Age of Despair
The Sava river valley is the center of the Duchy of Carniola, a small state on the northeast side of the Internum Sea. The valley itself is narrow, with steep ridges and hills to the sides. The soil in the valley is rich, but rocky and hard to work. Many farmers’ fields are bounded by rock walls assembled from the stones that litter the ground. The climate is comfortable however, with warm summers and generally mild, wet winters. The hills and mountains that make up most of the land in Carniola are rough old mountains and ridges, much shorter than the great peaks of the Norican mountains to the north. But they are continuous enough that finding easy routes across them can be challenging.
In the center of the valley is Laibach, an old city of almost 6000 residents, built on the ruins of an Umbrian fortified town. The old city walls are decaying, but they still provide a useful boundary marking for the city proper. The city is fairly poor – the farmland is rocky and difficult to work, the hills are old and weathered with few good veins of usable ore. But since the city is the biggest for leagues around, it has served as a trade crossroads for some years. The river that forms the city’s southern boundary flows slowly to the east, and is easily navigated by shallow barges and small boats. Small farming villages and towns surround Laibach, including Breza, Komani, Videm, Celke and Rasica. Feudal holdings include the towns of Prebold, Gorje, and Ribnica.
The ruler of Carniola, Duke Samo resides in the old castle overlooking the city from across the river. His guards sometimes seem to be little better than rough thugs in ducal tabbards, but they do a fair job of keeping the streets safe – certainly one doesn’t hear open criticism of the duke in public. The city (and the castle) are the true heart of Samo’s power, it is rare to see troops venture much beyond the valley around Laibach.