The largest and best-fortified of the Seitselin, Jalav, might have become a proper dukedom already if not for the constant unrest among its populace and the bitter enmity between its rulers, the House of Luostari, and the Emperor. Lady Annika’s grandfather was banished for his (real or imagined) part in a plot to overthrow the Emperor’s father. She, as well as her mother before her, have sought to make Jalav an Imperial Free City in all but name, but their efforts have constantly been stymied by the restive population. Many are only a generation or two removed from the Empire’s seizure of their lands, and resent Jalav’s attempts at cosmopolitanism.

Also known as the Crossroads for its central location, this commanding fortress overlooks a crucial meeting of east-west and north-south roads, which has grown into sprawling and unruly settlement. Other than collecting tolls and maintaining the roads via a corps of Pavers, the rulers show little interest in the property; they live in the Empire proper and are absentee landlords. A vicereine, the Lady Juna, rules in their stead.

Duke Timant is well-known for putting on airs, and the only ruler to insist on being referred to by his full title. His modest hold, the fortress of Timant, controls a river crossing but is otherwise modest. Timant has invested lavish sums in attempting to attract settlers and tradesmen to bring more of the Empire to his hamlet, but with limited success. To his credit, Timant does maintain a corps of well-drilled rangers, and the roads of Timant are rather safe–though the same cannot be said for the wilderness itself.

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