Almondsey


The Province of South Estalia -- Southwestern Sector

South Estalia is the main province of the three provinces of Estalia, but the largest both in size and population and places of interest. It is therefore (for convenience) being presented on the web in five sections. This is the southwestern section, consisting of just the bottom of Krum, and a segment of the largest county, Centralia. Topographically, this is a low-lying area, with a high spur of the Lignapp Hills dividing Krum from Centralia, and the Cape Helubar limestone outcrop jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. The south coast of Almondsey is warmed by the Gulf Stream, so this is one of the warmest (and also the wettest) regions; unfortunately, it is also very windy, but wine grapes are grown in the lee of Cape Helubar on the southern slopes of the Lignapps, and there are several apple orchards. The coastline is constantly battered by surf and there are no harbors (although small boats can land at Dzangh, and there is a small anchorage near Yezrith), also blocked by a very long and steep shingle beach called the Longstrand. There was an attempt to convert the ancient fishing village of Sloat into a great southsea port for Estalia, but this was frustrated by shifting sands and silt.There is a small island group (the Atoyots) southeast of Cape Helubar; this is a semi-independent barony owned by the Earl of Dzangh.

Western Estalia Central Estalia Southeastern Estalia Note: Click here to view the Atoyot Islands web page, an archipelago ten miles southeast of Cape Helubar.
Southwestern Sector of South Estalia

As this area is primarily agricultural, there is little of interest here, so everything will be contained on this web page. (Also of interest is the failed seaport of Sloat, which has a separate web page.) There are two very small towns, Yezrith (with a Palbo-mim in a good state of preservation), and Dzangh. Another Palbo-mim, Snarl, is on the other side of the hills from Dzangh. There are also many farms, but not congregated into any other village clusters, Yezrith being the 'market town'. The only Plimbo-mim in the area is Possonlay, which is in a very dilapidated condition because the local large landlord 'freed' the serfs in 1890. To protect this coast, the Moderator of Krum built four watch towers in the mid-18th Century, and there are three castles garrisoned by the central government. See below for details on all these subjects. The upper part of Krum county is shown on this web page.


The watchtowers are plain structures of three stories, with a kitchen / eating area (small vaulted cellar under reached by a trap door), a sleeping / sitting room for the garrison of four, and a parapet and garrett at the top.

Helubar Castle is the property of the Grand Duke of Estalia and is a fairly important fortification, guarding as it does the turn round the Cape up the west coast of Estalia. Its main feature is the fine four-story 17th-Century Keep tower, which is the residence of the military governor of the southwestern sector. There is also a large gatehouse and two flanking towers on the landward side, and a ditch or dry moat; the other three sides are protected by steep cliffs. On the east side is a tall watch tower. Interior buildings in the courtyard are for the military garrison. Gun batteries were built on the east and west flanks of the castle in the 18th Century. There is also a lighthouse on the heights north of the fort (but not shown on the plan); the castle itself is on a ledge below the highest portion of the headland..
Pok Castle is an artillery fort built in the 1740's by the Grand Duke to protect the southern shore where a spur of the Lignapp Hills runs down to the sea. As usual, it has a tower-house keep (seems to be a tradition in Estalia, no matter what the period); this is the castellan's residence and is only 3 stories tall. The northern part of the castle is the officers' quarters, and the southern the troop barracks. There are two triangular bastions on the west side, and a lower battery facing south and east.
Zyrly Castle

Zyrly Castle is the traditional home of the Dowager Duchesses and other royal widows of Estalia (whose northern residence is at Alkol), with its extensive estates surrounding it. It is basically an early Victorian structure built in the 'classic' style of Estalian Gothick. The west side is the service wing, housing the kitchen, offices, and servants' quarters, with a high tower; the courtyard contains a small flower garden; and the south side has a postern leading down to a small sandy cove that serves as a private beach. It has a fortress-like appearance, but apart from its impressive facade is really very lightly defended (the dowagers are usually immune to political intrigues). The main features are the large keep tower, reserved for private functions of the Grand Duke, the Great Hall range, with the impressive marble Salon and the elaborate Chapel, and the Dower House, which is a fully functional house of the Queen Anne type (although it does not have a kitchen or dining room -- those functions took place in the Privy Chamber of the Keep, or on ceremonial occasions in the Great Hall). The 'Grand Portals' are elaborately carved doorways to the gatehouse and keep -- incredible marble bas-reliefs showing famous legendary figures in Estalian history.

Yezrith

Yezrith is the primary market town of southern Krum County, and it still has its fully functional Palbo-mim with adjoining temple, town walls with two gatehouses, a bridge over the River Yez leading to the road north to Sagasity and the rest of Krum, and a separate small harbor village. (The latter is actually rather farther from the town than is shown in the scale of this map.) There are relatively few houses in this town, as most of the population lives on farms in the region. There are extensive vineyards to the north.

Dzangh

Dzangh is the easternmost town in the county of Krum. It is basically a small village and market town, surrounded by a wooden palisade. The small river (Dz) is navigable for small boats, as it is rather deep from runoffs from the Lignapp Hills. There is a watch tower at the mouth of the river (on an outcrop of the hills). The main Southern Highway of Estalia runs through the area, and when it passes up the hills into Centralia, leads to Pok Castle. This part of Krum belongs to the Moderator, and has extensive areas devoted to the growing of vegetables (turnips, spinach, etc.), and along the river on both sides, extensive linborse plantations.
Codd Castle

Codd Castle is the seat of the Duke of Possonlay. It was constructed after 1890 after the duke 'freed' the serfs (he actually made them buy their freedom via a poll tax, hence this mock-medieval castle built on the proceeds). It is a small castle with three prominent octagonal towers, somewhat on the model of Caernarvon Castle in Wales, very luxuriously appointed. There is also a large outer ward containing all the necessities of his very large estate, including a small village. The entire structure is built on an isolated hill in the middle of the Centralia plain. Possonlay itself, including the Plimbo-mim, his original headquarters, fell into decay, although it is still the principal market town in this area. Note that in spite of its late date, this castle is fully defensible, at least in a medieval sense -- the 19th Century did not bring full progress to Estalia.



Estalia