The Grand Duchy of Volgen is the core region of the Kingdom of Borealis and the seat of its royal courts and government. It borders Placia to the North and North-East, separated by the Copper-leaf mountains and Voegelwald forest, and Frugia in the North-West. It is not to be confused with the Kingdom's and the Duchy's eponymous capital city.
Volgen is the economic heart of the Kingdom and home of its biggest war industries - shipwrights and armories. Together with wast amounts of arable land, it forms a potent industrial base to maintain (relative) dominance over the rest of Thessea for many centuries.
Usually, the Grand Duke of Volgen is a formal title held by the ruling monarch's spouse. As Queen Alicia I is not married yet, she holds it herself and directly governs its affairs together with her Kingdom-wide duties, although lately she has been delegating a lot of its technical aspects to the Annex.
Having the second highest quality (after Frugia ) and the biggest quantity of arable land in Thessea, as well as highly developed agriculture, town and road networks, Volgen is the most populous province of Borealis, its population estimated at 20-23 million people. It also has the biggest urban population. The almost absolute majority of Volgen's people are Borean humans, although Westerlings from Frugia and Weideland are also numerous. As it is the capital of the Kingdom, of course it holds embassies from all over the Realm and thus has a proportion of truly alien population - dark and wood elves, Faraamese, halflings, orcs, exile and Kharad dwarves, although even combined it is tiny.
Dominant language: Borean speech
Biomes: temperate grasslands, temperate forests (mixed, flat-leaf), hillsides, temperate coastal and upland rivers.
- Primary exports: weapons, war engines, industrial machinery, military and trade ships, wheat and agricultural produce, copper and iron ore and products, clothes and fabrics;
- Primary imports: gold, wood and timber, luxury goods, spice, paper and parchment.
- Volgen rose to prominence during the Age of Thanes, as more and more people were migrating southward as the kingdom of Aluren stagnated. With one of the biggest agricultural bases on Thessea, rich metal deposits of the Copper-leaf mountains and spirits hardened by constant conflicts between warring thanes, it quickly amassed enough wealth and military power to allow the biggest thane of Volgen - Everard Boreale - to subjugate the rest of the Southern thanes in a series of brilliant conquests.
- Having allied himself with Placian river thanes and captured Frugia, Boreale marched North and laid waste to Aluren, ending its almost 700 years old history. Following the final defeat in a battle against united elves and death of Everard Boreale, Volgen became the civil and miltary heart of the newly established Kingdom of Borealis.
- It was Volgen where the Kingdom's system of noble ranks was pioneered, later spreading to the rest of Borealis. However, as history wrote itself, Volgen remains one of the few places where it still exists in its primal state.
- Volgen's location is perfect from defensive standpoint, as it shielded by the Copper-leaf mountains and narrow chokepoints through the Voegelwald forest and Brandweiden. Despite this, even after the foundation of Borealis, the years when Volgen wasn't at war with SOMEONE can be counted on one hand. It's been raided by Placian highlanders, disgruntled exile dwarfs, disgruntled Kharad dwarfs, Frugian banditry and "noble" families, pretender nobles, rioting peasants and even several attempted attacks by the Republican fleet. To the honour of Volgen dukes and kings, it has always struck back with staggering force.
- For the biggest part of the Feuerbrand uprising , Volgen remained in relative safety; however, as the fighting moved further South and the Firestarters gained territory, the Abendstern king resorted to outright robbery of his own lands and those of his vassals to finance the crumbling army. This only hastened the end of the Abendsterns, as both nobles and peasants saw Constantine Feuerbrand as a lesser evil, having witnessed their farms wither and families starve. Unsurprisingly, by the time the Siege of Volgen begun, most of Volgen noble houses have turned coats, ensuring the slow and excruciating defeat of the loyalist cause.
- After the Feuerbrand victory, many have argued that the grand duchy's influence has been slowly fading, eroded by the financial leverage of the Far Reach ; some even going as far as to jokingly call the Volgen's capital city "Weisstadt", referring both to its famous white marble architecture and drawing parallels with the former Northern free city of Blaustadt.
- Sternsee, the capital of the margraviate of Brandweiden, famous for its dwarfen breweries and top-of-the-line shipyards. While technically a separate principality, Brandweiden is considered to be de facto Volgen territory, as it is a direct vassal of the Crown;
- Ransewald, a serene and picturesque town at the heart of the Voegelwald forest and the eponymous county. It is famous for its craft school, head temple of Somn and the St. Klemenz galadorite abbey - one of the first universities in Thessea.
- Port Erfolg, once an important military port, it has long lost its strategic position and is mostly known for the Battle of Erfolg , one of the final battles of the Feuerbrand uprising that all but guaranteed the success of the Siege of Volgen.