For more information on the political systems of Ustalav, see the article: Ustalav.
Modern Counties of Ustalav
Modern Ustalav is split into thirteen distinct regions called counties. While each county is still subservient to the monarch of Ustalav, Prince Aduard Ordranti III, the rulers of the individual counties are allowed a lot of independence. The counties can be split into three types:1
- the Soivoda encompassing the entire expanse of eastern Ustalav: they are still run by the noble families appointed millennia ago when Ustalav was first divided;2
- the Palatinates in the north-west third of the country: they have thrown off the rule of their hereditary noble lords and are now governed by councils of prominent citizens;3
- the south-western wasteland of Virlych.3
Full article: Amaans
Full article: Ardeal
- Former home of Ustalav's capital, Ardeal is a land of faded glory, strewn with crumbling mansions and reminders of what has been lost.25
Full article: Barstoi
- A land of rocky hills and fields it is actually one of the best-run counties despite the attitude of its unfriendly people.25
Full article: Caliphas
- A vibrant county surrounding the beating heart of Ustalav that is its capital city, also called Caliphas.25
Full article: Canterwall
- The breadbasket of all Ustalav, Canterwall also has to stand against the marauding orcs of the Hold of Belkzen.36
Full article: Lozeri
- Lozeri caters to the wealthy, putting on decadent entertainment organised by the council of well-off citizens that run the county.36
Full article: Odranto
- This county has long served as a guard against the savage Kellids of the north and is a land littered with forts and castles, some inhabited some not.756
Full article: Sinaria
- A land of cold swamps and ancient woodland, Sinaria is renowned for the city of Karcau that sits on the banks of Lake Prophyria.76
Full article: Ulcazar
- Ulcazar lies at the heart of the Hungry Mountains, and is ruled by the head priest (a former count) of the mysterious Monastery of the Veil.76
Full article: Varno
- A land of scattered forests and lakes, Varno seems to be affected by fickle weather-patterns that can lead to famine after years of plenty.76
Full article: Versex
- Versex is unsuitable for agriculture but rich in mineral wealth and home to many small, insular minor communities in the foothills of the Hungry Mountains.76
Full article: Vieland
- A reasonably fertile land, Vieland is dotted by strange, ancient stone monoliths of unknown origins.36
Full article: Virlych
- Virlych is the name given to the lifeless, haunted wasteland that surrounds the Whispering Tyrant's prison of Gallowspire. It is not technically a county as it has no government, or for that matter living citizens; it is the shattered remains of two former provinces: Virholt and Grodlych. These were ravaged during the reign of the Whispering Tyrant nearly a millennia ago and have never recovered.36
Historical Counties of Ustalav
King Kaldemov, facing the threat of a civil war among Ustalav's noble families, split his nation into sixteen separate counties in 2862 AR. Each of the major noble families were given nearly complete autonomy within their territories, but each also owed allegiance to the crown. This system of government survived until the nation's conquest by the Whispering Tyrant in 3203 AR.8
The Sixteen Original Counties
The sixteen original counties into which King Kaldemov split his country are assumed to be: Amaans, Ardeal, Barstoi, Caliphas, Grodlych, Janoyt, Lozeri, Odranto, Sinaria, Tamrivena, Ulcazar, Varno, Versex, Vieland, Virholt, and one other whose name is currently lost to time.
Here is a list of the four counties that no longer exist in their original county form.
Full article: Grodlych
- Grodlych was one of the two counties of Ustalav most devastated by the baleful influence of the reborn Whispering Tyrant and the devastation of the Shining Crusade that was launched to overthrow the lich. After the defeat of the Tyrant it was combined with its equally desolate neighbour, Virholt (q.v.), to form the new territory of Virlych.7
Full article: Janoyt
- Janoyt was once a meagrely populated county of Ustalav bordered by Avalon Bay and the county of Varno. At the refounding of Ustalav, after the defeat of the Whispering Tyrant, the county was predominantly controlled by the Arch-Duchy of Melcat and the new rulers of Ustalav granted the county to the Archduke's total control. Eventually, the ex-county became the theocracy of Razmiran, as it remains today.9
Full article: Tamrivena
- Tamrivena was the name of the modern day county of Canterwall before it joined the Palatinates: Tamrivena changed its name to Canterwall at that time. Tamrivena today is the name of the county town of Canterwall.10
Full article: Virholt
- Virholt was one of the original counties into which King Kaldemov divided Ustalav in 2862 AR; it was sadly also one of the first conquests of the reborn Whispering Tyrant in 3203 AR. During the centuries of his unnatural reign, it became a lifeless wilderness where no living thing could thrive. This blight was not lifted with the Whispering Tyrant's defeat in 3827 AR, and remains to the present day. The victors of the Shining Crusade combined Virholt with its equally desolate neighbour, Grodlych (q.v.), naming the territory Virlych.7
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 191ff.. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 191. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 193. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 140. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 141. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 142. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 192. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 190. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Counties” in Rule of Fear, 9. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Counties” in Rule of Fear, 18. Paizo Inc., 2011 .