|The Iron Gate, principal entrance to Scheveningen.|
The Iron Gate, principal entrance to Scheveningen.
|Etymology: Vaalse forest|
The Vaalse, the Pine Forest, the Great Forest
|Independence||15 Baalder +433|
|Founded by||Borost:Teris Draatelhand|
|• Total||Est. 1,950,000|
Vaalsebossen, also known as the Vaalse, is a Dwaerkar freehold and region of Borost. As the name implies, it is heavily forested, and the majority of the hold consists of gentle hills and mountains rising between thickly-wooded valleys.
Borost:Teris Draatelhand established the freehold in 15 Baalder +433, securing independence from Ouwestad. A former fort, its capital, Scheveningen, has grown to become one of the most prosperous cities among the realms of the Dwaerkar.
Prior to the arrival of the Dwaerkar, the area remained much as it is nowadays: Densely forested, with little infrastructure or signs of any civilization. However, hundreds of thousands of elves made their homes in the broad pine forests of the regions, farming trees and hunting wild creatures for sustenance.
During the Ascendance of the Dwaerkar, a large army of Dwaerkar attacked and routed a force of Borostím in the Borost:Battle of Pineen in +433, where Scheveningen now stands. Present in the battle was Borost:Jurig Gorthoadum, then-Patriarch of his Clan. The hill, once captured, was used to build a fort. The fort then became the principal defence of the westerly approach towards Ouwestad.
In +482, long after the War of Ÿphergund had reached its dramatic conclusion, the ruler of Scheveningen -- Raadspensionaris Borost:Teris Draatelhand -- unilaterally embraced the independence of the forests of the Vaalse, naming the area Vaalsebossen freehold, and its capital the nascent metropolis of Scheveningen. The other freeholds, anxious to curb the immense power of Ouwestad, rapidly recognized the status of the new freehold. Ouwestad only recognized Vaalsebossen as a freehold in +522.
The Vaalse is most distinguishable as the site of a large and eponymous pine forest, which stretches for thousands of units across the north-western reaches of the Dwaerkar realm.
It is likely that the area is driven by glacial meltwater, which flows from the mountains of Tielsland and through the Vaalse. Some theorize that many of the sweeping valleys of the hold were once covered in glaciers. The evidence for this interpretation includes the presence of many moraines throughout the hold, the presence of erratics, and, in exposed bedrock, evident glacial striation. The profile of these valleys -- characteristically U-shaped -- is also cited as evidence.
Cities and settlements
The freehold possesses a standing army of 6,000 soldiers in peacetime. Of these, 4,000 are the Iron Guard, an elite, professional force that forms the core of the hold's army. 1,200 are artillerists, who utilize cannons, mortars, and howitzers. Finally, the remaining 800 are the Mounted Guard, a cavalry regiment that patrols the forests, serving the roles of scouts. The freehold possesses a number of airships, the flagship of which is the Borost:Jiggenhem. A troop of militia is stationed in Vaalseburght.