Nortune, the Barony of

The Ambella river divides the farmlands of south central Gatlia.  The lands on the northern bank fall under the demesne of the Baron of Nortune.  Nortune Castle overlooks the Gatlian highway, and the Baron’s men are officially responsible for the safety of travelers along the roads between Syflanis and the Ambella Bridge.

The Barony of Nortune includes many of the smaller farming communities in the river valley, who remit a small portion of their harvests and livestock to the barony for the protection offered.

Nortune is represented in the Gatlian council by a Popular Councilman and Lordly Representative.

The popular councilman is often a senior land-letter, who is chosen by the farmers and masons.  As such, land-letters tend to be benevolent towards their renters in hopes of being popularly chosen by their tenants to represent them in Council.  The current Popular Councilman, a James Raleigh, is a gentleman farmer who owns a large portion of the land around Altier.  While he is renowned for his generosity, especially during the Goash festival, some have begun to doubt his ability to turn things around in regards to a recent rash of violent attacks by robbers.

The Lordly representative is appointed by the Baron himself, and is often the Baron’s youngest son (if of age) or a trusted friend, who represents the interests of the Barony in the council. As of the writing of this guide to Gatlia, Baron Greggory’s only son, Gerhardt, represents his father in court.  There is concern, however, as Baron Greggory is known to be in frail health, and political opponents, particularly in Syflanis and Sotune, have challenged Greggory on his ability to deal with the growing threat to public safety which appears to be springing up in the northern bounds of his territorial responsibilities.  People say that it is only a matter of time before Gerhardt can no longer hold back the calls for his father to be replaced in his responsibility to keep the region safe.

Goash

Though the official religion of the Cirsovan Empire is a loosely organized veneration of the current and past emperors, there are a handful of old Cirsovan gods and goddesses which are still worshiped.  One of the most prominent in Gatlia is Goash, a harvest deity who appears in the form of a man with an ox’s head.

In Altier, the first harvest of straw is often saved to construct a 10 to 15 foot woven effigy of Goash.  A wooden barn is constructed to protect the Goash from the elements throughout the growing season.  At harvest, the Goash is taken to the center of town and burned as an offering.  People will dance around the fire and feast, with younger folk often finding their future husbands and wives at the celebration.