Power, Ambition, Achievement.
The Ferns flourish in the South Western corner of the Royal Basin in a large Duchy that is ruled by the ancient and noble House Winter. In keeping with the land its people the Winter House heaves with Sourcerers and Vorokians Casters who have made their mark on the Duchy. The Northern border touches the Western Marches. To the East it meets the borders of both The Wooded Ways in its Northern reaches and the lands of the Tao guised as Azilir as it stretches further South. The old lands of Pardetion stand vigil along its Southern border whilst to the West Rhygahrea dominates in the North but eventually we meet the Koren pass that takes us to Egaria and the old burial grounds of ancient Lords along the Barrowbroke Hills. This makes the West a volatile and difficult part of the Basin to inhabit.
The Ferns is the home of Sourcerers in the Royal Basin and very much the seat of power for the Colleges of Controlling Power. However this power led to a powerful invasion of the Daemon Foe from the Shadowed Lands in Two Thousand and Ten which was only fully repulsed in Two Thousand and Sixteen. Whilst freedom has been achieved the death toll was catastrophically high with tens of thousands of civilians dead and thousands of soldiers alongside them. The population was slashed by nearly seventy five percent and those that remain are filled with fear and despondency with the once great cities and townships ruinuious and empty. Large areas of Shadowed Lands corruption are still recessed into pits and caverns and the taint of Daemonkind can still be felt in the air.
The Scourge river, source of trade from the Rice Empire, down through the Low Kingdom and Rhygahrea empties itself out into the lake of diamonds which is slowly recovering into the bustling mercantile gathering place it once was. Gamtha City, once a jewel in the crown of the Royal Basin, is also being rebuilt under the name Redemption City. The City is a series of manmade waterways that are fed by the Diamond Lake, effectively creating very specific areas of the city. The waterways are the home of gondoliers, skiffs and various other small water vessels that service the various “islands” that were Gamtha. It was built to be the second Capital after Maryat by the College of Controlling Power and was designed to resonate and direct the Flux of the Ley Lines of the area. Sourcerers in Redemption are feared and respected, loved and adored; it is bred into the people that to be a Sourcerer is to be Power.
Redemption is supported by Three Mines along the Western border that is another CoCP controlled township which supplied wealth and power to both Gamtha and Koren. This heavily fortified location is home to mines that purportedly produce Aieth Stone, Scringe Stone and Ventwit. Fort Barrow sits central and is surrounded by a sequence of satellite towns; here the guilds of The Ferns find their training ground along with any of the armed forces that find themselves stationed here. It is supported by buried automata that are maintained by the Colleges which rise from their slumber in times of trouble. College buildings dominate these two settlements that have grown beyond their original purpose; businesses line the streets, theatre houses and ornamental parks are a plenty it was once a highly prosperous Duchy protected and governed over by the Sourcerous guilds and families.
Koren Pass in the West, leading to the ancient City of Koren was the reason for this wealth and now attempts to drag The Ferns into a semblance of its past self. Koren is the gateway to Egaria and the Salt Road that crosses the Basin passes through Gamtha picking up more and more trade and flows through the pass into Koren and then out into Egaria and up towards the Rice Empire. Long ago Koren pass belonged to the Zumtakan Nation of the Great Desert and served as one of their outposts for many decades. Through War it was eventually taken by Basanic forces and has remained a Royal City to this day. However much of the control that the Royal Basin has had over Koren and its surrounding areas has waned due, in the main, to the Rhygahrean Wars of 2009 to 2012 when the surrounding area came under heavy contestation, remaining so to the present. Refugees sought solace behind the walls of the city bringing with them crime and chaos to streets that were woefully unprepared for them. The well to do and the Basanic occupants took refuge in the opulence of the upper city and have left the poor quarters to fend for themselves.
The people of The Ferns were once a proud and hardworking people who were dedicated to the Order that comes with allegiance to the Colleges. They worked heavily within the laws of the land and sought to eradicate imperfection from their lives. They were ambitious people who looked to careful planning to expand their business and homes and to reach the pinnacle of their skills and abilities. Many of them would go on to practice the arts of the Sourcerer but many were as happy to find perfection in the skills of the Woodsman, bricklayer or butcher. Bombastic and overbearing individuals, especially those who think that titles and positions have made them important, are the butt of much humour to Ferners. Respect is earned. Since the desolation they have lost much of their drive, jumping at Shadows and seeing the Daemon Foe in the darkness. Hope does not come easy to a Ferner, the memories of time in the labour camps under the cruel care of their overlords are still fresh.