(part of the lands of Marak)
The Unity Covenant was signed by the 10 Duchies that Marak left behind when he was exiled to the Ice Flats, and was mostly influenced by the revolutionaries who penned it. Instead of a king, there is now an Empty Throne that sits at the head of the Synod, which is composed of all the Dukes, one from each Duchy. There is also the Parliament, who are individual citizens, chosen one from each County (ruled by a Count) as well as one from the Earldom. Each County, and often each Duchy, has particular methods for these choices. The Parliament advises the Dukes, and acts as a check on them. They are based in the White Citadel, the old residence of Marak, in Alabaster.
At the end of each Summer Court, the members of the Synod in good standing all put their names into a hat, and the current host draws a name. That is the host of the next Summer Court, and the Empty Throne is brought to their capital. The only exception is if a new Duchy has been added, in which case they automatically become host that next year. Each Summer Court starts on Beltane, and ends on the Lammas of the same year.
New Duchies are voted on in the Synod. A petitioner approaches the Synod with a request to be named Duke of a prearranged unincorporated territory. Until the creation of Red River, all these petitioners were Margraves. The Parliament can veto the creation of a new Duchy, but this has only happened once (with Blue Mountain Island, which petitioned the Unity after its independence).
A two-thirds majority in the Synod, or a simple majority of Parliament, is required to enact and/or veto a law; furthermore, the Covenant ensures that laws must be reasserted once every score of years, as if it were a new law, or else the sun sets on it and it cannot be enforced. In addition, Dukes can decree laws that only function within their own Duchy unilaterally, barring an injunction from the Synod or Parliament.
Certain rights are afforded all the citizens of the Covenant. The Covenant encourages lesser nobles (counts and barons) to petition the Synod about any treatment that breaches the Covenant (commoners are encouraged to petition their nobles). Neither the Parliament or the Synod may create any law that infringes these rights, nor may any Duke infringe these rights in their Duchy.
There are 17 Duchies currently members of the Covenant, twelve in the Pure Lands and five in Derange. These Duchies are linked by Wagon Trains that follow ley lines. There is also one autonomous area, an Earldom.
- Thousand Island - The northernmost Duchy in the Pure Lands, Thousand Island is an icy archipelago that stretches from the Long Island in the south, to the largest island, Prince's Island, in the north. It borders the Duchy of Providence to the south, the Ice Flats are to the west, and the Shimmering Ocean to the east and north. Thousand Island supported Hither in the Unity War, expecting that it would one day be able to annex part of the Ice Flats. The seat of the Duchy is Portland, on the southern tip of Prince's Island.
- Providence - Providence lays south of Thousand Island, to the east of Keystone, and north of Vineyard, on the shores of the Shimmering Ocean. The seat of the Duchy, a city called Concord, sits in the back of a small bay called Newport. Already a small duchy, Providence supported Yon in the Unity War.
- Vineyard - Vineyard, unsurprisingly, is famous for its wines. It lays south of Providence, to the east of Keystone, and to the north of Haven on the shores of the Shimmering Ocean. Always close to Providence, Vineyard supported Yon in the Unity War. The seat of the Duchy is called Beantown, which sits on the Canary Island off the coast of Vineyard.
- Haven - Haven lays southwest of Vineyard, southeast of Keystone, northeast of New Dominion and directly north of Old Dominion; it's also on the coast of the Shimmering Ocean. Haven supported Yon in the Unity War. The seat of this Duchy is Chess Peak, nestled on the mountain known as Flymouth Rock.
- Keystone - Keystone lays west of Providence and Vineyard, south of the Ice Flats, northwest of New Dominion and north of Haven. To the west of Keystone, across the Purple Mountains and the Eerie Sea, are the Duchies of Highland and Twin Seas, in Derange. Keystone supported Hither in the Unity War. The seat of Keystone is the City of Bridges, situated right on the Moon River.
- New Dominion - New Dominion is north and west of Old Dominion. It is southwest of Haven, southeast of Keystone, east of Highland, and northeast of Bluegrass, and is mostly mountainous. It does not touch the Shimmering Ocean directly, but does share the bay the Goose River empties into with Old Dominion and Haven. New Dominion is the portion of the original Duchy of Dominion (including a few new Counties that were claimed by Hither) that Yon ceded to Hither after the Unity War, along the Goose River. Hither has established the capital of New Dominion in the old family stead of Chemical Valley.
- Alabaster (Earldom) - Alabaster is a city on the Goose River, between the two Dominions. It was the home of the tyrant Marak, and the Navigators, and is still respected for being the place where the Covenant was signed. The White Citadel, Marak's old palace, houses the Parliament. All the families have shared communal estates in the city, and this is the closest the Covenant has to a capital. It is autonomous, ruled by a single Earl. It was too small to take a side in the Covenant War, but was occupied by Hither during the war.
- Old Dominion - Old Dominion is directly south of Haven, and southeast of New Dominion, bordering along the Goose River. Directly west is Bluegrass, and to the south is Rally. It has a long stretch of beach along the Shimmering Ocean, and shares the Virgin Bay with New Dominion and Haven. Dominion used to be the largest Duchy before the Unity War split it in two. Yon rules Old Dominion from his father's home in Crab City, sitting right on the Virgin Bay.
- Bluegrass - Covering most of the Purple Mountains, Bluegrass is south of Haven, southeast of Highland, and east of the two Dominons. It is also directly to the east of the Duchy of Iron Mountain in Derange and does not reach the Shimmering Ocean. Directly south of Bluegrass is Yellow Hammer, and to its southeast border is both Rally and Hazard. Bluegrass supported Hither in the Unity War. The seat of the Duchy of Bluegrass is Music City.
- Rally - Rally sits on the coast of the Shimmering Ocean south of Old Dominion, north and west of Hazard, and west of Bluegrass. It supported Yon in the Unity War. The seat of Rally is Palmetto.
- Hazard - Hazard sits on the Shimmering Ocean immediately south of Rally, and west of Yellow Hammer. Northeast of Hazard is Bluegrass, and directly south is Everglade. Hazard supported Hither in the Unity War. The Duke of Hazard has his seat of power in Dogwood City.
- Everglade - Everglade is directly south of both Hazard and Yellow Hammer, which also borders it to the west. It has the longest coastline of the Duchies, not only along the Shimmering Ocean to the east, but also along the Carob Gulf to the south and west. Everglade supported Yon in the Unity War. The seat of Everglade is in the city of Sunshine.
- Yellow Hammer- The only Duchy to be created during the Unity War, Yellow Hammer lays directly west of Hazard, north of Everglade and the Carob Gulf. It is south of Bluegrass, southeast of Iron Mountain, and east of Santana. The northern part of Yellow Hammer is the lowest part of the Purple Mountains, and the southern part is the Great Marshlands. Many of the inhabitants of Yellow Hammer call it West Hazard, or South Bluegrass, considering themselves to be truly citizens of those Duchies. The seat of Yellow Hammer is the city of Huntsville, formerly Yon's base of operations during much of the Unity War.
- Highland - The first Duchy to be created after the Unity War, Highland is a part of Derange south of Twin Seas, with a coast on the Eerie Sea. It is also north of Iron Mountain. Highland borders Haven, New Dominion, and Bluegrass to the east. The seat of its government is Sparrowhawk, where the first guns were smithed.
- Iron Mountain - The second Duchy to be created after the Unity War (created at the first Synod meeting at Highland, no less), Iron Mountain is in Derange directly west of Bluegrass, south of Highland, northeast of Yellow Hammer and directly north of the nearby realm of Santana. The seat of the Duchy is the burgeoning town of Gateway, at the nexus of the Big River and the Muddy River.
- Twin Seas - Named after the two seas that it borders - Heron Sea and Eerie Sea - Twin Seas is the third Duchy created after the Unity War, Twin Seas shares a large border to the north with the Ice Flats and and to the east with the Duchy of Keystone. To the southeast, across the Eerie Sea is Highland. To the southwest is Cornucopia, and to the west is the Duchy of Red River. The seat of Twin Seas is the city of Superior, in the center of the largest lake of the Duchy.
- Cornucopia - Cornucopia is west of Iron Mountain, southwest of Twin Seas, southeast of Red River, and north of the Realm of Santana - it was the first Duchy that shares no border with the original eleven members of the Unity Covenant. To the west of Cornucopia, the realm of Derange stretches off into the distance. The seat of Cornucopia is the city of Homestead.
- Red River - Red River borders the Ice Flats to the north, having the largest contiguous border of all the Duchies with those icy wastes. It is north of Cornucopia, and west of Twin Seas (with a coast on the Heron Sea). To the west and southwest of Red River, the untamed parts of Derange stretch off into the distance. Red River's Duke is a Red Man named Sue Isanti, who married a homely widow named Patch (Whitecrest) - instead of counts and boundaries, Red River divides its population into chiefdoms that are generally without borders. It is the newest of the Duchies, and is preparing for hosting the Synod next Beltane. The official seat of Red River is Deadwood.