The Barony of Wolf Point is a peerage title awarded by The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc..
Description of the Barony
The Barony of Wolf Point borders the Crown Preserve of the Olympus Mountain range on the planet Gryphon. It is closest to the second-highest peak in the range, which firmly sets it in the Gryphon Highlands. The peaks within the barony borders are called the ‘5 Wolves’, this means 22% of the barony's land area falls above the treeline. Non-natives and non-Genies may need the assistance of oxygen or may take a few days to acclimate to the altitude. Due to the geography of the barony being on the windward side of the Olympus range, there are only ~85 sunny days with no cloud cover. The rest of the Gryphon year it is cloaked with varying degrees of cloud cover up to and including days of zero visibility fog.
“We shall not oppose the land.”
This motto was adopted after the Highlander uprising and just after the Olympus range was declared crown lands. Due to its closeness to the majestic peaks, it was determined by the then governor that residents would only be able to use local, natural materials to build structures to be harmonious with the land. This was inspired by the ancient Earth city of Valletta, Malta whose residents only used local limestone to make it appear as though the city grew from the native rock. Building interiors of public spaces do try to highlight exposed stone and natural wood, but clever use of smart fabric tapestries help with insulation and acoustics. Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and basements tend toward more modern finishings. This synergy with nature also led to the creation of the artificial Battleship Rock of Wolf Point, and the deepening of the Nav Cave system. (Note: Some critics also gently attribute using only local materials more to the Highlander…’spirit’ of economy. It's expensive to import building materials up to a mountain.)
The Five Wolves
- Medeina - the highest peak creates the rainbreak that provides moisture for the terraced farms in spring and summer
- Lycaon - the winds whip wildly here, and it is zoned as industrial for the wind turbines that the Wolf's Tail Power Company maintains.
- Capitoline - the mountain that the Keep is nestled into which also contains the start of the Nav Cave system. Outpost and the artificial Battleship Rock are part of the slopes.
- Vuk - Has the small village of Oraș înalt built into the steep slopes above the treeline. The village has a standing competition to see who can have the tallest house. This has led to the addition of attics and dormers, one on top of another – sometimes being no larger than a coat closet.
- Ashina - this peak marks the western edge of the Barony. It contains unusually high amounts of exposed Gryphon galena, that on rare sunny days, will take on a slight hue of the sky.
The most prominent entry is called Ústa Zemy or Mouth of Zemy the guardian of the Slavic underworld which is called Nav. The Barony Keep is located at this massive opening and extends into it. When heavy metals were discovered while quarrying the natural stone, the caves were mined much deeper down. The cave system was expanded until it connected to the Dziewanna Spižírna cave system that is in the Barony of Foxglove.
The Howling Keep
Built into the cave system itself. The keep’s aesthetic is based on the juxtaposition of an exposed cave wall and worked walls and floors. While only being a few stories tall above ground, it extends deep into the cave system in a somewhat rambling manner; maze-like in some regards. It was the original Royal Manticoran Army base for the company assigned here. However, none of the original prefab materials remain other than a door to the maintenance area, which is kept for posterity.
In 1831 PD, as the area became more populated, the Eglsaer-Nodmeyer Hospital was moved to its new permanent location and the existing structure was turned into the keep, which is when the main façade was put up. Some rooms were combined to create public areas, and still others were combined to make living quarters. Over time, more administrative departments were opened, and the underground keep structure has exapnded back into the cave.
The main entrance is set not too far back onto the grounds giving it a “lawn” of a few hundred feet. The back entrance is located below the main entrance. There is also an exit into the cave system directly from the Keep.
The cave system gains its name because it was discovered after the renovations concluded in 1865 PD, that for two weeks in the Gryphon fall if the correct doors and windows are open there is a pressure differential between the cooling autumn air and the warm cave air. The sound this emits at night is an eerie low howling sound.
Carved into the side of the mountains are terrace farms, accessible mostly by air car. The main crops are garlic, various potatoes, onions, and mint. A genetically modified goat species was introduced as livestock and roam freely feeding on mosses, lichen, and small rodents. Goat milk, cheese, and meat are a regular staple at the dinner table.
Burroden meadery is a new joint venture between Floxglove and Wolf Point. The mead’s honey comes from the wildflowers from the lowlands in Foxglove where the mead undergoes primary fermentation. Secondary aging takes place in the Wolf Point Nav Cave System, where due to mining there are large, natural temperature-stable areas. The meadery is known for uncommon and unusual flavor combinations and its signature dryness. Double Black Star, Strawberry & Lemon, and F'n Toast (the only truly sweet one) are the most popular. The meadery has also had some ‘less than successful’ varieties, as the staff experiments with local ingredients and fermentation time.
Is the first café that opened in Outpost City. It has been family-owned and operated for the past 157 T-years. It was also the first establishment to start publicly selling local art. This simple act drew more artists to Wolf Point which created studios. Due to the remote location of the barony, the original residents did not have a large variety of things to spend their money on. So while the artists were initially treated as outsiders by the rugged Highlanders, the people of Outpost gradually came to accept the artists. Another factor for this artistic acceptance may have been due to the already existing rich tradition of Petrykivka (an Old Earth traditional Ukrainian decorative painting style) in Wolf Point.
Over time, Petrykivka has merged with Graffiti art to create a highly unique fusion of style. In time, a law was passed that if you submit a proposal you can attain a permit to paint in the Nav cave system. This has created ever-evolving murals that extend for miles and often blend into one another.
Rock Locked Data Storage
The old Royal Mineral Collections Company mine, defunct for about 200 T-years when funding dried up, left a large amount of tunnels in the Nav system. It was then suggested to excavate further into this unusually tectonically stable area to set up the long-term data storage company Rock Locked Data Storage.
For truly sensitive data, customers can choose the premium security package, where two data drives are striped and separated. One goes to the Rock Locked Storage facility on an asteroid in the Unicorn belt and one is sent to the asteroid belt of Gregor B which is located within the Barony of Hohenheim in the Andermani Empire. Two dedicated dispatch boats, which were acquired from the Imperial Andermani Navy, shuttle between the two sites with dedicated Merchant Marine crews.
Unicorn Belt Stake.
The barony holdings include a 1% share in the Unicorn Belt. No mining rights have been extended to the barony at this time, but building rights have been. Currently, an old Royal Geological Survey station serves as the habitat in the area. Both a Jade East and Giancolla's Restaurant have opened cafes there. These are frequented mostly by Royal Manticoran Merchant Marine and Royal Manticoran Astro Control Service crews who need a break or as a layover site if there are traffic issues with Vulcan Station.
The Veiled Caldera
This massive 4-kilometer caldera sits in the middle of the border between the Baronies of Wolf Point and Foxglove. The Battleship Rock juts out into the caldera. The caldera routinely contains a wavy fog year-round until the sun burns it off. There is a 4-meter-long, 6-meter-wide, and 2-meter-thick obsidian rock set into the middle of the caldera. It was dragged there at some point but by whom is long forgotten.
The Black Rock
This massive piece of obsidian has sat in the center of the caldera for 400 years. In that time, it has served as an unusual give-and-take art installation. That is to say that glass artists have regularly taken a piece of the rock and/or returned to fuse glass to it. Locals deeply frown upon and will refuse service to tourists who just show up and attempt to take a piece. This has resulted in individuals being asked to pay their bill and leave, and guides into the caldera declining service to those who talk about taking pieces off the rock.
Once every year for 2 weeks the fog lifts and the clouds clear from the caldera. This is in the early spring. During this time, the baronies of Foxglove and Wolf Point come together and hold a combined artist event that attracts a wide range of artisans and craftspeople to it. By tradition, everyone who attends must bring some wood from winter that wasn't burned. This wood is then taken by the firemaster who builds something with it. This structure is then decorated and used by all. On the final night, it is burned to ashes in a closing celebration. Interestingly, the burning of the structure is the only guaranteed event – no other meetings or seminars are formally scheduled. The event is therefore a freeform of artics expression and sharing.
A tent city crops up during this time in a ‘somewhat’ structured fashion that creates thoroughfares. No money is ever exchanged on-site. People are expected to bring what they need and take it all back with them. The lights, fires, music, and colors create a dizzying environment that, at night, turns the whole caldera into a prismatic shining bowl of chaos and beauty. It is a volunteer-run, non-profit event that is truly not to be missed.
The most recent expansion in Wolf Point, Outpost City stretches from the artificial Battleship Rock that juts into the caldera to the keep's grounds and rolling along the contours of the Capitoline western and Southwestern face. Originally designated Royal Outpost 85 by the RMA, its location near the Olympus range led to it being used more by RMA search and rescue teams for lost hikers, climbers, and spelunkers. Its remoteness and the steady increase in tourism necessitated the expansion of the medical services into a full-blown hospital. Thus Eglsaer-Nordmeyer Hospital was established. The town subsequently grew around it.
EN hospital steered away from becoming a medical ‘resort’ as the local highlanders viewed that as "posh". Instead, EN has evolved into a premier trauma center focused on stabilizing more than convalescence. As the small town grew into a city, it developed a labor, delivery, and postpartum department. Over time the original settlement was incorporated as a town and briefly changed its name to Western Face, but the locals always called it Outpost or the Outpost. Once it grew further and the Battleship Rock was carved out for building materials, it grew beyond just being a hospital town. The hospital became a teaching hospital, and then the medical college grew. Artists also started to move in as, though it was remote and expensive to get to, it was very cheap to live there.
The spaceport is mostly primarily used for medical transport and local traffic but there is a twice-daily service to Vulcan Station, as well as planetary commuters to larger ports with more direct passage off planet, in what one would call in the pre-diaspora a "regional airport". Most people in Outpost just hop a transport to Foxglove's Space Port which has regular direct connections through the terminus. Air rescue is a primary job with a fleet of small to medium transports for medical needs at the ready.
85% of the flight crew for these vehicles are either in the reserve or retired from Foxglove’s own Aerospace unit. They train in these skies and know the land well. As such, strict approach vectors are maintained to keep the skies clear for training and medical search and rescue – as well as to maintain the semblance of remote isolation.
Status of RMA
Given the terrain and that most search and rescue is done by the EN hospital staff and flight crews, the Royal Manticoran Army (RMA) had planned to decommission the local unit by 1877 PD due to lack of need. However, given that much of the infrastructure was built by the Army Engineers, the RMA was never fully able to transition all of the maintenance, civic projects, and construction to civilian companies. This was partially due to the remoteness and cost of setting up operations in the area, and partly due to the Army Engineers "just know how it all works". Thus the Engineers where split off and a school was established. All public services, construction and utilities are maintained by the RMA.
Due to an old fear of avalanches, an ordinance was passed that prohibits amplified music in public venues. The ordinance specifically states that amplified music is identified as any music whose volume is enhanced by electronic means or by replication of an instrument more than twice playing the same notes for more than the majority of the piece. Public venues are identified as places that serve food and beverages that the patron did not bring themselves or are served to patrons by staff. Thus two practices have developed. First, acoustic music in small groups is common at cafes and taverns, and second, any event where music is played electronically is a buffet-style potluck. Humorously, the keep's grounds are not exempt from this.
Wolf Point is the single largest importer of an Old Chicago liqueur called Malört, where it is consumed more than anywhere else in the galaxy … outside of Chicago itself. It is said when the evening’s allotment of Malört runs dry at the Keep, it is usually a sign to retire for the evening, as it can get a little weird after that. Every tavern and café has a supply of Malört.