Continental Excursions; Escaut

Nestled between Vlaanderen to the west and Ange Déchu to the east, and northeast of Mort-Vivant and northwest of Condamner lies the deceptively idyllic country of Escaut. It has a good many things in common with Vlaanderen, but it has its own distinctive flavor and way of doing things. It is ruled by Count Emile of Gravensteen, a heavily fortified city that is all but unrivaled in the region. Humans populate the bulk of the country especially in the eastern portion of the country where the bulk of the towns and cities are. To the west are the same rolling hills found across Vlaanderen and along with it are a lot of halflings. As is true in Vlaanderen the mainstay of the economy is agriculture.

The northern coast of Escaut is sparsely populated save for a few fishing villages. There are no ports of significant size in Escaut and trade exists only in overland routes. The Count has the same recurring trouble that the Vlaanderfolk suffer from; slave traders. In the case of Escaut the problem is even greater. Bordering with Condamner, from which the bulk of the slave traders seem to operate, Escaut has been forced to resort to drastic measures at times to stem the flow of organized criminals operating out of the south.

The close proximity to Ange Déchu allows Escaut to benefit from easy bank loans and subsequent economic activity. Escaut is not what anyone would classify as a commercially civilized state. Much of the income that flows into the Count’s coffers is spent training and equipping the armies that defend both Escaut and Ange Déchu. Like many places in the Wenigzustand there is a healthy mercenary community. Like their neighbors in Vlaanderen the people of Escaut speak a variant of Fanolanian that contains a mix of Geldenspeak. Escautians tend to be wary of strangers and can seem cold to outsiders. Once befriended though they are strong allies and loyal to the end.

1/14/21 Update: Escaut was briefly under the rulership of the Archduke of Maelonbourg and the Wenigzustand when the Count of Gravensteen swore his allegiance to him. In less than a week the Viceroy responded with the fury of his dark sorcery and wrecked the entirety of Escaut. Some people were able to flee to safety in nearby Vlaanderen or Ange Déchu, but most were victims to one of the Viceroy’s most powerful curses thus far. Never has any of the members of the Diosian Lodge wrought this much devastation single-handedly to such a large area. The result has made it necessary for Fanolania to move considerable resources into Vlaanderen to prevent the spread of the Green King’s influence, and the position of the Archduke of Maelonbourg may have been weakened although it may not be known by how much for a number of weeks.