Garmont, a land of rolling hills and the breadbasket of the Middlemark. Dotted with the grand manors of feudal lords. The people of Garmont enjoy a provincial life. Long nights of leisure are punctuated by hard days of working for their feudal tithes. Where the nobles; knights, scholars and Lades spend their days attending to their holdings and reaping the benefits.
Garmont is divided into three Cantons (Houses), each with their own Lade (Lord) and stronghold. The country is run as an elective monarchy, on every 10th Dance of Ribbons, the Lords will meet, debate, and cajole the other lords to be elected the High Ruler of the Cantons. This position allows the Lord to acquire taxes, change feudal contracts and manage all noble weddings. While the individual lords of their cantons remain mostly independent, they cannot make many dynastic decisions without the High Ruler’s consent.
The land of Garmont, in the North East of the Middlemark, has a proud history but is also a pawn in a larger game. Francia needs Garmont’s food to fund their war efforts in foreign campaigns. The fleeing families of Emor need refuge within Garmont’s neutral territories. Garmont acts as the wall between the Middlemark and those strange people in the east, the Vicarians.
This year’s festival has come at an auspicious time, as the old Lade of Vaud, High Ruler of the Cantons, Dame Heilgard passed away suddenly, forcing an early and rather unorganised election. Rumours swirl around her passing, as whispers of regicide and dark ambitions spread throughout the land.
Historical & Costume Note:
Garmont is heavily inspired by several key areas, the Swiss and Dutch nations and cantons of the mid 17th century. Rembrant’s Night’s Watch is a good example of what soldiers and nobles of the Cantons might look like. Big broad brimmed hats, lace collars, tricorns and doublets are the usual for masc fashion. For femme fashion we are seeing traditional headwear, scarves and bodice dresses. Most of the fabric is linen, cotton and wool for these nations. See our Pinterest below for some more inspiration.
Vaud are rough people with a deep courage. Their ships patrol the north rivers and shores of Garmont. Some call them the River Folk, for they spend a good portion of their days by these rivers using them as highways and roads. A Vaud will not be found without a good rucksack and boar spear, as they often travel across the wooded realm between small settlements if they are forced over land.
Furs are the main trade of these folks and they sell great quantities of leather and horn. The leatherwork and especially the horn carvings are considered highly prized among the other peoples of Garmont.
They have a strained relationship with the Vicarian tribes, with Vaud bearing the brunt of most of the Vicarian raids, but amongst all the Cantons, are the most familiar with Vicarian practices and customs.
With the sudden death of their Lade, rumours swirl around her passing and the motives behind it. Some think it is a Vicarian blood feud, but others believe it is another ambitious canton hoping to destabilise the Vauds. Feeling isolated and alone, the people of Vaud do not know who to turn to or trust anymore.
Characters from Vaud are the survivalists, suspicious of everyone and only trusting each other. They see spies and schemes everywhere and are out for revenge. Hunters, leaders and skilled traders are valued in Vaud. Nobles and peasants alike stand shoulder to shoulder.
Vaudian characters are dour, sombre and serious. They are the mix between Robin Hood and the Witcher. Life is hard in Vaud and that has bred hard people.
The wealthy families of Straussland are often regarded as arrogant, yet it was the sacrifices of their forebears that pushed back an ancient threat and saved Garmont.
Straussland, the jewel of Garmont, a noble house that can trace an unbroken line to the great knights who defeated the Fey hundreds of years ago. These folk are proud of their history and their lineage and many attempt to remember the many songs of lore that are sung around a hearth of great heroes and deeds of old.
The breadbasket of the region, the farmer-nobles and commoners have grown exceedingly wealthy from their neighbours the Francian Empire. This close relationship has allowed many a noble to intermarry between the Empire and the Canton with ease, however the Lade’s family were barred from marrying outside Garmont with a fear that Francian eyes were prying on Garmont inheritance.
One might call a Staussian haughty, proud, or even arrogant, the Staussians see themselves as noble, cultured and an example of Garmont’s power. Trade, trade and trade again will give Garmont its rightful place in the halls of history and the people with the knowledge and skills to make this happen are the Strauss.
Characters who come from Straussland are often split heavily between social classes, order is the way of life of course. The nobles are often martial characters, Chevaliers who speak of chivalry but only for those of noble birth. Whereas the peasants are regularly craftspeople, rewarded (and taxed) for their handiwork. But maybe if they had the right tools, they would be able to renegotiate the social structure.
Think Versaille French monarchy meets the veneer of chivalry of King Arthur’s court, and pre-revolutionary french peasantry for our lower classes, a powder keg if able to be ignited.
Gottenburg trade in knowledge. Their cunning number are known as diplomats, ambassadors and spies.
Gottenburg are known as the dealmakers, the oldest of the Cantons they find themselves on the southern edge of the peninsular. It is said that the Gottens ply in three major trades, soft cheese, quality timber and secrets. Understanding court intrigue, the art of rhetoric and knowledge are all taught to be good qualities in all citizens of the canton. Even the lowest peasant should have some idea of what is going on in their master’s dealings.
They had strong ties to the Emorian kingdom to their west, and so when Emor fell to the Francian invasion, many of Emorian refugees from the old families, fled to Gottenburg and it’s neutral teritories.It was said when the Francian emissary demanded the handing over of many nobles and political refugees the Lady Esmerelda promptly said, “I am confused my lord, there are no refugees here, these people are my guests.” Since this time Francia and Gottenburg have had political tensions but no outright hostilities.
Although being the oldest canton, they are not the most successful with most elections failing to garner any support from the other cantons. However this does not mean they have not pulled the strings in most elections. High Rulers are almost always a friend to the Gottenburg court. And power doesn’t always reside on the head that wears the crown.
A Gottenburg character is often the person that wishes to engage with the diplomatic and underhanded. Politicians, scholars, spies and even poisoners are the tools of Gottenburg.
Think of the political scheming of courtly intrigue of Littlefinger or Varys, Italian masked balls and David Tennant’s Casanova.