A brief history and account of the region(s) known in modern day as Misthaven, by Aurelius, travelling scribe.
I have heard a little of the local lore from study and rumor before beginning my travels. Misthaven county is a booming trade powerhouse found between the Hrothi foothills and the great Neran plains. They are a core part of the Demalion empire, with a strong infrastructure. The heavy focus on production and their location made it a pivotal trade centre for the empire's flow of Hrothi and Neran goods.
Some of the local stories are fanciful at best or downright laughable at worst. The county's odd name stems from rumor and legend. Long in the past it was said to be a place obscured by strange mistsand resultantly, unaffected by wars and conflict. Locally, innkeepers and bards tell tall tales of the Mist Walkers who made this region their home. They are said to commune with the shadow kin, spectres told to frighten those who behave badly as their sleep. Some of the residents seemingly believe in these fanciful tales and report encounters with shadowy beings themselves. I would likely ascribe this to excessive consumption of local beverages.
The county's focus as a key trade route surfaced at the height of the empire's great war if you would believe the tales. Stories would have you believe the county had somehow escaped notice for generations, obscured by mist. The place, in my view, does seem a little misty, but no more so than one might expect with a mountain in proximity. Anyway, I digress. At some point, Vaizer's call spread throughout the lands and the tyrant Hazar's forces reacted in kind. A nearby garrison set forth to join Hazar's army. That same night, a violent storm struck, sending lightning jagging across the sky as the winds howled. Thick mists rolled down the mountains towards Hazar's camping army. In the storm, none of the local villages heard a fight, yet it's evidence was inescapable. Hazar's forces were slain and the dew laden, gleaming walls of Misthaven beckoned, the mist dispersed. Regardless of tall tales, it seems likely that the local population at some point declared their loyalty to Vaizer in a bold move, by striking at the heart of his opponent's garrison on a dark and stormy night.
Politics and Economy
I've travelled quite widely, and in my view, the region could be more exciting and multicultural. That said, the place is abuzz and thiving. Modern residents have a range of backgrounds and interests. Several are known to have ties to Tryggr and Arcadia, yet strong loyalties are to the Demalion empire. As far as I can gather, those that declare loyalties elsewhere or move against Vaizer and very quickly removed. Perhaps this is the reason for the seeming strength of loyalty from the locals.
Regardless of the past, the county's recent role has been a focussed one. Local forces stamp out dissidents with force, stabilising and strengthening the surrounding region. As a key production and trade hub in the empire, the region is well patrolled with solid road networks. Two key settlements make up the local region. One is the county seat of Misthaven. The other, it's twin, offers a strong trade partnership. The local populations in the two settlements are primarily Neran and Hrothi. Between the two cities, a strong flow of Neran and Hrothi goods are exchanged and used to bolster the local economies.
Many craftspeople have been attracted to the region - the unusually large pools of resources employed to develop both the county and it's twin settlement provided a solid ground for it's growth. Seeing great opportunity in the large population numbers, the local streets are often brimming with traders too.
Farming professions are a heavy focus for the Neran settlement. Despite the abundance of locally grown produce, the menu at the most frequented inn seems lacking. I should recommend my neice Gertrude set up a business here. Something more palettable would likely draw in a great deal of custom. The Hrothi twin has a heavy mining focus. Both compliment each other's trades and support the supply of goods for craftsmen, making the region a model of efficiency. My cousin was considering setting up a blacksmithy - I may recommend this region to him as the large customer base, security and local supply could make this a profitable venture.
For the more adventurous types, drawn in by stories and rumors of things long forgotten, there are many mysteries in the region yet to be discovered. I happened across a mysterious ruin when venturing through the forest with my guide only last week. I was unable to determine the nature of the place or it's residents. For mercenaries, the strong infrastructure offers relatively easy access to more dangerous regions as a base of operations, while offering some security behind the front lines.
The local stance on crime is a harsh one, yet deviants are known to be employed by the local Count. This is found greatly amusing. Apparently tasked with inspecting security and strengthening the defenses of the region, security professionals are well paid for legitimate work. Or so the rumor has it. Some of these individuals are apparently paid to sneak into houses and expose flaws in defenses. This behaviour seems out of order, but upon closer inspection, the houses do seem to be well patrolled and secured as a rule. There are stories however of mischief and robberies in the not too distant neighboring kingdom. I suspect some of the locally employed ruffian may be finding less constructive opportunities for their skills away from home.
The locals are primarily of Hrothi and Neran heritage, believers in the Virtori faith and the preservation of the virtues. Many peaceful miners and farmers are drawn to the region for it's riches are fertility. It's location makes it a natural hub for the flow of trade, ensuring a steady flow of wealth and creating a haven for craftspeople of all kinds. Despite the brief periods of tension between the Hrothi and Neran in the past, relations within the county seat have remained strong throughout the generations, perhaps increased by interbreeding.
The county is not on the kingdom borders, though is close enough to bolster the local forces and quickly quell uprisings and troublemakers in the local area, likely initiated by remnants of Hazar's forces. That's the official line anyway.
I have noted a number of patrols passing by in my travels, in addition to numerous smaller groups of mercenaries and adventurers on the main throughfares. They largely appeared to be well armed and trained. I suspect the low crime rate is partly attributed to the regional security checks in addition to the frequent mercenaries. Having asked after a few of the bands, the locals tell me they live in the region, preferring relative safety for their homes, and using the well developed roads for access to their places of opportunity.
Entertainment and Architecture
I was delighted to get caught up in some of the local festivities. A local hub for the surrounding region, the county attracts a number of travellers during festival times. It's local taverns are renowned for the travelling bards that frequent them. Many adventurers use the taverns as places to find companions, buying supplies and further adding to the wealth of the landlords. Raucous laughter can be heard from many taverns. It provides quite a refreshing break from the more mundane smaller settlements.
Rumor has it that a small animal native to the area has gained in popularity significantly as a house pet. If my time here allows, I will endevour to get more detail. Stories are popular in the region. Local children do seemingly enjoy tales of the mist walkers, friendly spirits watching over mann who work with the shadow kin to steer the fate of mannkind. Children will listen to anything.
Architecture is varied and interesting. A recent local policy seemingly forbids bland buildings, encouraging creativity and beauty in design. On balance, the area is admittedly quite beautiful. The lush grasslands, set with a backdrop of mountain are quite a sight to behold. The Hrothi caverns are also stunning. I can see the region's appeal.
I was given a message today that I have yet to decipher. It states "Misthaven county is a ~10k EP county seat. It's twin is a ~20k EP Mayoral seat." I will dwell upon it and perhaps determine its meaning further.
A number of players have expressed an interest in settling in this county. Though the county is likely to be well developed and we can ensure strong starting positions for players, I cannot at this stage recommend joining as a Mayor. The disproportionalty high EP in the region both from me and my neighboring brother may impact your growth. I will provide updates on this in due course following selection. Though I'm happy for Mayors to join, I don't want to mislead anyone or hamper their progress heavily if it can be helped