Dear Princess Celestia,

It is much to my regret that I cannot remain at this fascinating island. The growing tensions between your royal highnesses seem to have caused the native ruling body to become less than hospitable, and I fear for my life.

As this likely will be the last record of the state for some time I want to put down as much detail as I can about Trotsylvania, its political state, and its economy so that when we hopefully resume trade, we will be familiar with their own small nation.

Despite its small population, the economy is impressive, focusing on the export of valuable metals and salts, including Platinum, Gold, Silver, Nickel, and over a dozen kinds of chemical salts. It then uses these riches to employ its various Counts and their underlings in large projects, such as buildings, or the manufacture of weapons, leading to a heavily developed feudal society. As Trotsylvania is quite small, land is of supreme importance to the state, since it entirely dictates who has access to the valuable minerals. There is often significant conflict within their society over who has rights to the land, which is often settled with personal combat between the various Counts.

Despite the barbaric practice, the leadership in Trotsylvania is very stable, with some kind of Lord sitting above the Counts, who have their own hierarchy for their minions and subjugated creatures. Unfortunately I have been unable to identify the Lord, as he/she has been very secretive. According to one of the Counts, Count Corundum, the current Lord is tall, twice the height of any of the counts, and a unicorn. While it is disappointing that I could not even identify the sole ruler of the land. It is extremely likely that such a ruler will be deceased in the future, as the emphasis on conflict and personal strife leads me to believe that nopony could remain ruler for long, despite the longevity of some of these creatures. Count Corundum was mentioned in my grandpony's writings, and even his grandpony's, leading me to believe that the Count is over 300 years old.

Currently there are 10 or so major Counts, with a few dozen others of hardly any political significance: Corundum, Agate, and Chrome, are the three I have been in most contact with, and are called the Stud Faction by some of the other Counts, likely a remark on the valuable trappings and clothing they wear. Another faction doesn't have a name, but is focused on personal combat, fighting among themselves for almost any trivial reason. These include Count Lunacy, Greatwing, Icen,.....

The letter blots in a few areas, making the rest of this section unreadable.

...This brings me to the current Lord who I cannot identify, which I suspect will remain the case. I suspect the current Lord has his own faction within the Vampony hierarchy, but I have not seen any signs of it. I apologize but I feel like I have not been very helpful to you Princess Celestia.

The geography of Trotsylvania is rugged, with rolling hills and mountains throughout the area of the island, with many manors and castles scattered across the hills. In-between these places of government are dense forests, far thicker than Everfree Wood back home. Each of these manors has a village or town that services it and the residential Count, farming his land, or operating mines. Despite the comparatively large number of ponies living on the island, they are largely in thrall to the much fewer Vamponies, working their respective Count's fields. Despite their enslavement, the ponies appear to be safe from the rampant conflict throughout the Vampony society, with all conflict taking place between the two counts. The soil of Trotsylvania is phenomenal, having a year long growing season, as even though ice caps some of the taller mountains, the green valleys below are not threatened by frost. As much as I enjoy gardening, I found there were few vamponies who shared my interest, one foal was keen to learn, saying that he wanted to learn everything there was, but I think my departure to Equestria will put those lessons on hold for a long time...

Weather in Trotsylvania deserves a special mention, as many of my first reports made mention of, the weather is almost perpetually foggy, even when on top of one of the high peaked castles the fog is omnipresent. It also makes sailing a hazardous affair. I have seen the wrecks of many a vessel dotting the coast, and it is strongly recommended for anyone sailing near the embassy be very careful. The island of course has its share of rain, but inland is surprisingly safe from squalls on account of the hills and mountains.

This sums up my final report on Trotsylvania. I hope that this letter reaches you expediently, while I make my voyage home.

Sincerely Sharp Briar

Additonal Notes For Spearmint's journey

Geography, topographical map thanks to Countess Nindar

Trotsylviana is a rather hilly region. Thick forest cover the majority of the land but are dotted with meadows and valleys At the center of the map, with snow on some of the upper edges, is a large mountain with a lake in the center, definitely a caldera. Labeled "The Lonely Mist" this would serve as the major reference point on a clear day. Radiating outwards from this center mountain are several rivers, these flowing down the mountainside across rolling plains and valleys towards the western coast. The eastern coast though, looks nearly inaccessible, a thick band of mountains covering the entire eastern shore, narrowing as they reach the southern shore. The western side of these mountains forms a valley with The Lonely Mist, forming a large crescent shaped valley. The western shore looks far more habitable, with lush forests and less severe hills.

(Because a picture is worth a thousand words....)