A Great and Terrible Whisper
The breadbasket of Ustalav that grows nearly half the crops that feed the country, a fact that figured strongly in the royal release from hereditary rule.
One of the Palatinates, a group of Ustalavic counties no longer ruled by their hereditary noble families, Canterwall is renowned as the “breadbasket of Ustalav”. Despite the fertile nature of its farmlands Canterwall is far from an idyllic place, as its borders are threatened by powerful enemies. To the west of Canterwall lie the hostile lands of the Hold of Belkzen, teaming with orcs hungry for slaughter and pillage. More recently (in the broadest sense of the word since it has been there since 3828 AR) the creation of the Virlych, a haunted wasteland surrounding the Whispering Tyrant’s prison, to the south has created another dire threat. The only reason the Virlych is not a bigger threat to Canterwall is that it is regularly patrolled by brave knights from Lastwall who patrol the area to ensure the Whispering Tyrant does not return. As if these wasn’t enough recently several hamlets in the south west Canterwall have been discovered with all there inhabitants gone, they were found with no signs of a struggle and no clue to the inhabitants location, almost as if they had been swallowed up by the mists that often sweep across the land.
In the early decades of the 41st century AR, the county of Canterwall was known as Tamrivena, and was in a precarious situation. Ustalav had only been freed from the Whispering Tyrant’s control in 3828 AR, and Tamrivena was still in the process of recovering from over 600 years of abject enslavement. The orcs of the nearby Hold of Belkzen sensed the county’s frailty and conducted numerous cross-border raids in that time. They were driven back by the tactical cunning of Tamrivena’s rulers and the strong bows and axes of its rangers time after time.2
This changed with the ascension of Count Andachi. Knowing he did not have his ancestors’ genius for warfare, he pleaded with the Ustalavic court for help, but his requests were mired in endless bureaucracy. Mile by mile, the orcish forces pushed farther into Tamrivena, and even the Count’s pleas to Desna went unanswered. In desperation, he turned to a darker patron; he plead with Zon-Kuthon for aid.
The Dark Prince heard his prayers, and sent the mercenary Kazavon, who quickly reorganized Tamrivena’s army, brutally training them to be ruthless and efficient. Kazavon led the army across the border and massacred the disorganized orcish hordes. By 4043 AR, the enemy had been driven off Tamrivenan land, retreating into the foothills of the Kodar Mountains. It was then that Kazavon revealed his true intentions. Instead of returning to Ustalav, he built a stronghold at Castle Scarwall and began to gather forces of his own. When Count Andachi realized Kazavon’s cruelty and lust for power, he turned against the general, raising an army and marching against Castle Scarwall. The Count was easily defeated and publicly executed. Kazavon expanded his realm and ruled with terror and war for over a decade, until he was destroyed by an army led by the Lastwall hero Mandraivus.