The newst addition to the Grand Duchy and one of the least tamed.
Nestled in a high valley created by the corner of two mountain ranges: the Jotens and Crystalmists, Lungu County is dominated by both the Grey Forest and the Green River. Much of the territory is wooded, making rich ground for hunters and loggers. It was also the last stop south of the Jotens on a trade route linking to Sterich on the northern side. The summers are mild and the winters can be cold, with storms coming down from the mountains, but the land is fertile making the relatively short growing season quite fruitful.
When Kerameikos was still the Traladara Province of Old Keoland, a castle was built to protect the trade route between the provinces of Traladara and Sterich. However, even with the garrison stationed there and another on the other side (with regular patrols between them), frequent raids by the giant-led barbarians made the trade route treacherous. Three generations ago, a horde of these barbarians swept out of the Jotens, sacking the castle and it’s surrounding villages and driving the survivors out of the valley.
It was not until many years later, roughly 10 years after the ascension of Grand Duke Stefan Kerameikos, that the Lady Lungu would lead a force into the valley, reclaiming the castle and making the valley safe for resettlement. The Grand Duke awarded her the title of Countess, giving her dominion over the county. While the area around the castle and along the trade route to the south is relatively safe and settled, the valley as a whole remains a wild place of bandits and monsters, attracting many adventurers to the area looking to make names for themselves.
Like the rest of Kerameikos, the bulk of the population is of Traladaran descent, but the nobility and many of the merchants living within the walls of the castle are of Keoish descent. However, the Lady has taken great pains to ensure that both peoples are treated fairly and equally. Additionally, there is rumored to be an enclave of wood elves somewhere deep within the Raven Wood and tribes of goblins and kobolds haunting the Grey Forest. The bulk of the folk living in the valley are farmers working the lands around the castle and nearby Riverton, or fishers plying the waters of the Green River and Green Lake.
The majority of the population of Castle Lungu, itself, is of Keoish ancestry. Roughly 3 miles from the castle, in the town of Riverton, the population is almost all Traladaran, as are the surrounding farming hamlets. The divide between the Traladaran Faith and Church of Kerameikos is virtually identical, with the castle holding the Church’s main house of worship and the town of Riverton holding a temple of the Traladaran Faith. Disputes between the two ethnicities and faiths are rare but not unheard of. For the most part, people are too busy working and preparing for possible bandit raids to bother much with fighting one another.
The Grey Forest dominates the northern half of the valley. It is wild and untamed, though a few hardy folk hunt it and tales of a few druids and witches living in the woods persist.
The Green River and Green Lake flow down from the mountains before turning westward to drain out of the valley. Fish are plentiful but the water is cold and flash floods are a danger during storm season.
Lungu Castle is the seat of power in the valley. There the Lady Lungu makes residence in the old Keoish fortification. She maintains a strong guard and patrols are sent out from the castle daily.
Riverton is the largest town in the valley, resting just 3 miles from the castle. It is populated primarily by Traladaran farmers and fisherfolk who support the castle in exchange for defense against the prevalent banditry of the region.
Hollow Thicket is a small copse of woodland that has been reserved for logging and charcoal burning. It is the most tamed of the various woodlands of the valley.
The Windy Wood and Raven Wood are both regularly hunted and a handful of charcoal burners make their homes there. Elves and other manner of sylvan creatures are rumored to make the deeper parts of these woods their home.
The Deep Swamp is considered too dangerous for safe hunting and the Lady Lungu has decreed the wetlands off-limits after having lost several rescue parties trying to locate missing townsfolk, hunters and adventurers.
The East Road is the old trade route leading across the Jotuns and into the nearby state of Sterich. To the south, toward central Kerameikos, patrols are frequent. However, to the north, bandits and other dangers are known to make travel along the old trade route dangerous. Only very well prepared caravans take this route anymore.
The Old Watchtower was meant to provide early warning in case of barbarian invasion along the East Road. It was sacked at the same time as the castle 3 generations ago. Now it is rumored to be a bandit fortress.
The Burnt Peak and The Horn are two wayward mountains of the Joten range that can be seen from almost anywhere in the valley. Ancient Traladaran tradition holds these two peaks to be sacred.
The Haunted Mounds are a range of rocky foothills extending down from the eastern Jotens. They are so named for the many ancient burial sites found there, most of which are said to be haunted by the ghosts of ancient Traladaran warriors and their barbarian foes.
The Rotten Wood is a dark and foreboding wood said to be as haunted as the hills nearby.
The Deathly Grove has a reputation that matches its name. Tails of many horrors (from giant spiders to evil witches and sinister ogres) are set in these woods.