County of Vandarcôte
View of Gabion
Vandarcôte highlighted in red within Yonderre
|Settled by Khovihnihk tribes||2th century|
|Conquered by Goths||8th century|
|Conquered by the Order of the Obsidian Sparrow||1461|
|Founded de facto||1462|
|Raised to county de jure||1574|
|• Total||232,510 km2 (89,773 sq mi)|
|• Density||88/km2 (230/sq mi)|
Küstländer (East Gothic)
While Vandarküste is widely used by the East Gothic-speaking population of Yonderre it is never used in official documentation, where the county is instead referred to as "Grafschaft Vandarcôte"
Vandarcôte (East Gothic: Vandarküste) is one of Yonderre's nine counties. At 89,773 square miles it is the largest of the Yonderian counties, and with a population of 20,402,143 it is also the most populous, being home to more than a fifth of Yonderre's total population.
Situated on the South coast of the Vandarch, Vandarcôte borders Donne County to the South-West, the capital region of Collinebourg to the South, Vollardie County to the South-East and the sovereign state of the Imperial Federation of Gibet to the West.
The Origin of Vandarcôte's Burgoignesc name is derived from its geographical location, being an amalgamation of Vandarch and "côte", "coast". The same is true of Vandarcôte's East Gothic name Vandarküste, being an amalgamation of Vandarch and "küste", "coast".
Pre-historic and Khovihnihk Vandarcôte
There is archaeological evidence to support Khovihnihk settlments in Vandarcôte as early as the 2nd century. While seemeingly less prone to erect Kurgans than their Vollardic kinsmen, excavations of some of the Kurgans that are present in Vandarcôte have yielded precious metals, pottery, items of clothing and nautical wreckage suggesting that the Khovs of Vandarcôte had established trade with Great Levantia. Archaeological digs suggest that the Khovihnihk tribes who inhabited Vandarcôte lived in tribal village societies along the region's rivers and on the coast.
During the 660s the semi-legendary Gothic Chieftain Will of Wandsberg led a host of armed men into Vollardie, entering from the Southern mountain passes. This Gothic invasion saw countless refugees fleeing Vollardie, settling down in Vandarcôte instead. This caused tension between the pre-established Khovihnihk tribes of the region and the Vollardic tribes, and Khovihnik infighting sprung up sporadically. The woodlands of much of Vandarcôte became lawless bandit territories where not even Gothic raiding parties would enter without serious numbers.
Sometime in the 8th century, a Gothic host invaded coastal Vandarcôte from Vollardie. The Khovs, weakened from decades of infighting, were little match for the Goths and were driven out of their lands in a matter of only a few years. The woodlands of western Vandarcôte would continue to be home to Khovinihk bandits for decades to come however, mounting occasional raids into Gothic Vandarcôte.
Following their conquest of Vandarcôte, the Goths settled down in Vollardie. They established themselves in the villages abandoned by the Khovihnihk tribes and continued to mount raids into Khovihnihk lands further West along the coast of the Vandarch. Coinage discovered in archaeological digs suggest the Goths of Vandarcôte owed their allegiance to Gothic Vollardie until at the very earliest the mid 11th century when coins were minted in Vandarcôte depicting a local ruler, Widukind of Eber. It is also thought that the Vandarcôtic Goths established trade with the Holy Levantine Empire around this time. Gothic scribe Dan Lärdmann attests in his Chronica Gothica that the Goths of the region were known as the Wodar.
The Goths of Vandarcôte lived not too unlike the Khovihnihk tribes who had preceded them, residing in villages on the rivers and coastline of the region. The Goths also erected hundreds of burial mounds, rivaling those of Gothic Vollardie in scale and elaborateness of construction. A force of roughly 1,500 Wodar were present at the disastrous battle at Willersthal in 1458 during the Crusader invasion, almost all of whom were killed in the battle and rout that followed. The Crusaders began their push to the sea in 1460, and had conquered most of the coastline by 1462.
Early Crusader Vandarcôte
Immediately upon conquering Vandarcôte, the Crusaders began their construction of keeps and fortified houses in strategic locations. Hubert de Banor, a Bergendii minor noble of Estian origin and Knight of the Order of the Obsidian Sparrow, was installed as the first Steward of Vandarcôte in 1462. Around the river Eberre he built his keep Gabion Castle, around which the city of Gabion subsequently grew.
Trade was established with the surrounding Crusader realms that made up Joanusterre as well as with the Kingdom of Magnia-Gabben in 1475. Vandarcôte was raised to County-status in 1574, co-inciding with the raising of Yonderre to a Duchy by the Papacy.
As with all of Yonderre, Vandarcôte consists of mostly East Goths and Bergendii people. According to the 2030 Popular Survey of Yonderre, Vandarcôte's ethnic makeup of East Goths is slightly lower than the national average of 75%, coming in at 73%, Bergendii making up the majority of the remaining 27%.
According to the 2030 Popular Survey of Yonderre, 52% of Vandarcs report themselves as identifying chiefly with Gothic culture, whereas 43% of Vandarcs report themselves as identifying chiefly with Bergendii culture. This differs from the national average of 56% and 39%, respectively.
Ingrid of Dansberg (1441 – 1514), Countess of Yonderre
Thomas Dolque (born 1996), music producer
Gilles de Gabion, (1521 – 1599), Knight of the Realm and mercenary in the Great Confessional War
Charles Giroud (born 1959), lead singer of Crusaders
Henri de Famichez (1519 – 1602), Knight of the Realm and mercenary in the Great Confessional War
Alexandre Veiquoppe (born 1997), music producer