GROUPS & FACTIONS
ADVENTURERS Throughout the West, from Norland to the Inner Sea, there are individuals who live lives of danger and high adventure. They are treasure hunters and dungeoneers, mercenaries and do-gooders, paid killers and thieves for hire, even free-mages and questing priests. Adventurers come from many backgrounds. They have a rough code of honor and a reputation, in general, as trouble-makers. Most wander alone or join together in companies in order to achieve their goals.
Skills: Adventurers have a wide range of skills and experience, depending on background and training. Among them, survival is a prime skill.
The BARONS OF ANGLAMAR The Koths were barbarians when they migrated westward over 500 years ago. As the clans settled and became civilized, their chieftains became independent hereditary lords. Under the monarchy, the lords were granted hereditary titles as Barons, making them vassals of the King. The Barons maintain their own castles and soldiers and rule the peasantry as they see fit. In time of war, baronial troops may be called upon to defend the kingdom. However, they are forbidden to war against each other unless ordered to do so by the King. The number of troops a Baron employs depends on need and cost. In general, each will have a core of loyal knights supported by men-at-arms, archers and, in time of war, peasant spearmen drafted from the local population.
Sergeant-at-Arms (commanding 50 spearmen or archers or 25 men-at-arms)
Knight (commanding 5 or more Men-at-Arms)
Knight-Captain (commanding all troops, men-at-arms and knights)
Baron (or Baroness)
Baron Edmore of Westhaven Baron of Andur
Baron Kurth of Beregond Baron of Gondar
Baron Mordren of Immerdeen
Baron Waldeif of Eastinghold (deceased)
BOUNDERS Halfling volunteers are deputized under Royal authority to patrol the borders of the Dales, to warn off trespassers and, if necessary, detain or turn them back with force. Bounders, known by their green cloaks and boots and scarlet feathers worn in their caps, ride patrol in troops of five or more. They report to the Mayor of Arbuckle Hill on the banks of the Andural River.
Skills: Bounders are armed (and expert) with shortbows and daggers. They are skilled riders and trackers, using their natural stealth and quickness to keep an eye on trespassers.
The CHIEFTAINS OF NORLAND The holds of Norland are ruled by semi-independent Chieftains who owe their loyalty to the King at Dragonsgaard. Their positions are hereditary, though they may be challenged for rulership by any freeman warrior through battle. Each chieftain commands his own freemen warriors and one or more professional huskarls as champions, as well as their own ships for raiding and trading. Internal feuding among the Chieftains is permitted, for reasons of honor, but the slaughter of women and children and the wholesale destruction of holds is forbidden. In time of war, each hold may be ordered to provide ships and fighters to the King.
Huskarl (commanding 3 or more warriors)
Captain (commanding a longship/dragonship and crew)
Champion (commanding all huskarls, captains and ships of a hold)
Chieftain (or Chieftainess)
Haarik Hornbearer of Dragonsgaard
Aegar of Thunder Bay
Ingre Urveld's Daughter of Viksted
Ragnar of Norhagen
Tarl the Red of Haramir's Hold
Rolph Blackraven of Ungaard (independent of Norland)
DAUGHTERS OF FRAYA In Norland, the spear-maidens of Fraya are renowned for their athletic ability and battle prowess. Sworn to the service of the Horned Goddess, a daughter remains unmarried and unclaimed by any man, save one who can defeat her in battle (rumor has it that they do take lovers among themselves). There are no more than 100 of their order. Many take service in the households of chieftains or aboard dragonships. They preside at funerary rites, ceremonially presenting the departed before the Gates of Valkan. Spear-maidens are forbidden to participate in the acts of slaughter so common among Norlandic fighters. They must grant mercy when asked and offer healing when able, even to a fallen enemy.
Skills & Abilities: The Daughters possess all of the powers of priests (Sense Power, healing, divination and blessing). They are masters of the spear, sword and shield. The very presence of one of the daughters of Fraya, in glittering mail and gilded horned helm, will bolster the valor and resolve of Norlander warriors in battle.
DRUIDS This ancient priesthood dominates the religious life of the Storm Isles. Descended from pre-historic shamans, they are nature oriented and dedicated to the Goddess in her aspect as Danae (the Maiden and the Crone), symbolized by the twin-crescent moon. They also worship the forest-god, Sylvas of the Wood. Both male and female, Druids wear gray or white hooded robes and are organized into a hierarchy of Circles. Their most sacred shrine is the Standing Stones, or Great Henge, at the foot of Mount Kaerdon, which, legend says, was built by giants three thousand years ago (most scholars give a later date) and their Holy Days are the Spring and Autumn equinox. As an order, they are allied with but independent of other priests of the Old Gods. However, historically, they have been rivals of the war-priests of Valkan (the Daughters of Fraya are forbidden to raise hand against their Druidic brothers and sisters).
Skills & Abilities: As priests, Druids have the ability to Sense Magic (and identify whether the source is good, evil or neutral), and radiate Divine Power (comensurate with the Druid's rank) that effects or repels creatures of opposing ethic. By performing specific Rites and Rituals, they may call upon the Power of their deity to perform miracles of healing, divination and blessing. Druids are not normally trained in martial skills - they do not wear armor or carry weapons beyond a simple staff and belt knife. However, their very lifestyle ensures physical health and prowess. All druids have the ability to communicate with, through subtle means, normal animals of the field, forest and sky. At the rank of the Second Circle, each Druid is able to select an animal familiar, or totem, from whom he or she can draw abilities and inspiration. At the First Circle, a Druid is able to shapeshift into that animal's form for a limited period of time.
Ranks: Acolyte (the Third Circle)
Druid of the Second Circle
Druid of the First Circle
ELVES OF THE WEST The Elder Race once inhabited all of northwestern Mythandar from the Easting River to the Sea of Storms. Now, after millenia of warfare against the orcs and centuries of human expansion, they are reduced to the realm of Everwilde. Some elves, particularly adventurous Moon Elves, venture outside into the Eastmark and the Northern Marches while most High Elves live isolated in Everwilde. All acknowledge the High Lady Aravel as their queen.
Skills & Abilities: Elves are magical in nature, giving them the ability to Sense Magic and resist magical effects (much like a mage). They also possess a form of mindspeak. Elves are able to move and hide virtually undetectable in woodlands, a skill that serves them well in almost any environment. Their senses of sight and hearing are ten times greater than humans. They are naturally fast and agile, and elven warriors are renowned as archers and bladesmen.
More information at RACES OF MYTHANDAR.FORESTERS Like other nobles, the Baron of Eastinghold has his own "house troops" of professional men-at-arms. However, in order to maintain order in the Eastmark, he also employs lightly armed woodsmen with bows. These Foresters are commanded directly by the Baron's Lord Sheriff, Sir Kayle. They wear forest green cloaks over leathers, red-featherded caps and high leather boots died red.
Skills: All Foresters are expert archers, hunters and trackers, as well as skilled horsemen with intimate knowledge of the woodland trails of the Eastmark.
GONDISH HIGHLANDERS The Gondsfolk are not subject to Baronial rule, but hold their loyalty to clan and the Royal Family itself. Thelron the Great was Lord of Gond before he became King of Anglamar, so ties are strong between the Gondish Hills and the Crown. They are a tough rustic folk, brave and eager to prove their valor.
Skills: As warriors, Gondish Highlanders are superb irregular infantry, able to move quickly over rugged terrain even in the worst weather. Armed with spear, sword, axe or maul and wearing studded leather or mail with large iron-bossed wooden shields, Highlanders are effective skirmishers, though they are vulnerable to heavy cavalry and massed archers.
Ranks: Clansman (or Clanswoman)
Warrior (often accompanied by 5-10 family members)
War Captain (commanding a family or large group from a local area - up to 100 warriors)
Helmric of Gond, Chieftain (commanding all family heads and war captains)
Thelgar III, High King of the Koths
HIGH CIRCLE OF WIZARDS Five centuries ago, the greatest mages of Mythandar became embroiled in a struggle for supremacy that engulfed most of Mythandar. In this the first Wizard War, titanic Power was unleashed - nations were enslaved or manipulated and vast armies marched against each other, dragons rose from their lairs, hordes of sub-humans and undead were unleashed and the very elemental forces were loosed to catclysmic destruction. The Empire of Tharsis, which had ruled the Inner Sea Lands for 700 years, was shaken to its foundation and began a slow decline toward collapse. In the end, no single arch-mage rose to dominance and most of the survivors retreated to rebuild their power. But the seven greatest came together in truce to discuss the future of The Art. They agreed that the Power of magic should be limited and that no single adept should ever be allowed to rise to dominance over the rest. Thus, the High Circle was established and the title of Wizard came to be applied only to its members.
The Seven Wizards of the High Circle are the greatest living (and un-living) masters of the Art in Mythandar, drawn from many lands and races. By their Compact, none are allowed to interfere directly in the affairs of nations, nor are they to permit the actions of lesser mages to dominate or effect the course of history. Thus, any mage who's Power is judged to be too great will be confronted by one of the Seven and offered a choice - banishment from Mythandar, destruction, or admittance as a member of the High Circle. If the mage chooses the latter, he or she must face one of the Seven in a Wizard's dual with the only outcome being victory or death. All adepts are aware of the peril of gaining too much Power and attracting the attention of the High Circle.
Valarus the White (human)
Amalaya of Attalay (human)
Thoth A'Zul of Kesh? (suspected to be a lich)
Gorgrym the Mighty (frost giant)
Vysstaspis of the Golden Eye (lizardfolk)
HUSKARLS The warriors of Norland are known for their ferocity and bravery. Every freeman farmer, tradesman and sailor is expected to take up arms when needed. Professional warriors, who serve the chieftains of Norland as house troops, are better trained and equipped. Among these, the King's Huskarls are the elite, equipped with the finest weapons and mail, and famous for their fanaticism and the massive battle-axes they wield. Each Huskarl has a band of at least three dedicated warriors.
Skills: Huskarls are the finest warriors in the West, rivaled only by the knights of Anglamar. Each is skilled in the use of the two-handed battle-ax, broadsword and spear. Many are berserkers, who work themselves into a frenzy when going to battle. As Norlanders, Huskarls are also experienced seafarers and rea-raiders. A few command their own dragonships crewed by 50-100 warriiors.
KNIGHTS OF THE GRYPHON In Anglamar, the Knights of the Royal Order of the Gryphon are the elite. Chosen from among the noble families of the kingdom (generally, younger sons who do not stand to inherit their family titles), they take oaths of service to the crown and stand as the core of the troops commanded directly by the King. Each Gryphon Knight is required to equip and command at least five professional men-at-arms as his own retinue. Members of the Order are known by their white tabbards (worn over the armor) and shields decorated with the Royal Gryphon of the King. They carry gilded longswords with pommels wrought in the shape of an eagles's head.
Skills: Knights are trained in mounted combat and heavy cavalry tactics. They are expert with the lance and shield, sword (mounted and afoot), and at least one additional melee weapon (ax, mace, morningstar, etc.). Bows and crossbows are disdained as beneath a knight's dignity for use in combat, though most noblemen are skilled with the bow for hunting.
Ranks: Knight (commanding 5 men-at-arms)
Knight-Captain (commanding 20 knights and 100 men-at-arms)
Knight-Commander (commanding an army or fortress)
Knight-Commander of the Order, Lord Narand (with a personal retinue of 2 knights and 20 men-at-arms)
Knight Commander-in-Chief King Thelgar III
NAMED KNIGHTS OF THE ORDER
Lord Narand, Knight-Commander of the Order (Gondaran)
Sir Adumar, Knight-Captain and Lord Warden of the Northern Marches (Northinghall)
Sir Holmar, Knight-Commander of Kragmoor Keep
Sir Thales, Knight-Commander of Sunderguard Keep
Sir Devyn, Knight-Captain
NORTHERN ORCS The orcs of the Icewall Mountains are larger and more fierce than those elsewhere (an adult male may stand six feet and weigh over 200 lbs). They have dark gray-green skin, shaggy black manes, black slitted eyes, small pointed ears and prominent tusks. Northern Orcs are not as numerous as their southern kin in the Stormovers, though tribal lairs are scattered from Trollsptep Pass to the edge of the Barrens. Those west of Irongate are frequently united, currently by a vicious warlord called King Huurk. His warriors are better equipped than usual with dwarvish weapons and armor scavenged from lost holds, tombs and battlefields. The orcs frequently raid south into the Marches where they are fiercely repelled by settlers. The blood-hatred between the Icewall Orcs and the Northern Rangers is legendary, and Rangers who fall into orcish hands face horrible tortures and death (before they are eaten).
NORTHERN RANGERS Life in the Northern Marches is tough and fraught with dangers - harsh Winters, wild beasts, orcish raiders and bandits. Settlements are few and far between and the King's Law is enforced only at Northinghall. The Rangers are an informal group of like-minded individuals dedicated to protecting the frontier. They are known by their camouflaged elven cloaks, longknives, and the four-pointed bronze stars they wear. Members include men and women, elves and half-elves. The Rangers' direst enemies in the North are the Icewall orcs, especially the tribes ruled by "King" Huurk. There is no rank structure among the Rangers, who number no more 200, and many of them travel alone.
Skills: Rangers combine woodsman's skills with elvish lore and orcish tactics of raid and ambush. They are all expert trackers, archers and horsemen, preferring the stout gray highland horses bred in the North.
ORDER OF THE BLUE STAR Under the dictates of the High Circle of Wizards, formal schools or academies of magic are forbidden in Mythandar. This is to prevent the widespread dissemination of magical knowledge and the concentration of Power in the hands of one faction. Therefore, magical orders have arisen which are loose associations of mages dedicated to the same cause.
The mages of the Blue Star consider themselves the elite practitioners of the Art in the West. Each is an adept and membership is by invitation only. Archmage Falkard has led the order for nearly a century, residing in the Tower of the Blue Star in the Heights of Westhaven. The Order established itself as a power in Weshaven long ago and has always acted in alliance with Anglamar, though its goals and purposes are its own. Members are known by the blue five-pointed star tattoos on their foreheads, which blaze with blue light when magic is used. Some members conceal the mark, but it reveals itself when Power is unleashed. Entrance into the order grants a mage additional Power and priveledges (socially and politically) among the upper classes. The number of members is unknown, but assumed to be low (probably no more than a dozen).
Falkard, Archmage and Master of the Order
SHADOWGUILD of Westhaven Unlike the Inner Sea Lands, criminal activity in the North is a sporadic, extremely violent and disorganized endeavor. Cutpurses and muggers haunt the alleys of cities and most large towns, bandits often lurk along country lanes, bands of brigands come together for short periods of time to take advantage of lawlessness or war. Only in Westhaven are the thieves, cuttroats, kidnappers, thugs, fences and smugglers joined in an organization dedicated to the pursuit of profit and influence. The Shadowguild has its soiled hands in nearly every level of business and society and is the Watch's greatest enemy.
SORCERERS' GUILD of the Inner Sea Under the dictates of the High Circle of Wizards, formal schools or academies of magic are forbidden in Mythandar. This is to prevent the widespread dissemination of magical knowledge and the concentration of Power in the hands of one faction. Therefore, magical orders have arisen which are loose associations of mages dedicated to the same cause.
The Sorcerers' Guild is the oldest of these, founded in secret after the Wizard War, 500 years ago. Its members span the lands of the Inner Sea, from Eredor to Thyrenia, and include some of the most powerful adepts in Mythandar. Grand High Sorcerer Amuz Belephon is master of the order and wields great influence, both political and financial, throughout the Inner Sea - unofficially, of course, since sorcery is condemned by the New Faith which dominates the Inner Sea Lands. In fact, the greatest factor limiting the Guild's influence is the Church, which forces it to operate in secret. The Sorcerers' Guild and the Order of the Blue Star are direst rivals. Typically, mages compete among themselves for spells, artifacts and magical lore. The rivalry between those of the Guild and the Order approaches the level of open war. By mutual understanding, their spheres of influence are divided by the Stormover Mountains.
Grand High Sorcerer Amuz Belephon
Balok Thrane of Kordina
SWORDS OF BEREGOND The Baron of Beregond employs the largest and most well-trained corps of men-at-arms in Anglamar. They are known for their black mail, iron shields, ruthlessness and discipline in battle, and their devotion to their commander. Some 500 strong, they are organized into cohorts of 50 men each.
Skills: Every Sword is trained in foot and mounted combat, skilled with the sword and shield, spear, pole-arms, and crossbow.
Sergeant-at-Arms (commanding 10 men-at-arms)
Captain-at-Arms (commanding one cohort/50 men-at-arms)
Knight-Commander (Sir Orlonde, the Black Knight)
Baron Kurth of Beregond
THANES OF IRONGATE The greatest warriors of the Dwarven Realm are the King's Thanes. Known by their great horned helms, they are the King's champions and stand as the core of Irongate's defenses. Each Thane commands as many warriors as he can muster, drawn from his own blood kin. A Thane may order the gates of the fortress-city clossed; only King Horgrimm can order them opened.
Skills: A Thane is a proven champion and leader of dwarves. His orders carry the authority of the King. In battle, they are nearly invulnerable in the finest dwarven armor, unmatched in their skills with the battle-ax and warhammer.
First Axe (commanding 20 axes)
Thane (commanding at least 100 axes)
King Horgrimm High Hammer
More information at RACES OF MYTHANDAR.
THE WATCH of Westhaven The city guard of Westhaven are professional militia who man the walls, guard the gates, patrol the steets, and enforce City Law. As hired soldiers, they are the finest and best paid urban militia in Anglamar (less well-trained than men-at-arms but moreso than peasant conscripts). The Watch is commanded by the Lord Constable, appointed by the Lord Mayor.
Skills: Watch members recieve basic weapon drills with polearms, spear and shield, and crossbow. Militia sergeants are trained with the sword. Many, but not all, are capable horsemen. However, as a whole, the Watch operates as regular infantry troops with emphasis on small unit urban patroling.
Watch sergeant (commanding 20 Watchmen)
Watch captain (commanding a precinct manned by 100 men or more)
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