The Fred Memorial Society
To the west of Leadshire and sharing a border with the great lake of Fliuva, Haldshire is the largest Shire in Albion, and also the most popular with adventurers due to the number of monsters and bandits in its swamps and woods, and orc encampments in its hills. Haldshire is now also the home ot the seat of government in Albion, the Thorn Throne in the city of Thornworth. The Earl of Haldshire is King Murvoth I, the Lord of Thornhold, though when he is away it is often held by the Dracolich Tyrgarun. The Shire Reeve is Gyrth, the Chancellor of Albion and former Earl of Haldshire, a water mage now speculated to be a Lich. The holds of Haldshire include Thornhold and Turnhold in the centre; Marhold, Gyshold & Flushold to the west; Viekhold and Schafhold to the South; Sumhold to the east; and Seehold and Sjohold to the North.
In the centre of Leadshire and fed by the River Lea is the hevaily forested Thornhold. In the south of the hold, near its border with Viekhold, is the great wall of enchanted thorns which gives name to the city of Thornworth. While nothing lives in the forests except possibly all manner of creatures under the King’s command, to the north of the hold is an expanse of fields overlooked by Thorn Hill.
There are about five small hamlets under the shadow of Thorn Hill, all overlooked by a small hut near the edge of the woods where an enigmatic man called only Watcher lives, refusing to owe allegiance to any man and talking little to anybody, only to give directions or to inform them to move on. Nevertheless, the Watcher’s silent vigil seems to keep away brigands, and some of the farmers claim they once saw him wrestle a dire wolf which had attacked their sheep to the ground before slitting its throat. Despite his lack of respect for the throne, Murvoth keeps watcher around as he leaves the Huskarls unaccosted as they collect taxes from the hamlets and the Hill, and means he doesn’t need to send many troops to defend the norht of the hold.
Atop Thorn Hill is the large town of Penwatch, a mining settlement which has since grown into a trade hub for those too scared to enter the walls of Thornworth, and a garrison for the fifth of the fyrd which Murvoth keeps on call at all times.The Mayor of Penwatch, Cynred, once kept mercenaries to fight the kobolds which live in tunnels far below the hilld and fought over the bountiful mines in the hill. The mines are long sicne exhausted, but the kobolds now provide excellent training for the fyrd.
To the east of the forests of Thornhold lie the woods and swamps of Turnhold. The hold town of Turnworth was destroyed in the Star Spawn attacks thirty years ago, but has now been rebuilt as another point of garrison for Murvoth’s fyrd. The men of Turnhold are the slightly more experienced fighters, even a few Huskarls, to often fight with the bandit clans, and worse, that lurk in the swamps and woods to the north and west of the town.
The largest city in Albion isn’t actually Coronia or Thornworth, but the city of Isca, capital of Marhold. The City is in three parts, a merchant community and huge boat town on the riverside, a walled fortification on the hilltop, and a few surrounding farming towns. As it is in the centre of the second most monster and brigand prone Shire, Isca is a veritable hub for adventurers, the streets of the walled city filled with taverns, forges, temples and magical curiosity shops, while the boat townsmen and the villagers provide adventurers with many jobs and greater quests to do. Various other small boat towns populate the rest of Marhold, on the lake at the base of Isca and in the tributaries of the river Lea.
Gyshold and Flushold
The borders of Marhold go right up to the forests of Thornhold, but to the west and bordering on Alodshire are Gyshold and Flushold, with Lake Gys between the two. In both holds villages have sprung up in the fertile floodplains throughout, while the rest of the two holds are dominated by swamps and the creatures that dwell within. The the middle of Lake Gys is an island fortress, said to have foundations at the very bottom of the lake, Myrcester, which was fought over for years by the Lords of the two holds. Muvroth solved the situation by naming a strange Ensanan man called El Grande as Count Myrcester, and while the man does not hold the castle, it is said it is used as the site of many dark experiments.
To the south of Thornworth are the forested hills of Viekhold, going all the way up to Mundshire’s borders, known as a paradise for hunters both across Albion and the world. In a small valley in the middle of the hold is the city of Viekford, an unwalled city surrounded by curious deer farms. Viekford is mainly known for the Arena, where professional fighters, marksmen and riders come from across the country to take part in prestigious events. The central plaza of Viekford, the site of an attack by a particularly strong Star Spawn thirty years ago, is also the site of a huge statue of King Murvoth (replacing the old statue of Arthrus) and a Temple for each of the Sovereign Host.
Fit snugly between Viekhold and Marhold is the small Schafhold, a hilly land of sheep farms prone to giant attacks from the giants in the Mundshire mountains, where the town of Schafford serves mostly as a place of rest and arming for adventurers who wish to journey into the mountains.
To the east, between Turnworth’s swamps and Viekford’s hills lies Sumhold. While it is still slightly swampy to the north, where the small village of Sumfton lies, the hold mainly serves as a thoroughfare between Thornhold and the east, being mostly flat land with a road reading directly from Coronia to Thornworth, guarded by a wall of Murvoth’s enchanted thorns.
Seehold and Sjohold
To the north of Leadshire is the border with Fliuva and the source of the River Lea, the Great Lake. On the shores of the lake and on either ride of the River are the towns of Seeport and Sjoport, trade ports with Fliuva and international mercantile centres. While the rest of Sjohold is swamped and wooded like much of east Leadshire, Seehold is flat and fertile. Hence, Seeport is the more prosperous of the two towns, almost a city and home to many a wealthy magnate. Sjoport, while still a centre of trade, is poorer and a major base in Leadshire for the Thieves’ Guild of Albion.