Riance is the eastern most county in the Middle Kingdoms. It is governed by Count Cenred of House Riance.
Count Cenred’s family traces its lineage back to the old northern lords from a time when the kings of Elland resided in the Duchy of Graben and ruled from the city of Frostguard. He holds court in the city of Highwall in the north of the county.
Riance is a land on the edge of greatness. Looking west the count sees the favour given by the King to Lady Elsbeth and the seeds of envy grow slowly in his heart. Riance is a county on the periphery, a place recognised by the crown but seldom mentioned in court or favoured as much as other counties. The count believes that this is due to his lineage and the stigma that is attached to having a proud line of northern descent.
The county sits on the border of the Shieldlands and has historically been responsible for the defense of the borders of the realm. Before the Days of Fire, while the Republic was the power in the east, this was a simple job with no real meaning. Now that the land eastward is a blasted waste, the borders are suddenly of great concern. The forces of Riance patrol the edge of the county, defending against attacks from any Undead or mercenary bands that would raid Elland.
The land here is rockier than Tarren. The green fields and low hills giving way to crags and rougher heathlands as you travel farther east.
The seat of the Count, Highwall sits on the northern border with the County of Palamyr in the north and overlooks the southern edge of the Demon’s Deep. The city sits on a promontory of rock overlooking the rent in the earth, its black walls and towers made from stone hollowed out from the centre of the crag upon which it rests. The city is a defense against both attack from the east and a watch against the rumoured horrors of the Demon Deep.
Count Cenred maintains a garrison of the finest knights and rangers within Highwall, ready at any moment to ride out and defend the borders against intrusion. His liege men wear his colours of green and gold and many in Highwall follow the old traditions and styles of their shared northern heritage with the kilt and brat often being worn.
Silver Keep is the main stronghold of the Swords of the Mother. It is here that the order began its life in the hands of the order of priestesses and healers known as the Tears of the Mother. The stronghold is more fortified hospital that regular castle and the holy women who spend their days in worship to their patron and tending to the sick are protected by a garrison of their brothers and sisters at arms. When not on duty at another outpost or on the front line of a battle most Swords tend to travel back to their spiritual home to take their turn either guarding the sick or spending time in quiet contemplation and prayer to their chosen god.
It is at Silver Keep that the orders artisans create the medical tools that the swords use to give succour to the wounded. It is also here that these tools are blessed by the mother superior of the Tears as they are laid at the feet of the vast statue of the goddess in the grand chapel of the Mother which lies at the heart of the citadel.