Icesog is the poorest duchy, and it has the highest crime rate.
The people of Icesog are known for their cold exteriors, their selfish attitudes, and their cunning resourcefulness.
There is little space for farming, so they make their living on natural-growing plants and the local fish population. They make homes with stone on the few pieces of dry land in the marsh, or on boats or rafts.
Icesog is the duchy that most criminals flee to, if they wish to continue their crimes. They are often met with frontier-style justice if caught, however.
Climate and Geography
The marsh in the north is the duchy of Icesog. Most of the region is covered in water, with floating islets of flora. Small otter-like creatures roam about, and sprite-like beings play tricks on the unwary travellers. The people are closed-minded and very headstrong. They prefer being alone, despite the cold that seeps into their bones at night. Every ten years, their cold, Northwestern jet stream becomes deadly as it shifts, bringing disease-ridden air and insects from the Northeast.
This plague from the Northeast is usually akin to the flu, but if it gets into the bloodstream, it becomes a nerve-damaging killer. The second, blood-born form coats the nerves, giving the infected area a darkened coloration. Every nerve discharge ignites visibly, causing a brief spark, said to look like a star. It can be controlled by removing the infected tissue, but that is no guarantee, and the procedure is often just as deadly as the disease itself. If a person is initially infected on their smallest toe, it will take around five years for the disease to kill them.
Economy and Agriculture
There is no mineral wealth here, nor much farmland. Fishing is the primary profession, and the fur trade thrives on the soft-furred otters that inhabit the area.
Icesog is also the center for pearl diving, despite the risk of hypothermia. The common pearl types are blue, white, and black.
There is a growing market for making leather from fish skins, though the art is far yet from perfection, and how it is made is a closely-guarded secret.
The homes are more often boats than land-based structures, though what few homes exist on land use the Northern Hauteflamme method-- domed houses hung with skins for warmth.
Larger structures use squared designs for ease, but they are not easy to heat, and often rooms will be closed off when not in use.
Occasionally, dwellers in the above two home types will carve or paint on the walls with their story, since homes are recycled over generations, and in a place where a person is easy to forget, they want their memory to linger. Using words for these histories is seen as desperate.
In the three capitals of the earldoms, other construction methods are used to try to mimic more civilized lands. Maintenance is expensive, and heating is moreso as it takes much more fuel, or many more slimes, to get the popular, toasty-warm heat.
This duchy is home to the lowest population of monsters per square mile in all of Saldecla. Only slimes are common.
The duke is from the Henkermann family, and had four sons and seven daughters. He now has one son and one daughter with the plague of stars, and two daughters with weak bodies after the effects of the other plague.
The northernmost earldom, and the warmest by a narrow margin, Einsamkeit is always the first hit by the twin plagues, and is full of the least friendly people in Icesog, preferring isolation to seeing another human face. They sometimes live in small clusters of homes to make life easier, but none are particularly fond of their neighbors beyond being useful.
Earl Ned Stalker prefers to take part in trade to pay taxes than ever travel into his own lands beyond his port city.
This earldom is central, and has the largest port in Icesog. It is ruled by Earl Hans Henkermann and a mysterious wife whose name is unknown and whose face is never seen. Earl Hans Henkermann is the son of the duke.
The lands here are the most habitated, because there is a lot of space and maps are useless. Most people here use boats as houses, because the trees move on islands made of roots and sod, and losing a house is embarrassing. This earldom has the highest percentage of people who worship the nature spirits that move the trees, and they often leave offerings of fish, berries, and pretty stones in exchange for safe passage.
The southwestern earldom is the coldest, and ruled by the coldest man in Icesog, so rumors say. Earl Adalbert Eisspeer is known for his cruel touch when dealing with his barons and his people. He is the wealthiest Earl in the duchy because he lacks regard for human life. He has lost four wives, and has one son that has not been seen in five years. His current wife, Countess Ilya (formerly Goldwheats from a barony in Assezfourni), is heavily pregnant and very sickly. She's never seen without at least one bruise.
This earldom has the highest production of pearls, and the highest pearl-related deaths.
Most barons and baronesses spend their time in their earldom's capital, and only go to their own homes when it's time to collect taxes-- this often involves sending people hunting through the swamp.
- The Plague of Stars
Two years ago, the twin plagues passed through Icesog. Roughly half of those infected with the Plague of Stars have passed away. Those that remain infected are not likely to recover, even with amputation.
The larger, black-tailed otters are becoming more common than the formerly common brown-tailed otters. They are also acting unusually, and migrating southward-- some, especially pregnant ones-- are sneaking into human homes and making themselves into pets.
- Excessive Trapping
Otters have openly attacked trappers who take or wear too many furs. These attack otters form large groups while attacking, and often move on quickly afterward.
- Healing Bounty
One southern Icesog baron has set a bounty for healers (by magic or knife) to be brought to his home in ____. Any who can save his wife's life will be handsomely rewarded.
Major Historical Sites
Icesog has no major historical sites, but plenty of minor ones whose stories are shared in a verbal tradition.