Frozen in the winter and arid in the summer, there is little to recommend Jerr-Vone. Despite it's northerly location, the rain rarely if ever falls outside of the height of summer, and the only relief to the dry, vast desert within the Horseshoe Ridge is the seasonal, magical appearance of the wide, shallow River Salmet.
One hundred and sixty leagues north to south and averaging one hundred and ten leagues east to west, Jerr-Vone is home to a population of around twenty-five thousand, almost all of whom live in the south of the country.
South of the Horseshoe Ridge, the land quickly changed from desert to grasslands with forests to the north in the shadow of the mountains. There is only one town of significance and that is the capital Voneran with a population of six thousand. The rest of the land is peppered with many villages, most of them small, with larger villages acting like small market towns, though the biggest of these has a population of less than a thousand.
The economy of the country is based largely around food production, like much of bind, breeding both goats and some small cattle. In times past this was the home of many Molan, but they have all but disappeared in the region.
Some mining takes place in the ridge, but the main product from the mountains is the fine, hard rock that is much sort after for carving and was popular with Haften Architects.
Climate and Desert
The peculiar climate of the region is the cause of much speculation. It is, without doubt, one of the most arid regions of Dirt and yet it sits but a few leagues south of the ices and borders the Plateau to the west of Bekon which is often credited as being the wettest place on Dirt.
Some writers have commented wrily that it is as if the land has so little to recommend it that event the clouds stay away.
In the spring, summer and autumn, it is very rare that rain falls at all. However, this is not a warm land and though at the time of the river, the sun does warm the sands during the day, at night the temperature falls very quickly.
In the winter, it becomes an icy land and has been known to be buried in snow during bad winters. But come spring, this quickly drains away into the parched landscape and no benefit has been gained.
In the south, in marked contrast, Jerr-Vone is a fertile land with a welcoming climate.
The desert itself runs from the very coast where the beaches merge into the dunes seamlessly. The coastline is shallow in many places with rocky outcrops that have snared many a coastal trader. The dunes are littered with the skeletons of vessels blown up on the unforgiving shore during storms.
Although some of the desert, especially within the Horseshoe, is harsh, stony, hard packed ground, a lot of it is shifting sands which makes travel north to south almost impossible. The only true road in this part of Jerr-Vone runs from the pass at Rondor Rocks, northwest to the ices, meeting just west of Bich Pass.
Rondor Rocks, is an eight thousand foot, dome topped mountain that can been seen for many leagues. The pass is a difficult, winding road that runs through a gorge some two thousand feet below the summit. However, it is wide enough for two wagons to pass in the hands of experienced drivers.
Salmet and Slavery
Although a peaceful country, Jerr-Vone's reputation was sullied for many years by the seasonal slave market that was held during the annual appearance of the river Salmet.
For most of the year, the Salmet is either a small stream or, more often, nothing more than a dry, shallow river bed. But most years, the waters that build up on the plateau behind the Horseshoe ridge reach a stage where they feed the river in a miriad of tiny springs that join to create a wide, shallow body of water.
This lasts little more than a month, but in that time, grasses and wildflowers bloom along its path like a carpet and draped over the sands.
At this time, slavers would meet from all over Bind and The Prelates to buy and sell unwilling, mostly kidnapped slaves. Although some slavery is tolerated in certain countries in Bind, mostly as a way of paying off debt, there is no country where enforced slavery is legal, with the possible exception of Wessen.
However, Jerr-Vone is a poor country, and the market paid the king handsomely so that they could operate openly without fear of being arrested.
The market would grow to the size of a small town within days of the river coming to life and many hundreds of slaves of all ages, even young children, would be auctioned to the highest bidder in an atmosphere that has been described as "festival like."
The market was eventually closed down with the destruction of the pass over Rondor Rocks.