|Ruler||Ernest Goodfellow, King of the Eastern Reaches, Duke of Dragonsford|
The Eastern Reaches encompasses the lands east of the Shadowyarn Mountains and north of the Sands of Time. The Eastern Reaches are dominated by the vast expanse of Haggelthorn Forest in the north and the Steppes of Ryan to the south. The fields of the Eastern Reaches have dark, rich soil and an abundance of rain - making them ideal for farming.
The current capital of the Eastern Reaches is Dragonsford, a military outpost which consists of a castle and a small surrounding town. There are nine minor kingdoms which comprise the Eastern Reaches: Dragonsford, Gran March, Greenvale, Highfolk, Lichfield, Markinghamshire, Middlefield, North Province and South Province. In addition, a half dozen independent lands and cities can be found within the region. The current ruler is King Ernest Goodfellow. Goodfellow has sat on the throne since 884 TA.
History of the Eastern Reaches
The first human explorers into the area arrived in the late first century TA. These were the Rangers of the Wilderlands. Bound by a secret brotherhood, the rangers trekked deep into Ravenswood forest (now called Haggelthorn Forest) and into the vast grasslands to the north and south. Stories of a great family of tree ents living in the forest raised the curiosity of many adventurers in Teufeldorf. Also, the Rangers brought back many strange and wondrous artifacts from their journeys.
In 243 TA, the first human settlers arrived from the west and settled in the fertile valley of Markinghamshire. Not daring the tales of the ents of the forest, these pilgrims settled into the valley building a great stone castle overlooking their kingdom. In 245 TA, Markinghamshire was unsuccessfully sieged by barbarian tribesmen from the south. Thereafter, the people of Markinghamshire lived in relative peace trading with the dwarves of the Shadowyarn Mountains.
In 663 TA, the first human settlement outside of Markinghamshire was established under curious circumstances. The Hamlet of Haggelthorn, after which the current-day forest is now named, sprung up around Hagglethorn Hall which is rumored to have been spirited into the Eastern Reaches by the legendary merchant, Ichabod Haggelthorn. Situated on the coast of the Inner Sea, Haggelthorn remains a principal trading center for the Eastern Reaches today.
Shortly thereafter, small towns began to spring up along the road between Haggelthorn and Paddington (now Dwarrowdelf). Supported by the trading route, rich farmlands and vast grazing plains of the region, the Eastern Reaches prospered.
In 702 TA, the Crown decided to build a garrison castle at Dragonsford to replace the now-dilapidated Coral Castle. The primary function of the castle was both as protection from the orcs to the north and to establish a military presence in the area.
After the end of the Second Demon War, the Crown established a number of small baronies and earldoms in the Eastern Reaches. This was intended to provide structure and stability to the reaches.
In 832 TA, King Gregory the Even-Handed appointed Sir Ernest Goodfellow as commander of Dragonsford Castle. Goodfellow left Teufeldorf heading for the castle through the Orc Nation and the Pass of Lar. He never arrived.
In 833 TA, the Eastern Reaches was conquered by Harek Bloodaxe, son of Hastur. Harek kept the newly-established nobility in place, but he encouraged treachery, assassination and general discord among the lords and ladies. During the next fifty years, known as Hastur's Dominion, the wealth and stability of the Eastern Reaches declined significantly.
In 883 TA, Sir Ernest Goodfellow returned to Dragonsford. Using a newly-discovered magical sword, Harek Bloodaxe was killed and the puppet King Trafford was deposed. During the next several years, Dragonsford Castle became the center for the Hastur Rebellions.
The Eastern Reaches finally gained independence in 885 TA, and Ernest Goodfellow was crowned the King of the Eastern Reaches. The existing nobles have declared fealty to Goodfellow. Trade began to increase both west through Dwarrowdelf and east across the Inner Sea. The primary exports are horses and cattle from Markinghamshire, grains from the central duchies, and fish and coral from the coastal regions.