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The Duchy of Whitereach
Whitereach
The Land of Winter

Holding Type

Dwarven

Ruler

Duchess Belemora Dagranissian

Government

Constitutional aristocracy

Resources

Metals

Overlord

House of Albrecht

The Duchy of Whitereach is a mountainous valley-province and one of the constituent regions of the Kingdom of Lordaeron.  Although once ruled by the extinct House of Hargrave, following political turmoil, civil strife, and the War of the Light it has since moved into the control and possession of the House of Dagranissian.  It is the only holding of its size, within Lordaeron, to consist primarily of dwarves and as such is seen as a cultural anomaly among its fellow provinces.
 
Traditionally, the head of the province has been known as a "thane," but in order to remove some cultural barriers and further assimilate themselves into the culture, human styles of nobility have been adopted.  With the rise of the House of Dagranissian, in order to appease the emergent populace and further instill control within the region, it was elevated to the state of "duchy" by Queen Madelynne I, thus surpassing the previous limitations of a viscounty bestowed upon it in the shadow of the fallen, former thane's perceived prowess.
 
The current duchess is Duchess Belemora Dagranissian, whose marriage secured her position and ability to placate the throne has seen it elevated.  While isolationists in the province did call for the closing of its borders, the competent and resourceful negotiation of the Crown saw this potential crisis averted.  With time, it is believed, the clannish people of Whitereach will come to see themselves as peoples of the Greater Ebontide Region and not merely denizens of a land ravaged by war and lost to time.

Culture

By most accounts, Whitereach is seen as a very cold and unforgiving land.  Much like Falomyr which sits to its north, it is afflicted by harsh and long winters that have seen much of the landscape lost to snow and stone.  Mountains line its borders, forming a natural barrier that is broken in several places by passes made by travelers over times.  These passes, known as by'rnas, are defensible positions militarily and have often been awarded to those considered trusted by the ruler of the region.
 
As farming has never been a profitable endeavor within the region it has relied heavily upon trade with Crownwood, something that saw a considerable amount of cultural exchange between the two regions.  As the dwarves of the province were trapped underground for an extended period of time, this exchange began to afflict many of the now absent seats of power in the region.  Despite this, Crownwood's bountiful wealth saw its people often marvel at Whitereach, with its stark contrast to their own affluent nature and lifestyle.  Mercenaries from Whitereach were not considered particularly valuable; however, they were numerous and fearless and made up the van of many armies that either marched into Crownwood from Falomyr, or defended it from Falomyr in Highpass.  
 
Aware that isolationism was but a reactionary and improbable policy to enact in the current political atmosphere, Duchess Dagranissian has seen to expand her influence rather than limit it, and has made good progress in renewing relations between the Dark Irons of her land and the dwarves of Dun Draigmar.  Though lukewarm initially, the two clans have since agreed to many cultural exchanges and the promise of future splendor has seen both forget old wounds in favor of future wonders.
 
Due to its delicate political atmosphere, the duchy has developed a unique system of constitutional and limited power on its aristocracy; however, with the rise of the Dagranissian and the support of the Crown, the senate it has adopted has lost a great deal of power as the executive authority of the dukedom has increased substantially.  
 
As the Dark Iron intervention at the end of the War of the Light saw the Western Front spared further bloodshed, River's Eye and southern Blackmarsh look favorably upon the province. 
 
 

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