Lanterns in the Mist
Barstoi is one of the counties of Ustalav within the Soivoda region; it is a land of low lying foot hills and rocky fields, inhabited by people widely reputed as some of the least friendly and suspicious in all Ustalav. The county lies in the north-east of Ustalav.
Despite the foul reputation of the land’s people, Barstoi could be seen, at first sight, to be one of the best counties to live in: its fields are well managed if not particularly fertile; the people are well fed; its militia is strong and well trained. In Barstoi a man’s wealth is determined by the sweat of his brow. However, Barstoi is no utopia.
Barstoi has one of the best governments of the Ustalavic counties even though it is run by the cultured tyrant Count Aericnein Neska. Neska drove Barstoi to civil war, the so-called War without Rivals, with its neighboring counties in 734. The count enforces a harsh policy where every crime is punishable by death; his laws are policed by persistent Pharasmin inquisitors and by Neska’s own soldiers distinguishable by their black armour.
Barstoi’s land may be harsh but agriculture is possible, though difficult. The county also mines salt. The people are hard working and can make money so long as they keep out of trouble.