|— County of Sorrenia —|
|Motto: Strength while unseen|
|- Total||27 km2 (10.4 sq mi)|
|Website||Map of Sorrenia|
Ertawa is a county in the Durham Area of the Kingdom of Sorrenia. Ertawa began life as a non-contiguous part of Sorrenia, centred around the village of Brancepeth and a plot of forest owned by the President's family used for military training. Over time, Ertawa came to encompass Langley Moor and the surrounding area, joining it up with mainland Sorrenia.
The origin of the name is unknown, but is believed to be entirely artificial.
The flag is a simple horizontal tricolour, with black on the outside (to represent the deep undergrowth found in the state) and blue on the inside (to represent Caliph's Gill, a stream that runs through the county).
Prior to Sorrenia
Almost the entirety of Ertawa is either forested or farmland, and as such the area has only hosted a significant settlement since the Industrial Revolution.
Perhaps the most noteworthy settlement is Brancepeth, a village centred around Brancepeth Castle, initially a norman motte-and-bailey which was rebuilt in 1570 by the Neville Earls of Westmorland and then again in the 19th century by Viscount Boyne. The castle was later used as a military hospital.
Now, Langley Park can be found to the east, a town centered around the old colliery.
Ertawa was founded as a territory of Sorrenia and was the country's smallest territorial claim, as it consisted of no more than several acres of woodland, owned by the president's family. Ertawa however became an important territory as it was regularly used by the Sorrenian military for training exercises.
Over time, the claim of Ertawa was extended to include settlements such as Brancepeth and joined contiguous Sorrenia.
War of the Sorrenian Succession
Ertawa was mostly untouched by the war due to its small population. Towards the end however, Morgannwg forces invaded and occupied areas of the state, but were pushed back just one day later.
Kingdom of Sorrenia
The growth of military infrastructure in Sacriston and Bernicia has sapped the importance of Ertawa which was historically reliant upon the military. Nonetheless, Caliph's Wood is still used both for military exercises and private entertainment.
Ertawa votes consistently for the monarchist parties in Sorrenia, especially the Old Monarchists who are often seen to represent the rural population more effectively.
The Republicans see some slight support from Langley Park, although the town still overwhelmingly votes for the monarchists.
Historically, Ertawa was less politically divisive than other states and tended to act as a marginal state; some argue that the invasion from Morgannwg and subsequent Sorrenian victory by King Ronald I converted many to the monarchist cause.
|Ertawa (June 2018)|
Caliph's Wood is a spruce woodland where extensive naturalisation together with selected broadleaf planting has made for an interesting and more natural woodland.
Sycamore, elder, beech and oak soften the edges of the wood, whilst within, colonising birch are well established. Where shafts of light pierce the canopy, fern and sorrel carpet the needle litter in a verdant splash of colour.
An overnight camp in the level glade is not to be missed. As the evening quiet descends a wide variety of birdsong reveals the many species settling down for the night.
A small seasonal stream, Caliph's Gill, bisects the wood in a shallow valley, emerging into the farmed landscape. From the vantage point of the wood edge are wide and far-reaching views across and up and down the valley holding Stockley Beck below.
Excellent conservation and management opportunities present themselves as do nature watching and outdoor recreation.
In times gone by the Roman legions marched a hairsbreadth away, as they headed north on Dere Street, to Hadrian's Wall and the Pictish lands beyond. Nearby Brancepeth Castle was subject to many changes of ownership as the monarchy changed and old allegiances went sour. More recently, wealth from Durham's coal enabled a more settled future for this fine building.
Access is from Wolsingham Road which runs along the northern boundary, there is a gate into a parking area in the wood. From here recently cut paths give access to the heart of the wood, the stream and farmland boundary.
This part of Co. Durham is characterised by gentle valleys with open fields and expansive vistas, the nearest village, Brancepth has plenty of fine buildings including the grand Brancepeth Castle. Nearby is Dere Street Roman Road the line of which passes close to the wood.
• Caliph's Wood - a training base for the Sorrenian military, regularly used for camping and expeditions
• K9 Rehabilitation Centre - a farm, where a battle between Guevarists and a farmer took place
• Brancepeth Manor - a large manor located close to Caliph's Wood
• Brancepeth Castle - a castle originally built by the Normans and used for a wide array of purposes