Kingdom of Aigle
Capital: Itul (ˈī-dœl)
Ruler: Queen Sietske of House Jageris
Languages Spoken: Aigelan, Talan
Primary Races: Human, halfing, dwarf
Forged in a 400 year war with their sister kingdom Courfe and tempered by time and tradition, the Aiglean are a resilient people whose nation has produced some of the world’s best steel and soldiers.
City-State of Amsträd, aka The Dark Island, Magic’s Haven
Capitals: Geletvok, Strachia, Tussen
Ruler: The Serilean Cabal, comprised of Lyria Valdesti, Neseris ri Svae, Kartrum Tal, Devon Siroth, Drisel of the Horizon, Therik, Samuu Deui, Kri’zan Wildstalker, Sa’jai Iterus
Languages Spoken: Amsträde dialect of Mütvian
Primary Races: No primary race
The Serilean Cabal
is simply known Ruling over each of the three capital cities, the Cabal is comprised of nine masters of the arcane arts. Each is elected though unanimous vote to their position after careful review.
Each Cabal member has a lifetime tenure or until they wish to retire. To date, no Cabal member has ever retired of their own choice.
Minister of Defense
A quiet and studious master of abjuration, Master Siroth oversees the wards and protective auras of Amsträd.
Adventures: The Five & The Black Wraith
When a creature known only as The Black Wraith left several villages devoid of life, it caught the attention of the Cabal. Neseris and Siroth were dispatched by the Cabal to investigate. Neseris was found to be powerless against the life-draining abilities of the Wraith, however, and returned to Amsträd.
Siroth joined forces with four powerful individuals to banish the Wraith from the material plane for a time being.
Visions from Minister Iverus state the Black Wraith has returned, something that has caught the attention of Siroth once more.
Amsträd & The Interregnum
At the end of the Fourth Age as the Inner North Sea began to swell at the beginning of the Interregnum, Siroth conjured a protective shell around all of Amsträd as it sank to the floor of the sea.
Drisel of the Horizon
Minister of Witches
Born of fey and human, Drisel resisted the Call of the blood early on by escaping to various planes of existence. This exposed her young mind to vast different realities of material existence which changed her view of life around her. As a result, she was dismissed as insane throughout her youth.
Word of her plane-travelling ability caught the attention of the Cabal. Under illusory disguise, Minister Samuu investigated the youth but was found out by Drisel upon first viewing.
Today, Drisel heads up the Witches College which trains those interested in occult magics.
Drisel is a master of conjuration and has the ability to teleport between planes seemingly at will. She often has a small air elemental she considers her best friend. Others say it is nothing more than a familiar.
Either way, the prankster air elemental almost always preceeds Drisel’s appearance.
Minister of Information
The nation of Sta’abri is a breeding ground for proven masters of magic. Each of the sixteen major tribes has within it a sa’jai, or a leader, one who has mastered a facet of the closely guarded secrets of the primordial elemental magics. Sa’jai Iterus is one such master, though this sa’jai of the White Bison would not say they have mastered anything.
Iterus was born of the White Bison tribe in southeast Sta’abri. Throughout life, they were always quiet and took it for granted their visions of the future were something normal. To Iterus’ tribe, however, the young shaman student was already a master of divination. To the Sta’abrians, Iterus was an avatar of the Sun (the element that oversees divination). Able to see the truth in all things, Iterus was sought after by many for their advice.
As one of the shaman leaders of their local clan, Iterus provided information about nearby Scarred Hand movements that many denied as impossibilties. Yet it was this information that saved the tribe. Those who had known Iterus since childhood brought the divinations to the White Bison tribal warlord who sent out scouts to verify it. When it came back that the Scarred Hand was indeed weilding magics from dark sources and rapidly approaching, the information of how to defeat their enemy was used. Many Scarred Hand were captured and no White Bison died.
Iterus was a natural successor to the position of Sa’jai of White Bison, and they remained in that position for 43 years. In the latter half of their tenure, visions of the apocalyptic Interregnum plagued Iterus’ mind. While many refused to believe the world would come to an end within the next generation at the hands of the death goddess Fayan, the prophecies got the attention of the Cabal. Iterus was immediately provided a safe forum for their divination powers, though Iterus maintains the information is for the world, not just Amsträd.
When Iterus was initially received by the Cabal, it was Neseris who met with them. Neseris recorded the sa’jai’s visions and many years later would use them for his own purposes. Though the Interregnum was caused by his actions, Iterus’ visions did prevent “the greatest hunt of all mortality” wherein all mortals would have been slain at the hands of Fayan and the god of magic and manipulation, Ysara. Using the information destroyed many of the centers of knowledge, something Neseris despised, but spared the life of countless billions.
Life as a Minister
While Iterus is still the sa’jai leader of the White Bison tribe, their words are often sought after by the Cabal who have conferred the title of Minister of Information upon the reluctant prophet.
Through the Cabal, Iterus’ visions have been delivered to various cities, nations, and countries with great effect.
Minister of Education
Kartrum Tal has been a leader of the Cabal longer than any. Aside from being a master enchanter, Tal is also known for his rather charismatic personality exhibited during a continent-wide “tour” of his writings and lectures on enchantment. This has been a topic of debate for the other Cabal members. as the tour has removed him from Cabal duties for over a year.
The Death of Sharrot Koral
Sharrot Koral was the wife of Kartrum Tal and former student of Neseris.
During a research project, she suffered grievous wounds at the hands of an unknown spiritual entity that left her incapacitated. Kartrum and Neseris attempted a wide variety of cures, notably the transference of her soul into a clone which was unsuccessful.
After Sharrot’s death, Kartrum discovered Neseris had fallen in love with his former student. During her illness, it was found that Neseris had purposefully prolonged her life only to better preserve her soul for transference into a blade he now wears at his side.
Neseris soon departed permanent residence in Amsträd. It is publicly unknown if his departure from Amsträd is related to Sharrot’s death.
Minister of the Interior
A universalist, this Mütvia-born wizard oversees all operations related to Amsträd’s infrastructure. Her efforts have increased Amsträd’s tourism trade where visitors to any of the three magical capital cities may gape and be awed by the self-cleaning streets thanks to animated brooms, self-lighting street lamps, and spiritual tour guides.
The Wolf’s Smile
Behind the cheerful exterior, there exists a demon in the literal sense.
Lyria was first possessed by the demon Jaros as a child after a violent attack by her drunken father. As Lyria lay there bleeding, the demon offered retribution. The girl agreed and the father was slain by the girl’s own demon-possessed hands.
Lyria has been possessed several times since, but her wit seems to overcome Jaros’ own to the point where she can be possessed and control the demon.
Today, the Cabal understands her “condition” but out of fear of another hearing their politics and secrets, Lyria is prevented from attending the Cabal’s more sensitive meetings.
Instead, Lyria may be encountered on the streets of any of the three major cities hunting for unwelcome outsiders guided by the now-controlled Jaros.
Former Minister of Justice
Possibly the most notorious of Evindale inhabitants, Neseris is a Sadrath’il from Deleran whose unending quest to master all forms of magic has caused him quite the reputation.
Though members of the Cabal will not openly state why, Neseris holds only a temporary position within Amsträd’s government and spends most of his time within a delapitated tower in southeast Mütvia with only occasional visits to the city-state.
Only in times of dire need does the Cabal call upon Neseris, and often they are loathe to do so.
Neseris’ origins are clouded in mystery with several stories about him floating around:
- He is actually an italti, a mortal empowered and corrupted by, as well as a witness to, the divine magics released into the world upon the death of Evin at the end of the First Age.
- He served as a councillor to Queen Malana, the founder of the Slindari Kingdom.
- Neseris’ true name is lost to the ages, but ancient texts refer to a powerful magic-user called “Nesaureous” who existed in the Second Age, or the Age of Chaos and God-Kings.
- Upon attaining mastery in all forms of magic he challenged Ysara, a selfish god of manipulation and magic. The price of his hubris was a curse which lasts to this day.
- He was actually the haughty leader of an adventuring group who was kicked through a portal to hell where he learned his powers of soulforging.
- He is so old his original body has long since vanished. His actual form is now a faceless gray-cloaked wraith which he hides through powerful illusions.
Neseris, the Tunbrian
At the end of the Third Age, Neseris served as Minister of Defense to then Tunbrian Emperor Tallis. There he gained lands as payment for his service and became Duke of Svae, a parcel of land fertile in northern Tunbria.
He still claims his Tunbrian title, “ri Svae” despite living in southeastern Mütvia at the end of the Fourth Age.
Soulforging and the Soul Forge Law
As Minister of Justice, Neseris was responsible for introducing the Soul Forge Law. In short, any person found guilty of heinous crimes in Amsträd would face execution with their soul extracted beforehand and prevented from reaching the afterlife.
While their body was cremated, their soul would be forged into a physical creation.
Neseris and several other Cabal members are said to have several pieces of furniture composed of the silent and conscious souls of those who will forever pay the price of their crimes.
Minister of Culture
A native of Nudvríu, Deui is known for his mastery of illusion, something that has been used to great effect in the defense of the country as well as providing entertaining shows for the populace.
College of Witches
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Kingdom of Courfe
Ruler: King Perise of House Theian
Languages Spoken: Courfen dialect of Aigelan, Talan
Primary Races: Human, dwarf, elf
Eternal Imperial State of Cultrek
Cultrek is a seeming exercise in extremes. No town or village within Cultrek has a population over 2000, but its great walled port capital boasts over 1.75 million. Its barren landscapes to the north provide little in terms of agriculture, but the fertile fields and hunting grounds of the south can feed the entire nation two times over. Within the capital’s walls, strict laws prohibit any action that may result in the harm of another. Yet the infamous Black Market outside its gates engages in some of the most heinous, violent, and legally permissible crimes against its citizenry. The entire country serves at the pleasure of a secular imperial line, yet a single theocratic premier of any god, including evil deities, is elected once every five years to oversee the country. It stands as a center of education, science, magic studies, and merchant guilds while its populous count as some of the most ignorant and illiterate people. Perhaps as a matter of course, Cultrek also stands as a hub of adventure given its promotion of mercenary guilds and the far east of the country which is still home for the world’s most craven monsters.
Capital: Cultrek City
Ruler: Exalted Emperor Namlausmak; Premier Arif Akut, Cleric 16 of Eddamar
Languages Spoken: Asklen dialect of Ivirial, Ivirial
Primary Races: Human, dwarf, tirfolk
Wiseate of Deleran
Pronunciation: WHEE-zah-tay, DEL-uh-rahn
Capital: Wyth Thri’il
Ruler: Wisate Council
Languages Spoken: Elven
Primary Races: Elf
Stats: Thrilia Dax, Capital City
NG Small City
Corruption 0; Crime 0; Economy +2; Law +2; Lore* +4; Society +5
Qualities Animal Polyglot, Magically Attuned, Racially Intolerant (human), Strategic Location
*Add Lore modifier to Handle Animal checks
Government Utopian Experiment
Population 6,200 (4,960 elves; 1000 half-elves; 240 other)
Wisate Council (NG elves wizards 5)
Base value 5,200 gp; Purchase Limit 31,250 gp; Spellcasting 9th level
Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 1d6
Godstate of Dra’anan
Capital: Krillia Dax
Ruler: Thrii Dri’il, The Great Lich
Languages Spoken: Dravarese, a distant dialect of Draconic
Primary Races: Sadrath’il (elf), rech, human, orc
Lore: The Land of Scorched Earth
Dra’anan is a land of scorched earth, a nation known for its cruelty. With neighboring nations like the elven lands of Deleran and the august kingdom of Ivari, Dra’anan has managed to stay within its boundaries though rumors of the Dranir (those from Dra’anan) preparing for war in secret locations where scrying cannot penetrate have begun to circulate to the surrounding areas.
Given Dra’anan has the negative reputation of being the killers of the last dragons, their might precedes them. They have no qualms with eradicating anything. Truly, Dra’anan is a land of an oppressed people with dead earth under their feet. Others outside of Dra’anan cannot begin to fathom how they feed themselves so stories of cannibalism and other horrors surround the land.
No fence nor wall prevents anyone from walking in to the country, only border patrols that kill any they don’t recognize keep the security. Its citizens are all conscripted to the country’s military, everyone serves for life and often ends their life in its service.
Dra’anan wasn’t always so, of course. It was once one half of the Wiseate of Deleran, the isolated elven nation where magic floats in the air and the fantastic is everyday occurrence.
It is said Inaralaal the Wise, an ancient elven magus from Delaran, journeyed to its eastern borders into the lush landscape known then as Lyr’ani, or Lands of Green. He had done this for countless centuries as a retreat and in this particular year — though no one knows for sure, loremasters believe it was when Sythlia, the Goddess of Evindale, walked the earth freely and publicly — entered the mountains in the land’s north central region.
The mountains were rumored to be one of the last bastions of the ancient dragonkind, massive beings who could grow so large, their wingspan stretched across the borders of multiple countries. Indeed, the Empire of the Spine is said to have been fashioned from the bones of but one dragon while the Gelehinde Sea between Cultrek and Mutvia was where one dragon had fallen and created a great depression in the ground, allowing the ocean’s waters to pour in.
Inaralaal is said to have found one dragon, a regal creature known only to the elves as Al’raxis, and spent centuries teaching one another their kind’s magics. Inaralaal would one day return and release the magic into the lands of the western countries, creating all at once fantastic beings of incredible power, a land living with magic and a nation more powerful than ever.
Elves are wise, however. With long lifespans, they understand that overtime power may corrupt over time and under the guidance of Inaralaal, the Wiseate of Deleran was formed, a council of ministers from all walks of life that were considered the wisest of their region. Inaralaal was appointed the Wisest of All and tasked with guiding this new council to ensure the land remained uncorrupted.
Deleran would indeed prosper and become a powerful nation of natural magics. The land and its people prospered but Al’raxis grew lonely once more without its friend Inaralaal with whom he had grown accustomed to sharing.
Inaralaal was not the only one with knowledge to share with or gain from dragons, however. From the lands to the southeast came Vaurain, a relatively young but very experienced adventurer, one of Evindale’s first ever. Many stories were written and told about him for countless generations of creatures from all over. So much time has passed since the time of Vaurain that each species claims him as their own.
Vaurain had found a wondrous artifact from lands beyond the reach of most mortals and having heard of the endless wisdom of Al’raxis, he journeyed into the eastern lands of Deleran to seek out the dragon’s wisdom of how this object can be used for the betterment of all. Though it took many years, Vaurain eventually did find Al’raxis. At first, the dragon was leery of this newcomer just as he had been with Inaralaal several centuries earlier. But eager for companionship, Al’raxis agreed to speak with Vaurain about the artifact.
Many years passed and knowledge was shared. Word of the artifact’s presence in eastern Deleran piqued the curiosity of the Wiseate and before long, Inaralaal journeyed once more to his old friend’s home.
When he arrived he found both Vaurain and the artifact were gone, that Al’raxis had already given the younger one the information he needed about the artifact. Inaralaal asked what the artifact could do but Al’raxis would not answer. Inaralaal where Vaurain and the artifact had gone, but Al’raxis would not answer. Inaralaal asked where Vaurain had come from but again, Al’raxis would not answer. All the dragon replied with was “For the betterment of all.”
Self-tasked with this same mission to protect all, Inaralaal and the Wiseate sought out Vaurain and the artifact but they lost his trail in the mountains of what would be Dra’anan.
The searched for him and asked of their barbarians neighbors to the east. They said “No, we’ve not seen such a powerful being pass through here.” They continued further into the lands of wolves and they said, “No, but if we did, we’d keep him as ours.” They continued to the sands of the east and inquired of the dunes traders and they said, “No, but we have not seen such on our journeys.” And so to the north and south, further east and west did the Wiseate search. They never found Vaurain.
Now, though, the people of the world were informed of Vaurain’s powerful item so they sought its knowledge as well. From all over they traveled to the eastern lands of Deleran, stumbling into the mountains in search of a dragon with answers. Inaralaal and the Wiseate turned many of these people away from the lush lands but the more they turned away, the more came. Neverending waves of people came, many of whom did not understand the precarious nature of the land he had helped create. They carved new paths in the mountains to evade Inaralaal’s magical borders. They dug under the land to escape the eyes of the Skywarders. Inaralaal knew nothing could hold them back so he commanded the land to turn against the invaders. The mountains rose and crushed the people, the rivers swelled and grew light so everything was drowned. The earth erupted and dragged surface creatures under.
Al’raxis felt the earth soak up the blood of so many. He looked down under his mighty paw and saw the ground turn rusty red. He looked out and saw across all that the land and the people who had come to see him dying.
When the dragon took to flight, the sun was blocked out and darkness enshrouded the land. He saw Inaralaal and his Wiseate sending legions of people to their death in the plains and fields, mountains and hills of the very land he swore to protect. He asked the elf, “why have you done this?” Inaralaal responded, “because they are destroying the land.” The dragon looked around and saw the destruction the elf and his kind had caused. “You must stop this at once,” he commanded. But the elf continued to weave the magic of dragons to cause the land to heave up and swallow all unfit for Deleran.
Al’raxis knew what he must do. He flew to the skies and summoned the power of the sun on the land itself. As he dove back to the earth, the breathed out a gout of sunfire that no mortal — elf or not — could withstand. The people no longer had a land to cross and were therefore safe but Inaralaal and the Wiseate were now nothing but ash and grease. Deleran lost much of its power and the lands of the Dra’anan — “dead soil” in ancient Ivirial — remain scorched to this day.
Some say the power Al’raxis used came from the artifact the mighty Vaurain had brought him. Others say Vaurain and the dragon became one, for no other story about him exists beyond this point in time.
The elves of Deleran recognized their leader’s folly and swore to never abuse magic again. They would keep to their lands to the west, the lands of Deleran. But out of fear of their own power, Deleran never ventured back into Dra’anan to restore the land to a healthy state and because it became a place of death, no one ever set foot on the lands of Al’raxis again.
More time had passed and as nature does, Dra’anan found life once more. People who had been banished from their own homes for whatever reason found solace in the dead soil of Dra’anan and one by one, communities rose up. Where they could, they fed off of unusual creatures and drank from unusual waters. The land started to take on a life of its own. Time had passed and massive cities sprang up in the mountains, finding underground rivers for their water supply.
From a terrible land rose a terrible power. Called Thri’drill (“twice lived” in Ivirial), it tapped into the land’s memory of death and destruction. Under its command, Dra’anan quickly rose in power until it became a nation unto itself.
Thri’drill sent emissaries to the leaders of surrounding nations, twisted beings whose forms were a mockery of their former race. They delivered the message that Dra’anan would rise to power one day and claim all lands surrounding it. They would say nothing more.
No one knows what this Thri’drill truly is or what it wants. But the nation now prepares for a war unlike the world has ever seen.
Dra’anan was said to be populated mostly by humans and elves in the early days and now we see humans with elven features and elves with human features but not quite the equal mix needed to create a half-elf.
Regardless of their lineage, though, most Dranir have darker flesh tones like that of the Talan but their elven lineage is pronounced with angular and chiseled features.
Another race is said to exist within Central Barrens of Dra’anan, the slave race of The Rech. Misshapen in body and deformed in spirit, dull of wit but of hearty constitution, the Lords of the Dranir push them mercilessly onward as slaves in the construction of the Dranir cities, tunnels and more.
Others within Dra’anan come from all over, seeking refuge from their country’s laws. Others still only have the hope of one day the land returning to its former glory.
Unknown Lands of Drak Kamor, The Land of Giants
Pronunciation: DRAHK KAH-moor
Capital: Unknown, if any
Languages Spoken: Multiple variations of Old Draconic
Primary Races: Tirfolk, other humanoid races
Evin, Isle of
Eternal Lands of Spring, Home to the God Mother, Legendary Land of Afterdeath
Pronunciation: ay-VEEN, more commonly as EH-vin
Capital: Unknown, if any
Ruler: Unknown, presumably Sythlia
Languages Spoken: Unknown, none
Primary Races: No known living races
West of Tunbria and south of Deleran lies the Isle of Evin, home to The First Mother Sythlia and according to legend, the souls of the dead.
Soon after The Great Consort was killed by the Iron Blade, Sythlia found herself no longer able to coexist in a land with Death. Instead, she sequestered herself away (though some say banished) to this island of eternal life though no living mortal has ever set foot on the shores or flew above its lands.
Teleportation to or the scrying of the island has nearly always met with failure. In most instances, the caster can expect disappointing results from absolutely nothing to exceedingly vague visions of grass or sand.
On rare occasions, however, casters have found themselves teleported to other planes, or worse, to the vacuum of space. In many other attempts, scrying has been attempted. In one notable instance, the gazer immediately died albeit with a look of wonder on their face.
Equally mysterious but much more common are the daring attempts by those brave enough to attempt broaching its shoreline. Whether by sea, air, or foot, no living creature may pass beyond the laps of water on its shores. A simple and rather unfortunate test of this is to watch any avian creature fly into its reaches only to fade into a cloud of dust.
Magical or psychic means of retrieving items (pebbles, etc.) on the island also similarly fail.
System: % upon teleport or scrying or other effects: 1-98, no effect; 99-00 catastrophic failure
Some oracles with the Curse of Clouded Vision claim they lost their sight after a bold attempt to touch the shores of the Isle. Instead of death, they claim they were granted audience with none other than Sythlia herself and it is she who speaks to them.
There is no denying something or someone powerful resides on the island. When viewed at night, faint lights can be seen moving deep in the interior of the jungles. Whether these are wisps or motes of light from otherworldly beings, no one can say.
Aside from the infrequent appearance of oritel flowers near the shoreline–the rumored evidence of Sythlia’s recet passage—skeptics insist there is no evidence of the God Mother’s residence on the island.
The dead, however, claim something different.
The most persuading proponents of Sythlia’s existence are not the living, but those who have died and been resurrected. Fully 50% of those who have come back tell a tale of being a single blade of grass in an infinite and lush field with rolling hills. Immediately prior to their revival, the recall viewing the grass as the many of those who have passed before and each exist as something much larger than themselves. Indeed, many have claimed a welcoming of unity with someone, something which replaced a need for individuality.
Others have envisioned themselves as drops of water or grains of sand who, in their memories as living individuals, learned to feel apart from that someone upon returning to life.
Note: GMs and DMs are more than welcome to put their own spin on the afterlife, or if adventures continue on the Isle of Evin after mortal life has given the slip.
Whether in the Khaldra’khal Bazaar, the trade markets of Pundesh, or the Four Corners of Cultrek City, there have always been merchants who claim to be in possession of some artifact from the Isle of Evindale.
Only twice in known history has there been actual suspicion of the true nature of some items.
The Perpetual Oritel
Oritel flowers, when found, never last more than 36 hours before rotting hastily and turning to dust. One oritel flower in the possession of the Serilean Cabal of Amsträd has lasted more than 120 years. it was turned over to Drisel of the Horizon who heard of a ship’s cabin boy who touched upon shore and took it with no ill effects.
Blade of Evin
Not a weapon, but a single blade of grass claimed to be have been plucked from the shore of the Isle that carries with it miraculous powers of healing. Any pure water poured over the Blade and drunk immediately thereafter may act as Restoration, Regeneration, Heal, or even True Resurrection/Raise Dead (5e) if poured on the lips of the dead.
The Blade is currently in the possession of the Office of the High Presbyter of Sythlia in Avar, Ivari.
Narrative: Avar, the Capital
A brilliant white sight that seemingly blended into the clouds above Whitehead Falls came into view as the trees of the Southern Road parted. Far above them, vast white round walls sat on either side of the falls, seemingly pressed into the rock of the mountain by some great force.
Their facades, polished stone bricks whose engineering was exact so as to present a single piece of architecture without seam, were only just shy of being flush with the vertical cliff upon which they were nestled. Huge open windows in which small trees were set allowed light and breeze to come into the North and South Under Quarters within the walls. Though not visible from the ground below, a full five stories of such windows existed, giving only a slight rumor of the true size of Avar.
The Southern Road wound its way up the mountainside and with each step the towering majesty of the city was revealed. Three full layers of these massive rounded walls sat atop the other, each one set back to mirror the leaning of the mountain and to reveal the expansive “decks” upon which only a minority of the walled city’s shops sat and yet full 20 score buildings sat on the main level.
Through it all, living water bisected the great city with ornate white stone bridges that crossed the wide chasm below, each of them certainly wide enough to allow traffic of four carriages wide.
The Southern Gate was no less decorative than its northern sister and were vast in size, a reminder of the contents and purpose of the city itself: an honoring to the first beings in Evindale: the goddess Sythlia and her daughter after which the country had been named: Iviria.
A great stone archway revealed Avar’s interior, an archway that once saw the magnificent statue of Evin pass beneath, a monument no less than 50′ tall and a base 30′ wide.
The Upper South Quarter sprawled out before them.
“To think,” Myril said, “this is one half of the main level and it’s a small bustling city in its own right.”
Her eyes, open and wide as they could be, scanned the buildings before her, tremendous constructions of wonderful simplicity that, while large for they housed a maximum of three floors of shops and boutiques, were dwarfed by the seemingly never-ending continuation of the city up. The middle layer rested lazily against the mountain and even then, only the tops of its huge walls — though smaller than that she first saw below — were level with the top. Only the upper layer, the Royal House, sat perched above the city proper and from its vantage point, Myril could only imagine the view of her Elven homeland far to the south. Seres grabbed her by the hand and walked toward the edge of the wall to peer down. The falls, mainly due to the construction of the stone around it, made only a hush of sound as it slipped over the edge. They couldn’t see the falls from where they were but instead only the massive cloud of mist at the bottom. The site was dizzying, perhaps more so than the city, a reminder that Nature trumps all. He shook his head to ground himself and darted between caravans and camels, horses and an endless stream of people to arrive in the main square of the Upper South Quarter. There it sat, a low, squat round building with one side raising a fin to cut the air, its center mirroring the bisection of the city by the river: the Distinel itself. Its size seemed small compared to what loomed above it to the east and what lay before it: the Great Plaza of Evindale, an expanse for public use where many a festival and faire had been held. The Plaza, like the Distinel and the City, was bisected by the river. So were all of the City’s creations. Again, a reminder that Nature overcomes all in time as well as the obvious: no one quarter could possibly claim the city’s greatest treasures.
The Gordex Distenel, Grandastium, and The Fortune's End
Of all the libraries in the world, none may compare to the historical archives of the Gordex Distenel, Avar’s jewel of knowledge.
The massive, circular, low-lying Distenel occupies fully on-third the width of Avar’s Main Plaza. Within its concentric labyrith-like vaulted halls are stored countless scrolls, tomes, books, and items of magic nature that store information.
The Distenel is overseen by a single Grand Archivist who, like all archivists within, are revenants. These waxy-skinned undead humanoids were normal people who, upon dying, were returned to life for reasons only the gods know. Each has had a call to work for eternity within these halls.
The Grand Archivist ensures these revenant scribes and scholars (properly called the Gordex Revenants) organize and copy every scrap of information stored within the Distenel’s walls. It is these copies that are borrowed by the main bulk of visting researchers and scholars while the originals are reserved for only the most trusted of visitors.
Much of the information within the Distenel hails from Evindale’s earlier ages. The real source of its stored knowledge lies within its secretive center chamber, however.
Legends state lying within the unnamed central chamber of the Distenel is the most highly guarded secret in all of Evindale. So secretive, in fact, that only two individuals are permitted within: the Grand Archivist and one Gordex Revenant whose identity is known only to the Gordex Archivist.
What exactly lies within is something of a mystery. The most popular rumor is the Grandastium is a massive magical tome whose pages occupy an extradimensional space. A single quill reportedly records all deeds of note as they happen and only in objective fashion. Needless to say, many world rulers would kill (and have attempted) to gain access to this priceless treasure. None have been successful to date.
This rumor is so widely accepted that it’s now taken as fact and other rumors are quickly put to rest. Nearly every bardic college teaches that the occult magic wielded by their students hails from the Grandastium itself. Furthermore, it is said each song of grand deeds sung by the bards of Evindale makes it in to the book. For that reason, many bardic colleges have instructed their bards to venture into the world, collect tales of adventure and those of significant historical importance so it may be “sung into the book”.
The Small Book Rumor
The source of the Grandastium-as-a-book rumor may come from yet another mystery within Evindale. On occasion, a small book appears on a pedastal within small libraries and archives around the world. If one writes their names and deeds in to this book, it will appear for review and possible entry in to the Grandastium.
While there is no proof this actually occurs, those deeds written in to these small books seem to self-edit incorrect entries. Some even rewrite the entries to make them correct. How this objective knowledge is gained to make these edits is equally unknown, or the identity of the unseen spirit that weilds the quill making such corrections.
The Fortune’s End
Taverns across the world are known hot spots of information. At the end of the day many workers, crafters, scholars, and adventurers alike share a pint and tell tales of their daily efforts to those that would listen. While this happens in nearly all taverns, there is one that never forgets the tales within.
Safeera Orelight is the mystical proprietor and primary barkeep of The Fortune’s End. She’s known far and wide for the ‘End is never found where one seeks it and always when one least expects it. From the tallest of wintery mountain peaks to the lowest of the desert valleys, the ‘End can appear anywhere and it always looks like it’s always been there. If two people of differing nationalities were to describe The Fortune’s End, however, an argument would undoubtedly ensue for the ‘End is as how the viewer expects the most comfortable tavern to appear. It’s even been said the ‘End has appeared as a war galleon in times of trouble.
Aside from the usual price of a meal (always filling) and a drink (always delicious), Safeera will ask the price of a tale from newcomers to the establishment.
These tales (if true) and those involved are said to make it in to the Grandastium. For The Fortune’s End has never been known to appear where it was not needed.
Lands of Lakt Thel
Pronunciation: LAHKT THELL
Capital: Srakt Ungon
Languages Spoken: Laktihh
Primary Races: Tengu
Imperial Kingdom of Malech
Pronunciation: mah-LEKKH, colloquially as Mala (MAH-lah)
Ruler: Emperor Shar Relan
Languages Spoken: Malan
Primary Races: Human, myrad’il (elf), dwarf, half-orc
Stats: Khadra'khal Bazaar
CN Small City
Corruption +3; Crime +4; Economy +5; Law -2; Lore +3; Society +4
Qualities Legendary Marketplace, Notorius, Prosperous, Strategic Location
Population 5200 (3,100 humans; 1,300 Myrad’il; 800 other)
Magistrate Talbot (NG male human ex-paladin 5, cleric 9)
Base value 6800 gp (Black Market Connection: 13600 gp); Purchase Limit 20,000 gp; Spellcasting 7th level
Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 2d4
Locations: Kh'dian Alleys within the Bazaar
The Kh’dian Alleys
Principalities of Mütvia, “The Land of 1,000 Princes”
Capital: None, each principality is autonomous
Ruler: Dependent on local principality. Larger principalities often dictate regional policies.
Languages Spoken: Mütvian
Primary Races: Human, Slindar’il (elf), half-orc, halfling
History: The War That Created 1,000 Princes
Little can be said about the northern country of Mütvia without thoughts of creatures that go bump in the night. This is the stuff of legends where dark forests provide haven to all manners of creatures. The truth is that while the forest kingdoms do hide more secrets than are truly known, the real horror comes not from the woodland denizens but the masters that call Mutvia their home. Mutvia was not always filled with these creatures and their harsh princes.
The War that Created 1,000 Princes
In 3223, Stroikas Aken Arduuskjil held lands that comprised Mutvia’s eastern border with the Slindari Kingdom and extended west to the Gergi River, evenly dividing what the nation is today. Due to encroaching invasions from the Staabrian Hordes to the west, Stroika Drerai Endasoi’s duchy which lied west of the Gergi was weakened as the Hordes cut off trade supplies. Unable to fend off their attackers, Endasoi was forced to claim land directly south of Arduskjil’s reach toward the Cultrekian border, an area known as the Liratei Valley which had established trade routes from Cultrek to the east, in hopes to keep her people fed and supplied until they were able to amass an army to combat the invasion from the west. Historians and tacticians are mystified why Endasoi did not send a missive requesting assistance or even notification to her easterly neighbour, an action that resulted in the annihilation of both noble houses and the loss of 800 years of culture.
The Liratein War
Arduuskjil saw this as a precursor to war. Without warning on the eve of Sorya 28, 12m, 3223 IC, just one week after the first Endasoi settlers came to the valley, three regiments of Arduskjil’s forces surrounded and massacred those within. When news reached Endasoi’s ears, a missive was dispatched to Arduuskjil immediately whose response was to bolster border forces along with Gergi, A second missive was sent, the messenger’s ear returned and the war was started with all the nobles of southern Endasoi issuing a retaliatory strike against the Arduuskjil forces in the Liratein Valley. Knowing Arduuskjil would send forces across the river into northern Endasoi, the Stroika forced an eviction to the south. Notes from the era indicated Endasoi moved south to reinforce the Valley and then north straight to the Arduuskjil Ruling House which now lacked sufficient defenses against such a daring move. Stroikas Arduuskjil’s ears were removed and sent to his forces now well entrenched in the Endasoi lands, his hands sent to the south as a deterrant against further action and his head permanently displayed in the Valley. Endasoi’s victory was short-lived. The Staabrian forces moved east into the now mostly deserted lands of western Endasoi. The Stroika, already keen to Staabrian tactics, pierced the Horde defenses with a frontal assault and divided the the lesser trained barbaric warriors whose tactics were meant more for open land combat, not within the deep forests of Mutvia. While this created a flanking of her own troops, the moves were swift attacks with a burning of their own land as they moved north. Additional troops flanked the Horde in the north from the river while woodland fighters picked off stranglers. Rejoined in the Endasoi capital, the Stroika sent her troops south to remove the remaining Horde threat by using terrain to their advantage.
The Birth of Nightmares
Losses on all sides were significant. The Arduuskjil lands were broken, their troops decimated but their nobles, albeit landless, still existed. Endasoi, through her wildly aggressive tactics, lost 75% of her nobles: 56 of name, 124 minor nobles and 180 in total. The Staabrian forces were decimated and the attacks ceased. Though Endasoi had won the war, she lost her people’s lands. Without sufficient quantities of capable leaders, she went against the advice of her remaining advisors and invited the Arduuskjil nobles to rule their old lands under her reign. They readily agreed but one, Detrius Akenskjil, the son of the fallen king, had remained in disguise as a lesser noble in the meeting that would settle the terms. Endasoi invited them to Androisti, her Ruling House. Unwittingly outnumbered and surrounded, Detrius assassinated Endasoi and officially ended the war. The people of both countries, however, had already in many cases taken up arms and took over many of the old noble houses while they were either at war or elsewhere. Many nobles who returned were simply killed by their peasantry. The holds were kept by the most violent and draconian methods and for 125 years, blood were the rivers that flowed as these “new” nobles held on to their lands by any means. Detrius himself was crucified upside down by the peasants of Endasoi and left to die by the elements of Mutvia.
Today, Mutvia has no central government but instead many principalities of varying sizes. It is said the land itself now protects the people for so much of their blood was spilled it caused the dead to rise once more. To attack someone else would leave your defenses vulnerable to the Voisti, or “land spirits”. This does not prevent all hostilities but it did create a sense of paranoia based in necessity of winning a battle: kill the leader of that land as quickly as possible and the battle is over. This leaves as many people still alive to defend against the nightmare creatures their wars created. No one truly knows the real reason why the undead, lycanthropes and more roam the lands so freely. No one has ever found proof the soil may cause the dead to rise. But it is said Detrius’ body disappeared and he now exists as master vampire somewhere deep in the forests of his old homeland.
Between the lands of Mutvia and Staabri roam the nomadic descendants of both nations, the Drosti. Meanwhile, the majority of Mutvians claim no common heritage as the people have long since forgotten their ancestral lines. An ancient form of blood magic, however, has shown the lines of Endasoi and Arduuskjil still very much alive but in most cases mixed. Armed with this knowledge, some have taken claim of ancient lands in their forebearer’s name and the petty land wars arise once more under newly sewn banners. Of note, however, is that a new magic (aside from the rare blood magic) has cropped up in the most unlikely places. Devoid of somatic, verbal or even material components, it is said some of the inhabitants of Mutvia have the ability to warp reality with their minds alone.
Kingdom of the Tribal States of Nudvríu
Ruler: Council of Elders
Languages Spoken: Nudvrium
Primary Races: Human, dwarf, tirfolk
The Spine (Krak Therik)
Empire of The Spine of the World
Capital: Serish Tosh, Capital of the Underdeep Mountains
Ruler: King Thorigin of Grand House Kûros
Languages: Multiple dialects of Dwarven
Primary Races: Hillslider (dwarf), Spinewardens (dwarf)
“Home of the People”; referred to as Hordes of Sta’abri by outsiders
Capital: Each tribal land has its own capital
Ruler: Cooperative Councils of the Sa’jai and Warlords
Languages: Multiple tribal dialects of Q’ladis (Sta’abrian)
Primary Races: Orc, half-orc, Sadrath’il (elf), human
Most of the denizens of Erinnal bend the land to their whim though agriculture, livestock and building. Yet the tribal inhabitants of Sta’abri see the land as their mother and treat it thus with few exceptions.
Divided into totemic tribes and clans, they are collectively known as the Hordes of Sta’abri. The Major tribes are easily comprised of a few thousand warriors, shamans and farming people many of whom migrate across their territory depending on the season. Of these, the Black Feather and Winterwolf migrate the most while the Cinder Foots and Fire Birds migrate the least.
List of Tribes
Fire Bird (NG)
Bronze Talon (NG)
Empire of the Slindari
Ruler: The Ashen Empress
Languages Spoken: Slin dialect of Ancient Elven
Primary Races: Slindar’il (elf), Theran’il (elf), orc, half-orc, human, various humanoids
Island Kingdoms of Sra Wathra
Pronunciation: SRRAH wah-THRRAH
Capital: Roo-Thom (“The Reach”)
Ruler: Queen Kunith IV
Languages Spoken: K’kli
Primary Races: Thiraf (Catfolk)
Kingdom of Southern Cultrek
Ruler: Kalif Tunris Alak II
Languages Spoken: Asklen dialect of Ivirial, Ivirial, Malan
Primary Races: Human, Myrad’il (elf), Hillslider (dwarf), Theran’il (elf)
Principality of Tala, Kingdom of Malech
Ruler: Prince Kadrash
Languages Spoken: Malan
Primary Races: Human, Myrad’il (elf), Hillslider (dwarf), Stonewarden (dwarf)
Stats: Pundesh, Capital City
LN Large City
Corruption +2; Crime +2; Economy +4; Law +2; Lore +3; Society 0
Qualities Academic, Holy Site, Majestic, Strategic Location, Tourist Attraction
Population 23,000 (12,880 humans; 5,750 Myrad’il; 100 dwarves; 4270 other)
Magistrate Talbot (N male human ex-paladin 3, cleric 7)
Base value 10,400 gp; Purchase Limit 50,000 gp; Spellcasting 9th level
Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 2d4+1d8
Grand Archduchies of the High Empire of Tunbria
Ruler: Empress Tastasia
Languages Spoken: Tunbrian, Mütvian (north)
Primary Races: Human