The Land of Catreath

A Guide to Bernicia

Bernicia was the first Kingdom established by the Men of the East. It now forms the northern, and larger, province of Catreath. Bernicia is not an easy place to live; ever since it was first established there has been conflict with the people of Rheged, who resisted the taking of their land, and with the clans of the north who sought to take the wealth of the nation. Accordingly, the men of Bernicia are hardy sorts. The isolated position of Bernicia means that the area has less trade and contact with the more sophisticated southern kingdoms and their southern neighbours view them as uncouth.

The people of Bernicia are a mixture of the descendants of the Men of the East, the native people of the area, and the descendants of men who stayed when the Empire departed, as well as various others who have migrated to the region.

Edwin's Fort (Edinburgh)

The northernmost settlement in Bernicia was established in recent years following King Edwin's coronation. The King gave orders that a fort be established at the northern border to guard against the raids of the clans, and the town of Edwin's Fort sprung up around this. Although Edwin's Fort is not a large place, it is the only town of size within the dangerous borderlands, and it is from King Edwin's wooden fort that the sizable military forces of the area are coordinated. The community around the fort is dominated by the need to provide for the troops who ensure the safety of Catreath. The main industry is farming, though smiths and armourers fair well here also. Edwin's Fort is ruled over by the Captain of the Northern Guard, currently Lord Kenelm of the House of Calum, the nephew of the Earl of Berewich and a Knight of the Lion. There is a strong presence of the Knights of the Lion in Edwin's Fort, as there is throughout the borderlands, and the worship of Hadan is prevalent.

Berewich (Berwick)

A sizable trading port and seat of one of Catreath's two Earls, Berewich is the second city of Bernicia. Situated at the mouth of the River Tweed, Berewich supplies goods to the whole northern portion of Bernicia. It is a prosperous city sporting a large market with exotic goods and a famous tournament held every summer. Berewich was the first location in Bernicia in which the Men of the East settled, and the House of Calum claims to have held the city since then. The current Earl of Berewich is Lord Lachlan of the House of Calum, a Knight of the Lion, as are most of his line.

Dinguardi (Bamburgh)

The ancient seat of the King of Bernicia, Dinguardi is the most important city in all of Catreath. The city of Dinguardi is dominated by Dinguardi Castle which sits high on the cliffs above the town. It is said that Dinguardi Castle has never been taken by an enemy, nor will it ever be. The castle is large, and within its walls dwell King Edwin and his court, with all manner of servants, advisers and ladies-in-waiting to attend them. The city of Dinguardi is large and bustling; its port is smaller than that of Berewich, but the fame of the city attracts visitors and tradesmen from far away, and pilgrims also, for the holy island of Medcaut lies within sight over the causeway.

Medcaut (Lindisfarne)

The island of Medcaut is divided from the mainland of Catreath by a causeway that is passable only at the low tide. The island is both windblown and desolate, but it is thought to be holy and there is both a monastery to Vistan and an abbey to Liadrin here. There is a small village, Medcaut Village, which houses the few men who provide the little that the monks and holy sisters need. Fishing is a prevalent industry here.

Hagustaldes (Hexham)

Hagustaldes is called the 'Town of the Pilgrims' and for good reason too, for in this town you may find a dozen churches, and all of them bear some relic or other. The town is kept by Baron Cuthbert of the House of Farnley, a pious man who's care of the churches and relics ensures a steady flow of pilgrims and wealth to the town. The Baron is advised by a Council of the Churches in all that he does, for he is said to be led by the will of the gods in all things.

Novum Castellum (Newcastle)

Called the 'City of Merchants', Novum Castellum is a town unlike any other. Though in name the Lord Brynmor of the House of Cadogan is Earl of Novum Castellum, the Merchant's Guild holds more power here than many will admit. The city is a busy one, with traders passing through by road, by river and by sea. The main market square is dominated by the impressive Merchant's Guild building, opposite the large church to Hadan and the smaller church to Dia; between these stands the well-used town notice board. Within the city walls all fighting is expressly forbidden, and even bearing a draw weapon is a punishable offence. Such rules are enforced by the Novum Castellum Watch, from their Watchhouse besides the main gates; the militia are housed in barracks opposite should any assistance be necessary. Novum Castellum is also home to the White Friars, a closed Order of the brothers of Telialan who succour and heal all who need it within their hospice, and the Black Friars, a secretive and feared Order of brothers of Hadan.

Dunhelm (Durham)

The great and beautiful city of Dunhelm is a jewel of the Kingdom of Catreath. This city on a hill is crowned by the magnificent cathedral to Vistan, and the Prince Bishop, His Grace Randal of Vistan, rules the locale. This city of priests and monks is famed for the Great Library which is housed there, where even the lowliest may go to learn. There is a notable church to Liadrin here also, and several orders of holy sisters giving her worship; Dunhelm is a centre also for Templar Knights. The position of Prince Bishop is an unusual one, for it is not a hereditary title, nor is the Prince Bishop a noble in the truest sense of the word; nonetheless the Prince Bishop is one of the most important men in the kingdom, comparable with an Earl, some say a Duke. The current Prince Bishop is known to mint his own coins and to be attempting to united all places of the worship of Vistan within the country under his unyielding rule.

Middelburh (Middlesbrough)

The town of Middelburh is a small settlement, however it is well placed on the main road south and has its own small port. Middelburh has a flourishing livestock market where the farmers from many miles around gather to sell their wares. There is a large church to Cor in Middelburh, and a smaller chapel to Amadar. Once a year, on the autumn equinox, Middelburh is the sight of a large gathering of priests of both these faiths, and there are celebrations which disrupt all other business in the town. Lord Andrew of the house of Godfrith is the Baron of Middelburh, he is a portly fellow well known and liked by his people.

A Guide to Deira

Deira was settled by the House of Ella some twelve years later than Bernicia. Deira now forms the southern, smaller part of the Kingdom of Catreath. Closer to the sophisticated Kingdom of Mercia and further from the northern border raids, Deira is a quieter place than Bernicia, its Lords are as likely to be traders and diplomats as great warriors, and the gentle pleasures of music and art are better received. The border with Rheged and Elmet still requires some observance, but Deira is not as truly dangerous as Bernicia is. The decision of King Edwin, a descendant of the House of Ella, to rule from Bernicia is greatly resented by the people of Deira. Deira is ruled over by the Duke of Eoforwic in his stead.

Eoforwic (York)

Eoforwic is a very large city, larger than Dinguardi or any other within Catreath. It is a place of merchants, traders and travellers. There are many small shrines but no great churches and some hold Eoforwic to be a godless place. His Grace Alfred of the House of Wolverton, is the Duke of Eoforwic and the ruler of Deira in the name of King Edwin. Duke Alfred was a childhood friend of King Edwin, is loyal to him and well-trusted by him.

King's Town (Hull)

King's Town is a place few decent men visit if they have the choice. A town of sailors, the ebb and flow of the tide controls all things here. The harbour is the heart of the town and King's Town is where the best sailors in Catreath may be found. It is also reputed to be where the best rogues, whores and thieves may be found. Lady Glydwen of the House of Merran is the Baroness of King's Town, but she rarely goes there, preferring her manor to the south of the town. There is a church to Telialan, the patron of sailors, in the centre of King's Town.