It’s weather is usually easy to predict. The sun only shines from the end of spring, the end of summer. Often along the coast, a sea mist rolls in. In spring, it rains more often than not. Though the rain isn't torrential, it is a constant of which the experienced know always to keep an eye open for.
In summer, a mild warmth gives strength to the land, with pleasant days of sunshine and drifting cloud and gentle rains. During these days are many a game of "cricket" and "rugby" played.
As summer turns to autumn, so do the trees begin to shed their leaves in a plethora of vivid shades. The rains begin the draw in again, the temperature drops and the harvest is gathered for the final few crops, and new ones sown. In Winter, a cold mist and ice will seep down from the mountains, a bracing wind rolls south from old Atmora in the north. As winter progresses, so too will the snowfalls that at first start gentle flurries that soon pass, before evolving throughout winter to howling blizzards across the land, before finally thawing in the spring.
It's current reigning overlord is His Lordship, Count Alecor Larethire, who in turn kneels to the Monarch of Northpoint, currently Queen Elissa Caron.
History of FelwayEdit
County Felway is an ancient land. Mountains have risen and then cracked and tumbled onto the shores that border the raging sea, there to be slowly eroded and crumble into sand. Forests have sprouted from a single seed, to grow and encompass all in sight, then wither and die and slowly, decay and retreat as worm, fungi and man come to tear it apart. All that stays the same is the sea, ever to the north. It is here that Felway's history begins. When Mortals had yet to learn mortality, so stepped onto the land, the Aldmer. They came in crafts of gilded wood and crystal sails that caught the sunlight as the sails of today catch the wind. Clad in Shining armour, that made beast afraid and scatter into the dark places, away from this glittering light.
The Aldmer had tamed the seas with a power far greater. One that shaped the world on all planes, not just the physical. A power that would shape and break nations. Crown and cast down Monarchs. Magic. For the Aldmer, it was said that they learnt how to harness magic in tandem with breathing from the moment they were born. Fallacy of course, magic came first. And now, as they stepped, they showed their prowess. Forests retreated and mountains were shattered. And at the spot where Felway itself stands, they made something, an exploration outpost.
A remarkable achievement, if one considers the fact that most other civilisations at that time had yet to develop a form of travel other than walking. Or indeed, any form of object what we would consider civilised. But for centuries, that was all Felway was. A simple exploration outpost. A small port and a lighthouse. Nothing more. The tall lighthouse still stands, the only piece of elven architecture that is visible to external viewers. Only now part of Castle Maeror, the Count's private tower. Some of the port still stands, a single pier was all the port was. Boots now stride upon that same whitewashed stone. The enchantments within still holding. Though now the Count adds his power to extend the lifetime of them so as to as he puts it "Let the people know where Felway began."
So the Aldmer explored. Mapping and pushing the boundaries further and further. But that is the history of Tamriel. This is the History of Felway. And stumbling into the light come the Nedes. Clad in furs and rags, they clutched their possessions. The Aldmer enraptured them with their magic’s. Showing the Nedes mere parlour tricks in exchange for servitude. Up from the cold earth rose a village. The Lighthouse keeper the ruler of all they surveyed, at least as what extended to the horizon. So it began and so it continued for untold centuries. The old Nedic tirbal system changed and matured into the modern Felway Clan System during this time. The Lighthouse became a castle and so flourished a peace that benefited all involved in its overlordship, that is to say, the Aldmer, now Altmer. Tribute was offered, Tribute was taken and in exchange the fruits of Altmer Magic were granted to the native population.
In the span of a decade and a half, all this was to change.
With thick voices and even thicker skulls crashed the Nords into Northern High Rock. Thinking themselves the rightful rulers of a place they had not watched over for hundreds of years, they called themselves liberators of the local nedes and slaughtered the Mer in their beds and on the battlefield. Precious few escaped to the docks and from there back to the Summerset Isles. But the Nords could not conquer the clans so easily. Though the Nords ruled for a number of years, it was not long enough to establish an ironclad hold, though it was long enough to introduce a few new cultural and technological ideas that have ingrained themselves into the Clans of Felway. Setting aside blood feuds at the chance to seize true independence for themselves, the Clans united and threw back the drunken would be conquerors like the sea throws back that which is cast against it. And like the sea, the Clans did not yield or break until they had flowed forth and the old borders were restored. Borders now ruled within and without by man.
Then as is oft the case with men, and indeed all the mortal races. The warriors of the war grew old and passed into the void beyond. Their descendants only knew the tales in song, not in living memory and the clans fell back into warring. The Remans came and went. Settlements were founded and grew like flowers in a garden. An unchecked garden, that did not order amongst itself. It was passed over by its neighbours in favour of richer pickings.
It was towards the latter years of the Second Era that a young Altmer, by the name of Alecor Larethire however, decided to try his luck. His family was the only remaining descendants of the keepers of the lighthouse, recalling those stories, Alecor reclaimed what he saw as his birthright. The Castle had come to fall into disrepair. Using his funds, Larethire renovated the castle and using his magic, established his own Lordship over the town. Naming himself protector, he watched over the tower. Distrust turned to curiosity and the people of the town slowly grew to look to their new lord for numerous matters. Tackling them with vigour, Alecor gained good stead with his citizens and established friendly relations with the Clans of Felway. The young lord grew older and more wiser. More foresighted. Rumours reached his ears and one night, he left the town. Promising to return, the Lord disappeared for years and returned one day, a Count at the head of an army with the ear of an Emperor. The Clans swore allegiance to him, or were made to bend the knee. And if they did not bend the knee, they were shattered like ships upon the rocks of the coast when the sea is angry.
With this new development, Modern Felway emerged. It still remains. A Count watching over his people and protecting them in exchange for numerous things. So we come to the recent years. Weathering the various woes of the wider world. Felway has grown, only raising its head to watch events and baring its teeth and growling when they get too close. Certain events have had an effect on the County. The most recent and certainly without a doubt the one that has forced Felway to change. The fall of the Septim Empire. With the Empire falling the Count saw the possibility of war in his lands. Moving swiftly, the Count allied himself, and by extension all of Felway, with Northpoint and change was repelled and Felway has once again lowered its head and continued as it always has, only slightly more wary of the world around it now.
Physical Geography of County Felway
Let us start in an anti-clockwise direction starting in the north-west, County Felway starts on the east-hand side of the river which is called in Felway, The Torrents of Baan Dar. As we follow it down to its source, we find on the Felway side of The Torrents of Baan Dar, the section of the Ykalon forest that is in the borders of County Felway, which on their eastern outskirts have deciduous trees galore and further in are mainly Evergreens, around two thirds of the trees are Evergreens and the rest are deciduous. It makes for a beautiful plethora of colours in Autumn.
We follow the Torrents of Baan Dar down to where it splits and follow the eastern tributary, as that denotes the border of County Felway, the tributary is known as the Tears of Cuhlecain, and finally do we reach its beginning, a sharp outcropping of rocks that are a sheer vertical climb from the top of which a waterfall projects and so falls to create the Tears of Cuhlecain.
Then on into the Mountains of the south. Rising mysteriously, slowly and poignantly from the mists that cling to it and indeed, blanket all that lies within. A sparse place, the only farms here are farms of mountain goat, sheep and few hardy shrubbery farms.
Following the eastern border of Felway, we find it sparsely varied. Exiting the souther forests, there can be rolling moorlands with farm after farm. There is also a Clan Keep here and there along with marker stones to define the border. After a while we return to forestry,
Continuing our route we find ourselves on the Felway coast, travelling on a well-kept road called The Fell Way, hence the meaning of evolution of the name Felway, The Fell Way has the coast on its north side and quite a few fishing hamlets, on the south side is the gentle rolling hills on which the main crop is oats. We pass Felway itself, which will have its own section, passing by the town we follow the Fell Way and after much of the same scenery reach the town of Torrensburg.
Torrensburg is a town famed for its one defining feature, Fort Torrent a fort built in the early days of the Septim Empire's tenous hold on High Rock. Torrensburg is however only really a stop on the way to Felway Town, but it has a thriving Mackerel market and is the one example of solid purely Cyrodiilic Architecture in Felway, so is it worthy of notice. Continuing on our journey along the Felway, we pass a no more settlements and finally reach the mouth of The Torrents of Baan Dar and if we take a quick look in the centre of County Felway, we see that it is mainly Farms and Moors upon which the hardy Felway Moor Stallions reside.
Felway Town Edit
The Town of Felway, in the County of Felway, is a rather nice town, the style of housing is some light grey stone with slate roofing. The town is built clearly centred around the Castle, with the Crag on which the Castle rests sheltering the town from the winds sweeping in from the east. A small river, no more than nine feet across forms the eastern boundary of the town. It is east of the castle and its crag, Of which projects only slightly into the sea, a small bridge to cross it and then one comes to the eastern gate of the town.
The centre of the town, both in a physical and community sense, is that of the Marketplace. A bustling cobblestoned plaza where a fountain stands in the middle, surrounded by stall upon stall, to its north looms the Church of Julianos, the patron divine of Felway. Built with light grey stone, the main building is two floors high and spacious enough to accommodate enough pews, and the relative altars, for at least three quarters of the town to enter and either seat or stand for Sundas service, however thankfully, only around half the town usually attends Church on Sundas, the rest either don't attend, have their own little shrines at home, or simply visit the church on another day. Underneath the main building is the Undercroft where in winter beggars are allowed to sleep, such is the charity of the Church. The Undercroft contains a few effigies, mainly those of rich merchants and a few of the many Chamberlains that have served Count Larethire.
Ascending back up from the Undercroft, one can make their way to the Bell Tower. Up the spiral staircase, on the first floor a small door beckons to the Organist's Gallery. A small organ, it adds a pleasant ambiance to church services and also allows a feeling of spiritual closeness to develop among parishioners when they sing hymns of service. Stepping back through the door, one climbs up another two flights of spiraling staircase and at last reaches the lower belfry. Here the bells are rung, peals are decided upon. The bells are rung to summon worshippers to prayer on Sundas, in the event of a marriage and generally any other event in which the Bishop of the Diocese of Felway so decides a peal being rung to be appropriate, the dawn, dusk and war bell being run from the western port tower at the docks. Exiting this room, we climb another floor up to the Upper Belfry where the bells themselves reside. One can peer out of the shutters to see the whole four flours they have ascended, and most of Felway town around them. Particularly the fortifications.
The fortifications of Felway town are rather imposing, twenty feet high walls made of dark-grey granite. The towers are octagonal and the turrets of the walls and towers are the standard one would expect of a normal castle, the fortifications were clearly designed with defence in mind, with no ornamental decorations, just plain smooth stone. There are two gatehouses, one at the western end and the other at the eastern end, rather thoughtfully they are labelled the west gate and the east gate. The docks are left open, with one stretch of wall protecting the flank of the docks, and also stretching into the sea a few dozen metres so as to act as a sea wall and a lighthouse is located at the end of said wall, ships knowing to sail in between the castle lighthouse and the dock lighthouse, as it is known, so as not to crash upon the rocks or the wall.
A boom stretches between the two lighthouses at night to protect the town from attack at night, but nonetheless, every sailor knows to sail between the two lighthouses. On the matter of the docks, there is a secondary wall separating the docks from the rest of the town. This is the "Dock Wall" with the gatehouse being imaginatively named the "Dock Gate".
The Docks are arranged in an ordered arrangement, each one is identical, cranes operate to help offload the precious resource for the industry which Felway's Economy is built upon, the Fishing Industry. The Docks are constantly busy from around an hour before sunrise until moonrise at which point the Port closes. It is a constant stream of ships, to manage such a vast operation requires an efficient administration, which it is, at the start of each dock is a clerk who takes the name of the ship, it’s cargo and the name of its captain, their time of arrival and time of departure.
All records, complaints and other things are all held and dealt with at the Felway Maritime Company Headquarters, a building which rather surprisingly is usually empty, at the end of the day the records are collected and entered into the record library and then it waits for the next day. At the western end of the docks is where new Felwayian Fishing Vessels are built, with a commercial fleet of forty fishing boats, the shipyard is quiet, one can request to buy a Felwayian Fishing Ship, which lately have only had two new orders. The Fishing Vessels are known as Herring Buss'.
University of Felway
In 3E2, the previously Baron, now Count of Felway, Alecor Larethire, returned from his years of adventuring in the Imperial Heartland, in his retinue, a large group of scholars whom he had befriended throughout his time on campaigns and whilst in the Imperial City in the aftermath of the foundation of the Septim Empire. Firstly re-establishing his rule over his lands, and also impressing his new title and position throughout lands given to him and to his neighbouring nobles, the Count then announced the establishment of the University of Felway.
The Count had decided however that rather than having a focus on arcane education, that this University would have a focus on mundane medical education, those seeking a Magical education were directed to the local Mages Guild branch. Using Castle Maeror for a while, the University eventually moved itself into the constructed Campus in 3E15, by which time it had fully established itself as a centre of higher learning. It has evolved over the years, having by the present day established ceremonies and traditions inside and outside of its halls.
Town and Gown - Town and Gown are two distinct communities of Felway town; "town" being the non-academic population and "gown" being the university community. It is a local term helping distinguish the identity of the town as separate from that of the University.
The University of Felway has evolved separately from the Town of Felway, engaging in traditions that are looked upon as queer by outsiders, but as normality for the University population. For instance, rubbing toecaps of the brass statue of Saint Terentius - a saint from the First Era renowned for his endeavours to bring education to the masses - with the sleeve of the gown of your writing hand, the side you rub should be opposite to that of your writing hand, so if you are right handed, you should rub the left toecap, as students file by it as they enter the examination hall for good luck in their exams. To knock three times in rhythms of three before entering a room is another tradition which has risen inexplicably.
In ceremonies, the town is graced with nothing bizarre, until the end of the year. Most ceremonies are usually quiet days that commemorate the birthday of a noted alumini, or the opening or closing of a semester of education, which the Count always endeavours to attend. However, on the last day of the Academic year, the year is ended with a foot race around the town, then a boat race around the harbour, and a final sprint up to the Castle. People of the town are often exasperated at the day, but find it amusing to watch students struggle to row around the harbour.
At last we come to the defining feature of Felway, Castle Maeror. Castle Maeror is made of light silvery-grey granite, contrasting to that of the dark granite crag - Castle Crag - of which it is situated upon. Being a Crag and Tail Formation, the Crag faces east with the tail sloping down first to the south, and then curving to the west. Up this curved path, we come to the Gatehouse and so step through it and are greeted with the sight of the Lonely Oak.
The Lonely Oak Fountain is the epitome of waterworks and Altmer Magic-Masonry. A single lonely Felway Oak, in its old age having slight slivers of silver permeating its bark, stands proud on a single island in the middle of a white marble fountain basin. Below it float Water Lilies, Lotuses and Mana Blooms and beneath them swim imported Koi from the Summerset Isles. The rest of the courtyard is relatively spacious, humble cobblestones give way to verdant grass lawns, with roses if all colours, species, shapes and sizes climbing the walls.
We then traverse the steps up to the Main Hall door, the door is once again simple, built for defence, not for decoration. Inside Purple carpets cushion the floor, Banners hang Proudly displaying the Crest of County Felway, above in the rafters to chandeliers with specially enchanted mage-fires glow. The only part of Castle Maeror open to the common visitor is the throne room where the Current Chamberlain Louis Vautrine makes the arrangements for an appointment with the Count, though on the first Sundas of every month he will be present in the throne room for the whole day to generally sort out anything that people believe requires the Count’s personal attention, no matter how trivial the problem seems, the Count will always endeavour to find a solution to it.
From the Outside, the Castle's most defining feature is the Count's personal tower. Jutting up from the Crag, it towers above the landscape. Rising fifteen floors, it's height is further accentuated by the fact that it rests on a crag that already rises seven floors in height from the sea level. At its pinnacle, from dusk until dawn, the Lighthouse still shines out as a beacon into the night, guiding seafarers around a significant chunk of the Coast of Felway, as well as a signal to all as to where the safe port of Felway stands. In the day, one can note its silvery grey stone, lighter than the rest of Castle Maeror, and the walls of Felway town themselves. It is built in Aldmeri style, with shining white marble and burnished bronze trimmings here and there, comparable almost to a miniature White-Gold tower.
Connected to the main tower are sub-towers, three in all, in bretic style, the highest being a respectable eight floors, the middle being seven floors and the smallest being a measly six floors, that one being the tower connected to the main castle itself. The main castle is simply put a mix of an extremely large manor and a castle. It is five floors in height and inside its walls is the Great Hall, and a few dozen smaller rooms for various other purposes. Inwards it is more a manor than a castle, but outwards it looks unquestionably a Bretic castle, with the exception of the Count's Tower. With numerous small gardens dotted in small courtyards and cloisters, none of any large size, the castle does have a pleasant ambiance to walk around in the summer, from warm wooden walled corridors into simple gardens of trickling fountains, swaying trees and perfumed flower lawns.
Prominent People inside Castle Maeror
Count Alecor Larethire - The Count of Felway, he also works as the court mage and healer as he finds the usual people who take this rank to be, tedious, so he generally took the ranks to save himself a lot of bother, as well as saving money.
Sir Louis Vautrine - Steward of County Felway in the Count's absence as well as Chamberlain, Butler and Personal Secretary to Count Alecor Larethire, holds the rank of Sir and is the only one in Felway who holds the title and isn't a martial knight. Sir being a civic rank used to distinguish from the martial rank of Ser.
Ser Thomas Hawksley - Castellan of Castle Maeror.
Ser William Hunter - High Sheriff of Felway.
Joanna MacBriar - Housekeeper of Castle Maeror, is the head of the Household below Sir Vautrine and is the one who oversees the Household on a hour-by-hour basis, ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Douglas McClellan - Groundskeeper of Castle Maeror, Douglas makes sure all of the gardens are as they should be and can often be found checking on various parts of the grounds.
Phillipe Javier - Head Chef of Castle Maeror, Phillipe generally prepares and oversees the dinners of everyone in the castle, apart from the guards who have their own cook.
Quentin Frost - Court Accountant and by extension, Chief Accountant of the County.
The Right Reverent Stephen Clergyman - Bishop of the Diocese of Felway, Religious Advisor to the Court, though these days more a sparring partner in theological debates than an advisor. Usually found in the Chapel of Julianos.
The Court and household of Castle Maeror is rather Patriarchal, as the Count is not married and so that eliminates the need for female staff and so there are very few women in the household staff and none sitting on the court.
Prominent Settlements in the County of FelwayEdit
Here is listed the five prominent settlements of Felway, in population size order.
Felway Town - 4,956 people - Capital of County Felway - Eastern Riding - Felway Town is the largest settlement, the seat of Count Larethire whose early rule was infamous for its brutality but over the years his popularity has soared. The town is renowned for its style of housing and its fully working sewage system.
Torrensburg - 1,945 people - Northern Riding - , Torrensburg is the second-largest settlement in County Felway and is famed for its Smoked Mackerel and it Salmon Fisheries.
Garnes - 1,026 people - Central Riding - Located somewhere in the middle of the western woods of Felway and so produces a lot of wood for the shipbuilding industry of Felway. It is also the birthplace and hometown of the famed Lady Fiona of Garnes.
Elkstone - 976 people - Western Riding - Famed for the Tale of the Elk King, it goes that in the late second ara a feral child was apparently raised by Deers and went on to found the town of Elkstone and then promptly disappeared.
Eldekirk - 839 people - Southern Riding - Once the seat of Clan Elde who were wiped out in the early years of the third era for their refusal to submit to the rule of the Empire, now a thriving farming community.
Economy of County FelwayEdit
The Economy of Felway is generally it’s exportation of Oats and Fish. Though other Fishing Fleets might just be a lot of Fishing boats which only appear organised when setting off at the start of a Fishing Season or when returning at a Seasons end. In Felway, the Fishing Fleet is organised, administrated and ran by the County. A standard pay system, ranks and a rota, all enabling a far more efficient and more productive fishing season than it would be were each ship independent. The Felway County Fishing Company also trains its own Navigators, Sail-Makers and Fishermen. Allowing for a standard of experience to help increase the productivity of its crews and the productivity of the company as a whole.
In the South of the County, where there are mountains, there are mines and quarries. A total list of five mines and two quarries. Three of which are Coal Mines, the other two being Lead mines, There are also two Slate Quarries. Bringing the total number of Mines and Quarries to a grand total of Seven. However, throughout the County, there is an industry of Peat mining. As Firewood is not readily available throughout the County in some places, the Coal and Peat Industries have instead stepped up. Providing the neccessary fuel for hearths and forges throughout the County. Along the Coast there is a small "Sea Coal" industry, Sea Coal is coal that has been washed up along the Beach, coming from Coal seams in Cliffs or from underwater deposits, as theorised by some. Sea Coal is superior to the normal Pit Coal, and being rarer is more expensive. Finally, the last notable industry, is the Jet Industry.
Felway Jet is only found a league west along the coast from Felway Town. There are other small veins along the coast, but these are usually exhausted after a few years. However, the Felway Town Seam, having been mined since the middle of the Third Era, has yet to expire. Overall, the Economy of Felway is built upon three cornerstones: Fishing, Farming and Mining.
Flora and Fauna of FelwayEdit
The most common tree is tied between the Conifer tree and the Felway Oak, which in old age tends to show slivers of silver-coloured bark. The smallest group being the Ash tree, the other common trees are Silver Birches, Yew Trees, Pine Trees, Willow Trees, Fir Trees, Holly Trees, Rowan Trees and Apple Trees. Most of the land of Felway is moorland, as such the plants expected to grow in Moorland are present. That is to say, much Bracken, Thistle, Heather and Mosses.
The only other plants of note in Felway are that of Wolfsbane, which is illegal to pick by Felway law due to its rarity and use in Alchemy. Also available, are Bluebells, Tundra Cottons, Blackberry Bushes, Nightshade and Canis Root, in the outcroppings of the Highlands. Though there aren't any Mushroom Genus's of note in Felway, it does have an abundancy of Emetic Russula. As pertains to Fauna, there is the variety you would expect in Northern High Rock, wolves, deer, otters, grouse and suchlike.
On the moor is mainly pheasant, and less commonly the hardy Felway Moor Stallion might reign free and wild. A native creature of Felway created in the first era, imagine a bay horse, but of draft horse size and with more feathering on the lower portions of the legs. In the seas there are many fish, the most common bird is the swift and the most domesticated animal is Sheep, with cattle in a close second.
Politics and Security in County FelwayEdit
The Politics of County Felway are relatively simple, there are two sections of County Felway, the north, and south, each called a riding. For instance, the town of Felway is located in the north east of the county, and so is part of the north riding. Each riding is overseen by a Sheriff, an expectation of the job is that the sheriff is not corrupt, to ensure this a network of informants is utilised among the Guard, and by the watchfulness and initiative of the citizenry themselves. County Felway is patrolled regularly by a standing force of the Felway Constabulary, as well as being utilised in protecting Castle Maeror and the Town of Felway itself.
The High Sheriff is the overall commander of the Constabulary and is usually appointed by the Count. The High Sheriff is responsible not just for overseeing the Sheriffs of all Ridings, but also the Constabulary of Felway Town. The security of Castle Maeror and the town is overseen by the Castellan, but matters of law(Such as a crime being committed) in the castle and the town are the prerogative of the High Sheriff.
The Felway Guard
The Guard is the policing force of County Felway. Active not only as town watchmen, but also as rangers, and if necessary, as firemen. They are clad in a scale armour gambeson with a surcoat bearing the County Crest over that, and a simple short-tailed sallet helmet. They are equipped with a kite shield, a billy club and a dirk in the event that they should they come across an enemy that isn't just a common thief, though some of the Guard exchange their dirks for axes, maces or whatever weapon takes their fancy and is approved by the local Sergeant.
The Guard is composed of 500 men. All Guards are trained in the use of a Longbow.
In times of War however, the Count may call the Clans together and have a force of around four and a half thousand at his command at the maximum including the Felway Guard. Though usually the Guard remains at home to keep the peace, as well as act as a holding force in the event of Felway being besieged.
Ranking in the Felway Constabulary is thus:
High Sheriff - Sheriff - Captain - Sergeant - Constable.
The forces of the clans, when gathered, are organised by clan, with sensible men picked out to keep the internal divisions at bay and reign in any glory-seeking behaviour. Whilst the armour varies from man to man, though the tartan colours ensure a Felway man is easy to pick out on the battlefield, Count Larethire keeps a stock of shields and spears to ensure that at least every man has them. "There is no point to a shield wall if there are no shields to form a wall with." Or so says the Count.
Every year at the end of the harvest, the Count calls a muster. The Clans of Felway gather, and are drilled in preparation for war. A sense of discipline and comradeship is instilled into the clans during this time, a sobering reminder that in times of war, the fight and die as one. Usually during this time, a census and stock take is made, enabling the County treasury to create a budget ready for times of war. All in all, the Muster is a time for the the Count to ensure his people are fighting fit and to rectify those who are not.
Established in the Second Era and usually consisting of Merchants, the Aldermen Council is a local government body limited solely to Felway town. Granted powers by the Count of Felway, the Aldermen Council are allowed limited autonomy and certain powers. However, they also have to ensure the upkeep of town roads and ensure the health of the citizenry is not threatened by matters of a hygienic nature.They essentially allow the Count to free himself of the troubles of direct government over the largest town in Felway by handing it to the local community leaders who know what the town wants and needs. Of course, citizens of the town may appeal to the Count himself if they feel the decisions of the Aldermen Council are wrong and unjust.
Each Alderman, or Alderwoman, is elected by direct vote in the designated meeting house by direct and open vote by members of the populace who are over the age of twenty three, own their own property and have a personal wealth that exceeds or includes the amount of one hundred and fifty septims, said limits also being the same for members of the populace wishing to put their names forward for candidancy on the councils. As such, usually only merchants are able to vote, Nobles being forbidden to vote or hold a position on the Aldermen Councils. Each Aldermen Council-member then elects the Mayor who reports weekly to the Count, who makes his own recommendations, or orders, as he sees fit.
The Clan Burghs
In the Countryside of County Felway, vast tracts of land are owned by Clans, here the rule of the Clan Chiefs is law. Each Burgh is ruled by the Clan Chief from his or her seat, who in turn divides their Burgh into Reeves for their designated Tacksman, or Tackswoman, for that Reeve to see over. It is essentially a feudal system, to overly simplify it. Local laws affecting only the Burgh which the Clan Chief rules over may be enacted so long as they don't clash with County and Royal law, which is enforced by the Clerks of the County and Sheriff of each Riding that the Burgh resides in. Citizens may apply to the Count on matters of law they feel should only be handled at the highest level.
Of course, as one would expect, most matters that are handled at that level are usually petty disputes.
Clans of FelwayEdit
In Felway, Houses are known as "Clans" and their main power-bases and residences are called "Seats" and are ruled by "Clan Chieftains", which can be male or female and to outsiders are addressed as "My Lady" or "My Lord", for members of the same clan they are addressed as "Mine Chieftain". Fellow Chieftains of the other clans may address them by name or whatever term they may choose, there are however two forms of address that must be strictly remembered.
To refer to a fellow Chieftain as "Mine Shield-Brother" or "Mine Shield-Sister" is the closest two chieftains of opposite clans may become, Short of Marriage or Fosterage. For to deserve such a title means that the two clans are bound together in war and peace. They are allies, friends and trading partners. Such a title is not to be made lightly, for their feuds become yours, their wars become yours and can only be broken by an act known as "Shield-Sundering" in which the shield from the other clan is shattered and cast at the feet of the other chieftain. Such an act is a declaration of war. For to deserve such an act would mean something that is unforgivable.
The Other form of Address is "Mine Blood-Rival" is to denote an ongoing war or feud. Usually if you hear this, you should walk as far from the words as quickly as possible. Mainly due to the fact that weapons are drawn and fighting commences. To end the use of a title, and indeed the war or feud, a ceremony is held in which, observed by a neutral clan to keep the peace, something precious to each of the chieftains is exchanged. In some cases this has been land, in others it has been a child of the chieftain. Depending on the blood-count of the war, the more blood that has been spilled, the greater the sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice has been the life of a friend or family member and in the most extreme cases, the sacrifice of the life of chieftain to satisfy the need for a sacrifice.
Sub-divisions within the Clans are known as "Septs". Sept members have following their last name, the name of the Sept they belong to, so for example, John is a member of the Clan MacBriar and the Sept Graylock and so would be known as John MacBriar-Graylock. This is only used at Kin meetings, to distinguish the divisions within the Clan. Outsiders and members of the Other clans would usually call John simply, John MacBriar.
Fosterage is rather simple. The Chieftain of a Clan may "Foster" another member of a Clan, or an Outsider, or a Member of their own Clan and elevate them as they so choose. So an outsider or another member of a different may simply be fostered into the clan as a Clan member. From there the Chieftain may induct the fostered into his or her own immediate family, as a Foster brother, Foster sister, Foster son or foster daughter.
For all intents and purposes, the fostered is a blood member of that clan. However the fostered may only become clan chieftain only if the Clan Druid agrees and the fostered is a Foster Son or Foster Daughter not Foster Brother or Sister, which requires the fostered to have been born after the Chieftain became Chieftain, can the Fostered Son or Daughter inherit the Clan Chieftanship. If born before, they can only be Foster Brother or Sister, and they must be younger than the Chieftain, and upon the death of the Chieftain, they become merely a member of the Clan, and at the decision of the new Chieftain, may be exiled.
Inheritance in the Clans is also important to remember. Usually the Eldest child inherits, be they boy or girl, however a younger sibling of only the Chieftains "Brood" - Children the Chieftain has produced, including Bastard Children from before(which means the Bastard Child must have been hidden extremely well from the sight of the Clan) and after the Chieftain became Chieftain of the Clan - may challenge the Eldest to a duel and if won, will become the one to inherit. This may only be done if the challenger can prove they are "Brood" to the Clan Druid and only during a short period known as the "Holding" in which the moment the Chieftain has passed, until the ascension of the Eldest child to Chieftain. A victor of this challenge can only be declared until either the other is killed or the other submits, yielding in the duel or withdrawing their claim to the position of Clan Chieftain. In the duel, if one is rendered unconscious, the other has to wait until the unconscious has awoken and so the duel can continue.
To avoid this, usually the Chieftain removes Bastard children from the picture by ensuring the Eldest child swears a vow of celibacy until married, which if found to be broken, the Eldest Child is stripped of Clan membership, claims to the Chieftainship rendered void and exiled from the Clan lands with the sentence of death should they step back onto clan lands.
On the matter of Sibling children attempting this, placation is usually easily made in the form of the permission to form their own Sept and sometimes an allocation of a small plot of Clan land. Other forms of placation may come in the form of a titled position within the Clan, the freedom to marry who they choose before a marriage is arranged for them(Should a marriage be arranged for them) and finally, simply the payment of currency.
Sometimes however the Clan Chieftain, very rarely, splits the clan and its lands between his or her brood. Each Brood now establishes their own clan with the lands and clan members it has been given. This is known as Gravelkind and has only ever happened four times in recorded memory.
A Kin-Strife is simply put, a Civil War in a Clan. Over matters of succession, or simply the wish to rule the clan by taking the Seat of the clan by force, there are a myriad of reasons why this can happen. If the Seat of the Clan is lost in a Kin-Strife, the new holder of the Seat becomes the new Chieftain of whatever Clan that Seat represented.
There are a number of positions within the Clan System. First there is the position of Clan Chieftain, followed by the Clan-Inheritor who is set to inherit and is on par in terms of power with the Clan Steward who manages the day to day running of Clan matters. Other positions are Tacksman or Tackswoman, appointed and if allowed, hereditary, Clan members who have local jurisdiction over clan members in a designated stretch of land. This position can be assigned as and when is necessary, is strippable and only available when there is a vacancy.
Another, more hallowed and mysterious position, is that of Clan Druid. The Clan Druid is a position not to be trifled with. They maintain the records of the Clan, they ensure the founding ancestors -those who founded the clan- are kept happy so they do not rise from the grave, that the ancient clan traditions and religious holidays are observed. Such as the Holding, for only when each Sept has bent the knee to the would-be chieftain may the would-be become Chieftain. They take a vow of Celibacy, they choose their Acolyte to succeed them and finally, that the Clan survives.
Clan Druids are however a point of contention with the local clergy, though Clan Druids themselves generally practice a highly archaic form of worship to the eight divines, usually focusing on Kyne as the main deity, it is not in line with current church doctrine. Nowadays however, only the more remote clans engage in the old ways. Most druids these days focusing more on the ceremonial rather than religious aspects of their position within the clan.
Each Clan be distinguished by their Tartan colours when wearing either full dress or just a part of it, their Clan Crest, Clan motto and sometimes, their Clan Badge, the Clan Badge being different from Clan Crest in that the Clan Crest is a brooch and the Clan badge usually being a plant which represents that clan.
The Clan Crest is the Crest of the Clan as a whole, bearing the Clan Coat of Arms, the Clan Chieftain having their own separate Coat of Arms, two standards are made, one to be buried or cremated with the Chieftain upon their death, the other to be hung from the rafters or someplace in the Clan's Seat, they do not have a brooch made of their coat of arms.
However Chieftains may wear three feathers with the Clan Crest to denote their Chieftanship, so as to distinguish them from the other Clan members. The Steward and Heir wear two feathers with their Clan Crests, whilst immediate family members of the Chieftain, Tacksmen and Tackswomen may wear one feather. The average Clan member doesn't wear a feather with their Clan Crest.
LIST OF CLANS IN COUNTY FELWAY:
CLAN GORDON - The Gordon Clans seat is the town of Elkstone and isn't actually that famous, but the personality of almost all of its scions is that of boredom, even if a battle was raging, they tend to be bored, the Gordon family motto is Seek the truth.
There are a number of other Clans in Felway, however these four largest clans and as such, have the most impact in the County.
Mortuary Practices of the Felway Clans:
The Mortuary practices of the Felway Clans are an affair long steeped in tradition. For most, the deceased is cremated, their ashes and bone remains stored in a chest along with treasured belongings and then lain to rest in the Clan Barrow along with many other hallowed ancestors. These remains are then the duty of the living to at regular periods, removed from the chest and soaked in various oils before being restored to the chest in which they are interred. The funeral of the deceased is usually upon a funeral pyre, the belief that cremation releases the spirit from the mortal coil on Nirn, as well as ensuring that that the deceased does not rise, or is resurrected, as a zombie. Should the dead die and feel wronged for some reason, or simply be trapped in limbo, they often return either as walking skeletons or as ghosts. The latter being more common, only a fool forgets to lock the chest allowing for a skeletal body to reform itself.
The chest itself is a special thing. Inscribed with the name and title of the deceased, it is made of the best woods and metals the clan afford, though the more treasured the clan member the more finer the chest is the rule of thumb. Along with the chest are scrolls listing the deceased's deeds. The more scrolls, the more deeds. However, it should be noted that more scrolls does not necessarily accord more honour. On the left hand side are the black scrolls, the deeds of the deceased considered unworthy of the clan name, to the right, the white scrolls, the deeds of honour. To help level out the scrolls, deeds of honour strike out the dishonour as the rule of thumb, of course, certain dishonours cannot be struck off.
In the cases of the more wealthier clan members, or the more honoured members, an effigy chest might be utilised. This is usually only reserved for Clan chiefs and mighty warriors.
This tradition is carried out upon the death of most clan members as mentioned above. Circumstances exempting the deceased from this treatment are either the deceased's wishes, prior arrangements or circumstances requiring the tradition to be abandoned(Usually acts of law in times of plague or simply the deceased being a criminal whose remains are promptly disposed of as befits them). Should the body be unrecoverable, an "Empty" Funeral is held, in which a shroud is burned and the ashes of that interned and the chest locked forever more.
Miscellaneous Clan Traditions:
The Bardic Tradition - The Clans of Felway have established a Bardic Tradition. It lists back to the brief period in which the Nords ruled over Felway. Impressed with the Nordic tradition of the immortalisation of deeds in song and prose, the Clan Chiefs established their own Bardic Tradition. Unlike the Nords however, there is no central college, Bardic tradition in Felway is taught within the clans, leading to a highly biased culture in the telling of deeds should stories involving two differing clans be compared.
Notice should be taken that the playing of bagpipes, the drums and the fiddle does not denote a Bard, the steadfast tool of the Bard is their voice, the harp and the quill. Bagpipes might be played by Bards, but generally belong to all levels of the Clan, as is the playing of the drums. To suggest one is a Bard for playing the bagpipes is liable to get one punched, both by a Bard and by the Bagpiper.
It is however the Bards who bring all the clans together each year in the Duel of the Bards. During this time, a weeks long affair, Bards of all Clans will compete against each other. During this time, the Clans also engage in other games of worth and skill, from Rugby to the caber toss to the Massed Pipes and Drums. The entire event is colloquially known as the "Felway Clan Games".
Demographics of FelwayEdit
The main ethnic group is the Felway Breton, followed by Imperials, most races are present in Felway, the only ethnicities not found in Felway are the Argonians owing to the events of the Oblivion Crisis and the smallest group are the Altmer.
The Last census of Felway numbered its population at 21,836 and in ethnic grouping it went thusly:
Breton(Both Felway natives and foreign) - 17,049
Nord - 3,489
Imperial - 1,064
Redguards - 115
Altmer - 92
Bosmer - 43
Khajiit - 30
Orsimer - 27
Dunmer - 16