruelties.
At least one tribe of Tzavarim lives in the Visten. Loggers sometimes catch glimpses of the reclusive arboreals, but the Tzavarim prefer to relocate rather than interact with the peasantry and risk the possibility of detection by the orcs.
Engenstut County has a long history of active resistance against the Empire of Night. At a minimum, persecuted races like the Dwarves, Fae, Minotaurs, and Tzavarim are sheltered and smuggled away from the orc forts and into the depths of the Visten. Small acts of sabotage and passive resistance are common. Most youths spend at least a few months hiding in the forest, training in the basics of combat with the Resistance, though very few abandon civilized life and work with the Resistance full time. Training with the Resistance is seen as something of an adventure and rite of passage for young adults but continued training is considered irresponsible for parents.
The Resistance in Engenstut can draw on a large population of at least somewhat trained irregulars. Every generation or two, an inspiring leader convinces the most current trainees to try to massacre the local orcs. These rebellions are always put down, often bloodily, but survivors can always flee into the Visten to regroup and recover.
The Resistance has good contacts with the Stineyer Resistance to the north, which is also an active community that hides in the Elver hills. Namdalside County's Resistance, exposed on a coastal plain, is less active though some of their more adventuresome youths train in the Visten. Similarly, the Otern Resistance is very passive and mostly passes rumors and refugees from the great cities of Hanist. There is almost no contact with Resistance groups on the other side of the Berger river, as the wide inlet is too difficult a barrier to cross casually.