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Aradie

Aradie is the northernmost and arguably largest colony on Everique. The colony stretches the length of the Grande Vire River from its gulf in the northeast to the shores of Lake Chambenac in the southwest. The Trablais Mountains in the north and the Candelle Hills in the south theoretically form the borders of the colony, but the practical reach of the settlers is a fraction of that as almost all the settlements are along the banks of the Grande Vire. In addition, the native tribes who dwell in the wilderness do not recognize Saronne's claim to all of Aradie. Sherbourg is the principle city and capital of the colony.

Founded by settlers from Saronne in 1523, the colony was a dream of Jaquet d'Artais who invested much of his family's fortune into the perilous settlement on the frontier of the vast wilderness. The colony faced significant difficulties when founded and had to be abandoned twice - first under specter of starvation and a second time because of hostility of the Odaneois. It rebounded and grew quickly because of the extremely profitable fur trade, which attracted explorers and trappers to the shores of the Grande Vire.

Even after the colony was established, violence was a constant reality. While the settlers were able to broker peace with many of the local tribes, the belligerent Liranequois to the south continually raided outlying settlements. It was not until the arrival of the famed Salores Regiment in 1572 that the Liranequois retreated to the dense woodlands in the south.

Natives were not the only threat. Aradie was attacked serval times by rivals from the colonies of Meerpelt and Varre, seeking to take control of the strategic Grande Vire River. The natural defenses of Sherbourg protected the capital from most assaults, but the Meerpicts captured the city and occupied it from 1631 to 1633 during the War of Marbled Insults. The city was restored to Saronne at the Third Treaty of Arcaneaux.

After the occupation, King Raimon IV of Saronne decided to invest heavily in his colonies in Everique to prevent them falling into enemy hands again. The city wall of Sherbourg was completed for the first time since the founding of the city, and several batteries were constructed along the heights of the cape, giving a solid command of the river below. To increase the population, he established a program that came to be called the Daughters of the King, wherein the monarchy paid women to marry and settle in the colony. The program was a incredible success, and even though it the program was interrupted several times, it resulted in the quintupling of the population of Aradie in the 38 years since it was instituted.

Meerpelt

Meerpelt is a colony of the Grand Duchy of Kleef in Everique. For much of its existence, Meerpelt was a long, narrow colony, squeezed between Varre, a colony of Morante, to the northeast and Ulrikas, a colony of Sverike, to the southwest. Meerpelt followed the valley of Maurits' River and had but a single port at Zollhaven. The recent conquest of Ulrikas has expanded the colony's borders, giving it additional access to the sea and fertile farmland.

Guilders from Kleef founded the colony in 1556 to gain access to the fur trade that was enriching the Saronnan investors. The Kleefish aligned with the Liranequois, building Beverwijck at the point where Maurits' River ceases to be navigable. The guilders provided cheap trade goods to the Liranequois, as well as muskets and gunpowder. The Kleefish encouraged the Liranequois to harass the Saronnans in Aradie at every opportunity so that Beverwijck would become the destination of choice for furs coming out of the Lakelands. In 1631, colonists from Meerpelt captured Sherbourg during the War of Marbled Insults, but they were forced to return it two years later as part of the peace treaty.

The past 50 years have been extremely prosperous for Meerpelt. The town of Zollhaven has grown exponentially due to its incredible natural harbor. Shipbuilding has become one of its primary trades. Kleef is poorly situated for lumber with most of their forests already harvested. The vast forests of Everique are full of prime trees, which the Kleefish are felling to build their fleet. In 1678, Kleef went to war with Sverike in the Second War under the Northern Crown. The colonists in Meerpelt seized the opportunity and conquered the Sverikan colony of Ulrikas. It's been an uneasy occupation, and the Kleefish have been forced to allow the Sverikans to retain some self rule to keep the peace.

Meerpelt faces a number of growing threats. The steadily encroaching Morantine from the north is a concern to the Kleefish. They are trying to direct the Morantine territorial ambitions toward Aradie. Also, the conquest of Ulrikas puts Meerpelt dangerously close to the great Minaquas tribe, who were aligned with the Sverikans and foes of the Liranequois. Meerpelt has not fortified its holdings, relying upon extensive gift giving to the tribes to ensure peaceful relations. Sverike has not forgotten their lost colony in Everique and intends to reclaim it at the first opportunity, and possibly conquer Zollhaven for Kleef's temerity.