Children of the Night
The largest of Ustalav's three regions is Soivoda, which holds 9 counties: Amaans, Ardeal, Barstoi, Caliphas, Odranto, Sinaria, Ulcazar, Varno, and Versex. These counties form the central and eastern parts of the country, each of them ruled by a noble family. Each family draws its hereditary line to the the founding father of the country, Soividia Ustav. The counts and countesses harbor centuries-old rivalries, sometimes erupting into skirmishes or even war, such as the War of Rivals between the counties of Barstoi and Ardeal that eventually led to the creation of the salted, ash-covered wasteland now known as The Furrows. Through an unshakable will, the present ruler, Price Oduard Odranti III, like many before him, holds the nation together and exerts some measure of influence, but each county operates largely unto itself – with very different cultures, laws, and resources.
Palitanates, situated in the northwest third of the nation, holds the three counties of Canterwall, Lozeri, and Vieland. Forty years ago, dissatisfaction with weak rulers led to successive and largely bloodless revolts across these counties, resulting in rule by council. While the residents of these counties were able to rid themselves of hereditary rulers invested in self-serving agendas and age-old enmities, Ustalav's nobility often resents the intrusion of the less-than-noble on their affairs, made worse by the oft-changing face of these representatives.
Virlych, owes no fealty to any lord. As cursed and broken land, it once served as the seat of power for the Whispering Tyrant, an arch-lich whose rise prompted the Shining Crusade. Presumed dead or buried far beneath these lands, the symptoms of this deep corruption make these lands inhospitable. Travelers will find few residents other than outlaws, sentinels from nearby Lastwall, and remaining servants of the fallen arch-lich.
The Lost Kingdoms
Three other counties once existed under Ustalav domain, to make up the total of 16 original counties for 16 kings of Ustalav. Janoyt lay on the eastern shores of Avalon Bay, along with the southern lands of Varno, but after the Shining Crusade Ustalav ceded control to Arch-Duchy Melcat. Later this transformed into the fanatical theocracy of Razmirian, which exists today in tense peace with Ustalav. Grodlych and Virholt were destroyed during the reign of the Whispering Tyrant, and their lands are now under control of Lastwall, or merged into the ruined expanse of Virlych.