The duchy is one of the oldest seats of power in Elland. Granted to the first duke centuries ago, the House of Graben has long been a traditional and stoic seat of power in the north. The traditions of the old clans are strong in this region and the low lying grassland and plains hold numerous villages and towns that hold to the old ways from which the kingdom first emerged. The town of Frostguard is the ducal seat of power and commands the lands from the northern salt marshes that run along the coast of the Rime Sea to the southern borders of the county of Caerlyn. Frostguard was the first seat of the kings of Elland Before the old lords moved south to found the Middle Kingdoms, the kings of old held court here over the west and, after the clan wars, the east. To the west, Graben borders The Theocracy and a natural border of forested hills marks the edge of kingdom territory. To the east lies the county of Palamyr and the city of Highcrest. Graben is predominantly a flat land with many farms and grazing pastures. It has historically been a major exporter of foods and enjoys a healthy trade with the Middle Kingdoms to the south. However, the fertility of the land has also made them a target for raids from the Northlands in the past and it is unusual to find a family which has not lost a loved one or a crop to the Fjordsmen of the Rime Sea.
The ports North Bay and Greymouth on Sea sits are the main trading settlements that links the county with Palamyr and The Theocracy by sea. They are towns that have historically been a target for Northland raids and now suffers the threat of raids from the Undead boneships of the Lichfells.
Today Graben remains one of the most staunch supporters of the king in the realm. The House of Graben traces its lineage back to the first Lords of the West and by association the first king of Elland was of house Graben. They are one of the most influential powers in the realm and are never shy of a pair of ears in the royal court. Whether this loyalty is true devotion or the first moves in a complex game that would see them rise to the throne once more, is yet to be seen. Suffice to say however, where the king goes the house of Graben will follow, regardless of the grumbling voices of the clans that live in the heart of the duchy …
The Filvan Plains lie south of the area of marshland in Graben known as the Narrows. This stretch of harsh and rugged grassland makes up the majority of the duchy of Graben. It is used by Grabens farmers to keep the many herds of cattle that the duchy exports to the rest of the Kingdom.
Graben is a land of harsh winds and cold nights and the towns in this region are fortified against the threat of roving packs of giant wolves from the hills and woods that dot the landscape. The historical threat of the Northmen added to the need for a defense against the wilds and its denizens led to the need for more organised protection. It was to fulfill this need that the Sentinels were created. This collection of woodsman, hunters and trappers are taken from all the towns of the plains and organised into cohesive units to patrol the area and keep watch for wolves from both the hills and the sea. They are the regions first line of defense against attack, a tradition that was started many years before the Days of Fire. The Sentinels are expert at ambush, lying in wait for their prey and attacking with bows at range, never closing unless necessary. Many a Northman raid that has been decimated by the withering fire of a small handful of skilled Sentinels having never seen their attackers …
In the centre of Graben where the Filvan Plain meets the Narrows, the citadel of Falcons Reach stands on a high hill overlooking the Rime Sea. The towering spires of the castle has served as the chapter house for the Brotherhood of Scarlet Redemption since shortly after their creation by Duke Eadgar many years ago. Over time the castle has grown to cater for more brother and sister knights and stands as one of the best defended and defensible positions in the north.
In the shadow of the castle lie a number of villages and farmsteads that prosper under the direct protection of the knights. These settlements are the first line of recruitment for the order and many relations of existing knights hail from here. It is not only this area that the knights protect and the historical raids by Northmen have seen the knights range across the entire Northern coastline pursuing their remit of throwing the barbarians back into the Rime sea. With the coming of the foulspawn and the Northern Alliance, it is now in the south that the brotherhood look to fulfill their vows of protection. The priests of the Warrior that minister to the order have received divine authority from the Archimandrite to call a crusade and the brotherhood has sent a force to the front to carry the word of the Warrior to the heathen invaders. It stands to reason that many knights of this order may seek to enter the tourneys for entry to the Vale to carry the word of the Warrior and his divine wrath down upon the enemies of humanity.
In the recent political change of the sovereignty of Elland, and the election of its new ruler King Elsbeth Wrymsbane, Konrad Graben has given up his seat of power to become the new Chancellor of Elland. The recent announcement of the marriage between his son and the Countess of Deepmoor, put end to the speculation of who would take over the Duchy.