|Feudal Status:||Imperial State|
|Largest Cities:||Demonsfall, Mesior, Kingsgate, C.R.|
|Local Leadership Title:||Duke of Goldshire|
|Current leader:||Ryabin Merkayastreb|
|Local language:||Shirithian English|
|Local Religion:||Cedrism, Folk Mysticism, Suthra|
The Duchy of Goldshire is one of Shireroth's two founding Duchies, and its oldest named territory (although other territories incorporating more ancient lands became Shirerithian afterwards, such as Kildare and Yardistan). Despite being demoted or dissolved numerous times throughout Shirerithian history, it survives to the present day.
Goldshire has been a thoroughfare and battleground for competing neighbours for most of its history, beginning with an ancient tussle between the Treesians and the Khaz Modani for control of its coastline, themselves in competition with natives (reported variously as fairies, elves, and other pseudohumans) from the Goldshirian interior. From this struggle, the Treesians eventually prevailed and established the first effective rule across the whole of Goldshire. Their dominance was short-lived, however, as their success attracted the eyes of Raynor, Duke of Brookshire, who set about incoporating Goldshire into his own realm by force. At this he was eventually sucessful, establishing a united realm of Brookshire and Goldshire called Shireroth, with himself at its head as Raynor I. He remained in Goldshire for a time, directing his armies in the entrenchment of his rule despite a rude interruption from the Legions of Balgurd under Rrakanychan, who Raynor legendarily subdued and enslaved to his cause. This entire foundational period of Goldshirian history can be appreciated fully in the writings of Duke Wintersong, named The Five Woes of Ynnraile.
Under Shirerithian rule Goldshire continued to play host to other people's wars, a disproportional amount of them involving the forces of Babkha or Babkhi rulers of Elwynn, who seemed to favour Goldshire as a strategic corridor in both the attack and defence of Shirekeep. Between these episodic interventions and absorptions into neighbouring territories (most often Brookshire) Goldshire nonetheless exhibited an intermittent shine under certain eminent rulers. Duchess Jadie codified much of the Goldshirian aesthetic and culture, alongside Duke Erutirn who established Goldshire's first full-time professional military. Baron Wintersong of Ynnraile (later Duke of all Goldshire) gave perhaps more than any other to the artistic and social growth of Goldshire, by way of his record-keeping and storytelling. Duke Aryeztur Mejorkhor, while usheing an era of nigh-on genocidal cultural alteration (later diverted to Aryasht) that isn't much talked about and was mostly reverted, nonetheless made lasting contributions such as the expension of the Goldshire Palace and the development of Goldshire's half of the River Elwynn Delta. The Dukes Wythe were the fathers of Goldshirian academia, founding the University of Goldshire in Wendor. Duke Harvey, being in charge of Goldshire more than once, has also done stuff too minor to name but too important to ignore. Goldshire has most recently been under the rule of the Yastrebs (Krasniy and Ryabin), a clan of mild slavic extraction and some Treesian descent whose tenures have mostly been focused on developing the institutions of Goldshirian state and putting an end to the Duchy's history as a mere carpeted floor for passing megalomaniacs.
Goldshire is seperated by the River Elwynn from most of Benacia, and comprises the entire Eastern (aka Western, for some hidden reason of tradition unsolved by this author) coast of that continent. This easy access to riverine and oceanic waters has placed Goldshire in a natural position as a mercantile hub, aided by its substantial natural gold deposits and resultant specialism in the field of currency and bullion. Goldshire is divided into four Counties administered along feudal lines: Ransenar, by far the most affluent and educated County hosting the bulk of Goldshirian nobility as well as its capital of Goldshire Hamlet; Ynnraile, the largest and most culturally important County serving as the source of Imperial power and Cedrist spiritual authority over Goldshire; Lunaris, the oldest subdivision of Goldshire and a cherished artistic backwater; and Suthergold, a hitherto barren and ignored land most recently evolving into a society that is best described as arcane steampunk.
Most Goldshirian settlements are villages or small towns, with the exception of a few large Western (Eastern?) cities such as Kingsgate, Cortallia-Rathwood, Demonsfall and Mesior. The topography is largely rolling temperate hill country, flattening to bocage plains in the southeast.
Goldshire is ruled by the Duke with absolute authority. More practically, the Duke assigns the routine governance of portions of the Duchy to zir Counts. The Ducal government concerns itself with the Duchy's strategic direction, the running of important pan-Ducal institutions and liaison with the Shirerithian Imperial government. The largest Ducal institution is the military, which although farmed out to the County Militias in large parts remains combined within a single command structure. Intelligence for the Duke is gathered by a secretive organisation called the Assayers, a relic of the ancient Mercaja dynasty operating nominally as a supervisory office of the Avakair Mint and Bullion Depository. Unfortunately the Assayers are irreverent toward all power including the Duke, and operate entirely unregulated under their own agenda. Their relationship to the Duke is thus complicated and at times downright unreliable, and all attempts to bring them into line have resulted in unfortunate 'consequences' for those involved.
Statute law in Goldshire is written either by Ducal Decree or added to the Codex Aureus, Goldshire's unified statute established by Duke Wintersong. While the power to create or amend said statutes resides solely with the Duke, it is traditionally done so with the private consultations of ordinary Goldshirians and the reception of petitioners.