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Introduction of the Reach by a Nord
A journey to the very west of the Skyrim will lead you to a place untouched by our mighty snowscapes and glaciers.
A place where no giant walks and Trolls are seen little, a place of ancient palaces, green pasturages and vast forests whose glory seeks to compete to Sovngarde itself.
This place that we Nords know as 'The Reach' is one of our holds whose fertile valleys and canyons we have settled in since a time when we still mocked this land as Mereth. Although every child nowadays knows of the events of Bendar maak and all those songs about the bloodletting around Dragonstar, a few unconversant people are still suprised to hear of an infamous conquest our jarls and thanes led against our western neighbours in the recent past. In this war we reclaimed most of The Reach back from the Bretons and Redguards that held it. The victory we achieved here is a thorn in the flesh of the desert warriors that today still seek to conquer it back from us.
One who visits The Reach and does not know better may reply with disbelief when being told to be in the province of Skyrim, for The Reach is nothing like the rest of our harsh and cold homeland. Here we are governors over crowds of Elves, Elfmen, Redguards and many other people who in the past like us Nords sought home in this so unusual warm and fertile expanse. And not only do the climate and the people differ from the cold inside of our province: Should you search for the ice-wraith-haunted, proud and snowy peaks that one rightfully expects to see in Skyrim, you will instead find yourself infront of steep and flat cliif-plateaus, skurille, yet imposing builds that are called mesas by the savants.
The Reach is divided into four counties, each reigned by a jarl as it is tradition in all of the western holds. The first and biggest county, Markarth-County is reigned by the king of the Reach, Jarl Bairda the Builder who resides in the elven palace of Markarth Side. The second county, Felsundhal-County is the fiefdom of Jarl Uldred, whose longhouse is found at the highest peak of Felsundhal-Town. The third county Karthwasten-County is fiefdom of Jarla Jona the Ansei-Slayer who has made herself a home in a Redguard-built manor in Dragonstar. Falkirstad-County, the fourth of the fiefdoms is governed by Jarla Vigdis who dwells the Castle of Falkirstad.
People who plan to travel in this area should know of the dangers that have been plaguing the region of late. Travellers are being frequently attacked by Reachmen and other bandits and it is no rare occasion that redguard-guerilla-fighters lead ambushes against Settlements. Last but not least the wilderness of the Reach is home to many hostile creatures like Goblins and Minotaurs. In view of those threats, we advise travellers not to strain the railings that border our roads.
Writing of the bear clan (already posted it earlier somewhere else)
We are the bears who have been guarding the border for centuries. Today we are nothing but footmen and Prisoners in our own country. We are the dreaded Bear Clan, the defamed of The Reach.
Once, when our clan came here, this stretch of water, known as Karth-River, had been a border between Nords and the Redguards and Bretons beyond. 'Karth' in our nordic tongue means as much as 'valuable stone'. At that time, not long after the dissensions about succession had ended, rumors of rich hunting-grounds, Silver, Iron, Aquamarines and other precious gems were heard throughout the decimated Rim of Sky. Many clans made their way west in hope of wealth, among them our honored Clan-Father Rigmad Bearhand and his kin. Instead of going where many other Nords went, the rich southern river-bend today known as Karthwasten, he made himself and his family free space in the middle of nowhere.
For several generations our clan lived as fishers and hunters in this remote place surrounded by dense forest. We drove out foul Reachmen whose bathing families disturbed the fish at the nearby riverbank so we could pursue our business unmolested. Through those generations we were able to carry on and fortify the fishing-abilities of our Clanfather Rigmad. But the long time of isolation also had a drawback for us: We became anything but a pretty sight to our Nord-brothers. Back in those days the first of many aspersions against us arose: That our clan would be one of half-breeds with the locals. Exactly those locals that we have been fighting for generations! It took many gatherings with other clans and intense use speechcraft until we could finally establish that it was incest that had been accusable for our changed appearance. But even today we are object of mockery to those who still spread the falsity of intermingling around.
Time went on and centuries later, when Karthwasten was lost to Hammerfell and desert warriors pushed forward into our lands, our village turned out to be a firm holding against further conquest. This place became known as 'Karthgad', the Guard of Karth. I have heard imperials using the name Amber Guard. Those stay-at-homes believe that Karth refers to the Amber found in the bed of our Karth-River. No, the name of our town speaks of the heroic deeds of our fathers, not of worthless stones buried in gravel. There was nothing the warriors from the desert learnt to fear as much as the ambushes of the Bear Clan. No clan knew how to sneak upon his enemies as the Bear Clan, no other clan could even hope to be able to steal the weapons from their enemies before falling upon them. Ungratefulness caused a further aspersion: That our clan unlike other Nord Clans would only lead ambushes for being too coward to face enemies in an open battle. Those who brought that up probably never visited our home, the dense Vorndgad Forest. You will be able to convince yourself that there is no way an open battle could be led between trees standing next to each other tightly as this.
Again a long time went by in which we were at least recognized for being the defender of the frontier. This ended with the conquest of the land beyond the river. We are no longer those who will protect our Nord Brothers against conquest from west. Since that time we have only been assigned unhonorful tasks from our king Bairda. Further aspersions against us arose over time. That we would be nothing but a pack of greedy criminals, who would only steal and smuggle and enrich themselves. Those accusations only prove that people forget what the Bear Clan has done for them. May Shor not grant those slanderers entry into the halls of Sovngarde!
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