|“||It’s the Far Country, true enough! Far ’cause it’s so damn far from anywhere a civilised man would care to go. And Far ’cause it’s so damn far from here to anywhere else he’d want to go.||”|
The Far Country is a wild frontier in the throes of a gold rush, still populated with tribes of Ghosts, reminiscent of American Indians.
Territory, Geography and Culture
If the Near Country is the frontier, then the Far Country is the wild prairies still populated with tribes of Ghosts, reminiscent of American Indians. It borders the Near Country to the east, marked by the Sokwaya River, and to the west by a chain of mountains beyond which the country has no name. To the south is the Old Empire; at its height, a thousand years ago, the Old Empire extended into the Far Country, and ruins of that time still remain.
There are no real settlements in the region, only boomtowns growing around mineral finds; the most notable being Crease which exploded in size after a gold rush. There is no formal government, and lawlessness is common.
Another significant settlement is Ashranc, the home of the mysterious Dragon People. The Dragon People are disciples of the Kanedias, the Master Maker, who mine in the geothermal mountains, and warily guard their privacy.
For centuries since the fall of the Old Empire, there was nothing in the Far Country, but wild spaces and beasts and Ghosts. The Ghosts ruled the plains, and they and their herds were strong and numerous.
About forty or fifty years ago, a few trappers and adventurer, like Dab Sweet, started ranging across their plains. Over the years, more and more newcomers came to the Far Country, stealing the herds of the Ghosts and the good grazing ground, and hunted the wild beasts to nothing. Crease, the greatest settlement of the new frontier, the prospector’s paradise, has grown to be a significant settlement with the arrival of the gold rush.
The Ghosts are determined not to fade without a fight; war-bands are stirred up all across the Far Country, massacring whole fellowship of trespasses upon their lands, and taking ears.
In Crease, the feud between Papa Ring and The Mayor, comes to an end with the Mayor coming out on top. However, word of a new strike near Hope, causes people to leave Crease by the hundred. Majud and Curnsbrick construct an ever growing manufactory in the town, to refine the coal found in the mountains.
Sangeed, the leader of the most feared tribe of Ghosts is killed by a travelling Fellowship. Also, Ashranc is sacked by mercenaries led by Nicomo Cosca.