The Barony of Dancouris is a barony that is part of a compact of barons left over from the days of the Empire of Nerath. Out of the many baronies that populated the lands, only three remain. Dancouris (of course), the Barony of Therund and the Barony of Ysigdal. All of the other baronies have had their lines ended in the chaos and death. Many refugees have fled to the remaining baronies and there was a period of massive adjustment for many years; some infighting but finally it has settled down.
The Barony of Dancouris is led by Baron Aylen Dancouris, also known as the Shepherd. He was once a great adventurer and while he was adventuring with his party is when they encountered the dread necromancer Menhold. There battles were intense and it was during these battles when he met the woman who was to become his wife, Keri. She was plant in Aylen's adventuring company being Menhold's slave and (abused) lover, but after a whirlwind romance she came to love Aylen like no other and betrayed Menhold. Soon afterwards they cornered Menhold in his lair and they struck him and his servants down. With his dying breath he cursed Keri for betraying him. It did not matter to the two young lovers and they soon married. She tried so hard to give Aylen a child and three years later she did at the cost of her life. Tristana was born but because of the curse that Menhold placed upon her, she could not be raised. Her death nearly devastated Aylen, but as his friends have said, she was still here in their daughter.
Now Keri was a skilled sorceress, but they were other members of Aylen's adventuring company. There was the halfling Janner Thornhill who was also a skilled sorcerer who is always has his pipe going filled with sweet-smelling pipeleaf. He became Tristana's teacher in the sorcerous arts. He and Keri got along famously as he was one of Keri's best friends. Her best friend became Markisa, but she prefers Chant. Chant was Keri's friend even when Keri was still under Menhold's thrall. She was not part of Aylen's adventuring company and she comes and visits whenever she can. The reason why she goes out and visits is because she is looking for Keri's other child. When Menhold was destroyed, he let it slip to Chant and Keri that Keri's first daughter, Ashellekai is still alive, but they would never find her. On her deathbed, Keri made Chant promise that she would find Ashellekai. No one knows except for Chant that Keri's first child is alive. Drokkar Shatterforge is a dwarven cleric to Earthis. After spending nearly twenty years adventuring, he is spending the next decade or three attending to the flock in Dancouris at Gallery of Invention, the church to Earthis, attending to brewery and his wife Ilda. She was an adventurer, a powerful warrior as he was but lost her left leg at the knee. Drokkar made her a crude prosthesis but in order to keep her from adventuring again, has gotten her pregnant. Rurik is still young, only forty-years old and is eager to show his mettle. Drokkar and Aylen's closest friend is the half-orc that goes by the name of Hogar. This big ranger is growing bigger around the middle. Close to sixty, he has retired to the castle where he sometimes aids in the training of the guard. Hogar is getting itchy to go out and die in battle as befits a true half-orc. He is Tristana's favorite uncle among all of the old adventuring company. Rachi Skysilver, member of the prominent elven clan of Skysilver, is a noted Paladin of the Ancients. Rachi is middle-aged for an elf almost four-hundred years old and as was around for the death knell of the Nerath Empire in which she took part in. She loves Aylen like a favored nephew or a son. Alyen, through Rachi, has the backing of the Skysilver clan. He is one of the of the few humans who have it. Corwyn, just Corwyn, is the youngest member of the adventuring company. At thirty-five, he joined just before the party defeat Menhold for the last time. He has since had a wide and varied career that sees him gone for months at a time but he always comes back here to Dancouris. Easy to laugh and joke, he still acts as though he is 15.
The city of Dancouris has a permanent population of over 25000 people of varying races and more come in and make-up a transient population of merchants and travelers. Another 10000 people live with a day's travel of the city It is the largest of cities of the Baronial compact. The new castle, built next to old castle, has just been completed to celebrate the marriage of Aylen to the elf Sylen Skysilver over a year ago. The adopted daughter of Rachi and Immeral. Rachi, due to an ancient wound in unable to bear children herself. Sylen has two elven children before giving birth to a half-elf son of Aylen, Varis. Keylan is still young around 50. Andar is missing and presumed dead having gone off to explore lands to the east some years ago. Rachi's husband Immeral is mayor of the city of Travus, the second city in the barony. The Barony of Dancouris is made up of the two cities and six minor villages. Travus is a port, the northern most port of the western shores of the Sea of Morning. It has close to 19000 people in it with a transient population of roughly 3000. The peace is kept by Dewi Thaceli, the young, female half-elf in charge of the cities defense. Uran the Claw is the seneschal of Barony. An ancient dragonborn looking to retire soon, he was a mighty warrior in his youth and has taught Aylen the way of the sword and as seneschal the way of peace. He is as much Aylen's father as was Greggor Dancouris. Uran is an honorary Bloodtalon, one of the largest clans of dragonborn on two continents. He is also friends with the Rachi Skysilver and the two can be found oft together when she is in Dancouris.
Tristana is accompanied by Beyissa Skysilver, an elven ranger of little renown and Mika, a human warrior. Both are her bodyguards, though Mika has grown up with Tristana and is like a sister to her. Tristana has grown up and caught the adventuring bug, like her father before her. He has allowed her to choose her own adventuring company. Tristana has gotten in touch with Myase, a local dealer of the strange and exotic. She has gotten in touch with an adventuring company that she has dealt with in the past and they have agreed to let Tristana and Mika to come along. They are led by Louvra, a tattooed warrior woman who wields a sword and axe. There is Kris the rogue, whom is scarred from his fight with another adventuring company. He does not talk that often and when he does it is barely above a whisper. Corvus of the Horn is a cleric of the Raven Queen. A big man standing nearly seven feet tall, but caring with a gentle touch. Then there is Hanniah Twice-Blessed, a paladin of the Order of Vengeance. What they are planning on doing is collecting pieces of an artifact for Myase. What no one realizes is that Myase is actually Ashellekai in disguise and she is plotting something to bring down the barony and take revenge on Aylen for the dead Menhold. Louvra and Kris are in on some plan that they have for Tristana, though Louvra is slowly changing her mind as she gets to know Tristana better as they travel.
According the Compact, the barons have to put up a considerable amount of resources toward the common defense. Dancouris being the richest of most heavily populated. They have close to two-thousand troops of varying types and races. The Dancouri Knights are the most prestigious of the troops. They number only fifty but are well known adventurers of a variety of classes. Another two-thousand militia can be called up within a week. There is also an old, gnomish archmage who lives in Tavus along the coast. Brentwil Folker is the most powerful mage in the barony. He is also a cranky curmudgeon. There is a copper dragon that has taken roost here to the east along the Ironroot Mountains. Hygal is an adult and has become somewhat of a symbol to the barony. He has even helped out in the past, for example driving out a pack of ogres that have boiled up from the Trollhaunt that lies to the east of the Barony of Therund. He keeps the lands to the east well protected. No one knows that the dragon Hygal and the adventurer known as Corwyn are one in the same creature.
There are six villages that make up the barony. Asgane, Eahus, Mohdent, Ricewell, Semmer and Westfall. Eahus, a somewhat isolated village to the southwest is being threatened by a necromancer. This is worrisome to Aylen and he has cautiously sent out several Dancouri Knights to investigate. Eahus is where Menhold first took root and if another necromancer has taken up his cause, it will be dark days for the barony. Little does Aylen (or anyone else) know, it is Ashellekai who is causing all of this trouble. She is putting just enough mystery to the southwest to distract the baron while she plots in the capital. All the villages are large and prosperous. The Darvan Coaster is the main trading coaster for the Compact and as such they maintain good relations with all the baronies. The major faiths in the barony are Bahamut (minor), Erathis (minor), Melora, Raven Queen and Sehanine. Many of the villagers still venerate and appease the primal spirits, especially in Westfall where the villagers have a large barbarian population that comes to trade.
Besides Ashellekai and ogres and trolls that come from the Trollhaunt, other dangers include the drow from Imperial Chel'lut'thalus under the Ironroot Mountains to the east, the brewing conflict between Moonsilver and the Emaan Empire to the south and the orcish hordes that run rampant to the west.