Barony of Berhof - Overview
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Set in a large mountain valley, Berhof has never been a very impressive state, and it still isn’t very impressive now. Indeed it is so unimpressive that even the current Baron Berhof can’t be bothered to live here, instead he leaves a Governor at Castle Berhof charged with collecting taxes and tolls. The Governor has barely enough troops to garrison his toll gates and to fetch the money to the castle for onward shipment to his lord.

Perhaps because of this, each settlement in Berhof has been given almost complete local autonomy, and are responsible for collecting their own taxes, enforcing the law locally and providing their own security. Which all means that the people live in walled towns and villages with little regional oversight. However, there is a broad understanding that they all need to work together and support each other, if they are to survive. You can find more information about individual settlements here

Brief History

Many years ago Berhof established as a base for a warlord holding up merchants as they travelled the passes. Eventually they established a protection racket with ‘fees’ for travellers. He was known as The Howling Wolf
250 years Ago As The Tannery League started, the warlord started calling himself a Baron, and legitimised himself by standardising the fees and calling them taxes. However, there was a constant skirmish with the with the East Coast Chieftains and the Adlerweg keep was built
200 years ago The East Coast Cheiftains got their act together and formed Holden – and peace broke out along the Southern Coast.
150 years ago Trade started to decline as coastal trade became safer. The last Guardian of Adlerweg stands down.
100 years ago The main branch of the vonBerhof family died out and title passed to a niece who was married the Duke of Krote. They did not have a lot of interest this rural backwater that was not even part of The Tannery States so they appointed a governor to collect taxes on their behalf.
90 years ago vonArthog family lose their appointments and titles, and have to start working for a living.
- Slow gentle decline
20 years ago Sir Jorumi Dexaro returns to the area and buys the title of Laird of Hallbridges.
10 Years ago Master Nightsky returns from his travels and establishes the library.
5 Years ago The Noble Council established.
Recent After The Hallbridges Hammer found and returned a Family Heirloom, Berhof is granted a Charter of Self-Government

The Law.

The state law is both broad and simple.

No Killing
No Attacking People
No Stealing
Pay tolls and taxes

However, the only one enforced on a state-wide basis is “Pay tolls and taxes”, as the Governor’s troops collect road tolls and visit each settlement annually to collect taxes.

Each settlement is required to enforce the law and collect local taxes, but how they do it is up to them. Each settlement has its own guards or militia, however they only responsible for their settlement. Settlement Guard units are often made up of just a few part-time watchmen, who perform a basic policing function at the behest of the head man. They can get 'out of their depth' very quickly.

Outside of settlements ‘Frontier Law’ applies, and individuals have the right to use deadly force to defend themselves. Most travellers or merchants travel in caravans or convoys and employ their own guards.

In Castle Brehof, Adlerweg Keep and Fanjyr Waystation - the basic laws are maintained by The Governor’s troops. However, there aren't many citizen residents at any of those places, just the troops themselves - and there aren’t that many of them now-a-days.

Government

The Berhof Council manage the Barony under a Charter from Baron Berhof (who is also the Duke of Krote). Their intention is to make the barony a safer, more pleasant place to live. While they all have their own personal agenda, they come together around security, transport links and economic development. Currently they are concentrating developments in the Eastern Province

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